For a while, I haven't written a blog as I got too busy with teaching. This is good news for sure.
Just a quick update that English a Firenze is still alive and kicking. I want to take the opportunity to talk about some of my recent experiences.
It will not come as a surprise that I have now experienced different approaches. And this time I mean the learner, not the teaching. As we are mostly talking about adults they have a say in how they learn. I do apply the Communicative Language Method to all my students, but some fare better with a pictorial approach, some with a very structured approach around grammar. Most adults have a good idea of how they learn and aware of their true motivation.
Hearing your own voice.
Firstly, no matter the approach one thing in common with all starters is that they should get used to hearing the language, albeit it being slowly pronounced. Secondly, I really focus on reading out loud. In my experience, this is the best practice for pronunciation, but also understanding either rules or text. After all, they have to process new information. Above all, it makes you hear the new language in your own brain. Translating this into speech is a hurdle some take better than others.
As with most things finding the balance between the student customised dialogues and texts available and " the real world" is not always easy. As soon as feasible, I introduce real-life situations so the students feel that they can use it. The most asked questions I get are: how would you say it? and what is more appropriate? Interjections are more of a struggle than I ever imagined. For a native speaker, they enrich the language, however for a starter is it almost convoluting the language and making it so hard to understand. But hang in there. Understanding will come.