"Reading is the gateway skill that makes all other learning possible." -Barack Obama
The importance of being an eloquent and avid reader cannot be stressed enough. Reading makes learning possible, and it allows our mind to imagine more incredible things than what is written on the pages of a novel or a textbook.
The most successful people in the world read multiple books a month to enhance their knowledge of things that interest them.
While it is one thing to frequently read in your mother tongue, when acquiring the basics of a foreign language such as Italian, it is indispensable to become an excellent reader to unlock all the other aspects of fluency such as writing, speaking, and listening.
You could say that being a good reader is the key to unlocking fluency in Italian!
Therefore, we shall consider the best Italian reading resources for beginners, intermediate, and advanced students without further ado. Let's get reading!
Best Italian Reading Resources for Beginners
At the beginning of language acquisition, you might be tempted to skip past reading and focus solely on speaking and listening; however, that should be avoided at all costs since reading helps learners visualise the words they are saying, which contributes to better memorisation skills.
Nonetheless, it is sometimes exhausting to choose the best reading resources from the abundance of options available without proper guidance and help. However, we firmly believe that the following choices are great reading lessons for Italian beginners:
- ToLearnFree: while not the most visually appealing website of the lot, ToLearnFree has excellent Italian reading materials for beginners who have just started their quest for fluency. Beginners can take a placement test that allows them to see where they are in the learning process. Firstly, learners can select their skill level and then select reading lessons that touch on necessary topics such as adjectives, adverbs, countries and nationalities, the future tense, opposite words, and expressing opinions, to name a few. If you're feeling brave enough, there are updated reading tests that come out to test your abilities; highly recommended!
- Lingua.com: another fantastic online resource for reading material is the Lingua website. The lessons for beginner Italian are varied and relevant. Beginner reading lessons are classified into two sections, A1 and A2, and the reading exercises are either brief texts, interesting articles, and scripts from everyday conversations among native speakers. The readers can be downloaded for future reference, and after each reading lesson, some questions help beginners hone their comprehension skills. Some A1 and A2 reading topics include titles such as come estai? la mia Famiglia, mi chiamo Sofia, la mia stanza, and Napoli, to name a few.
We remarkably suggest using the two previously mentioned websites from the beginning when learning to read in Italian. Also, remember that as a newcomer, frequent practice is required to make your way to the next level and become an intermediate Italian student.
Using well-chosen Italian podcasts is another fantastic way to acquire fluency.
The Most Highly Recommended Italian Reading Materials for Intermediate Students
After conquering the beginner level and being classified as an intermediate Italian language learner, you have to start reading like one. Before leaving the "beginner" classification, we highly recommend taking a look at intermediate-level study material to get an idea of what to expect.
Also, it's worth stating that increased motivation is needed at an intermediate level since a lot of language learners plateau, get discouraged and eventually abandon the learning experience altogether. So, to encourage our intermediate Italian learners to continue with their studying, the following are the best reading materials for intermediate students:
- Saber Italiano: a well-known website for helping people of all ages and backgrounds dynamically learn Italian; Saber Italiano has some great short stories for intermediate learners. For instance, some of the short stories touch on topics such as L'Italia, Parlamento della Repubblica Italiana, Emblema della Repubblica Italiana, Festa della Repubblica Italiana, Bandiera d'Italia, Roma, Roma: Curiosità, Campionato italiano di calcio, and Pizza. We'd expect all intermediate students to recognise the previously mentioned titles; if you can't, you're not an intermediate student! At the end of each short-story and article, there are a few multiple-choice questions.
- Fluent Simple: dedicated to creating short and entertaining short stories for beginners and intermediate students, the Fluent Simple website features excellent attributes such as slow audio and written transcripts that help the reader fully comprehend the short story they are reading. Learners get full-access for seven days and can choose intermediate stories that boast titles such as Il Giardino Divino, La Casa Fredda, Granita a Colazione, Il Look Perfetto, etc. Short stories at an intermediate level are posted weekly from a diverse background of native writers. You won't be disappointed!
All of the short stories and reading materials featured on the two previously mentioned websites are enough to entertain intermediate Italian students for hours. Reading materials at an intermediate level allow learners to peak into the life and culture of native Italian speakers without having to leave the UK!
Noteworthy Reading Supplies for Advanced Italian Learners
When you finally reach the advanced level in Italian fluency, first, you deserve sincere commendation for your hard work. Secondly, it means you can read a more complex and interesting reading material. Such as? For instance, many advanced Italian readers hone their skills by reading translations of their favourite books on the internet in electronic formats.
Some of the best websites to read Italian books dynamically are the following:
- Parallel Text: do you want to continue improving your Italian reading skills to reach a near-native level while at the same curling up on the couch with your fav novel? If so, look no further than the parallel text website. To start, you select your mother tongue and then choose the target language. The parallel text then shows you the novel options available in the foreign tongue you are learning. For instance, for English natives learning Italian, there are classic novels such as Jane Eyre, Alice in Wonderland, Robinson Crusoe, Three Men in a Boat, Il Principe, Fall of the House of Usher, and Anna Karenina. Italian students read the electronic version of the book in Italian. Yet, they can click the text to automatically translate to English if they do not understand some phrases or words. Also, by clicking the sentence, Parallel Text users can hear the text spoken to them—all in all, a highly recommended resource for advanced students to practise Italian.
- Italy Magazine: Another significant aspect of reading open to advanced learners is articles written by Italian writers about local culture. One of the best websites to find dual language texts written both in Italian and English is Italy Magazine. The dual-texts posted weekly on Italy Magazine are great for those who want to keep up with their reading abilities without feeling the immense engagement of starting a novel. Some of the best articles featured in Italy Magazine touch on cultural events and landmarks such as the Wonders of Italy and the origins of famous dishes and practices. We highly recommend the articles on Italy Magazine for advanced readers since the Italian language can continually inspire them without continuously being weighed down by the basics again and again.
It is worth stating that there are plenty of recommended books published in the Italian language that is readily available and can be downloaded as e-book.
Tips to Become a Better Reader in Italian
Many tips and tricks from qualified experts to become a better reader in Italian apply to almost all languages frequently spoken today. Why's that? It is essential to state that education principles can be transferred from one foreign tongue to another since our brains universally absorb information.
So, without further ado, the following are great pieces of advice that will significantly aid beginner, intermediate, and advanced students become excellent readers in Italiano:
- Choose the Correct Reading Material: there is nothing more uninspiring and detrimental to the reading experience than boring material. Therefore, it is of the utmost importance to select short stories, articles, and novels that pique your interest. By reading something, you love, you'll be more encouraged to continue improving.
- Listen to Audio Recordings: having trouble pronouncing certain words or stressing the right syllables? If so, firstly, you're not the only one, and secondly, try listening and following along to the audio versions of the reading material; if available, of course.
- Read Out Loud: most reading and language teachers emphasise the importance of taking the time to read aloud in the target language. Why's that? Reading aloud introduces new vocabulary, hones fluent pronunciation, and develops a balanced view of what the reader thinks of themselves and their overall skills. We highly recommend reading out loud in front of Italian natives or your tutor to receive honest feedback.
In conclusion, reading in Italian is of the utmost importance from the start of language acquisition. We are sure that the helpful online resources mentioned in today's article will significantly heighten the Italian language learning experience quality. Let's get reading!
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