This morning I’m covering for my wife at the reception desk of our Italian school.
She’s gone to the beach with the kids.
I like doing reception, as it’s a good chance to meet people.
Anyway, I was just chatting (in Italian of course) to Doak, from San Francisco.
He’s been a club member for years and said he enjoyed reading about my trip to Texas.
I promised to say ‘hi’ in today’s article.
“Ciao Doak, e grazie per il cioccolatino!”
‘Hi’ also to Nash, who has been writing in with questions about how to organise his studies.
As I hope you know, I welcome questions and always try to reply.
I was thinking, Nash, that maybe you could take a look at our ‘Best of‘ section, which has articles about various aspects of learning Italian going back to 2012.
There’s definitely something on study program planning. Perhaps that’ll give you some ideas…
Scrolling down the ‘Best of‘ list, I see that one of the articles is titled ‘Why studying grammar and vocabulary is a waste of time‘.
OK, perhaps that’s a bit extreme.
It was an early attempt to promote our easy readers.
If you take a look, be aware that the links are probably broken, any offers having expired years back.
The gist of it is that studying the components of a language in isolation is less effective than you might expect.
While grammar and vocabulary lessons have their place, context is fundamental, as is the motivation to continue learning.
Italian has a lot of grammar and, just between us, I can’t be doing with it.
That’s what my granny used to say about things that were too much bother.
Such as, for instance, the conditional form which is the topic of today’s free listening.
In English, this grammar would be known as the ‘third conditional’.
It describes an alternative past.
For example, if I hadn’t met my wife, I wouldn’t have moved to Italy.
But I did, and I did.
You get the idea.
Italians moan about conditionals in English (I’m an English teacher…)
They always want to study them just one more time, in the hope that the grammar will finally stick in their heads.
Sadly, it doesn’t.
You’re probably the same with conditionals in Italian, I know I am.
That said, I’ve got along perfectly well for twenty years with an imperfect knowledge of the subject.
Ever heard people say that it’s more important to be a good listener?
That’s true for language, too.
If you’re experienced at reading and listening, you’ll be able to spot that something is an unreal past conditional from the context.
Even if you only have a shaky command of the ‘rules’.
Whereas the other way around?
You know the grammar inside out, but can’t understand what you hear because “everyone speaks too fast”?
Anway, for all you grammar fiends out there, here’s the link:
Last chance at the ‘Book of the Week’
Many thanks to everyone who has bought a copy of this week’s half price easy reader ebook, Accattone.
I hope you enjoy it. Either way, don’t forget to leave a review, will you?
For the rest of you, here’s a final reminder…
The -50% offer ends on Sunday night!
Get yours while it’s cheap!
Read/listen to the story…
Then seek out the film on Youtube.
Hours of fun and effective language learning, for just £3.99!
Here are the links you’ll need to give it a go:
- Accattone – free sample chapter
- Accattone – full version
- NINE other ‘Book of the Film’ easy readers – half price!
- Browse all materials for learning Italian