Learning in context; the most effective and fun way to learn a language
How many times have you tried remembering those useful phrases you read from a travel pocket book on a specific language, before going on a holiday, only to realise too late that you did not succeed in storing them in your long term memory?
You are not alone, but why does this happen?
This happens because those words we attempted to store do not take on the meaning, in our minds, that they would if we had learned and used them in context. Even though second language acquisition in children is different compared to adults, we know that monolingual children learn their only language, in context, right from the beginning.
In this situation, the parents play a key role in their language development. Children are driven by the necessity of communicating and the only exposure they get to their first/second or more languages is everyday real life situations which are filled with context.
Children are better language learners than adults but, we still have the chance of becoming fluent speakers in the desired language by learning from as much real life context as possible, because this method effectively helps language learning.
So, forget about learning countless random lists of vocabulary and verbs by heart or playing structure-less games on an app, because they will lead to the terrible “systematic forgetting” we mentioned earlier. Instead, give meaning to those words and you will notice a tremendous positive shift in your new language attainment.
That is the reason why my teaching methodology live & learn Italian was born 10 years ago.
Now, I have decided to transform my face to face workshops in a series of video lessons and give you the chance to test the language you have learned.
Italian breakfast at home
The typical Italian breakfast at home usually doesn’t consist of cappuccino and cornetto, but of caffè, caffè latte for adults, hot or cold milk for kids with very little coffee if they would like. Thanks to the innovative solutions brought by the advancement of technology, nowadays Italians can also make their beloved cappuccino at home.
When it comes to food, both adults and children might choose to eat biscotti, merendine (package sweet snacks) or fette biscottate with jam (butter is usually consumed in the North of Italy where the climate is colder).
Let’s get into some action now and start learning Italian in context! If you enjoy the video please subscribe to my channel and share it on social media
Now test what you learned from this “live & learn” experience
Please note that cappuccinos are usually had in the morning and only with sweet snacks if any.
If you want to ask for a latte you need to ask for caffè latte otherwise you will get a weird glance and eventually be served a glass of cold milk!
To complete your Italian experience, here are five Italian idioms related to drinks
► Nella botte piccola c’è il vino buono
Literally: in small barrels there’s good wine
Meaning: good things come in small packages
Big doesn’t necessarily mean better.
This Italian expression underlines how small and simple people or things have the best qualities. In other countries this proverb refers to things in general. In Italy refers to wine as this delicious nectar is deeply appreciated by Italians. As a matter of fact, there is a wide range of Italian idioms related to wine.
► Perdersi in un bicchiere d’acqua
Literally: to get lost in a glass of water.
Meaning: you’re making something big out of something small or simple. In English we could say that you’re making a mountain out of a molehill.
► Non si può avere la botte piena e la moglie ubriaca
Literally: one can’t have a full barrel and a drunken wife
Meaning: you can’t have your cake and eat it too
This proverb explains how one should not want more than one deserves or can handle. This expression as a matter of fact, is based on two of the greatest passions of an Italian: wine and love.
► In vino veritas
Literally: in wine there is truth
This is a Latin phrase meaning “wine makes people tell the truth.” This expression comes from the ancient Rome and Italians are still using this proverb in the original language; strong evidence of the fact that wine has been playing a significant part in the life of the Italian peninsula since Roman times.
Now test your knowledge!
Interesting facts about the Italian coffee culture
The social hub in Italy is the bar, a sort of coffee shop where hot drinks and food are served. However, in the Italian bar you will also be able to purchase alcohol and have an aperitif. Italians love stopping by at their local bar to get a quick coffee fix in the morning and chat with their peers.
Bars serve aperitifs before lunch and before dinner.
An ordinary aperitif consists of an alcoholic or non-alcoholic drink served with finger food, green olives, crisps and peanuts.
The coffee culture presence in Italy is so strong that is also reflected in the economy, in fact, Italy is one of the world’s largest importers of coffee beans. There are 700 coffee-roasting businesses and circa one-third of the coffee roasted in Italy is then blended, packaged and later exported worldwide especially to Germany, France, Austria, USA and Australia.
As of 2018, Italians drink on average 2.2 coffees a day which equals to 6 kg per head a year. This means that 97% of the Italian adult population drink coffee daily!
There are around 149,000 bars in Italy with each one going through 1.2 kg of coffee a day to prepare on average 175 coffee-based drinks. The most popular ones seem to be espresso and cappuccino with the latter being the tourists’ favourite at any time of the day. Italians consume cappuccino only in the morning and never after lunch or dinner as milk is hard to digest.
Coffee drinks in Italy don’t cost a fortune, hence it’s a custom to invite peers or colleagues and pay for everyone. An espresso bar price usually sits at 1 Euro, whilst a cappuccino is usually 1.30 euros with prices probably slightly higher in the North of Italy because the North the richest part of the Italian peninsula.