Studying languages is undoubtedly nice but the real fun begins when you put them into use.
Spending time on books and apps to learn grammar and vocabulary is great but the satisfaction that comes from finally being able to make yourself understood is unbeatable.
I have been learning languages all my life and, even if I love dictionaries and words and I am not scared of grammar rules, the thing I treasure the most is being able to speak and create connections with other people.
I began studying English when I was 12 – and I haven’t stopped since – and two things helped me a great deal in improving my language skills during those first stages of language learning: listening to music and writing to pen pals all over the world.
Having to sit down and write a letter really helped me focus on sentence building and on learning new vocabulary to be able to express my thoughts. But the thing that really kept me going was the fact that I needed to learn new things to be able to communicate with someone, not just to make some tedious homework for my teacher.
I was enthusiastic because, for the first time, I was really using the language.
This experience has been so important to me that I’ve decided to bring it into the world of Instantly Italy. I wanted to bring the language outside of our virtual world and make it a tool to connect with other people who share the same love for the Italian language – and practice your language skills at the same time.
Moreover, it’s the beginning of a new year and I thought it could be a positive thing to start it with a creative project that helps you use the language you love so much and maybe find a friend, near or far, who shares the same passion you have and find a way to help each other learn more.
This is why I have created #tiregalounaparola, a creative project to practice Italian.
This project will be a way for you to put your Italian into use and connect with another student who is learning Italian as well. Since I am someone who loves all things vintage, I’ve decided that the way to connect must be via good old letters.
Actually, I haven’t selected this medium only because I am an old-fashioned lady but also because I strongly believe that the slowness required by writing a letter is a great way to reflect about the words and grammar you need to use and writing things down is always a great way to memorize things without even realizing it.
One last thing before I write down all the rules of this project, in case you are interested: this is not a project for pen pals, this is a project to give a gift to someone and eventually, if destiny wants, become pen pals.
I strongly believe in destiny and in connecting strangers, this is why I have been running a Secret Santa project online for years, which has given me the chance of seeing great friendships blossom – and I am a dreamer, so I hope to replicate the same thing here.
However, I do not want to put pressure on anybody, that’s why the main purpose of this creative project is to give a gift to a stranger. What kind of gift? A word! That’s why the project is titled #tiregalounaparola.
Basically, you have to select a word you like and give it to a stranger as a gift. You can choose an Italian word you already know and love or a favorite word of yours that you’ll translate into Italian. No matter the word you choose, you have to give it to a stranger as a gift, writing him or her a card or letter explaining why you have chosen this word – in Italian, of course!
Do you want to know how to participate? Here are the rules.
– if you want to be part of this project, just send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org with your home address. The object of the email needs to be: Il mio indirizzo per #tiregalounaparola. I promise I won’t share your address with anybody. You have time until January 6th to send me your address.
– within January 13th, you will receive an email from me with the address of the person to whom you need to send your card or letter containing the word you are gifting. Send your word by the end of January – if you wait too much, life gets in the way and people might not get their gifted word.
– in addition to sending the letter, if you feel like doing it, you can share the process of choosing the word, sending it or receiving it on Instagram using the hashtag #tiregalounaparola.
– enjoy the fun along the way. Take it as an opportunity to practice Italian and to share your passion with someone who loves Italian as much as you do.
– when you receive your word, I’d love it if you could share it with me – explanation included – so that I can put all words in a blog post which will be a celebration of love for the Italian language.
That’s basically it. This is not my project, after all, it is mainly your project and so it’s you who have to enjoy it. I hope lots of people will join it making it super fun!