Afghanistan, Algeria, Argentina, Belarus, Belgium, Benin, Bolivia, Brazil, Burma, China, Columbia, Czech Republic, Dominican Republic, Egypt, El Salvador, France, Gabon, Haiti, India, Iran, Italy, Japan, Khazakhstan, Korea, Martinique, Mexico, Mongolia, Morocco, Nepal, Pakistan, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Senegal, Serbia, Slovakia, Spain, Taiwan, Turkey, Ukraine, Venezuela, Yemen... What do all of these countries have in common? The English Conversation Hour at the Mid-Manhattan Library! We've met and talked to people from all the countries listed during our Thursday evening coversation hours for intermediate, advanced, and native speakers of English. Why not join us one Thursday? We'll be meeting on December 1st and December 8th from 6:30 - 7:30 and then taking a break until January 12th, 2012.
In previous blog posts, we've met Tika from Japan, Audrey from Korea and Guillermo from Mexico. Now, I'd like to introduce you to Licia from Italy!
What is your name?
My name is Licia.
Where are you from?
I’m from Italy.
How long do you plan to stay?
I plan to stay here for three years.
Do you work? Do you go to school? Where?
I work for my Congregation, the Franciscan Sisters of the Poor, and I go to the English Conversation Hour every week.
Can you tell us a little more about your congregation and the work that you do?
We are an international/multi-cultural religious congregation founded in 1845 by Blessed Frances Schervier in Aachen, Germany. We work primarily in health care, pastoral ministry, and social services in Brazil, Italy, Senegal, the Philippines and the United States.
How did you hear about the Thursday English Conversation Hour?
I heard about the Thursday English Conversation Hour from my friend.
Before you started coming to the open conversation group, you were part of a We Are New York conversation group here at Mid-Manhattan. Can you tell us a little about your experience with that group?
It was a great experience. I met many people and I learned many things about NY. Every week we used to see a DVD about a particular topic (like immigration, health, looking for a job, public transportation, etc.). We used to share problems and questions with the volunteer group leaders, so we learned more about the NY lifestyle. I think that when people arrive to live in a new country, it is very important to know the local habits and practices.
What advice would you give to someone who was moving to Italy?
My advice is to become friendly with your neighbors, who are a nice big source of information about local habits and practices and also for learning the Italian language. In Italy there are many welcoming associations for foreign people: my advice is to contact them!
You were away from the group for a while. It's great to see you come back! Why did you return to the group?View from Brooklyn Bridge Tower, ca. 191-
I returned to the group because it is a good experience learning English, sharing our lives and our difficulties, being welcomed by the librarians and getting some information about NY and US culture.
What is your favorite place in New York?
My favorite place in NY is the Brooklyn Bridge. It is very beautiful to walk on the Brooklyn Bridge on sunny days and take pictures.
What is a place everyone who visits your hometown should see?
My hometown is Taranto, a nice city by the sea in southern Italy, sparkling in the sunshine. It is wonderful to visit the swing bridge, the Aragonese Castle and the National Archeological Museum, which has many artifacts from Magna Graecia, areas of southern Italy that were colonized by Greek settlers beginning in the 8th century BC.
Ancient Greek and Italian pottery vesselsDo you borrow books and DVDs from the library?
Yes, sometimes! There is a big choice!
Can you recommend a book or a movie that other English language learners might enjoy?
Night at the Museum. I think this is a good movie for English language learners to watch because the conservations are simple, the movie is funny and the American Museum of Natural History in NY is a very gorgeous museum.
Your English conversation skills are really improving! Do you have any language learning tips to share with our readers?
I suggest speaking a lot! Even if you make mistakes!
Is there anything else you’d like to tell us about yourself or about the library?
I would like to thank the librarians at Mid-Manhattan because you are very friendly.
And we thank you for participating in the group and for taking the time to do this interview, Licia! See you at the next conversation hour.