Upper Intermediate Italian Lesson 4

<I am running a week behind as last week was especially busy due to the need to prepare for this week where I am only in work two days because of the remaining three one (today) is my not at work day and two are allocated to a Mental Health First Aid Course – starts tomorrow, eek! So there will be two posts this week and then I will be up to date again!>

I am first to arrive again. Insufferable. :-p Then one other student arrived so we could do some talking. But through the teacher, not directly, of course! Bit by bit, students arrive. I feel more relaxed tonight, so I think my reflections after the last lesson have helped me! 🙂 My webcam isn’t working tonight, not sure why. Tech, always tech.

= Some of the vocab that came out of the chat – the question was ‘what are you missing during lockdown?’ – Also vedere gli amici/la famiglia più facilmente

Then we moved on to…

Se aveste 1000 sterline a spendere in modo frivolo, come li spendereste?

Tonight I am experimenting. Using the everyone chat to communicate directly with students. The everyone chat though. Trying to get some kind of rapport with them! I tried with the student who arrived late, in response to the teacher-directed conversation.

Se avessi 1000 sterline, andrei in Sicilia, poi darei il resto in beneficenza.

We are up to our full 5 students including me again. Me and two others with no webcam, the teacher and two others with webcam.

We are going back to the topic of last week. p80. Grammar presentation. The one we opened with 3 mins to spare last week. We are reading it aloud. Haiya… And teacher is explaining, in Italian and then in English.  I guess we are doing ye olde PPP! At least being done in Italian first, I can get some listening practice from it!

Ohhhh, I was thinking it feels like way too much explanation, but then remembered I have the advantage of knowing these structures, on a metaknowledge level, in English, because of being a teacher. 

  1. Se Luigi avessi preso la medicina, forse adesso sarebbe guarito.
  2. Se il vestito avesse costato meno, forse l’avrei comprato.
  3. Forse sarei riuscità ad andare al lavoro ieri se non ci fosse stato uno sciopero degli autobus.
  4. Se fossimo stati meno stanchi,  saremmo partiti per il fine settimana.
  5. Se fossimo usciti più presto, forse saremmo arrivati in tempo all’appuntamento con il nostro amico.
  6. Se l’agenzia di viaggi

We did the above as read aloud and answer directly, no time to do it ourselves first. I wasn’t asked to answer before I had done them all first. Mini-success for me, making it work for myself. I think the teacher feels the need to be talking to us all the time, not letting us do activities by ourselves or in pairs in between.  Ah ooops, turns out there are more questions so we went through them in order, 1-4, up til me and then suddenly jumped two ahead so I hadn’t done it in advance. (I might have got that far if I’d realised the activity went overleaf so could have continued doing it for myself in advance, oops.) Still, I can complete the exercise in my own time for practise. No problem. Good revision.

Reading, a text. Waaaait. We might be doing a jigsaw of sorts, We have been allocated paragraphs. We must read and make a summary. Omg, I think my feedback landed. Amazing.  I got to read my paragraph and the rest of the text and write my one sentence summary. So nice to have actual time to read silently. And the text was on the page after the grammar exercises and actually relates to them. Hurrah.

L’autore parla dei rimpianti che possiamo avere se ci chiediamo cosa avrebbe potuto succedere se avessimo fatto scelti diverse di quelli che abbiamo fatto.

*cosa sarebbe potuto succedere

*scelte diverse

*da quelle

We each did our summary of our little paragraph and then…

BREAK!

Now we are jumping back 30odd pages, p54

Whyyyyy. Oh well. Here we are.

Studentesse rubano profumi per regalarli ai loro fidanzati = a title. Then there are some words in a bubble.  Ci sono vari elementi.

Era poco prima di San Valentino. Tre studentesse  sono andate in supermercato. “Pensavamo di comprare qualcosa per dare ai nostri fidanzati ma poi abbiamo visto quanto costavano e non potevamo permettercele” hanno spiegato più tardi quando erano arrivati i Carabinieri di Monteverde dopo la sicurezza li aveva visti che rubavano alcune confezioni di profumi invece di pagarli.

Quite happy with my effort!

Then the teacher started on about chi (who), dove (where), cosa (what), quando (when), perché (why) and that these 5 things are in every newspaper article.

NB still not a clue how, or if, this links to the first half of the lesson!

La cronaca – local news. In it: Moda, sport, pettegolezzo, cibo, viaggi, tecnologia. Tanti argomenti che si referiscano alla propria vita.

I chose food. Teacher suggested I write something about healthy food. For a weekly class newspaper.  But I am confused because a food column isn’t really a wwwww thing. So I wrote in the chat in Italian to ask, then audio and teacher replied in English, doh. Said I could change theme then.  I literally have no idea what to write about. Teacher is keen to put it in an Apple pages template we were shown. 

Ok we are supposed to do it now. I think I now gather that this is not going to  be a weekly thing as in doing it every week, just a way of describing the output for tonight.

Interesting: I am using the chatbox more tonight because my webcam isn’t working. But in general anyway I like writing and putting it in the chatbox ok (except tonight when I really don’t know what to write!), but another student in the class is quite resistant to it and prefers speaking. Ooo according to her anecdote she is a teacher. See if we had ever had an opportunity to converse, I might know that already, I’d like to ask her about it.  I did put a question, in Italian of course, in the chatbox, asking what she teaches, but she is busy trying to deal with the task, which is fair enough. Bad timing! My chatbox experiments are falling flat on the communication with other students front.

Still don’t know what to write. I don’t have a picture in my head of what the finished product is quite supposed to be like. I totally understood the first activity with the prompts. But I am confused as to the content of this one. It’s supposed to be about me? But nothing happens to me, especially now. And it doesn’t fit the genre of newspaper. Am I supposed to make it sound like a newspaper article but it’s something banal? One student told an anecdote from two years ago about a pickpocket. How does an anecdote from two years ago fit with newspapers or food writing? Having discarded that theme, what theme should I do and how to connect that? One wrote a few sentences about what gossip is and illustrates which was a different genre again. I…(shrug). But teacher is more fixated on this Apple pages template thingy and in goes the anecdote, which the teacher is now going through and correcting with the student who wrote it.  Am hoping that we will run out of time to get to me. But two students left at break time so there is less cushioning time-wise in that sense.

WE HAVE HOMEWORK! The above. Ok, I will write something. Maybe I will just invent something. I tried to explain my problem. The mismatch between an anecdote and a newspaper and not understanding what it is I am supposed to write, I said I’d like to see an example of what I am aiming for, but it fell on deaf ears. The teacher got quite defensive. Even though I tried to explain I want to do it I just don’t understand what to produce.  

Interesting night!

Homework

  1. Se Luigi avessi preso la medicina, forse adesso sarebbe guarito.
  2. Se il vestito avesse costato meno, forse l’avrei comprato.
  3. Forse sarei riuscità ad andare al lavoro ieri se non ci fosse stato uno sciopero degli autobus.
  4. Se fossimo stati meno stanchi,  saremmo partiti per il fine settimana.
  5. Se fossimo usciti più presto, forse saremmo arrivati in tempo all’appuntamento con il nostro amico.
  6. Se l’agenzia di viaggi fosse stata sempre aperta, sarebbero potuto comprare il biglietto.
  7. Se fossero arrivati in tempo, non avranno perso il treno.
  8. Se non avessi mangiato troppo, non avresti avuto un indigestione.
  9. Se non avessi passato troppo tempo al computer ieri sera, non avrei avuto mal di testa.
  10. Se fossimo rientrati più presto, avremmo potuto vedere un bel documentario in tv.

Qualche settimana fa, c’era un incidente di macchina a Woodseats, su una piccola strada nella periferia di Sheffield. Coinvolte erano tre macchine, due che andavano troppo veloce e una che era parcheggiata accanto al marchepiede, e una delle due che andavano troppo veloce era rimasta sottosopra. Quella che era parcheggiata sosteneva anche dei danni. Gli autisti non erano feriti ma poi hanno litigato nel bel mezzo della strada. La polizia dovevano chiudere la strada. Uno degli autisi lavora per una pizzeria e sfortunatamente i clienti quella sera non ricevevano le pizze.

Reflections

  • It is weird when the first half of the lesson before break and the second half after the break have absolutely no discernible connection. Would have been nice to do some speaking or writing that were connected to the text we read, which itself connected to the grammar we had done. Or at least either at the end of the first half or start of the second half some kind of transitional element between the two.  I seem to spend a lot of time wondering where we are going and how where we are relates to where we have been. So though I began the lesson feeling more relaxed, it was a bit stressful at times. But not as stressful as it would have been if I hadn’t been more relaxed to start with! So I still feel that I am making progress in (coping with) being a learner again! 🙂
  • We are now 4 lessons in to the course, nearly 50%, and there hasn’t been any opportunity for speaking directly to classmates even though we are upper intermediate and capable of conversing even if we make a bunch of mistakes. Nearly half way through the course and I barely know who they are.
  • It is really hard when, with the best will in the world, you don’t understand the task you have to do. Especially if that is then taken as being obstructive. Relatedly, models are worth a thousand instructions. If I could have seen a model, I would have been able to figure out the task requirement. Not understanding made me feel frustrated and sad. I wasn’t being deliberately obtuse. Would have been handy to be able to ask classmates quietly, as one could in a regular classroom!
  • It was exciting to have homework even though I didn’t understand it very well. I also made my own homework by finishing the activity we started in class. And it was also good to have time to read silently before doing things with the text. Hopefully this won’t be a one-off!
  • My couple of attempts to use the everyone chat box to communicate directly with other learners kinda failed. But at least I experimented! It might be because who I addressed is the same one who doesn’t like writing because it is too time-consuming.
  • Having background grammar knowledge is useful. More difficult if L1 doesn’t have equivalents or you don’t have explicit meta-knowledge of the L1 equivalents.

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