On reflection of my fairly rapid progress through one Italian textbook I have the following thoughts about what to do next:
It would have been better to use memrise to learn the vocabulary from each chapter. I scribbled everything down by hand with the intention of taking a bit of paper with me wherever I ventured whether it be the park bench or the toilet. But this didn’t really work for me. Hopefully, putting the vocab on memrise will be more convenient and effective. I think I am more likely to spend 10 minutes here and there on memrise during a break at work or at home compared to taking a scrap of paper with me when I’m on the err…well you know, doing a…anyway next point…
Employ several learning sources in parallel
So rather than have just a single book on the go I am going to dip in and out of different ones. I felt with Buogiorno Italia my natural instinct was to finish the book ASAP as though it were a race. I probably surged too quickly through the final chapters as if it were a bit of a sprint. And were there any medals given out after the last page? No! So I am hoping that having a few to read will mean I can just relax and enjoy the variety and curb those competitive instincts.
I have purchased these which are all suitably above my current level and should keep me going until the summer.
- Ottavia e i Gatti di Roma – Octavia and the Cats of Rome: A bilingual picture book in Italian and English
- Cristoforo Colombo E La Pasta Al Pomodoro – Christopher Columbus and the Pasta with Tomato Sauce: A Bilingual Picture Book (Italian-English Text)
- Talk Italian Grammar
- Read and Think Italian with Audio CD (Read & Think)
Revise what I’ve learnt
Reread chapters from Buogiorno Italia from time-to-time to see if the content seems easier. This is partly an exercise in revision and also to gauge how I’ve moved on. At some point I should be able to say “Yeah, know it” and sling the book at some kids on skateboards. What?
Non scrivo niente in inglese
So all the scribbled notes I compose to myself as reminders to do stuff should be in Italian. If there is something I don’t know how to say then I should make a note to find out. That note can be in English though.
I’m not doing this at all other than in my head. The echo is annoying and yeah okay it’s not actually speaking. I need to find an evening course at a local college. There are some about but I think the next start date is April. Inevitably this will be one that starts at the beginning with “Buongiorno”. In fact this is probably a good thing as the content will be familiar and I can focus on just the talking. And be top of the class/teacher’s pet.
Practice verb conjugations
vado, vai, va, andiamo, andate, vanno and on and on and on.
I can count from 1 to 100 in Italian nae bother. But when I hear numbers in a listening exercise then they magically become mysterious and elusive. I’m not wetting the bed over it but it is frustrating. I wonder if the local Gala Bingo does an “Italian night”? Hmm probably being a bit optimistic. Still, I need a way to improve this.
I’ve said it before and I’m saying it again. I must listen as much as I can. Should I consider watching some subtitled Italian movies? I haven’t tried this yet but it is an option. Gut feeling is that it would be hard work at this stage.
One other thought that has been filling the void in my head during the last couple of weeks is how to be better at learning. On the one hand it is very early days and so perhaps I should just try to be a sponge and take in as much as I can and not worry too much (cos it’ll all happen naturally right…RIGHT?). On the other hand I feel that if I don’t use what I am learning then I won’t effectively store it in memory. Use it or lose it. How do I use Italian when I am in England? How can I make using Italian a habit? When something is a habit you do it instinctively and it becomes easier. I’m not sure what the answer is yet but I sense that coming up with an answer would be handy.
So there! Buona fortuna a me.
Finally, if it was a race this is how I imagine my reading-an-italian-textbook-the-fastest victory would be celebrated: