On “Day 1” I described how I evaluated my level in French using various techniques, and so defined what my target would be, in terms of improving my ability to understand the spoken language.
Yes, I know this site is not about French. But I already understand spoken Italian pretty well, so I’m walking you through the process of improving your Italian listening comprehension skills as I would do it. See?
So, if you’ve been following along, you should now have an idea of your current level, and a “descriptor” for the next level up i.e. an idea of what you will be able to do when you’ve improved which you can’t do now.
In my case that is: “understand the main points of clear speech”.
I can’t. I’d like to.
Ci siamo? (With me?)
The man with the plan
Quite often in my teaching career I have seen students achieve what they never thought they would be able to achieve once they had been forcibly sat down and made to write out a plan.
Day 1, do this. Day 2, do that. Day 3, now do this. Etc.
Just the process of thinking it through and writing it down makes the whole task seem less impossible, somehow.
And when you know what you have to do today, tomorrow, the next day, it’s a simple case of finding a few minutes and knocking it off the list.
Then forgetting about it, until the next day.
So, yesterday, I sat down and wrote a plan on how to get my listening from A2 to B1 in approximately 6 weeks, (without spending any money, natch.)
It looks like this:
Week 1 (now): do a D.E.L.F. A1 past listening paper each day (I’m starting below my current level of A2, as I haven’t studied French for 30 years and want to refresh my memory, and get my confidence up)
Weeks 2 & 3: do the D.E.L.F. A2 listening papers, plus supplementary work on any areas of weakness that become evident. It seems I’ll need to brush up on the numbers. (Why the hell don’t the French have nice easy words for ‘seventy’ and ‘eighty’?)
Weeks 4 & 5: use non-exam listening materials (authentic materials, audio books, DVDs) to build experience with complex texts
Week 6: do the D.E.L.F. B1 papers, as practice for my “final exam”. Do the last one as a “final exam”. Compare results with what I got when I first tried (5%!) Have I improved?
Make a new plan. Might work on my reading, next. Or speaking…
OK, so it looks pretty vague, and is probably rather optimistic. But there’s the advantage that I now know exactly what I’ll be doing, when.
And I can of course come back and modify my plan if circumstances require.
And YOUR plan is..?
I think we’ve established that a lot of you would like to listen better in Italian.
So, let’s hear how you plan to go about it…
Be brave. Post details. Think of it as a New Year’s resolution.
And if you’ve found any great Italian listening materials out there, that you think others would benefit from, well go ahead and post the links.
Not got a plan yet? So sit down and write one. Takes ten minutes. You can always copy someone else’s later, if you like what you see….
P.S. LAST TWO DAYS FOR THE FREE SKYPE LESSON! OFFER EXPIRES MONDAY 6th. Click here to get a free online lesson worth €20. Offer valid for new clients, old clients, anyone at all – we’re feeling generous! But only until Monday. No catches. Book your free online Italian lesson now.