Buon Giorno!

January 28, 2011

Ciao!  This is about the extent of my Italian currently, but I think I will be expanding a bit this semester.  I am currently a participant in a pilot project at my college to see how we might use Rosetta Stone in our school.  I’m not sure what the future holds so I am hesitant to make any guesses, but in any case I hopped on the chance to learn the language for free.

At this point I can name some simple objects, bambina/o, donna, uomo, mela, uovo, penne, cavallo, etc.  I’ve learned mangia, cucina, corre, etc for verbs.  I have attempted to use Rosetta Stone before for Spanish and it is the same progression as I had before.  I am hopeful that I will be able to become conversational with a computer-based language program.  At least we have supplemented the program with monthly meetings of the group, but also I am close with several of the people, so I may begin saying random phrases in Italian to them…at least until I get to the point of being able to have a meaningful sentence beyond ‘the girl swims, and the women eat.’  In time it will come.

Right now the one complaint I have is that I am learning phrases to describe other people, not myself.  So I cannot even say “I am learning Italian.”  I’m sure the program gets there.  I also cannot ask questions of others “what do you have?” because I have not been introduced to that conjugation yet.  But again I’m sure it will come.

I think that this could serve as an interesting model for one of our college’s outcomes, which is lifelong learning.  There are several faculty and staff members who have chosen to do this out of pure interest (of course the incentive of a free language class helps).  Perhaps students will begin to see faculty practicing their Italian with each other.  What a cool thing to see…faculty and students working together to learn something new!

It’s an interesting model that does not come without its criticism.  Certainly you do not get a taste of the actual culture where the language is used, which can be important for language comprehension, but perhaps for beginning learners it is a good start.   For now I will practice and try not to let it interfere too much with my need to do real work.  Perhaps at some point in the future I will attempt to write a short blog in Italian!


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