1. Set an attractive goal
Whenever we kick start a new project we are usually full of energies and good ideas. However, we all know that soon or less (generally after three months) we start to slow down.
Why is this happening?
When things get harder, we struggle. That is the story of humanity, and this is something we can apply to Italian language learning. It is easier to get a grasp of the basics, but it gets harder to achieve full Italian fluency
Is there any recipe against losing motivation when it comes to learning a language? Yes, make sure your goal is brilliant!
Your learning goal must be sexy in order for you to learn Italian fast.
If your ultimate goal is to speak in Italian just okay or you don’t have any specific reason for learning it, well, there is a good chance you will lose motivation at some point of your Italian language learning journey. You are not motivated enough to go to the extra mile to achieve your objective.
If you are learning Italian for whatever reason which is meaningful for you, for example, you have an Italian partner, or you are planning something special in Italy or you want to want to earn an Italian Certification of Proficiency your motivation will stay active and will help you not to lose sight of your goal.
Be clear about your learning goal. Why do you want to learn Italian? How will your life benefit from it? The bigger, and the clearer, your goal is, the more excited you become to achieve it.
Remember, a goal without a plan is just a wish, so get ready to embrace the next steps
Nobody is too busy; it is just a matter of priorities.
Mastering Italian means that you need to cover all areas of Italian language learning, for instance:
- Learning Italian vocabulary
- Practising Italian conversation
- Practising Italian listening
- Writing in Italian
- Italian Grammar
I know that at some point in your journey with the language you will feel like you need to improve your Italian speaking dramatically or even your Italian listening. Fair enough. Speaking and listening are the keys to master Italian conversation.
So, let’s assume you want to improve your listening and you want to improve it fast. How do you do it if you don’t live in Italy and without the chance of hearing Italian here and there daily, in your country? How do you do it effectively?
The secret to taking your Italian listening to the next level is giving priority to it for a certain period, saying two o three months.
That is to say that for that time you will focus on Italian listening, without spending too much time on the areas of Italian Language Learning.
I promise you that this approach will do its job. The error many learners of Italian do is to learn a little bit of everything at the same time. This approach is making progress slow, because you don’t spend a lot of time on that one area that you want to improve dramatically, like listening to Italian resources or practising Italian conversation with your tutor.
If you do it once in a while or randomly, you won’t be able to see a considerable improvement in that area you want to expand on.
if you are working on improving your Italian listening right now, I recommend you to read my articles:
- Ascoltare Podcast Italiani: una breve guida
- 8 great Italian YouTubers to improve your listening skills
3. CREATE YOUR ITALIAN NETWORK
Immerse yourself in a network of people who learn Italian or are Italy aficionados. If you have ever travelled to Italy, you surely have realized how full-immersion does its job.
When not in Italy, try to recreate the same feeling in your country.
How do you do it?
- Surround yourself with all things Italia: books, food, magazines
- Join or start an Italian Language Meet-up in your city
- Join an Italian Institute of Culture (they are located in the major cities, worldwide)
- Hire an Italian tutor online or offline and meet with him or her a regular basis
- Make Italian friends (Italian communities are everywhere)
- Find and Italian Language Partner on the apps Tandem or HelloTalk or through the numerous Italian Language Pages & Groups on Facebook
A language is a social tool. Get out of your comfort zone and use it. If you don’t live in Italian, it might sound hard and demotivating. Living on the era of the internet allows us to join a virtual network.
Having an Italian network is vital to track your progress, to motivate you when you feel unmotivated and support you in your Italy related decisions. It will save you a significant amount of time when you need to find the best Italian learning resources or plan your trip to Italy.
4. Plan spaced repetition sessions
If you use Duolingo as a way to learn Italian or one of those similar apps you know that they use a spaced repetition system which is a language learning technique that incorporates increasing intervals of time between subsequent review of previously learned material to exploit the psychological spacing effect.
Do you know that our mind forgets 50 % of what we read after two weeks and 80% in one month? Sad true reality. Ok, there might be out there people with a photographic memory, but in the vast majority of cases, you might belong to my very category. You forget, just like me, and this is normal!
To overcome “forgetting” and make the time that you spend learning Italian valuable, make sure you plan a weekly, bi-weekly or monthly review of what you have been learning.
A few ideas for organizing a spaced-repetition habit
- Plan your review session at weekends or in the middle of the week to review the Italian vocabulary you have been learning.
- If you happen to read a book or what a movie in Italian, make a summary.
- Use it or lose. Try to put in conversation or in writing the new words or Italian phrases you have learned.
- make the Italian Language learning a habit
5. HAVE FUN WITH THE LANGUAGE
Make sure you are having fun with the language. The secret to continuing to learn and achieve excellence in Italian Language Learning is to have fun while doing it.
How do you do it?
You have the keys. You know what you like more, nobody can better tell you that your inner self. The idea is to merge Italian with your favourite hobbies.
Do you like cooking? Join an Italian cookery course in Italy or your country.
The time you spend with the language must be fun and give you the idea that you are using your precious time effectively.
A language is a tool for you to use to achieve or learn something else.
The final destination is not your Italian proficiency but what will you use your Italian language skills for.
Happy Italian Learning
Serena is a proud polyglot, teacher and language expert. After learning 8+ foreign languages and working long hours a job she was not born for, she decided she urged a significant life change. She is now combining what she loves doing with what she is good at, helping people to learn Italian online. She has been sharing her love for Italy and the Bella Lingua across the world for the last four years. Her goal is helping enthusiastic humans to transform Italian Language Learning into a habit in their lives.