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Wednesday, June 29th
Innovative Language Learning teaches 40 different languages, including Italian, in their Pod 101 programs. When you sign up for a free lifetime membership, you'll be able to study any of the languages they offer (or just stick to Italian, your choice). A big plus with this service is that content is added weekly, giving you the vocabulary you need to discuss current events and pop culture and to keep you learning new things. All of the content on Italian Pod 101 gets reviewed by certified Italian language professionals before being published to the site.
Could be more transparent at the start
We frequently evaluate all of the Pod 101 languages, and they all have a lot to offer. One part that never seems to change, though, is how tricky they make it to see how they work. You won't get to see much about how Italian Pod 101 will teach you Italian until you sign up for a free account. True, you only have to do that once and then you have free access for life - not just to Italian but to all of the 40+ languages in the "family" - but it feels a little secretive. Why not just come out and let people see what you've got, Pod 101?
Almost too much content to navigate easily
Maybe they don't come right out and show you because there's just too much to display! Getting started with Italian Pod 101 can feel overwhelming: there are five language levels to choose from, ranging from Absolute Beginner to Advanced, and your Italian lessons are structured as "pathways" You'll get one recommended for you: it defaults to Absolute Beginner, but you can take their placement assessment or manually select your desired fluency level. You can have more than one pathway in your to-do list at a time; that's great if you have multiple topics you'd like to study, or if your skills are already leveled-up in one area but you need some review in another.
Three paid membership levels
What do you get in a pathway? That varies based on the topic and the difficulty level, but you usually get a real-life situation dialogue and its transcript in Italian and English, a vocabulary list, and cultural notes. But, those features aren't unlocked for every lesson: they're usually open for the first three lessons in a series but not the rest. In order to unlock them you'll have to choose among Italian Pod 101's membership levels:
60-day refund policy
No matter which subscription you ultimately choose, you'll be covered by a 60-day satisfaction guarantee. Do you have plans to study Italian for a long time? If so, it might make the most sense to go right to the Premium Plus membership on a two-year plan and make the most of the first 60 days. That will give you everything you could possibly get out of Italian Pod 101 in terms of features, offering the most accurate perspective on how these Italian lessons will work for you. And, if it doesn't wind up being what you wanted, no harm no foul: just request a refund before those 60 days are up.
A little on the expensive side, but solid Italian lessons overall
Italian Pod 101 gives you a well-rounded approach to studying Italian, and we really appreciate the constant content refreshers: not many Italian lessons stay so up-to-date with the materials they offer. It's also one of just a handful of programs that has lessons appropriate for such a wide range of fluency levels. But, many students get bogged down trying to figure out the right pathways for their studies unless they buy into the Premium Plus membership - which is quite a bit more expensive than Italian Pod 101's most comparable rivals' Italian lessons. This program is worth a look, even if it might not wind up being your first choice.
Sight-seeing at the ancient ruins of Pompeii, a romantic gondola ride along the canals of Venice, or a visit to the art museums of Florence: if you're dreaming of a vacation to Italy, you would be in good company among the 94 million tourists who visit annually. In addition to being able to ask for directions or order your dinner without a hitch, there are many benefits to learning Italian before your trip.
If you're after a unique, more authentic experience in Italy, speaking the language can help you gain a deeper understanding of the culture, become friends with locals, and give you the confidence to explore places off the beaten track. Plus, Italian is an official language of other popular travel destinations, including Switzerland, San Marino, Slovenia, and Malta.
Italian is spoken by 63-85 million people around the world. Among tourists planning Mediterranean getaways, adults who want to find a use for their high school Latin, and people interested in reconnecting with their roots, Italian continues to be a popular choice for avid and casual language learners alike.
Aside from hopping on a plane and spending time in Italy, what's the best way to learn the language? Some of that depends on you! Are you most comfortable learning in a more traditional, structured way, with detailed grammatical explanations in English and lots of exercises for practice? Or would you prefer a smartphone app that you can use when killing time during your day, to do a quick flashcard session of key words and phrases? There are Italian lessons for each approach - and there's nothing stopping you from using several different services to get a good mix of materials.
Besides the overall teaching style, what other factors should you consider when deciding how to learn Italian? Keep these criteria in mind to help you choose:
To help you get the most out of your studies, TopConsumerReviews.com has evaluated and ranked today's best options for online Italian lessons. We're sure this information will help you find the right path for your language journey. Buona fortuna!
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