Upper Intermediate Italian Lesson 5

Despite my busy week (I am now officially a Mental Health First Aider!), I am managing to squeeze publishing this post in as my last task for the week! That means I will now be up to date with this series of posts again!

I am first as usual! :-p So punctual, me. And I am here with all my positive attitude. I realised I have mostly focused on challenges/difficulties/negative things (not exclusively though!) so tonight I am going to focus on positive things! Try to challenge the old negativity bias.

….And I am alone…! Phew another student arrived. Until she did, I was chatting with the teaching in Italian, which was nice. ..Aand another. Now we are three and the teacher. And we are talking about the newsletter thingy from last week. Also, I did my homework so I am all prepared for it, whoop. My girlfriend gave me an idea for what to write about!

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

  • Novità?
  • Che mi racconti di bello?

These are ways to ask someone for their news, which is apparently what we are doing here!

I had to share my homework in the chat and like the one at the end of last lesson, we are going through correcting it, with the teacher displaying it on screen. (And I corrected my version above as we did it!)

Hurrah I passed! It satisfied requirements. Phew. It was nice to get all the corrections. I have discovered I need to review when to use imperfect vs perfect tenses. I can find where in the coursebook that is covered and use it to review 🙂 (When I get time, not this week which is crazy busy!)

Now we are talking about news again.

Notizie su – news about

La pagina culturale – culture

Societa – lifestyle

La salute e il benessere – health and wellbeing

We have to do another one for next week, but something like an article that belongs in the above section…I think… Still needing these 5 ‘w’’s but I think maybe it is flexible… I will again invent something anyway. All good. (Haha uploading this blog post has reminded me I still need to do this before Monday evening, haiyaaa!)

And now onto grammar review of the unreal if clauses.

Se Boris Johnson avesse preso delle decisioni adeguati, non avremmo passato un’anno così caotico.

P.86. We have to listen and tick but I don’t have a pencil to do so, so doing it this way instead:

  1. C
  2. G
  3. M
  4. C
  5. G
  6. M
  7. C
  8. G
  9. G
  10. M
  11. M

This kind of activity is harder than a T/F kind because the statements can’t follow the order of the text so you have to have attention in multiple places. We listened to the first part/person. Then stopped and read the statements we are to tick aloud. Then listen with pauses and teacher repetition. Then went through the answers for the first person. Then we listened to the next one twice through and then went through answers. Then the third one once. I managed reasonably well! This time the teacher had the audio ripped into their computer and was able to play it for us and it worked ok. When I’ve done listening with my students, I’ve had them go away and listen to a link and then come back. I suppose with a small group as we are tonight, there is a lower likelihood of audio and connectivity problems as fewer students to have them. Also we in this class are all UK-based while my students are all over the place with varying quality of connections!


Only 2 of us came back after break. Lost the other. <shrug>

p87 A speaking activity based on the listening. We had to use those unreal conditionals to talk about one of the speaker’s life.

Se Monica non avesse smesso di giocare a calcio, non avrebbe studiato all’università. Se non fosse andato all’università, non sarebbe diventata un insegnante e non avrebbe tempo per fare la fotografa.

Next exercise is doing something similar but with our own experiences!

  • Se non avessi fatto preso il diploma CELTA, non sarei diventata insegnante di Inglese come lingua straniere.
  • Se non avessi preso il diploma DELTA, non sarei andata a Palermo.
  • Se non fossi andata a Palermo per insegnare, non avrei imparato l’Italiano.
  • Se non avessi provato un sito di incontri, non avrei trovato la mia compagna.

Ooo the one other student who came back after break taught English in Poland for a while! (I learned this via her sentences for the above activity!) We only did 2 of the sentences so no coming out for me after all. :-p

Next, listening to a song. We have to write down the phrases we understand and write down any vocab we don’t know. We should also try to understand the general meaning of the song.

  • Io e te by Battisti
  • Qualcuno ha scelto forse per noi
  • Poi ho incontrato te
  • L’esistenza è diventata
  • La stagione nuova
  • Fra le tue braccia calde
  • Io e te
  • Stesso io desiderio

I have been told to listen for general meaning this time round.

Con lei non ha paura di morire…?

 It’s quite long and whiny hahaha. Lurrrve song. But I could understand a fair bit til the background music got too loud compared to the voice. I also had to unplug my big monitor to adjust the volume as it was too loud then after teacher’s voice was too soft so more unplugging and replugging. Tech! But I managed. The third time round we listen with the lyrics. Then we look at the lyrics and discuss the meaning. Then we did a memory based gap fill lockstep. Then teacher tried to make us memorise each line.

And, with some more discussion of it, that brings us to the end! Now half way through the course!! And thinking after the end if I can do another online class (if they are still available, not all back to f2f) with another language centre, e.g. IH, it would be interesting to compare!


  • I quite enjoyed the lesson. Partly because it jumped about less than previously (we stayed in the same general vicinity of the coursebook once we moved onto it; the existence of homework linked us back to the previous lesson for some review as well as going through the homework; we did some grammar review; the listening was connected to the language point. Only the song was random but hey why not!).  Partly because every week I am a little more used to how it goes and what to expect and therefore it is less stressful.  It’s taken me to half way through the course for this to happen. Wonder if it would be quicker in a subsequent course. Something to do with getting used to being a learner again in a formal setting i.e. the (virtual) classroom. It’s also about getting used to having to find the energy on an evening after work – I am less exhausted by half way through the lesson now, though I do appreciate the break half way through – enough time to get a cup of tea and have an eye break.
  • I get excited every time I learn some little snippet about my classmates. I want to know more about who they are and what keeps them plugging away at these courses. As in their motivation for learning. Sandy commented on a previous post-lesson blog suggesting I try to give the teacher feedback directly about the lack of groupwork but I don’t feel comfortable to. The other students may be quite happy with the status quo (they are back for another course after all!), I don’t want to rock the boat being the only newcomer.
  • It’s interesting that there are two of us who are teachers. Not sure what the other three do. The other teacher is the one who uses English strategies a lot. The only other thing I know about her teaching is that it involved a school trip to Germany a couple of years ago as that featured in the anecdote she did for the first newsletter thingy. I wonder what teaching and learning experience and beliefs she has.
  • I’m starting to consider other courses after this one = I am enjoying being a learner again despite all my trials and tribulations with it! In one sense it’s a pity it didn’t occur to me sooner to try (the pandemic has made online learning opportunities proliferate where they didn’t before) but on the other hand I had enough on my plate coping with adjusting to new work conditions, building my new relationship, negotiating health issues and moving house!
  • So far I have been first to arrive and first back after the break every lesson and the only one to have attended all five lessons from beginning to end. I hadn’t anticipated this being unusual given it isn’t free! I used to admire my students in Palermo for coming to their evening classes regularly twice a week in the 1930-2050 slot – they had to actually come to the school not just log onto a computer on time. I can just about cope with once a week on a computer in my house! No travel time or effort needed.
  • It’s been interesting seeing how the teacher does feedback on oral and written production. How to do feedback effectively is something I think about a lot! Of course what works with a class of 3-4 students isn’t necessarily compatible with a class of 18-20 students! However, using the share screen function to use a word doc with a text and making corrections to it live is certainly something I could try. Though, share screen uses a lot of internet and could create problems for my students with dodgy connections I think. We are advised to avoid it where possible. But I suppose a Google doc that students have the link to could be used in the same way. I will keep it in mind…

Overall, half way through the course, I’m really glad I signed up for it. It’s been so interesting to go through the process of being new to the class, getting used to how it works, working through the barriers created by my expectations and frustrations. I feel really positive about it. Let’s see how the next five weeks go! It’s nice to be blogging regularly again too. I think once this course (and any sucessors I might join) comes to an end, I will try to set aside time each week to self-teach myself again. Continue with Italian? Try Polish again? Try Mandarin again? And blog about it, of course! We shall see. I just love language learning!

2 thoughts on “Upper Intermediate Italian Lesson 5

  1. Hi Lizzie. So interesting to read your posts about the Italian course. I’m a teacher as well. Reading you to learn something new and make my classes better. I’d like to ask for your advice/opinion on the following. I agree that the fact that your Italian teacher doesn’t let you speak in pairs is not positive. He loses lots of opportunities in this way. My students speak enough in pairs or in small groups. But there’s one problem: if there are only three students at class, I usually discuss everything as class. Certainly, in my view, one student speaks less in this case. If I put them in pairs and take part as a partner of one of them, I can’t monitor the work/speech of the others. When we had classes in person, it wasn’t a problem for me because I managed to control the others (3-4 pairs) giving them a necessary word when they were stuck or helping with a structure. Now teaching online, it’s such a dilemma for me: speaking as class and being able to monitor the process or speaking as a partner and not being able to check if the others are doing the ex. correctly and using key expressions etc.

    • Hi Svetlana! I think with a small number of students, if there are only 3, then maybe all you need to do is take the focus away from you and encourage them to interact amongst themselves or do a task together or whatever. Maybe all you need to do is switch off the camera and mic. If you have so few that you don’t need to put them in breakout rooms then monitoring is easier because you can be quietly in the background throughout. So you do it as whole class but without directing or participating yourself, just as though they were in the classroom and you stepped back to let them discuss or do a task and monitored discreetly. But I am no expert!

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