Want to learn Italian with a structured, easily manageable and scalable method?
What about roaming the streets of Rome and enjoying a coffee before going to class at your historic university?
Or, does learning Italian with friends and fellow students in your local area take your fancy?
Whichever direction you wish to take, these three methods have one common feature: lessons!
Taking Italian lessons is one of the best ways to integrate usable Italian into your study routine, whether at home or abroad.
But be warned, I’m not talking about the Italian classes you might have done at school (like me). You know the ones, singing songs and learning the different colors, counting to 10 and so on.
In this blog, we’re looking at real lessons that provide tangible results to your Italian skills, the types of lessons that leave you feeling fulfilled, confident and full of passion.
Lessons that can be practically applied and challenge you to keep pushing your level.
For this, we need two ingredients. Firstly, quality lessons from proven sources. And secondly, a proper approach to ensure optimal learning.
So, are you ready to explore the wonderful world of Italian lessons? What’s more, learn how this “traditional” method of learning can lead to real and practical Italian learning outcomes?
Explore below as we delve into everything you’ve wanted to know about Italian lessons and more!
How Much Do Italian Lessons Cost?
Of course, depending on your approach and budget there may be a variety of options available of differing costs.
Because of this, it’s not necessarily a question of how much Italian lessons cost but rather how much you’re willing to pay! Be aware that there are plenty of cheap and even free options for you to take advantage of when it comes to learning Italian lessons.
We’re going to break it down into three price points for you to consider so that you’ll be able to make the best choice for your Italian development.
Explore some free lesson options
It’s never been easier to find free resources for language learning and Italian is certainly no different. You can explore some of the different options below:
- Online courses: Organize a course-style learning situation from a top free Italian lesson website. There are many free and downloadable ways to learn Italian online, with plenty of lessons and resources for you to discover which have been prepared by dedicated learners and teachers. There are also paid options with a range of different price points and options.
- Online exchange: Start an online exchange with a native speaker and together you can propose a lesson-style class with each other. One of the key purposes of language exchange is to practice speaking but you can certainly organize more structured classes with the right partner. There’s generally no financial cost involved in online language exchanges but you will be required to share your time equally between languages and do some teaching.
- Self-styled courses: If you’re a self-starter, there’s no reason why your own learning can’t follow a self-styled lesson structure. With language books, downloadable materials, listening resources and YouTube you’ll be able to re-create a lesson style structure for free. You can even involve friends and family who are also Italian learners to recreate a learning environment at home!
- University courses: You’ll certainly be able to access some free online Italian lessons from massive global universities! Check out some of the popular Massive Open Online Course libraries (MOOCs) and see if you can find Italian lessons that suit your level. For example, on the Open University page, you’ll find a great Italian for beginners lesson course for free.
Find some middle ground with mid-range Italian lessons
Mid-range or mid-cost Italian lessons come into play when you’re searching for professional instruction or guidance. Generally, these are online options favored by students who prefer to have a set-routine with an Italian teacher. These may also be useful for students looking to advance in particular study areas or students taking Italian at school or higher education.
Some of the mid-cost Italian learning options might include:
- Purchasing an online course: You can take time to search through some of the MOOCs and see if there are any lessons that take your fancy. Although many are free, you may also find some purchasable courses. For example, if you’re after specific lessons such as business Italian. In this case, you might want to consider buying a course from one of these resources. You can find reasonable courses from about 10USD-30USD (for the entire course).
- Find an online teacher: An online teacher differs from an exchange partner in that these are designed as proper Italian lessons with a professional teacher. You won’t be expected to do any teaching back! But, you’ll have to pay! You can search for some of the popular teaching platforms to find professional teachers and Italian instructors from about $10-$30 USD per hour.
Costly options for more specialized learning
There are certainly more costly lessons available to Italian learners who are looking to spend a little bit more on their Italian learning goals. I’ve found that these options are most popular with beginners establishing a base in the language and advanced learners taking it to the next level often with more complex components of the language or a set goal in mind.
Some of the more costly Italian lesson options are below:
- University courses: Courses in a university are arguably the most traditional form of language learning there is! Certainly, Italian learners are encouraged to enroll in university courses if they believe they’ll benefit from it or perhaps plan to use Italian in a professional context in the future. It’s difficult to price an Italian university course as it depends on the tuition of the chosen university. However, as tuition is generally a costly investment it makes the costly options list!
- Private lessons with a tutor (in person): There’s always the option to find a private Italian tutor in your local area. You can search through online directories/blogs/tutoring websites to find an instructor that seems like a good match for your learning goals. A private language tutor will generally go for a bit more than an online teacher. To give you one point of contact, the average cost of a private Italian tutor in New York is between $40-70USD. Of course, please be aware that this may also be location-dependent and subject to supply and demand!
- Study in Italy: Of course, there are always options to study abroad which we’ll discuss below in greater depth. While European tuition can be cheaper and a more affordable option than other regions you must also factor in the cost of living, lodging, food, travel and additional expense that are supplementary to studying abroad. This is on top of the university fees and costs. And for this, it makes the costly options list.
How to Find Italian Lessons Near Me
It’s certainly possible to find affordable and even free in-person classes in your local area. What’s great is that there are often large Italian communities that you can find in the bigger cities across the globe. Being from Melbourne, Australia there are many families of Italian immigrants and a very large Italian-Australian community and heritage in the city.
This means there are heaps of cultural events, restaurants, community centers and most of all, opportunities to practice speaking!
Of course, this isn’t the case in every city across the world. Because of this, we’ll look at some additional ways to find Italian lessons near your location. These are divided into free options and affordable options.
Free options for finding Italian lessons nearby
Italian one-on-one lessons with in-person meetups
Along with online exchange partners, there are many online forums dedicated to in-person meet-ups and cultural and linguistic exchanges. Check out some of the tops sites and search your area for Italian speakers. What’s great is that you can often search for additional parameters such as interests, age and additional languages.
Similar to an online exchange partner it’s generally expected that you offer your language teaching services in return. One example of this approach is using the page conversation exchange.
Leverage social media to find Italian events and festivals
Have a look through social media sites such as Facebook groups and Twitter threads for community meet-ups, Italian cultural events, sports days, or even language exchanges.
You’ll be surprised how many great events there are on the calendar to explore. From there it’s just a matter of meeting new people, exchanging details and following up.
One of my favorite YouTube linguists Laoshu505000 has hundreds of videos where he attends events to practice Chinese, Korean, Italian, Vietnamese and many other languages. His learning strategy is to get out there, meet new people and show an interest in different languages and cultures.
Check community websites for events
There are many great websites dedicated to community events and gatherings of like-minded individuals. Sites such as the website Meetup provides a great starting place to explore if there are Italian lessons or exchanges happening in your area.
Affordable options to find learn Italian near you
If you’re willing to spend a little bit of money towards your Italian learning with more personalized lessons then you may also want to consider some affordable options that’ll help you towards this goal.
Find an in-person tutor
As previously discussed, it can be a fantastic strategy to find a tutor to give you in-person Italian classes. If you’re not willing to pay higher rates for a professional teacher then there are other options available.
You can inquire at your local university if there are any advanced Italian students looking to tutor learners (make sure they have an Italian program!). In addition to this, you can use platforms to find cheaper Italian tutors in your area. You might find that they’re often students looking to make some extra cash but they offer an affordable and highly-useful Italian lesson.
Attend a language academy
There may be local options to attend language academies and night schools in your area.
Be sure to search for any academies offering European language tutoring and choose a school that offers high-quality Italian courses. If you shop around a little bit you’ll be able to find high-quality schools at a reasonable price. Many academies are generally quite flexible and will offer both in-class and online options.
As a special tip be sure to be completely honest about your level and even see if they take entrance interviews to ensure you’re put in the right class.
How to Take Italian Lessons in Italy!
Learning in Italy is a fantastic experience. Not only for the opportunity to learn in a fully immersive environment but to also take in the culture, architecture, music and history of a fascinating region.
Did you know that there’s a syndrome called the Stendhal Syndrome (or Florence Syndrome) which was coined by French author Marie-Henri Beyle after a trip to Florence! Stendhal syndrome is a response to “overwhelming beauty” such as that of Florence. When Beyle arrived in Florence for the first time he experienced a feeling of ecstasy as well as heart palpitations!
The symptoms of the syndrome can even include fainting! That’s right, you can get sick from how beautiful the city of Florence is (or so they say).
If you’re after this kind of excitement plus the opportunity to experience Italian the way it is used every day in Italy then be sure to follow the steps below!
Step 1: Create your own list of requirements
There are so many considerations when it comes to studying abroad that it’s important to create a checklist of requirements before you go.
Some considerations to help you get you started with your own list include:
- The visa requirements
- The cost of living (remember to prepare savings as well)
- The reputation of the school or university
- Whether there’s any additional consideration for international students
- Your current level of Italian
- The situation regarding credit points if you’re a student
You might even want to consider smaller details such as:
- The size of the classes
- The approach of the school
- Who the instructors are and their professional background
- Public transport, accessibility and additional travel options
- Opportunities for part-time work
Basically, your first step is to gather as much information that you’d like to know as possible about the options.
One of the best ways to do this is to read past experiences of students and dive deep into some study abroad tips for Italy. From there you can make sure you cover all the bases!
Step 2: Start researching locations
It’s important to note that even though Italy is a relatively small country in terms of size when compared to the US, there are a number of differences with respect to geography.
This is related to a general “split” between the North and South which leads to differences in culture, history and even language and dialect usage.
Some of the most popular cities for Italian study include:
- Studying Italian in Florence
- Studying Italian in Rome
- Studying Italian in Modena, Venice etc.
- Or, you could look at courses to learn Italian in Italy and choose a course first, and then the location is decided for you!
Either way, it’s important that once you find a location you match your search requirements in step one to the various schools available in your chosen city or region!
Step 3: Reach out to former students and staff
It can be a great strategy to follow up with former and ex-students of the Italian school as well as any staff that works there. With this, you can compile a second list of questions that you’d like answered in relation to the school. These could be questions such as:
- How did it help your Italian?
- What did you find difficult living there?
- What’s the support network like for foreign students?
- What general tips do you have?
Feel free to add or alter these lists in any way you see fit. Sometimes emailing or speaking with staff members/professors/tutors or instructors is also a great way to gain more insight into the school. In addition to this, it helps add legitimacy to your application as you can demonstrate that you have been actively engaging with staff members of the school.
Step 4: Check out some shorter study options
If you’re excited by the idea of studying Italian abroad but aren’t sure if you’re willing to commit to a longer-term program then there are some shorter study options available.
You could go on a more flexible-holiday-study style trip whereby you can attend an immersion program or some introductory classes to Italian in local academies and schools.
A second option is to consider some of the fantastic language summer courses in Italy. They’re fun, take less preparation, and can serve as a great indication as to whether you’d like to study abroad long term. Not to mention the fact that they give a big boost to your Italian speaking skills.
How to Choose Online Italian Lessons
Of course, language learners aren’t all alike and a study abroad program may not suit all people for a range of different factors. But this doesn’t mean you can’t access high-quality and instructional Italian lessons online and from home.
Like all language learning resources, online Italian lessons come in all shapes and sizes. Because of this, we’re going to look at some of the most popular lesson options for Italian learners below!
One-on-one instruction for great conversation
As we’ve discussed previously, this section will be short. One of the most popular and effective methods of learning native Italian is to speak with an Italian instructor. This could be speaking through zoom or having Italian lessons on Skype (to name a few). The platform isn’t nearly as important as the instructor, the lesson plans and the relationship that you have.
Make sure you follow some key steps for finding the perfect online Italian tutor. It’s important to feel both comfortable and that you’re developing your skills at a steady pace.
Go full-immersion with a FluentU account
If a trip to Italy isn’t looking possible in the near future then you’ll want to replicate this native environment in your home!
Once you start learning with a FluentU Italian account you’ll be drawn into the native world of Italian with the help of expertly prepared native Italian content.
FluentU makes the list of lesson resources because it follows a lesson structure that grows with your needs. These include quizzes, summaries, and even spaced repetition flashcards. Everything is ready for you and you simply need to log on and enjoy!
In addition to this, the content is constantly being updated with new native videos meaning you’ll never get bored.
Another great feature is the FluentU Italian language and culture blog which gives even greater insight into the language. With the program and learning blog in your Italian lesson arsenal, you’re onto a winning combination of Italian lessons.
Head back to school with online Italian lessons
There’s a massive range of online Italian lessons available to you to explore. As we’ve discussed above, these can take the form of supplementary university courses, online materials or even purchasable courses online.
When searching for available options be sure to choose online Italian lessons that are appropriately leveled. There are many online courses and lessons available to and targeted towards beginner learners. If you’re a little more experienced with Italian or have been learning for a while then it can sometimes be a bit harder to find appropriately leveled materials.
Check out some options below:
- Search intermediate courses in Italian to give your level a boost
- Search through some advanced online Italian lessons to take it to the next level
Another approach is to match your Italian skills against the Central European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). This may be familiar to you, it’s the rating system running from A1-C1. If you haven’t come across it before, there’s a chart that you can assess your skills against. It’s then a matter of finding lessons that match your current level by searching the relevant level.
DIY with an appropriate course-book
For an additional option that’s a little more “offline” friendly, you can also find a quality course-book that follows a progressive structure.
Simply follow the activities and content as it’s laid out before you. For additional support, you might want to consider supplementing some study sessions with online discussions, YouTube or immersion programs such as FluentU Italian to ensure a more rounded learning experience.
You could also attend local meetups and events as discussed above.
Whether at a traditional Italian university, local night school or at home with a private tutor, Italian lessons are one of the best ways to boost your Italian language skills and reach your learning goals. No matter your location, there are options to learn with this timeless and effective method.
So what are you waiting for? Start researching, downloading materials and looking for ways to incorporate Italian lessons into your study routine. You won’t regret it!
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