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Monday, February 26th
If you're trying to learn Italian, being able to speak it well is probably a priority - whether you're planning to use it to travel or to talk with your cousins in Tuscany. While most traditional Italian lessons come up short in the verbal fluency department, italki excels at helping students become comfortable and quickly improve. How? By letting you choose from nearly 1000 Italian tutors who will work with you one-on-one at your convenience.
Community tutors and professional teachers
As you browse the available Italian instructors on italki, you'll see that there are two designations: community tutor and professional teacher. As you might guess, the latter refers to those who have some kind of formal background in teaching, maybe even a PhD, while the former is used for those who enjoy working with people learning Italian but they don't necessarily have any certifications or professional experience as an Italian instructor (outside of the italki platform, anyway). That doesn't mean you won't have a great time with either kind of Italian lessons; it's just a way of knowing the background of each person you're considering.
A few filters to narrow down the options
You can also sort the available instructors by price, availability, country of residence and other languages they speak. We wish that italki had a tool to sort them by student ratings and experience level too: some tutors are brand-new or just have a few completed lessons under their belt, while others have successfully worked with thousands of students.
Detailed tutor profiles with intro videos
Every tutor has an extensive profile you can read through, and most include an introduction/welcome video. It really helps you get a feel for each tutor's personality, how they approach teaching, and, maybe most importantly, how easily you can understand them in English! After all, even the most skilled Italian professor isn't going to be of much use if you can't understand what they're telling you! As you browse, you can mark any potential matches with the heart, to save them in a favorites list for later.
Click on profiles for maximum info
We love how detailed each profile gets. For example, when we looked for a tutor with lots of experience, we found the profile of Valentina Stella. With over 4,300 completed lessons and a perfect five-star average from her students, this community tutor offers her own unique method to devise a study plan for each learner. Playing her intro video let us hear her speak in both English and Italian, and we came away feeling very reassured that she would be able to help us learn. We could see in her profile that she uses songs, vocabulary memorization, grammar study and pronunciation practice to teach the language. And, it was hassle-free to click on her calendar, check availability, and book a lesson. (We were able to get one scheduled the very next day.)
Reasonable hourly rates, discounted trial lessons
How much will it cost to use italki? That depends on the tutor, and often on the type of Italian lessons you prefer. Most teachers offer a reduced-cost trial lesson, so that you can see if it's a good fit for your personality and your goals. Beyond that, you'll pay an hourly rate that is set by the tutor, usually somewhere between $5 and $40. In the case of our example teacher, Valentina Stella, she was offering a one-hour intro lesson for just $1, but her hourly rate was $41.37. That's definitely on the high end for italki; most tutors' hourly rates tend to fall in the $10-$20 per hour range.
Nothing impersonal about Italian lessons here
But, italki students across the board say that it's absolutely worth the money. We had a hard time finding anything other than five-star ratings for the tutors themselves and for italki as a service. Tens of thousands of students use italki because it helps them prepare for travel, get solid conversation practice, and receive in-depth, personalized feedback on their progress. That's vastly different from an impersonal language learning app, which often doesn't explain why something is a mistake or accurately measure the fluency of your accent.
You'll need a good internet connection
The only reason italki doesn't get our first-place ranking is because it's heavily dependent on having a solid internet connection for the video calls. These aren't Italian lessons you can study on the go, and it would probably be challenging to have a tutoring session if you use the internet at a library or cafe somewhere. There's also the fact that many students will be hesitant to learn Italian face-to-face with a native speaker - at least, until they see that no, the tutor won't mock them for pronouncing something in a weird way or using the wrong word. It requires some courage to take Italian lessons this way, but it's incredibly effective (and usually pretty fun too).
Best Italian lessons for spoken fluency
Unless you have the ability to spend a month or more in Italy, italki is the best way to develop your fluency in Italian. This platform is perfect for any current level of ability from beginner to advanced, the lessons are affordable, and the instructors deliver Italian lessons tailored to you and your needs. If you've got the courage to work face-to-face with a real, live person, we highly recommend you try italki on for size!
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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