Intensive Italian for Gamers – settimana nove 9

Nella serie TV Friends, qual è il cibo preferito di Joey?

🥪 🥪 🥪 🥪 🥪 🥪 🥪 panini!!!!

Whodathunk that being the ultimate Friends fan and possessing more Friends trivia than perhaps even those six actors do, would come in handy in progressing our pink-haired personaggio into first place? Even if it was just for a brief moment…

Today’s class was so fun and perfect for this sunny venerdì.

Perché? 🤷‍♀️ 

Because it was un ‘Giorno di gioco’ 📱

At each table lay a tablet, and at each table sat 3-4 nerdy gaming linguists excited to compete, push buttons, create their avatar, and practice their Italian.

We did not even know what game we were going to play, but we were animated for whatever it may be. It was like back in the day when your middle school teacher rolled in the clunky TV stand, complete with a VCR, and overflowing with tangled up cables. You had no idea what movie would be shown, but movies in class were such a treat and departure from the normal structure of reading, writing, and arithmetic. I remember in middle and high school any movie was really welcome, whether it was Bill Nye the Science Guy in 7th Grade Science or ‘Los Viajeros‘ in 9th Grade Spanish, movies were welcome! I would have to say I think the only time when students grumbled about watching films in class were those two days in middle school, which were awkward af, when boys and girls were split up into two rooms and were flash-taught Sex Ed with educational films made in the early 90s…

But those days are long gone…or are they? I am quite glad it is not 1999 and I am no longer in 6th grade, but rather hold a Graduate student position in the year 2019, and I find myself enrolled in an Undergraduate Italian class being taught by a digitally savvy profesore with years of experience using digital realia to augment his Italian instruction.

So, what appeared on the screen was not an uncomfortable educational film about STDs and 28-day cycles, nor was it a fuzzy 80s film of socks-‘n-sandals-wearing tourists exploring the streets Oaxaca, but rather the super fun trivia game ‘Sapere è potere‘.


First, we picked out our avatar, who was a hoot and a half. She wore rainbow spandex and had capelli rosa and un grande baffo rosa. Her fanny pack was hilarious and upon submitting a right answer, her mannerisms wavered between spanking her own cartoon culo, clapping with delayed Gumbi arms, and doing awkward wiggly dancing. I was playing with two other ladies, so we appropriately and geekily named our character, GrlPwr. Aren’t we super cool?

9scrmax3 It was such a silly day and the activity couldn’t have come on a better day. I know, personally I was feeling rather squirly, what with it being Friday at 2pm, with sunshine and all. The sun is finally peeking out from behind these winter clouds and as I walked through the clocktower square to our class, there were tons of students out on blankets, slack lining, or hauled up in hammocks. There was also a DJ blasting sweet jams and the faces of students seemed to glow with sheer delight of just a small amount of warmth.

Anyway, getting to play this trivia game, in Italian, with Italian culture also integrated in the questions, on this sunny Friday afternoon was just perfect.

A few takeaways:

  1. Cultura
    Many of the questions involved themes centered on Italian culture, such as literature, history, famous people, music, and so on.After we finished with our 11 rounds, Simone pulled up a couple of these italiani famosi to add a bit more context about why these people were note worthy.  We discussed a bit about Giocomo Leopardi, who was a un poeta, studioso e filosofo italiano in the 19th century. Although, according to our profe the filosofia of Leopardi would have been described using one of our favorite new phrases, ‘qué barba‘ 🧔🏻

    We also chatted briefly about a modern YouTuber called Sofia Viscardi, who is also una scrittrice, who I may or may not have started to follow on 📷 @sofiaviscardi. Hey, it’s for the Italian practice, okay?

  2. Vocabolario
    We got the opportunity to learn new words, such as Abbinamento and  Smistamento, and to practice them over and over again in a fun and highly contextualized environment, due to the various rounds we played.
    The repetition of activities really helped established new vocabulary words, such as the act of choosing categories and the ‘strapoteres‘, and of course the regular game words such as ‘continuare’. 

    As I am finding with all of the games we play, whether it be Assassin’s Creed II, Rise of the Tomb Raider, or Sapere è Potere, the combination of group work, critical thinking, Total Physical Response, repetition of words, and repetition of their corresponding actions, and so much more, really makes for an extremely efficient tool for language learning. 

  3. Lingua
    Nerding out on languages is one of my favorite things to do. Being a native English speaker and having a strong base of Spanish almost always provides support to my efforts in reading other languages.

    And today was no exception. One of the rounds we played was a sorting activity in which the names of animals flashed, and we had to pull them either into the category of ‘pelle‘ or ‘pelo‘. Such as 🐖 vs. 🦍 or 🐍 vs. 🐇.

    Fortunately, Italian and Spanish share many words and roots of the words, which made quickly sorting the words that appeared relatively easy. Although there were many words that were definitely not the same, what did add to our success in this round was my knowledge of latin and greek roots. Even if I had no idea what the word was, in the 2 milliseconds we had to guess what the word was, in order to drag it into the appropriate category, even having knowledge of roots aided in GrlPwr also winning this round….🥇

We played Knowledge is Power for about 40 minutes and finished up by reviewing a few exercises from our book. Book wise, we are in Chapter 4, and practicing i verbi reflessivi, avere + noun phrases, el cibo, e molti verbi, regolari e irregolari.

🌇 Mi sveglio alle sei.
😋 Ho fame.
🍷 Vorrei un bicchiere di vino rosso.
🚶‍♀️ Vado a scuola a piede.
🖨 Gli studenti vengono al Language Resource Center per printing and tutoring.
🛌 Esco presto perché mi piace addormentarmi presto.

A la prossima settimana ¡Ciao!

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