I’m thrilled to introduce you to my long-time friend and fellow online language teacher, Elfin Waters from All About Italian, where she helps Italian learners stay connected to the language, country and themselves by watching popular Italian TV shows.
Elfin was one of the first teachers and co-conspirators I met in the early days of my online teaching journey, before I even created a website.
I’m surprised we haven’t done this before but I’ve finally invited her on to talk about a concept that’s become especially important over the past year: travelling to other countries with TV series to learn about both the language and the culture.
Elfin has a really gentle, kind and pleasurable approach to language learning. In fact, as you’ll discover, she embodies many aspects of the Italian way of life in her language teaching and learning methods.
You’ll hear us discuss:
🏖 Elfin’s beautiful Instagram account which helps you travel to Italy and learn Italian, one cappuccino at a time.
☕ Why English teachers suffer from what Elfin calls “low country esteem” and why we should show our daily lives too, even if it seems boring from our perspective.
🇮🇹 How posting Instagram helped Elfin learn to treasure her daily routine.
🏖 How TV series can help you feel connected and closer to the country of the language you’re learning. And why it’s not just about beautiful scenery, but rather understanding day-to-day life in the country by paying attention to the little details in a series, episode by episode, scene by scene.
☕ Why TV shows are a great way to observe the Italian obsession with beauty and how to become a detective, looking for clues about the culture, even if you speak little Italian.
🇮🇹 How Elfin ended up working on Italian detective series, “Il commissario Montalbano” with her students, thanks to her students! And how the series helped her rediscover her own country in a more positive way through their eyes.
🏖 The positive aspects of Italian culture you see in TV series: self-expression through clothing, self-care through food and taking time for yourself.
☕ The challenges to do with learning through “Il commissario Montalbano” and how it generates endless questions.
🇮🇹 How “Il commissario Montalbano” differs from detective shows from other countries, especially in terms of showing day to day life in Italy.
🏖 Speculating about the differences between detective series in the UK, the USA and Italy, especially when it comes to food and eating at your desk etc.
☕ The differences between different version of the CSI franchise: CSI Miami vs CSI New York.
🇮🇹 How to take time for yourself when you watch TV series and make it something positive and enjoyable.
🏖 Why it’s so important to be kind to yourself as you learn through TV series and how you can do it by creating boundaries and realistic goals.
☕ Why you need to take responsibility for choosing which words to learn when you watch TV series and why fewer is better.
🇮🇹 Why learning a language through TV series is about so much more than just learning words.
🏖 The most rebellious thing we can do in language learning!
☕ The never-ending subtitle question! What subtitle anxiety is really about. And how to reframe your attitude to using them.
🇮🇹 Why you should ignore the madwoman in your attic and how a more relaxed and kind attitude to language learning can lead to a more satisfying experience.
Watch the video:
Links To The Shows & More Mentioned In The Interview
As promised, here’s where you can find the shows Elfin and I talked about.
📺 Montalbano: the Italian detective show that Elfin discovered thanks to her students
📺 Taggart: Long-running Scottish detective series
📺 The Rebus books by Ian Rankin: My dad loves crime fiction and Ian Rankin is one of his favourite writers. Detective Inspector Rebus solves crimes in the Scottish capital, Edinburgh.
📺 The Rebus TV series based on the books
📺 Scottish crime fiction writer, Val McDermid
📺 CSI: Crime Scene Investigation
📺 CSI: NY
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