Italian Self-Study

This page describes my method of learning the Italian language. I studied Italian for one school year at Stanford University in 2001-2002. After a gap of time, in order to recover what I had already forgotton, retain what I still remembered, and to learn more of the language, I devised a self-study program. I am making this information available in case it is useful for others in a similar situation of trying to learn the language on their own.


  • Pimsleur Italian audio CD's
  • Rosetta Stone Italian Language computer software
  • Mastering Italian Vocabulary Second Edition by Luciana Feinler-Torriani and Gunter H. Klemm
  • A Reference Grammer of Modern Italian by Martin Maiden and Cecilia Robustelli
  • Manuale di Grammatica Italiana seconda edizione by Annamaria de Nicolais Napolitano and Maria Tessoni Devine
  • The Concise Cambridge Italian Dictionary by Barbara Reynolds
  • Easy Italian Reader by Riccarda Saggese
  • Tutti Insieme magazine
  • Yahoo Group: Italian
  • My Approach

    My approach is to go through the units in the Rosetta Stone program while also studying the vocabulary from "Mastering Italian Vocabulary" and reviewing grammar from the "Manuale di Grammatica Italiana" and "A Reference Grammar of Modern Italian". While the dynamic immersion method of Rosetta Stone is good for quickly learning and retaining the language through the assosciation of phrases with pictures and encourages thinking in the Italian language, I find more in depth study of vocabulary and grammar to be helpful. After completing each Rosetta Stone chapter (there are 11 in each unit), I review the "Curriculum Text" which came with the program, and search the dictionary for all the words which are new to me, and also some of those which I am already farmiliar with. I write these on index cards and enter them into a list on this web site which can be used to generate multiple choice questions for review. After completing each Rosetta Stone chapter, I also study either a few sections from the vocabulary book, or sections from the grammar books, or both. I also practice my knowledge of Italian by writing. My plan is to cover between 1 and 3 Rosetta Stone chapters and whatever complementary vocabulary or grammer points I choose every week. As of February 10, 2007 I have completed through Rosetta Stone unit 2 chapter 5. I will adjust my pace as necessary, but feel that I need to set out some sort of schedule in order to consistently make progress. Recently I have spent my time going through the Pimsleur Italian course. This provides good practice listening and speaking and is convenient for me to use in the car on the way to work.

    Vocabulary Quiz

    Here is a link to my Italian vocabulary quiz which generates multiple choice review questions based on the vocabulary from Rosetta Stone and Mastering Italian Vocabulary.
    Contact me:
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    Rosetta Stone (RS) 1-01
    Reference Grammar (G) 11.12 p 176-177

    RS 1-02
    G 14.17 p 258

    RS 1-03
    V p 304 il colore - marrone

    RS 1-04

    RS 1-05
    G 3.1, 3.2 p 21-23

    RS 1-06 Numeri e l’ora
    G 21.1 p 444

    RS 1-07
    G 6.8 p103

    RS 1-08

    RS 1-09

    RS 1-10

    RS 1-11
    Manuale di Grammatica Italiana (MGI) gli articoli p 27 - 30

    RS 2-01
    G 14.1 (Some descriptive terms)
    G 14.2 (Conjugations) infinitive, gerund, present indicative

    RS 2-02
    V 18.6 l’animale – la stalla p 275-276

    RS 2-03
    V 18.6 le penne – la zampa p 276

    RS 2-04
    V 20.2 la figura – rettangolare p 305-306

    RS 2-05
    V 18.6 il nido – la pecora p 276-277

    RS 2-06
    V 18.6 il gallo – la gatta p 277

    RS 2-07
    V 18.6 l’insetto – il ragno p 277-278

    RS 2-08
    G 11.1-11.2 p 170
    G 11.6-11.7 p 174
    V 18.6 l’ucello – imitare p 278

    RS 2-09
    G 10.1 (noun + di + noun) p 158
    G 10.2 (non-use of the possessive adjective) p 158
    G 10.3 (using avere to express possession) p 159
    G 10.4 (Forms of the possessive adjective) p 159

    RS 2-10
    V 18.6 il lupo – sputare p 279

    RS 2-11
    G 3.9 – 3.12 p 34-39
    MGI i sostantivi p 31 - 37
    EIR I-1

    RS 3-01
    EIR I-2

    RS 3-02
    EIR I-3

    RS 3-03
    V 5.4 vestirsi – portare p 84

    RS 3-04
    V 5.4 la biancheria – il costume da bagno p 85

    RS 3-05
    V 5.4 la camicia – il cappotto p 85

    RS 3-06
    V 5.4 la moda – vero p 85-86

    RS 3-07
    V 5.4 la scarpa – addosso p 86

    RS 3-08
    V 5.4 la qualita – stupendo p 86

    RS 3-09
    V 5.4 la macchia – la stoffa p 86-87

    RS 3-10
    V 5.4 cucire – la macchina da cucire p 87

    RS 3-11
    V 5.4 spazzolare – il calzolaio p 87
    MGI introduzione al verbo p 38-49