Learn Italian

Are you considering learning a new language? Why not try Italian? Whether you're planning a trip to Italy, interested in Italian culture and literature, or simply want to expand your linguistic skills, learning Italian can be a rewarding and enjoyable experience. In this article, we will explore the rationales for learning Italian, its benefits, efficient learning techniques, how to sustain motivation, ways to assess your proficiency, guidelines for choosing a high-quality course, and why studying abroad is the most effective method for mastering Italian.

Learn Italian with EF

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Want to learn Italian?

Here's why you should choose EF for your Italian course abroad.

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Learn Italian in Italy

Why learn Italian

Italian is a beautiful and widely spoken language with approximately 85 million speakers worldwide. It is the official language of Italy, San Marino, and Vatican City, and is also spoken by many people in Switzerland, Croatia, and Slovenia. There are many good reasons to learn Italian, from cultural enrichment to career opportunities to personal growth. For instance, you can read classic works of literature by Italian authors such as Dante, Petrarch, or Boccaccio in their original language. You can appreciate the subtle nuances of Italian operas by listening to them in Italian. You can also explore Italian cuisine by reading recipes in Italian, and you can even learn to cook traditional Italian dishes. Additionally, you can visit famous Italian cities like Rome, Florence, and Venice and communicate with locals in their native tongue, thus making your travel experience even more meaningful and enjoyable. Whether you are interested in art, literature, music, cuisine, or science, Italian can help you deepen your understanding and appreciation of the world.

5 benefits of learning Italian

  1. Cultural enrichment: Italian is a language that is deeply rooted in history, art, and culture. Learning Italian can provide you with a deeper appreciation for Italian music, literature, film, and art. By learning Italian, you can gain a deeper understanding and appreciation of the country's rich history and cultural heritage. You can also explore famous landmarks, such as the Leaning Tower of Pisa or the Colosseum in Rome, and learn about the country's traditions, festivals, and customs.
  2. Professional opportunities: Italy is the eighth-largest economy in the world, and many multinational companies have operations there. Learning Italian can open doors for career opportunities in fields such as fashion, design, tourism, and food and wine industries.
  3. Travel: Italy is a popular travel destination for people all over the world. Knowing Italian can make your travels more enjoyable, as it can help you communicate with locals, order food, and navigate the country with greater ease.
  4. Science and research: Italy is renowned for its contributions to fields such as art, literature, music, and science. Italian has a long history of scientific discoveries, and knowing the language can provide you with access to a wealth of research and resources.
  5. Personal growth: Learning a new language is a challenging and rewarding experience that can help you improve your memory, concentration, and cognitive skills. It can also help you build connections with new people and expand your understanding of the world.

How to learn Italian

There are plenty of ways to learn Italian, like taking classes at a school, hiring a private tutor, or using language learning apps online. The key is to find a method that works for you and matches your learning style and goals. Whether you want to dive in headfirst or take it slow, there's an approach that will suit your needs.

One of the most effective ways to learn Italian is through immersion and going to Italy to learn the language. This involves being in an environment where Italian is the primary language spoken and used in daily life. While this can be challenging for learners who can’t travel to Italy, there are still many ways to create an Italian immersion environment at home.

here are three tips on how to incorporate Italian into your daily routine:

  1. Label your surroundings in Italian: You can place post-it notes with Italian words on objects around your home or office, like your refrigerator, computer, or desk. This way, you'll be reminded of the vocabulary in a practical and meaningful way, and the constant exposure to the words will help them stick in your memory.
  2. Listen to Italian music or podcasts during your commute: You can listen to Italian music, podcasts, or audiobooks while you're commuting or doing other activities that don't require your full attention. This can help you get familiar with the rhythm, melody, and intonation of the language, and expose you to new vocabulary and expressions.
  3. Practice Italian with a friend or language exchange partner: You can set up regular practice sessions with a friend or a language exchange partner and practice your Italian skills by chatting, discussing topics of interest, or playing language learning games. This way, you'll be able to practice in a supportive and friendly environment, and you'll also get feedback on your progress.

Once you've incorporated Italian into your daily routine, you can build upon these habits and add Italian to different parts of your day. For example, you can read Italian news articles during your lunch break or use an Italian dictionary to look up new words when you're on the go. You can also watch Italian movies or TV shows with subtitles, or even switch the language settings on your phone or computer to Italian. By making Italian a regular part of your daily life, you'll be able to reinforce what you've learned, increase your exposure to the language, and improve your overall proficiency. Consistency is key, so finding ways to integrate Italian into different parts of your day can make a significant difference in your learning progress.

Challenges of learning Italian

While learning Italian can be a rewarding experience, it is not without its challenges. Here are some of the main obstacles that learners of Italian may encounter:

  1. Pronunciation: Italian has a unique and melodic sound, which can be challenging for English speakers to replicate. The language also features many vowel sounds, including long and short sounds, which can take some time to master.
  2. Grammar: Italian grammar is complex, and there are many verb tenses and noun declensions to learn. The word order can also be different from your language, which can lead to confusion.
  3. Vocabulary: Italian vocabulary is rich and varied, but it can also be overwhelming for learners. There are many words that have multiple meanings, and some words can be difficult to remember.
  4. Regional dialects: Italy has many regional dialects, which can vary significantly from standard Italian. This can be confusing for learners who are not familiar with the dialects.
  5. Slang and idioms: Italian, like any language, has its fair share of slang and idioms, which can be challenging for learners to understand. For example, the Italian phrase "prendere in giro" means to tease or make fun of someone, but the literal translation is "to take in a circle."

Learning Italian can be challenging, but it's an experience that is both fulfilling and satisfying. With practice and dedication, learners can overcome these obstacles and gain proficiency in the language. Resources such as textbooks, language apps, and language exchange programs can be helpful in supplementing classroom instruction and improving language skills. By immersing oneself in the language and culture, learners can gain a deeper appreciation and understanding of Italian and the people who speak it.

Stay motivated while learning Italian

Staying motivated while learning a new language can be challenging, but it is essential for success. Here are some tips for staying motivated while learning Italian:

  1. Set achievable goals: Setting goals that are challenging but attainable can help you stay motivated and focused on your journey to learn Italian.
  2. Celebrate your successes: Take time to celebrate your achievements, no matter how small they may seem. Recognizing progress can help you stay motivated and committed to learning Italian.
  3. Find a language partner: Connecting with other language learners or native speakers can be an excellent way to stay motivated and accountable. Practice speaking and listening with a language partner, and encourage each other to stay on track with language learning goals.
  4. Use positive reinforcement: Focus on the positive aspects of learning Italian, and try to avoid getting discouraged by mistakes or setbacks. Keep a positive mindset, and remember that making mistakes is an essential part of the learning process.
  5. Make it fun: Learning Italian does not have to be a chore. Incorporate activities that you enjoy into your language learning routine, such as watching Italian movies or listening to Italian music. This can help keep you engaged and motivated to learn. By staying motivated and committed to your language learning goals, you can make significant progress in learning Italian and achieve your goals. Remember to celebrate your successes and stay positive, and most importantly, have fun with the process!

How to measure your Italian level

There are several standardized tests available for measuring your Italian language proficiency, such as the CILS (Certification of Italian as a Foreign Language) and the PLIDA (Progetto Lingua Italiana Dante Alighieri). These tests evaluate your speaking, reading, writing, and listening skills in Italian and provide a score that corresponds to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) levels, from A1 to C2.

At EF, we offer an Italian proficiency test that can help you evaluate your reading and listening comprehension skills in Italian. Our test provides a score between 0 and 100 for each skill, as well as an overall score, based on the CEFR levels. This can help you determine your current language level and set achievable language goals.

Taking our Italian proficiency test is a quick and easy way to assess your language skills and track your progress. Whether you're a beginner or an advanced learner, our test can provide you with valuable insights into your strengths and weaknesses in Italian. It can also help you identify areas for improvement and tailor your language learning goals and strategies to meet your specific needs.

Test your Italian

How to pick a good Italian course

Choosing the right Italian course is essential to achieving your language learning goals. Here are some options to consider when selecting an Italian course:

  1. Language courses: Taking a language course is an excellent way to learn Italian, particularly if you can immerse yourself in the language by studying abroad. Studying abroad can provide you with a unique opportunity to learn the language in a native environment, immerse yourself in the culture, and meet new people.

  2. Online resources: Online resources can be an effective and convenient way to learn Italian. There are many websites, videos, and podcasts available that can help you practice reading, writing, and speaking in Italian. Some resources offer interactive lessons and quizzes, while others provide reading materials or videos that can be used for self-study.

  3. Language exchange: Language exchange programs allow you to practice speaking and listening in Italian with native speakers. You can find language partners through websites or apps that connect language learners from around the world. This can be a great way to practice conversational Italian and gain insights into Italian culture while making new friends.

  4. Self-study: Self-study can be a great option for those who prefer to learn at their own pace. Resources such as textbooks, online courses, and podcasts can be used for self-study, and many are available for free online. This approach requires discipline and motivation, but it can be an effective way to learn Italian on your own terms.

  5. Group classes: Group classes provide the opportunity to learn Italian with a group of other learners. This can be a great way to practice speaking, get feedback from a teacher, and meet new people. Group classes can be found at language schools, community centers, or through language meetup groups.

    In summary, there are several options for learning Italian, from studying abroad to using language learning apps to self-study. The key is to find an approach that suits your learning style, goals, and preferences. By selecting the right Italian course, you can gain the skills and confidence you need to communicate effectively in Italian and gain a deeper appreciation for Italian culture and history.

Studying Italian at EF Rome was an amazing experience. The school's location immersed me in Italian culture, while the small class sizes allowed for personalized attention from highly qualified teachers. Learning Italian was engaging and fun, and I left feeling confident in my language abilities. I highly recommend EF for an immersive language learning experience.

Kristine, EF Rome

Learn Italian with EF

At EF, we believe that learning Italian should be enjoyable and exciting. Our experienced Italian teachers in our school in Rome are passionate about teaching and strive to create an immersive and interactive learning environment that is tailored to your individual needs and learning style. With a variety of Italian courses available, including intensive classes, group travel, and immersive language programs, we can help you achieve your language goals and deepen your understanding of Italian culture.

If you're eager to enhance your Italian language skills, reach out to us to learn more about our courses and embark on your language learning journey today.

Learn Italian in Rome

Learn Italian at our Rome school situated in the heart of the city, surrounded by the vibrant culture and rich history of the Italian capital.

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