Speak Italian Magically!

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What if you listen to, read and speak Italian at the same time?

Scritto da speakitalianmagically.com il 28 Aprile 2013

lettura ascoltoI have to admit it, I read more non fiction than fiction books…but what counts is that I read, someone would say. Recently I have “read” a special book. Its title is Lettura+Ascolto[Reading+Listening], by Maurizio Falghera.

Why is it a special book? Well, because it’s a book to read and listen to at the same time, just like most of my books.

What do you need reading and listening at the same time for? That’s what the author wants to explain in the easiest way. And he does it in a simple way, although he still quotes authoritative sources and experiences.

One among many was very interesting for me and I quote it below from the original source found on the internet.

“This study investigated the effects of simultaneously reading and listening to the same text on comprehension and fluency gains for basic-level English language learners at a university in Puerto Rico. The quiz scores and fluency rates of two English lab groups who read and listened to E. B. White’s novel Charlotte’s Web were compared to the scores and rates of two other English lab groups who silently read the same novel. The listening-while-reading group outscored the reading-only group on all eight weekly comprehension quizzes; for four of those quizzes, the difference was statistically significant.”

Another very important point in the book Lettura + Ascolto that could be interesting to you who are learning the Italian language is the fact that “Using audiobooks […] while learning the English language [or any other language, such as Italian in your case] is an absolutely necessary everyday tool in schools, colleges, universities, both in Italy and abroad. And this because it has been proven beyond any doubt that reading a written text and listening to it at the same time increases the memory retention of vocabulary, of grammar and synthax of the language, as well as it adds a remarkable amount of information about culture, history and customs. Some American studies calculate that the increase of the linguistic learning due to this method of listening and reading may even be of 30-50%.

I have always thought that adding a sensory channel (in this case the auditory channel) to what you do, reinforces the experience and speeds up the learning. That’s why I’ve often tried to get the audiobook (the unabridged version) for the books I read. Simply because it gives me a much deeper experience.

And in creating my books, I always read aloud and record the texts, so that you have a multilevel learning experience, a whole-brain learning experience. Yes, because if you use my books in the way I suggest, you will have the opportunity to relax while listening, to read and listen at the same time to absorb their content, words and expressions, as well as the conveyed skills.

Lettura + Ascolto is a nice non fiction book, aimed at Italians (so the level is very high) that allows you to experience what it talks about in the same moment when you read and listen to it (it is available as book with mp3 CD; and audio-eBook versions).

One thing which is not mentioned in the Lettura + Ascolto book and it’s what I consider to be the next step in the learning process. After you have listened to the book, after you read it and listened to it, it’s time to get in the more active phase of the learning. And how can you do it?

Well, you can for example use a technique that many international polyglots use very often: shadowing!

You don’t know what shadowing is? It’s a technique that consists in speaking “fluidily” and (almost) at the same time, by saying the same things that you listen to.

It’s good for you to know that there are several ways of practising it and in any case I suggest you do it first only after listening to and then after reading and listening to the audio you want to practise it with.

Here you have some examples of ways of practising shadowing:

1. The “easiest” way is to practise shadowing (I repeat it: aloud) while reading the text with your eyes and listening to the audio at the same time;

2. When you get good at the first method, you can simply close your eyes, listen to the audio and say aloud what you are listening to (almost) at the same time;

3. When you get good with the preceding methods, you can add some “challenges”, for example you can practise shadowing while walking, or while doing some brain gym (as well as all those movements involving both sides of your body: I like to touch my nose with my right hand while touching the right ear with my left hand as fast as I can… I know, you will feel a bit silly (or crazy) while doing it, but I guarantee that it’s very useful. And I bet it won’t be easy to do it for you;-)

If you asked me why you should practise shadowing, I could answer you with what they write at Prudl.

“Our experience as language learners has convinced us that shadowing is a truly effective method. In a nutshell, it consists of mimicking out loud a native speaker. As many of the learner’s senses as possible are involved. Hence, it encourages proper accent formation and accelerates the rate of vocabulary acquisition. In other words, shadowing creates the optimal conditions for your brain to form good habits right from the beginning.”

This could be translated into Italian like this (more or less):

“La nostra esperienza come studenti di lingue [straniere] ci ha convinti che lo shadowing è un metodo veramente efficace. In estrema sintesi, consiste nell’imitare a voce alta un parlante nativo. La maggior parte dei sensi dello studente viene coinvolta. Di conseguenza, incoraggia la corretta formazione dell’accento e accelera la velocità di acquisizione del vocabolario. In altre parole, lo shadowing crea le condizioni ottimali affinché il tuo cervello formi delle abitudini giuste fin dall’inizio.”

good books italian

Now that you know what shadoing is, you’ll just have to start and practise it with the texts that you like the most. You could even start and practise it with my books;-)

Pubblicato in The science behind learning Italian | Tagged: , | 3 Commenti »

What if you think you’re stuck with the learning of Italian?

Scritto da speakitalianmagically.com il 20 Aprile 2013

child-learning1.JPGYou’ve been listening to a lot of Italian, you’ve read a lot of Italian, you are now starting to understand what  is being said to you in Italian…But when are you going to speak Italian with confidence? And how can you accelerate your process toward fluency?

Before answering those questions, let me guide you to your past, remote or recent, when you were a little child (like my son in the picture on the left:-) and you didn’t speak anything. You didn’t understand anything of what was being said to you.

After some time, more or less, depending on how stimulating was your environment and on other factors, you began to understand what your parents - or whoever was taking care of you - was telling you. At the beginning you started to understand because of the gestures, because of the tone of the voice of your caretakers. Then you started to understand some words. So you realized what your mummy was meaning while saying “pappa” (the word usually meaning food for babies), maybe because you associated it with the things that were around when your were going to have “pappa“: your mummy (your dad, or whoever was taking care of you) had always a spoon, you were wearing “un bavaglino“, you were sitting on “un seggiolone” and you were fed with “la pappa“. And finally when your mother was saying “è ora di mangiare la pappa” you realised what “pappa” meant.

And this process went on and on until you managed to understand a lot of more words. After a while during this process you started to utter some little words, such as “mamma”….”papà” and then syllables of other words, which soon became complete words and little sentences wit a proper meaning. And before you realized it, you were speaking your mother tongue and you reached fluency in it. If you were a child, like I was too, it may have taken 4 or 5 years to do it: you were speaking your mother tongue without having studied anything about grammar. Because, I guess you started with grammar only when you went to school, didn’t you?
While reading the text of this page on your device- pc, phone or tablet - you’re an adult now and you may not want to spend all that time (4 or 5 years to reach fluency!), but please follow my line or reasoning.
Focus on the process you went through while learning your mother tongue.

  1. You were immersed in the language;
  2. You started to understand what was being said to you;
  3. Then you started speaking and
  4. In the end you worked on grammar.

 So what, Antonio?, you may be saying.

Well, over the years I have been reminding myself and my students  - especially the ones who tell me that they began to understand the language but they don’t speak it yet - that grammar has to come later in the process. And that if they stick with what they have been doing, they can - and you can - move on with the process towards fluency in the Italian language.
Of course, there are ways to accelerate the process and I am convinced of the fact that adults can learn faster than children if they just let go of their fear of making mistakes and stick with a method that involves all of their brain.

So, you can reach fluency faster than a child, in less time. But how?

One of the key points is to involve all of your brain while learning. Learning on your whole brain is possible if you use a multisensory approach and multi-stimuli approach. Anyway, if you reached the point where you understand a lot of what is being said to you, I guess it’s time to speak! And how can you speak the language?

At least in three ways, two that you can practise on your own and one with at least another person. Which one do you prefer?

  1. Practising shadowing (which will help you train your tongue, your ears and all of your brain if you practise it while moving your body too)
  2. Answer easy questions as fast as you can! (And you can do this with a recorded mp3 too)
  3. In a conversation with a mother tongue speaker, maybe with a friend of yours (you can meet him or her through the internet too);

Of course I could elaborate on these points, but I guess I’ve been writing a lot today, so let me go and check if my son needs me;-)

Grazie mille for reading so far and I wish you “in bocca al lupo con il tuo italiano!“(=which has mostly the same meaning of break your leg or good luck, even though literally means: in the mouth of the wolf;-)

Pubblicato in The course | Tagged: , , | Nessun commento »

Who would you like to learn Italian from? Learn it from the best ones!

Scritto da speakitalianmagically.com il 14 Febbraio 2013

In my previous post I briefly told you how being an actor can help you speak better Italian and how in the fourth lesson of Awaken your Italian you’re invited to choose and enter into a role model for the Italian language. Today I want to give you some other hints about the principles that lesson is based on. But let’s start with a mind map:-)

Impara dai migliori

Who are the people you see in the above drawing? For now let me tell you that they are some people who speak (or spoke) Italian very well… And you? Do you want to speak Italian very well, do you? To discover who these people are, read this article till the end and have fun by answering the following questions.

How have you learned to do everything you are able to do nowadays? For example, how have you learned to ride a bike? Maybe someone helped you out with that… perhaps at the beginning you used trainer wheels, then you didn’t and after falling some times, you finally were able to enjoy your bike. But even before you rode it yourself, you may have watched others who already had been doing it for a while. Think about it again. How did it go for you?

And what about all other things that you are able to do? Can you think about another skill that you mastered? How did you do it?
Sometimes you may have learned by trials and errors; perhaps in some other cases, before applying a new skill, you spent more or less time by watching and observing another person who was already good at doing what you wanted to learn. Between the two methods ( that with trials and that of observing another person who is already good), which do you think is the fastest?

Whatever your answer, you should know that many authors, who have worked with accelerated learning, have reached the conclusion that it is very useful that first you observe another person and then put yourself at doing personally what you want to learn. So, if at beginning you observe and listen, or spend some time with another person who’s already good at doing what you want to learn, you can learn to do something in  shorter time. Consequently, you could learn Italian much faster also by watching, observing and listening to a native speaker of Italian.

A little note: nowadays, thanks to internet it is possible to spend time with some excellent role models in a virtual way; has it occurred to you?

The same authors endorsing this approach have said that you can make your learning curve even quicker. How? After watching for a while the person whose skills you want to learn, you can start and use your imagination. Thus, you could see with your mind eyes (and not only) what your role model does. Then, after a while you could push yourself even further and imagine that you “enter” into your special role model and see what he or she sees through his or her eyes, listen to what he listens to through his or her ears and feel the feelings that he or she feels through his or her body. And you can find these ideas applied in the fourth lesson of Awaken your Italian, where you can learn from the best ones: from those persons who speak Italian very well, because they were born and bread in Italy and Italian is their mother-tongue.

If all this looks funny (or exaggerated), consider it like a game! Perhaps imagine you are a child again, one who has fun to learn new things day after day and this modeling technique will be very fun!

If instead you consider yourself too serious or too rational to do this kind of exercises and you want scientific proofs that this can work, I can invite you to read the last pages of Awaken your Italian, (those about the science behind the method), where I cite several authors and research proving the usefulness of guided imagery. If you dont’t have the book in hand’s reach or you haven’t bought it yet, I can remind you of an exciting study, by Elisa Tartaglia of the Laboratory of Psychophysics at Switzerland’s Ecole Politechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL) confirms that: “perceptual learning – learning by repeated exposure to a stimulus – can occur by mental imagery as much as by the real things. The results suggests that thinking about something over and over again could actually be as good as doing it.”

Well, you just have to try all that, don’t you think?

And I just have to tell you who the people (in my childlike version)  in the mind map are :-)  Monnalisa, Roberto Benigni, Valentino Rossi, Leonardo da Vinci and Maria Montessori. Have you heard of them? Google them out;-) These are just some possible role model for the Italian language among about 61 millions (source: Wikipedia) who speak Italian as a native language. Which one would you choose? Like whom would like to speak Italian?

Pubblicato in The course | Tagged: , , , | 1 Commento »

If you were an Italian native speaker, how would you speak it?

Scritto da speakitalianmagically.com il 3 Febbraio 2013

Have you ever thought of being an actor (or an actress)? If so, what kind of actor or actress would you be? What kind of movies or theatrical roles would work in? What roles would you like to play? If you are already an actor or an actress, what do you feel while playing another person? How do you feel when you are another person?

At this point you may wonder how come I ask you all these questions and also what I know about the actor profession. I immediately answer that I know very little about it, apart from the yearly course I attended some time ago at the cultural association named Laboart in Tropea, where the very skillful Mariagrazia Teramo taught me the first elements of this art. Being a professional actor has never interested me, but it is my opinion that there’s a lot to learn from being able to be an actor, so I saw that as a pleasant hobby that allowed me to learn many things that I could also use in other fields of my life (also professional). Besides, it gave me the little satisfaction to play Alberto Sordi (a great Italian actor) in a little role. That show was filmed and you can watch it below;-) I am the one throwing himself on the floor after finding unpleasant news:-) (from the minute 7’59 to 12’28)

Now, do you think that being able to be an actor can be useful to learn a foreign langugage and even to speak Italian very well? What do you think about it?

One of the very first things that you need to learn in an acting course (apart from a multitude of many other things that I wouldn’t be able to write here, but you can ask Mariagrazia about) is that you need to experience what you act upon. That means that it’s not enough to repeat lines by heart, but it’s important that they are real for the actor as well as for the audience. And to do it, you need to use all your senses. How? Follow me for a while, answer the following questions and you’ll find it out.

Imagine you have a beautiful arancia (orange) of a vivid color in front of you.

What is its shape like? Is it spheric or a little bit squashed?

By touching it, what is its consistency like? Is it smooth or rough?

Peel it. Is there any noise when you peel it?

What fragrance does it have? Do you like it?

Taste it. What taste does it have? Do you like it? Is it acidolous or sweet?

Can you say “arancia” aloud?

If you read the sensory questions I have just asked you and you answered as if you really had a real orange in front of you, then is it probable that your salivation has increased… Or not? If your answer is no, try again by slowly rereading the above questions and give youself time to have the orange in front of your eyes, your nose, your ears, in your hands and in your mouth.

What we’ve just done is a basic visualization technique with all the 5 senses, called synesthesia, reinforced by saying aloud the word (ARANCIA!).

You can read also about this technique on the secrets of the Italian language, the bilingual book that I also read aloud in Italian (you can listen to it for free on the podcast).

Stella AdlerStella Adler, a famous acting teacher (she also had Marlon Brando as her pupil) said that:“Ninety-nine percent of what you see and use on the stage comes from imagination. […] Every situation you find yourself in will be an imaginary one. […] You must see something in your head vividly and accurately before you can describe it. Only then you can give it back and make your partner or the audience experience what you have seen”. If her book (The art of acting) would be translated into Italian, you would find something like that written in it: “Il 99% di quello che vedi e usi sul palcoscenico viene dall’immaginazione. […] Ogni situazione in cui ti trovi sarà immaginaria. […] Devi vedere qualcosa nella tua testa vividamente e accuratamente prima che tu possa descriverla. Solo allora puoi restituirla e far provare al tuo partner o al pubblico quello che hai visto”.

How can what you’ve so far read can be useful in your path to speak Italian very well?

In several ways.

The first is that to fix in your mind some italian words, you could use more of your senses and avoid what many people do, that is to repeat without any sensory and emotional involvment long lists of vocabulary. Jus like some do, while repeating something like that:

house, casahouse, casahouse, casahouse, casahouse, casahouse, casahouse, casahouse, casahouse, casahouse, casahouse, casahouse, casahouse, casahouse, casahouse, casahouse, casa, etc.

Why don’t you see in front of your eys a beautiful house, perhaps your dream house (What colors are there?), hear the noises and listen to the sounds of this house (is there any radio playing? Is there any child screaming?), put your hands on it (are the walls rough?), smell the perfume of it (what do they cook in this house?), or even taste it (is it made of marzipan, like the one of Hänsel and Gretel?) and then pronounce aloud the word CASA!

I do think that would be more fun, as well as effective…What do you think about it?

The second way is that you could change your attitude towards the Italian language and perhaps you could begin to play the role of a native Italian speaker. Why not? I know that this can have advantages as well as disadvantages, but I’ll talk about it in another post. For now, I ask you: do you remember that in the fourth lesson of Awaken your Italian you can enter into an Italian mothertongue speaker as well as taking him or her as your model for the Italian language? And how? If you already know Italian, you can listen to it for free in the episode no. 9 of the podcast

podcast

where I read with my Italian voice the texts that you can find in the book. Buon divertimento!

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Willst du Italienisch im Handumdrehen lernen?

Scritto da speakitalianmagically.com il 15 Dicembre 2012

What language is the title of this post in?

Well, actually, it’s in German! And I’ve never posted anything in German on this blog for several reasons!

First, because at the moment my German is a bit at a lower level than my English; second, because I would love to use this blog to practise my English as well as to convey interesting and updated content about what I am doing at the moment.

And what am I up right now?

I am very happy to tell you that I have been working to the German Edition of Speak Italian Magically and thanks to Claudia Petschull, a dear German student of mine, the project has come to light;-)

Whether you speak German or not, allow me to post a preview for Italienisch lernen im Handumdrehen!

italienisch-lernen-im-handumdrehen-web.jpg

 http://issuu.com/splendy76/docs/italienisch-lernen-im-handumdrehen-vorschau?mode=window&viewMode=doublePage

Überleg dir, wie es wäre, wenn du auf einmal italienisch sprechen könntest - im Handumdrehen!
Du liest das hier - das bedeutet ja, dass du wirklich italienisch sprechen möchtest. Jetzt stell dir vor, du könntest es schon, auf einmal, und ganz fließend! Wie würde sich das wohl anfühlen? Wie würdest du dich fühlen? Aufgeregt? Glücklich? Na klar, beides!

Was wäre, wenn dir das Lernen selbst schon richtig Spaß machen würde? Wäre das nicht klasse?

Mit Italienisch lernen im Handumdrehen wirst du:
* durch Italien reisen und einige seiner schönsten Städte kennen lernen
* dich entspannt zurücklehnen und dir dabei mühelos neue italienische Worte und Redewendungen des Alltags einprägen
* zehn spannende Erlebnisreisen nach Italien und in die italienische Sprache unternehmen, bei denen es eine Hauptperson gibt: DICH!
* anfangen, auf italienisch zu denken
* dein Italienisch auffrischen, was du vielleicht früher eimal gelernt hast

Italienisch lernen im Handumdrehen bietet dir:

* Methoden für beschleunigtes Lernen, zum schnelleren Aufnehmen der Sprache
* Kein stures Auswendiglernen
* 20 Gratis Audio-Dateien, passend zu den Lektionen: jede Lektion einmal zweisprachig und einmal nur italienisch.
* Die italienischen Texte sind vom Autor selbst in authentischem Italienisch gesprochen

Pubblicato in Promotional, The course | Tagged: , , | Nessun commento »

A free multisensorial experience to improve your Italian

Scritto da speakitalianmagically.com il 1 Dicembre 2012

To speak Italian very well, you need a lot of input, so today I am going to give you something I’ve written and recorded in Italian - for free!

I have to admit though, that the audiobook and the ebook that I am suggesting you to read and listen to is not aimed at the usual readers of this blog, but if you have read and listened to my pieces of advice to speak Italian magically, then I am sure that you’ll find them very useful.

Consider them as a way to read and listen to real Italian (even if sometimes you’ll find some sentence or piece in English), to immerse yourself into the Italian language.

They are actually texts and audios, aimed at Italians who want to awaken their English, taken out from another Blog I am writing on these days.

By listening to the audios, you’ll notice some minor differences with the text. Finding these differences can also be a good exercise of active listening, don’t you think?

So, I just have to let you know the links to download the free ebook and the free audiobook… And to let you practise your Italian, read the following articles containing the links. Can you find them?

Click here to find the free ebook!

And here to find the free audiobook!

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Can you use the placebo effect to speak better italian?

Scritto da speakitalianmagically.com il 20 Ottobre 2012

Have you ever heard of the placebo effect? And what about nocebo? What do you know about them? Can you make a quick mind map out of the word “placebo” and “nocebo” even if you haven’t ever heard of those words? Do it anyway, it’ll help you activate your brain and be ready to read further. Write down all the words and associations that come to your mind as quickly as you can.

 placebo-nocebo-mind-map.JPG

Several years ago I listened to a story about a cancer patient who was injected a cure which he believed was a panacea (a cure for all illnesses). He was very ill but after he started with the cure he felt well again and could go back to his normal life. The fact is that this cure was not giving the same results with all other patients it was tested on. Thus the newspapers started publishing about the failure of this cure. As soon as the patient read these news he started feeling worse again. So he went back to his doctor and the doctor told him that he would inject him with a double strenght dose of the medicine, but, being this not yet tested, he needed the patient to sign some papers, to free him of responsibility. Again he started to feel well, the illness wasn’t there anymore and he could go back to his normal life. What he didn’t know was that the doctor injected him with pure sterile water. The patient’s belief alone, independent of the value of the medication, produced his recovery. He was well for two months, then again appeared in the national press that that drug treatment was wortless. After the patient read those articles, he died within 2 days.

This is a story that really explains what both placebo and nocebo effects are. When the patient believed he was injected with a wonder drug, he healed (placebo), when he knew he was injected with a worthless drug, he worsened (nocebo). In my opinion the above story warns everyone about what we believe. I’ve already written about what I think about beliefs. Here I would like to suggest a way to utilize your beliefs and the placebo effect. And the best way to use them comes from the following story.

In a book by doctor Roy Martina, titled in Italian “La formula per la vita“, the author writes that placebo also work when the patient knows that he’s getting a placebo. He writes about his brother Arnold who was having a kindney transplant. Dr. Martina suggested him that when he looked at the intravenous drip he would be attached to after the surgery, he’d think that in that solution there were nutrients and vitamins and to be thankful to those vitamins. Anytime the nurse brought him pills, he had to say:”Thank you for bringing me my vitamins“. The doctor warned Arnold that the nurse would insist that those were real drugs and not vitamins: he told him not to believe her and to go on repeating himself and her that those were vitamins. Roy Martina’s brother also had to be thankful for the kidney and tell “it” that “it” was welcome in his body. Arnold followed his brother’s advice and healed faster than any other patient undergoing kindey transplant.

What has all this to do with learning a language? Do I have to write it clearly? What you believe about your ability to learn the language will affect it, thus why don’t you use positive affirmations with conviction so that you’ll create your new reality? What do you think about a  reality where you speak Italian like an Italian mothertongue? Whatever you answer, this is a belief…And what do you want to believe today?

By the way, until recently I thought that the story about the above cancer patient was  just a story that people tell to let you understand the power of your mind…Well…It wasn’t just a “story”, it is  a fact happened around 1950 to a patient of doctor Bruno Klopfer, a researcher involved in the testing of the drug  Krebiozen. You can find reference of this story on the book by Simonton O.C. and others, titled Getting Well Again (Bantam 1978, USA ISDN 0-553-28033-3).

Pubblicato in The science behind learning Italian | Tagged: , , | Nessun commento »

The perfect restaurant where you can speak Italian Magically

Scritto da speakitalianmagically.com il 3 Agosto 2012

If an image is worth a thousand words…what is an image (or a collage of images) that you created yourself worth?

What do you think about it?

Of course there are people who like to learn by listening, others who prefer to see things and others who really enjoy doing things to learn. And there’s an ancient Chinese proverb that goes:

“I listen and forget, I read and understand, I see and remember, I do and learn”

Imagine if you listen, read, create something with the material you need to learn…do you think you’ll remember it? My opinion is that if you do all of them together you increase the chance to remember and absorb what you want to learn.

A dear student of mine, let’s call him Vittorio (his Italian identity;-)), is doing this in his learning journey and he even created a menu out of the episode 7 of Speak Italian Magically. With his permission, I am sharing it with you and you can consider it as an extra bonus material for the Speak Italian Magically course. Click on the image below or here to enjoy a free and nice meal out of the course.

Menu speak Italian Magically

What about you? If you have spare time and you want to speak Italian very well, why don’t you create your personal collection of images or personal movies out of what you’re learning? I’ll be happy to check it out and share it through this web site.That would be really worth more than un miliardo di parole;-)

By the way, Vittorio has also written what he thinks about the book and the course and you can read it here!

Pubblicato in bonus | Tagged: , | Nessun commento »

Improve your Italian with frustration!

Scritto da speakitalianmagically.com il 4 Giugno 2012

Immagine da 123rfWhat can you do to improve your Italian? Cosa puoi fare per migliorare il tuo italiano?
What do you think? If you just take your time to ponder the above question, what would you answer?
If I ask this to some of my students, they would answer that they should come to Italy and spend their whole time here in Italy, so that they could be immersed in the language. Others think that they should do something fun in Italian. Others think that they should start and think in ItalianAnd you what do you think you need to do in order to improve your Italian?
What’s my take on this?

Every time we learn something we have some frustration in the learning process and  that’s part of it. When we feel frustrated about a thing we want to learn we have at least two choices. Do you know what they are? As in general with every occurrence in our life, we have the opportunity to fight or…flight. That’s a natural response that we usually have. We could get discouraged at the first difficulty or we could fight to “overcome the moment” (superare il momento). Sometimes when we get frustrated in doing or learning something, that’s the moment when we need to persevere, because if we do it, we’ll realize that the learning will occur. If we just give up, we could end up installing in ourselves the belief that we may not be able to do it. And it’s all about beliefs, if we don’t believe we can do a thing, we wouldn’t even try to make it possible. So, in my opinion, when we get frustrated we have the opportunity to go for a third choice: increase the frustration! Mmmmhhhhh….You may think: what do you mean,  Antonio?

One of my favorite authors, Ed Strachar, says that if we add some overwhelming activity in our learning, then when we go and do the task in the real situation, we’ll end up by finding it very easy! But, what about immersion, what has frustration to do with immersion? If you are in a foreign Country, if you are in Italy and in a city where no one speaks your mother tongue, you are in that situation where you NEED to speak Italian, and you can choose to “fight” (to make every effort to understand what Italians with their gestures are telling you;-), or to flight (to fly back home).

Mmmmmmhhhh…Do you need to come over here to be immersed in the Italian language? Not really, thanks to mp3 readers and internet! You can create your Italian environment at your home, wherever you are and you can have FUN (which is the second most common answers I get to the question I asked at the beginning of this post) in doing this!

How could you increase the useful frustration in order to learn Italian faster? Well, you know that Italians speak Italian fast…What if they spoke even faster? Would you understand them? Well, that’s a fun challenge, isn’t it? It could bring the kind of positive frustration you need in order to be able to easily understand real time spoken Italian. Because if you start and work with faster spoken Italian, you’ll get to a point where you’ll start to understand that faster Italian and when you’ll be exposed to real time Italian, you’ll find it so easy, that you will think: “What on earth has happened? I totally understand it and I don’t even have to translate it in my mother tongue…I think in Italian!” (which is the third most common answer I get to the question at the beginning of this post)

At this point you may be asking yourself, that’s a good idea, but how can I manage to listen to faster-than-normal Italian? If you are reading this blog, you have a PC, or a tablet, haven’t you?
If you have a PC, there’s a free resource used by musicians who want to improve their skills. It’s Best Practice (Google for it). If you have an android device, there’s a free app that works wonder on your audio files, its name is Audio Speed Changer (you can find it on the Play store). And if you have an Ipad or an Iphone, I do think that there’s a free app too. Just check on the App store;-)

Mmmmhhh…so may ideas flowing when I put myself in front of the Word Processor;-)…That’s all for today, let me know what you think about it and enjoy learning Italian, maybe adding a bit of mental training to it;-)

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Un libro per risvegliare il proprio inglese - Awaken Your English

Scritto da speakitalianmagically.com il 19 Aprile 2012

I know that I usually write in English on this blog, but you are here to learn Italian, aren’t you? So, I guess you’ll forgive me if I re post here the press release for Awaken your English, my latest book, which is actually an adaptation of my former Awaken your Italian, published at the end of last year.  Read the article and get out the gist of it, by asking yourself the following question:

 What is the article talking about?

When is it published?

What does the author (that is me;-) say about the book?

What does the publisher (Meligrana) say about the book?

Of course what you are going to read is valid for the original book…that is Awaken your Italian!

 Now…Enjoy the article in ITALIANO!

 This was originally published on http://awakenyourenglish.wordpress.com/ 

La Meligrana Editore pubblica un nuovo libro multimediale per migliorare il proprio inglese

Posted on aprile 14, 2012

Meligrana EditoreScarica questa pagina in formato pdf

Il libro è appena stato messo in vendita dalla Meligrana Editore, giusto in tempo per rispolverare il proprio inglese prima dell’estate.

Sin da quando la casa editrice è stata fondata nel 2006, abbiamo voluto cogliere ogni novità editoriale e sfruttare le nuove tecnologie per essere indipendenti da ogni logica di mercato e con tale libro siamo usciti fuori da ogni schema“, dice Giuseppe Meligrana, il fondatore della casa editrice.

Risveglia il tuo inglese! Awaken Your English! è “un libro che si può ascoltare ad occhi chiusi e che permette di imparare delle abilità utili e la lingua che le trasmette“, afferma Antonio Libertino, insegnante di italiano per stranieri con certificato Ditals, autore dell’opera.

Questo corso d’inglese per italiani è stato inserito nella collana Multimedia, in quanto offre al lettore degli audio mp3 da scaricare gratuitamente per ascoltare la pronuncia corretta direttamente da Chris Snelgrove, un noto speaker americano.

Gli audio, insieme alla struttura particolare del libro, che contiene testi inglesi con traduzione italiana a fronte o consecutiva, vogliono esporre il lettore/ascoltatore ad un inglese totalmente comprensibile oltre che interessante.

Qualche anno fa sono venuto a conoscenza delle tecniche di allenamento mentale che gli atleti di tutto il mondo utilizzano per migliorare le proprie performance. Ad un certo punto ho pensato che queste tecniche potessero essere utili a chi volesse migliorare le proprie abilità linguistiche. Da qui l’idea di scrivere prima un libro (Awaken your Italian) per persone di lingua inglese che volessero migliorare il proprio italiano, poi quella di adattare e trasformare questo libro in un corso d’inglese per italiani. E grazie alla Meligrana Editore, a Chris Snelgrove e ad altri, Risveglia il tuo inglese! Awaken your English! è divenuto realtà,” dice l’autore.

Risveglia il tuo inglese! Awaken Your English! contiene cinque lezioni, oltre all’introduzione, al capitolo dedicato alla scienza dietro il metodo e a quelle che l’autore chiama “empowering questions (domande potenzianti)”.

La prima lezione (prendi una decisione) vuole aiutare il lettore a creare un obiettivo chiaro prima di iniziare. La seconda lezione (il tuo posto speciale) guida alla creazione di uno spazio mentale dove rilassarsi e sentirsi bene. La terza lezione (quando sei al tuo meglio) e la quarta (impara dai migliori) fanno ricordare i propri momenti migliori e aiutano a imparare l’inglese da un modello di propria scelta. La quinta lezione (allenati mentalmente a parlare l’inglese molto bene) insegna infine una tecnica di allenamento mentale per provare ogni abilità che si voglia padroneggiare nella lingua inglese.

Ogni lezione, presentata in due versioni (bilingue o solo in inglese), contiene una mappa mentale a colori disegnata dall’autore oltre a delle sezioni di approfondimento intitolate “Your personal coach (Il tuo coach personale)”, “L’angolino della grammatica” e “Questions (Domande)”.Awaken your English

Per maggiori informazioni e un’anteprima del libro:

www.awakenyourenglish.com

oppure sul sito della

Meligrana Editore

Scarica questa pagina in formato pdf

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