Childhood and holiday habits

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What you will learn

You will learn to use the imperfetto tense when recounting past events and to talk about your childhood.

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What you need to know.

Vocabulary

Here is a basic vocabulary list collaboratively. Make sure you keep adding to this all year.

Grammar

L’imperfetto

L’imperfetto  is another verb tense, also used to express actions in the past. The main difference between passato prossimo and imperfetto is that the passato prossimo is used for main events of a recount, whereas  the imperfetto is used to express background information.

For example, when recounting a holiday, you would use the imperfetto to comment on or describe something like a hotel, a city or a monument use:

subject + era* + adjective

eg. L’albergo era elegante; La città era bellissima; Il Castello era magnifico. (The hotel was elegant; the city was beautiful, the Castle was magnificent)

Watch the video explanation below or, if you prefer, read these notes on imperfetto.

There are only a few irregular verbs in the imperfetto, derived from their ‘antique infinitives’.

infinitive Antique infinitive Irregular imperfetto
bere bevere Bevevo
Fare Facere Facevo
Dire Dicere dicevo

Plus ESSERE – ero, eri, era, eravamo, eravate, erano

The Imperfetto tense is also used to express habitual actions in the past, for example, things that you used to do when you where a bambina (child). Use this tense when answering questions about your childhood, such as “com’eri da piccola?”.

Eg. Da bambina ero birichina e molto vivace. Abitavo in una casa che aveva un grande giardino e una piccola piscina. Mi piaceva giocare in giardino con il mio cane, e passavo delle ore in camera mia a giocare con le mie bambole.

Also use this tense when describing a recent holiday to express what you would do daily or often during throughout the holiday, as in this example from our peer tutors:

Screen Shot 2015-05-29 at 10.00.04 am

Useful language:

  • When talking about your childhood, open with

Da piccola/bambina ero + adjectives

Eg. Da bambina ero viziata e prepotente (as I child I was spoilt and bossy)

  • Perhaps mention something about your house or suburb

Eg. Abitavo in una casa molto vecchia ma grande con i miei genitori e i miei nonni (I lived in a very old but big house with my parents and grandparents)

  • Then express what you used to do in your free time, either with mi piaceva + infinitive or with the imperfect tense of the activity verb

Eg. Mi piaceva ascoltare la musica classica e ballare. Spesso, infatti, mi mettevo le scarpette da danza, accendevo la radio e ballavo per ore e ore. (I liked listening to classical music and dancing. Often, in fact, I used to put my ballet shoes on, turn on the radio e dance for hours and hours)

Make your language sound more authentic (& get higher marks) …

by using these idioms

Your to do list.

Have a better idea for a task? Go ahead and do it, as long as it meets that same purpose and that it can be documented.

TASK                                                                                                                    PURPOSE

1.
  • (optional) CONTRIBUTE to the collaborative vocab list entitled “holiday recount”.
  • TIPS:As you run into new words or useful expressions for the topic, add them here.
To build an extensive vocabulary list for the entire class to share, use as a reference list and personalise. To have a bank of vocab and expressions to use when preparing for the individual oral exam in Yr 12 and to use when completing IB writing tasks  about holidays.
2.
  • MEMORISE all the vocabulary and expressions from the unit.
  • TIPS:Make your own quizlet set and/or share it with the class.  Find other useful vocab learning websites and aps, record your voice repeating the words, do “look say cover write check”, compete with your friends in your own quiz show-style game.
To drill and memorise all relevant vocabulary.
3.
  • PEER TUTOR TASK:
  • ASK your peer tutor to test you on your vocab list and to correct your pronunciation. Highlight the words you mispronounce. Now read out just the highlighted words once again and take notes on how to pronounce them.
To develop your understanding of Italian phonetics and improve your pronunciation.
4.
  • NEED MORE PRACTICE? Try some online exercises:  imperfetto ex 1  & Imperfetto ex 2 & imperfetto Vs passato prossimo ex
  • TIPS: You can also drill conjugations by going to an online conjugation site like coniugazione.it. First record yourself conjugating the verb, then check your answers by  typing the verb in the infinitive in the top right search bar and looking at the imperfetto tense table on the top left.
To drill and test your understanding of imperfetto verbs.
5.
  • REVISE AND COMPARE the 3 tenses we’ve learned so far – il presente, il passato prossimo and l’imperfetto  – by completing a conjugation table.  Remember to check your answers
  • RESOURCES: conjugation comparison table
To drill and revise conjugations of all tenses learned so far.
6.
  • PEER TUTOR TASK:
  • ASK your peer tutor to write an answer to the following questions:
  • Com’eri da piccolo/a?”
  • SHARE  your peer tutor’s answer with the class by placing it on the links above
  • ALTERNATIVES: if your peer-tutor takes too long to reply, find some good answers from online forums by typing the question into google.it.
 To see different ways of answering the question to enrich your vocab and discover new expressions. To have answers from native speakers to use as a model when planning your response and studying for the IB individual oral and Paper 2 writing tasks
7.
  • IN CLASS TASK: Together we will write a task on the following: Sei appena tornata dalla vacanza piu` bella della tua vita. Descrivila in una pagina di diario. (100 – 150 ww). Then you will attempt your own.
  • TIPS:Do NOT think in English. Italian should be your starting point: what language do I know that I can use in the task? what language can I adapt from previous units? What useful expressions can I use from our text-handling tasks and peer tutor responses? You could also try google.it for some more expressions. Try using the keywords such as “la vacanza piu` bella della mia vita”.
  • Remember to keep the marking criteria in mind when planning your task: if you know what the marker is looking for, you can deliver.
  • Resources sample 1 sample2
To put all the language together, learn to identify and adapt useful expressions in authentic texts for your own writing tasks and develop writing skills for IB paper 2. To become familiar with the marking criteria for long writing tasks. To learn how to expand on simple ideas to meet the word limit and create relevant content by building on language from previous units. To work out when to use the passato prossimo and when to use the imperfetto in past recounts.
8.
  •  IN CLASS TASK: Complete the following short writing task (50 ww)
  1. Siete in vacanza. Scrivete una cartolina al vostro migliore amico per dirgli brevemente dove siete, con chi siete, che cosa fate e se vi divertite
  • TIPS: Use sample 1 and  sample 2 as a model plus look at the collaborative vocab list and remember to search for some good expressions in our text-handling tasks and speaking tables and adapt them to your task . You could also try google.it for some more expressions. Try using  keywords & phrases such as “sono in vacanza in”.
  • Remember to keep the marking criteria in mind when planning your task: if you know what the marker is looking for, you can deliver.
 to put all the language together, learn to identify and adapt useful expressions in authentic texts for your own writing tasks and  develop writing skills for IB paper 2. To become familiar with the marking criteria for long writing tasks. To learn how to expand on simple ideas to meet the word limit and create relevant content by building on language from previous units. To use a mix of tenses (presente, passato prossimo, imperfetto) depending on what you are trying to communicate.
 9.
  • PEER TUTOR TASK: practise answering these questions orally with your peer tutor. Remind him/her to give you feedback via the online form
  1. Com’eri da piccola?
 To put all the language together and learn to manipulate and create meaningful responses on the spot, without writing out your response.To practise IB style oral questions for your individual oral exam.
 10.
  •  IN CLASS TASK: using our peer tutor responses, write your own answer to the question “Com’eri da piccola?”. 
 to put all the language together, learn to identify and adapt useful expressions from native speakers for your own responses and  create relevant content by building on language from previous units. To develop your speaking skills.
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