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Karen

Dubbo, NSW, Australia | Member Since 2006

14
HELPFUL VOTES
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  • 195 titles in library
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  • Teach Yourself Italian Conversation

    • ORIGINAL (3 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Maria Guarnieri, Federica Sturani
    Overall
    (14)
    Performance
    (1)
    Story
    (1)

    Italian Conversation is a three-hour, all-audio course which you can use at any time, whether you want a quick refresher before a trip or whether you are a complete beginner. The 20 dialogues will teach you the Italian you will need to speak and understand, without getting bogged down with grammar.

    Karen says: "Not for beginners"
    "Not for beginners"
    Overall

    Although this title is recommended for complete beginners, I don't feel it is at all suitable. For intermediate students of Italian it is quite valuable, as it contains reasonably challenging conversations at a slower pace, which is rare in language instruction. However, beginning students would probably find it extremely frustrating - the words and phrases for each section are introduced once, with a pause for the student to repeat, but no further repetition is given, and some of the phrases are quite lengthy. In addition, when participating in the conversation, insufficient time is allowed for the listener to respond, before the answer is given - there is not enough time allowed for even a fluent speaker of Italian to respond, let alone a beginner who may need a few seconds to think about the response. I know that one could pause the audio while responding, but many people use audio language instruction while driving, so this isn't feasible. The grammar explanations have no order or organisation, and would probably confuse rather than explain!
    I recommend "Italian Conversation" as supplementary material for intermediate students, but if you are a beginner, you would be better off with the outstanding Pimsleur course - it will give you a lot more useful language skills, with a lot less frustration.

    14 of 14 people found this review helpful

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