Italian 101: New School Requires Old School

I feel like I have so much to talk about when it comes to my learning project. This weeks focus will be on my experience using Twitter, Instagram, blogs and Facebook to connect with others in order to learn Italian. I am also going to talk about my progress with Duolingo (which is still my go to app). The last thing I will talk about is how new school learning requires old school methods. I have included a few videos reviewing the accounts I follow. They are quite long and not very polished unfortunately (it wasn’t a good day for vlogging in my life but I had  been trying to get these videos done since last Thursday so I just wanted to get them finished finally).

Twitter

I started following a variety of accounts on Twitter. I have found that of the accounts I follow very few seem to be very helpful in learning the language. I have attempted to tweet a few times in Italian but most of the time I need to use a translator to help me form a complete sentence.

A tweet to classmate Elizabeth who is also learning Italian

A tweet to classmate Elizabeth who is also learning Italian

I feel as though I am on the right track with using Twitter to learn a language but I need to find more accounts that are useful to follow. I took the advice from my feedback by Katia and decided to create a list on Twitter of the people I follow to learn Italian. It will be much easier to locate and focus my learning on Twitter now.

My learning Italian Twitter list

My learning Italian Twitter list

In the following video I take you through some of the Twitter accounts I have recently followed and give you a brief overview of each. Some of them are much better than others and I will continue to follow them after this class, but at the end of class I will go back and delete some of the accounts that I have found are less useful.

Instagram

I have found a few accounts to follow on Instagram and also created an Instagram account that I tried to use to share some of my learning. I say tried to use because I haven’t really kept up with it. I found that I wasn’t able to attract any followers and because of that I quickly lost interest. It is something that I should reconsider however because I think that a photo blog or flash card type posts are a great way to learn.  I have actually also had trouble locating my account to share on here. My account name is AshleyLearnsItalian and it was created as a second account on my phone. I have taken a few screenshots to share so that you can see what I had done.

I have also reviewed all of the accounts I have followed. I would love to find more to follow and will keep an eye out for more accounts that I can learn from.

Blogs and Facebook

Through my blog I was able to connect with Stephanie who had commented on my blog. She was able to suggest a Facebook page for me to follow – I’mpariamo l’italiano. Unfortunately I found the page to be beyond my current level of understanding but maybe someday I will be able to use the site. Stephanie also recommended iTalki which I had heard of before but after having her recommend it I am making it a goal to use it before the end of class. I of course started following Stephanie’s blog and have found it quite nice to read and learn from. I also started following the Conversational Italian blog through the @travelitalian1 twitter account. Here is my review of Facebook and the blogs I follow.

Duolingo

I have decided the reason I keep going back to Duolingo is because it is just like a game. It makes learning a little more fun. But I have also discovered that because it is like a game I often don’t focus as much as I should when I am using it preventing me from actually absorbing the material at times. I am wondering if it has become a way for me to procrastinate or kill some time yet still learn something.  I have also added the Italian keyboard to my phone to help me with spelling Italian words when using Duolingo. Check out this video on my progress and experience this past week using Duolingo.

New School Requires Old School

This whole time I have been so focused on using online tools to learn that I have assumed I would be able to learn a language without writing anything down. I know I said in an earlier post that one of my goals was to write down words that I was having trouble remembering but I never stuck to that (it seems to be a reoccurring theme for me…setting goals only to forget about them). The problem is that learning is tough, especially online independent learning. There are so many goals I could set and so many different things that I can be working on that would be helpful. The trouble is knowing which goals I should continue to work on or which methods will help me the most. I was emailed a few articles that have some tips for learning a language on your own and although I am using technology to learn online, that doesn’t mean I give up traditional ways of learning completely. For example, when trying to memorize words it is useful to write the words down on a flashcard.  It’s also important to organize your time, make it fun and stay focused.  And if all else fails guess or make up the words you are looking for. You just might surprise yourself.

I am happy to say that my scores on my reflection rubric for this week have improved since last week so I obviously feel like I am making progress.

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4 thoughts on “Italian 101: New School Requires Old School

  1. Ciao Ashley! Thank you for mentioning my blog Conversational Italian! You make some very good points about language learning. At different stages of our learning, we need different types of materials. Also, adults need a different vocabulary from what is usually taught in high schools and colleges. That is why I created my books, “Conversational Italian for Travelers” for Italian-Americans who were not taught Italian in the home, but now are getting back to their roots. My Conversational Italian! blog contains excerpts from this series of books.

    As a long-time student of Italian, as well as a teacher, I have really tried with my books to explain Italian as clearly as possible – even making tables for you! Learn short phrases first, and then progress to longer phrases as you learn more vocabulary and sentence structure. Even advanced students have difficulty “putting the words together” to make a sentence in a different language. Advanced students might find my other blog: http://blog.learntravelitalian.com/ which talks about sentence structure and gives example essays with blanks for advanced students to fill in helpful as well.

    And, of course, learning another language also gives you tremendous insight into other cultures. For me, that is what makes it fun! Hope to hear again how you are progressing. – Kathryn for Learntravelitalian.com.

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  2. Great post Ashley! I really enjoyed your videos to show your progress and might have to steal that idea! I also think creating a Twitter list is a great idea (might poach this one as well).
    I am not sure what is up with your Instagram account. So weird! I set up a completely different account for my Instagram account, not a secondary one and maybe that is the trick?
    I think trying some of the old school ways like you mentioned of writing things on flash cards might help!
    Keep up the great work!!

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  3. Thank you for reviewing my blog, I wasn’t expecting it! 🙂

    I’m sorry the FB page I suggested isn’t useful, but it’s been really interesting to see your perspective on on it as an Italian learner. It’s something I’ll bear in mind before I recommend any other materials, so thank you for reviewing that page as well.

    Keep up the good work!

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  4. Pingback: Italian 101: Kickin’ it Old School | Ashley Murray

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