Until around the age of 8, children have an amazing ability when it comes to learning a 2nd language. In fact, if a child learns a language during this time, it’ll be their mother tongue rather than a foreign language. It's incredible how quickly children pick up phrases without ever attending language courses. Imagine how quick they'll learn a new language if they're being taught.
Giving your child a second language is invaluable.
Learning Italian can help them:
Discover a Mediterranean culture
Learn a rich language steeped in history
Speak with Italians
There are a variety of different ways to learn Italian.
Italian language tutorials for children can take the form of a traditional lesson. However, if you want your kids to gain fluency in Italian, there are plenty of sites with videos, songs, and fun pictures that can teach them how to speak Italian, too.
But which online Italian course should they be doing? In this article, we’ll have a look at some of the best free sites and Italian language courses online for free!
Start with some Italian lessons for beginners here.
Interactive Sites for Learning Italian
Thanks to the Internet, there are plenty of free Italian language resources for kids to learn to speak Italian and eventually become fluent. However, some sites are better than others. You want to find the sites that teach the language in a less “academic” way.
Language lessons where the students don’t even realise that they’re in class are the best ways to learn Italian online! These kinds of lessons are great for motivating students both young and old. Learn the best age to start learning Italian here.
Here are 3 Italian for beginners websites that are great for kids wanting to learn Italian while having fun.
One World Italiano
One World Italiano is a varied website that includes a wide range of different learning resources.
There’s access to:
On-line Italian Courses
Italian Video Courses
Activities Arranged by Theme
Vocabulary, Grammar, and Conjugations
Just like in a typical language course, each lesson ends which an exercise testing you ensure that you learn effectively.
One World Italiano also teaches students pronunciation. The intonation is very important in Italian.
Here’s an Italian resource you can access every day. Since it’s available on smartphones, any learner can improve their language skills any time, any place.
Duolingo lessons adapt to the student, too. In fact, the exercises will focus on the words you’re finding the most difficult. Put simply, if there are Italian phrases you keep forgetting, the app will make sure you see them more often. Thanks to Duolingo, the student is instantly corrected and therefore progresses more quickly.
To keep students motivated, Duolingo congratulates them in Italian and new levels are unlocked when a student progresses. You’ll probably be hooked after learning just a few basic Italian verbs and phrases. While the website is great, downloading the download the app is even better. You should also check out our Italian apps for kids.
Musica Per Junior
The blog Musica Per Junior teaches children the basics of Italian through singing. This language course brings together language and culture, which are inseparable, after all.
We all know that it’s much easier to remember songs than words. Since kids know most of their favourite songs off by heart, they can also know their Italian lessons off by heart, too. In fact, when you're speaking Italian, you're almost singing, anyway.
First, listen to the song and watch the video. The lyrics can be found underneath the video.
You’ll have to find the missing words and phrases and put them back into the text. This is a great way to work on your listening comprehension.
There are around 5 or 6 Italian lessons for each level.
Traditional Sites for Learning Italian
Even though interactive sites might seem like the most fun, there are also plenty of useful traditional sites that can help children learn Italian online.
While they’re not as fun as the sites we mentioned before, they’re not exactly like classes at school, either.
Here are a couple free sites for learning Italian:
Although the BBC’s website for Italian is no longer updated, there is a huge variety of different resources available. The units are organised well and the lessons are interesting. You can learn Italian vocabulary for a number of everyday situations as well as work on your listening skills, reading comprehension, and pronunciation.
You can also use the BBC’s social media channels to help you.
If you’re a fan of golf, you can follow it in Italian and combine your love of sport with learning a language. Combining hobbies with your language learning is a great way to make quick progress.
With so many resources, you have no excuse not to learn Italian!
In fact, the whole BBC language website is a great way to learn a language and there are also sites for those who want to learn French, Portuguese, Arabic, and tonnes of other languages.
Learn Italian with pictures. This online Italian language course is great for learning conversational things like:
Essential expressions: Hello, goodbye, thank you, etc.
Starting Conversations: What’s your name? How are you?
Everyday Situations: Ordering a taxi, getting a coffee, etc.
All these skills are accompanied by images and sounds to help you practise the words. All the free lessons can also be downloaded as an mp3 or a pdf so you can access them anywhere.
Like most sites for learning Italian, you’ll be tested on what you’ve learnt at the end of each lesson.
Italian Resources: The Best Way to Learn Italian
Italian culture is rich and varied and films in Italian with Italian subtitles are a great way to get better at Italian. If you want to learn, you should look for films and series you’re interested in.
There are plenty of people who’ve learnt tonnes of Italian thanks to films and series. You should watch as much Italian cinema and TV as possible if you want to improve your vocabulary.
As you listen to Italian being spoken and read the accompanying subtitles, you’ll improve your comprehension. You’ll come across words and expressions you don’t know but after a few times of watching, you’ll know exactly what they mean.
Italiano.rai: Total Immersion
This site is great for older Italian students. There are no translations. It’s 100% Italian.
The classes are put together by the Italian Ministry of Public Education. The goal is to make the student work as if they were in an Italian class where their teacher doesn’t speak any English. The site helps you to learn Italian in everyday situations.
The lessons are just like at school and the student is evaluated in terms of the CEFR levels: A1, A2, B1, and B2. Each lesson includes videos in Italian covering everyday situations. Each episode introduces a new linguistic or grammatical point. For example, Unità 1/Lesson 1 is based on 3 main points:
Italian documentaries and sketches of everyday life.
Video lessons where the student can both hear and read Italian words.
Written tests to prove that the student has remembered what they were taught during the lesson.
Italiano.rai also includes access to news and sports sites for students wanting to learn Italian. Everything you need to immerse yourself in Italian!
Advice for Learning Italian
Here are a few tips for learning the basics.
The letters b, c, d, g, m, and p disappear before a consonant. For example, “aptitude” in English is “attitudine” in Italian. The word “act” in English is “atto” in Italian.
The consonants b, c, and g are doubled before diphthongs and consonants. For example, “dubbio” (doubt) or “faccio” (I do).
J tends to be either GE or GI: “Jesus” becomes “Gesu”. “Jules” is “Giulio”.
The letter “l” is often replaced by the letter “i”. For examples, “flower” is “fiore”.
X doesn’t exist in Italian. “Xerxes” of Persia is called “Serse” in Italian.
Three types of conjugations.
First Conjugation: “-are”. E.g. “Amare” (to love): amo, ami, ama, amiamo, amate, amano.
Second Conjugation: “-ere”. E.g. “Ridere” (to laugh): rido, ridi, ride, ridiamo, ridiete, ridono
Third Conjugation: “-ire”. E.g. “Partire” (to leave): parto, parti, parte, partiamo, partite, partono.
Formalities in Italian
In Italian, if you’re speaking to someone respectfully, you should use the 3rd person singular. This means you have to also conjugate the verb in the 3rd person singular.
For example: “How are you?” (polite) is “Come sta?”
You also need to use the 3rd person singular pronouns.
With a direct object, you need to use the pronoun “la”. Thank you for waiting for me, Miss/Madame. = La prego di aspettarmi, Signora
With an indirect object, you need to use the pronoun “le”. I can leave you a message = Posso lasciarle un messaggio.
You could learn a lot with an Italian tutor, especially if they're a native speaker. Why not plan a trip to Italy? Learn where you can start Italian Lessons.
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