• Population: 61.3 million people live in Italy
• Capital: Roma, with 2.6mil inhabitants and Italy’s biggest city
• Name: Repubblica Italiana
• Government: Democracy, Republic
• Language: Italian as well as German, French and Ladin in some regions in Northern Italy.
• Literacy: More than 98% can read and write
• Religion: mainly Christians (Roman Catholics 90%)
• Currency: Euro
• History: Italy became one nation only in 1861 and since then includes the islands of Sicilia and Sardegna. It became a Republic in 1946 after the second World War
• Flag: The colors represent these virtues: hope (green), faith (white), and charity (red).
Land and People
Economy and technology
"Alla scoperta dell'Italia"
We start our trip discovering Italy from Venezia. What a beautiful city!
This viedo is showing a colourful and vibrant Venice. Don't forget to go to the little island called Burano (where you can see the colourful houses).
Italy is known around the world for its beautiful cities, like Roma, Firenze, Venezia, for the art, the history, the fashion, but for sure one of the most famous Italian things is the FOOD!
Who doesn't know pasta and pizza?
Here is a video that shows the 10 best things about Italian food! Don't watch it if you are hungry!!
1. KNOW WHY YOU’RE DOING IT
This might sound obvious, but if you don’t have a good reason to learn a language, you are less likely to stay motivated over the long-run. Wanting to impress English-speakers with your Italian is not a very good reason; wanting to get to know an Italian person in his or her own language is another matter entirely. No matter your reason, once you’ve decided on a language, it’s crucial to commit.
2. DIVE IN
It’s crucial to practice your new language every single day. It’s about actually putting what you’re learning into practice – be that writing an email, speaking to yourself, listening to music, listening to the radio. Surrounding yourself, submerging yourself in the new language culture is extremely important.
Remember, the best possible outcome of speaking a language is for people to speak back to you. Being able to have a simple conversation is a huge reward in itself. Reaching milestones like that early on will make it easier to stay motivated and keep practicing.
3. FIND A PARTNER
Having any kind of partner to join you on your language adventure, will push both of you to always try just a little bit harder and stay with it. You also have someone with whom you can speak, and that’s the idea behind learning a language.
4. KEEP IT RELEVANT
If you make conversation a goal from the beginning, you are less likely to get lost in textbooks. Talking to people will keep the learning process relevant to you. You’re learning a language to be able to use it. You’re not going to speak it to yourself. The creative side is really being able to put the language that you’re learning into a more useful, general, everyday setting – be that through writing songs, generally wanting to speak to people, or using it when you go abroad. You don’t necessarily have to go abroad; you can go to the Greek restaurant down the road and order in Greek.
5. HAVE FUN WITH IT
Using your new language in any way is a creative act. Think of some fun ways to practice your new language: make a radio play with a friend, draw a comic strip, write a poem, or simply talk to whomever you can. If you can’t find a way to have fun with the new language, chances are you aren’t following step four.
6. ACT LIKE A CHILD
The key to learning as quickly as a child may be to simply take on certain childlike attitudes: for instance, lack of self-consciousness, a desire to play in the language and willingness to make mistakes.
We learn by making mistakes. As kids, we are expected to make mistakes, but as adults mistakes become taboo. Think how an adult is more likely to say, “I can’t”, rather than, “I haven’t learned that yet” (I can’t swim, I can’t drive, I can’t speak Spanish). To be seen failing (or merely struggling) is a social taboo that doesn’t burden children. When it comes to learning a language, admitting that you don’t know everything (and being okay with that) is the key to growth and freedom. Let go of your grown-up inhibitions!
7. LEAVE YOUR COMFORT ZONE
Willingness to make mistakes means being ready to put yourself in potentially embarrassing situations. This can be scary, but it’s the only way to develop and improve. No matter how much you learn, you won’t ever speak a language without putting yourself out there: talk to strangers in the language, ask for directions, order food, try to tell a joke. The more often you do this, the bigger your comfort zone becomes and the more at ease you can be in new situations:
You must learn to look before you can draw. In the same way, you must learn to listen before you can speak. Every language sounds strange the first time you hear it, but the more you expose yourself to it the more familiar it becomes, and the easier it is to speak it properly. We’re able to pronounce anything, it’s just we’re not used to doing it. The best way to go about mastering that is actually to hear it constantly, to listen to it and to kind of visualize or imagine how that is supposed to be pronounced, because for every sound there is a specific part of the mouth or throat that we use in order to achieve that sound.
9. WATCH PEOPLE TALK
Different languages make different demands on your tongue, lips and throat. Pronunciation is just as much physical as it is mental. One way – it might sound a bit strange – is to really look at someone while they’re saying words that use that sound, and then to try to imitate that sound as much as possible. If you can’t watch and imitate a native-speaker in person, watching foreign-language films and TV is a good substitute.
10. TALK TO YOURSELF
When you have no one else to speak to, there’s nothing wrong with talking to yourself. It might sound really weird, but actually speaking to yourself in a language is a great way to practice if you’re not able to use it all the time.
This can keep new words and phrases fresh in your mind and build up your confidence for the next time you speak with someone.
(Bonus tip) RELAX!
You are not going to annoy people by speaking their language poorly. If you preface any interaction with, “I’m learning and I’d like to practice…” most people will be patient, encouraging and happy to oblige. Even though there are approximately a billion non-native English-speakers around the world, most of them would rather speak their own language if given a choice. Taking the initiative to step into someone else’s language world can also put them at ease and promote good feelings all around.
You can travel abroad speaking your own language, but you’ll get so much more out of it being able to actually feel at ease in the place you are – being able to communicate, to understand, to interact in every situation you could possibly imagine.
Italian is a language full of expressions and colourful phrases. If you want to speak Italian like a local, here are a few that can be very helpful.
1. Che casino! — what a mess!
Originally the word for brothel, casino is now used to describe any situation that’s a bit out of control, confusing, or crowded, meaning “what a madhouse!”.
2. Magari – I wish!
Magari is the word used to express hope, the wish that the preceding statement were true.
Q. “Vai in Italia quest’anno?” A. “Magari!”
3. Che barba! – how boring!
Literally, “what a beard,” che barba means “what a bore.” Maybe this comes from the idea that it takes a long time to grow a beard, or that whatever’s happening is as boring as watching a beard grow.
4. Non c’entra – that’s irrelevant
Entrarci is an extraordinarily useful verb, especially in the negative, when it means “that has nothing to do with it,” or, “this has nothing to do with you” (i.e., mind your own business).
5. Prendere in giro – to kid or tease
Prendere in giro (to take in a circle) means to be joking. Ti prendo in giro — I’m just pulling your leg.
6. Me ne frega – who cares?
Me ne frega is a slightly rude way of saying, “I couldn’t care less.”
7. In bocca al lupo – good luck
Literally, “in the mouth of the wolf,” in bocca al lupo is the Italian version of “break a leg.” The reply is crepi il lupo — “may the wolf die.” It can be said to someone about to take a test or engage in any challenging activity.
8. Ogni morte di papa – hardly ever
Literally, “every death of a pope,” ogni morte di papa is the equivalent of the English “once in a blue moon.”
9. Ricevuto come un cane in chiesa – to be unwelcome
Ricevuto come un cane in chiesa means “received like a dog in church.” It’s similar to the English “like a whore in church”.
10. Non vedo l’ora – I can’t wait
Literally, “I can’t see the hour,” this is the phrase you use for looking forward to something. As in, non vedo l’ora di tornare in Italia .
28/3/2014 0 Comments
More photos to come soon....
We had lots of fun at the Italian Christmas Party on Monday! Plenty of food, drinks, laughs and Italian talking, of course! We even played Tombola, the Italian traditional Christmas game! Well done to all of the students e Buon Natale!
Another year is coming to an end, a great year I must say! Once again we had the pleasure to meet wonderful people who have come to us to learn a language full of enthusiasm, motivation and determination! Despite the busy lives and commitments most of these people have continued through the year and have obtained very good results! This is the greatest satisfaction of all for us!!
This year we also had our record of number of year 12 students coming to us in preparation to their HSC language exams. It was hard work helping them all achieve great marks but we were truly rewarded by their results and all the wonderful messages sent in appreciation for our work. It was hard to say goodbye after so much time together but we wish them all the best luck for the future and their careers.
Need to sign off for now but I will be back before Christmas with more news!
In the meantime enjoy our end of the term photos.
Wow! I can't believe that we are already at the end of Term 3! Most of our classes have finished this week and a few others will complete their courses in the next days.
We had a high level of attendance again and most of our students have already confirmed their attendance for next term!! Isn't it great?
This term we have decided to have a very small break in between terms, we are not running the conversation classes during the break but we will run some "complementary classes" at the end of November until just before Christmas. All information will be available soon!
Here below you can find some of the pictures we took this week with more to come soon.
P.S. Notice the big smiles? Learning a language must make you happy! ;-)
Dear Year 12 students,
Tomorrow 10th of August you will be sitting the HSC Italian speaking exam. After all the hours spent together practicing all possible questions that the examiners might ask, I feel like I could go and sit the exams for you giving all the right details about your lives, dreams and future plans. :-) You all have worked very hard and for me, Monica and the other teachers has been such a pleasure to help you in this journey. You have shown great determination and motivation and you have never given up, even when overwhelmed by the amount of work to do.
I just wanted to take the opportunity to give you some last advices for the exam:
1) Relax, make a big breath before sitting in front of the examiner.
2) Listen to the questions carefully. If you don't understand you can ask to repeat: Potrebbe ripetere per favore?
3) If you need a moment to think about your answer, then take it - just as you might in a normal conversation. Avoid long pauses.
4) Use your best lines straight away so that you can impress them before they change question
5) Be expressive, change tone in reference to what you are talking about, you can even use your hands!
6) Use idiomatic expressions and a wide range of vocabulary to sound as natural as possible.
7) Do your best! You will be great!
We will be thinking of you and we are looking forward to hearing all the comments next week.
Buona fortuna! e Forza ragazzi!!!
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