Dilit Italian School

Learn Italian by listening to audiobooks

There are many texts in Italian on Youtube. Just look for "audiobooks". You can find anything. Pick one. To begin with, it can be a good idea to start from a book you have read in your own language and of which you already know the content.

Give priority to Italian authors, if possible, but texts of other writers are also fine, since their translations are excellent, as long as they are in Italian. In fact, this kind of exercise is dedicated, first of all, to the whole set of skills summed up in the term "listening."

  • Listen to the first 3 minutes once and then listen again to the same 3 minutes several times. At least 6 times; I emphasize “at least”. That's it. The first time you listen, it may seem incomprehensible, the second time you feel frustrated, the third, a few words or groups of words begin to make their way. Go on, don’t stop! At first it seems impossible, but it is not. Trust your ability and your potential, as our teachers repeat in our classes. The main obstacle is not the language, but our off-target expectations. You learn step by step, a bit at a time, through practice.

  • Another day, listen to the next 3 minutes in the same way and so on and on and on. Little by little, the more you listen, the more you develop your listening skills. These are things that affect the circuitry of the brain, but don’t worry, we will not talk about that now.

  • If, after doing the listening exercises three times like this, you feel that frustration is bigger than the pleasure of discovering a text in Italian, it just means that it is still not the time for that book yet. Try another one. That's all. Don’t think of not being good in Italian or that the language is too difficult. Think that that book is not the book for you for now. That’s all.

In any case, only a large amount of listening ensures the development of this skill and greater and greater understanding. Practice improves your skills.

The only downside is the expectation to "figure it all out." Today, you can understand what you can today. Tomorrow you will understand more and then more and more, if you keep listening in this way.

We should be careful not to confuse illusions for expectations. Let’s learn to adjust expectations and to let go of the illusions that only make us feel bad.

Listen and listen again: listen many times.

We have been doing that, here at the school, for more than 40 years and it works.

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