Before I get on to today’s theme, ‘the dos and don’ts of taking Skype Italian lessons’, I just thought I’d repost this from Jackie, who was kind enough to leave a comment on Wednesday’s article:
Buon capodanno! Well done for getting up on time today to write your regular letter – I always read them and listen to your advice, such as reading as much as possible. I recently bought Natale a sorpesa but have not yet finished. Taking your advice, I skip over words I don’t know but still get the overall gist. So far I’m pleased with myself for reading a real book!
Thank you for all your encouragement!
The bolding is mine… Thank you, Jackie.
And talking of “reading as much as possible”, anyone who isn’t on the shop mailing list might want to take a look at the article I wrote over there yesterday:
If you can’t be bothered to click the link, it’s basically just a list of the ebooks that I personally have enjoyed most, a couple at each level and half-level, from zero to hero!
Perhaps you’ve already read them all? (Ciao Pat!) In which case, feel free to disagree with my selections.
Or you may not be an ebook buyer at all… But really? Why not?
For just a few pounds you could liberate yourself from grammar books, Duolingo, etc. and do something much more enjoyable (and beneficial) instead!
But don’t take my word for it: ‘My top ebook picks for beginner, intermediate, advanced-learners‘ has free sample chapter download links for each of the ebooks I picked.
Check out the article, click the free sample link for the title that interests you (or all of them, why not?) and read/listen to the first chapter to see if the story grabs you. If not, nothing lost.
But if, at the end of Chapter 1, you want to read/listen to more? Head on over to our online shop and stock up!
N.b. Don’t forget the January Sale coupon code! See today’s P.S. for details.
Bene allora, where were we?
The dos and don’ts of taking Skype Italian lessons
Written from personal experience, as I use this method to learn languages, and have in the past done online teaching…
- Don’t put off starting. OK, this could seem self-serving, given our January Sale, but veramente, I put off lessons, cioè actually interacting with a real person, for maybe a year after starting to learn Swedish. First I thought I’d teach myself, then I got addicted to Duolingo, so it wasn’t until months later that I realised I still couldn’t speak a word of the language… Once I’d done a lesson or two, I was kicking myself for all the time I’d wasted.
- Don’t panic. Mild anxiety is acceptable. Remember though, it’s in the teacher’s interest too that things go well. She wants you to be comfortable and happy – it’s how she earns a living. In the event that you do NOT feel comfortable and happy after taking a lesson or two, get right on to Lucia, our teaching manager, and ask her for help/advice. Likely she’ll know what to do.
- Do listen to the teacher. Some people, it must be said, have really dumb ideas about how they should be learning. Over the decades, I must have heard it all. For example, “I’d like you (the teacher) to help me translate this (massively-long, difficult, boring) text, which I have to read for (whatever unconnected objective).” In a thirty-minute lesson, we might get through a sentence or two, and only then by doing the whole thing in English. Most people would instead benefit from spending the time practising SPEAKING and getting feedback from the teacher regarding problems with pronunciation, grammar, etc. A pro teacher should point that out. And it’s doubly true for students who would otherwise never speak at all… The moral? Listen to the teacher. Maybe she knows best. At least in this case.
- Do insist. All that said, teachers are not infallible. “We don’t need no education”, indeed, and certainly not another pointless explanation of the congiuntivo, which we could read online instead of wasting valuable speaking time on. The teacher may not know what’s best for you – if you don’t either, then you’ll have to take your chances. But if you DO have a clear idea what would most benefit you (speaking!! feedback on mistakes!! help with pronunciation!!), then insist. Do. For any issues you can’t resolve with the teacher, there’s Lucia.
- Do make lessons part of your routine. Thursday a.m. Swedish, Friday a.m. Turkish – I don’t always feel like taking the lessons beforehand, but afterwards I’m invariably glad I did. And as months pass, the effect on my ability to communicate in the languages I’m learning is ‘impressionante’, as Italians would say. So try to make taking a weekly Skype lesson part of your language-learning routine, in the same whay as you might attend an evening class or do homework. Create the habit, reap the reward!
That’s more or less it.
Skype isn’t hard to use, though like anything new, it might take some fiddling around. If you’re unsure, ask a child or a teenager to help you.
(If you ARE a child or teenager, just press buttons randomly until something interesting happens.)
And no, we don’t do lessons via FaceTime instead of Skype. Why not? Because not everyone can afford overpriced Apple products, and certainly not everyone in our team of teachers.
Skype is ubiquitous, free, and usable on both the latest Apple monstrosity as well as on the humblest Chinese smartphone.
Beh, that’s about it for today. If you are on the verge of buying some Skype Italian lessons, but have doubts, or need more information, leave a comment on this article with your question (that way, everyone can read it, not just me.)
Or email in the usual way. If I get enough anxious emails, I can put together another article for tomorrow, “The Top Ten Skype Italian Lesson Worries”, or similar.
Watch this space!
P.S. Last 72 hours of the January Sale
Don’t forget the January Sale ends on Sunday, which means there are just three days left to save 20% on ebooks and online lessons.
Everything in our shop is a fifth cheaper for 72 more hours.
Act promptly and you could be getting ten one-to-one lessons for the price of eight – so two extra lessons of speaking practice, on us!
Or you could add 5 ebooks to your shopping cart (reading and listening practice is SO useful) while only having to pay for four of them.
Use this coupon code to save £££ on your order:
Next go to your shopping cart and apply coupon code january_sale_2020_save_20% to reduce the cart total by 20%.
Remember, the coupon code is good until midnight on Sunday 5th January 2020.
Use it as often as you wish until then, with no minimum or maximum spend.
Thursday’s (FREE) bulletin of ‘easy’ Italian news is here, if you haven’t already read/listened to it.