Italian, that most enticing of romance languages, is often overlooked in favour of the presumably more practical Spanish language, which lays claim to more usage worldwide.
Still, there are numerous reasons that people cite when casting their language learning lot on the Italian tongue:
- They wish to imbue themselves with Italian culture
- They seek a job in Florence or Milan, in the fashion industry
- They are about to embark on a trip to Italy: floating down the canals of Venice or enjoying Tuscany's sun-drenched hills
- They are foodies hoping to unlock the mysteries of Italian cuisine by learning from the masters
- They are aware that Italy is the world's seventh-largest economy and are poised to take their place among Rome's or Siena's movers and shakers.
All of these reasons and more drive people to seek out professors of Italian, but at what cost?
How much should you expect to pay to become fluent in Italian?
And how will you find the teacher who is right for you?
Let us discuss the most cost-effective way to learn the language of Dante: avanti!
What is the Going Rate for Italian Lessons in the UK?
According to a report compiled by the British Council, Italian lags behind French, German and Spanish as languages students elect to learn in secondary school.
That is such a pity!
In a society where people cry out for individualism, with unique voices that long to distinguish themselves from the masses, one way to stake that claim would be to focus on a language the mainstream is all but ignoring.
Italy is the world's 8th largest economy, whose enterprises impact especially the high-end consumer.
Fashionistas appreciate brands like Gucci and Versace. Automobile afficionados dream of racing a Ferrari or owning a Maserati.
With Italian as your second language, you may well become employed by a fashion house or car manufacturer, should that be your dream!
All of that starts with learning Italian, from buongiorno to buona notte.
It's not that Italian courses are not offered in UK schools. They are, alongside a lot of other languages. Languages that are more often selected for study than la lingua italiana.
You have elected to study Italian in school?
Congratulations! Now all you need is a dedicated approach and a variety of learning materials, as well as ways to focus, in turn, on the four areas of learning: listening and speaking, reading and writing.
For that, you couldn't hope for better than a private tutor.
Let us talk, for a moment, about the two ways to secure private lessons...
Learn Italian Through Private Organisations
An obvious solution to mastering the language of Dante Alighieri would be to enlist with a language learning concern.
Language schools have years of teaching experience and a refined teaching methodology.
They also have legions of teachers who could come to your home, or deliver lessons via webcam, or teach in small groups in their office, or give one on one lessons at their facility.
Those Italian teachers have most likely already been vetted: demonstrated their competence with the language through an impressive array of credentials.
At the start of every Italian lesson they would quiz you on what you've retained – maybe start out with a bit of conversational Italian, if you are at intermediate level.
The close of your language lesson may well bring a list of words and phrases to memorise before your next session.
Such instruction fees could be as high as £40 or more per hour, and some language teaching institutes may charge an initial administrative fee, just for enroling.
You can find such offices all over the UK.
Learn Italian through Italy-Based Organisations
Your second option to learn how to speak Italian would be to address yourself to any Italian-driven outlet that focuses exclusively on Italian language lessons.
This type of course is more likely to happen in small groups, so that the teacher can be sure that everyone receives equal support and attention.
If you live in London, the Italian Culture Institute offers language lessons, for absolute beginners all the way to advanced Italian learners.
If you hang your hat in or close to this region, the University of Manchester has an excellent programme for learning Italian.
As long as Manchester is on the map...
That campus is the home to the UK's only branch of the Società Dante Alighieri, which also offers language lessons, both on campus and via webcam.
These lessons have competitive pay-as-you-go scheme wherein each session costs £6 per evening (£4 for students), as well as other, more conventional schedules of fees.
You may pay over £90, plus the cost of books and other materials for a course in Basic Italian. For more advanced courses, the fees are set at over £100, plus the cost of learning materials.
The Average Cost of Italian Lessons through Superprof
What could be better than learning the language of Galileo from a native Italian speaker?
Studies have shown that the absolute best way to learn a language is through full immersion.
Into the culture, of course, but also to be constantly in contact with l'italiano: listening and speaking, and reading it.
The country shaped like a boot has culture to spare: the food, the arts and architecture, the history, the music, literature, movies... astounding!
Superprof tutors of Italian are standing by, ready to instruct on:
the Italian alphabet – just a little different from ours
Italian grammar and vocabulary
pronunciation and listening comprehension
how to read and understand Italian writing
translation from Italian
You could even change your focus from conversational Italian to Business Italian, or study for your A levels or International Baccalaureate with a Superprof teacher!
With just a few mouse clicks, you could discover your ideal tutor, one who will meet your language learning aspirations as well as the constraints of your budget.
Whether you are preparing for a certification exam in the Italian language or preparing for your trip to Sicily, our more than 800 tutors of Italian are just waiting for you!
Each of our language tutors have been certified and their credentials examined before profile approval. Furthermore, you could see testimonials from other students, proving their teachers' worth!
Superprof tutors set their own rates, according to their abilities and experience with teaching.
On average, instructors command around £20, but there are plenty of Italian tutors whose fees are substantially lower, such as:
Fillipo, an Italian native who teaches at all levels, asks £10 per session.
Gabriele, an Italian author and blogger, offers his services for only £13 per session.
Margherita, bilingual Italian/English, only charges £10 per session.
Teachers-in-training or with years of experience; those who are passionate about Italian speaking and wish to impart their language skills – Superprof's lineup of tutors is sure to meet all of the criteria you are looking for in a teacher of languages. You even learn Italian online!
Che ne pensi, Amico?
How to Select the Italian Teacher that Suits Your Budget
Every student has his own ideas, ideals and goals well developed before pitching himself headlong into Italian learning.
Thus, it corresponds that s/he should choose the teacher that will best match said ideas and goals.
And then, we add to the mix the fact that Italian teachers also have their teaching methods and philosophies.
Only the most altruistic of teachers could afford to give lessons for free!
So, how to find a lower-cost teacher who will still satisfy every criterion you require as you learn to speak Italian?
Take Lessons with a Student
You wish to learn Italian phrases and practice your spoken Italian prior to holidaymaking in Tuscany.
You want to nail down Italian grammar fundamentals.
You need to expand your Italian phrasebook.
For these instances and more, you might appeal to a student of the Italian language.
Besides requesting lower fees than more experienced tutors, this new generation of language learners could make your lessons more relevant to our modern times, and more fun.
Prepare for a Major Exam with a Bilingual Professor
If you are anticipating sitting for any Italian exam, including the life-changing ones such as CILS or PLIDA, you may want to work a bit with such a master.
Being a formal instructor, possibly engaged in a teaching position with a bona fide institution of learning, s/he has probably already sat for the exams you anticipate taking.
As you are most likely more advanced in your studies, and probably only need a boost to your Italian speaking abilities, this would be the ideal teacher for you.
The Native Italian Teacher
This type of tutor would be most apt to provide an immersive atmosphere to his lessons, weaving together language and culture, peppering speech with native expressions and rich Italian slang.
Italian language courses with a native speaker are more likely to refine your Italian pronunciation and, while you're at it... why not incorporate gastronomy or art appreciation into your learning experience?
When learning a new language, it is always best to expand topics of discussion beyond what is offered in textbooks.
That is what a native speaker of this romance language can do for you.
Other Ways to Reduce the Cost of Learning Italian
Learning is hard work, both for your brain and on your wallet.
If your disposable income is sparse, taking supplemental lessons at home could put undue strain on your budget.
Let us now propose other ways you can help reduce the cost of Italian lessons.
First Hour Free
More than 90% of Superprof tutors give their first hour of teaching for free.
Those introductory sessions are meant to be more of a face to face, get-to-know-each-other proposition, to see if your learning needs match that instructor's style, rather than a full-on teaching session about conjugating Italian verbs.
That doesn't mean that, once you find the ideal teacher, you couldn't negotiate rates.
You will find Superprof teachers to be very understanding and amenable. You may even offer to do some work in exchange for free Italian lessons!
Lower Fees for More Hours
Rome was not built in a day. Nor will a decent lexicon of Italian vocabulary be acquired in that time.
Obviously, to gain proficiency in Italian, you will have to spend more than one hour – or one day with a tutor.
And don't let those adverts fool you: Learn Italian in 30 days? Speak Italian fluently for only £80? Seriously?
It will most certainly take more than one month and, quite possibly more than £100 to gain fluency in any language, including Italian.
By agreeing to a set number of lessons with a particular tutor at the outset of your language learning efforts, you could certainly incur a lower price.
Some Superprof tutors give up to a 15% discount when you sign up for ten or more lessons!
Location, Posizione, Location
Where you live bears on how much you will pay for lessons, believe it or not.
People who learn another language in London are more likely to pay a higher rate than someone who wants to learn language in York or Bath, or the Scottish Highlands.
By no means are we suggesting that you relocate solely for the purpose of incurring lower language learning fees.
You could also consider taking online lessons.
Online communication these days – video-conferencing and chatting are ubiquitous. Just about every business that has in any way modernised makes use of this technology.
You can too!
Using the camera built right into your laptop, tablet or smartphone, you could be speaking Italian in a matter of minutes.
All of these avenues provide you ways to control the cost of learning la lingua d'italia. All you have to do is look for the teacher and price that suits your budget. Try it on Superprof by searching for the subject and city, for example Italian classes London. Good luck!
P.S. You can also Prepare for your Italian exams with our guide to exams.