As I’m learning a language myself, it becomes increasingly apparent to me that listening skills are fundamental.
I can keep up a conversation in Swedish, now, for the best part of an online lesson.
But I’m frequently stumped by the simplest of questions from my teacher.
Yet again I’m forced to trot out that worn phrase ‘I’m sorry. I didn’t understand that. Could you repeat it, please?’
It’s probably the only thing I can be sure of saying fluently and correctly, which is NOT reassuring…
Without listening skills, no amount of grammar, vocabulary or pronunciation will help you in a conversational situation.
Your interaction with the world will be, at best, one-sided!
But getting your brain used to turning a stream of seemingly random foreign language noises into something intelligible is not easy.
It takes time, and lots of practice.
Which is why I hope you had time to check out the fourteen free listenings on ‘Le feste italiane’ that I linked to on Monday.
You listen, you read the transcript, you do both at the same time, you listen again.
In whatever order pleases you.
Try it. You’ll FEEL the improvement. It’s tangible!
If you’ve already done those, you’ll find plenty more on the club website. Click on the ‘Listening‘ and/or ‘Dialogues‘ icons in the main menu and just go!
Bene, so what about ‘learning goals’?
Well, as old-time club members will know, it’s at this time of year that I get seriously distracted from fun things like learning Swedish and writing articles for the club by the need to SELL STUFF.
Specifically, courses for our Italian school, which this week is having it’s annual 20% off promotion.
Pay a small deposit by Christmas Day and save a significant sum on group courses of any length (you could study for a year if you wanted too…) starting in 2018.
You get the idea. Details are here, if you’re curious to know more.
I’m mailing the school’s list daily with a mix of hopefully useful articles about language learning and ‘don’t forget the damn offer’-type content.
We have four full-time permanent Italian teachers, plus a bunch of freelancers who are hungry for work.
Among other things, such as teaching English and paying the rent, it’s my job to find them people to teach.
So anyway, yesterday’s offer email was titled ‘2018 Italian Course Offer: Set Next Year’s Learning Goals‘
It’s rather long, but of general interest if you’re into foreign languages.
And if you don’t know what ‘learning goals’ are, do take a look.