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Monday, December 21, 2009

Improving your Italian with Maxmondo

Recently, I stumbled across an excellent resource that is geared mainly for advanced beginners or intermediate students (even advanced students, too!). Maxmondo is online resource that focuses on students who have acquired knowledge of Italian and are looking to improve their listening comprehension and build their vocabulary.

As I've said before, building vocabulary and attaining any kind of fluency in Italian requires that you work beyond making word lists and studying word matrices in Italian language and grammar books. As you do with your native language, you acquire new words every day just by interacting with the language, speaking it, and, most of all, reading and listening to it. If you've reached a crossroads in your language skills, the best way to continue on "your journey" is to read more and listen to the language as much as you can.

This resource will enable you to do just that. They have a lot of free resources on the site, but the gem of the site is their online magazine, Incontro Italiano. You can become a subscriber or purchase issues individually (4.95 euro/issue or 37.95 euro/year for a 12 month subscription). Each issue comes with an audio file and a pdf transcript that you can download and follow along. There are also exercises and lists of words -- the great thing is that the author(s) of the magazine don't give you straight translations, but make you work at understanding the Italian by having you work with the context of what you are reading. This is a superb way to build vocabulary and engage with the language!

Each issue talks about Italy so not only are you learning more language and improving, but you're also learning about Italian culture, current events, history and more! Head to their site and try out a free issue. If you've used this resource, leave a comment and let others know what you think.