Related to: 'Perfect Your Italian 2E: Teach Yourself'

Julie Sarkissian blogs about the problems facing the protagnist of her debut novel, DEAR LUCY

Something's Wrong With Lucy - But What?

Lucy is different – that much is clear. She speaks like a child, doesn’t recognize social boundaries, flies into rages, and treasures rotten food. Her cognition is impaired, her vocabulary is very limited and she cannot read or write. But what – precisely – is wrong with her is left up to the reader. Lucy is the protagonist of my novel, DEAR LUCY, and from the first sentence of the book I ever wrote it was obvious that Lucy was cognitively different. The way Lucy describes herself is as “missing too many words.” Her mother calls her “difficult.” Readers of early drafts of the book had a few theories as to Lucy’s condition; autism, Williams Syndrome, Down Syndrome. But Lucy’s mother has kept her from going to school and Lucy has never seen a doctor. So in the fictional reality of the book there is no official diagnosis. But as the novel progressed I wondered – should I have one? I was torn. If Lucy was presenting enough symptoms to point to a real condition, was I ignoring the obvious not to fold that condition into my development of her character? Was it insensitive of me to allude to aspects of certain real, life-altering conditions but not assign a specific condition to Lucy? I worried about appropriating aspects of serious conditions without treating those conditions with proper respect and acknowledgement. And though any clinical diagnosis would probably not be explicit in the novel, I wondered if I would be ignoring an opportunity to bring attention to a real disorder when people asked me about Lucy’s condition, the way The Curious Incident of The Dog in the Night-time did for autism. On the other hand, I had concerns that if I chose a diagnosis for Lucy, I would be ascribing to her qualities that she wouldn’t have otherwise presented. Lucy had her own will over my writing and over the novel. I didn’t want to yoke Lucy’s expression by keeping her behavior and abilities consistent with a clinical condition. Accuracy would also become a critical issue if Lucy’s condition was named. Ultimately I chose not to diagnose Lucy, though I worry the artistic freedom provided by that decision comes at the price of being judged for being too liberal with my treatment of cognitive disorders. Now that publication is a few months away, I am apprehensive of how my treatment of Lucy’s cognitive limitations will be judged. I have yet to talk to a reader who has a learning different child, or works with learning different people, and that conversation is one I will be honored, and not a bit anxious, to have.

Teach Yourself

Enjoy Italian Intermediate to Upper Intermediate Course

Sylvia Lymbery
Authors:
Sylvia Lymbery

Do you want to have more meaningful conversations in Italian?Do you want to feel comfortable in a variety of situations? Using authentic conversations between native speakers as a basis, this course will help you to improve and build upon the language you already have so that you develop your skills to a level where you can enjoy talking and understand what is said. You will be introduced to more colloquial Italian so you will sound more natural when speaking and gain confidence.Is this course for me? If you already know some Italian and want to take it further, this is the course for you. It is a great refresher course, as well as being an easy way to build upon and improve your existing Italian. Taking you from a good intermediate level (level B2 of the Common European Framework), this course helps you to progress up to C1 by offering:Carefully levelled and sequenced material - a solid path to build up your knowledge. Quality listening and reading input - day-to-day conversations but also speeches, interviews and newspaper articles. Fluency building - reach a level where you can discuss sophisticated ideas in Italian. Full of authentic texts and dialogues about complex subjects, this course covers a wide range of topics of the sort you will want to talk about when in Italy and teaches you the kind of everyday language and features of speech that will enable you to communicate with confidence and feel comfortable taking part in conversation with native speakers of Italian. The choice of material aims to give you something of the flavour of Italy today and each unit is based around a single theme with lively interviews and conversations on the accompanying recording. There are activities based on the interviews and texts to help you remember what you've learnt and put your knowledge into practice. The units are divided into sessions - to help you organize your learning time and break up the material into manageable chunks - and there are reminders throughout to refresh your memory of points you have learnt. Learn effortlessly with new, easy-to-read page design and interactive features: Not got much time? One, five and ten-minute introductions to key principles to get you started. Author insights Lots of instant help with common problems and quick tips for success, based on the author's many years of experience. Grammar tips Easy-to-follow building blocks to give you a clear understanding. Useful vocabulary Easy to find and learn, to build a solid foundation for speaking. Dialogues Read and listen to everyday dialogues to help you speak and understand fast. Test yourself Tests in the book and online to keep track of your progress. Extend your knowledge Extra online articles to give you a richer understanding of the culture and history of France. Try this Innovative exercises illustrate what you've learnt and how to use it.

Teach Yourself

Enjoy Intermediate Italian: Teach Yourself

Sylvia Lymbery
Authors:
Sylvia Lymbery

Do you want to have more meaningful conversations in Italian?Do you want to feel comfortable in a variety of situations? Using authentic conversations between native speakers as a basis, this course will help you to improve and build upon the language you already have so that you develop your skills to a level where you can enjoy talking and understand what is said. You will be introduced to more colloquial Italian so you will sound more natural when speaking and gain confidence.Is this course for me? If you already know some Italian and want to take it further, this is the course for you. It is a great refresher course, as well as being an easy way to build upon and improve your existing Italian. Taking you from a good intermediate level (level B2 of the Common European Framework), this course helps you to progress up to C1 by offering:Carefully levelled and sequenced material - a solid path to build up your knowledge. Quality listening and reading input - day-to-day conversations but also speeches, interviews and newspaper articles. Fluency building - reach a level where you can discuss sophisticated ideas in Italian. Full of authentic texts and dialogues about complex subjects, this course covers a wide range of topics of the sort you will want to talk about when in Italy and teaches you the kind of everyday language and features of speech that will enable you to communicate with confidence and feel comfortable taking part in conversation with native speakers of Italian. The choice of material aims to give you something of the flavour of Italy today and each unit is based around a single theme with lively interviews and conversations on the accompanying recording. There are activities based on the interviews and texts to help you remember what you've learnt and put your knowledge into practice. The units are divided into sessions - to help you organize your learning time and break up the material into manageable chunks - and there are reminders throughout to refresh your memory of points you have learnt. Learn effortlessly with new, easy-to-read page design and interactive features: Not got much time? One, five and ten-minute introductions to key principles to get you started. Author insights Lots of instant help with common problems and quick tips for success, based on the author's many years of experience. Grammar tips Easy-to-follow building blocks to give you a clear understanding. Useful vocabulary Easy to find and learn, to build a solid foundation for speaking. Dialogues Read and listen to everyday dialogues to help you speak and understand fast. Test yourself Tests in the book and online to keep track of your progress. Extend your knowledge Extra online articles to give you a richer understanding of the culture and history of France. Try this Innovative exercises illustrate what you've learnt and how to use it.

Teach Yourself

Enjoy Italian Intermediate to Upper Intermediate Course

Sylvia Lymbery
Authors:
Sylvia Lymbery

Do you want to have more meaningful conversations in Italian? Do you want to feel comfortable in a variety of situations? Based on authentic texts, such as songs, poems, and conversations between native speakers, this course will help you improve and build upon the language you already have so that you develop your skills to a level where you can enjoy communicating in Italian. Incorporating information about the culture, history and geography of Italy and its influence on the language, you will be introduced to the more advanced points of Italian grammar, as well as more colloquial language, and develop your vocabulary so you can express your opinion on a number of topics, as well as react to other people's opinions. What will I achieve by the end of the course? By the end of Enjoy Italian you will have increased your capacity to understand the spoken and written language, and furthered your ability to communicate with Italian speakers, orally and in writing. This course aims to take you to a solid intermediate level. You will reach an Advanced Low to Mid level of the ACTFL (American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages) proficiency guidelines / B2 level of the CEFR (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages). Is this course for me? If you already know some Italian and want to take it further, this is the course for you. It's perfect for the self-study learner, with a one-to-one tutor, or for the post-beginner classroom. What do I get? A coursebook with over two hours of audio on CD that features: - Eight units that cover more complex situations than your basic tourist scenarios - Carefully levelled and sequenced material - a solid path to build up your knowledge - Authentic texts, such as poems, songs, excerpts and conversations to present the language - Learn through the Discovery Method which helps you notice and retain the language you learn - Learn to learn - tips and advice on becoming a better language learner - Easy to use workbook format. What else can I use to learn Italian? If you require an absolute Beginner course, you can try our Get Started in Italian: 9781444174717 If you want a comprehensive Beginner to Intermediate course, you should try our Complete Italian: 9781444177343 Rely on Teach Yourself, trusted by language learners for over 75 years.

Akshay Bakaya

Akshay Bakaya has lived in Paris since 1984 and has taught languages - Hindi, English, and French - at the Institut National des Langues et Civilisations Orientales, Sciences Po, Paris, the French foreign office and the International School of Paris. He is the author of Michel Thomas Start Hindi (2014), Michel Thomas Insider's French (2015), Michel Thomas Total Foundation Hindi (2017), Assimil, Le hindi sans peine (1994) and Hindi ohne Mühe, Assimil (2010).He also teaches Hindi and French over Skype. You can contact him through Facebook: @akshaybakayahindi.

Daniel Tammet

Daniel Tammet is an essayist, novelist and translator. He is the author of Thinking in Numbers, Embracing the Wide Sky, and the Sunday Times bestseller Born On A Blue Day. Tammet is Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (FRSA). He lives in Paris.

Fran Cooper

Fran Cooper grew up in London before reading English at Cambridge and Art History at the Courtauld Institute of Art. She spent three years in Paris writing a PhD about travelling eighteenth-century artists, and currently works in the curatorial department of a London museum. These Dividing Walls is her first novel.

Gino D'Acampo

Born in Torre del Greco, Naples, in southern Italy, Gino inherited his grandfather's love of cooking and studied at the Luigi de Medici Catering College. Gino appears regularly on TV, most recently in Gino's Italian Escape and Let's Do Lunch with Gino and Mel, and as a resident chef on ITV's This Morning.

Jodi Picoult

Jodi Picoult is the author of twenty-four internationally bestselling novels, including My Sister's Keeper, House Rules and The Storyteller, and has also co-written two YA books with her daughter Samantha van Leer, Between the Lines and Off the Page. She lives in New Hampshire with her husband and children. Jodi's UK website is www.jodipicoult.co.uk and she can be found on Facebook and Twitter at facebook.com/JodiPicoultUK and twitter.com/jodipicoult. She also has a YouTube channel www.youtube.com/user/JodiPicoultOfficial.

John Connolly

John Connolly is author of the Charlie Parker mysteries, The Book of Lost Things, the Samuel Johnson novels for young adults and, with his partner, Jennifer Ridyard, co-author of the Chronicles of the Invaders. John Connolly's debut - EVERY DEAD THING - introduced the character of Private Investigator Charlie Parker, and swiftly launched him right into the front rank of thriller writers. All his subsequent novels have been Sunday Times bestsellers. He was the winner of the 2016 CWA Short Story Dagger for On the Anatomization of an Unknown Man (1637) by Frans Mier from NIGHT MUSIC: Nocturnes Vol 2.In 2007 he was awarded the Irish Post Award for Literature. He was the first non-American writer to win the US Shamus award and the first Irish writer to win an Edgar award. BOOKS TO DIE FOR, which he edited with Declan Burke, was the winner of the 2013 Anthony, Agatha and Macavity awards for Best Non-Fiction work.

Judy Bartkowiak

Judy Bartkowiak's training courses and coaching practice have helped thousands of people to apply the skills of NLP in their everyday lives. She is a qualified NLP Trainer, NLP Master Practitioner, NLP Sports Practitioner, NLP Business Practitioner and NLP Children's Practitioner.

Levison Wood

Levison Wood is a best-selling author, explorer and photographer. His work has taken him around the world leading expeditions on five continents and he is an elected fellow of both the Royal Geopgraphical Society and the Explorers Club. His work in journalism has led him to enter the world of documentary film-making and he has collaborated on productions with National Geographic, Animal Planet, Channel 4 and the BBC. Levison spent a number of years as an Officer in the British Parachute Regiment, where he served in Afghanistan. He is also an ambassador for a number of charities including ABF The Soldiers' Charity and The Tusk Trust. He is patron of AMECA and a keen supporter of the Duke of Edinburgh's Award.

Mac Bride

Mac Bride is a successful computer author who brings over 20 years of teaching experience to his writing.

Mahmoud Gaafar

Mahmoud Gaafar worked for the United Nations and Radio Cairo and now authors print, radio and TV resources for the Arab World.

Martyn Ellis

Martyn Ellis is a renowned specialist in language teaching and learning.

Mary Stewart

Mary Stewart was one of the 20th century's bestselling and best-loved novelists. She was born in Sunderland, County Durham in 1916, but lived for most of her life in Scotland, a source of much inspiration for her writing. Her first novel, Madam, Will You Talk? was published in 1955 and marked the beginning of a long and acclaimed writing career. In 1971 she was awarded the International PEN Association's Frederick Niven Prize for The Crystal Cave, and in 1974 the Scottish Arts Council Award for one of her children's books, Ludo and the Star Horse. She was married to the Scottish geologist Frederick Stewart, and died in 2014.

Michel Thomas

Michel Thomas is a world-famous language teacher with an incredible skill to teach in days what usually takes years to learn. A psychology graduate, Michel survived starvation in French concentration and slave-labour camps, endured torture at the hands of Klaus Barbie and, after the war, hunted Nazis as an officer with US Counter Intelligence. These unique, challenging and varied experiences helped him to forge his revolutionary learning system that is in demand from heads of industry and movie stars alike.

Rebecca Holman

Rebecca Holman is currently the editor of TheDebrief.co.uk, the award-winning digital brand for millennial women, sister publication to Grazia. Until recently, Rebecca wrote a weekly column about sex, dating and single life forTelegraph Wonder Women. She has featured as a guest on TV and radio, recently appearing on the Victoria Derbyshire Show and Women's Hour to discuss issues such as female friendships and social media.

Robyn Young

Robyn Young was born in Oxford and grew up in the Midlands and Devon. She has a Masters in Creative Writing from the University of Sussex and lives and writes in Brighton full-time. Her first novel, BRETHREN, was the bestselling hardback debut novel of 2006, with the paperback also going straight into the top ten bestseller list. Two more bestsellers followed, CRUSADE and REQUIEM, completing the Brethren trilogy, which has now sold over a million copies and been translated into nineteen languages.The inspiration for Robyn's new trilogy, which began with INSURRECTION and continues in RENEGADE, grew out of an earlier research trip to Scotland. Robyn explains: 'Day by day, out of the pages of history and the wild landscape, one figure came striding, larger, clearer than all the others - Robert the Bruce. He swept me off my feet and carried me into a story of bitter family feuds, two civil wars and the struggle for the crown. I realised there was no way this character could play a cameo role in another man's story. His tale was too powerful, too intricate and too good to be cut down and boxed to fit.'To find out more about Robyn Young and her historical novels, visit her website at www.robynyoung.com and her Facebook page at www.facebook.com/RobynYoungAuthor and follow her on Twitter @RobynYoung36

Rod Lawton

Rod Lawton is a full-time freelance technology journalist, conversant with Windows and Mac. He writes for Macformat magazine and Mac User.

Rosa Maria Martin

Rosa María Martín is Director of the Language Learning Unit at Queen Mary and Westfield College and an experienced language teacher and adviser.