My adventure in Italy is all thanks to my host family inviting me into their home in San Damaso and into their family to help them with looking after their daughter Francesca and become a big part of their lives.
It is a valuable experience for all of us as we share our language knowledge and culture as well as other skills and providing support to one another. I learn English grammatical rules too which I take for granted and also help Vale with some of her school planning activities to check the sentences and questions make sense in proper English. I have also shared my ideas and critiques of tasks and worksheets demonstrating my teaching knowledge and abilities.
On Friday 6th May I helped out in a class at her school with a lesson on the film ‘Looking for Alibrandi’ which I had watched with Vale during her lesson planning at home. On Monday 9th May, I also went into the school to help with some grammar lessons explaining “if” clauses. I am learning more about English as a result of helping Vale with examples of spoken English as she explains the rules to me and we often find exceptions and I realise how difficult it can be to learn English!
Francesca is always improving her understanding of English and speaks more and more English as time goes on. We mostly understand each other which of course is useful, but as she only turned two in January, she is still learning her own native language too, so although I have learned words and phrases from her to help with my Italian, I also have to recognise what she wants to say from what she actually says. That is a skill in itself! Especially as it is a different language! Parents, Aunts, Uncles, Grandparents and anyone else who spends a decent amount of time around young children will know how difficult and frustrating it can be for them and the child when there is a miscommunication with incorrect pronunciation!
We have spent many afternoons at the park, in the garden and in the house; she has a playroom! We read together, draw, role play, go for a ride on the bike with the child seat on the back and have taken trips on the bus which she loves. Also one of her favourite and most recited songs is The Wheels on the Bus (in English) so she also sings that when we are going anywhere!
She is now at the stage where she wants to do everything herself so we have moved her shoes to a low shelf so she can reach them herself and she has just learned how to take off her trainers herself! She can take off her coat too and has started potty training herself and that is also going really well. We are so proud of her! Weaning her off milk before bed is the latest challenge (2 weeks and only 1 night she had it) but she is also now much happier with washing her hair without crying which makes everyone happier!
She has grown a lot in the few months I have been with her and changed a lot. We are certainly a lot closer and have lots if fun together which is the idea! She enjoys drawing and painting too which of course I love! Looking forward to seeing how she is after we have spent 6 months together!