giovedì 28 aprile 2011

Subject + verb

Earlier today I was talking to one of my Italian students about the title of this post. The eternal problem Italian and Brazilian students face when learning English is that you NEED a subject for every sentence you make.Things such as 'happened that' (è successo che) or 'was a big problem to park my car' won't do. I can even hear my student saying that in Italian. In Portuguese things such as 'is raining a lot' or  'started to rain now' (comecou a chover agora) are also very popular among students.
The great thing about teaching is that you always learn new things. My student finally explained to me why he 'forgets' to use a subject. He said that using a subject for every sentence is like looking at a blue pen and saying it is blue. Pretty obvious. So I wonder, why conjugate verbs in Italian, Portuguese or in any other language?

Agora um pouco de portugues nao faz mal. Mil perdoes pela falta de acentos. A barra de linguas sumiu do meu computador entao o leitor vai ter de intuir os acentos (nao seria obvio como a necessidade de um sujeito?). Ensinar ingles para italiano difere muito pouco de ensinar ingles para brasileiros. Basicamente, o italiano tem tendencia a falar mais e fazer menos licao de casa. Tem os mesmos probleminhas de sujeito e ordem das palavras e faz uma mistura de auxiliares porque deve achar que quanto mais palavras usar mais certa fica a frase. Uma das grandes diferencas é que o plural deles nao é feito com a letra s e assim eles nao veem razao para usa-la em ingles e se saem com frases perfeitas com os verbos no plural e todos os substantivos no singular como por exemplo 'They are shopping for book and paying with credit card'. Mas o melhor mesmo fica por conta da pronuncia. Um capitulo a parte que merece exclusividade total num proximo post.

Ate mais e na proxima vez com a pontuacao como se deve.


sabato 16 aprile 2011

First post

This is my first post!!!
First of all, who am I? An Italian-Brazilian teacher of English in Milan.That is the reason why I intend to write posts in three languages depending on my mood and on the subject. Which ones? Those I can speak well : Portuguese, English, and Italian.
What can I say about teaching English in Italy?   I should say why I wanted to do that. It's simple. Because there are things about teaching and there are things about Italy that can be shared.
Teaching is all about relationships being built, hard work for both teachers and students and accomplishments.
Italy is about food, beauty and relationships. It is also about art, history and communication. People need to talk in this country. Food is the number one topic. They often describe to their friends what they ate the day before and most important how the food was made and presented and what  it tasted like.
So let't put these two things together. Should all my classes be about eating?  Should we only talk? No wonder many students want conversation classes, no coursebook. Above all they want to know about the teacher. What  do I do in my classes then? We do talk,  they do learn things about me, but I have my hidden agenda. I  want my students to think, to explore the language, the experience of being there so some kind of difference can be made in their lifes. In portuguese we say that some people live their lives as if they came here for a stroll  'vieram a passeio' and some other people don't so we say they haven't come here, that is , into this world just for a stroll. If my students don't consider coming to classes just going for a stroll I am a happy teacher.
That is is for today!! 
I'll keep posting and sharing my experience and my ideas in this great big world.
Take care,