9 Italian Conversation Practice Resources That’ll Have You Chatting Like a Local
There are loads of reasons for learning Italian, including work, school, travel and even romance.
Whatever’s gotten you to this point, the end goal is usually the same: Communication.
Unless you plan to text and email your way through the Italian language, that means you’ll need to get some Italian speaking practice.
You’re in luck: There are loads of excellent resources to get you up to speaking speed. Let’s check some out!
- 1. italki
- 2. Tandem
- 3. ConversationExchange.com
- 4. My Language Exchange
- 5. TUTOROO
- 6. Meetup
- 7. YouTube
- 8. LangMedia
- 9. Future Learn
- Why Italian Conversation Practice Is Important for Learners
- Tips for Successful Italian Conversation Practice
- And One More Thing...
This program is the go-to spot for Italian conversation. They have thousands of native-speaking teachers in many languages who are available to either teach a language or help a learner build their skills.
The process is simple. Choose a teacher, schedule a lesson and then the fun begins!
Practicing here means one-on-one learning with a qualified teacher. Any conversational skills you gain will be completely on point!
This resource is a personalized and effective method for gaining confidence in chatting like an Italian!
To learn more, read our full review of italki here.
Tandem helps learners connect with native Italian speakers for the primary purpose of learning to speak Italian.
Besides language learning help, these native speakers will be able to share lots of cultural and travel tidbits—which is a huge bonus to anyone whose interest in Italian goes past the language. Want to hear about Italy’s most popular music or movies? Tandem is the perfect spot to chat about that—with an Italian!
The human factor—a real connection with an actual person—makes a truly solid option for powering up your speaking practice.
It’s quite possible you’ll learn dialects or pick up idioms that’ll make you sound as if you were born in the Boot!
Click here to find our review of Tandem.
ConversationExchange.com is a super way to get some speaking practice into your Italian language program. The site allows learners to partner up for conversational fun!
Like Tandem, you can choose a native Italian speaker and participate in a language exchange with them. You can also find a partner who’s learning Italian and make a study buddy.
Each profile clearly states what languages the learner speaks and what method of conversation is preferable. You can chat via Skype or the built-in chat program on the site—or any other software you and your partner mutually agree upon.
A sweet bonus of this site is that it offers the possibility of meeting up with others in your area who are learning to speak Italian. It’s a great way to get some Italian conversation practice and find friends among local learners!
4. My Language Exchange
My Language Exchange is a super spot to find an Italian conversation partner!
There are many language learners from across Italy who are eager to share their language skills with others. This means you’ll be exposed to native speakers so pronunciation should be authentic—and perfectly suited as a model for your own speech.
As the name implies, the focus here is on language exchange: your partner helps you with your Italian and you help your partner gain English skills. What’s not to love?
Although there’s a free member option, some portions of this site require members to sign up and either pay a fee or earn benefits. Sound confusing? It’s not; the options open to free members and paid are all laid out so it’s clear to see what areas are accessible to everyone and what features require members to pay a small monthly fee.
Use this service to find a language tutor near you.
To find a tutor in your area, simply put your location into the search engine. Browse the list of nearby tutors. Hire one and start speaking!
Honestly, it’s that easy.
There’s no minimum time or lesson commitment, so you’re free to take as few or as many lessons as you’d like.
The only drawback is that the service is currently only available in a number of locations worldwide, but they have plans to expand more in the coming years, so keep an eye on this one if it isn’t available in your location yet.
Meetup puts like-minded people in contact with each other. No matter what your interests are, there are probably others who share them on this site!
For Italian conversation practice, click on the search bar at the top of the page and type either “Italian conversation” or “Italian language exchange,” select your location and search. You’ll be able to see if there are any in-person Italian conversations or language meetings in your area.
Join a Meetup group and head to the next meeting they host to find lots of local conversation partners! Alternatively, there are often plenty of online conversation meetups that you could try if you can’t find any in-person events in your area.
Even More Local Options:
Want even more ways to find a local Italian conversational partner? Here are some ideas!
- Colleges and universities are super places to find conversation partners. Contact the language studies office of your local institution and ask what kind of Italian social groups they have.
- Libraries are also excellent spots to find an Italian language partner. Even small-town libraries have bulletin boards that list activities, events and people looking for all kinds of situations.
If you don’t find an ad for a language partner, tack a note to the board asking for an Italian conversation partner, yourself. You might find someone just like you who’s hoping to practice speaking!
- Craigslist isn’t just for car sales, job listings and apartment rentals. Nearly every city’s site has an “activities” section. That’s where you’re likely to find a local language partner.
Again, if there are no listings for conversation partners, consider placing the ad yourself. The goal is to find someone to speak with, so spread the word!
- Italian cultural groups like to celebrate and share all things Italian—including the language! Most big cities have cultural groups and most of those groups can hook people up with conversation partners.
But don’t assume that only big cities host cultural groups. Look close to home, even if you’re in a small town. The group you find may be a few towns away but it could be well worth the drive to practice your conversational skills!
YouTube is any language learner’s friend since there’s a huge assortment of material available. Okay, not all of it is good quality, but a ton of it’s excellent and very useful for learners.
To cut to the chase, we’ve got two great videos to get you started on some YouTube-fueled Italian speaking practice—and point you in the direction of finding more. These videos feature dialogues and topics that boost conversational skills. Remember to actually practice by following along!
The first speaking practice video is from ItalianPod101. Featuring two hours of daily Italian conversation practice, this video covers topics like going to the cinema, choosing clothing, colors and so much more. It’s aimed at beginning learners but will definitely contribute to anyone’s Italian speaking practice routine!
Plus, you can find tons more videos like this and even more learning resources like videos, podcasts, grammar notes and more on the ItalianPod101 website.
You can find our full review of ItalianPod101 here.
Intermediate level learners will benefit from our second suggestion: an interactive Italian conversation lesson from Italy Made Easy. Remember to reply when prompted to do so!
As with the previous suggestion, there are many more videos from this source. So, if you’re looking for a great resource, check out some of the other lessons available on the Italy Made Easy channel.
You can find more Italian YouTube channel’s in this post.
LangMedia’s collection of videos featuring Italian in Italy were filmed by college students for learners. They’re meant to show examples of authentic language as it’s spoken in its native cultural environment.
There are many topics covered, from basic communication to transportation and shopping. The videos are accompanied by transcripts and English translations.
Cultural information, colloquial language, slang and much more can be learned from making these videos part of any Italian program. It’s a great resource to see and hear Italian in a conversational, natural format but also to provide an opportunity for learners to grab some interesting speaking practice!
9. Future Learn
Made available by the Università per Stranieri di Siena (University for Foreigners of Siena), this collection of speaking practice video files is sure to power up your language skills.
The bundle contains a series of dialogues that are accompanied by transcripts and other exercises to help Italian students learn conversational Italian. The clips cover useful topics like introductions, daily life, conversations about plans, the weather and more.
This course is ideal for beginning-level learners who may need some extra guidance.
Why Italian Conversation Practice Is Important for Learners
We’ve all heard that practice makes perfect. And it’s true: Practicing Italian speaking will get you close to that sought-after goal of perfection.
- You need to be comfortable with lots of vocabulary and understand basic grammar rules. You should be familiar with the nuances, idioms and cadence of the language.
- Comfort and confidence both come with practice. The more you practice, the better you’ll get at it and the less intimidating all these language issues become.
- Conversation practice can improve communication skills by helping to nail down vocabulary (we need all those beautiful Italian words to speak, right?) and solidifying grammar usage. Parts of speech begin to fall into place when they’re used regularly. Conjugating verbs becomes second nature with practice.
- Language exchange lets you put what you’re learning into practice. If you’re already using a language learning program, you can make a mental note to use the most recent lessons in conversation.
If you’re not learning with a program already, I recommend choosing one that focuses on immersion—these can be very complementary to language exchange. One example is the FluentU program.
FluentU takes authentic videos—like music videos, movie trailers, news and inspiring talks—and turns them into personalized language learning lessons.
- Practicing your conversation skills also powers up all your other Italian language skills. Even reading, provided you incorporate some of the written words into your conversations! Reading aloud and then discussing what you’ve read with someone is a super way to do that. Book club, anyone?
Tips for Successful Italian Conversation Practice
There are a couple of ways to ensure your practice will be successful. None are complicated but all will add to your skills—so try to apply each tip to your program.
Choose the Right Resources
When choosing Italian speaking practice resources, there are a couple of things you should consider:
Make sure you pick resources that are at your current learning level. Whether you’re a beginner or advanced learner, that practice will give you the potential to level up.
Choose a practice option with interesting material, to reduce the possibility of boredom.
Look for speaking resources that can provide language immersion. If possible, find native speakers and authentic materials that bring the Italian language and culture to life.
Practice Every Day
The most important tip? Just practice daily. Your speaking practice should be front and center. Talk everywhere—about everything.
This can be difficult if you don’t have someone to practice with, so if you don’t have anyone to talk to, apps that include speaking exercises can help.
Don’t over-focus on getting the finer points of grammar or choosing an unusual phrase to describe something basic. Those skills will come in time. For now, just communicate as well as you can without being so conscious of “getting things right”—let yourself naturally grow as a speaker. In other words, don’t be afraid to make mistakes!
And the mistakes you do make? Good for you! We all make them! Don’t fret over any of them. Learn from your mistakes and celebrate your successes. They’re both a part of the learning process.
This tip I learned from an Italian nonna (grandmother) when I was studying Italian. She advised that I respond to English in Italian—that is, not to let Italian speakers use English with you. If you respond in Italian, the natural thing for the recipient to do is continue the conversation in Italian. I tried it and it worked!
Responding in Italian makes conversations feel very organic and gives you more chances to use your skills, grow them and conquer the fear of making mistakes.
The best way to learn to speak well? It’s simple: Practice!
Practice speaking Italian daily and your skills will grow quickly.
Have fun and find joy in this part of your learning program. It’s super motivating to speak day after day—and realize that as the days pass, you’re speaking with more fluency and confidence.
Before long, you’ll be speaking with native Italian flair!
Buona fortuna! (Good luck!)
And One More Thing...
If you're as busy as most of us, you don't always have time for lengthy language lessons. The solution? FluentU!
Learn Italian with funny commericals, documentary excerpts and web series, as you can see here:
FluentU helps you get comfortable with everyday Italian by combining all the benefits of complete immersion and native-level conversations with interactive subtitles. Tap on any word to instantly see an image, in-context definition, example sentences and other videos in which the word is used.
Access a complete interactive transcript of every video under the Dialogue tab, and review words and phrases with convenient audio clips under Vocab.
Once you've watched a video, you can use FluentU's quizzes to actively practice all the vocabulary in that video. Swipe left or right to see more examples of the word you’re on.
FluentU will even keep track of all the Italian words you’re learning, and give you extra practice with difficult words. Plus, it'll tell you exactly when it's time for review. Now that's a 100% personalized experience!
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