Learning a second language is always a great choice. Learning Italian is an even better one since it is one of the most widely spoken languages in Europe, not to mention that it is by far one of the most beautiful. But choosing the right Italian language learning program is one crucial decision that is not so easy to make.
With so many courses available on the market today, it is easy to get lost in all of the flashy ads and sales talk. So here to help you is an article featuring two of the most popular programs in an unbiased review of sorts, totally honest with nothing but the facts.
How To Learn Italian: Rocket Italian VS Pimsleur Italian. Read the article, consider the facts, make a decision.
The Rocket Italian Approach:
Just like its other language courses, Rocket Italian takes the interactive conversational approach, also known as the natural approach. Basically, this method is based on one that has been tried and tested and proven to be successful for years on end. One that you, me, and basically everyone has tried. Back when you were young, you first learned how to listen, understand what you were told, and speak way before you started reading and writing.
So the people behind Rocket Italian took this method and integrated other features and tools to make the approach more effective, especially since you, the student, are no longer a child.
Pimsleur Italian Approach:
Also developed by Dr. Paul Pimsleur, linguistic specialist, Pimsleur Italian basically takes the same approach as all the other Pimsleur language courses but tweaked to fit this specific language better.
The Pimsleur approach is based on two main principles, Graduated Interval Recall and Principle of Anticipation, and supported by two other key factors, core vocabulary and the organic learning concept.
Graduated Interval Recall means that you will be encouraged to remember Italian words and phrases the very minute you start to forget them while the Principle of anticipation is pretty much you guessing and anticipating the right answer briefly before it is revealed in the lessons.
You will also build up your core vocabulary which is a selected list of the most important and useful Italian words using the organic learning concept which pretty much means that you will learn everything from vocab to grammar to pronunciation and intonation while learning common Italian phrases.
Rocket Italian Features and Tools:
Rocket Italian comes with 29 interactive audio lessons that are 28 minutes each in length and focus only on casual, everyday, modern Italian conversations led by your Italian tutors, Maria and Roberto. You can fully customize these lessons so that you focus on what you really need and want to learn. All of these Rocket Italian interactive lessons are 100% downloadable so that you can learn pretty much wherever you want. All you have to do is put the files in your iPod, MP3 player, or pocket pc and you are good to go.
Not to mention that the full transcripts of all of the conversations are also provided to help the entire learning process.
Aside from the 13 hours of conversational audio lessons, you will also have classes on the Italian language and the Italian culture and history as well. The Italian language lessons will provide you with more detailed explanations on certain aspects such as grammar and structure and whatnot while the culture and history lessons will give you a deeper insight on Italy on the whole. All of these are fully illustrated and come complete with embedded audio clips and notes that you can access through the Rocket Italian Learning Lounge.
Rocket Record is an interesting feature that they claim will greatly improve your Italian pronunciation and intonation. What you do is record your own voice following a certain phrase or sentence then you compare it to one spoken by a true blue Italian speaker.
To add a little fun, you have MegaItalian.
MegaItalian provides you with three fun and interesting games that are all designed to help you learn vocabulary, practice listening pronunciation and intonation, and learn verbs and conjugation. You have MegaVocab, MegaAudio, and MegaVerbs.
Pimsleur Italian Features and Tools:
Pimsleur Italian keeps things simple as it isn’t jam packed with various tools and features. Basically, you will have an audio course. In the first ten lessons you will learn the basics, the following ten you will actually build and expand on what you have previously covered. All of these lessons come on CD but you also have the choice to download them to your iPod or MP3 player so that you can learn on the go. Plus, since each lessons is only about 30 minutes long, it is easy to squeeze it into any hectic schedule.
To help you along the way, since you will be speaking and taking part in an Italian conversation right off the bat, you will also have a short textbook.
To Sum Up
If you want something with more tools and features, then Rocket Italian is the obvious choice, but if you like to keep your learning simple, then you should opt for Pimsleur Italian.