What’s the best way to learn Italian?

Sue likes taking Italian courses. She signs up for them annually, listens carefully in class, participates with enthusiasm, and does her homework diligently. She values her teachers’ efforts on her behalf, and wouldn’t dream of questioning the way they organize the lessons.

Pat is very different to Sue. She enjoys being in control and so prefers making her own decisions regarding what to study, when, and how. She doesn’t mind at all that her more autonomous approach sometimes involves a steeper learning curve. In fact, that’s what she likes about it!

So what about you? What sort of language-learner are you? More like Sue, or more like Pat?

Knowing your language-learning preferences and habits is a big help when choosing an Italian course, or deciding to eschew courses altogether and go it alone.

But many of us are neither at one extreme nor the other.

Fortunately, signing up for an Italian course in a professional language school, as Sue does, doesn’t actually preclude studying the language independently with online materials like Pat.

And even the most enthusiastically self-taught student of Italian can benefit from a little structured practice now and then, along with the chance to get feedback from an experienced teacher.

I could go on…

Autonomous study is a great way to keep on learning between courses and so make the best of your investment.

Courses are perfect for making the friends with whom you’ll speak Italian for many years to come.

And so on…

The obvious conclusion is that the best way to learn Italian probably involves a combination of good quality courses AND regular self-study.

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