A different language is a different vision of life. - Federico Fellini

Speaking foreign languages like French, Spanish or Italian can help expand your horizons. Being able to communicate in a different language not only gives you access to more job opportunities but also helps you connect with other native speakers.

English speakers who choose to pursue foreign language education typically do it with the help of an instructor. Although learning without a tutor or teacher is definitely possible, it typically takes more personal perseverance and dedication, as well as hours of hard work. Working with an experienced teacher can cut years off of your journey.

This is because qualified instructors know how best to teach foreign languages in the most effective way possible. You can choose to work with a teacher through private or group lessons.

You can find classes at local Italian cultural centers and universities in the city. Los Angeles and Chicago also offer these kinds of opportunities for English speakers to connect with Italian.

If you are looking for a more personalized approach, you might want to consider, private teaching. Booking in-person or online lessons with a personal tutor can be the place to start when looking to advance your Italian skills.

On Superprof, you can contact tutors in your area with just a click. Our tutors have experience working with students of all levels of experience and even offer free trial classes. On Superprof you can also read through each tutor's certifications, work experience, and hours of availability.

Keep reading to find out more about Italian language courses and programs in the city.

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Italian Cultural Centers

Italian culture centers can be found in multiple cities across the U.S. including cities like Boston, New York, and Philadelphia.

Cultural centers are a great place to learn a new language because they not only focus on teaching you grammar and vocabulary but also teach you about Italian history, art, and food. This gives students a lot more context, making it easier to connect to and learn Italian.

italian art
Cultural centers focus on making Italian art accessible to English speakers. (Photo by Tom Bradley on Unsplash)

In Philly, Italian cultural centers like Filitalia and the America-Italy Society of Philadelphia offer in-person classes.

Filitalia

Founded by Pasquale F. Nestico, M.D. and other Italian-Americans, Filitalia is an organization, whose goal is to

“preserve and defend the Italian heritage and culture by encouraging the study of the Italian language and providing educational events for the community.”

They have multiple chapters across the North East dedicated to this goal. Filitlaia is also the founding organization for the History of Italian Immigration Museum located in South Philadelphia.

Filitalia offers a variety of programs available to its members and Philadelphia residents.

The programs include:

  • Italian class (online and in-person)
  • Academic Scholarships
  • Columbus Day Parade
  • Festa della Repubblica - Italian National Day & Italian Street Festival

Additionally, the organization provides the opportunity to work with an instructor if you are looking to improve specific Italian skills. A full description of their programs can be found online.

Students of any language course are encouraged to attend these types of events. Learning historical and cultural context for foreign language education is very important.

America-Italy Society of Philadelphia

Also known as AISPhila, the America-Italy Society of Philadelphia is an organization that hopes to “promote, by educational, cultural and other means, an international friendship between the Republic of Italy and the United States of America”.

Since its founding in 1956, the organization has grown to include several hundred members in the Philadelphia area who share an appreciation of Italy and its culture. Members regularly participate in the multiple events held by the organization.

Members can participate in…

  • Lectures
  • Language classes
  • Social events
  • Travel

AISPhila also has a library for its members. The library contains books, pamphlets, and periodicals covering topics of Italian art and culture.

Italian Programs At Philadelphia’s Universities

One of the best places to learn foreign languages is during your years in university. College the ideal time to explore different topics, and there is no better knowledge than a foreign language.

Speaking two or more languages helps you better connect with people from across the world, makes travel easier, and can even boost your resume.

university Italian studies
University is a great time to study a foreign language. (Photo by Davide Cantelli on Unsplash)

This is why universities across the US and the world are now encouraging their students to take one new language, like Italian, during their time in school.

If you are interested in learning Italian and attend a university in Philadelphia, here are a couple of programs you can look into.

University of Pennsylvania – Through their Center for Italian Studies, the school offers Italian courses to both undergraduate and graduate levels. The programs are available to students of all skill levels. Additionally, the University of Pennsylvania offers Italian centered classes in religious studies, history, art, cinema, and literature.

Temple University - Their College of Liberal Arts’ Italian program offers those enrolled the opportunity to earn a BA in Italian or Italian Studies as well as a minor in Italian for those looking for other levels of commitment. The school also offers certification in Italian. The school aims for an interdisciplinary approach in their programs, meaning that they emphasize cultural, global, and national identity studies and not just language knowledge.

Drexel University – At Drexel University you pursue a minor in Italian Studies. To earn enough credits for the minor, you will only need to take three courses. By the end of these courses, you are expected to have a level of Italian proficiency sufficient to navigate Italian society. These courses are very helpful for those looking who seek Italy-related coursework in other disciplines.

High schoolers can also take full advantage of this if they sign up for dual enrollment. The college hours earned can be used in the future and some high schools even offer this opportunity for free.

Other schools like Rice University in Houston offer similar opportunities for those looking to enroll in an Italian class.

Learning Italian Through Tutoring

If you choose to learn Italian through guided instruction, you’re gonna have a couple of options for how to take lessons. The first option is to sign up for classes at a local Italian cultural center or college. The other option includes private tutoring.

Personalized tutoring for language education is quite common for young adults and older students.

online tutoring
Online tutoring is a great way to learn right from home. (Photo by Bram Naus on Unsplash)

Tutoring allows you to receive more individualized programs. Personal teachers can help mold the curriculum to you are learning methods and be accommodating to any difficulties you might have.

On top of a personalized lesson plan, a private tutor will also be able to adapt the pace of classes so that you are learning the most efficient way possible.

Group lessons do not offer this personalized attention simply because there is more than one student in each class. Teachers typically have to divide their attention up throughout the attendees. However, a group lesson is a great way to meet other people with similar interests.

Tutors for Italian lessons are also great for those people with a busier schedule. Because you are booking a lesson just for you tutors are typically more accommodating to your availability.

Private tutors for Italian can be found in most major U.S cities!

You can also find tutors for other subjects on Superprof. French, Spanish, and English tutors are available to US residents, no matter what city you live in. If you are ok with taking a course online, Superprof can even help you contact Italian tutors around the globe!

Tips To Learning Italian

Learning a new language is always going to take a lot of time and dedication, as well as the right instruction.

italian culture
Learning Italian can make traveling in Italy a lot easier. (Photo by Cristina Gottardi on Unsplash)

Here are some tips for practicing and bettering your Italian in between lessons.

  1. Dive into the culture – understanding Italian isn’t just about knowing vocabulary and grammar, it is also about truly getting to know the culture and history of the Italian people. By studying the culture, you will be more likely to comprehend the historical and cultural context of words. By getting to know the culture, your communication will be facilitated, it can help greatly when trying to connect with native speakers from different regions.
  2. Get to know slang – learning a modern language like Italian is not just about memorizing grammar rules and vocab, it is also about talking like the locals and not like a robot. Learning about smaller components of the language like idioms, slang, and filler words can help you sound much more like a native. You can practice this by watching movies and shows in Italian.
  3. Practice your speaking – out of fear of embarrassment, people choose to focus more on writing and reading than on speaking. You should practice every chance you can, this can help you reach fluency levels a lot quicker. Having someone to practice conversation with is one of the perks of working with a private tutor.
  4. Don’t get bored – Work on different books and review a variety of material. If you feel you are getting bored, remind yourself of the multiple benefits that come from speaking a foreign tongue.

You can apply these tips when trying to learn languages like French or Spanish.

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