One common thing people make when they begin to learn Italian by themselves is to memorize word and verb lists. If you think about it it’s the easiest thing to do: you print your list from Google, you read it word by and word, your repeat it and that’s it. But what happens when you try to make sentences in Italian and have your first conversations?
When you only memorize words and verbs taken from a list, chances are these words won’t come out when you try to make your first sentences.
As frustrating as it can be, this is not surprising at all.
Speaking Italian, and languages in general, is not repeating words and verbs like a robot. We need to be able to combine these words and verbs to generate sentences that we will use in our day-to-day conversations.
This is when creativity comes into play.
I know you’re probably thinking that you’re not a creative type of person. I used to think that as well.
I was taught that creative people make original and never-seen-before works of art. Something that is impossible to replicate. Based on that assumption, all my little works and poems were nothing but rubbish to me.
However, creativity is much more than that. I believe it is
the ability to make something with the resources that we have.
If you think about it, it is quite empowering.
We might have very few resources or, speaking in a language learning context, we might know very few words, but we can still make something out of them.
This is why, if you want to make sentences in Italian, you don’t need to wait until you know 1000 words or verbs.
You can begin by combining the words and verbs that you already know and start making your first Italian sentences.
It doesn’t matter if your first sentences will sound basic to you. Don’t judge yourself. If you judge yourself, you will stop the creative flow and this will affect your self-esteem tremendously.
Give yourself the chance to surprise yourself and be a creator in Italian. Even if you know very little. Even if you’re just starting out.
Below you’ll find an exercise that will help you with this. It’s an exercise that I also give to the members of the Speaking Practice Club for “False” Beginners.
In this video lesson, you will see six random words. After that, you will have some time to think about a sentence that you can make with these words.
Say any sentence that comes to your mind. Write them down and check them only in the end.
Always remember to trust yourself and to not worry about making mistakes. The goal of this exercise is not to make a perfect performance, but to start producing your first sentences spontaneously.
If after checking your sentences you realize you have made a mistake, you can take this moment as an opportunity to acknowledge that and make the necessary corrections. Always without judging yourself.
Are you ready to begin?
Press play and take out your inner artist.