The Holidays are just around the corner and already, people are formulating their resolutions for the new year.
Might yours be to learn a second language? If so, how about learning Italian?
People are also making their winter travel plans.
Here’s an idle thought: wonder how many Britons will travel to Italy? Will you?
You may enjoy Tuscan wine and cuisine, and thus want to learn expressions related to cooking. Or you might cast an eye on the future by helping your child to learn how to speak Italian in the new year.
In all cases, this article will give you all of the information you need to know about choosing a good Italian teacher.
It will also help you decide how much to budget for Italian language lessons, how you can learn for free, and show you how far an education in this romance language could take you.
Are you ready? Avanti!
Learning Italian does not have to be a bank-breaking affair! Source: Pixabay Credit: Nosheep
According to a report compiled by the British Council, Italian lags behind French, German and Spanish as a language students elect to learn in secondary school.
It’s not that Italian courses are not offered in UK schools. They are, alongside a lot of other languages. Languages that are more often selected for study than Italian.
Many lovers of la lingua d’italia opt for private lessons, rather than classroom instruction.
You might be interested in knowing: at what cost?
The average rate for one hour of private instruction in any foreign language, no matter if you want to learn French, learn Spanish, or learn German, is influenced by several factors.
With all of that being said, here are baseline prices you can expect to encounter as you plan your language learning experience:
Most Superprof tutors of Italian offer their initial lesson for free!
What type of teacher can you expect for £10 per hour?
The best teacher for your Italian learning needs is the one you choose! Source: PIxabay Credit: Geralt
Obviously, you would want the very best Italian teacher: one that suits your needs as well as your budget.
The question remains: what is a good teacher?
If you are an absolute beginner, your teacher should be capable of instructing you on everything, starting with the Italian alphabet, which is a bit different from ours.
S/he would have to instruct you on Italian grammar and vocabulary, and drill you on Italian verb conjugation.
Word order – the adjectives and adverbs before nouns and verbs, is reversed in Italian: le cose belle – the things beautiful, instead of the beautiful things.
You would spend hours working on your Italian pronunciation. For example, to say buon giorno correctly, you would stress it like so: buON giORno.
Listening comprehension is equally important. For example: the popular Italian phrase ciao, bella! is two words instead of the oft-perceived one word.
Unless you will be satisfied with learning only conversational Italian – chatting with shopkeepers and ordering food from restaurants while you holiday in Italy, you should learn how to read and understand Italian writing.
Of course, it would be helpful to learn a bit of translation to and from Italian, too.
Your chosen teacher would have to be well-versed in Italian language and culture, and demonstrate a degree of fluency in speaking.
No, we’re not being facetious. Check out the students in America who are learning to speak French from someone who does not know the language!
Other questions you should raise with any potential teacher you consider are:
Before any tutoring can begin, your teacher should ask to assess your level of Italian speaking.
It is this proposed initial evaluation of how fluently you can speak Italian that will give you the best indication that you’ve found a good teacher.
Once you have found the ideal teacher to learn Italian language skills from, you can start dreaming about how far your Italian classes can take you!
You can sit A Levels or even the International Baccalaureate in Italian Source: Pixabay Credit: DeMysticWay
A study conducted by the British Council reveals that the language of Dante Alighieri is the seventh most popular language at A Levels.
Even if you do not intend to make a career out of parlarle l’italiano – should you pursue architecture, art, history or music, the language spoken in the land of The Boot would be an asset to you.
Far more than just for sojourning in Naples, Rome, Venice or Milan, sitting Italian A Levels will broaden your future career prospects.
Upon satisfactory completion of your secondary education certification, you may further your studies in Italian language courses by preparing for A Levels.
Obviously, this more strenuous exam requires more intensive study of this most romantic of romance languages.
However, the exam itself may not be as taxing as you thought.
Italian A Levels is a two-part ordeal, challenging your receptive and communicative skills in turn.
For the AS Level, you will be permitted to choose a topic for discussion, rather than have one assigned to you.
From there, your examiner will formulate four questions relating to that topic, that you must answer in as fluent an Italian as you can manage.
For example: you have chosen Italian food as your subject for discussion.
Here are possible questions your interlocutor could ask:
The second portion of the AS exam covers reading and writing.
You will have two and a half hours to compose your thoughts on your chosen subject and put them on paper.
Italian spelling, vocabulary and word order, verb conjugation, and use of adjectives and adverbs are all measured against your ability to write and understand la lingua d’italia.
This first exam contrasts from the A2, in that you have a choice of topics.
For the A2 examination, you will be required to provide a researched essay on a given topic relating to some aspect of Italy: language and culture, history, traditions, economy, or education in Italy.
For this exam, it would be very helpful if you have a chance at immersion: spending a gap year in Italy, or maybe interning with a business, in your favorite region of the country.
That would help with the oral portion of the A2, which demands a greater proficiency and familiarity with the language.
Beyond the A Levels, you could sit the International Baccalaureate in Italian.
Considering the impact of Italian trade on the global economy – and on our British economy, it may well be worth investing in this additional layer of testimony to your Italian studies.
You may think that learning a language to that extent would cost a bundle. Read on to find free resources to help build up your Italian phrasebook.
Reading daily newspapers in Italian is a free way for you to practice your reading skills Source: Pixabay Credit: OCV
You may have felt your wallet cringe at the mention of a trip to Italy, tutoring fees and the many – expensive! – ways to learn a new language.
Fear not! There are many ways you can learn Italian words and phrases for free.
When you think free, you may as well say Internet: an excellent choice to learn Italian for free.
The World Wide Web puts all manner of language learning tools at your fingertips.
That is no exaggeration. Let us explore some of the ways you can diversify your arsenal of learning materials.
Are you tired of textbooks? Loecsen is a language learning website featuring interactive tools for a multitude of languages.
You can learn German, learn Korean, learn French… Learn Italian!
With a bit of dedication and discipline, you could go from sono inglese, non capisco I am English, I don’t understand to il tuo paece mi piace molto I like your country in no time at all, thanks to this site!
Another page that provides basic Italian vocabulary and grammar instructions is Ilanguages.org.
This website offers flashcards, in addition to all of the features you will find on the Loecsen site.
Both of these sites round out their learning chapters with a quiz.
Of course, you are more than welcome to subscribe to for-fee sites, but the point of this topic is free resources to learn Italian!
If you’ve simply had enough of lessons for the day and crave uplifting entertainment, you could always tune in to Italian music channels, watch Italian films or television broadcasts.
YouTube has no lack of Italian content.
All you need to do is access that page and search for Italian channels.
From there, it is simply a matter of selecting what you want to watch: music videos, language learning tips, conversation between native Italian speakers or how to make a gorgeous lasagna.
A seldom thought-of avenue of Italian reading materials is newspapers.
W3 Newspapers has thoughtfully gathered all of the prominent – and the not-so-prominent daily and weekly magazines for your perusal.
You can also find regional publications, such as ItaliaOggi, Giornale di Sicilia, and L’arena on that page.
If you are a sports fan, you could read Corriere dello Sport.
Much like our own BBC site, these Italian news sources are available for free.
Many of these online news outlets include links to videos, interviews and exposés, giving your further opportunity to hone your listening skills.
Anyone can learn Italian.
Whether you wish for your child to pursue the language of Da Vinci or if you are a golden-ager wishing to holiday in Naples, it is never too late – or too early to learn a new language.
The sheer variety of tools, teachers and techniques to learn Italian is staggering. By making use of any or all of them, you are not only enriching yourself, but contributing to British Italian relations.
And that can only be advantageous for us all.