* for step No.1 please read my previous article about THE GOLDEN MOTIVATION
As Aristotle was saying is not enough to wish for something you also have to do it. I had my Motivation List done when I realised that I am just at the beginning, I took a minute and counted all the words I knew in Italian – Ciao, Buongiorno, Uno, Due, Caffè, Mafia. I had 6 words and the Grande Dizionario Italiano dell’ Uso was telling me that there are 270.000 words in Italian. Of course, six is better than nothing, and I looked again at my Golden List.
And my warrior spirit spoke: No matter how big and far is your goal, you just take a paper and make a plan, choose a strategy, break it in small actions, and start acting – soon you will be there.
I continued the syllogism, language is a tool, we use it to transmit ideas and thoughts, material or abstract notions and all words are preset codes that we all learn in order to be able to communicate with others that know the same code (language). Now things were getting simpler, first I needed to learn words.
No teacher in this world could learn words for me this was exclusively my job. Luckily I live in the XXI century, technologies are here to help me to do almost everything. And I must say I was surprised how many wonderful free tools there are on the internet that can help you simply to learn vocabulary. I started to learn words on http://www.duolingo.com, and for the next 3 months, I practised daily around 30 min. For me it was a great solution as I did not really felt learning, it was more like a game, free and always accessible on my phone and computer. After 3 months, the app counted that I knew 1500 words. I was able to make simple sentences of course with some errors, but I was making sentences!
Although I thought it is a good result, and my friends from Italy observed that for only 3 months of studying, I knew a lot. A problem occurred, I was talking like a robot, naturally, I thought, I learned from a robot. As I had a pretty unsteady schedule, I was able to find an hour per day to study Italian but I was not able to find an Italian that would be always available for me early in the morning or late in the night. I needed another solution, and I found something suitable, http://www.memrise.com, it was very useful as there I was able to listen how Italians truly pronouns words. I turn off the sound on Duolingo, and continue to practice on both apps. This was great, I felt how I grow very fast but at some point, I felt this is not enough, and the internet saved me again. Lucky me, I found on Facebook a great page https://www.facebook.com/italianoautomatico/ Alberto and his Grandmother were my company every day during my lunch break, I was listening to them 2 or 3 times, and this routine exercise developed my comprehension level very much. Thank you, Nonna & Alberto.
As things are not always smooth, I faced a new problem, I think that those of you that are constantly training in the gym will understand me, at some point you need to add more weight or muscles don’t grow. This was the exact feeling I had about my Italian, a good shape, some visible results but after 5 months of daily practising, I wanted more than just a slight feeling of rising, I wanted to feel a significant improvement. I added in my daily language training the reading of an article, radio, conversations with natives. I had 6 months of continuous practice and 2500 known words in my vocabulary. I was able to express more complex thoughts, still with some errors, but they were complex! I looked back and I was very proud of me, I felt I did a very good job, I worked hard and the result was evident. My Italian was like a hard acquired diamond, a real treasure. Everything was almost perfect but my diamond needed to be polished if I wanted to wear it proudly. It was time for a personal, professional approach. I started to look for a teacher. All free tools I was able to found on the internet were great, they helped me a lot but in the end without a good teacher that would help me through until the end was impossible to achieve fluency. My journey continues and I promise to come back with more details about the step No. 3, meaning – how to Masteries a Language.