Review of Talk Italian 2

Download a PDF version of this article

Is Italy and Italian still on your mind? Talk Italian 2 is the course for you! BBC active is the: Best – Bold – Concise way to continuing learning Italian.

Review of © Alwena Lamping, 2007 – Talk Italian 2 – The ideal course for improving your Italian. BBC Educational Publishers LLP editor

Talk Italian 2 follows and is in step with the Talk Italian absolute beginner course of the BBC active series.

The course, book and CDs, is self-contained and learners that wish to improve their existing beginner’s knowledge of the language can easily use it for independent study.

The book and CDs of this course can also be used in the classroom and some of its activities can be assigned as homework. Teachers can choose to develop methods and techniques as they wish, for their classroom, however they will find the existing free support and activities available at: http://www.bbcactivelanguages.com/TeachersHome/ResourcesItalian/tabid/98/Default.aspx, very helpful. The course has ten units related to topics of everyday life. Topics include: personal information, numbers, work and daily routine, giving and obtaining advice, leisure activities, description of people and places, shopping, giving and obtaining opinions, dealing with problems, holidays and weather, health issues, invitations and instructions. An aspect of the Italian culture related to the topic matter in hand is introduced in each unit, enticing the learner in wanting to find out more. The subsequent activities are well structured and provide a clear path to active learning involving practices in all fours skills such as reading, writing, listening and speaking. Learners can listen to the CDs in conjunction with the book or as stand-alone activity. The English instructions given are very clear and there are several native speakers involved in the Italian dialogues. This feature is particularly important and useful for the learner as different intonations and accents are to be found in real life situations. Of particular interest to the independent or classroom learner is the ‘Quiz’ and self-evaluation section: ‘Now check whether you can’… to review the work done and what is learned at the end of each topic. In some units, the ‘In più’ section allows further practice and helps to underpin important grammar points.

Is grammar not your ‘forte’? You’ll enjoy using this jargon-free book with practical examples. Get active and have no fear to speak or write, using this book as companion.

Review of © Alwena Lamping, 2009 – Talk Italian Grammar – Your essential guide for learning Italian – BBC Educational Publishers LLP

To get a better understanding of all main grammar points, the Talk Italian Grammar – your essential guide for learning Italian – is a great mini-reference book to have while learning the language independently or in a classroom. It complements the Talk Italian 1 and 2 series and gives any learner of Italian an insight on how the language works. If you are not conversant with grammar terminology, you’ll find clear explanations of what they mean, in the last few pages of the book before the – Answers- section.

The book begins giving useful information on how it can be used and great tips on language learning and how to make the most of learning resources such as dictionaries. It also highlights differences between Italian and English grammar. The grammar points are explained in a simple form and at the end of each explanation the ‘How to use them’ section offers many practical examples. There are 20 ‘Checkpoints’ throughout the book, one after each grammar point covered. In the checkpoint the learner is kept active having to answer many questions related to what they have learned and the ‘Answers’ section at the back of the book provides timely feedback.


Both books are suitable for learners of Italian that wish to achieve a basic to elementary level of language learning reaching up to an A2 level within the CEFR (Common European Frame of Reference). If I were to use these books in the classroom, I would integrate them with more cultural information to increase the learner awareness and understanding of the Italian language, traditions and its people. Also I would include more activities to foster spoken and written communication as well as integrating more grammar practice. In my opinion, these books are more suitable for independent learners that have limited time to deepen their knowledge of the language but wish to be better prepared in dealing with everyday situations encountered when visiting Italy on holiday.

Author

I teach Italian as a Discovery Theme module in Languages for All (LfA) in the School of Languages Cultures and Societies. I have been a Teaching Fellow at the University of Leeds for the past nineteen years, and I am the Language Co-ordinator of the Italian modules. I collaborate and lead on a number of projects which were instrumental in developing and putting into practice the ethos and rationale embedded in our student-centred teaching philosophy.

I have been an External Examiner for the Italian Language at the University of Huddersfield and at Hallam Sheffield University. I have been an examiner for AQA and EDEXCEL and a RSA and GNVQ assessor. I love teaching Italian and believe that it is important to create a purposeful, familiar and safe environment in the classroom and around University to give students a positive learning experience.

 

View profile