Italian tends to be quite a popular foreign language to learn. Consequently there are also quite a lot of online programs aimed at teaching it. Most of these courses have a goal of teaching users how to communicate in Italian. More advanced programs also include content for learning grammar.
So before choosing a particular course, it is important to do a little research. It can help to determine what you can expect from each course and what other Italian learners are saying about it. Bellow you can find a couple of online courses that are rated highest by Italian learners and are also preferred by me.
# 1. Recommended Italian Online Program – Rocket.
Rocket Languages courses for learning foreign languages are rated highly by most learners and reviewers. This is because they are very dynamic, offer engaging studying material and are convenient for studying on the move.
When it comes to Italian, there are three different levels available. So it is suitable for different level learners and it is possible to advance more with Italian.
The main goal of Rocket program is to teach learners how to communicate in a target language. Although in this course you will also find material included for Italian grammar and culture too.
The Main Benefits:
- Want to test all features in Rocket Italian course? You can do so by registering for free 6 days trial lessons. You only need to provide your e-mail address so it will not cost you anything;
- Rocket offers 3 different levels for Italian language. So this program can be suitable for different level learners;
- Material in this course covers all aspects of this foreign language. Hence you can improve your Italian speaking, listening, reading, writing, grammar skills;
- Rocket can be a good choice course for learners who are learning Italian for traveling purposes. This is because this online program includes culture lessons. Also all vocabulary that is being taught can be very useful while getting around in a foreign country;
- Rocket Italian courses are rated highly not only by reviews online, but also by learners. It is a good indication that it’s a quality and effective language learning program;
- This Italian learning program comes together with lifetime access and upgrades. Hence you will not need to pay anything additionally in the future;
- Rocket course comes together with some great features that are aimed at keeping your motivation high while studying Italian. These include leaderboard, badges and etc.
- The other great benefit of Rocket program is that it has advanced tracking features. You can rate difficulty of each lesson and separate parts of it. You will be able to see which lessons you’ve already completed and also quizzes are provided at the end of each lesson;
- Following audio lessons included in Rocket course is not too difficult. Conversations are divided into smaller parts later and there are transcripts of dialogues. These transcripts are provided in both Italian and English (can be downloaded in PDF format) and everything is explained in more detail;
- This online program is certainly a good choice for those who to learn how to speak Italian. This is because it includes features like Rocket Record and different programs that encourage you to speak this foreign language from the first day. Also in audio lessons you will listen to a native Italian speaker. Hence you will be able to hear proper pronunciation at all times;
- One more benefit of this online program is that it is easy to remember new material introduced in Rocket course. All this is achieved by providing learners with different multimedia to study Italian from. Also Rocket offers different games, programs that help to keep retention rate high;
- Phrase Finder feature in Rocket allows using this course as a dictionary. Not only you will be able to find the meaning of particular Italian word, but you will also see how this word & phrase is being used in different content & situations;
- To make this language learning program more social, Rocket Languages offers forums for separate languages. You will be able to communicate with other Italian learners there. And also when in doubt, you can ask instructor of this course questions;
- This course can be very convenient to study Italian while on the move. You can access all material online, audio lessons can be transferred to your preferred device and there is free app available;
- When comparing Rocket Languages price with other Italian online programs, it can be said that it is very reasonably priced course. You can buy The Premium course for as little as $99.95 and other parts are $149.95 additionally;
- With each level of Rocket Italian you will also get a free bonus – Survival Kit. This kit includes the most essential Italian words & phrases. It can be a great free bonus if you want to extend your vocabulary;
- This Italian learning program is backed by 60 days money back guarantee. Hence users who are not satisfied with their purchase, can ask for refund;
The Main Drawbacks:
- Learners who are learning Italian for academic purposes, might need additional studying material to Rocket program. Although this course includes material for teaching grammar, the main focus of Rocket Languages is to teach learners how to speak and understand Italian;
- Most of features and material in Rocket program can be accessed only online. Hence you will need to have stable internet connection to study Italian via this course. In case you don’t have it, you can always buy CD version of this course. Although it is a lot more expensive option;
# 2. Michel Thomas Audio Lessons.
Michel Thomas method promises to make new Italian learners confident speakers of this foreign language. This language learning method doesn’t require you to memorize anything or do any homework. Basically all you need to do is relax and listen to the instructor of this course.
One of Michel Thomas method goals is to divide a new language into very small and easy to understand parts. This way you will be able to reconstruct Italian on your own. Later on you would start to construct your own sentences in this foreign language.
Quite unique feature of this course is that it includes two students who are also starting to learn Italian too. This makes these lessons quite similar to classroom learning where you are studying together with other students.
The Main Benefits:
- Want to see how Michel Thomas lessons work? You can try a free sample Italian lesson at the official website of this course;
- There are 3 main Michel Thomas courses available for Italian (Total, Perfect as well as Masterclass). So you can advance quite a lot with this foreign language after completing them all;
- Michel Thomas lessons are based classroom situation. Hence they are less monotonic then compared with similar audio courses like Pimsleur;
- These lessons will prompt you to say different sentences in Italian quite often. Hence you will be encouraged to speak Italian out load from the beginning. This in turn can also help to enhance your overall learning efficiency;
- You will be able to retain new Italian vocabulary and material from these audios quite easily. This is because everything is repeated a few times and also reinforced in further lessons;
- It can be said that Michel Thomas course can be very convenient for busy Italian learners. This is for a reason that almost all material is audio based. There is also free mobile app available, which will allow you to study via various devices;
- These audios are recorded at a normal phase so most learners will be able to follow them easily. Also Italian students in these lessons sometimes ask to clarify some more difficult parts, which can be quite useful at times;
- Instructor of this Italian course quite commonly provides some Italian-English language associations. They are helpful in remembering new vocabulary easier;
- Recently released version of Michel Thomas Italian courses also includes a computer program. This program is quite useful for repeating vocabulary and improving your general retention rate;
- Michel Thomas method allows Italian learners to study this foreign language without too much stress. Instructor makes sure that listeners wouldn’t worry about remembering new vocabulary and etc.;
- Instructor of these lessons explains how to construct sentences in Italian and how this whole language works very logically;
The Main Drawbacks:
- In order to buy all three parts of Michel Thomas course, you would need to spend more than 300 USD. As you might supplementary resources, this kind of sum can be too large for some learners;
- You will not always hear correct Italian pronunciation or good accent in these audios. This is because there are two Italian beginner students present in these recordings;
- Each lesson of Michel Thomas will introduce only a couple of new words or phrases. So even after completing all levels of this course, your ability to communicate in Italian would be still quite limited;
- These lessons don’t provide much information about Italy and its culture. Hence you would need to get some additional material & resources for this area;
- These audios provide only little information about Italian grammar. So you would need additional material to Michel Thomas course to learn it properly;
- This course is not very suitable for visual Italian learners since it contains mostly audio based material. A recently added computer program to this course recently is quite useful. Nevertheless workouts in it are less engaging than compared with other courses;
- It is quite difficult to fully immerse into Italian while listening to these recordings. This is because there are quite a lot of conversations and explanations done in English language;
# 3. Pimsleur Italian Audio Lessons.
Pimsleur method was developed more than 50 years ago. Yet even today this language learning method is still quite popular and preferred by many learners. At the moment there is a possibility to choose more than 50 different languages from Pimsleur including Italian.
The whole idea of this course is that you can learn Italian by listening to audio lessons. These audios constantly prompts listeners to say different phrases and words in the target language.
Words and phrases are being introduced in this course not just randomly, but by gradually increasing intervals. Based on Pimsleur theory, this allows new information to be moved from short-term into long-term memory.
Some other benefits of these audios are that they teach core Italian vocabulary. Also each word is introduced within context of dialogue & conversation.
The Main Pros:
- Curious to see how Pimsleur method works? You can get one free Italian lesson by registering at official website of this course (only name and e-mail address is needed);
- At the moment there are 5 different parts of Pimsleur available for Italian. Consequently you can advance quite a lot with this foreign language after completing all parts;
- For Italian language, Pimsleur also offers Premium edition. It is more expensive when compared with standard lessons. Nevertheless it includes additional features like Quick Match game, flashcards as well as Speak Easy Conversations;
- Pimsleur lessons can be very useful if you are planning to visit Italian speaking country. This is mainly because audios in this course teach core Italian vocabulary & phrases that can be useful when getting around in a foreign country;
- It can be said that Pimsleur lessons offer a very convenient way to learn Italian. You will be able to learn everything while on the move, because the main studying material is audio based. Pimsleur app also gives possibility to access studying material on different devices;
- The other advantage of Pimsleur course is that audios are recorded by native Italian speakers. So you can learn good pronunciation and accent from them;
- You will not need to repeat each Pimsleur lesson a lot of times. This is because new Italian words & phrases are being introduced only in small steps and also all material is repeated a couple of times. Also new vocabulary is often mentioned in further lessons. As a result you will not forget what you have already learned;
- The other great benefit of these audios is that you can complete one lesson in less than 30 minutes. Hence Pimsleur doesn’t require much time daily and it is suitable course even for busy Italian learners;
- Pimsleur audios will constantly prompt you to say different phrases in Italian. Consequently you will be encouraged to think in your target language. This feature can increase learning efficiently greatly and make you more prepared for actual conversations;
The Main Cons:
- Some learners might find Pimsleur audios a bit too repetitive. This is because their format is based on question & answer approach. Due to this you need to be quite determined to follow them every day;
- It can be said that Pimsleur Italian course is a bit overpriced. To buy all five parts of this course you will need to spend ~$550 USD and for Premium version it would be even more;
- In each new lesson of Pimsleur you will be only introduced to a couple of new Italian words and phrases. Due to this your vocabulary will be still quite limited even after finishing all levels of Pimsleur;
- It would be great to have transcripts of Pimsleur audio lessons. This way you would be able to see how Italian words are being written (not only pronounced) or recheck parts that you missed;
- Pimsleur is not very suitable course for learning Italian grammar. These lessons only mention a few grammar concepts that are needed for constructing sentences. Nevertheless it is definitely not enough to learn it at academic level;
# 4. Living Language Courses.
These courses provide part of studying material in a form of books. Hence they can be preferred by Italian learners who want to study via texts.
Essential edition of this course offers one book, Complete – 3 books, Platinum – 3 books and online features like sessions with a tutor, mobile app, online community. Also it is possible to purchase online version of this course, which can be preferred by Italian learners who want study on the move.
So you can choose a course from Living Languages based on needed features and the level you need to achieve in Italian language.
The Main Pros:
- Living Language offers 4 different courses for Italian language – Essential, Complete, Platinum as well as online version. Hence learners with different budgets and learning needs can find a course that would be suitable for them;
- It can be said that Living Language courses for Italian have very positive feedback from learners. Most users compliment these courses since they are affordable, easy to follow and includes a lot of different studying material;
- Living Language courses include material for learning all aspects of Italian. So you can improve not only your speaking skills, but also learn grammar of this foreign language;
- Studying material in this course is combined from different multimedia. Hence you can learn Italian more efficiently while studying via Living Language courses. For the same reason they are suitable for different types of Italian learners;
- The other useful feature of this course is that it teaches the most essential Italian vocabulary. Due to this you can be sure that you will be able to learn useful phrases and words quickly;
- Platinum and online versions of Living Language are a bit more expensive. However it is worthwhile to consider them for additional learning tools. They include mobile app, live sessions with Italian tutor, ability to study on the move (online version) and etc.;
- Within context of Living Language courses you will also find some culture information. It can be quite useful for those who want to know more about Italy and it’s culture & traditions;
- Living Language includes accompanying audio CD’s together with books. Due to this you can also learn how to pronounce Italian words & phrases correctly;
- Platinum and online versions of this course provide Italian learners with some free e-Tutoring sessions. These sessions are very useful for those who need personal support or have some questions. E-tutoring sessions can be purchased separately on the official website too, although they are quite expensive;
- Living Language courses can be a good choice for learners with smaller budget. You can buy Complete and Essential versions for less than $50.
The Main Cons:
- Both Essential and Complete editions are not very convenient for busy Italian learners. This is because they lack features that would allow to study on the move;
- Living Language includes audio CD’s for practicing Italian pronunciation. Although other courses reviewed in this website have either more advanced features for improving speaking skills or more engaging audios;
- Provided online workouts & quizzes by this course are also a bit less engaging than compared with some other competitor programs;
# 5. Fluenz Italian Program.
Fluenz software for learning foreign languages can be preferred by visual Italian learners. This is because this program offers video based lessons. Throughout these lessons tutor provides detailed explanations on Italian language structure, grammar and vocabulary.
After each lesson users of this course also need to complete a lot of different workouts. They are very helpful for increasing retention rate. It is also worthwhile to mention that material in Fluenz can be accessed via different devices. So this language learning program is very convenient for busy Italian learners.
The Main Advantages:
- You can try one sample lesson Fluenz Italian at the official website of this course. It will allow you to test this software and make sure that it is suitable for your learning style;
- There are 5 levels of this course available for Italian learners. It is the most that Fluenz offers for any foreign language. Due to this you can progress quite a lot with this language. One the other hand, more advanced Italian learners can start from 3-5th levels from the beginning;
- Fluenz can be a great choice course for those who want to have some Italian studying material available while on the go. This is because all material in this course can be accessed via different devices (mobile phones, IPad’s) while using app. Also Fluenz includes accompanying podcasts as well as audios;
- The other advantage of Fluenz software is that it teaches all aspects of a new language. Hence you can learn Italian grammar, writing, reading and improve your speaking and listening skills;
- It can be said that Fluenz pays a lot of attention to explanations provided in English. Due to this you will not need to do any guessing and you will be able to progress with Italian language with confidence;
- It is easy to recall new learned material from Fluenz software. This is achieved by different workouts after each session that help you to keep retention rate high;
- Fluenz software can be suitable for different type of Italian learners. This is because it includes video, visual and audio studying material;
- From the first lesson of Fluenz, you will learn only the most essential Italian vocabulary that is needed to get around in a foreign country. Due to this it can be said that this language learning software is suitable for travelers;
- When listening to dialogues in each Fluenz lesson, you will have an option to turn on and off transcripts in English and Italian. This allows to understand everything that is being said in the conversations easier;
The Main Disadvantages:
- Each lesson of Fluenz will only introduce you to a couple of new Italian phrases & words. So even after completing all 5 parts of this course, you would need to learn words from other sources to have extensive vocabulary in this language;
- This course comes with quite a lot of advanced studying features, which is reflected into Fluenz price. Currently you can buy all 5 levels of this course for ~$378. Hence it might be not suitable for users who have lower budget for studying Italian;
- This program doesn’t offer features that would allow users to interact with other Italian learners or tutor. This can be seen as a disadvantage by users who want more interactive learning. Nevertheless there is a forum available for separate languages where you can share tips, resources and ask questions;
- Fluenz course provides quite a lot of explanations in English that are needed to progress with this foreign language. The downside is that by hearing English language constantly, you will not be able to immerse into Italian fully;
# 6. Rosetta Stone Program.
The whole program is combined from different workouts that teach you Italian through picture and word & phrase association. Within each level these exercises will become more complex and you will learn how to construct more and more difficult sentences in Italian language.
In additional to workouts, Rosetta Stone also offers some engaging online games, sessions with a tutor and apps that allow you to study with different devices.
It can be said that Rosetta Stone approach is favored by some learners. Nevertheless for others it is not effective due to lack of explanations. Whether this approach is suitable for you, might depend on your current Italian knowledge, your learning style and some other factors.
The Main Advantages:
- Want to test Rosetta Stone features and see how this program works? You can try demo lessons that are available at the official website;
- Rosetta Stone includes workouts that are aimed at practicing different aspects of a new language. So with Rosetta Stone you can improve all areas of Italian language;
- Recordings in Rosetta Stone are made by native Italian speakers. Also TruAccent speech recognition feature allows you to get instant feedback on your pronunciation. Hence you can learn good Italian accent and proper pronunciation from this program;
- Picture based exercises in Rosetta Stone are very engaging and fun to do. Also there are a few games that can be played with other Italian learners. Hence with this course you will definitely not get bored while learning Italian;
- Unlike most other learning programs, Rosetta Stone allows you to immerse into Italian language completely. So there will be no interruptions and you will be able to adapt your ear to Italian speaking;
- Rosetta Stone doesn’t use much English in the program. For this reason it can be preferred course by users those native language is different;
- This Italian course has some advanced studying features. These include mobile app, sessions with a tutor, ability to play games and chat with other learners;
- It is easy to track your progress with this Italian learning program. With advanced tracking features in Rosetta Stone, you will be able to see what workouts you already completed and what was your score in them;
- For Italian learners in particular this program offers a total of 5 levels. So it is possible to advance quite a lot with this foreign language while using Rosetta Stone;
- This course allows you to choose what workouts and when to do. This is quite useful feature when you want to save time and improve only a particular area of Italian language;
The Main Disadvantages:
- From the beginning this program teaches quite random Italian words & phrases. Hence for learners who are planning a trip to Italy soon, Rosetta Stone might be not the best choice for learning;
- Complete beginners at Italian might need some supplementary learning material to Rosetta Stone. This is mainly because this programs’ teaching method is based on complete immersion. Due to this you will not get any explanations on Italian grammar. Also you will need to figure out the meaning of Italian word or phrase only by associating it with a picture;
- Rosetta Stone doesn’t include information about Italy and its culture. Hence learners who are interested in this area, should look somewhere else;
- The price of Rosetta Stone online is not too high these days. Nevertheless you will still need to spend around 200-300 USD for lifetime access.