Are you tired of listening to news in slow Italian and looking for more lighthearted and culturally relevant Italian content to improve your listening and sentence-building abilities? Try using my easy readers.
Why learn with short-story books?
- Our brain is not designed to memorize words in isolation. We need to relate a new input (a word, a sound, a grammar pattern, a sentence) to an image.
- Stories will provide you with visuals to relate to the new words and sentences you encounter while reading.
- When you try to use a new word or sentence, remembering the visual provided by the story will help you.
- You will naturally absorb the main principles of Italian sentence construction (how to connect words and grammar).
Due Amiche e Un Album di Fotografie (A1-A2)
Easy Italian reader for advanced beginners and lower-intermediate Italian Learners
Did you know that there is a German-speaking region in Italy? Do you know that when hiking in the Dolomites, you can refuel at a local malga? And do you know what typical food in the Dolomites is like? If you don’t, you can learn everything about it in simple Italian by listening to and reading this easy short story book.
Le Avventure di Paul a Roma (A2)
for advanced beginners and intermediate Italian learners
Do you know that Rome is a jigsaw puzzle of different neighborhoods, each one with its own identity and history? Follow Paul’s adventures in the Eternal City and experience the Italian capital better through Italian dialogues and texts.This book is meant for beginners and intermediate learners.
Incontri in Sicilia (A2+, B1)
for Lower-intermediate to Intermediate Italian Learners Fiona is the first in her Italian-American family to learn her ancestors’ language. At university in the US, she earned a scholarship and moved to Rome to improve her Italian for a semester. But there’s more to the story. To complete an Italian citizenship application, she must obtain a copy of her great-grandfather’s birth certificate. This brings her to Sicily. In Sicily, she has several encounters that will forever alter her future.
This short story is appropriate for all Italian learners who have at least a pre-intermediate level of proficiency in the language (A2). This book might be useful for advanced beginners as well.
Why try out my short story method?
Having spent the last eight years teaching Italian to native English speakers, I’ve come to realize that the most challenging part of learning Italian is putting all of the bits and pieces of grammar and vocabulary together to form flowing Italian sentences.
A few years ago, after trying different teaching approaches, I decided to use simplified Italian content in the form of stories as a way to provide my students with something to talk about during our classes. After a few classes using this method, I was already able to tell that the more my students would talk about the stories they had read and heard, the easier it became for them to construct complete sentences.
Due to reading and listening to simple Italian texts and dialogues multiple times, they would learn the correct order of words in sentences. In addition, it was also evident to me that by selecting the right stories (taking into account my students’ interests and levels), I would always provide my students with new and relevant vocabulary to discuss in our classes (instead of using the same old, boring conversation topics).
It took me a while, but eventually, I came up with the right ideas to write and record my own short stories, which you can now purchase on Amazon or Gumroad.
All my Italian short stories are easy readings and include an audiobook narrated by me and a flashcard set that I made. They were created with native English speakers in mind and are intended for beginners and intermediate learners. They are also culturally relevant and will aid you in your understanding of Italy and Italian through real-life dialogues and situations.
How to Make the Most of These Easy Italian Readers
Repeat, Repeat, Repeat
Scientists say you need to use a new word at least seven times before really learning it. What does it have to do with my short stories? Reading or listening to something without studying it is the same as consuming rather than acquiring information. Reading a short story or listening to a podcast without studying it is surely a pleasurable activity (just like reading a novel in your native language), but it won’t dramatically take your Italian to the next level. In fact, reading or listening to something without studying it is a form of “passive learning.”
Many students become frustrated with their lack of progress not because they don’t study enough but because they don’t go over their notes enough.
So, what can you do to study smarter?
#1: Read and listen to the content several times and take notes on important vocabulary or sentences. Review your notes until you are familiar with using them.
#2: Talk about what you read or you use the new vocabulary in various contexts. If you’re using a tutor, you can simply ask him or her to devote five minutes of your class time to reviewing two chapters of your text. You can find affordable tutors on Italki or Preply, or you can hire us for more structured learning programs.
I am Serena, a certified Italian Language Teacher, an avid language student, content learning designer, and polyglot. Over seven years ago, I started my online Italian school to inspire native English speakers to learn and speak Italian successfully. Today I work with a fantastic team of hand-picked teachers who are helping me achieve my goal of making Italian learning enjoyable, motivating, and possible for non-native speakers.