Confidence has always been my biggest problem. I have always had trouble being confident in applying my knowledge to real life situations, specifically my second language.
It is one thing to sit in class and absorb the lessons, but it is entirely different to actually test your ability and have a legitimate conversation with an Italian. In college most of my Italian classes were grammar heavy and vocabulary light, so I think my lack of vocabulary is what usually trips me up.
Living in Italy does allow me to absorb more vocabulary, but another issue is that I’m not really in a situation that forces me to really use my Italian. I was brought to Italy to teach English. At both of my jobs I am required to speak English as much as possible, and the children are supposed to speak English back to me. So for the most part, the only Italian I get to hear is what the children say to each other or to their parents. And we’re talking children all under the age of seven.
I know it is my job to make the opportunities for me to practice my Italian, but it is so easy to get caught up in old habits and not leave your comfort zone in daily life.
My friend, Maggie, has come to visit me so while we’re on our little adventures I am finding more reasons to use my Italian skills, although my atrocious Italian vocabulary is still an issue. I’ll have more about our adventures on here soon!