Quick question here: Why are you learning Italian?
Really, think about it.
Why are you putting the time and effort in to grab these language skills? Why are you intent on pulling this beautiful language into your life?
There are loads of reasons for learning Italian, including work, school, travel and even romance. Maybe one of those is your reason, too—or perhaps you’ve got a different motivation for learning.
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.
Unfortunately, most learners are limited to in-person, at-home speaking practice options. The lucky few among us might have a relative or neighbor to chat with. But most of the time, solo learners are, well, on their own.
That means you’ll need to look outside of your inner circles to find Italian speaking practice prospects.
You’re in luck! There are loads of excellent resources to get us up to speaking speed. Let’s check some out!
How to Choose Italian Speaking Practice Resources
When evaluating speaking practice options, look for some that are at your current learning level. Whether you’re a beginner or advanced learner, remember that practice will give you the potential to level up. Start where you are, knowing your skills will improve!
It’s also a good idea to choose a practice option with interesting material, to reduce the possibility of boredom.
You might have heard that language immersion is the fast-track to language acquisition. If you bring immersive aspects to your program, you add the potential for immersive speaking opportunities on your terms—anytime and anyplace.
For that reason, look for speaking resources that mirror immersion. If possible, find native speakers and authentic materials that bring the Italian language and culture to life. The resources in this list cover both, so read on!
Tips for Successful Italian Speaking 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.
Practice Every Day
The most important tip? Just practice daily. Your speaking practice should be front and center. Talk everywhere—about everything.
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.
Use Authentic Resources
In the right hands, any authentic Italian resource can be a opportunity for speaking practice. Italian media, especially in the form of videos, is excellent for giving your mouth and tongue an Italian workout.
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’ve learned to recommend videos and ask you questions based on what you already know.
Plus, it'll tell you exactly when it's time for review. Now that's a 100% personalized experience!
The best part? You can try FluentU for free!
Start using FluentU on the website, or better yet, download the app from iTunes or the Google Play store.
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.
7 Italian Speaking Practice Options That’ll Have You Chatting Like a Local
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.
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.
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 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!
Made available by the Università per Stranieri di Siena, this collection of speaking practice video files is sure to power up your language skills.
The bundle contains a series of 27 dialogues. Learners participate by reading the dialogue of one of the characters out loud as it appears on the screen. There are transcripts and other exercises to enhance this series but the core value here is the ability to take part in actual conversations.
This is ideal for beginning-level learners who may need some extra guidance.
The Tandem app 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.
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.
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!
This site offers three packages of Italian Skype tutoring sessions. All are available with flexible scheduling and are designed for learning levels from beginner to advanced. This is customized, one-on-one conversational tutoring from a private teacher.
The focus of each lesson is determined by the learner. Do you need help with the finer points of grammar? Or is conversational fluency your biggest goal? Whatever Italian skill you need, EasyReaders.Org is prepared to provide help with that skill.
Although it’s a bit more expensive than some other tutoring sites, EasyReaders.Org is dedicated to creating a strong team of professional teachers—in other words, you know you’re getting quality that’ll match the price.
Are you fortunate enough to have the time to actually learn Italian in Italy? If so, you’re in luck, because there’s a learning center in Rome just waiting to take you to the next level!
Koiné Italian Language Centre in Rome offers a variety of classes for students, diplomats or anyone seeking to grow their Italian language skills. Teachers are native speakers, class sizes are kept small to facilitate one-on-one interactions and there are options to attend cultural events as part of their programs.
Speaking sessions run 45 minutes and consist of making conversation on an assortment of topics including (but not limited to!) current affairs and daily life. Every level speaker is accommodated, with the focus on improving speaking skills.
You, me, everyone—we all have a unique reason for learning the Italian language. The commonality between all of our reasons is the absolute need to speak Italian.
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!
If you liked this post, something tells me that you'll love FluentU, the best way to learn Italian with real-world videos.