This is going to be a short one, as I have a busy day lined up.
The first job was to open and process emails.
Next, this article.
Then, at 10 a.m. I have my online lesson (hurrah!)
My teacher sent me some material on dates (the pronunciation of ordinal numbers is HORRIBLE in Swedish…) and words for weather, which is very appropriate given this week’s snow and rain.
I’ll need to find a few minutes to go through it all before the class, which is why I’m in a rush.
After the lesson, I’ll be staying on line to make some payments, mostly taxes (boo!)
In Italy, payments to the state are made on the 16th of the month, using a form called an F24.
Anyone who runs a business, owns a property, or has a job will know what an F24 (pronounced ‘effay venti kwattro’) is.
Go on, try it. Find a passing Italian and say “Che palle, oggi devo pagare il F24.”
Bet you’ll get an expression of sympathy in return.
And finally, after having emptied my savings account, it’ll be into the shower.
Once fresh-smelling and dressed, I’ll leap onto my motorbike and zoom into the historic centre of Bolgna, where I’ll be working for the rest of the day.
Lunch should be a highlight: cold vegan leftovers from a plastic ice-cream tub.
During the afternoon, so as to get my legs moving and have a break from the computer, I’ll take a walk around Bologna, which is possible even when it’s raining, due to the characteristic ‘portici’ (sort of covered sidewalks…)
Then, at five-thirty, I’m co-teaching a first-year elementary school group with a colleague.
Later there’s an adult-advanced class, which is easier and more enjoyable.
I’ll be home to the bosom of my family, for a plate of cold pasta, at about 9.15 p.m.
And so to bed.
So that’s my day.
It’s basically work, work, work from half-seven in the morning until nine at night.
With the one exception: the online lesson.
That’s a moment in which someone else is in charge, rather than me.
I’m a student for once, not the teacher.
“A change is as good as a rest”, they say.
Talking of online lessons, which we were, but not coincidentally, you’ll recall that on Monday I announced a Free Trial Lesson promotion?
We do these twice a year, in the spring and in the autumn, when things are quiet.
As of this morning, forty-one people have booked a free trial online lesson.
I’m not sure whether that’s good, or not.
There are about eight thousand club members getting this email.
So 41 free lesson signups is about half a percent…
You guys are HEROES!
If you’ve already filled in the order form, your details will have been sent on to Lucia who is, AS WE SPEAK, slaving away over her smartphone organising a free lesson for you with one of our team of online teachers.
Hope it goes well.
If, by any chance, you fail to hear from Lucia (please allow a day or two), feel free to follow up with me.
Just reply to any email you get from me, or look for the address in the footer of the club website.
What about those of you that HAVEN’T yet taken the plunge??
What is there to lose?
You could squeeze a thirty-minute online lesson into YOUR busy day, right?
And the trial costs nothing, so it’s not a question of having to find the cash from somewhere.
There are no tricks – you don’t have to input credit card details, sign a contract, or prick your finger and mingle your blood with mine.
All you need is a broadband connection, Skype (which is free to download), and the willingness to give it a try.
What’s the worst that can happen?
You’ll be totally humiliated.
You’ll have invested half an hour of your life to figure out that this way of improving your conversational Italian is definitely. not. for. you.
And the best?
The trial will show convincingly that studying on your own at home with the club, or Duolingo, or whatever, is all very well but…
…that live, one-to-one pratice lights up different parts of your brain!
Which is likely to pay off very quickly when it comes to situations in which you’ll need to actually speak and listen to Italian.
That, at least, has been my experience.
Studying from a book or on Duolingo is now well within my comfort zone.
But doesn’t help me speak, or understand ‘live speech’.
In contrast, using the language to interact with a real person is much more of a challenge, and leaves me feeling tired out.
It’s a work-out for my language muscles!
But decide for yourself.
- We’ve got the capacity for around a hundred of you to do a trial lesson
- If demand exceeds that, we’ll organise the lessons in the order they are booked
- This offer is for NEW STUDENTS ONLY, for obvious reasons
- If you booked a free trial last time but didn’t take it – do try again!
- But if you’ve already done a free trial (Lucia has a list), this is not for you
- The offer is good until Sunday, 19/11/17
- Afterwards, Lucia will send out a 15% discount coupon…