I have written that, a few years back, I stopped making New Year’s Resolutions, but last week, at the start of a new session of Italian classes, there was a buon proposito waiting for us all:
Migliorare il mio italiano | Improve my Italian
Our professoressa had written this knowing that certainly this a goal for all of her studenti. I nostri compiti (our homework) was to explain specifically how we planned to accomplish this resolution.
Allora, ecco il mio | Here’s mine:
Per migliorare il mio italiano, leggerò, scriverò, ascolterò e parlerò in italiano ogni giorno!
To improve my Italian, I will read, write, listen and speak in Italian every day!
Reaching way back to my days of teaching language arts to middle schoolers, I remembered that these four elements — reading, writing, listening and speaking — are the foundation of language learning. Reading and listening are the easy ones for me, as they are already a part of my everyday routine. It’s the other two, especially the speaking, which are more challenging.
To keep this buon proposito, I plan to choose one item from each category, ogni giorno (every day). Facile, no? 🙂
- Read one article online every day (Resource ideas: Studentessa Matta, Il Blog di Silvia Spatafora, La Nazione, Donna Moderna, Spazio Sacro)
- Read two pages from an Italian novel every day
- Re-read my class notes every few days
- Leggere un articolo su internet ogni giorno
- Leggere due pagine dal libro italiano ogni giorno
- Rileggere le mie note di classe ogni pochi giorni
- Every evening, write what I did from that day
- Write my lists in Italian (market, errands, etc)
- Continue to incorporate a bit of Italian into the blog (especially the “Snapshots” series)
- Ogni sera, scrivere che cosa ho fatto quel giorno
- Scrivere le mie liste in italiano (per fare la spesa, i commissioni, ecc.)
- Continuare a includere nel il blog un po di italiano
Choose one track to listen to every day (great times to listen to Italian are while walking, exercising, driving…)
- News in Slow Italian (free content available online and as an app)
- Read and Think Italian (available online – membership required; or purchase the book/CD combo)
- Italian Made Easy
- Learn Italian with Lucrezia
- Newly discovered podcasts: Impariamo Italiano Tropea; Pronto Estate 2011
- Also: watch something on Rai TV once a week; watch a film in Italian once a month (please leave film title suggestions in the comments!)
Scegli una traccia per ascoltare tutti i giorni (mentre camminando, fare la ginnastica, guidando…)
Anche: guardare qualcosa su Rai una volta alla settimana; guardare un film in italiano una volta al mese.
This is the most difficult…
- Read something aloud every day
- Have a chat in Italian every other day, even if it’s with the puppy or a teddy bear
- Find a language exchange partner (an Italian native who wants to learn English)
- Continue my lessons with Skype Italian Teacher Aurora, she’s great!
Questo è il più difficile…
- Leggere qualcosa a voce alta ogni giorno
- Fare una chiacchiere ogni altro giorno, anche se con il cucciolo o un orsacchiotto
- Trovare un compagno di lingua (una italiana che vuole imparare inglese)
- Continuare le lezioni con Skype Italian Teacher, Aurora è fantastica!
Fare praticare, ogni pochi giorni | Practice, every few days:
There are many, many other ways to continue to grow your Italian, these are just the ones I believe I can incorporate easily into my routine. For additional study tips, please see the other posts in this series: How I Study Italian and How I Study Italian: Updated for 2016.
A few words on finding the time
“Early in my language journey, it hit me that fluency is not the goal, although that would be a fantastic bonus. The goal is joy. And what I really hope to encourage in others by sharing this story is that you find something you love, whatever that may be, and jump into it wholeheartedly. Do it for the sheer luxury of the pleasure it brings you. I urge you to practice regularly a passion, somehow. Not necessarily during indulgent, undisturbed stretches of time (*insert wistful sigh here*) which elude us all , but in the tiny chunks of time which pop up at random in any given day. Even if it’s just for ten minutes here or there, carve out a pinch of time for your personal joy.”
–From Accidental Italian
With so much competing for our attention, it is difficult to find time to pursue an interest. But I truly believe that time finds you and when it does, it’s important to be ready for it. Most my of studying in the early years was done in the car while waiting for my kids to finish school or sports practice! Always have something to study close at hand. Fold an article printed from the internet into your bag, have a stack of flashcards to study, leave an Italian novel or workbook in your car.
La Professoressa promises that in class every week we will be reporting back to the others on our progress, in order to keep us accountable and moving forward.
Allora, devo andare, perchè ho molto da fare. Alla prossima, amici! So I must go, because I have lots to do…until next time, friends!