New York City is home to one of the largest populations of Italian Americans with a total of 1.3 million people. Their communities huddle around Brooklyn, the Bronx, Manhattan, Queen, and Staten Island. With such a heavy Italian presence, it’s no wonder that New Yorkers are looking for ways to learn Italian. Maybe they are looking to connect to their heritage or they hope to more confidently speak to the older generations in their native tongue. Whatever the reason for a New Yorker wanting to learn Italian, we have the tools for it.

Finding Italian lessons in New York can be easy, you can find Italian teachers who teach private lessons as well as teachers who teach at local language schools and cultural centers. The important bit is that you can find an Italian language teacher that works for you. You'll be able to find language education through a private online class or small conversation programs. 

With dedication, any New Yorker can become fluent in Italian. It just takes the right instruction and determination from the part of the student.

If you are hoping to learn online, you can find Italian tutors across the US and even the world!

Private Italian Classes in Your Borough

In New York City and its surrounding boroughs, you’ll be able to find both group and personal lessons for your Italian classes as well as options to meet in person and online.

private online classes
You can learn to read Italian through online private classes. (Photo by Lauren Mancke on Unsplash)

Using Superprof you can find a private Italian tutor right in your neighborhood. Private tutors are best for those busy New Yorkers looking for a more flexible education. With private lessons, you can choose the length of your class, the pace at which you learn, and most importantly, receive all of the attention from the instructor. Having a teacher adapt the lesson plan to your learning abilities and experience level can help you reach a comfortable conversation level much faster than if you were participating in a group lesson.

Individualized teaching can also help those trying to reach specific goals. If you are hoping to learn Italian for your business affairs, looking for specialized programs can be easier with private teachers.

Although private lessons are more expensive than group lessons, they pay off in how accommodating the classes can be for each student’s needs. The average price of a private Italian lesson in NYC is $20 an hour. These prices vary depending on your tutor, however, if you are hoping to bring down the cost, you can ask for a bundle discount when purchasing multiple classes at once. The cost of Italian lessons is also dependent on where you meet with the instructors, their years of experience, and the length of the class.

By using Superprof's location tool you’ll be able to search the tutors available in your borough. On our platform, you can compare each tutors’ rating, list of services, experience, and even reviews from past clients. You can even find native Italians available to connect with you via Zoom or other online platforms.

With so many choices, you might be wondering how to narrow down your options. Most tutors offer a free trial class so that you can test out the lesson environment before committing to multiple classes.

Group Italian Lessons Across NYC

There are a couple of organizations and language schools in New York City that offer residents the opportunity to learn Italian in group lessons. These institutions and organizations hope to connect New Yorkers to Italian culture and arts. The most popular of these organizations include the Instituto Italiano di Cultura New York and the Scuola Italiana New York.

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Some centers offer free events to connect locals to Italian food and heritage. (Photo by Calum Lewis on Unsplash)

Instituto Italiano di Cultura New York

The Instituto Italiano di Cultura in New York was founded in 1961 and is actually part of the Italian government. The institute’s main goal is to promote the Italian language and culture through cultural events throughout the city. They later evolved to offer Italian language courses, as well as the opportunity to receive an official Italian Language Certification. To receive an official certificate, you must first pass an oral and written exam that you can take at the institution. This certificate is sometimes needed if you are hoping to work or study in Italy.

However, if you are not at the level to be taking exams but rather want to learn the basics of Italian, the Instituto Italiano also offers language courses for beginners. The programs are only available for adults and not children. To place in a course, you must first take a placement test found on their website.

The Instituto even has a library where you can find thousands of books in Italian and about Italian food, culture, and politics.

You can find similar cultural institutions in other major cities like Los Angeles and Boston.

Scuola Italiana

Scuola Italiana or Italian School is located in Greenwich Village, west of Sixth Avenue. This language school offers all levels of fluency the opportunity to learn and practice their Italian.

Their programs are suited for children and adults and typically hold small classes.

These are the levels they offer:

  • Elementary levels - during this program the main goal is for students to be able to read, write, and speak with proficiency. The classes are typically taught in Italian but do include some English for support. The methodology used in teaching the basics is that the students learn to conceptualize the language rather than translating from English.
  • Intermediate levels - developing further language skills dedicated to the day to day conversation. These classes include an emphasis on pronunciation and inflection as well as vocabulary growth.
  • Advanced levels - at the advanced levels, the goal is to review grammar and translation. Students with more years of experience in the language should try to master and apply all of their previous work. The classes feel more like a guided seminar rather than a regular language course.

You can find plenty of other institutions and language schools thought the New York area but if you are looking for language classes in other US cities like Houston and Chicago Superprof has guides for those cities as well.

Italian Classes at NY Universities

If you are currently enrolled in a New York university or college, you will likely be able to find Italian lessons right on campus. Most New York universities offer their students the opportunity to enroll in Italian language classes or even make it part of their degree.

college books
You can find your school's language courses in their course catalog. (Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash)

Keep reading to find out some of the New York City universities that offer Italian lessons for their students.

New York University (NYU) offers Italian classes to both their undergraduate and graduate students. Classes are offered in a full range of levels including introductory and advanced language courses as well as Literature, Culture, and Society courses for those students that are looking to perfect their Italian while learning more about Italy and its people. To place into the Italian courses, students must take the CAS placement exam. Students who focus on Italian can add it to their degree with a minor or a major. Additionally, Italian course students have the opportunity to study abroad in Florence, Italy at NYU’s Villa La Pietra.

NYU states that

“Italian makes an excellent double major—it is an ideal complement for a number of disciplines: Global Liberal Studies, Economics, Media and Communications, History, Politics, International Relations, European Studies, Architecture, etc.”

Hunter College at The City University of New York (CUNY) offers Italian courses as well. Through their Parliamo Italiano program, the college offers courses for beginner, intermediate, and advanced levels of Italian, as well as workshops and Italian cinema classes. At only $500 per semester, the course is one of the more budget-friendly offers within the university program options. The classes are offered through the Continuing Education Programs at Hunter College (CEP) which serves as the non-credit educations arm of Hunter College meaning that you do not have to be enrolled as a full-time student to take advantage of Parliamo Italiano.

Tips To Learning Italian

Foreign languages take practice, patience, and great instruction but they can open doors for business and future education. 

time dedication when learning
Learning a new language takes time and dedication from the student. (Photo by Moritz Kindler on Unsplash)

Here are a couple of tips you might find helpful when learning Italian.

  • Create a solid foundation - when learning a new language keep in mind the importance of building a solid foundation. Starting with the basics like the alphabet, simple pronunciation, and syllables can help you build sturdy support for any future learning.
  • Constantly listen to the language - put on an Italian movie or listen to Italian music, immersion in the language will help you greatly with your pronunciation.
  • Keep a vocab list - you should jot down any new words you learn as well as words that you find most commonly used.
  • Review - you should review your lesson material as much as possible. Constant practice, even 20 minutes a day, will help you tremendously.

These tips are not just for Italian learners, French or Spanish learning students can also use these tips.

If you live in a nearby city like Philadelphia and want to also learn Italian, we have a guide for Philly residents as well!

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Maria