It’s mercoledì, a somewhat easier day, so I’m hoping to work on my own language-learning as well.
I have an online Swedish lesson scheduled for 09.30 (hence I’m gettting this article done first…)
Ideally I would write up the notes the teacher made from the previous lesson, which I haven’t yet found time to do.
This helps, not so much at remembering new words or grammar corrections (though that too) – it just brings back the whole thing one more time, like recalling a conversation with a friend – which seems to consolidate things in my head.
I like to think that building spoken fluency is just a matter of time.
The more hours I put in, the more expressing myself in Swedish will become a habit, and so the more fluent I will feel.
Writing up the notes will, I hope, amplify the value I get from the lesson.
Though it looks as if it’s going to get put off until the weekend…
Later, in the afternoon, I’ll certainly be watching the Swedish state TV channel’s weekday ‘easy news’ broadcast. It’s intended for immigrants, of which they have many in Sweden.
While I’m not sure what Syrians and Afghans think of it, THIS language-learner is very grateful to SVT, whose newsreaders, Anna, Eva, Oskar and the others, are by now, after nearly a year of watching each day, old friends!
And if I can fit it in, there’s another website that does ‘easy news’ – short chunks of text with audio – also only on weekdays, and also very useful.
It’s the one I modelled our own ‘Easy Italian News‘ on, recently, given that I personally found it so useful.
So that’s my not-so-busy day, now rendered rather more intensive by my desire to squeeze in as much listening (and reading) as possible.
But, as I say to my wife and business partner, the studying is a break from other types of work I do – planning and teaching my own lessons, paying the school’s staff, bills and taxes, and the various marketing tasks.
“A change is as good as a rest”, they say, so that’s how I organise my day when I’m able.
This article to write, then a lesson in which I’m the student not the teacher, some business planning, a break for the easy news, preparing this evening’s advanced English class, and back to the computer for the news in Swedish!
That way, not only do I get a lot of boring stuff done, but totalled up over the week, I also do many hours of listening practice, and several conversation lessons.
Improving one level each year is my aim, and I expect to achieve it primarily by using these ‘dead times’ in my day.
Say I get just half an hour of ‘input’ each weekday, for fifty weeks?
That’s 100 hours which, along with a similar amount of speaking practice, should take me a good way towards my goal.
Of course if you have a regular job, rather than being self-employed as I am, you’ll likely have a lot less flexibility. That’s understood.
On the other hand, you probably get a lunch break, and evenings!
So it should be possible for you to build regular Italian listening and reading breaks into your day, if you so choose.
Some people relax by watching TV.
Others use that time to read or listen to the language they’re learning…
And talking of listening, have you heard Tuesday’s Easy Italian News, yet?
Tell me you can’t find eight minutes today to listen to it.
Ideally you’d hear it two or three times, so that’s approximately half an hour.
If you make a habit of reading/listening each Tuesday/Thursday and Saturday, the time employed will detract minimally, or not at all, from your busy life.
But the effect, on your Italian comprehension skills, vocabulary and so on – spread over time – should be considerable!
Easy Italian News is completely free and you can sign up to receive each new edition via email, as soon as it is published.
Over a thousand people already have.
Just enter your email in the form in the side bar of the new website. You’ll find it center left, where it says ‘NEVER MISS ‘EASY ITALIAN NEWS’!’
Oh, and while we’re on the subject of easy Italian news?
Several people wrote to say how much they valued it, and to tell me that they would be willing to pay for it.
Which was nice, although it was always intended to be a free service so as to reach as many people as possible.
That said, it IS expensive to produce – the writers, editior and newsreader all get paid for their time – each edition costs at least £100 (and that’s three times a week!)
So, having finally done the maths, yesterday I added a ‘Donate’ option to the website.
That way, anyone who’d like to support the easy news team can do so.
Donors’ names are added to the bottom of the donate page, by way of a ‘thank you’.
If you take a look, you’ll see that there are already three names (plus there was someone who donated anonymously), which is really great!
Here’s the link: Support ‘EasyItalianNews.com’
And finally, don’t forget this week’s NEW ebook easy reader, ‘Yue a Bologna’.
Yue, a talented young Japanese from a rural community in Hokkaido, wins a one-year scholarship to study opera at the ‘Conservatorio’ in Bologna, home to Europe’s oldest university.
But the thought of leaving her parents and brother for a whole year disturbs her.
Worse, before studying at the ‘Conservatorio’, she’ll have to learn Italian…
- .pdf e-book (+ audio available free online at soundcloud.com)
- 8 very short chapters to read and listen to
- Comprehension questions to check your understanding
- Italian/English glossary of ‘difficult’ terms for the level
- Suitable for students at elementary level or above
- Download your Free Sample Chapter (.pdf)
- Your e-book will be emailed to you within 24 hours of your purchase
Take a look at the free sample chapter (.pdf) to check the level of the material and to verify that it will work with the device you plan to use it on.
This week ONLY get ‘Yue a Bologna’ for just £5.99, rather than the usual ebook easy reader price of £7.99 (that’s 25% off!)
- Free sample chapter (.pdf)
- Get the full version ‘Yue a Bologna’, just £5.99!
- Or choose study materials from our catalogue