Speak Italian Magically!

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Speak in chorus with Italians!

Scritto da speakitalianmagically.com il 13 Maggio 2011

When are you supposed to speak in Italian? Right away or after a while? What do you really think about it?

Well, there are people starting to imitate Italian pronunciation right away and other who wait for a while, before doing it. In which category do you belong? And why do you do this way? Do you think it is good to start and speak right away or you need to wait?

Have you tried to answer all these questions? ;-)

Well, now I can tell you what I think about it. It is true that in many Italian courses held in Italy, you are asked to start and speak right at the very first day…For instance a thing that you will usually learn in an Italian course is how to introduce yourself…So, COME TI CHIAMI? MI CHIAMO ANTONIO;-).  This is what usually happens in a communicative approach to language learning. Is it useful to do it? Yes and no.

Yes, because this way you will go home and be able to say a few sentences right after the very first lesson. No, because before speaking properly you are supposed to listen to a right amount of comprehensible input. And that’s why I suggest, if you use the Speak Italian Magically course, to follow the steps  and to speak only in step five, after you have listened to the same adventure several times and in different days (maybe also right before going to bed). Then at that point it would be useful to start and speak in chorus with the Italian only version of the adventure, while reading the text at the same time. This speak in chorus “thing” was used in schools in the past, but very little nowadays. It makes sense only if you do it after you have been exposed to the text and audio for a sensible amount of time. I know it may seems a little challenge, but it’s fun and it’s worth doing challenging things sometimes. This “waiting time” is what other linguists have called “silent period” (Asher, Brown).

As you know, I am very fond of accelerated learning methods, that is why I would strongly suggest to drink a glass of water (pure water, not coca-cola nor juice) and practise a bit of Brain Gym before doing this “speak in chorus” challenge. Well, you could do this: try to speak in chorus without doing Brain Gym and then speak in chorus after doing Brain Gym. If you notice any difference, then you’ll realize yourself whether it is worth practising Brain Gym before studying or not.

What is supposed to happen when you practise Brain Gym? Well, in several books ( Smart Moves, by Carla Hannaford; Brain Gym Teacher’s Edition, by P. and G. Dennison; and also in a book about medical NLP, Magic in Practice, by Thomson and Khan) you will find that you will achieve what in Italian is integrazione emisferica of your brain. This may be the reason why professor Arguelles, an american polyglot, suggests that when you “shadow” an audio, you walk at a swift pace while practising. Walking is an activity that both oxygenates your brain and integrates both sides of it. And even if you may look a bit crazy doing it, you should try it for yourself…maybe in a place where no friends of yours see you! ;-)

So, what are you waiting for? Listen, decode a fair amount of Italian, then go on and speak Italian! ;-)

Pubblicato in The course | 1 Commento »

Speak Italian Magically and spaced learning

Scritto da speakitalianmagically.com il 16 Novembre 2010

Making MindsWhat is spaced learning? Have you ever heard of it? Do you practice it? If your answer if no, what could it be? Whether you know spaced learning already or not, say or write the first things that come into your mind now.

Have you done it?

I think you already know that the brain learns in layers, that is why it is good to be exposed to the same input in different ways: from the big picture to the detail is usually best.   But what about revising the material? When should you revise it?

Now, I can tell you about spaced and my experience with it. I’ve always known that to make something stick in your long term memory you need to revise it and repeat it. But when? Let’s say that you listen to an episode of Speak Italian Magically, when should you revise it again?

A couple of years ago, when I first read  Tony Buzan’s books I discovered about spaced repetition.  Basically he talks about the five-times repetition formula. He says that you should revise:

- the first time within an hour or so you’ve first read or learnt something;

- the second time the day after;

- the third time about a week later;

- the fourth one month later and

- the fifth and final six months later.

Based on this, if you listen and understand the first episode of Speak Italian Magically now at 10.36 a.m, you should:

- revise it within an hour today, 16 November 2010, that is 11.36 a.m.

- revise it tomorrow, 17 November 2010;

- revise it next week, 23 November 2010;

- revise it next month, 16 December;

- revise it after  6 months, 16 May 2011!

Leggi il resto di questo articolo »

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

 

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