You’re just beginning with Italian, or have recently started.
What should you buy from our online shop that could speed things up, keep you motivated, or just add a little variety to whatever it is you’re doing now?
Do you have money to spend?
If the answer’s no, not a cent, and please don’t try to sell me stuff on Easter Sunday, then I’ll remind you that there are masses of free materials on the club website.
I don’t know if we have the best website for learning Italian, but it’s certainly big. You’re unlikely to run out of material, and it won’t cost you a penny.
If the answer is “Well, I might, it depends..” or “Sure, I’ve got cash coming out of my ears, point me at the best thing you have!”, then I would say one thing.
The biggest mistake I’ve made with language-learning over the years was not devoting time or a budget to speaking practice.
I wasted nearly a year studying Swedish online with various competitor sites, and offline with books, and while I learnt quite a lot, I couldn’t actually open my mouth and have Swedish words come out.
Until I started taking lessons, I was dumb (in the literal sense.)
Why had I not considered taking lessons?
Well… I never had in the past.
I studied French at school, which was free.
And Turkish from living there and drinking with students.
And Italian from living here and being married to one (though it took a decade or so…)
So it had never seemed necessary.
Plus, I was always skint.
Since I’ve been in Italy, for example, we’ve had three children. And, as any parent can tell you, kids cost big, and long term!
So investing ‘family money’ in my own learning just didn’t cross my mind.
And then, you know what happened?
I was chatting to Lucia, our teaching manager, and she was saying that she was doing some online lessons (I think it was Arabic and Spanish) so as to better understand the teacher-student dynamic.
And I said, well hey, I guess I could try that, too.
And then promptly didn’t do anything about it, for ages and ages.
But back in the autumn, when we had a ‘Free Trial Lesson’ offer coming up, so I knew I’d be having to write about the joys of spending hard cash on a real teacher, I finally decided to give it a try.
Fifty hours of lessons later (through a competitor website), which would be about a hundred of our thirty-minute lessons, and I’m able to speak.
Here we are in Rimini for the Easter weekend, staying with my Italian father-in-law and Swedish mother-in-law, and not only can I understand a lot of the Swedish chat going on, but, when I choose to, I can initiate conversations in Swedish myself.
Which is very, very satisfying.
Why hadn’t I ever taken the leap before?
The company is paying.
It’s market research, see?
Tax-deductible, or at least, I hope so.
I don’t get paid for writing these articles, but the lessons go on the company credit card, which seems fair enough to me.
Someone has put their hand up and asked: would you spend you own money?
Without. A. Shadow. Of. A. Doubt.
Now I know the cumulative effect on my speaking and listening that a few months of regular lessons have had, I’d surely do it again.
In fact, it would be the very first thing I would do with a new language, or one I wanted to take up again.
Find a teacher or someone willing to interact with me in the language.
I’ve spent, what, a thousand of those anti-social, Brexity, British pounds.
And gone from zero to hero!
It was well worth it, and I’m not just saying that to sell you lessons.
But decide for yourself.
Take one, or five, or ten, or twenty.
And see how it feels.
Strange and stressful at first, is the answer.
Amazing when you get used to it.
- Online Italian lessons: 1 x 30-minute lesson £20.00, with the coupon code £16
- Online Italian lessons: 5 x 30-minute lessons £90.00, with the coupon code £72
- Online Italian lessons:10 x 30-minute lessons £150.00, with the coupon code £120
OK, so that’s the speaking part done.
What about the rest?
If you’re into proper studying, grammar and so on, popular options include:
- Italian Workout! A1 £15.99 Download FREE sample
- The Tenses You Need To Speak Italian £15.99 Download FREE sample
Do download the free sample chapters because, well, they’re free.
And you get the first quarter of each ebook/mp3 package, so what’s to lose?
And now, let’s talk about ‘graded readers’, that is to say simplified stories with audio.
These are THE MISSING LINK in most people’s study programs!
If you are reading something with a narrative that interests you, then that’s the motivation part sorted.
If you can’t put the story down (so to speak), that more or less guarantees that a quantity of Italian will penetrate your skull.
Seeing the grammar and vocabulary you have studied elsewhere, in a meaningful context, makes it all so much easier to remember!
And alternating your approach (reading+listening, reading only, listening only) gives you the opportunity to focus on meaning, or on listening skills, or on reading skills, or on whatever your priority is.
Graded readers are, in my humble opinion, the MIRACLE INGREDIENT that you may well have overlooked.
Get the reading/listening habit (plus some online lessons if you can afford them) and your Italian will SOAR!
Here’s a selection of the easiest ones.
Check out some free sample chapters, before you buy, so you get an idea of the complexity and length.
You can listen to the entire story, FREE, by clicking the link in the free sample chapter (so don’t come back telling me you thought the audio quality was rubbish – check it first!)
- Colpo di forbici (A1) £7.99 Download FREE sample (.pdf)
- L’appuntamento (A1) £7.99 Download FREE sample (.pdf)
- La sorpresa (A1) £7.99 Download FREE sample (.pdf)
- Rosa la cuoca disastrosa (A1) £7.99 Download FREE sample (.pdf)
- Cena con delitto (A1/2) £7.99 Download FREE sample (.pdf)
- Ciak si gira (A1/2) £7.99 Download FREE sample (.pdf)
- Il giocoliere (A1/2) £7.99 Download FREE sample (.pdf)
- Il grande pesce rosso (A1/2) £7.99 Download FREE sample (.pdf)
- L’ascensore (A1/2) £7.99 Download FREE sample (.pdf)
- La crisi di mezz’età (A1/2) £7.99 Download FREE sample (.pdf)
- Mistero al Circo Garotti (A1/2) £7.99 Download FREE sample (.pdf)
- Uno studente in viaggio (A1/2) £7.99 Download FREE sample (.pdf)
What about something for more ‘traditional’ learners?
That is to say, those of you who can’t be doing with new-fangled ideas like listening, speaking or reading.
Much better to translate everything into English, so you can be sure you’ve understood every nuance!
We have you covered, guys.
Italian-English parallel texts are what you need.
You get the Italian original, with an English translation, and each line of each version is numbered, so you can easily check one with another.
Here are the six easiest ones, all with free sample chapters.
Italian/English Parallel Text: Rosa la cuoca disastrosa (A1) £7.99 Download FREE sample (.pdf)
Italian/English Parallel Texts: Colpo di forbici (A1) £7.99 Download FREE sample (.pdf)
Italian/English Parallel Texts: Il ristorante (A1) £7.99 Download FREE sample (.pdf)
Italian/English Parallel Text: Il colloquio (A1/2) £7.99 Download FREE sample (.pdf)
Italian/English Parallel Text: Il giocoliere (A1/2) £7.99 Download FREE sample (.pdf)
Italian/English Parallel Text: L’ascensore (A1/2) £7.99 Download FREE sample (.pdf)
And finally, what about for those of you who are NOT beginners or near-beginners, but have patiently read this far anyway?
Tomorrow I’ll look at the next level up, so watch out for that.
Or go check out our Catalog page, which has everything.
That’s it for today.
I have some serious eating to do this lunchtime and so need to prepare…
P.S. Don’t forget the Easter Offer!
The next offer won’t be until June, so now really is the time to load up on study materials and online lesson credits.
The coupon code you need to get your discount is:
easter offer 2018
Then visit your shopping cart and copy and paste the coupon code (above) into the box where it says ‘Apply coupon’.
Press the ‘Apply coupon’ button. Note that the 20% discount is applied to the cart total, not to each indivdual item, so scroll down to check that the cart total has been discounted BEFORE you proceed to the payment stage.
- Coupon code easter offer 2018 gets you 20% off everything!
- The sale ends at midnight on Sunday 8th of April 2018
- There’s no minimum or maxium spend
- So use the coupon as often as you wish, while the offer lasts
- The code will work on items which are already discounted, such as ebook multipacks
- Though it can’t be used together with other coupons
- Choose from a range of payment options (Amazon, Paypal or bank transfer)