In today’s post I would like to share with you 9 free resources you can use to practice and improve your listening skills in Italian. Hopefully you will find this post useful!
- Audiobooks. They are a great resource because you can learn while you listen to an actual novel. However, the selection of titles available for free in Italian is restricted to novels whose copyright has expired. That is the reason why you find them for free on the web. This is nonetheless very useful for those of you who have never read specific literature classics or for those of you who want to read them again in Italian. I have found two websites which offer free audiobooks in Italian: CLASSICI audiolibri and Liber Liber.
- Podcasts. I have talked about podcasts in the past (here), but I thought it would be useful to tell you again. They are a great way to listen to real spoken language and, depending on the content of the podcast you listen to, you will get to know different levels of register and different vocabulary used in various contexts. Pausa Caffè and Digitalia talk about topics surrounding everyday life, from technology to society, therefore, I think they also offer a great insight in the Italian way of life
- Language Websites. Although there are many language blogs and websites that write about everything concerning language learning, I have a found a couple of websites which only focus on listening skills. News in Slow Italian offers audio tracks and scripts of the dialogues. The only downside I think is the fact the actors speak really slow, which is not a very natural way of talking for us Italians, it works for beginners, but student at an advanced level might find it a tad boring to follow. Online Italian Club is the second website I have found and its content is divided into levels of knowledge. All the audio tracks are accompanied by comprehension exercises.
- Tv-Series. We all know that movies and tv-series are one of the best tools to learn a language. Even teachers at school use them for their classes because you get access to real spoken language. The Italian broadcasting company RAI offers a website where they stream films, programmes, and tv-series (we call them fiction in Italian) that they have aired in the past, or are airing as we speak. This service is called Rai Play and it works fine if you live or are in Italy. I’m not sure if it works outside the country (if you have tried it, please let me know). I don’t feel like recommending illegal websites that stream copyright-protected content, as you might get viruses and all sorts of disgusting stuff might appear on your screen. However, if you use or know of a free streaming service which is “clean”, feel free to recommend it in the comments below.
- YouTube videos. YouTube has become on of the greatest sources of visual content and I do use it myself to publish my lessons. I have found many great educational channels you might want to follow to listen to Italians speak. Focus is a great example of that: on their channel you will find fun and informative videos where you can listen to experts talk about science, nature, technology, society and lifestyle. The channel is owned by the scientific magazine which goes by the same name. Breaking Italy is another interesting channel where a youtuber, Alessandro, comments on news, events, anything that happens. It might be worth checking out if you’re at an intermediate to advanced level.
These are my 9 free resources to help you improve your listening skills in Italian. If have more of them, please feel free to share them with other students in the comments below!