I am back! Hello!
I apologize for the absence for the past few months, I have been M.I.A! I’ll explain why!
School has been really busy over the past few weeks, preparing a lot of lessons, marking a lot of tests – the usual school stuff and researching a bunch of stuff for my dissertation! However, what has been keeping me really busy is that I kind of have a second English teaching job!
At the start of February, I joined a language school here in Bari to help improve my Italian even more and so I have been taking a class which is preparing me to do my C1 exam in June! So for 8 hours a week, I go to these classes and we do a lot of speaking and grammar work! So there are 4 people in my class all together. There is me (hello), a Chinese woman who has lived in Bari for 8 years, a Russian woman who has lived in Italy for over 10 years and a Romanian woman who has lived in Italy for 6 years. When we first started the classes, I was so intimidated because they were able to just talking without thinking, no hesitation at all and they didn’t really have any vocabulary problems! One thing I did notice however is that they didn’t really know Italian grammar which is one thing that I do know! It has been such a lovely experience doing these classes because they help me with vocabulary and I help them with grammar. The classes are taught completely in Italian and I can say I have noticed a huge improvement in my Italian and also I feel a lot more confident in my Italian! I now finally understand that it is ok to make mistakes when speaking because you will always learn from them! I wish I had listened to my teachers at school and even at uni! They always said do not be scared to speak, do not be scared to make mistakes, just try! I 100% stand by this advice – please always try! It can’t hurt!
Since taking this class, I have had the opportunity to teach English at the school in the evenings which has been such a great experience! Before I came to Italy, I was told that native English speakers are really sought-after and that English is not taught so well in schools. I can’t count the amount of times I have been asked to do lessons with people because English is my language! However, it was a bit of a shock for me to teach English at the school mainly because I was going to be teaching adults. I am so used to having students that I can have a real conversation with, explaining grammar rules in English and doing fun culture things with them. The adults I teach had no previous knowledge of English, so I had to start way at the beginning which was challenge for me. Furthermore, I teach the class solely in English but there have been times where I have to teach them grammar rules or give them the equivalent word in Italian. I find this more challenging that teaching my usual students. So far so good though! I am really enjoying teaching and this is giving me the opportunity to teach various levels!
Since I have been so busy, I haven’t had the chance to travel much! However, I want to tell you about my trip that I took with my class! As Latin is one of the classes that I teach in, it was only right to have a trip to Pompei!
We set off at 6.30am because it takes around 3 hours to get there from Bari! I was really excited because I have learned a lot about Pompei during the lessons and the students were really happy that they got a day away from school!
Pompei was incredible (even in the 26 degree heat)! Once you enter the ruins, you could see the infamous Vesuvius which was amazing to see in person! The one thing I didn’t realise was how huge the area of the ruins is! We walked for three hours with a tour guide and only managed to see under half of it! In class, we have been following the story of Caecilius and the slaves so the students were really enthusiastic because we were able to walk through the streets where the markets would have been, where the campaigns would have been held (we even got to see some original “graffiti” used to encourage the people to vote for someone). We even saw the house where Caecilius lived.
The best part for me was the amphitheatre which was open to us. After we climbed to the top of the stairs, we were able to see a beautiful view of Pompei and the mountains that surround it. It is hard to believe that the ruins, for the most part, are in great condition. It really gives you a great insight into how life was back then.
The sculptures within Pompei were really interesting as well. I’m not one for Art/Sculptures etc but Italy is really starting to change my mind. There were beautiful sculptures in Pompei; I have never seen anything like it before.
We ended up leaving just before 5pm. At the end of the day, 43 students and 3 teachers were extremely tired!
A few weeks ago, my mum and brother came out to visit me! I was really not expecting them to because both of them are terrified of flying, my mum hadn’t been on a plane since 1999. It was so lovely to have a little piece of home in Bari! Neither of them had ever been to Italy before so it was so much fun to show them around and let them try all the great food too!
I’ll add some more photos of pompei and some other travels!
Next week I will update my blog with my trip to Rome and the South of France!
Just now, I need to go! I am heading to Florence for the weekend!
Buona giornata a tutti!