Tag Archives: flash-cards

Almost everyone that I have ever known has “I want to learn a second language” on their bucket list. But often, they don’t know where to start on this lengthy and difficult path. You’ll bring it up at maybe a family gathering, and that strange relative that you hardly know always has to chime in about how immersion learning is the best way to learn any language. Yes thank you weird uncle Hank, but not all of us have to money to just up and move somewhere across an ocean. But even if you could, is that really the best way to learn a language? I mean everyone learns differently. So this article is dedicated to you fellow internet user! If you want to learn a language but don’t know the best option for yourself, here are some pros and cons to different methods of learning a language.

There are three main categories for learning a language that I can think of. If you can think of more, just comment below and I will add them in if I have tried them before! The three that I am going to write about are Immersion learning, using apps on your phone or programs on your computer, and class learning.

So there first one up is Immersion learning! For this one, we are going to be talking about immersion learning as moving to the country, and paying for classes while there. For example how I moved to Rome, Italy and went to Kappa Language School in Rome.

Pros:)

  • You don’t just learn the language, you learn the culture as well.
  • You can become friend with your teachers who are normally natives and they can help when you need a quick reminder.
  • You have to practice literally ALL THE TIME. If you are lazy like I am, this one can really get you to practise even when you don’t want to.

Cons?

  • Moving is SUPER EXPENSIVE!
  • Going to a different country its going to be very lonely at first!
  • Simple tasks become really challenging.
  • Embarassments, which can range from being embarrassed about not knowing what to say in a conversation because you aren’t advanced enough yet, to cultural misunderstandings where you just don’t know that things are done in a certain way and you accidently deeply insult someone.
Special offers for Italian courses in Rome

Ok now we can move on to App learning.

Pros:)

  • You can use them whenever you need to (at least the ones on your phone) and so you can practise at any point during your day.
  • There are quite a few different ones, so you can do different activities when you switch apps. There are ones that are better with reading activities and others that are better at writing activities.
  • Some of them have really fun games that help you learn better then just practising with flash cards over and over again.

Cons ?

  • There isn’t someone to ask if you don’t understand why something isn’t right or when the teaching gets confusing.
  • When they try to teach you ‘naturally’ they often don’t explain why something has changed and you get super confused.
  • While some are free, there are many you have to pay for to advance or to get the other lessons.
Discover Rome and Learn Italian

The last one that I will talk about is learning a language by taking a class near your home, or getting together with some people who speak the language for a few nights a week.

kappalanguageschool.com

kappalanguageschool.com

Pros :)

  • This one can be a form of immersion learning if you work hard enough.
  • It’s nice to be able to come back home and be able to talk in your own language and not feel like a fool 24/7 like if you moved.
  • You can have a structured learning schedule that helps you immerse yourself into the language rather then being thrown in and fumbling around trying to make out the correct tense and pronoun.

Cons?

  • This is a much slower way to learn unless the class is 1 on 1.
  • There is a classroom pressure to get it right can make you anxious and forgetful
  • You don’t get the culture, you get the language
  • You can only practise at certain times

Ok there you have it folks! the pros and cons of different ways to learn a language. If you think we have forgotten one, just comment below! I find that the best way to learn a language is the combination of two of these, because the pros and cons of both can balance out the experience. And for you?

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In my last workshop at King’s College, University of London I presented some helpful online free resources to help improving different linguistic skills (reading, listening, use of grammar, etc.) at different levels.

Here is part of my presentation, enjoy!Antonio

What we need more of as teachers is time, but time is limited, especially with adult learners and professionals.As classroom time is so precious, we need to use it wisely, to practise speaking and writing in Italian. We also need to think about how our students use their time outside the classroom.

To maximise our time and theirs and help students learn as fast as possible, technology is the answer.Every day, each of us spends a huge amount of time commuting from home to work on public transport. In the past, this may have been considered ‘dead’ time, but as most of us now carry a smartphone, tablet or laptop, we can use this time for learning.

Apps, websites and mobile learning games are great tools for language learning. My aim is to show you how I use my lessons to do things that students can’t do at home, and to give them tools to learn and practise using technology outside my classroom.

Click on the links of each slide to open the websites.

  1. In the first part of the presentation we will see a site with a bank of flash-cards and games that are helpful for learning vocabulary. With this tool we work with our visual memory. This is great for beginners but also for intermediate and advanced learners.
  2. On the second slide we have a site for interactive grammar activities. On this website you have hundreds of activities from beginner to advanced levels. I believe this is a great tool because you have access to an automated response system and you don’t need your teacher to check your work.
  3. On the next slide we have listening activities, including Italian rai tv with subtitled programmes and another websites offering activities based on radio news.
  4. On the web we have also tutors offering video lessons on their youtube channels, tv series for students of Italian and, on the bbc website, an Italian TV crime series for students of Italian.
  5. Finally we have a language community website with native speakers offering language swaps, another website for listening to Italian radio, an app for your smartphone, and Italian songs to use for listening activities.

Study Italian in Italy

Have you got a question for me?Email it to antonio.lucicesare@gmail.com

A good way of learning Italian hand gestures

 

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