This is Mattia who started learning English with me 4 or 5 years ago. We would met at Katia’s (his grandmother) house where she would make me a cup of coffee and then we would start revising what he had done in school. At the beginning this was English grammar but then we moved on to studying his english course books which were on electricity, electronics and also literature such as Orwell’s Animal Farm.

Last Wednesday was the end of an era as Mattia and I had our last lesson prior to him starting the Matturita – the equivalent of A levels. Yesterday, 22nd June, was the first exam – Italian. Today, 23rd he will have the second exam. As he goes to a scientific institute the exam will be in mathematics. After this there is a short break and then another written exam which will have questions on 5 other subjects they have studied, including English. The whole process will finish with an oral exam where in front of a board of teachers and outside assessors students must answer questions on various subjects including English.

So during our last few English lessons Mattia has been explaining to me, in English, “the difference between AC and DC power”, the advantages and disadvantages of nuclear power in relation to Italy”, “what is the Cold War”, “in Animal Farm how did Napoleon obtain and maintain power” etc. He explained them all with no problems and so, at least, in the English part of the Maturita he should do well.

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