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Aprile 2008

Dos and don’ts for learning Italian in Italy

dos and don\'ts for learning a languageIt is a matter of fact that every year thousands of foreign students invade the main cities of Italy to study Italian. It may be less clear how many of these students actually learn the language along with the fun they usually have during their stay in our peninsula. Here are some imperatives you need to adopt if you really want to understand, speak and write the Italian Language and take the most of it from your your studies in Rome, Florence, Venice or wherever you are in Italy:
do not stay with people speaking your own language. I know this is quite a simple rule, but most of the students live in flats where Italian is hardly spoken and they seldom have the opportunity to practice what they have learnt during their language classes;
do not attend either schools or universities where English is the main language spoken, unless you wish to improve your English;
do listen to radio and watch tv. Even if you are beginner and you do not understand anything this is a good exercise to train your ear and get used to different sounds and expressions. Tv ads may be the easiest listening for you and extremely useful to implement your language skills;
do have exchange conversation (or just conversation) with natives. Here is for example an organization which can help you to find a language exchange mate in Florence.
do surf on Italian websites to read the news, watch videos and documentaries as well as listen to music. A good exercise can be the following one: choose a song you like, find on Google the lyrics, and then listen to it (a sort of home-made karaoke);
do always carry a notebook where you can write down and classify words, verbs and expressions, which you may then reread and memorize while waiting for the bus or during a queue in front of a museum;
do not watch Mtv: Programmes are mostly in English;
do look around you while you walk in the streets: it is full of ads, signals, boards, announcements, panels and so on, which can stimulate your curiosity as well as your language abilities;
do watch movies on Dvd with Italian subtitles. Some programmes on telly have also subtitles with teletext (page 777);
– and last but not least do not forget to revise what you have learnt at school!.

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