Certified Italian teacher & blogger of all things ‘la dolce vita’ Lou Thomas shares some of his fool-proof tips for learning Italian.  While you may not be fluent tomorrow, you’ll certainly love singing along with Dean Martin & garnering VIP treatment at your local pizzeria.  

Recite lessons aloud & listen to Italian music.

Rome, Italy. Reciting lessons aloud is one of the most important components of learning Italian - the world's most romantic language.

Reciting lessons out loud is the best way to hear the flaws in your speech and correct them.

Record your voice on your cell phone (RSJ recommends the Recorder app for iPhone). Recite the Italian alphabet, count 1-5, count by 5’s from 5-60, and count by 10’s from 10-100. Listen to these recordings daily.

Additionally, listening to Italian music benefits pronunciation. Sing along with the song and emphasize words with double consonants. (I teach my kids Volare because they can find it on YouTube. They all love to sing in class).

Review notes everyday and always do written assignments. While writing, read  sentences aloud and listen to your inflection and intonation.

Exposure to Italian movies is easily accessible on the web or via Netflix. They are fun to watch and often subtitled in English. If you get movies from Region 2 (Europe), you can even watch on a laptop.

When speaking Italian don’t worry about mistakes. Speak at your local pizzeria – it’s guaranteed to get a smile!

My favorite Italian comedies & suggested texts.

- La vita è bella (IMDB)
- Pinocchio (IMDB)
- Pane e Tulipani (IMDB)
- Johnny Stecchino (IMDB)
- Italian in 10 Minutes a Day (Amazon)

A few outside sources to further your learning.

Lou Thomas is an Italian teacher & the author of Primo Prof blog.  In his own words, “I have had an affinity for the Italian Language for as long as I can remember.  My family is from the Abruzzo region of Italy which is north of Rome. I have been a Certified Italian teacher for several years including High School Italian and College Level Italian. I have taught all levels in High School from Italian Basic through Italian Honors IV. I have taught Italian topics to College Level students from Il Risorgimento to Il Neorealismo.” You can reach him regarding personalized Italian lessons here.