Make sure to check out Katie's website, Joy of Languages for more tips and tricks. Other great resources for parents learning and/or teaching their children a second language can be found on MammaPrada. I don't have children so I can't imagine trying to learn a language and raise little ones so definitely check out Mamma Prada for her suggestions! And finally, check out Kelly over at Italian at Heart to read about another American's journey in learning Italian.
Someone Who Will Learn Italian
7am: Alarm rings. Switch off on a smartphone that is set in Italian. Check social media (note that Facebook is set in Italian here so I am leaving a "commento" on a "bacheca" and not a comment on a wall). Write a quick message in the group "Conversational Italian" and depending on the month, post an Instagram with an Italian caption for the daily #languagediarychallenge.
7-8am: Doing my hair and makeup for work. Listening to the latests news in Italian (Slow News Italian is a great option for beginners). Talk sporadically to the cat in Italian. Example: ma come sei bello oggi, sai che sei il gatto più bello del mondo, che bei occhi che hai etc etc.
8-9am: One hour commute to work. Radio in Italian or alternatively, audiobook in Italian. Listen to Whatsapp message from our group "SOLO ITALIANO" which one of my American friends created in which we only write and leave messages to each other in Italian. We have about six people in the group.
5:30-7pm: One hour and a half (stupid rush hour traffic!) commute back home. More radio in Italian, active listening, or leaving voice messages to friends in SOLO ITALIANO Whatsapp group.
*What I mean by "active listening" is that if someone jumped in the car and asked what was just said, what the radio hosts are talking about, you could answer immediately and provide some keywords from the conversation.
7.15pm: Realizing I used the last of the "passata" and so I write a grocery list in....Italian. I do not write "apples, dish soap, toilet paper". I could easily do this but I actively make the decision to write "mele, detersivo per piatti, carta igenica".
8-10pm: Movie or TV show in Italian OR reading a book in Italian. Here it is key to make note of any new vocabulary and to look it up later. I read on a Kindle so I can do this very easily on the Kindle itself and it saves anything I looked up in a list option called "arrichire il vocabolario" which can be reviewed whenever.
10-10.30pm: Shower, having a one-sided conversation ALOUD with me, myself, and I in Italian. Thinking about things I would have wanted to say during the day and how to say them in Italian.
Someone Who Won't Learn Italian
7am: Alarm rings. Switches off on a smartphone that is set in native language. Checks social media, only follows pages in English. Watches some videos and writes a few comments in English.
7-8am: Getting ready for work. Listening to Spotify. Mostly English songs, some Italian but just because they are already included on the "Hits Italia" playlist.
8-9am: One hour commute to work. Still listening to Spotify playlist. Listening to Whatsapp messages from friends and family, exclusively in English.
5:30-7pm: One hour and a half (stupid rush hour traffic!) commute back home. Radio in Italian but passively listening. Leaving Whatsapp messages in English.
*What I mean by "passive listening" is that you wouldn't be able to provide a general idea of the conversation or any keywords that were mentioned.
7.15pm: Realizing you used the last of the "tomato sauce" and so you write a grocery list in English. You also need "apples, dish soap, and toilet paper" so you write those down too.
8-10pm: Movie or TV show in English OR reading a book in English. It's too annoying to watch dubbed television, you hate subtitles, and reading in Italian takes too long.
10-10.30pm: Shower in silence or singing but you guessed it...not in Italian.
If you enjoyed this post, you may also like to "dare un'occhiata" at these ones:
An Open Letter to Native Speakers of the Language I'm Learning
The English Stare and Getting "Englished" Living Abroad and How To Deal
What I'm Really Thinking While Speaking Italian as a Second Language
Taking Risks in Language Learning
The Gift of Language: Italian and Beyond
The Neverending Story of Learning Italian
Living in Italy, Speaking in English
How to Keep Learning Italian in Italy
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