I received a review copy of Tutto italiano for free. The links to the product are affiliate links, meaning I get a little something if you subscribe, but it doesn’t cost you anything extra.
Learning a new language as an adult is hard work.
I used to teach beginning Italian at a local community college, which I loved, after taking classes through that college myself for years. Starting out is the easy part. There’s almost always a class you can take, or a learn-at-home course you can buy.
Maintaining and advancing your skills in a city that isn’t teeming with native speakers – that’s the real challenge.
When I was studying Italian, a small group of us eventually outgrew the community college’s Italian class levels, which were mostly geared toward travelers who wanted to be able to get by during their two-week trip to Italy later that year. We formed our own conversational group, and ended up hiring a native speaker to teach us once a week. I was lucky to have that kind of advanced language study available to me. If you’re not so lucky, or if you’re looking for another supplement to your language learning, let me introduce Tutto italiano from Languages Direct.
Tutto italiano is a two-part language learning tool. Every two months, subscribers get a 52-page printed magazine and a CD. The magazine is published in Rome and is entirely in Italian, with some key words or sayings defined after each article in English. The articles are timely and cover a wide range of topics – travel, politics, sports, food, culture, and more. At the end of each issue, there are a few exercises based on the preceding articles to help you gauge comprehension.
The 60-minute CD that accompanies each magazine has readings from that issue, so you’ll not only be able to increase your reading comprehension but your listening skills, too. The readings aren’t the auctioneer-speed that I’m sure some of us have heard (and been unable to understand!) when visiting Italy, but they’re also not super-slow, either.
Again, Tutto italiano is geared toward a more advanced student of Italian – not a beginner. It’s the kind of thing that would have been a wonderful addition to my old cohort of Italian students back when we were studying on our own, and would be a good way to keep your Italian skills current if you’re not speaking it on a regular basis. And if you’re an intermediate student, it could be a great way to challenge yourself.
As mentioned, Tutto italiano comes out six times per year, and an annual subscription costs $150 (if you subscribe for two years, the cost is $259). It’s an investment, to be sure. If you’re on the fence and you’ve got friends who also study Italian, consider pooling your resources with a study group, all of whom could benefit.