Fluent in 3 Months is a great website I discovered last year after reading Chris Guillebeau’s book “The $100 Start-Up”.
It’s run by Benny the Irish Polyglot who has learned how to accelerate language learning and shares his tips with a worldwide community of thousands. Benny is passionate about dispelling the myth that languages can’t be learned once we’ve reached adulthood.
I was a below average student throughout school and struggled with both academic subjects AND practical ones. I was as useless at woodwork and sport as I was at maths or chemistry. Most kids were at least good at making things; even if they weren’t good at writing essays or solving equations! The only subjects I wasn’t terrible at were French and German but even then I was pretty far from a model student.
It wasn’t until I reached my mid-twenties that I realised despite my unimpressive academic record I still wanted to learn. I wanted to have another go at achieving grades which would do me justice. In my last job where I worked frequently with the probation centre I met hundreds of young men who were in a similar position.
I joined an Italian evening class as a total beginner and started my journey of lifelong learning. I had a wonderful and enthusiastic teacher and made great friends in the class. After three years I gained an A* at GCSE, the following year I narrowly missed out on an A at AS level. I was really disappointed not to achieve an A after putting in so much work but on reflection it was still a good achievement, especially as I was working long hours and fretting about my impending fatherhood at the time!
“Clicca mia foto e acquistare il libro di mio padre o ti telefonerò suoi cugini in Sicilia … Sono stato chiaro?”
Once I became a father, finding the time to continue my studies became really difficult. The flat always needed a good clean and I was also active as a bass player in two gigging bands and moonlighting as a bus-driver.
Then I discovered Playgroup Italiano; a group in East Reading where I could take my little boy to play with other children and learn the language through listening to stories, singing songs and a range of other activities. It’s a great family activity. The other positive was that I’ve made friends with the other parents, most of whom are Italian and so I can practice my conversation on a regular basis.
The playgroup welcomes children and parents who don’t speak Italian and I would recommend it to anybody who would like their child to learn another language while they’re young. It’s amazing to see some of the children there who easily switch between English and Italian and there are a few who speak Chinese and Japanese too. Impressive stuff!
We’d love more families to join, visit the website here – http://playgroupitalianoreading.weebly.com/