Centro Linguistico Cesena

"Gli inglesi si mangiano le parole"

"Gli inglesi si mangiano le parole!"
This is often the impression students have of English. But have you ever asked yourself why?
The nature of English often causes Italian students to have particular difficulties with the English language. For example, some of the biggest obstacles are stress and rhythm. This affects how students are able to use the language, but it also creates confusion in understanding other people. The natural rhythm, or sentence stress, in English, often makes it seem like English speakers “eat” their words because words before and after prepositions are often “combined” or said all in one breath.
Another obstacle for Italians is the fact that English relies a lot on word order and phrase structure, whereas Italian is a much more flexible language in which the verb itself typically changes form. The way English verbs are formed in questions and negative sentences is very different from Italian, causing simple but obvious mistakes. For example: Where he work? A simple change in intonation isn’t enough in English. We need to change the structure with the auxiliary verb DO – Where DOES he work?
This reliance on structure makes English a very rigid language compared to Italian.
Being familiar with a student’s L1 (first language) can give teachers insight into the types of errors to expect as well as provide an explanation for why students make certain mistakes while also helping students become aware of and active in the language learning process. 

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