Some easy-to-do ideas for improving your Italian in 2014

Back to school, back to work, it’s probably been a busy week for you.

You likely won’t have had much time for learning Italian.

Remember, though, that the ability to speak and understand a foreign language comes only with much time and practice. Grasshopper.

Little and often. Slowly, steadily. Progress comes from establishing good habits.

And since there’s no better time than January for organising yourself to achieve future goals…

…here are a few things you can do this weekend to get you started speaking and understanding Italian better in 2014!

Easy-to-do ideas for improving your Italian this year

Remember, we’re talking establishing good habits here, small ways to move your Italian along which won’t take up too much precious time!

  • Change the language on your cell-phone to Italian (it’s confusing at first, I warn you!)
  • Ditto with the language settings on any websites you use regularly
  • Sign up to some Italian language e-mail lists, and open the e-mails (for example, a football club fan site, a cookery website, an online retailer. Basically, any place that’ll send you e-mail in Italian about something that you find interesting and so might read)
  • Change your TV viewing habits. If you watch TV, resolve to spend at least part of that couch-time watching something in Italian. Check your DVD collection, too. Often DVDs have an Italian language option. Or look for Italian language streaming sites..
  • Working at home or cooking? Have an Italian radio station playing in the background (Internet again…)
  • Quiet moment at work? Try Italian Youtube…. (There’s usually a ‘language’ setting, right at the bottom of the page)
  • Set the homepage of your computer or tablet to an Italian newspaper site. Don’t expect to be able to understand much at first. But if you just glance at the papers once or twice each day, you’ll soon start to find it easier… If nothing else, you can look at the headlines, and the pictures!
  • Set aside a few minutes a day to do some online Italian exercises or a free Italian course at¬†(yes, that’s me in the picture)
  • Download some Italian audio books to listen to in the car… Again, don’t expect it to be easy. But you know what they say: “A journey of 1000 miles begins with a single step.”

Got any other ideas? It’d be great to hear them. Leave a comment on this post.

P.S. Don’t forget the obvious… A two-week Italian course in Bologna, Italy takes just moments to book and may cost less than you think!