How To Teach A Group Of 2-3 Years Old Teaching English in Italy: Some Challenges That Italian Language Learners Face When Learning English

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Teaching English in Italy: Some Challenges That Italian Language Learners Face When Learning English

I spent years studying the Italian language and leading an Italian social club in Atlanta, Georgia. In all, he was an English as a second language (ESOL) teacher in various American schools for 21 years. I was then employed in Italy as an English teacher for Italian students while, in my spare time, I wrote articles, poetry and fiction stories. The purpose of this article is to provide ESOL and TEFL teachers with some advice on the challenges that Italian speakers often face when learning the English language. Each group of people with a unique language faces its own challenges, but there are specific mistakes that tend to be made by most Italian students of English at the beginning and intermediate levels. If it is not correct in the early stages, those errors will later be difficult to unlearn.

Until a student reaches an intermediate level of proficiency, it is difficult to explore English literary analysis. That is why the first six months focus mainly on reading, writing, listening and speaking with some attention to grammar. I often use some grammar to explain the basic rules before putting those rules into practical use for direct communication. Most Italian students are very concerned about grammar, although it is clear that you cannot rely only on grammar to speak fluently and clearly. Having had many experiences with the English and Italian languages, I have divided the primary challenges that Italians face into four categories: (1) problems with the use of gerunds, -ing verbs and infinitives; (2) problems with the use of phrasal verbs; (3) challenges with the pronunciation of “-ed” and “th”; (3) problems distinguishing between when to use the present versus the present continuous; and (4) Innate concern of Italian students to learn conditional tenses.

First of all, it is not easy for Italian speakers to decide which verbs should be followed by an -ing verb and which verbs should be followed by an infinitive verb. If teachers explore the Internet, they can find lists of those verbs that must each be followed by -ing forms or infinitive forms. If students spend some time practicing these gerunds and infinitives that follow other verbs, they will do much better in tests like the TOEFL and IALTs tests. Since students usually do not know where to find these lists of verbs followed by gerunds vs. infinitives, it will be worth your time to find them for your students and keep them in your files for when they are useful. Students can learn to use these verbs correctly by practicing. For example, the verbs “agree” and “consent” must be followed by infinitives. Therefore, one says: “I agree to sign the paper, and I agree to buy the books.” On the other hand, the verbs “admit” and “practice” must be followed by gerunds. Therefore, one says: “Admitted to hide the present, and practice the dance.”

One of the reasons Italians report difficulty in using prepositions is due to the many English phrasal verbs that include prepositions as part of the verb. Some examples include: put, put, put and take away. Students should understand that phrasal verbs are like single words that work as a pair to create a unit with a specific meaning. All you have to do is change the preposition after the verb and the meaning of the verb will change completely. It is useful to provide students with a list of common phrasal verbs and to encourage them to begin studying those pairs rather than presenting a few at a time. Numerous lists are available on the Internet and in books, so the faster students become familiar with phrasal verbs, the better off they will be in the long run. English has a large list of phrasal verbs that can be easily confused.

The “th” sound is usually very difficult for Italians because this sound does not exist in their language. Fortunately, most Italians learn the “th” sound when they have a native speaker give them individual pronunciation lessons. It does not seem to be a big obstacle, but if it does not indicate the correct sound to the Italian speakers from the beginning, it is likely that they will continue to make the “t” or “d” sounds in the place where one would. usually pronounces “th” and this results in mispronouncing words like “tree” instead of “three”. Once students have dealt with the “th” and -ed sounds, they will be able to express themselves much more confidently.

It is essential to point out to Italian students that the -ed at the end of gerunds and adjectives is usually a “t” or “d” sound, unless -ed follows “t” or “d”. In other words, a term like “jump” is pronounced “jump” as the letter “e” remains silent. The word “played” sounds like “playd” without the letter “e”. Students benefit from learning the correct pronunciation early because such errors become more difficult to correct later. It can be quite difficult for speakers of a phonetic language like Italian to understand the concept that English is not only a phonetic language, but that there are other sound patterns that are very different from its spelling. Such patterns include digraphs such as mb and th or trigraphs such as dge, tch and chr.

The problems faced by Italians learning English are often different from those problems faced by Spanish speakers learning English. Fortunately, Italians do not pronounce the “es” sound before vowels, a common mistake in Spanish, such as in “eSpanish” or “especial”. Instead, Italians tend to add the “h” sound to some words, between two vowels, when the “h” is not needed as in “vai h-away” and leave out the “h” sound at the beginning of many words. like “home”. Often, the words “angry” and “hungry” are mispronounced to convey wrong messages.

One of the first aspects of verb tenses that we explain in class is how English speakers constantly use the present continuous and how its use differs from that of the simple present tense. Any English speaker who has studied Italian in depth knows that Italians use the simple present to describe almost any action they describe that is of the present moment. While English speakers use the present tense to describe objects in the room, to describe usual events, and to explain a story they have already read, English speakers use the present continuous to describe an ongoing action that they do at the moment. For example, English speakers say: “I am sitting at the table where I am drinking coffee and talking with my friend.” Instead, Italians say: “Mi siedo al tavolo dove bevo un café e parlo con mio amico” which literally means: I sit at the table where I drink coffee and talk with my friend. If teachers do not point out that English speakers use the present continuous (to be + ing) to describe actions that have happened, there is a risk that Italian speakers will continue to speak and write incorrectly in the present tense simple tense for years to come. Of course, English speakers who learn Italian also risk using the present continuous too often when speaking Italian if they are not aware of the differences in usage.

For those people who are starting to learn English or to teach English, we recommend starting with the following verb tenses: the present simple, the present continuous, the present perfect, the simple past, the future and the future continuous. Students will be eager to learn all the tenses immediately, but I believe these tenses will be the most practical for a quick start. When I learned what I know of Italian 34 years ago, I started with the simple present and the infinitive form. I was playing with the language, and I always suggest to start with a playful attitude when using English verbs. Sometimes you have to dive in and take risks to make long-term progress. After all, language is mainly a tool of spontaneous communication that binds us for the betterment of society as a whole if we only have patience.

There are four conditionals that play an important role in the English curriculum, so if you are a new English teacher who intends to teach English in Italy, I recommend that you be prepared to teach those four conditionals (0, 1, 2, 3 ) at first. start teaching formally in the classroom. The most important thing is the distinction between the 0 and the 1st conditional. The conditional 0 describes something usual that is repeated whenever the condition occurs. For example: If it rains, I don’t water the plants. Instead, the 1st conditional describes something that happens once like: If it rains, we won’t work outside. Italian students tend to understand the first two conditionals quite well because they correspond directly with the Italian conditionals. The 3rd conditional tense is used to show something that is very unlikely without meeting a specific condition: If I won the lottery, I will write books. The 4th condition is impossible since a past condition has not been fulfilled before: If I had remembered to study, I would not have failed the math test. I would recommend making your own chart with examples of the four conditions on it before the first day of class, and keep it handy. Teachers can customize their own cards to meet the specific needs of their students based on their ages, different cultures and language levels.

Personalizing your teaching will make lessons much more enjoyable for students. You will probably have to do some research to meet the needs of your class because everyone is a unique individual with their own learning style. Teachers should not neglect to consider that different strategies work for different students and that a wide range of visual, audio and kinesthetic experiences will be appreciated.

I hope this summary of the major problems facing English language learners in Italy will be useful to anyone who decides to teach English in Italy. The challenges that one language group faces vary from those of other language groups, so if you teach in Thailand, for example, the challenges will be different from those described in this article. Most of this knowledge is based on my study of the English and Italian languages ​​in a comparative way. I found that having the basic knowledge of the learner’s first language was a useful tool that did not prevent me from using the English language as the first means of communication in my classes. Once you teach English in Italy, you will recognize the basic challenges described in this article and it should be easy for you to hone in on the most important lessons you want to teach.

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