Upper Intermediate Italian Lesson 2

I am on time, first to arrive again. 2 others are on time too and arrive soon after. Warm up chitchat is about Covid.

Io non sono un complottista – I am not a conspiracy theorist

Rendersi conto di – realise.

Our disappearing weaker student has arrived 5 mins late. “x’s iPad” no video like the rest of us. I hope she is ok. Silence when addressed by the teacher…

Talking about Covid for quite a while. Then link into review of congiuntivo. Se tu fossi Boris Johnson, cosa faresti?

Per evitare la diffusione del virus…

I am boiling! Don’t want to go away from the class/video but am wearing thermal vest and fluffy jumper and turns out the heating makes it warm in here in the evening! (By day when I work in here, heating is off, I am dressed for that, oops…) = environmental factors sure do influence ability to concentrate!  

… Finally I switched off video to go and put something more suitable on. Phew. Switching off video/audio to do something seems to be acceptable. Not something I have experience with from teaching point of view because we have classes of 18-21 students so they don’t have their video on a lot of the time (and could therefore nip away to do something quite easily!)

No way!!! We are going to repeat the fridge thing from last time! Can we just not…. Haiiya. Flogging a dead horse comes to mind…

At least this time I know not to reply for the “What is the nickname of your fridge?” bit!

Soppranome: Miele

5 aggietivi: Grande, alto, fresco, pulito, pieno

2 pensieri del frigorifero:

  • Mangi un sacco di verdure, no?
  • Perché tante foglie?

Here we go again <copy paste>. Wonder if the connection between tasks will be clearer,

Oh now it’s changed to 3 adjectives of physical description and 3 adjectives of character description. 

Era una notte nera e tempestuosa e Miele stava nella cucina che parlava con il forno.

Doing it differently this time, we have to send the line of the story to the teacher rather than to another student. Teacher sends the sentence to someone who adds a new sentence and sends it back. I think the nickname and adjectives was supposed to “get the creative juices flowing”.

Era una notte nera e tempestosa e Fede il frigo era irritato. “Smettila di fare uscire il freddo!”  Ma non c’era nessuno a cui parlare.

Era una notte nera e tempestosa e Miele stava nella cucina che parlava con il forno, chiedeva al forno “ma perche mi rubano sempre e danno il mio cibo a te” Ma perché lo chiedi a me? Che ne so Io? Non voglio nemmeno questo cibo né il calore che mi fanno entrare.

Era una notte nera e tempestosa e Fede il frigo era irritato. “Smettila di fare uscire il freddo!”  Ma non c’era nessuno con cui parlare. il cibo all’interno del frigo ha iniziato a ballare. “Lasciamo uscire, abbiamo freddo” cantavano insieme.

I have the course book now, so I can look through it while waiting after each time I send my line through, which is nice.

Era una notte nera e tempestosa e Miele stava nella cucina che parlava con il forno, chiedeva al forno “ma perche mi rubano sempre e danno il mio cibo a te”. “io sono il prescelto” ha detto forno, “rispettami!” il forno non sapeva che Miele aveva poteri speciali. il giorno successivo il forno non era più caldo, e il forno non rubò più il cibo… Il forno se n’è andò via ma poi tutto il cibo di Miele alla fine imputridii.

We end up with three stories this time. <I forgot to copy paste them all> We had to each take a turn to read one aloud and then say which one we liked best.

Oooo we get a break again tonight despite no tech issues, phewww. So break time is A Thing not just a response to tech issues, good to know. Very helpful in a 2hr class when you are staring at a screen after having stared at a screen all day!

<Break>

Silent student has gone (having not said anything up the point of leaving), student no3 has also gone, we are down to 2 again. Wonder if student 3 will arrive late again like last time or just not appear again?

p69

editori – publishing houses

sono pago’a di qualcosa… sono sodisfatto,a di qualcosa

una iattura – una sfortuna

ripiegare – fall back

Reading aloud a written text, sentence by sentence. Hard. No time to read it silently first and as soon as we have taken our turn to read aloud, we are quizzed on vocabulary. No time to process the text meaning. Then, trying to read while the other person reads aloud. This also interferes with actual understanding.

We then had to make up two comprehension questions for each other.

  • Cosa succederebbe se non ce n’era più  ci fosse più la stampa tradizionale, se ciascuno stampava stampasse il suo quotidiano da solo? (Dohhh, I missed that here I should have used the structure we did last week!)
  • Lo scrittore pensa sì or non che la stampa fatta a casa sarebbe una cosa positiva?

I am so tired and my eyes hurt (Cos work all day at the computer too). Makes it really hard to come up with words/phrases/sentences. Soooo tempted to do like the others and leave!

We had to argue a given point of view.

E’ meglio RIMANERE con il giornalismo perché COSI l’informazione c’è e dobbiamo solo trovarlo and leggerlo con criticità per sapere cosa succede nel mondo. Senza il giornalismo, sapremmo solo quello che i politici vogliono che sappiamo.

He asked the other student to respond to me but didn’t let me give my final line. I am too tired to argue. Bad student!

Ooo we had a small wrap-up this time – the teacher mentioned the stories we wrote in the repeat from last week activity…After starting a new activity, which we did orally, with 3 minutes of lesson time left. Whyyyy.  Neither of us students were thrilled about that.

What I learnt about being a student in this session:

  • It’s really hard to understand a text if you aren’t given time to read and process it quietly before being expected to do things with it. Oooo. I have an idea. I will read ahead in the course book. I don’t know which activities we will do or how we will do them but if I read any texts in advance then reading aloud will be less difficult.
  • seeking feedback is important. The language centre sent a feedback form this morning, so I mentioned that I find reading aloud without time to process silently first difficult and that I thought clearer lessons objectives (as in made clear to us) and opportunities for pair and groupwork would enhance the lessons. I also said the teacher is good at giving us feedback on what we say (didn’t want to only give “to improve” feedback!). It’s difficult to give feedback unless invited to do so. I will give my students a feedback form at the end of this week, I think!
  • If you are going to repeat an activity from a previous lesson, specially one which takes up a large amount of time (it took a good half an hour in the end!), have a really good justification for it and make that clear to the students. The activity didn’t work as planned last time, but we did it and had the freer practice it offered despite ending up one story down. It would have been nice to do some thing different this week.
  • Unconscious bias is a thing. Male teacher assumed male student had understood the activity last week and that it was me who had messed up. This came through clearly in the way the activity was explained this week. He’s a nice dude, I don’t for a moment think it was deliberate but it is interesting. I think as teachers we need to try and be self-aware in this and question our assumptions about things.
  • Fatigue is a thing. I know one of my students is doing school lessons by China day and our (the college) lessons by China night until 1-2a.m. (cos of the time difference) – she must be exhausted. This was one of the useful things I learnt during my tutorials with my students which took place last Friday. Learning on top of other commitments is difficult. Learning when tired is very difficult and frustrating. For the slot where I do one half of the class then the other, I will make sure she is in the first half.
  • Guidance regarding how to improve between lessons is helpful and students don’t know it for themselves without the teacher helping. For all we can search for websites, we have no way of knowing which are good or less good and are likely to miss good ones because searching is like that, it’s hit and miss. For autonomous learning to succeed, students need knowledge of resources as well as to know how to learn. I want something like the Experimenting with English handout I made for my learners in Sicily!
  • Don’t start a new activity 3 minutes before the lesson is due to end. Lesson plan timing going south is a thing but adapting to that is important. Being clear about what the key goal of the lesson is, and what activity(ies) need to be done in order for it to be achieved, is crucial as that informs choices about how long to spend on activities (both at the planning stage and in the lesson), what to skip if skipping is required etc. I’m not sure what the key goal of the lesson was. Perhaps using the congiuntivo imperfetto part 2? Not sure where the text fitted in with that – my comprehension question involved the structure but it was accidental and it was the only question that did. It was a 2hr lesson, ½ hr was spent chatting about covid (with some congiuntivo imperfetto worked in eventually), ½ hr (perhaps a bit more actually) spent on repeating the story, 10 minutes was break time. I think we had about 45 minutes on the reading text, approx. Which was reading aloud, sentence by sentence, vocabulary, “comprehension” questions and then the writing and then reading what we wrote activity about defending a given point of view relating to the text.
  • Italian coursebooks  (or at least this one) aren’t like English coursebooks. Rather than lead in/intro to a topic, texts, language work, oral/written production kind of flows, this one goes text, fill in grammar from memory, grammar focus, other random speaking and writing tasks and different texts. It’s confusing! And interesting! I read the introduction to the course book and apparently it assumes you have already used the previous coursebook where a given character does this and that and now the character is going to do the other. And it’s very much teaching culture too (hence the text at the start of each chapter), which it makes explicit in the introduction too. I’ve got the teacher book too. So that I can do the units I’ve missed (which I guess they did in the previous course) and have the answers. It may also shed some light on how the course book works, not had a chance to look yet!

I’m learning a lot from being a student again, it has to be said! A most excellent form of CPD! Hope this is of interest to some of you, apologies if not – it is a useful way for me to process the lessons and to store all my reflections and learnings!

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