At present we have 7 members in our group and we meet weekly on Mondays in East Bergholt at 2.00 pm for one and a half hours.
The group at present is 'full' - in an intermediate level language group like ours we have found that 7 is the optimum number of students. This allows each group member to have his or her say comfortably, and our hostess is happy re accommodation and providing refreshments.
We cover Italian grammar and many Italian cultural topics. We continue improving conversational skills and revising Italian grammar on a broad front. However, while we can recognise verbs in the subjunctive mood, we do not pursue the study of this extensive topic in any great depth.
Cultural topics of virtually every kind in the past year have included -
1. Translation of Italian short stories including the works of Alberto Moravia, Cesare Marchi,and Dino Buzzati.
2. Articles from Italian newspapers, such as 'La Repubblica' and 'Corriera della Sera'.
3. Detailed examination of the Italian regions.
4. Translation of biographies of inter alia Italian painters/sculptors, composers, poets, national heroes - for example we studied the painters Canaletto, Donatello, Artemisia Gentileschi, Raffaello; we obtained from the internet the libretti of the operettas 'Cavalleria Rusticana' by Mascagni, and 'I Pagliacci' by Leoncavallo, we then translated them and finally watched a DVD performance of both works by Placido Domingo and cast.
5. Historical topics - e.g. several items re the Bay of Naples - the Phlegrean Fields, the oracle at Cuma, the sunken ancient Roman playground city, Baiae, beloved of Nero and the Roman glitterati - the Colosseum in Rome, Pliny the Younger`s letter re the volcanic eruption of Vesuvius in 79 AD.
We are indeed fortunate as a group to have so much interesting and accessible material.