It’s not very often you get to mix study and play.
But YouTube is different.
And while we would typically advise you to keep these activities separate, we invite you to take full advantage of the recreational and educational possibilities that YouTube offers.
Yes, it’s easy to get caught up in videos of people doing weird stunts or reviewing expensive makeup and waste a few hours, but there is practical content to be found!
And some of it can even help you speak better Italian.
YouTube has loads of language learning content, and plenty of Italian channels at that. You might be skeptical, though. YouTube is a website for fun times and unwinding after work, right? How can you actually learn something from it?
How Can You Learn to Speak Italian with YouTube?
A solid question deserves a solid answer.
Learning with YouTube is like learning through any other platform, like apps or podcasts. It can seem a little confusing at first, but the possibilities are endless. Online video sites are an ever-growing resource for educational advancement, including language study.
YouTube is an easily-accessible platform where people from all backgrounds and levels can give their input on the topics they know best. YouTube creates a bridge between people and allows us to learn from each other at home or on the go. Never has language learning been so convenient!
So how exactly does this help your Italian speaking skills?
An important benefit of YouTube is the way it helps you access native speakers. Being able to connect and learn from native speakers is arguably one of the best ways to pick up a language. Listening to native speakers gives you an audiovisual guide to pronunciation, common slang and vocabulary in context.
So now that we’ve established exactly why this works, let’s discuss some great places to find quality content to improve your speaking.
Watch and Learn: 7 YouTube Channels to Teach You How to Speak Italian
ItalianPod101 has a lot of resources at hand for speaking Italian with a huge video library full of content for any interest. Like many of the most successful language channels, ItalianPod101’s YouTube page has native speakers who guide you through learning in a way that’s dynamic and fun. There are a number of different series to choose from, including Ask an Italian Teacher and Italian Reading for Beginners, so you’ll never get bored.
One of channel’s best qualities is its ability to cater to diverse skill levels. Anyone from absolute beginners to seasoned students can find something to learn. This makes it ideal for those who are just dipping their toes in the water or those who simply need supplemental resources. The channel’s videos are usually labeled by level of difficulty, making it even easier for students to find the content that works best for them.
ItalianPod101 covers all the bases for speaking fluent Italian. You’ll pick up skills you’ll need to express yourself clearly like sentence structure and vocabulary, while also learning about culture and polishing your listening skills.
Although you can upgrade to a paid account for more resources, ItalianPod101’s YouTube channel is free, and the signup process is quick and painless—all you have to do is put in your email address and your current Italian skill level and you’re all set!
The number one problem for most language learners is finding a way to immerse themselves in the language they’re learning. Learning grammar and verb conjugations is important for effective communication, but you need to hear and see language in context. The key to becoming fluent in Italian is to think in Italian, and that’s what FluentU can help you do.
FluentU takes real-world videos—like music videos, movie trailers, news and inspiring talks—and turns them into personalized language learning lessons. It has huge array of learning materials that are easily accessible to learners at any level.
FluentU has hundreds of videos available for language learners. The videos are from the “real world,” meaning that they’re the same music videos, shows, news broadcasts and movie trailers that natives watch. The only difference is these videos have added features that cater to the language learner. With subtitles available in both English and Italian, plus the ability to choose your skill level (beginner to native), this is a great tool for immersing yourself in the Italian language.
Parlando Italiano (Speaking Italian) is another great resource designed by native speakers. It’s definitely a good place for beginners since many of its lessons are subtitled and explained in English with Italian vocabulary weaved throughout. Some advanced learners might find these lessons a bit underwhelming, but they can be a big help to newbies and even intermediate students who need a refresher on certain topics.
This channel focuses on speaking topics that beginning students will need, such as basic vocabulary and grammatical structure. The videos will help build a strong foundation in Italian by giving viewers lots of examples of correct pronunciation and speaking patterns.
Weilà is a casual Italian phrase that comes out to something like “hey there.” This greeting sets the tone for all of Weilà Tom’s videos, a relaxed, easygoing language learning channel that still goes deep into Italian.
Tom has plenty of resources for just about any learner. His videos are in English and explained clearly, usually coming in at about ten minutes each. The lessons often come with accompanying blog posts and Italian education resources in the description box, providing a pretty cohesive experience for viewers of any skill set. These videos work best for addressing common problems, including how Italian grammar functions and how to listen and pronounce effectively. (The listening videos even come in different speeds!)
Tom’s videos can benefit both beginning and advanced speakers. Newbies can start by watching his videos on the basics of speaking, like pronunciation and grammar. More experienced learners can brush up on their skills, as well as check out Tom’s Italian vlogs for immersion in speaking everyday Italian. For more listening practice, students can also watch Tom’s videos teaching Italian speakers English.
This channel is a good introduction into everyday Italian. It’s definitely worth a look no matter where you’re at as a student.
ITALIamo might seem a little intimidating at first, showcasing a range of videos with titles that are completely in Italian, but don’t run away yet.
Beginners can easily find something to learn here. All of the videos on the channel, while fully in Italian, provide PDF documents with the full script for each lesson in both English and Italian (look out for the instructions underneath each video). This means that even those with little experience in Italian can understand what’s going on.
This ability to listen to Italian while having support available in English provides an immersive experience that benefits listening and pronunciation skills. ItaliAMO’s videos are best suited for learning how to speak properly and building vocabulary for specific situations, such as eating breakfast or buying a train ticket.
These videos are also ideal for people who don’t have a whole lot of extra time. ItaliAMO fits its lessons into videos that are five minutes or less in length, making it easy to jump in and out of new content as needed. The videos cover a variety of fun topics and take viewers through different lessons in easily-digestible chunks.
Beginners can use the support resources to ease into fully-Italian content, and advanced learners can use these videos to test their fluency. ItaliAMO has something for students of all levels!
Sgrammaticando is definitely not a channel for beginners. While the channel boasts over 400 diverse lessons teaching on a number of topics, the lessons are completely in Italian with no English subtitles. New students will undoubtedly struggle, but intermediate and advanced students have plenty of material to refine their speaking skills.
The channel is great for immersion, if only because everything is in Italian. You’re getting the real deal from a native speaker. So why should intermediate students even bother? It’d be too much, right? Nope. All of the channel’s videos are also captioned in Italian.
This means that students who need the support can hone their listening skills by matching the captions to words and easily turning to the closed captioning when they’re struggling. (An added benefit of this is that it helps your Italian reading skills!)
There’s obviously loads here for learners who are further along in their studies too. The channel’s videos are ideal for advanced students looking to incorporate more complex sentences into their daily speech. The channel also takes time to focus on more nuanced topics, like how to use salve (hi) as a greeting or how to avoid common pronunciation mistakes.
There are literally hundreds of lessons to choose from and new ones posted every few days, so don’t be afraid to jump right in and start learning.
We know that language and culture are intertwined, and it’s impossible to become completely fluent in a language without a little bit of cultural awareness. The good news is that professor Rafael Sozzi has you covered when it comes to learning the intricacies of Italian culture.
Rafael’s channel is relatively recent, but already has quite a number of videos available on both Italian language and culture. For advanced learners, this channel is probably best used to increase your cultural knowledge, since these videos are entirely in Italian.
Intermediate students can give this one a go if they feel daring, but the videos aren’t captioned in English or Italian, so it might be a bit of a struggle. (They are, however, subtitled in Portuguese, so if you know anything about that, then feel free to take advantage.)
This channel is best for students who want to pick up the culture while also honing their listening skills with native speakers. The topics Rafael covers are both fun and fascinating. He’ll take you through Italian culture and what you can learn from it.
What’s the best way to brew Italian coffee? Why does the Tower of Pisa lean? You can learn that and much more here in consistently updated and neatly formatted videos, short enough to fit into even the busiest day.
This is just a drop in the bucket of what YouTube has to offer the studious, yet fun-loving Italian learner! Pick a few of these great channels to watch today and be on your way to speaking Italian with confidence!
If you liked this post, something tells me that you'll love FluentU, the best way to learn Italian with real-world videos.