The Italian Effect

How to learn Italian without studying it at the desk

How to learn Italian easier

Learning a language seems like working hard and sacrificing hours and hours of your week? Or sitting at the desk and filling in grammar exercises?

What if I told you that it’s not necessary like this?

What if you could learn Italian without studying it at the desk?

There are many ways of learning and practicing a language that are relaxing, interesting, and funny.

So what is the tool that will allow you to have a fulfilling, joyful, and developing experience from learning Italian?

Immersion in the language.

And I don’t mean leaving and living abroad for a while, in Italy in our case, because let’s be clear, this is not always possible for everyone. But we can organize a language immersion without even leaving the house. You can organize your days almost as if you were in Italy.



How to learn Italian through immersion at home


What does it mean to immerse yourself in the language? It means:

  • surrounding yourself with the language and making it part of your daily life
  • having a 360-degree experience of studying Italian which is much more effective than having one lesson a week and then totally forgetting the fact that you are learning Italian
  • it is an experience that is not only useful but also fun and thanks to this you can broaden your mind, learn about another world view and obviously improve language skills


Now thanks to technology, all this is within your reach, it is free and feasible without leaving your home. There are so many resources that you can find on the Internet that your only problem is to choose a couple and follow them for a while. It is important to dedicate yourself to a few sources and really follow them, otherwise you can get lost in the sea of resources and procrastinate. Instead, the key here is action.

How to do it? Cut out the time in which you will surround yourself with Italian daily or weekly. You can freely choose what you want to do at a given moment, if you prefer to listen to a song or read an article or establish the most specific program by distributing the contents for the days of the week, e.g. on Mondays listening, Tuesdays reading and so on. I wrote more about planning your studying routine in this post

The key thing is that the whole procedure should not stress you, on the contrary, you should have fun and enjoy the time you dedicate to Italian. Obviously, find the kind of resources that suit your interests, so if you love cooking, look at recipes or read cookbooks, if you are passionate about physical activity, train with Italian fitness trainers.



Two paths to follow when you create a language immersion at home


Once you’ve chosen your content, you have two paths to follow.

The first one could also be called the passive way because it mainly revolves around listening to the radio or watching TV in Italian without focusing a lot on the content. A great advantage of this method is that you can do it during another activity, listen to a podcast, and go for a walk. It is really great when you have little time and is easy to introduce into your daily routine. It is a way during which you will memorize some repeating expressions and you will get used to the accent, to the speed of speech. This way is easy, less demanding but also less effective and slower than the active way.


The active, intentional way is achieved when you read or listen not only for pleasure but with the aim of learning something specific. But it does not mean that it is the better way, both passive and active ways are necessary and can bring good results. One compliments the other.


So, to make it as clear as possible to you, I’ll give you an example. Let’s say you want to make some listening in an active way. Instead of seeing an entire episode of a TV series, you choose a scene and focus on understanding all the phrases, make a list of interesting expressions, and listen to the pronunciation. Better if for a piece of the content you choose only one goal: for example, today I watch 5 minutes of this series to write all the new words on a sheet of paper. Change the content and objective each time.



The authentic resources you can use


Okay, so I described the benefits of language immersion. I showed you two ways to do it, now all you need is the resources, the materials that will allow you to immerse yourself in Italian. If you want to learn how to plan your studying routine with authentic resources, read this article.

Which authentic resources you can use and where to find them?


  • Music – It depends on you what you want to listen to, what kind of music you are interested in. You can do a search on YouTube if you already have an Italian singer in mind that you like. Or when you hear a song you like somewhere, you can find its title and lyrics. Another option, when you don’t have musical preferences yet, is to listen to the radio where you find a mix of musical genres. Examples of the Italian radio stations: Radio Italia, Rai play radio. 


  • Podcasts – A huge advantage of podcasts is that you can listen to them while doing something else, and if you don’t have much time but want to have contact with the language, I recommend listening to podcasts. I listen to them while I cook, jog or clean the house. Obviously, on a linguistic level, it is quite a challenging medium because journalists, podcasters talk about issues that can be difficult, or they speak quickly, with different accents. Podcasts are ideal for people who know Italian from the intermediate level upwards, but if you are at the beginning of your adventure with Italian, while listening to podcasts you simply get used to the sounds and melody of the language. You will see that some words and expressions will also remain in your mind. Here you can find the top of the Italian podcasts.


  • Movies – is there a more enjoyable, fun, and relaxing way to learn a language? Movies are easier than just audio or podcasts, because in movies, sound is associated with images, so it’s easier to understand even from the context alone. Italian cinema offers many classic films that have contributed to the history of European cinema, and many excellent actors. Ask yourself which films you like to see, and go in search of your favorite film work. You can find Italian movies here.


  • YouTube and social media – YouTube is a very powerful tool. Why, instead of seeing videos in your native language, not look for them in Italian? For example, when you want to find a recipe, find travel information, or find a tutorial for doing makeup or yoga. Surround yourself with Italian in all possible ways, and YouTube will certainly help you with this. For other social media, do you have a famous Italian character that you like? Find them on Instagram where you can follow their life through posts and practice reading or in spoken stories and so you will practice listening and learn many colloquial expressions.


  • Books and magazines – I love to immerse myself in reading when learning languages, and reading along with podcasts is my favorite way to improve and learn about languages. Surely, reading is the skill we develop before listening. I guess when you read in Italian you understand more than when you hear it. That’s the way it is for most of us. So we can say that reading is a fairly easy activity, but it also depends on what we read. Perhaps the language of the authors of the 19th century is not at all simple, but if you read a lifestyle theme article it will come to you more easily. Another thing is that reading is more demanding in terms of the time we have to dedicate to it. It is an activity that requires maximum concentration. I believe you should give it a go anyway, because it is a pleasant and beautiful experience, reading a book in Italian.



I encourage you to start your immersion in the Italian language and culture today. Have fun, learn new things and enjoy the process. 







free workbook: how to learn italian with podcast

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About me

I’m an Italian language teacher and an author of guides about Puglia where I live. I help you speak Italian confidently through my 1:1 programs and group speaking classes so you can get more from your travels to Italy and feel in Italy like at home. You can live Italian and experience the southern Italy life on my language retreats in Puglia.