Italian With Ease
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  • Italian With Ease
  • Giovanna Galdo & Ena Marchi
  • Published by: Assimil
  • Level: Beginner
  • First Published in: 2002

If you want to get a good handle on a language over a period of only a few months, it’s hard to know which learning material will really help you reach your goal. With dozens of “Beginner Italian” books on the market, which one should you use? Italian with Ease is a great audio and book combination that can help you learn basic conversational Italian in six months.

Review posted: 31/10/2013
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Italian With Ease starts off by explaining why Italian is a musical language. Understanding the language can help you have better pronunciation with each sound; studying the pronunciation key given in the book will help you to sound more authentic when you speak Italian. The book also explains something known as “sentence stress”, which gives Italian its musical sound. By learning the tone and stress of a sentence, you will not only learn to speak Italian, but learn to speak like an Italian.

After this initial chapter, the lessons begin. Each lesson has a dialogue which you can read and listen to using the audio CDs. Here, dialogues are also translated into English. At the bottom of the page, you will sometimes see a “Notes” section; this section will help you understand things in the passages or dialogue. For example, in the lesson “At the Railway Station”, the notes section includes explanations such as the use of the letter 'a' instead of an apostrophe in feminine words. These are helpful grammar tips for any Italian student.

"In only half an hour a day users will move ahead naturally until they are at ease with all the basic structures needed for communication and become familiar with the basic words and grammar of Italian."- Giovanna Galdo (Author)

On the dialogue page, there is usually a section at the bottom titled “Pronuncia” which helps students with correct pronunciations. Both “Notes” and “Pronuncia” are added at the bottom of the page like footnotes, but ignoring them would be a mistake. It’s in this section that students will find useful information that will help them get a better handle on Italian, faster.

It’s important to read the text, listen to the audio, and then do both together. As a student, this is how you’ll get the most out of Italian with Ease. The book is designed for self-taught students, but can work equally well in a group class or one-on-one lessons. As a teacher, you can also have your student read the dialogue aloud and ask additional questions. Your students will also benefit if you include additional practice for the topics included in the “notes” section.

After the dialogue, the book includes a few exercises. These include things such as translating from English to Italian or fill in the blank activities. These exercises are where you’ll see how much you’ve really learned from the dialogue!

This book is very lengthy and somewhat boring, but you’ll find a few comics here and there. These cute illustrations normally have some funny text included to help you learn just a little bit more. The lack of a creative layout makes this book rather tedious, especially for younger students. However, adult students who are serious about learning probably don’t need a snazzy layout or great pictures to get their attention; simply learning the language is enough.

All in all, Italian with Ease is a pretty good course book to help you start learning Italian. The best part is having the audio CDs; when you are studying alone, it’s really difficult to truly learn by just a book. If you use Italian with Ease regularly for the next six months, there’s no doubt you’ll improve your Italian skills.



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