If you can’t get to Italy to immerse yourself in the language, the next best thing is to surround yourself with the sound of Italian. Taking a class is a great way to begin (and as an Italian teacher, I have to say that!), and if you’re looking for ways to increase your familiarity with Italian on your own time, the web is full of ways to do that. At the moment, I’m listening to a conversation about the Italians’ love of Nutella on LearnItalianPod. There’s a brief introduction, a short dialogue in Italian and then they translate the dialogue line by line. There’s a grammar lesson, as well, and each podcast comes with a transcript of the dialogue, vocabulary list and a quiz.
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I’m going to have to play with this site more to really see how useful it can be, but I’m sure my Italian students will appreciate it. The speakers aren’t talking quickly, so it’s much easier to pick out words – especially for a beginner. Of course, eventually one has to become comfortable with the rapid pace of most Italians’ speech, but there’s no harm in practicing with a slowed-down version at first.
Photo by: plentyofants