Even the most motivated student needs a break every now and then. Books are great tools for learning, but listening, watching and being interactive are also very effective ways of "absorbing" a language.
One way to effortlessly get your ears used to the rythm of a new language is to listen to it from native people. If you don't have an Italian friend or neighbour, the next best thing is to watch a tv program.
Watching a tv show, a movie or the news reports in the language you are learning, can really help fine tune your pronunciation, learn new vocabulary in a context, and just plain relax and have fun with the language you are learning.
Beginner learners will do well with news broadcasts, because the language used is usually spelled very clearly and the conversation is mostly a monologue (or an interview) without too many distractions. Movies can be trickier, because sometimes they require following a plot that can be complicated if not well understood. They are therefore best for intermediate students.
Finally, live shows can be a nice entertainment alternative for all levels. Beginners will be exposed to the rythm of the language, intermediate student will increase their vocabulary, and advanced learner will expand and test their comprehension skills.
Now, where to start?
There are some Italian tv channels that can be watched through a subscription (cable or satellite), but they are not always available everywhere.
With a fast internet connection, watching live tv is as easy as it can get.
Start your search with these links to Italian tv channels :
- Rai: http://www.rai.tv/
- Rai Educational: http://www.educational.rai.it/
- La 7: http://www.la7.it/
- Rete 4: http://www.mediaset.it/rete4/
- Italia 1: http://www.mediaset.it/italia1/
- Canale 5: http://www.mediaset.it/canale5/
With a slower internet connection, youtube.com can be a good option for short videos. Better yet, your local library or Netflix might be a great resource for movies and documentaries. With subtitles you can even enjoy a movie when you get tired of concentrating to understand a fast dialog. It happens: no need to get too frustrated!
Well, you see, thanks to your interest in learning a second language, you now have a great excuse for being a couch potato!
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