You can now learn Italian from home using the resources available on the Internet. Today, growing up around a loud family table, eating pasta is not the only way to learn Italian from home. But there are aspects of the daily interaction inside a family that are crucial for learning a language.
Home sweet home
Each one of us has a place we call home. The home is where we live, move, and have our being. It’s in this space where we’re ourselves.
We dress up physically and psychologically when we go out. We sometimes put up quite a front when we go through our front door and move out upon the streets. But it’s within the home that we take off our mask, and we’re ourselves.
It’s within this environment that we learn our first words. And it’s in the home where words may not be necessary to communicate with each other. Language and emotions may be so inner woven together that words may not be the only mean for expressing our feelings.
We must honestly say that nothing beats learning a language in the home with bilingual parents. So consider the home an ideal place for learning languages.
Nowadays, most students learn languages with a laptop and headphones. But in this post, we will extract from the home scenario some helpful features. I recognize it’s quite an ambitious task to recreate an Italian home environment only with a computer. However, we will give you three points for learning Italian using only your laptop. So, those that didn’t have the luxury of growing up with Italian parents will find these tips valuable:
1.) Filling the background of your daily routine with Italian:
A person inside an Italian family can’t get up one day and say: “Ok, ok! I’m tired of Italian. Give me a break. Today we’ll all speak English.” That daily exposure is impossible to avoid. It constantly forces you to think and use Italian.
This daily exposure will give you familiarity with the language. It will help you lose your fear of using it. But, can you be adopted by an Italian family? That might not be possible. But you may surround yourself with the environment that an Italian family would have. You can listen to the news in Italian (click here to listen to some Italian radios online), watch programs in Italian, and submerge into the Italian culture.
A practical way of doing this is, for example, while cooking or working in the house, you can always have Italian playing in the background.
2.) Daily setting apart time to practice the language:
Daily exposure to the language inside a family is something we can take for granted. But, do you want to know if a child born in a home with foreign parents will learn the language of his ancestors?
Here are some questions to predict if the child will learn the language or not. Do both parents use the language daily? If only one of the parents speaks it, we would ask: Who is the foreigner? The mother or the father? There are greater chances for the children to learn the foreign language if the mother is the outsider because she may spend more time with her kids than the father.
Daily exposure to the language is a crucial aspect of learning a language. And that also applies to a person learning Italian with his laptop in a non-Italian home. You must set up the goal to daily interact with the language. You will not pretend to learn Italian if you are exposed to it once a month. That won’t work!
3.) Get emotionally involved with Italian:
The content of the language we speak inside the home is full of feelings and emotions. Words first start to have meanings to a child inside the family. And emotions help to pin words in our brain in a very effective way.
Our recommendation is to be emotionally involved when you’re learning Italian. When the pressure to become proficient in Italian only comes from the outside, it will be difficult (and even traumatic) to learn the language. Do you want to succeed in learning the language? Please feel attracted to Italian and excited each time you practice. You will see improvement in your learning curve when you follow this advice.
We must be realistic. Take a look at these two cases. Person A is learning Italian by growing up with his family. Person B is using his laptop to learn in a non-Italian home. Thus, A has an enormous advantage over B. We can’t argue that! But, considering some aspects that take place inside a multilingual home can help those who did not have that privilege.
If you come from a multilingual home and want to share your experience learning a language growing up, we would love to hear from you.
If you want to learn Italian from home and have been searching for resources to do so, you can explore our site. Here there are many suggested resources and ideas to improve your skills. Click here to read about them. If you have any question or comment about learning Italian, we would be more than happy to hear from you too. That comment box below is yours.