Making progress…

Now that finals and graduation are out of the way, I have been able to make some headway on my TEFL units. I have just finished Unit 7 and I am waiting on Unit 8 to arrive, which means that I am 35% done since there are 20 units altogether. It may not seem like much, but on days that I am not working at my new waitressing job in town, I can sometimes power through these lessons. The company only allows two units per day, but they do this so the student can let the lessons sink in. I would have to say that having studied a variety of languages in the past is actually helping me through some of these units. Because I have had a few years of different language courses, it is easy for me to pick up and learn the tenses since I have heard and worked with these terms so many times before.  The same goes with lesson planning; I know what activities work for me and which ones do not. The tutor who goes over my units has been giving me very nice remarks on the work that I have done. Well, now I must wait for the next units to arrive. Perhaps I should study some Turkish in the meantime since it’s been awhile.


Life Since Europe…

I returned to the United States on 23rd December 2012 after having been in Europe since 27th June 2012. Since that day I have not wanted anything but to go back. The longing for Italy and Turkey is overwhelming, and my need to travel is consuming me. I have been trying to keep myself busy with work (only about two days a week) and with school, but my schedule really is not that crazy this semester. Graduation looms ever nearer, and the stress of not knowing what I’ll be doing after it or where I will be is driving me nuts. I desperately need a decently paying job (don’t we all?), so that I can start paying off my loans, and so that I can leave the country and travel a bit. I do not want to wait to travel until I’m older and retired. I want to get out now while I am young so that I can truly experience the wonders of the world.

When I first came back from Italy, I had planned on tutoring students who were taking Elementary Italian 101 and 102 classes, but even though I am the only Italian major on campus, all of the Italian tutoring positions had already been taken by previous tutorers. This dampened my spirits in more ways than one. Not only had I been counting on that job for a bit more money on the side and to make my résumé look better, but I had been counting on it to keep in touch with the Italian language since there are no longer any upper level Italian classes taught at my university. While tutoring I would have been reviewing the materials that the students were going over as well as helping them speak. I am losing touch and a lot of my Italian since I did not receive this job. I had considered sitting in on the Intermediate Italian classes, but these classes are held during the same time as my other classes so that was not an option for me. I read through the online Italian newspapers and such, but it’s not the same. I only have two friends at this university who are native fluent speakers, but neither live on campus anymore so I do not really see them anymore. I really need to go back to Italy sooner rather than later.

One thing that I have really been starting to work on is my Turkish. Being that my boyfriend is from Turkey and no one in his family (besides his sister and himself) can speak English, I believe that it best for me to learn Turkish. Lately, I have been understanding a lot more of what is being said when listening to him and his friends speak, and my goal is to be able to be conversational by the time his parents fly in from Turkey for graduation the middle of May. I finally have Rosetta Stone, and after only one use, I am already remembering more and more. I plan on labeling everything in my room (hopefully my roommate won’t mind too much) and doing Rosetta Stone at least once a day for an hour. One of the most difficult things about this language for me is the sounds. I did a linguistic project on it and I found out that there are numerous sounds in the Turkish language that we do not have in English. I had guessed this, but I felt much more at ease when I found out that I was not losing my mind or sense of hearing. Another thing that is hard for me is that I have had and probably will not have formal instruction in this language. This is a language that I must tackle on my own. I’ve taken numerous languages throughout my schooling career (Spanish, Japanese, Swahili, Chinese, and Italian) all of which I excelled in, but learning a language without formal instruction is foreign to me, and I must learn how to do it. I feel that with Rosetta Stone I will be able to excel more than I would have done just learning by myself from a book, so I am happy about that. So a recount? Decent fluency in Turkish by the middle of May. Ready, set, go!

Europe really has been the only thing on my mind since I have been back. I know now that the United States is not the place for me. Wherever my place is, I do not know, but eventually I hope to find it. I am nothing but miserable here, and I would love to turn that around. Personally, I am not sure if I could permanently live in Turkey, but I could definitely try it out for a few years. Italy, the South, Firenze, or Torino, I could definitely live in. There is so much left of the world to see though. I need more time. I need more money! Oh, America, you grossly overcharge your students for the schooling costs. The “education” that we receive is nowhere near worth what we are charged. Europe, you’re doing it right when it comes to costs. I’ll leave the cost situation for another time though.

Europe, I miss you dearly.


Language Barrier

When I came to Urbino as an Erasmas student I knew that I would have some problems understanding people and that they would also have problems understanding me. My Italian was ok, but I haven’t been studying it for too long so, I was and still am nowhere near fluent in the language. I studied for 5 weeks in the South of Italy, a little town called Pisciotta that will forever hold a piece of me, and my Italian skills were increasing. I then traveled to Turkey with my boyfriend and stayed with his family. No one but my boyfriend spoke English, and I have yet to learn Turkish, so the language barrier there was quite a high wall to scale, but somehow we made it work with gestures and little words, and the help of my poor boyfriend who was always translating. I must admit though, that biggest language barrier I have come to know is not between English-Italian or English-Turkish, but actually between American English and British English.  

There were a few girls from England studying with me in Urbino, but the one I was with the most (an everyday basis) was from Chesterfield, England. Aside from her accent, there were often words and phrases that she would use that I had never heard of and it was the same for her with things that I would say. One thing that really threw off was that she would aspirate her h’s where American’s typically do not.

I compiled a bit to compare the differences (I grew up in Northeastern Pennsylvania, but my parents were from Long Island, Brooklyn, and Central New York, and now I currently live in Long Island):



This is just the tip of the iceberg! We’d often be hanging out, cooking in the kitchen, and the two of us would have to repeatedly ask one another what one of us had just said. Sometimes it was our accents and other times we’d find ourselves having to go into explanations of what had just said so the other could understand. I wish we had had more time to sit down and compare the differences. Hopefully, I can go over to England at some point in the not too distant future. I know I’ll end up more interested in our speech differences than in the rest of the country…


Linguistica generale : giorno 1

15 ottobre 2012

Pierre Paul Broca – French physician, surgeon, anatomist, and anthropologist; best known for his work on the Broca’s area, a region of the frontal lobe that is responsible for articulated language.
è stato in antropologo, neurologo e chirurgo francese.

Broca’s area: region of the hominid brain with functions linked to speech production
è un parte dell’emisfero sinistro del cervello, localizzata nel piede della terza circonvoluzione frontale, la cui funzione è coinvolta nell’elaborazione del linguaggio.

Aphasia – language disorder through brain damage affecting writing, reading, speaking…
Afasia: è un’alterazione del linguaggio dovuto a lesion alle aree del cervello deputate all sua elaborazione. Non rientrano nelle afasie quindi i disturbi del linguaggio causati da deficit sensoriali primari, da deficit intellettivi, da disturbi psichiatrici o da debolezza dell’apparato muscolo-scheletrico

Language trees / famiglia linguistica : una famiglia accuratamente identificata è un’unità filogenetica ossia i cui membri sono considerati  come derivantida un antenato comune

Latin <– Indo-European
Latina <– indoeuropea
How is a language born?
Come nasce una lingua?

Morphology / morfologia : è la parta della grammatical o della linguistic ache ha per oggetto lo studio della strutture grammaticale delle parole e che ne stabilisce la classificazione e l’appartenenza a determinate categorie come il nome, il pronome, il verbo, l’aggettivo e le forme della flessione, come la coniugazione per i verbi e la declinazione per i nomi distinguendosi dalla fonologia, dalla sintassi e dal lessico. Inoltre indaga i meccanisimi secondo i quali le unità portatrici di significati semplici si organizzano in significati più complessi: le parole

Dialects / dialetti : è una varietà linguistica (o idioma) usata da abitanti originari da una particolare area geografica.

Geografia linguistica o geolinguistica : è una corrente della linguistic ache si occupa di studiare l’estensione nello spazio dei fenomeni linguistici, di ordine fonetico, morfosintacco, lessicale, e la loro distribuzione geografica

Noam Chomsky

Natura / Intenzione / Convenzione

Intonation / intonazione : A variation of pitch while speaking which is not used to distinguish wordsThe way words are said imply something: interrogative / questions
 è l’effetto percettivo di tipo melodico pordotto dalla variazione dell’altezza dei suoni durante la pronuncia delle parole di una lingua. In molte lingue a diversa intonazione corrispondono diverse funzioni grammaticali o diversi significati

Synonyms / sinonimia : in semantica indica la relazione che c’è tra due lessemi che hanno lo stesso significato.  È dunque la relazione opposta all’antonimia

Homonyms / omonimia : in semantica indica in fenomeno per cui una stessa forma ortografica e fonologica esprime più significati

Semantics / semantica : è quella parte della linguistica che studia il significato delle parole (semantica lessicale). Degli insiemi delle parole, delle frasi (semantica frasale) e dei testi