Sunday, 6 November 2011

It's back to school Rome!

The most successful language training experience I've had was a couple of French immersion programs in northern Quebec. I advanced so quickly those summers when I lived with a francophone family, in a francophone community; talking with people in the gym, or buying gasoline, or drugstore items -- always in French.

Years and years of classroom studies in French helped; but until I forced to use the language day in and day out for everything, I didn't make much progress.

I'm hoping my next experience will be as rewarding, as I partner Italian language studies next month with plenty of practice on the streets of Rome.

A few days after I arrive in Rome on December 1, I'll begin classes Monday to Friday mornings at the Scuola Leonardo da Vinci in central Rome.

There will be four hours of classroom work each morning, which might not sound like a lot. However, it's enough -- a full day of language classes is absolutely exhausting. Believe me, I've done it. Three years ago, my employer sent me for 10 weeks of daily, 9-5, one-on-one French instruction. It was exhausting.

I'll have other demands on my time in Rome, too. While I'm studying, I also intend to look for employment. I assume I'll spend the mornings at school and the afternoons doing homework, practising Italian, going to job interviews, writing application letters, forms, schmoozing -- whatever it takes to get a gig.

Porca miseria! It sounds hectic!

Actually, my whining aside I'm quite excited about the prospect of studying Italian on a daily basis. For me, it's the best way to learn. Grammar, grammar, grammar!


Jane said...

Sandra, 4 hours a day is plenty--more would be defeating, I think. You and Casey can write each other sometimes--except he is not a good correspondent.

Can't believe only 3 weeks. How beyond excited you must be!

Anne said...

Sounds exciting!! I agree that half days in the classroom is sufficient. Most days I have only one class, either morning or afternoon, but have two on Fridays and it is sooo exhausting. Plus hard to stay on top of the readings and papers when the whole day is taken up with classes.

menehune said...

I think I can hear the excitement in your 'voice'/post. Sounds like an ambitious but adventurous plan. Can't wait for your sharing your Roman experiences!

sandrac said...

Thanks, Jane -- I like the idea of corresponding with Casey, altho he's probably at a much higher level of Italian than me. Great suggestion!

Hi Anne, I hope your classes are going well, I'd love to hear more about them. I remember when I began university so long ago, being surprised at how few hours of classes I had (until I realized the enormous amount of work to be done outside class!) I think Italian will be like that, too!

Menehune, I'm trying to let myself feel more excitement and less fear; after all, fear won't get me anywhere.

Colleen said...

This is a smart move! I think if you waited until you were settled in, there'd be more demands on your time and it would be harder to commit to daily classes. Brava!

Trekcapri said...

Hi Sandra, the combination of school and living in Rome does sound like the best way to learn. I'm so looking forward to hearing about how your classes and after school activities are going.

Wow, only 3 more weeks to go. It's getting closer... I'm very excited for you!

marta said...

The half day classes will be perfect. This will allow you to study part of the day and then go out and actually use it. I bet French will help some and I bet pronunciation will be much easier. Can't wait until you are there and we can share your Rome experiences.

sandrac said...

Thanks, Colleen. I was afraid that if I waited until I was settled in Rome, I'd procrastinate on enroling in school and waste precious time when I need to learn Italian!

Hi Kathy, it seems I've been planning this move for so long that I'm getting really impatient. Your trip must be mere days away; hope the planning is going well.

Marta, that's my plan -- to get out and use what I'll be learning. Studying French has been really helpful in understanding so much of the basics of Italian grammar, such as gender of nouns and polite versus informal modes. Quite different from English grammar!

Annie said...

How exciting! The combo of your day-to-day interactions with the class is the perfect way to learn. I bet you'll be fluent faster than you think!

Anonymous said...

Everything I know about adult leanring tells me that you made the right decision. You need time to practice and reflect upon wheat you have learned. If you just try and cram in as much as you can over the course of a day you'll have time to make those connectiosn that allow you to make sense of it all!

You and Paolo will have to get on skype and practise your Italian with one another.

Is the 'what the hell have I done' panic setting in yet? *smile*

girasoli said...

Sounds like a great plan. That way you can use what you learn the rest of the day. Is the school far from your apartment?

sandrac said...

Hello Annie, I hope you're right -- the sooner I can become something approaching fluent, the better.

Jerry, the WTHHID panic is really starting to hit hard! Fortunately, I've trapped myself so I can't get out of this adventure now....And let me know when Paolo is ready to begin practising via Skype with an amateur.

Hi Susan! The school is quite a way away from the apartment -- very near Piazza Navona. I think I might have to take the bus to school when I'm rushed!