Impressions about a new personal challenge

Last week I held the first Italian lesson in the office of the organisation. I was really excited by this challenging experience because it is not as simple as it may seems.

I studied Italian language at the University of Milan, the linguistic and the history of my language. I thought that in some way I would have manage the preparation of the classes, but it was way more difficult. Because to know a language is not the same thing of teach it to others, specially do it in English for foreigners.

But I was really motivated, I asked for help and some suggestions and I managed something. Of course, I have to improve and became more confident with the teacher role, to which I am totally not used.

My interest in trying this activity is based also on my future plans. Having studied Italian literature and language in Milan give me different job opportunities, and one of these is teaching. I’m not really interested in teaching at school, but the job of teaching Italian to the foreign people and immigrants in Italy really is something I would like to do. Most of all, to help people integrate in my country and give them instruments to build a life there.

More specifically, last week I started with three different activities and project related to teaching Italian: one is held all by my own, here in the organisation, with the people who answered to my call of free Italian classes; one is at Helen Doron English school, where they teach English to kids from around 4 years old to around 12 years old with some new interesting methods; the third projects is with a class of student from a Prilep high school, who have to start Italian language as a subject in school next year and the teacher asked me to help them to be introduced to the language.

Three different types of classes and students make it even more challenging for me. I have to learn how to teach my language based on the level and age of the class, and this means a lot of adaptability and flexibility.

The main trouble I have right now is to really understand how deeply can I go into explaining something, like a grammar rule or a sentence meaning and construction. Because if with kids everything has to be funnier and practical, memorizing words throughout games and activities, with the high schooler I should explain to them deeper how to construct a sentence, so that they can also have the knowledge to build their own sentences and to understand the written Italian language.

And guess what? For me is easier to teach to the student of the high school, because that’s how I also studied my language. With kids instead, I have to put myself in their condition, the same of when I was a child too, but it’s obviously something I can’t remember, so It’s really hard.

I finally think this teaching experience is really useful and interesting for me, not just for the practice of teaching something to someone, that is always different from have the knowledge about the subject, but also to find out if this type of job can be suitable for me. And of course, I’m always happy to help the teachers here in Prilep to make interesting classes for their students inviting a foreigner person like me, or to help curious people to learn my language.

article by Beatrice Colnaghi

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