How I (plan to) Study Italian, 2017

I have written that, a few years back, I stopped making New Year’s Resolutions, but last week, at the start of a new session of Italian classes, there was a buon proposito waiting for us all:

Migliorare il mio italiano | Improve my Italian

Our professoressa had written this knowing that certainly this a goal for all of her studenti. I nostri compiti (our homework) was to explain specifically how we planned to accomplish this resolution.

Allora, ecco il mio | Here’s mine:

Per migliorare il mio italiano, leggerò, scriverò, ascolterò e parlerò in italiano ogni giorno! 

To improve my Italian, I will read, write, listen and speak in Italian every day!

Reaching way back to my days of teaching language arts to middle schoolers, I remembered that these four elements — reading, writing, listening and speaking — are the foundation of language learning. Reading and listening are the easy ones for me, as they are already a part of my everyday routine. It’s the other two, especially the speaking, which are more challenging.


To keep this buon proposito, I plan to choose one item from each category, ogni giorno (every day). Facile, no? 🙂 



  • Leggere un articolo su internet ogni giorno
  • Leggere due pagine dal libro italiano ogni giorno
  • Rileggere le mie note di classe ogni pochi giorni


  • Every evening, write what I did from that day
  • Write my lists in Italian (market, errands, etc)
  • Continue to incorporate a bit of Italian into the blog (especially the “Snapshots” series)


  • Ogni sera, scrivere che cosa ho fatto quel giorno
  • Scrivere le mie liste in italiano (per fare la spesa, i commissioni, ecc.)
  • Continuare a includere nel il blog un po di italiano


Choose one track to listen to every day (great times to listen to Italian are while walking, exercising, driving…)


Scegli una traccia per ascoltare tutti i giorni (mentre camminando, fare la ginnastica, guidando…)

Anche: guardare qualcosa su Rai una volta alla settimana; guardare un film in italiano una volta al mese.


This is the most difficult…

  • Read something aloud every day
  • Have a chat in Italian every other day, even if it’s with the puppy or a teddy bear
  • Find a language exchange partner (an Italian native who wants to learn English)
  • Continue my lessons with Skype Italian Teacher Aurora, she’s great!


Questo è il più difficile…

  • Leggere qualcosa a voce alta ogni giorno
  • Fare una chiacchiere ogni altro giorno, anche se con il cucciolo o un orsacchiotto
  • Trovare un compagno di lingua (una italiana che vuole imparare inglese)
  • Continuare le lezioni con Skype Italian Teacher, Aurora è fantastica!

Fare praticare, ogni pochi giorni | Practice, every few days:

There are many, many other ways to continue to grow your Italian, these are just the ones I believe I can incorporate easily into my routine. For additional study tips, please see the other posts in this series: How I Study Italian and How I Study Italian: Updated for 2016.

A few words on finding the time 

“Early in my language journey, it hit me that fluency is not the goal, although that would be a fantastic bonus. The goal is joy. And what I really hope to encourage in others by sharing this story is that you find something you love, whatever that may be, and jump into it wholeheartedly. Do it for the sheer luxury of the pleasure it brings you. I urge you to practice regularly a passion, somehow. Not necessarily during indulgent, undisturbed stretches of time (*insert wistful sigh here*) which elude us all , but in the tiny chunks of time which pop up at random in any given day. Even if it’s just for ten minutes here or there, carve out a pinch of time for your personal joy.”

–From Accidental Italian

With so much competing for our attention, it is difficult to find time to pursue an interest. But I truly believe that time finds you and when it does, it’s important to be ready for it. Most my of studying in the early years was done in the car while waiting for my kids to finish school or sports practice! Always have something to study close at hand. Fold an article printed from the internet into your bag, have a stack of flashcards to study, leave an Italian novel or workbook in your car.

La Professoressa promises that in class every week we will be reporting back to the others on our progress, in order to keep us accountable and moving forward.

Allora, devo andare, perchè ho molto da fare. Alla prossima, amici!  So I must go, because I have lots to do…until next time, friends! 


Image via Lingholic


38 Comments Add yours

  1. I’m a little late to the part but I hope you are doing well with you goal so far. Buona fortuna per migliorare il tuo italiano 🙂

    1. Grazie mille! Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts!

  2. Paul Williams says:

    Good luck in your venture – I’m learning too this year, though with Babbel rather than a teacher.

    1. Thank you so much, and good luck to you as well. I really like Babbel so you’re in good hands. Enjoyed your site this morning, looking forward to following along and thank you for joining me here. Cin cin!

  3. apollard says:

    I quit lessons last October after 2 years. I was in a state of overwhelm with work, life and the increasing challenges of tenses. It wasn’t fun anymore. I just couldn’t keep it up and needed a break. Now I am contemplating trying afresh with a new teacher back a few steps to make it fun again. I love it and don’t want to let it go but daily i feel it slips away. You are such an inspiration! I have copied your quote from accidental Italian and posted it on facebook, it’s wonderful.

    1. It does get overwhelming, and I know the verbs can be daunting! I encourage you to start your lessons again if you can do so without stress. I like the structure and frequency of regular lessons because, no matter our good intentions, it seems there is always something more pressing than learning Italian! You have really touched my heart with your sweet comment. I’m so happy to be an inspiration to you, and honored that you are sharing my words on FB. Truly, Andrea, your support means so much to me! Avanti, Cara!

  4. Good luck! And grazie for sharing the resources, I hadn’t heard of some and they will really help with my own Italian goals 🙂

    1. Glad you found some new resources, I hope they prove interesting and useful!

  5. Ishita says:

    Wonderful post! I have the same goals but I think I’m slow at achieving. One week I’m very focused and then I’m back to square one. I lack consistency on this front.. hope you can make the most of these goals and let’s keep each other motivated. My movie recommendations for you are – Mine vaganti, Benvenuti al Sud, Mia Madre & Il Caimano.

    1. Glad you enjoyed it, and thank you! It’s the intentions vs. inconsistency which drove me to post my goals. Now I’m going to print this and put it in a few places around the house so I have a constant, visual reminder! And yes, let’s keep each other motivated! A little check in every so often. Tante grazie per i film italiani — you are the second to suggest Mine Vaganti… I’m sure you’ve seen La Vita e` Bella? I love that one so much. Baci!

      1. It happened to me to stop to study English for some months. I discovered that some time if you do to much then you are too tired (for example it happened with the article you know; now I can’t think about it). A teacher in a video was telling it’s good to study every day, so this time I think: if I’m tired it’s enough ten minutes some day and I also try to do different things every day, but LISTEN every day in any case. Listen is a must and a key for me.

      2. Ishita says:

        True. I get lost in between too. For instance I haven’t studied anything since last week 😦 Yep 🙂 its a great movie. I have seen La Vita. It is great!

  6. Max510 says:

    Buoni propositi, ottimo piano !
    Un film italiano “La finestra di fronte”
    Ciao ciao

    1. Max, tante grazie! Ho scritto quel film sulla lista! 🙂

      1. Max510 says:

        Bellissima storia, bella colonna sonora e grandi interpreti. Non conosco i tuoi gusti ma credo sia un bel film ed un bell’ascoltare litaliano

      1. Prego, cara Stacy!

  7. Articolo fantastico, bravissima!
    – “Leggere qualcosa a voce alta ogni giorno”: I have done it with your article to improve my English! 🙂
    I try to do most part of what you have written: listen, writing, read, speak… I do not have occasion to speak, so I do read or repeat sentences of some lessons. Most work I have done is listening a lot of books: in some period every evening audiobook in bed for two hours! At the moment I’m listening every day the BBC Radio. I think to learn a language is important to listen very much. The English language for us Italian I think is difficult for the pronunciation (different than the written), so you are in advantage listening the Italian, aren’t you? 🙂
    Now I have written a lot in English and I’m so tired… Now you have to write a long reply and in Italian, ahahah 🙂

    1. ahahaha Stefania! Ci provo: Benfatto a te per lavoro ottimo di imparare l’inglese. Penso che tuo inglese e` molto bene. Hai ragione, la pronuncia della lingua inglese e` difficile. Questo e` una cosa della lingua italiana che trovo facile, perche` la pronuncia e` sempre lo stesso. Molto utile! Un bacio a te e` dici ciao a tua bella citta` da me. xo

      1. Bravissima! Grazie per avermi scritto in italiano, che bello! 🙂 Sì, per imparare l’inglese si deve ascoltare tantissimo. Devo studiare ancora tanto… PS: penso che pubblicherò più spesso cose in italiano sul mio blog.

  8. Also, if you would like free listening: link to the audio for the dialogues from my Conversational Italian for Travelers book on Recorded with native Italian speakers. I tried to make them very practical. Chapters 1-6 beginner and 7-18 advanced.

      1. Prego! The recordings were fun to do and I made lots of new Italian friends here in Chicago area.

  9. Wonderful! Such great suggestions. Learning a language is living a language. For the listening, I put on an Italian movie that I am watching for the week while I get ready for work and for bed. Multitasking! I play back scenes over and over again for an entire week.)

    1. What a great suggestion! It’s crucial to surround yourself with the language, not always easy to do so with Italian in the states. Thank you for your link too, I want to give your resources a try!

  10. Brad Nixon says:

    Thank you for the source suggestions. They’re useful for the program in progress here (although you’ll note that I’m not yet ready to write this in Italian).

    1. Avanti, anche se piano piano!

  11. Brava! Sounds like a very good plan, buona fortuna 🙂

  12. Excellent goals! Ottimi obiettivi! I’ve found reading out loud very helpful in my studies. Trovavo leggere ad alta voce molto utile nei miei studi. It lent a comfort and fluidity to speaking. Mi faceva sentire più a mio agio e rendeva il mio parlare più fluido. Best wishes – auguri!

    1. Grazie, Karen! I completely agree. I’ve also found that I speak much better Italiano dopo In bicchiere di vino. 🙂

      1. Ha, ha! Absolutely – assolutamente! Without a doubt – senza dubbio!!!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s