The other morning, I was busy answering customer service emails in the few minutes before having to drive our house guest, Roomie, to her daycare, when I noticed something…
It had gone very quiet!
My wife was busy in the bathroom so, with a sigh, I abandoned my laptop and went to look for the little one.
I found her in our bedroom, where she’d discovered the light switch, which hangs from a shelf on my wife’s side of the bed (the idea being that we don’t have to get vertical and cross the room to switch the main light on or off).
Fascinated, she was busy pressing the switch and observing the results – light room, dark room, light room, dark room.
Wow, the first new thing learnt, in a day which would doubtless be full of other, equally fascinating discoveries!
One of the emails that I’d been answering was from someone enquiring about which Italian radio station I thought he should listen to, for the best possible learning result.
I was replying that this would depend on his interests, his current level, and his learning habits and experience (whatever else he was doing, had done previously, etc.)
It was impossible for me to say, I intended to write. He should check out the https://www.raiplaysound.it/ website, linked to from our Other Resources page, and try different programs until he found something that a.) interested him, and b.) he thought would help him improve, assuming he made a habit of listening to them regularly.
That’s what I did with my Swedish and French, anyway. I messed around, until I found something that stimulated me and that I thought I could learn from. And then I tried to make a habit of coming back to the programs I’d discovered on a daily or weekly basis.
I listen to the news headlines in Swedish each day while driving back from the kindergarten, so approximately half an hour of listening practice while navigating the horrible morning traffic.
And I tune in to France.info, which is a rolling news radio station, whenever I have time to kill, while out for a walk, for example.
I’ve been less successful finding good stuff in Turkish, as it’s mostly propaganda these days (how many dead terrorists, what the President said in his speech), or Spanish, as the Spanish state radio app is poorly-designed and the news broadcasts I used to listen to each day are now impossible to access.
Roomie knows you have to press every button you encounter, until you know what it does. And she’s not yet two!
You and I are not so old that we can’t still be fascinated by all the learning possibilities out there.
Should we choose to be, that is.
Though I admit, after years of formal education, and a lifetime spent only doing what the boss said to do, it IS easy to get out of the light switch habit.
Tuesday’s bulletin of ‘easy’ Italian news is free to read/listen to.
So if you haven’t already included regular skills practice in your Italian study program, at least do that.
Subscribing is FREE, too. Subscribers get each new bulletin in their email inboxes, just as soon as they’re published, each Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.
It’s a great way to build good learning habits!
And if you have cash to splash, don’t forget this week’s new ebook ‘easy reader’, the fourth in a five-part series about an Italian family that migrates to the USA.
The final installment of the saga is due in a fortnight.
Colpa della terra, Libro 4, Infanzia di un immigrato, like Libro 3 is B2/C1, so upper-intermediate/advanced.
As usual the first week, it’s disounted 25%, so £5.99 rather than the standard ‘easy reader’ price of £7.99. That offer ends on Sunday night.
An original Italian easy reader by Francesca Colombo
Libro 4 is narrated by Riccardo, aged nine, merchant seaman Antonio’s second child, younger brother to Anna, who’s already left home. Riccardo and Anna are the first two members of the family to be born in the U.S.A., but things are still not going as well as the migrant family had hoped when they sailed from Napoli thirty years earlier…
“Non ci sono sabati né domeniche, per chi lavora in mare!” Lo zio Giuliano indica con un cenno mio padre, la cui ombra si intravede dietro la finestra, poi mi guarda. Stringe in una mano un fagotto, con l’altra tiene il bastone per camminare: “Che pensi?” mi chiede.
Sputa a terra. Il suo tono, sempre un po’ aggressivo e inquisitorio, mi mette agitazione. Dice sempre che non gli piacciono i bambini e che “fino ai tredici anni sono inutili.” Perciò io, che ho solo nove anni, ho ancora molta strada da fare per diventare utile. Quando è di malumore mi dice: “Riccardo, per diventare un uomo sul serio ti mancano ancora cinque o sei anni. Adesso sei solo un marmocchio.”
“Penso…” mi mordo il labbro per non piangere (lo zio detesta i frignoni.) “Papà è pazzo?” gli chiedo con un filo di voce e un nodo in gola.
“Tuo padre è un brav’uomo, ci dà da campare. Pazzo è questo qui” risponde mia madre, che è comparsa all’improvviso alle mie spalle, indicando lo zio.
- .pdf e-book (+ audio available free online)
- .mobi (Kindle-compatible) and .epub (other ebook readers) available on request at no extra charge – just add a note to the order form or email us
- 8 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 intermediate level or above
- Download your Free Sample Chapter (.pdf)
Buy Colpa della terra, Libro 4, Infanzia di un immigrato, just £5.99 | Free Sample Chapter (.pdf) | Catalog
What if you’d like to read this one, but didn’t get around to buying Libri 1, 2 and 3??
Those aren’t discounted like this week’s new one, but here are the links, for those who’d prefer to tackle the series in order:
And if you don’t read/listen confidently at B2(+) level? Not to worry – there are plenty of other ebook options from beginner upwards in our online Catalog, all with downloadable free sample chapters and FREE online audio!
How do I access my ebook?
When your order is ‘completed’ (normally immediately after payment), a download link will be automatically emailed to you. It’s valid for 7 days and 3 download attempts so please save a copy of the .pdf ebook in a safe place. Other versions of the ebook (.mobi/Kindle-compatible, .epub) cannot be downloaded but will be emailed to people who request them.