No matter if you are a supporter or a critic of the web and social media, you must admit that we live in the era of the Internet. Much like any other, the Internet is a tool. When used cleverly, it will make your tasks easier. Wield it without much care, you might end up hurting yourself or others. The analogy works equally well for language learning. You can sink hours on the Internet, watching cat videos and seeing no progress (or, in effect, hindering yourself with procrastination). At the same time, however, you can also use the bottomless well of information that is the Internet to help you acquire your target language. There is a vast array of different helpful resources scattered across the web, which can help you if you only know where to look.
So, to make your life easier, here is a list of four excellent websites for learning Italian.
Starting from the basics
Italiano per Stranieri is a great place to start with. Among other things, you will find there the building blocks of any language – grammar. Grammar might not be the most exciting thing to learn, but this website will help you get through even the more complex features of Italian.
On this website, you can find plenty of very well-designed materials to download for free. There are also many activities to help you improve your vocabulary and a catalogue of books specifically for your level and interests.
Blogging your way to fluency
Impariamo l’Italiano is a blog that was made by the collaboration of students and teachers, which gives you the benefit of accessing both points of view easily. Teachers were also students some time ago but sometimes they forget what it feels like to learn a foreign language. And that’s where the insight of students is invaluable. All in all, students creating content in collaboration with teachers will help you in a wonderful way!
Pro tip: You will find a lot of idioms under the section “modi di dire”. Great for beginning to speak like a native! Before you get to their list, you can also check out our 25 essential Italian idioms.
Listen to the world
Another great website you can draw from is Ted-talks with Italian subtitles. While this is not an “authentic” Italian website, you will find interesting lectures to keep you busy for hours on end. You can choose whatever topic you prefer and that’s really the key to learning any language – keeping your interest up. The more you are engaged by the lecture you listen to, the more you learn, so learning through your favourite themes is surprisingly helpful.
Just try it!
Slang and street language
Last but not least comes some real listening practice through the Youtube channel of a young boy.
Language is always evolving and developing, so you need to adapt and keep up! Nothing is better for that than listening to young people. This channel was created and is managed by the witty Youtuber Luis Sal and it shows his monologues, which are a lot of fun. You will be able to understand half of it at the beginning but you will soon improve. And if you really get stuck, you can always ask your teacher for an explanation.
So give this channel a try to see how Italian is used every day by young native speakers. It will surely teach you something new.
Conclusion – There are plenty of great websites for learning Italian
Using the Internet is a great way to get your language practice going. Finding the right resources for learning Italian really depends on your own interests and learning styles. So you should do a bit of work to find websites that work for you. As a result, your comprehension of the language and confidence in your own knowledge will improve quickly. You should practice at least two or three times per week – repetita iuvant (repetition helps). Remember also that asking a native speaker or your language tutor for help after having browsed these juicy websites is always the best way to get better.
What are you waiting for? Let’s start exploring these gems of Italian culture!
This article was written by Alice S – our Italian and English teacher in Milan. Sign up for lessons with her below.