So, there I was, in my Graduate student office nerding out with my fellow linguist friend. I had just come out of Italian lecture, and had a few minutes to kill before heading over to Tavola italiana. We both had just the perfect amount of time that was too long to just grab a sip of water and continue along, but also too short to hunker down deep into any new projects or embark on hyper focused hours of studying. So, we spent 20 minutes practicing our Españliano (Español 🇪🇸 + Italiano 🇮🇹).
Of course, it wasn’t too long before the topic of my avatar creation came up…which I had secretly been hoping would soon resurface.
All of a sudden- the most gleeful, linguistically nerdy creation struck us as we burst into giggles, and there was even a split second of awkward guffaws, from which only we, would ever understand its true origin…but let me go back.
We have our 1° quiz on venerdì, so we are practicing and reviewing for that. And, naturally, today we learned about un milione 1.000.000 new things.
🥶 freddo e caldo 🥵
I’m sorry, but why is ‘ti piace il freddo?’ even a question? Of COURSE I don’t like the cold. Absolutely, 100% percento do I not like the cold. Assolutamente, when the screen says ‘Saint Louis Coudy 16°’ of course, non mi piace. Certamente, non mi piace when the weather app displays ‘martedì oggi 28…-4‘ (language: italiano, display: Fahrenheit. #letsnotgetintothatnow).
The only time ‘freddo‘ is ever acceptable is when I am ordering a ‘Venti iced coffee no sweetener, small splash of soy, color Beyoncé’. Only in that exact moment when I am ordering an iced coffee to please perfectly match the sweetness of the singing goddess herself is using the word ‘freddo‘ 🥶ever okay. No, no, no. No, thank you.
#diva101 • I am definitely being a diva. I am simply stomping around in my perfectly sturdy boots, grateful for my lovely warm classrooms, hot coffee, and cozy homemade hat and scarf, and just wishing and willing, that the cold would forever seek refuge in another location.
Today we were talking about what we liked food wise. Seems straight forward enough, right? Well, when you ask, ‘Che cosa ti piace?”, the responses were…’mi piace la pizza‘, ‘mi piacciono i cereali‘, o ‘mi piace il cioccolato‘. But when the question came to me, of course I wanted to try to be honest, not only because I am an honest person, but also because making education relevant to your life is motivational and helps you remember it better.
So, what do I say? “adoro il fagiolo’. Apparently, I love one bean, just one bean…So, after some feedback about why it is important when talking about legumes to make them plural, I tried to correct with ‘i fagioli‘, but the mistake had been made, and that was okay. Because, a) we are all adults here, 2) you cannot teach or learn language without culture, and d) I am happy to be the one to make mistakes. We will all learn. The last time I was embarrassed was when I was in 7th grade and I had laundry 👙 stuck to my clothes while walking to gym…
So, I tried to correct and say, ‘let me try something else! Mi piace fare esercizio’. 🏃♀️
But, this was an opportunity to learn a little bit about culture. Thus, when speaking Italian all legumes, vegetables, and fruit must be addressed in the plural form, otherwise…you may or may not invite some unwanted jokes of genitalia, both masculine and feminine. And, we’re not just talking about nouns ending in /o/, /a/, or /e/….
Note to all of my future selves, Dottoressa or not: discuss fruits, vegetables, and beans in the plural form!
* * *
So, we’re building on our knowledge and putting things together in meaningful ways. Today we were reviewing the identification card.
The example of an Italian ID card is quite surprising in the fact that it asks for your ‘stato civile‘. Exqueese me, baking powder?
**Flashback – Spring 2016, ‘SPAN 5322: Spanish for the Professions’ , we are working on revising our resumes based on CV standards in Spanish-speaking countries. I was so surprised to see that the majority of them had you put your photo on them! So, here we are putting our photo on CVs and our marital status on our ID cards…
Well, what am I always saying ‘you cannot learn or teach language without culture’? Well, these funky nuances are part of the culture. So, we learn, accept, and move forward. And, if you, Italian Identification Card, want my stato civile on it, you got it.
Which is how we arrive to my favorite part of today, the name of my Avatar….
Allora, there are so many ideas brewing about Polly’s life fighting crimes of monolingualism, which will not be shared at this point…but stay tuned for more adventures!
“Welcome to Italian through signs”.
As language teachers we are constantly encouraged to utilize Total Physical Response whenever possible, because of how meaningful physical gestures are in long term memory when learning an L2.
Every day I look forward to the composition of Simone’s Italian orchestra. Not only is it fun, but it really does enhance the learning experience, not only on the linguistic side of things, but also culturally as well.
It might not be a rivalry, but there is definitely a decision that L2 learners and teachers make between:
a)…do I visit vuvuvu.wordreference.com and see the exact translation of the word?
b) do I visit vuvuvu.google.it > type in my word > go to images and form the association of the image in my brain while focusing on the new word?
Raise your hand if you opt for b) 🙋♀️
Of course we’re all guilty of our WordReference habits. (It is a good resource!) It is helpful and satisfying, why not?
Simone reminded us today how powerful it is for long term memory to use image association with new words and concepts while we were looking up a random assortment of vocabulary and images such as carnavale, confetti, etc.
👩🏫 Note to future teaching self aka “Almost-Dr. Jones”:
“Give a Man a Fish, and You Feed Him for a Day. Teach a Man to Fish, and You Feed Him for a Lifetime.”
Is the ‘fish’ an immediate word-for-word translation?
Is ‘knowing how to fish’ an image associated with your new word?