Learning a language is fun when you enjoy what you’re doing. Good materials are important, just like a good teacher (and lots of practice and patience!). Try different materials and approaches to find what works for you. My students and I have road-tested these Italian books and materials, and we’ve found them helpful along the path to fluency.
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- 1- Italian Survival Guide. The language and culture you need to travel with confidence in Italy: survival vocabulary, survival grammar, survival social knowledge.
- 2- Italian/English Visual Dictionary. A delightful and colorful way to learn useful vocabulary. Thousands of color photos.
- 3- Italian in 10 Minutes a Day. A great place to start. Lots of illustrations and a good intro to basic Italian phrases and vocabulary. Geared toward travelers. Includes interactive CD-Rom.
- 4- Italian Conversation QuickStudy Chart. A handy, fold-out laminated chart featuring basic Italian vocabulary, including pronunciation, numbers, colors, basic verbs and grammar, food, family, travel, days, months, seasons, time, weather and more.
- 5- Italian Grammar QuickStudy Chart. A handy, fold-out laminated chart that includes at-a-glance info on pronouns, adjectives, adverbs, prepositions, and verb tenses and forms.
- 6- Learn Italian the Fast & Fun Way. Great for beginners, with lots of dialogs and vocabulary organized by topics of interest to travelers. Basic grammar in context.
- 7- Italian Self-Teaching Guide. For beginners to advanced. Easy to grasp explanations of grammar, useful vocabulary, dialogs, workbook exercises with answers included.
- 8- Easy Italian Step-by-Step. For beginners to advanced. Easy to grasp explanations of grammar, useful vocabulary, readings, workbook exercises with answers included. This book is similar to #7 Italian Self-Teaching Guide (above), with the added feature of companion audio recordings that I created for a large portion of the book. These are available to subscribers of my Italian Audio Club (along with many other study materials) for $6.95/month, a great value!
- 9- Schaum’s Easy Outline of Italian. Excellent grammar reference book. Concise, easy-to-follow explanations. No workbook exercises. Easy-to-carry, smaller-sized book.
- 10- “50 Ways to Improve Your Italian”. Great book for smoothing off the rough edges — featuring 50 stand-alone lessons on the most common mistakes English-speaking students make when speaking Italian. Easy-to-carry, smaller-sized book.
- 11- Italian Fluency. A companion book for the Italian learner who wants to focus on vocabulary expansion to complement their grammar study. Learn tricks to learning and recalling a wealth of words to improve your fluency. Also available in Kindle.
- 12- Complete Italian Grammar. A workbook of targeted grammar practice exercises. Appropriate for advanced beginners and intermediate levels.
- 13- Schaum’s Outlines Italian Grammar. For intermediate to advanced students. Schaum’s does grammar really well. Very detailed grammar explanations, lots of exercises, answers at the back, 350 pages.
- 14- Diario della studentessa Jean. Collection of short stories appropriate for adults, beginner to intermediate. Written by an American woman who began studying Italian as an adult.
- 15- Eserciziario per Diario della studentessa Jean. Exercise workbook to accompany the story book.
- 16- Jean e Roscoe vanno a Perugia. The follow up reader to Diario della studentessa Jean. More advanced language and stories of a student learning Italian in Perugia, Italy.
- 17- Easy Italian Reader. For advanced-beginner to intermediate students. Great variety of stories: everyday student life, Italian history, contemporary writers. Includes comprehension questions, answers, a glossary, and an audio CD and CD-Rom.
- 18- Read and Think Italian. A collection of 100+ illustrated readings and articles about the life and culture of Italy, many of them narrated on the included 70 min. audio CD.
- 19- Non soltanto un baule. (Not just a trunk) Collection of interesting stories about Italian immigrants. For intermediate to advanced readers.
- 20- La Bella Lingua by Dianne Hales. An entertaining history of the development of the Italian language over the centuries, from Dante to the present. In English, with loads of Italian expressions, vocabulary, and language ancedotes.
- 21- Italian Magnetic Poetry. We use this to play “Grammar Pong” in the Saturday Class. Turn your refrigerator, metal filing cabinet, or even a cookie sheet into a practice surface. Write sentences, poetry, or just group the over 500 words into parts of speech categories. One of my fave learning tools!
- 22- Speak Italian, the fine art of the gesture. What are Italians saying with their hands? This illustrated guide demystifies Italian gestures. Read my book review here.
- 23- La lingua italiana per stranieri – Level 1: Corso elementare ed intermedio. This text book is all in Italian, including instructions and explanations, and therefore a great option for students whose first language is not English and who may find Italian books geared to mother-tongue English speakers cumbersome to use. Contains grammar lessons and exercises.