The creative adult is the child who survived.
How do you apply creativity to your Italian learning routine?
Have you ever thought of adding a pinch of creativity to boost your learning process and have fun along the way? If so, this is for you!
What is creativity to you?
Do you remember doodling or building with Legos as a child?
Do you remember that lovely feeling of pleasure and being in the moment? Maybe, you felt detached from the outside world, absorbed with your inner self, creating.
So, how about “learning outside of the box” and finding alternative ways to speak Italian faster or better?
In this article, I put together 17 out-of-the-box ideas that you can embrace to learn Italian in a not-so-traditional way. Do you want to add a suggestion to this list? Write it down in the comments!
1. Journaling in Italian
I will never grow tired of singing the praise of the power of writing as a means to convert passive Italian vocabulary into active vocabulary. When you sit down and write in Italian, you gift yourself the time to slow down the pace of life and think through your day. Write down in Italian your accomplishments and failures while browsing on WordReference how to say something that happened in your day. How effective and beautiful is being able to tell your own story in Italian?
2. Inventing stories by using visual prompts
What’sWhat’s the best way to learn? By doing and creating. I know that you piled up tons of Italian words and tenses in your subconscious drawer. The magic happens when you make an effort to string them together and give sense to it all. Describing images, or better, telling stories based on visual prompts, is an outstandingly creative way to boost your imagination and Italian fluency.
Use storybirds.com to get many fantastic visual prompts for free, and unleash your Italian creativity.
3. Take an Italian cooking course
Raise your hand if you love Italian cuisine. How cool does it sound to learn Italian cooking too? After all, it is an exceptional skill to share with your family and friends and lift your spirits. If you live in a big city, there is a good chance you can join an Italian cooking course (I know some schools organize regular workshops). Another option is giving yourself a treat and traveling to Italy to take a cooking class at the home of your Italian teacher, or you can subscribe to one of the dozens of YouTube channels devoted to Italian cooking in Italian.
According to a study, doodling and drawing can help you retain and process information faster. Put an Italian song on your iPhone and doodle. If you are not satisfied with your drawing, and you want to practice the fine art of Italian writing, go for it. Write a short caption in Italian of what you doodled.
5. Write your biography in Italian.
Stories have united humans and are also the best way for humans to learn because we enjoy learning through stories. We want to hear and read someone else’s account. What about writing your own story in the shape of a biography? One of my students did it. In a Google Doc, he wrote down his life story, sharing pictures along with fun and sad anecdotes. For him, it was an incredible introspective journey in his life in Italian. It was one of my best experiences as a Language Coach. Not to mention, he received excellent results on his C1 examination.
6. Sing in Italian
Use Lyricstraining to tune up your Italian listening skills, learn Italian vocabulary, and get acquainted with Italian pop music. How does it work? You pick an Italian song, you set your level of Italian (beginner, intermediate, or advanced). As you watch the music video that you have chosen, the lyrics are presented below. You can fill in the gaps with the missing words in the songs. This is a killer method, that other than helping you reinforce your Italian grammar and learn new expressions, will help you better your ability to recognize sounds. If you have no idea about who the coolest Italian singers are, check out my post here.
7. Take a yoga retreat in Italy
A language is a tool, and the ultimate goal is to use it to get something else. Are you a yoga fan? Combine two of the things you are passionate about, and the result will astonish you. There are plenty of retreats in many beautiful, off-the-beaten-track destinations in Italy. Go for it. Fulfill your soul in Italy and boost your Italian Language fluency.
8. Join creative workshops in Italy
Are you into painting? Are you into music? Do you like making pottery? Look for an art or music workshop in Italy. Science proves that learning a language in a real-life context is the most beneficial and successful way to absorb a language. Don’t limit yourself to just traveling to Italy. Make Italy a place where you can learn new skills or empower your passions.
9. Translating Italian poetry or songs into your native language
Do you love poetry or songs? There many Italian poems and songs which are classic works of art and are thus translated into many other languages. You could pick a poem or a song by a famous Italian author and attempt a translation in your native language.
10 . Go on a vacation with Italian people
Do you like traveling? Is your level of Italian good enough to engage in small talk with real Italian people? Join a group holiday organized by an Italian tour operator. Go to Africa or Peru with Italian people. Browse on the internet something like “”gruppi avventura Italia”” and go for it. Sound scary? One of my incredible students did it, and he/she had a blast and a fabulous Italian time in India!
11. Watch Disney movies in Italian
Who doesn’t love Disney movies? All Disney movies are dubbed into Italian. The dialogues and conversations of the films are far from complicated, as they are suitable for children. You can use the Italian films to work on your listening skills, increase your Italian, or have quality time!
12. Go to the Opera
Opera is a product of Italy. If you live in a city with a theatre, chances are at some point in the year, an Italian Opera will be displayed. Before attending the show, why not prepare for the Opera you are going to listen to? You can find plenty of Italian Opera materials online, including Italian vocab and grammar textbooks tailor-made for Opera lovers, like this one.
13. Work remotely from Italy
Are you one of the lucky ones who does not need to go to the office every single day? Is your company allowing you to work remotely for some time? Are you freelancing? Create your temp-office in Italy. Even though some Italian cities can be touristy and expensive, finding cheap accommodation in small or medium Italian towns is a piece of cake. Remember, the smaller and less touristy the city, the more likely you will be to speak and polish your Italian.
14. Start a studygram account
Does anyone know what IG is? You can use it to create a #studygram account to post your Italian language learning journey via short videos or pictures with captions. Using the right hashtags, you can enter the language Studygram community, which, I assure you, is fun!
15. Backpack in Italy
Italy is one beautiful country to backpack, simply because the landscape is so diverse. Italy is a beautiful and safe country to walk through and to experience from city to city. You would be amazed at how much the people, the landscape, and even the food can vary from one town to the next, even when 50 miles apart. Slow traveling in off-the-beaten-track Italian places will give you the time and motivation to interact and speak with the locals.
16. Volunteer in Italy
Do you want to spend your time off differently? Join a volunteer camp in Italy. Many organizations and NGOs are promoting these types of experiences. How cool would it be, not just speaking Italian, but learning about Italy through volunteering to protect the environment, etc.? Language is about connecting with people, so use the Italian language to connect with people in a new and helpful way.
17. European Civil Service in Italy
If you are European and you are between 18 and 30, you can apply for Italy’s European civil service. The EVS is a Program funded by the EU to foster youth mobility in Europe. You can volunteer for 6 to 12 months at an NGO in Italy and contribute to empowering local communities, protecting the environment, and the likes. How cool is learning Italian like that?
Do you want to add a suggestion to this list? Write it down in the comments!