Italian educators teaching English language courses frequently encounter hurdles in crafting practical homework assignments.
It's important to note that these potential errors aren't exclusive to Italian teachers, and many educators, regardless of nationality, can face similar challenges when teaching English as a second language. Don't forget to read about the 10 limitations of learning English in Italy.
6 English Homework Tasks Errors
English is a widely spoken and learned language in the world, and many people choose to study it for various reasons. Teachers of English as a foreign language play a crucial role in helping their students achieve their goals and improve their skills.
In this article, I will examine some of the common errors that Italian teachers of English make with English homework tasks, and we will suggest ways to avoid them. I will also discuss the benefits of practical homework tasks for teachers and students.
There are many possible reasons why Italian teachers make mistakes with English homework exercises for their students. Some of the factors that may affect the quality of English teaching and learning in Italy are:
Teachers often emphasize word-for-word translations, leading students to rely too heavily on direct translations from Italian to English. This can hinder natural language development and understanding of idiomatic expressions.
HOW TO MAKE ENGLISH HOMEWORK EXERCISES MORE ENJOYABLE
Learning a new language can be challenging, but there are several ways to make English homework more manageable and even enjoyable for Italian students:
Encourage regular practice in small doses. Daily practice can be more effective than sporadic, longer sessions, even for a short period.
Use of Technology
Connect English lessons with real-life situations or interests. For instance, use English in hobbies, music, or movies. This can make the language more relevant and engaging.
Grammar and Vocabulary
Focus on building a solid foundation in grammar and vocabulary. Starting with the basics and gradually progressing can make complex concepts more understandable.
Reading and Listening Exercises
Engage with English through reading books, articles, or watching movies/TV shows in English. This helps improve vocabulary comprehension and familiarizes students with the natural flow of the language.
Encourage writing exercises such as keeping a journal or writing short essays. This helps in applying the language skills and identifying areas that need improvement.
English homework assignment
Creating engaging and effective English homework assignments for Italian teachers can improve the language-learning experience. Here are some types of homework assignments that may be beneficial for students learning English in Italian schools:
- Listening Exercises: It's the first and most important among English learning skills. Assign students to listen to short audio clips, podcasts, or dialogues in English. Follow up with comprehension questions to assess their understanding of spoken English. Keep in mind that listening enhances speaking, and reading improves writing.
- Reading Comprehension: Provide students with English texts or articles at an appropriate difficulty level. Ask them to read the text and answer comprehension, vocabulary, and critical thinking questions.
- Vocabulary exercises: These are important to enrich the students' lexicon and to learn new words related to different topics, such as body, daily routine, colors, etc. For example, students can be asked to match words with pictures or to write sentences using the words they learned. Some examples of vocabulary exercises can be found here!
- Grammar exercises: These are essential to learning the rules and structures of the English language, such as tenses, verb forms, pronouns, articles, etc. For example, students can be asked to complete sentences with the correct verb form or choose the right option among multiple choices. Some examples of grammar exercises can be found here.
Tailoring these approaches to an Italian student's specific learning style and interests can significantly affect how they approach and engage with their English homework.
The English Teacher in Italy Today: Between Gaps and Competencies
English is mandatory in Italy from 6 to 16, with the last three years of high school added and, in some cases, even a few years in kindergarten. Nevertheless, it is a very long period of study that does not seem to guarantee students the achievement of an acceptable level of proficiency.
This often leads to frustration (and resulting demotivation) when they first encounter the natural language. It is evident, therefore, that despite the considerable time spent, the system does not lead to the desired and hoped-for results.
A question is: how many, at the end of the course, know how to carry on a daily conversation with fluent speech without forcing the interlocutor to repeat words or entire sentences?
It's difficult to answer this question as I don't have any statistical dates about numbers but according to English proficiency records in Europe, Italy holds the 35th position.
Struggling with English homework? Find out how to improve your writing, grammar, and vocabulary skills: