Marco: My first Italian Lesson.
On Thursday, 20 January, I held the first lecture of my Italian Class in Community Center of the Murter Municipality and around 15 participants joined.
Here’s my experience, some reflections and considerations from the first stages of development to the actual presentation, as well as some practicalities, such as dates and times in regard of the next lessons.
Overall, I spent around 50 hours working on drawing up the class, most of which have been dedicated to establishing the background knowledge needed to teach a language to foreigners. I came across several websites and useful tools I will list later on this post.
The lesson lasted for about 1 hour and a half and I am utterly satisfied with how it went, despite some minor problems I had to deal with. That’s why I can’t wait next Thursday comes to try to address these issues and thus improve the final outcome as much for me as for the students.
Deep diving on the world *wild* web, not only did I find open-access sections of well-established webpages, but also many community-based websites kept alive by remarkable people who decided to share their knowledge to the public for free. Naturally, these websites are in Italian as I was looking for suggestions on how to teach this language to foreigners. I would like, nevertheless, to mention some of the ones that helped me the most; and who knows, maybe they will come in handy to someone in the future (blink blink to you, future Italian Argonauta volunteer 👀). So, here they are:
- Italiano x Stranieri: major guidelines on how to hold an Italian Class for foreigners provided by experienced teachers, including both theoretical and practical advice.
- Mondadori. Campus Italiano per Stranieri: directly from one of the most influential book publishers in Italy, tons of activities and exercises to practice Italian at different levels of prophecy of the idiom.
- Easy Italian News: as the name implies, this website is constantly updated with a selection of breaking news from the boot-shaped Country, written in the easiest possible way and accessible basically to everyone.
- Puzzlemaker: platform to create cool and entertaining puzzles such as crisscross and word-search.
- Pixton: powerful tool to create and deeply customize comics and graphic storyboards.
Drawing Up the Class
Using all these resources and tools, I drafted an extensive text document wherein writing all the information I will need for this class. Other than that, I wrote down how I want this class to be, i.e. full of cultural insights and linguistic devices students can use to better understand phonetic.
I was lucky with the presentation itself given that, former Argonauta volunteer, Eleonora, held a similar class last year and she left an outstanding Canva presentation as her legacy for the World- just kidding, she gave it to me privately; you know, Italian sodality🍝. However, I decided not to use her work right away, but I rearranged the slides in order to suit the dissimilar nature of my lessons, which will be in presence, as opposed to her online class.
The Final Outcome. Technical Difficulties
The first flaw arose with regard to the chosen slides, along with the topics included, which were definitely too many considering I was the lecturer. I naively ignored how talkative I am, particularly how much I love to share backstories and insights about almost everything I know. I was thereby forced to skip almost half of the presentation and rush towards the end of the lesson as my watch turned off so I couldn’t keep track of the time. So, considering that I don’t want to get rid of the part where I give this kind of information, the next presentation will include less topics: quality over quantity.
Since we are on the subject, the second problem was related to Canva’s setting which allows you to cast the presentation onto the big screen, while the laptop display shows the text of the speech. At least it should, but apparently if I am to use this feature, I need to spend some more time playing with the settings before the next lesson.
As for the last minor problem, I planned to record the lesson with a GoPro I found in Argonauta’s office, but I don’t even know why at the end I didn’t. This is the easiest to solve: next time just hit the record button!
Enough with complaints, let’s highlight the good part. I enjoyed so much explaining my native language to the students, providing them with tools and insights they have never heard before. Moreover, I’m so glad this free class gives us the chance to meet new people and maybe, who knows, to establish the solid foundation for my upcoming (hopefully) series of scientific workshops, or even better, a new group of friends.
The lessons will be every Thursday and the class has been divided in two, according to the different levels of the participants:
18.00-19.00 > Basic
19.00-20.00 > Advanced
To keep up to date, or if you are interested to take part in the class, you can join the Telegram Group.