This morning I have three things to tell you.
I’ll try to deal with them as rapidly as I can because I have a Swedish lesson in an hour and I haven’t, yet, done my homework, washed the dishes or prepared the kids’ lunch.
1. The Wednesday rant
There’s a new edition of ‘Easy Italian News‘ (Tuesday’s) waiting for you to read/listen to it.
Around a thousand people already have.
If you’re not one of them (probably not), consider yourself reminded.
N.b. several people have commented that they like to stop the audio to look up unknown words.
What a genius idea.
As if there aren’t enough unknown words, you have to go looking for them when you’re supposed to be improving your listening comprehension skills?
And knowing the new words is SO IMPORTANT to you, that you’d basically trash the value of the extended listening practice by continually pausing, rewinding, etc. (all those things that you actually CAN’T do in real life).
Beh – I’m here in Bologna in my language school whereas you are there in Australia, or Texas, or Scotland, or wherever.
So I’m not going to slap your hand away from the pause button and tell you not to be so silly.
And besides, I’m not your mother.
But I’ll say this once again, though, SLOWLY, or what passes for slowly when I’m typing and you’re reading.
THERE. ARE. ALWAYS. GOING. TO. BE. WORDS. YOU. WON’T. KNOW.
DEVELOPING. COMPREHENSION. SKILLS. INVOLVES. PRACTISING. DEALING. WITH. SUCH. UNCERTAINTIES.
WHICH. MEANS. EXTENDED. LISTENING. PRACTICE.
SUITABLE. MATERIALS. ARE. RARE (and rarely free…)
DON’T. WASTE. THEM. BY. CONTINUALLY. PAUSING. THE. AUDIO.
LISTEN. ALL. THE. WAY. THROUGH!
LEARNING. VOCABULARY. AND. PRACTICING. LISTENING. AND. READING. ARE. DIFFERENT. ACTIVITIES.
EACH. OF. WHICH. IS. MORE. EFFECTIVE. IF. KEPT. SEPARATE.
Sorry for shouting.
Listen to/read Easy Italian News all the way through.
Then do it again at least once.
And come back tomorrow (Thursday) and do the new one.
There’s no law that says you have to check the words you don’t know.
It’s understandable that you’d want to, but the danger is that you get to thinking you can’t continue reading/listening UNLESS you stop and check the part you don’t know.
AND. THAT. WAY. LIES. DISASTER!
If you want to learn new words, there are plenty of other ways to do it that don’t disrupt what is supposed to be a valuable opportunity for extensive listening practice.
For example, do two sessions. One reading/listening to Easy Italian News and then another, maybe on the ‘off’ days, when we don’t ‘broadcast’ (so Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday) reading ‘real’ news articles to datamine new words – I’m sure you’ll find lots.
Basta, on to point two.
2. Don’t want marketing? Stop reading, or get off the list
OK, I just spent 30 minutes nagging, my primary mission in life.
My other mission in life is to sell stuff.
There are various reasons for that:
- we have a team of online teachers. They need to work
- running this website and newsletter costs money, money best earnt selling ebooks
- IF I can generate a surplus, it’s reinvested usually, in new projects such as Easy Italian News
But not everyone wants to get the sales pitch, right?
Which is fine.
Advanced notice then, so you can avoid it if you wish.
NEXT week we’ll be having our Autumn Sale, which means an attractive discount on everything in our online shop – ebooks, online lessons, and so on.
If you don’t want to hear about it, stop reading these articles from Monday 01 October to Sunday 07 October (and yes, I’ll be writing something every day, so if you ARE a marketing fan, then yipee!)
There should be a link at the bottom of this text with which you can do that.
Click it and follow the simple instructions.
In which case, goodbye.
3. Book of the Week
Guess how much the ‘Book of the Week’ is this week?
Go on! Guess!
Oh, you guessed.
Yes, it’s £3.99.
The same as last week, and the week before, and the week before that…
If you don’t have £3.99, I’m very sorry.
We have plenty of free stuff (Easy Italian News, for example.)
If you do, though, then what better to spend it on than Il sorpasso?
It’s our ‘easy reader’ version of one of the masterpieces of Italian cinema.
You get a simplfied text and online audio.
Buy ‘Il sorpasso’ £3.99 | Sample chapter (.pdf) | Books of the Films | Catalogue
Jan Mackay says
Going to have to comment on your sarcasm ‘genius etc’–oh dear not good!
I totally agree with your view that checking every unknown word is time-wasteful and delays learning. But…. I also do not agree with your view I read recently that when you have new material to listen to you first listen with the transcript…no no no!!
That’s the same difference….:-(
I do like a bit of attitude and keeps me reading so thanks for that. Enjoying the Easy News and and also following the links – the rebuilding of the viaduct was particularly interesting.
Meanwhile am continuing with ‘Il giocoliere’ – easy and enjoyable. Looking at your chapter downloads – great idea… may have to go up a level…ooer! 😉
I shall be at Madrelingua next week so may get to say hello, Also want to book another 10 lessons with my online tutor Giovanna so hope I can do it while I’m at the school next week to get the special offer!
Grazie e ciao
Do come and say ‘Ciao’, Jan. I’ll look forward to it (and try not to be sarcastic…)
Whether to listen with or without the transcript?
I read all the comments on this, and on the easyitaliannews.com site – it tends to be the more able, higher-level learners that feel comfortable listening first without the text.
Those who are just starting out (as I was recently with Swedish) need more support.
In the end, though, it’s a choice. People can do either with THIS material.
But when they’re listening to ‘authentic’ material, the radio, say, there isn’t the option read as well.
The new site is intended to be a stepping stone to more authentic listening and reading, hence no glossaries or exercises.
Lynne F says
Oh Daniel I love your “rants” . Why don’t people listen! When a child is learning their native language they don’t study grammar or look up words they don’t know, they listen to the language around them. Little by little they begin to speak the language , ok they may not understand every word and will certainly make mistakes but eventually they become fluent. I don’t proclaim to be fluent in Italian yet but I managed to converse with the locals on my last visit to Italy. On the days Easy Italian News is published I listen to it several times without the transcript Then I listen again with it. The following day I use the transcript to focus my learning e.g. words I didn’t understand, verb tenses, grammar, colloquial phrases or sentence structure. and look at the links. Then while cooking I have the audio on as back ground noise, hoping to tune my ears in to Italian. It’s working. So thanks for all your efforts and keep up the good work.
That’s great to hear, Lynne! Keep it up, then.