Upper Intermediate Italian Lesson 8

I actually finished this course prior to Easter, finally catching up on the blog posts!!

I was bang on time, on the nose, no time to spare. Gf and I were watching Star Trek downstairs ’til I noticed it was 1829 and legged it up to my computer! Still first though, and by a good way. The first student arrived (to our relief) at 1837. And another soon after.  So I had five minutes of talking to the teacher again. I wasn’t very good at expanding on my answers! Nevertheless, we talked a bit about lockdown easing and my time in Sicily. Then once the others arrived, the second arrived soon after the first, same two as last week, we started talking about International Women’s Day (which is today). That was cool.

Newsletter thingy. Oops I had misunderstood. The other student who I thought had also done it already last week actually hadn’t. So when the teacher asked who wants to do it this week, I said her name, because I didn’t want her to miss out two weeks in a row but instead I guess she felt put on the spot, oops. Instead, we are asked to ask the five W’s to the third student and he should reply and that should form his contribution (as not already done also). I haven’t done another one but I don’t think it will matter as I suspect once we finish this one that will be it for tonight and we’ll move on to something else. I forgot, but also subconsciously probably reckoned, based on how things have gone, that I have a week in hand! Really better do one this time round. Well…mayyybe. There are only two more lessons and two other students still have to contribute…hmmm!

The student is asked to write it for next week. Then we move on to reviewing combined pronouns. So I was correct about not needing it. Not convinced I will next week either, or the one after, but I will TRY and do one. Then it’s ready for when it does arise, if it does in the last two lessons that remain after this one! Also because it is good practice.

Reviewing pronouns takes the shape of the teacher reading the extract to grammar book to us.  In English cos it is slides made from that book that has explanation in English. Haiya.


A grammar controlled practice. We do it with no prep time. I misunderstand the task on the fly, oops. But correct myself easily. Straightforward, then, despite no time to do it before going through it.

Then we move on to a review of the imperative. We haven’t done the imperative so far this course but ok. Again, the teacher reads us the grammar book. Ahh, the point is what we do with pronouns and imperatives e.g. Marco, mettiti la giacca. The pronouns go after the imperative, attached.

P99 – Verbi monosillabici all’imperativi + pronomi

=We had to take it in turns to read the forms aloud e.g. I had fa’ fammi fallo fammelo.

Then I got lost again, turned out the activity we went to next was ABOVE the grammar box not after it. I still got mine right though even though I still hadn’t found the task, based on the teacher saying it to me (the teacher hadn’t realised I was lost, they used this approach with all of us). Lots of grammar tonight.

Then we move on to do some reading on p.103.  Joy of joys we get time to read alone – it is a longer text and we are allocated a third each to read and then summarise. Then we discuss the topic of the text. Which was cool.

Io sono dell’idea che… (This, the teacher said in an incidental kind of way and I noted it down because it is a nice phrase for expressing opinion)

Next we move on to a film “il mostro” with Roberto Benigni. There is a long description in English and then some tasks in Italian, including watching the film extract. I mistakenly answer directly for the first one but for once in a way we aren’t supposed to, oops.

  1. Sono troppo stanca. Mi fa male la testa.

^^We have to make up common excuses. Then watch the extract and try to pick out any excuses that we can. 

  • Sto male, sto molto male
  • Scusi ho un altro impegno

B. Now we have to try and hear what the amministratore says.

  • Ma che dice?
  • Signora aspetti
  • Un giorno gliela farò pagare
  • Pagherà tutto

C We have to compare what happens in Italy when someone calls in sick to work with here.  There, someone might go to your house and check.

darsi malato – call in sick

Dobbiamo solo presentare un certificato medico se stiamo a casa più di 5 giorni

And finish! As we are finishing, the teacher asks us if we would like to do more with films next time. I said yes! It was nice to be asked about future lesson content.


  • I only have two more lessons left, eeek! However <drumroll> I have finally pulled my finger out and found another course to do. This time it is with International House. I did the entrance test and got 41/48 = advanced. The levels are broken down into numbers (just like they were when I taught at IHPA so I guess that is maybe an IH thing as this is not IHPA!). Advanced goes from 17 through 22 (more numbers than there were at IHPA, but the courses are shorter too) and in consultation with them I am going to enter 19. (Mostly because the day/time of the class is suitable – as in, same as the current one!) It is a six-week course, one a week for two hours. I am excited! It starts in mid April so I get a little break after this course before starting the next, which is also nice.
  • Thinking time. Having been in the student position, I am getting a lot better at giving students thinking time! Not being afraid to wait that little bit longer. Some of the activities in our materials are ‘do as you go along’ type ones but they tend to be chat box based – which reminds me, come to think of it, we have used the chat box very little as students in this Italian class. The teacher uses the chatbox a fair bit but we students use it much more infrequently – the main time I remember is when we were doing the chain stories thing. The ‘do as you go along’ activities tend to be done verbally, one at a time. I suppose this is also due to difference in class size. The Italian class is small enough that you can do that, with generally about 3 of us, and at most 5.
  • If there is the freedom/scope to do so, involving students in the choice of lesson content is motivating. It really was nice to be asked. Honestly, for this course, I am still not sure what, if anything, is core/required content and what is teacher choice. The grammar points? <shrug>
  • When we did the reading activity, I read the whole text in order to make better sense of my bit (I had the final third). I think for information gap type activities, the information each student has should be able to stand alone in terms of meaning/coherence. I suppose it’s about making sure the text and the task are well-matched. It was fantastic being given time to read quietly though, rather than doing the read aloud thing.
  • We do a lot of controlled practice grammar activities but a lot less in the way of freer practice. Which is frustrating because I know the grammar but I need practice using it communicatively. Hopefully will get more of that in the next course I do. It would also be nice if the grammar was more rooted in a context.

2 thoughts on “Upper Intermediate Italian Lesson 8

  1. The points system is not an IH thing, as each IH school is independent. I guess it’s just a coincidence thet both IH schools you’ve been at uses a similar break down of the level.

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