Whether you have just started to learn Italian and want to progress faster or you’ve been learning it for a while and you feel stuck, this article may be helpful for you.
Indeed, today I’d like to list some simple activities that you can do every day or every two days to progress in Italian and keep improving your language skills.
Ready? Let’s start!
1. Smart Practice
Practice makes perfect, it really does. When learning something new, practicing a lot can make a big difference. Indeed, it allows you to retain information, to progress faster and to increase your self-esteem. Ideally, you should practice every day. However, if this is not possible for you, try to practice at least 4 times a week.
How can you practice in a smart way?
Well, first, you should learn something and then come back to it after an hour or two. This helps you retain information and fight the effect of the forgetting curve. Indeed, if we don’t get back to what we’ve learnt, we tend to forget up to 35% of what we’ve learnt by the end of day 1 and up to 60% of what we’ve learnt by day 2.
Secondly, after you’ve learnt new things, you should take a nap. Research has found that sleeping improves retention between 20 and 40 percent.
Finally, build a habit. Try to learn always the same days, at the same time. Habits take some time to form, on average 66 days, but once they’re there, they make it easier for you to carry out the same tasks every day. In short, sitting somewhere and learn something new won’t be that hard after doing it regularly for some time, actually it can even become a hobby and being sort of fun.
2. Pronunciation is a key step
Having a good pronunciation is essential to both let native speakers understand what you’re saying, and to make you sound more like a native speaker.
Of course, one of the best ways to improve your pronunciation is to have immediate feedback from a native speaker, however there’s also something that you can do on your own: recording yourself.
How does it work? Recording yourself and then listen to the recording with a critical hear can be helpful to perceive your mistakes, analyze them and try to avoid them in the future.
My suggestion to make this work is simple. Find something recorded by a native speaker with the transcript available, like podcasts. Listen to the recording first. Then start the recorder and read the transcript trying to pronounce the sentences in the exact way the speaker pronounced them. If you’re a beginner, you can start by recording just one sentence or two. Listen to the original recording a second time. Then listen to your recording and analyze it. Is it ok? What can be improved?
3. Write every day
Writing is a good activity to progress in Italian. Indeed, it allows you to think about the structure of Italian sentences, practice grammar and learn new vocabulary, in case you need it to express new concepts.
You can write texts as simple as “Today I did this and that” or you can try to express more complex concepts as “I think that global warming is…” according to your level.
If you know some native speaker, you can ask them to correct your texts. If you don’t, you can resort to google translate. It’s not always 100% correct, especially with idioms, and doesn’t spot all the mistakes but if you’re at the beginning of your Italian language journey, it can be a big help. So, my suggestion is rewrite the text in your native language, and use google translate to see its translation into Italian. Then check your version, underline all the mistakes you’ve made and learn from them.
In the next weeks I’m going to complete the list of the things you can do to progress in Italian.
But for now, let me know, what strategies do you usually use to progress in Italian?
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Original image by geralt