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How to improve your English… the Christmas way!


We all know the Holidays make an excellent opportunity to put your feet up and take a much needed rest, laying under a pile of warm blankets and napping half of the time.
But today I’m here to tell you there’s something more than festive dinners and cute presents, and that even Christmas may come about as a huge help in English-improving techniques, while still being properly enjoyed.
So, grab a fuzzy sweater and join me through this wanna-be helpful article…

-Cook!
Name another time of the year that provides you as many delicious dishes as Christmas. I’ll wait.
Why don’t you use these buttery, spicy days at your advantage and try following some English recipes for cookies, pies or anything your sweet tooth suggests you? There is indeed a ton of tutorials you can choose from, maybe go for the most detailed to truly scavenge for that new vocabulary, or watch the video ones to get more in touch with the right pronunciation and the cadence.
If you still don’t know where to start from, I strongly recommend you “The Victorian way”, a YouTube channel where you can keep up, step-by-step, with a cook that shows an extraordinary diction and bakes incredible recipes straight out of the Victorian times.

-Read!
Ah, Christmas stories, so heartwarming, gripping and otherworldly poetic! You probably already know a bunch, except you’ve never actually read them in English, right? What are you waiting for?
Let’s start with the basics: how about Charles Dickens’s “A Christmas Carol”? Short, effortless but filled with elegant vocabulary, it’s just a must.
Or maybe you are more of a detective story kind of person, and therefore you’d prefer something like Agatha Christie’s “The adventure of the Christmas pudding”, still brief and funny but with an aftertaste of crime and thrill that really gives you major goosebumps.
Louisa May Alcott’s “Little Women” is certainly a bit longer, and a little less Christmas-focused, but if you feel brave enough you can go for those cozy scenes of domestic life and those cheesy, romantic speeches: trust me, you won’t regret it!
I always encourage the reading of classics because you can find them in any public library for free, but, hey, other kinds of books still do the trick!

-Watch!
Although I’m more of a bookworm than a movie lover I’ll recognise that films are a great learning experience. And, tell me, how many Christmas movies have been produced in more or less a century of thriving film industry?
My piece of advice is to set both the language and subtitles in English, because characters might speak really fast and you’ ll certainly need those captions; but be careful: if you set them in Italian you’ll end up focusing excessively on the script and completely ignoring the voices.
If you’re really a subtitle hater you can always choose to rewatch an old movie you already know the plot of, and Christmas movies are that old nine times out of ten!
Lastly, beware of local accents! Sometimes actors, who, after all, are people in flesh and bones, use a very regional kind of English (Australian, Scottish, Canadian, etc.): try to spot thethe inflection and not pay too much attention to it.

-Sing!
Jingle bell, jingle bell, jingle bell, learn!
Just the rhythm of holiday songs is already praiseworthy, don’t you think so?, but did you know the lyrics are actually significantly interesting?
Some of these songs, the first coming to my mind being “God rest ye Merry gentlemen”, were written in a period where spoken English had a much richer vocabulary in comparison to today, and so they can result in a nice method to work your way up to a highbrow level of knowledge.
Nevertheless, even the most modern Christmas songs can make a big difference in your skills and pronunciation, just… don’t sing a sentence instead of saying it in front of your English teacher!

25/12/2021

Articolo a cura di

Maddalena Mandelli

IL BANFO

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