Knowing and speaking Italian is the first step in integrating migrants and represents the calling-card for foreigners interested in living, studying, or working in Italy.
Given the importance of learning Italian, the Portale Integrazione Migranti has compiled a collection of online courses, websites, social networks, apps, games and tests helpful for this purpose.
These tools, which are free of charge and freely accessible, allow users to carry out language activities autonomously to self-assess their learning through interactive exercises and games. They are suitable for those who want to learn Italian but have little time or cannot attend a language course. They are also helpful for those who have to take an Italian language exam and need to practise.
To send observations, comments or point out other useful free tools, you can write to the following e-mail address: redazioneIntegrazione@lavoro.gov.it
Italian online courses
-The “Grande portale della lingua italiana” is a tool created by the Italian Ministries of the Interior, Education, University and Research and Rai Educational to help foreigners learn Italian.
The portal has four courses from level A1 to level B2, divided into learning units. Each unit includes docufilms and video lessons to learn Italian grammar and vocabulary and more about Italian culture and history.
A1 A2 B1 B2
-Scuole Migranti, a network for linguistic and social integration in Rome, offers free mini-courses of Italian on the phone. The course is an experiment in domestic voluntary work. Mini, because it involves only a few people at a time. Domestic, because teacher and pupil are both at home.
Here is the flyer for the migrant looking for a free course.
-One World. Learn Italian online: on this website, there are various teaching sheets for learning Italian grammar and practising with teaching materials and exercises. There are also many free video courses to learn the use of verbs, pronouns and much more.
Apps to learn Italian
- Learn Italian Words is a free Apple IOS and Google Play app. Before starting, each student will choose their level of Italian (from A1 to C1) and how many minutes per day they wish to dedicate to using the app.
In each lesson, you will learn 14 new words covering different topics such as work, travel, emergencies, or phrases to use in ordinary conversation. At the end, users can check what they have learnt using a wide range of activities, such as multiple-choice games.
-Italki is the app that offers the opportunity to get in touch with native Italian speakers. You can schedule lessons on Skype to practise your Italian. You can choose among many subscribers, both teachers and language partners. The app is perfect for students who want to practise their Italian orally. Available free of charge for iOS on the App Store, for Android on Google Play and online.
-In 24 Hours Learn Italian is a free helpful app for beginner students. The app is currently only available for iOS.
-Drops is an app that allows you to learn Italian interactively and makes learning Italian similar to a game. There are 50 useful topics for everyday life to choose from. The activities consist of multiple choice or spelling exercises, and there are also grammar sections. The app can only be used for free for 10 minutes a day. Otherwise, you have to upgrade to the paid version, which provides additional content.
-Imparare l’italiano principianti: app to learn Italian for free. The course is divided into 3 levels (basic, intermediate, and advanced), and the goal is to learn 500 words with pictures and audio and thus study Italian vocabulary. Available on the App Store and Google Play.
-Busuu: learn to speak a language in 10 minutes daily, for free. Set achievable goals. Get advice from native speakers. Make real progress. Available on the App Store and Google Play.
-50 Languages available on Google Play and the App Store. Mp3 files, games, phrases, vocabulary, and language tests, all free of charge. You can select your starting language from over 50 options and download lots of content to learn Italian.
- Ataya App (available for Android). The presentation of the app is available at this link.
Learn Italian on social media
Profiles on social networks for learning languages are becoming increasingly popular. This social content allows users to learn vocabulary, listen to pronunciation and keep up to date with learning new words and expressions daily. Very often, creators include free content for their followers and organise live streams that allow real lessons for their users.
Below are some of the many Instagram profiles that aim to teach Italian to foreigners:
For years, YouTube has been a handy platform for those who want to learn a new language but have little time and want to do so interactively. Numerous pages offer video lessons for learning the Italian language, among which we highlight:
- Fun and Easy Italian
- Italiano Automatico. Impara l’italiano con Italiano Automatico
Podcast to learn Italian
Podcasts are an increasingly popular tool for learning a new language online and for free. Here are some of the podcasts for learning Italian:
- L360: this app provides access to audio content in five languages, including Italian. 'News in Slow Italian' is an excellent resource to improve your understanding of news, essential for anyone who wants to live in Italy or improve their vocabulary. The audio files are free, but many extra materials are only available to subscribers. Available on the App Store and Google Play.
- Learn Italian Pod: in this podcast, the topic is introduced in English and accompanied by short, easy-to-understand stories, perfect for intermediate or advanced students. You can choose the difficulty level of the podcast: beginner, pre-intermediate, intermediate and advanced. The topics are very interesting and useful, both for life in Italy and for learning more about Italy in general. Here is the link to the Italian Pod website.
- ItalianLingQ: This podcast contains audio files for learners of all levels: beginner, intermediate and advanced. Even in the more advanced podcasts, the presenters speak very slowly so that each topic is easily understood, and they teach new and helpful vocabulary. Each podcast lasts about ten minutes and is available in the App Store and on the website.
Other tools to learn Italian
-“Parlo Italiano. Manuale Pratico per Stranieri”. Giunti Editore. 2010
This manual is aimed at foreign citizens who have immigrated to Italy and who know the Italian language at a beginner's level.
It starts from the concrete use of the language in everyday life's most significant situations and environments. It proposes the learning of the basic structures and words of standard Italian for living and communicating.
-Baldini S., Marini D. (2019). Vorrei. Corso di lingua italiana di livello elementare 1 e 2. Libro di testo e libro degli esercizi. Firenze University Press
-"Guide Didattiche Gratis" offers various guides, didactic sheets, free downloadable workbooks for learning to write in Italian, and much more. See the page at the following link to discover all available free materials.
-50 Languages: website offering a wide range of teaching materials for learning about 50 languages, all completely free of charge.
The unique feature of this site is that it allows you to select not only the language you want to learn but also your language of origin. Among the useful material available are MP3 audio files, Language tests, Phrasebooks (in the early stages of learning a new language, phrasebooks are an excellent tool that can help you quickly master basic conversational skills), and Games.
You can also download the app on Google Play and the App Store.
-Senta Scusi Prof website: you can find a list of free online materials for early literacy, such as illustrated vocabularies, vocabulary tables, vocabulary exercises and links to educational videos for learning Italian.