A text can terrorize you, I know. Maybe it’s long, it talks about a subject you are not even familiar with in your own language, the graphic is a bit depressing and consequently the desire to read it can disappear quickly, but you know it could be another chance to learn Italian! How to study better? Read below!
How to remove stress
First of all, choose something you like! You can find useful resources here. Also, choose the right place to read quietly and comfortably, eating or drinking whatever you like better. Finally, be active in the right way, that means you don’t need to understand everything, but the words without which it’s impossible to understand the general meaning. Free yourself from the anxiety of wanting to understand everything!
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How to study better
Furthermore, you have to learn some strategies: look for how the text is organized and pay attention to headings and subheadings; skim a text to get the main idea and then go back and read it more carefully; guess the approximate meaning by using clues from the surrounding context; make predictions as to what will appear next; use a dictionary so that you can get a detailed sense of what important words mean. If you want to be more active, here you can find two links.
And let’s not even talk about listening. A disaster! A few years ago I was in the USA and I was trying to buy a sandwich in a very famous sandwich shop. A terrible experience. I asked the person who was working there to repeat four times the same question that actually was a very simple one: “Do you want a bag?” My God!
How to be stress-free
A very useful suggestion comes from an old Italian textbook called Volare: is understanding the opposite of not understanding? No! You can understand 25% or 50% or even 1%. The more you listen the more you understand. So even in this case, we have some recommendations. Be relaxed because you need cold blood to access to a “Mission Impossible” experience. Probably, when you listen the first time, your mind could wander, but don’t worry because it is normal. Someone says it’s better if you lower the lights. Last but not least, try to give yourself different tasks every time you listen. Here you can find some links to work on listening.
How to stop feeling stressed
Furthermore, we have some suggestions. Make an ongoing effort to listen to talk shows on the radio, watch TV shows, or go see movies in the new language; practice “skim listening” by paying attention to some parts and ignoring others; make every effort to understand what you have heard without translating it word-for-word into your native language; use the speaker’s tone of voice as a clue to meaning; look to the speaker’s gestures and general body language as clues to meaning; draw on your general background knowledge in an effort to get the main idea.
The challenge for this week is to upload a text or audio you want to understand and we are going to try to help you with our stress-free teaching skills!