Posted on by Ulrike Rettig

Think in Italian - Updated Review

Logo Think in ItalianSince our last review of "Think in Italian" (11/2020), Stefano has made a number of changes that enhance his focus on speaking, which - we fully agree with him - "is the most overlooked skill in language apps".

Stefano Lodola is an Italian polyglot, language teacher and translator, who speaks 12 languages. And he's an opera singer with a wonderful voice, as you'll hear in the audio.

Think in Italian's lessons are based on a simple wisdom:
1. We all learn a language by listening and mimicking.
2. We acquire language through context.
3. We best learn grammar through examples, not rules.

THINK IN ITALIAN OFFERS TWO SETS OF LESSONS

1. Italian audio course "Ripeti con me" (Repeat after me).

The audio course now has 250 lessons ranging from Beginner to Advanced. Spaced repetition helps you acquire vocabulary and grammar patterns easily.

Once you've chosen your level, you'll find lots of material that you'll understand just well enough - "comprehensible input" - to really stretch your skills.

Stefano has added a search field to look up words and see how they are used throughout the course. It functions like a contextual dictionary of the words and phrases in the course.

Click HERE for our detailed description of the lesson format, which continues to be simple and effective. Stefano calls the format "minimalist". There's no fluff, no flying owls, no fanfares, etc.

2. Short Italian Readings with audio "Leggi con me" (Read with me).

This is a collection of 600+ stories, news pieces, conversations, jokes and songs. The latter two are a new addition.

The various readings are sorted by level and come with audio, an Italian transcript, and an English translation. A new "Total Beginner'" level now makes entry into Italian real-world materials easier.

Short Stories

These are read in a slow but natural pace and are an painless way to grow your vocabulary. They also train you to guess meaning from context, similar to an immersion situation.

News

The brief News pieces expose you to vocabulary and grammar that is different from conversational language. They prepare you to understand and talk about local and global events.

Conversations

The Conversations are an easy way to build your conversational skills and confidence.

Becoming fluent in everyday conversations in Italian requires that you understand and are able to use those extra little filler words (beh, boh, allora, dai, tipo, cioè, insomma, etc) that act as conversational bridges, and sounds (mmh, ehm, uhm) that signal hesitation or a reaction.

Jokes

Understanding jokes in a foreign language requires a fair amount of sophistication. So, getting a little jokes training is not a bad thing.

Songs

You many have experienced that songs are an enjoyable way to sharpen your pronunciation, and to learn vocabulary and common grammar patterns. Italian is a perfect language for that.

Click HERE a more detailed description of the readings - minus the jokes and songs.

USER DASHBOARD

On your personalized dashboard (login required), you'll be able to see what lessons or readings you've done. You can also bookmark any content you'd like to add.

Setting your level on your dashboard, affects what lessons you see and readings you receive every week.

Also, you can quickly check your account, as well as access any free resources.

COMPLEMENTARY RESOURCES

A host of resources are available on Stefano's website as well as his YouTube channel. On the site, click the Tab "Free Resources". There you'll find:

• Study tips: Featured articles with my best tips.
• Italian study planner
• Checklist "Overcoming your barriers"
• Ebook "How to learn languages fast"
• Online Italian test
• Italian grammar lessons

PRICING

All the material is available online on the website for a Monthly or Yearly Subscription, or for a One-off Lifetime Membership.

You'll receive his best offers together with the free resources, once you've entered your email in the space under I WANT TO LEARN*.

Think in Italian ScreenshotTo receive a 50% discount on the first month through us, click HERE to go to the form and add your email there. Note: other coupons can apply in addition.

To try the lessons out for yourself, make use of Stefano's free 7-day Trial.

Stefano's courses are more expensive than most language apps, but they are clearly worthwhile for motivated learners who want results.

Live Q&As

This is new. Users can leave comments under the lessons or in the members-only Forum and receive prompt answers. Stefano also does live streams once a month.

LIVE TUTORING

A membership in Think in Italian gives you access to Italian Tutors. Classes are purchased separately.

MY PROGRESS - update coming

I'm currently fluent in 4 languages (German, English, Dutch, and French), and I'm very happy with my progress in Italian.

I've been watching an Italian soap Un Posto al Sole, on raitplay.it, with Italian subtitles. I've also been reading thrillers: Angeli e Demoni (translation of Dan Brown's novel), Ad occhi chiusi (by Gianrico Carofiglio), and La pazienza del ragno (Andrea Camilleri) - only occasionally needing a dictionary.

But speaking fluently in Italian is a different matter. My early practice with the audio course Ripeti con me!, using the first 15 lessons, repeatedly, definitely helped to untie my tongue.
I'll soon be starting another month of learning with "Think in Italian". This time I'll be practicing with later lessons and will write an update.

In my experience, you become fluent in a language only if you engage with it consistently and make an effort to speak frequently. It's great, of course, to have a Italian speaker as a regular conversation partner. Using a good program with lessons corresponding to your level works as a good second choice.

TIP: An excellent way to improve your fluency in a language is "shadowing" a native speaker using an online app or just audio. You can do that by listening to the Italian - spoken sentences, conversations, short stories, news pieces - and repeating ALOUD what's being said along with the speaker or right after the speaker says it.

Bio: Ulrike Rettig is the co-founder of GamesforLanguage.com. She's a lifelong language learner, growing up in Austria, the Netherlands, and Canada. You can follow her on Facebook,  Twitter  and Instagram, and leave any comments right here below!

Disclosure: "Think in Italian" is one of our partner sites. If you use the 'click HERE' link under PRICING, you'll receive a 50% discount on your first month's subscription. Gamesforlanguage will receive a small commission, which helps us keep our site free of Google ads and other advertisements. As an affiliate, we were given a one month of full access to what is now "Think in Italian".