When You Say You Love Me…
Love is a beautiful thing, so why not teach how to say “I love you” in Italian, one of the most romantic languages? Even young children love romance! When teaching this
lesson, you can incorporate multiple activities, like making Valentine’s day cards. If teaching a more advanced class, have your students write some poetry in Italian. One exercise that can be used at any level of Italian is listening to music, and filling in some of the lyrics.
Ti amo is the phrase in Italian that means “I love you,” but in a romantic, passionate way. Point out to students that they would use ti amo when speaking to their significant other. Explain that this is a very powerful phrase to say. When teaching this phrase, go over the construction: amo is the first person singular of amare and that ti refers to “you.”
Ti Voglio Bene
Another phrase for “I love you” in Italian is ti voglio bene. Literally, ti voglio bene means “I want you well.” While it also means “I love you,” it refers to love directed towards friends and family. This concept may be difficult for English-speaking students to grasp, as the English language only has one way to say “I love you.”
Ti Penso Sempre
Ti penso sempre is another romantic phrase in Italian, meaning “I always think of you.” You may also want to introduce other Italian phrases that have the same sentiment as “I love you,” such as mi manchi (I miss you) and cara mia (my beloved).
After introducing the different ways to say “I love you” and other romantic phrases, have students practice writing them and using
them in context. If you are teaching this lesson around Valentine’s day, you can get creative. One way is making Valentine’s day cards. Provide students with different colored paper, different pens and other craft supplies. Have them write out cards that are for loved ones, and check to see how they are using the different phrases. A valentine may look like:
Ti voglio bene!
If you think your students would not want to make cards, have them write some love poetry. You can also introduce other love-related words, like un abbraccio (a hug) or un bacio (a kiss). Check for grammatical errors.
Exercises with Love Songs
Another exercise option when teaching love in Italian is using music. Before class, choose a love song in Italian (Andrea Bocelli is an option) and find the lyrics. White out some of the words, like words for love that will be taught during class and other words students can identify. Pass out the edited lyric sheet to each student, then play the song. Tell students they need to listen closely, and write down the missing words. Replay the song a few times, making sure each student has a chance to hear the song and figure out the missing words. Go over the missing words, and explain any vocabulary students do not know.
- Author’s own experience