19 August 2012

The RobertDeNiroTalkingItalian Plan- What is it?

Diagnostic tests are sobering.

I've been beavering away at my self-structured Italian plan now since about March. In May I got more structured, in August even more structured. I thought I'd get a reading on my level, because I'm thinking about writing a paper on the process.

Knowing that I'm going to live in Italy was the main reason for trying this self-structured approach. It's cost-effective and convenient. I've spent $100 so far on software and a few books. I study on the bus, when I'm walking, evenings and weekends at home as it fits my schedule. I'm focussing on foundational content--grammar, basic pronunciation, reading, writing and listening skills. I spend anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours each day, just about every day.

I've got resources galore, including pen pals in Rome, Milan and Torino, apps, podcasts, websites, newspapers, radio and TV, films, and a language course (beginner to advanced) on my laptop. I'm connected up with an Italian teacher in Rome, Monica. I can email her a question I just can't find the answer too. My Milanese penpal and I trade correcting our emails; she's learning English. My Roman and Torinese penpals write in Italian.

It's also effective because I know how I learn a language best. Living it. But living it without the structure and rules at my command doesn't work for me. So, the DeNiro plan is about waiting to talk Italian, and using the time till then to exploit all the other things I can do to live it now. It's an experiment. We'll see if it works

I'm at the elementary level.

Robert De Niro's Waiting, Talking Italian