Italian Mission: Level B1

Fiat 500

I’ve been studying Italian haphazardly – whatever, whenever, however. Since I’ve been in Italy, my limitations with Italian have really become apparent, so it’s time to crack down and really create consistent and effective study habits, (i.e., set some goals to have more direction and purpose in my studies).

Alberto and I had such a fulfilling and delicious weekend with friends. Saturday night we had our favorite burger in the Veneto countryside, and I met an Italian girl who has a friend who has a cousin who lives in my hometown. HOW COOL IS THAT? What a small world!

The next day we went to the Fabbrica di Pedavena, a brewery with the Dolomites as the backdrop. Maybe you’ve seen this vintage poster before?! I’ve seen it around for as long as I can remember and couldn’t believe that I was actually at THE brewery!

Birra Pedavena

It was such a wonderful weekend full of Italian conversation; however, not even a glass of beer magically improved my Italian. I really, really made an effort to speak in Italian as much as I could. I came out of the gates full force, and then my Italian just kind of petered out by the end of the day. I need to step up my game to improve my endurance in Italian. Learning a language is not that much different from training for a marathon (I assume because I’m not a runner lol), but it’s the same idea of increasing your training to improve your endurance. Or maybe learning a language is a little more like the little “Fiat 500 that could” making the trip up the windy roads to the Dolomites. Not easy, but worth it.

Where I am vs. where I want to be

The first part of setting goals is to define where you are compared to where you want to be, and they figure out how you’re going to get there.

Using the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages self-assessment checklist, the level that I am going to focus on is B1 (intermediate). This checklist gives a good general outline of what you should be able to do at this level in each skill area (reading, writing, listening, speaking).

Resources I plan to use 

  • Online Italian Club (level B1)- I just found this wonderful online resource with lots of grammar, vocabulary, and short readings with audio. I can’t wait to work my way through it!
  • Italiano per stranieri – Lots of great worksheets from A1-C2.
  • Babbel – I find this website extremely effective for me as a visual learner to increase my vocabulary.
  • Lyricstraining –  Turns songs into cloze exercises.
  • Harry Potter – I’m using the Kindle version (lets you click on a word and translate it) along with the Audible version to listen to pronunciation. I’m reading very slowly (i.e., a page a day) along with Italophilia.
  • Movies/TV shows – I’m going to try to watch as much as I can in Italian, so I’ll update you with what I end up watching!
  • Conversations with native speakers – I plan on taking advantage of speaking as much Italian as I can while I’m here!
  • Social media – I’m going to continue sharing bits of what I learn on Twitter, Instagram, and in more detail on the blog!

Sometimes it can be a bit demoralizing to face where you are in contrast to where you want to be, especially when you realize what a very long way you have to go. That’s why I’d like to thank all of you who read my blog and are on this journey with me. I appreciate your advice and encouragement so much! You make the journey fun 😉

What are your current language goals? 

Are there any resources you suggest I add? 



Hi, I'm Kelly!

I invite you to join me as I document becoming a dual U.S.-Italian citizen, my travels in Italy to discover the best of regional food & wine, and my progress learning Italian, mostly through cooking & wine tasting!

WSET Level 2 Certified Wine Blogger

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Joey BoringLucy and KellyKellyMiranda Wadham Recent comment authors
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Miranda Wadham

I would totally add music too! Laura pausini/giorgia/fiorella mannoia pretty much taught me Italian haha

Lucy and Kelly

I love this post Kelly and the fact that you are so proactive! I completely get what you mean about feeling down on yourself. I did that so much in Italy last week. Literally the only thing I use to learn Italian now is DuoLingo, well actually I also read a lot of Italian and listen to people on Instagram but I need to learn properly and focus more. Me and Luc did watch a show called Matrimonie e altre follie on youtube last year because it has Giulio Berruti in. We’ve pretty much see all his films too in… Read more »

Joey Boring
Joey Boring

Thank you Kelly. I’m definitely not where I want to be and it’s frustrating sometimes when I feel like i’m not learning fast enough. I’m taking your advice and slow things down and celebrate small mildstones. I’ll be in Italy next week and very excited to try my Italian out. Thank you again for all your advice and sharing your Italian learning journey. I love your website. It has a lot of great resources. I also use #learnitalianwithlucrezia