Friday, October 12, 2007

Second Week of School

We ended week two of classes with a test this morning. The test took about 1.5 hours. The first part was dictation (il dettato), followed by oral comprehension (comprensione orale), followed by pronoun exercise (competenza metalinquistica), and then finally, a letter writing exercise.

The first part, dictation, was by far the hardest. Our teacher read a passage several times and you had to write it all down. The passage was about using a pressure cooker (pentola a pressione). We both got 18/30 possible points. While writing I only had a slight idea about what was being talked about. You didn’t have to know the subject as the test was how you hear words, especially double constants like “fiamme” or “pressione”.

The second part was listening to a conversation (on CD) between a husband and wife. The husband is going out wants to know what the wife needs. There is a lot of ambient household noise like people talking and a TV going. You have to listen while reading an incorrect transcription of the dialog between them and identify and correct words in the written passage. It was trickier than it sounds.

The third part was a drill on mostly indirect pronouns. You had to really understand the context of the sentence to select the correct pronoun (mi, ti, gli, le, Le, ci, vi, gli). A typical example (and one I got wrong): “La zia è in vacanza. Puoi pager__ la bolletta del telefono.” The blank should have been “le”. The sentence means: “My aunt is on vacation. Can you pay the telephone bill for her.”

The last part was writing a response to a friend’s email. Given an e-mail from a friend, we had to respond in at least 60 words, answering questions the friend posed. The friend is in Berlin and you have to give her advice on a place to visit.

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