When was the last time you spoke a foreign language fluently apart from English? Learning a new language is a process that requires a passion for the language, the will to learn and work hard, and a lot, I mean a lot of patience. Most of the time, people take up learning a new language as a hobby but as they go in-depth of the learning experience, they get bored of it. Very few people go all the way to learn a new language and even use it effortlessly on a daily basis. Learning a language not only trains your brain to fit and analyze new information about the origins of it but also helps to see the world differently. It helps to form a deeper connection with the people who have that specific language as their first language. If we look at the bigger picture, a lot of people are employed as translators for celebrities and other prominent people. One such language that has caught the attention of people in the USA is the Italian language. As of today, there are almost over 15 million people in the USA that are Italian Americans. With a lot of the population choosing to speak Italian, all the states are keen to introduce Italian speaking classes as courses in their respective universities and colleges. New York has the highest percentage of people speaking Italian as almost 29% of people can speak the language with ease and fluency.
A lot of people even though wanting to learn Italian have very few resources or can’t afford the tuition. And not a year ago, the whole world is hit by the coronavirus pandemic. This has made it all the more difficult situation for people to leave their houses and actually attend an on-campus program. The United States has especially been hit by the pandemic as numbers show for itself the devastation that has been caused. The entire world has gone digital now and every aspect, be it work or education is handled online. Waking up and burying your head in the computer or laptop screen seems to be the rage now. This has also come as a boon for a lot of people as some of them prefer to be alone. I am sorry if I offended any introvert out there but don’t worry, I am one of them as well! So, learning a new language has been shifted online too. And the people who want to learn the Italian language are scavenging through the World Wide Web in search of online courses. Paid courses give recognition but the price could be higher for the people who can’t afford it but really want to learn the language. Which is the exact reason why people pursue free online courses. From a learning perspective, there are tons of free online courses that could be exploited by people who really want them.
Here are a few free Italian online courses for the people:
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1. Italian Language Course (edX)
This American open course provider platform has been created by Harvard and MIT. With students taking advantage of the platform from all across the globe, this platform is mainly known for providing quality University level online courses to their students. Few courses here are completely free of cost. There are almost more than 160 universities that opted to be member universities of this platform to provide online courses. The entire learning experience of edX is based on 3 key principles. They are Experience, Practice, and Apply.
edX provides the Italian course in modules ranging from beginner to advanced. It is carried out by Wellesley college. The course is for 12 weeks wherein you need to give at least 2-5 hours per week. You can do that at your own time as this course is entirely self-paced.
2. Introduction to Italian (FutureLearn)
This British digital platform for online learning was established in 2012. There are selected free courses that offer quality education provided by the top educators from well-known universities and cultural institutions. Business and Management, Healthcare and medicine, and teaching are a few of the best subjects in which courses are provided here. Hobby-related courses such as photography, art skills, etc. can also be pursued here.
The introduction to Italian course is a free course that lasts for 6 weeks. This is a self-paced course where you need to dedicate 3 hours every week. This course will enable you to have a simple conversation in Italian, have the knowledge to correctly use Italian, and help introduce yourself to others. The University for Foreigners of Siena was the one who developed this program. You learn under Andrea Villarini who is a professor of Modern Language teaching and Sabrina Maffei who has been an Italian teacher for almost 20 years.
Duolingo is a language learning platform that has almost 300 million users learning a new language. It concentrates on a very fun way of learning languages by making it easy for the student or anyone who aspires to learn a different language. Duolingo will teach you a full set of basics of every language to push you through to the intermediate level. The average time to complete a course in Duolingo is about 4-6 months.
All in all, Duolingo proves to be a great choice for the people who want to learn the basics of the language and get a solid foundation to help them learn the higher levels of Italian. The modules are divided into short 5–10-minute groups to help you understand better.
4. Italian Online Club
The Italian online club is a website that provides you with a comprehensive course that is beneficial for one to understand Italian. It is an all-in-one stop if one wants to cut no slack in their quest to learn the language. All the material that can be taught from Level A1 to Level C2 is made readily available here. One of the most peculiar features here is that if you already have certain knowledge about the language and you are not entirely sure which level you belong to, you can take a test to determine which level you should be doing instead of starting from square one.
Grammar, Listening, Conversations, Vocabulary, Verbs, and Dialogues are a few of the things that could be learned here. You can also have 3 new Italian exercises every week by subscribing and joining the club for free.
5. The Italian Experiment
This is hands down the best platform to learn simple words and even the simplest of the basics of the Italian language. These free Italian lessons are equipped with audio so that the pronunciations are not meddled by the learner. Basics like numbers, days of the week, directions, family, time concepts, etc. are taught here.
If you want to further pursue the intricacy of the language, there is a section for you to refer to the advanced courses which would be recommended. To make it even more fun because no matter what your age is you still have to start from a kid’s perspective when it comes to learning a new language, they have children’s stories in Italian.
Busuu is strictly a language learning platform that is currently providing courses to learn 12 different languages for free. It was founded back in 2008 and has more than 100 million users as of now. Busuu has won the award for the best app by German Association for Consumer Studies.
Busuu is equipped with a system that lets you organize your own study plan. As the course is self-paced, you can keep a track of your own progress. Vocabulary and Grammar are particularly focused upon in this course as it acts as a building bridge to form sentences and if the foundation is not strong, there is no use of the things that come ahead of it. There are 2 courses that are the most popular ones. The ‘Complete Italian’ and the ‘Italian for Travel’. The first one teaches you all the basics of the course just like the other courses but the second one is where you need to learn the vocabulary used for conversation when you are on a holiday in an Italian-speaking region.
Speak 7 is an online website where you can learn Italian absolutely for free. They offer 2 courses, one which is the beginner and the other being the slightly advanced one. The lessons cover each and every topic in-depth and help the learner understand the basics. There are 7 lessons in each of the levels provided.
8. Speaking Italian with your Mouth full (MIT open courseware)
This is hands down of the most innovative ways of learning to understand and speak Italian. This is an undergraduate course offered by MIT which helps the students learn Italian through cooking. It is a very intriguing way to learn a language and at the same time get close to their culture with the help of cooking food. The course is carried out by Dr. Paola Rubesco. Video lectures wherein understanding Italian is practiced with cooking food is demonstrated.
One can access the lessons and download coursework through the website and hey! You also get the knowledge to cook some delicious recipes. So, for the food fanatics out there, this course might bring the chef inside you out there in the open.
These were few of the best online courses and resources for the people willing to learn Italian.