I was delighted when Marjorie Fargis from Italianverse asked me to lead a class for people who want to improve their pronunciation through ‘reading aloud’ authentic texts. We gather on Tuesdays at 2130 Italian time (2030 UK time, 1230 SL time) in Italianverse, I distribute the ‘text’ via notecard or Internet link, I listen to people read aloud in turn, and I write commonly mispronounced words in local chat for the reader to practise aloud with me before we move on to the next reader. I try to give advanced warning of the text on my Facebook page for those who wish to have an overview beforehand.
The class now has a loyal ‘core’ of people from several countries, and all are welcome to join us! See below for a summary of what we have done in the past.
Our first text was Jane Austen’s ‘Pride and Prejudice’ – my favourite book of all time. In my mind, I am (of-course) Elizabeth, and I bought appropriate costume!
Our second was ‘The Importance of being Earnest’ by Oscar Wilde. For this we met in the theatre at Italian Mood. Managing a situation where there is more interaction through dialogue requires different ‘classroom management’ techniques in Second Life. Here are the plans: The text is divided into numbered sections and distributed via notecard or link to a google doc (This way people can ‘catch up’ if late or distracted!) If readers have a technical failure, or I take over the reading until they can join in again.
Our third venture was to read some of the Monty Python scripts. This allowed for a wide variety of costumes and a lot of fun!
We have read several short stories. [Follow this link to find some online versions]. Edgar Allen Poe’s ‘Tales of the Unexpected’ are particular favourites, including ‘Dahl the Soldier’, ‘Poison’, ‘A Dip in the Pool’, ‘Taste, ‘The Umbrella Man’ to name but a few
Sessions on poetry helped us to focus on particular sounds, and we had great fun with Limericks!
Each Christmas we read a selection of readings and some of us enjoy dressing up …!
Over Christmas 2015 we read Charles Dickens’ performance version of A Christmas Carol. Special mention must be made of the costumes chosen by Arcanquest and WizardOz to bring the story alive!
Oscar Wilde’s ‘The Picture of Dorian Gray’ lends itself particularly well to Second Life. We have our own mysterious, changing picture …! This was our first attempt at using ‘Parallel Texts’. Follow this link to a fantastic site with a variety of parallel texts for different paired languages. This means that readers can decide whether they want to read the English or the Italian version.