Italian for beginners: Definition

If you are at beginner level in Italian, it could be that you have literally never studied Italian and you know nothing about the language, or it could be that you already know a handful of Italian words and phrases, but you don’t have any real capability to formulate even simple sentences, and you would also struggle to understand anything an Italian speaker said to you.

Our Italian for beginners programs are designed to teach you the basics of the Italian language, and we assume you have little or no prior knowledge of Italian.

Italian lessons for beginners at ILI Massachusetts

Our Italian courses at beginner level start at the very beginning, walking you carefully through the building blocks of the language. We basically assume that everything is new to you.

We teach you Italian using our tried and testing methodology. You’ll be hearing and using Italian from the very minutes of the first lesson. This way you get a real sense of achievement from the outset!

Who are Italian beginner lessons for?

Well that might sound like an obvious question, so let’s look at who they are not for!

Please don’t join a beginners Italian class if:

  • you used to live in Italy, or you’ve lived in an Italian speaking environment
  • you studied Italian for an extended period of time back in college, or
  • you describe yourself as a beginner because you feel your intermediate Italian is a bit rusty whereas in fact you have a lot of passive language, stored away that just needs re-activating. 

If you had the basics of Italian before but they’re a long way off, then you’re arguably a ‘false beginner’. You’ll still be surprised once you’re in class with our amazing Italian teacher, just how quickly your Italian comes back. If you feel you’re in this gray area, we can organize for you to have a level test, and we’ll then be able to recommend which level is best for you. 

What if I know a handful of words in Italian. Am I still a beginner?

When you think about it, we all probably know a few words and phrases in Italian. 

If you’ve ever eaten at a ristorante tradizionali with your famiglia, and ordered pizza and the server says “buon appetito” when they bring it your table then you know what we’re talking about! 

If you’re an Italian beginner, we don’t expect you’ll know how to put Italian words into a sentence or understand any Italian when it’s spoken to you.

Why is it important to be with other Italian beginners when you start learning? 

There is a very good reason to be with a group of other Italian beginners. It’s all about confidence. We think that speaking another language is probably 90% about your confidence. With language learning, there’s something very comforting about being in the same place, and discovering the language together. 

We know how it is, to process so much new information and simultaneously take those first steps to generating new language for ourselves. It’s exciting and special and we want you to enjoy that process.

Can I take any format of Italian course at ILI Northampton at beginner level?

The simple answer is yes. Very occasionally, we might not have a total beginner group available for our Italian classes. If that’s the case, we’ll let you know and we’ll suggest you start with some one-to-one lessons. This will give you the basics you need to build your skills and confidence, so you’re ready to join the next level up. 

You can check out our Italian course formats below. See you soon! A presto!

Italian Course Options with ILI

All of the following Italian course formats are available at beginner level. You’ll be able to specify when you book!

Private Italian Lessons

Italian teacher, Jennie, with students.

Our Private Italian lessons allow you to shape your learning around your busy life. You choose the times, days and topics – we’ll do the rest!

Study Italian Abroad

A view up the Tiber River of Rome, Italy with St. Peter's Cathedral in the distance.

Take your Italian language learning up a notch by studying in Italy! We can help you choose from eight amazing locations.

Our Italian Teacher

Jennie Coletta, ILI's Italian teacher, smiling on a city street.
Jennie Coletta teaches an Elementary Italian class at the International Language Institute.

Our Italian teacher has a tremendous amount of experience delivering informative and engaging lessons in a safe environment where students feel free to take risks in learning Italian while having fun with their classmates.

ILI has been teaching languages and training teachers since 1984, bringing students the best learning experiences.

“I’ve enjoyed my lessons at ILI. They’re informative without being overwhelming and I already feel like I can have a very basic conversation in Italian. “

ILI student

Check Your Italian Level

Unsure of the level you are at in the language you want to learn? Don’t worry, we are here to help.

Ask Samira for an assessment in the language you are interested in. She will arrange an appropriate instructor to assess you in a 10-15-minute conversation, and then when you register for a course, we can place you in the class that will be best for you.

If you are a zero-level beginner, you’ll start in our Level 1 class, so need for an assessment.

Or if you are unsure about anything…

Got a Question?

See if our frequently asked questions answer what’s on your mind…

Selected FAQs

We generally use Zoom for our online language classes, as it is widely available and the functionality works well for the way we teach. If you are booking language classes online for your company, and you use a different platform (e.g. Google Meet, Microsoft Teams), we will be able to adjust our delivery to fit in with you.

You will meet people from around the world with a variety of backgrounds in your online class. You will practice everything you would in an in-person class: speaking, listening, reading, grammar, pronunciation, and writing. If you are in a group language class, you will have many opportunities to practice speaking with your classmates one-on-one and in small groups.

  • Having a hard copy of your class book can be a real help. You can pick one up at our school in Northampton. Just give us a heads up when you can drop by so that we have one ready for you.
  • Take a little time before class to get your online learning environment ready. We recommend having good lighting and being within 2-3 feet of your computer camera. This way the teacher and other students can have a more visual feel for how students are reacting to lessons and activities. Have a notebook and something to write with.
  • Read the 7 Strategies for Success in your ILI workbook.
  • We always recommend that students take a little time before and or after your class to review the lessons.
Heather Hall smiling

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What to do next

  1. Explore our Italian program options and choose the one that suits you best
  2. Get a language level assessment if you need to
  3. Register for your chosen course!

Advice on Learning Italian From our Blog

The ILI Promise

At ILI, we believe that all our actions should stem from grace and loving kindness.

Portrait of Caroline Gear - Executive Director
  • We operate as an equal opportunity organization.
  • We nurture relationships beyond the classroom.
  • We are committed to providing the highest quality language instruction and teacher training.
  • We promote intercultural understanding and celebrate the diversity in our local communities.
  • We work collaboratively to build and sustain the communities we serve.
  • We believe in life-changing teaching and learning.