Today on Italophilia, I’m very proud to welcome my online friend Elfin Waters! A passionate Italian who hails from Gaeta, Elfin is the owner of “All About Italian” through which she creates Language Retreats for learners of Italian. She is also the co-owner of the podcast “Con Parole Nostre”.
Being a teacher by professioner, Elfin’s focus on learning a language is amazing and she regularly posts this on her Instagram Stories no matter how busy. Her mantra is simple- there’s always time to fit learning during the day and that too in a joyful way! Elfin will be sharing her thoughts and knowledge on how to learn Italian through Instagram!!
Hi Everyone.. I just wanted to say that if you’re able to fit in Instagram in your daily life, you can fit language learning around that. Instagram is an amazing tool for language learners. For starters there are tons of teachers on IG, like myself for instance. Teachers post a picture or a short video with a relevant piece of language for the day and learners get to pick all levels of language.
How do you find other teachers or language learners??
Through hashtags (#)- these are an important source of categorizing content on social media and Instagram where they pretty much run the show.
How you can find hashtags??
If you’re learning Italian, you can simply start with #learnitalian and search it as a hashtag as shown below. But it doesn’t have to stop there. You can use them to look up words you are learning and help memorize vocabulary. Let’s say you’re not quite sure what the word papavero means. So you can write to the IG search engine and get many pics of papaveri. (Explained in picture) That will give you a visual hook that will make the word more memorable. Nice, right??
So, how are you actually learning a language by skimming quickly at a post from an Italian account? Very little probably. That’s why practice comes in.
You really should use your down time, say the line at the supermarket, or time while cooking, to skim and see what is relevant to you. Listen to songs and podcasts and watch videos. Whenever you see something you think could be helpful to you, bookmark it!!
In IG under every post, you can bookmark to review later. IG even has added folders to help keep everything organized. So if we are online and we see something relevant like a grammar rule or a nice idiom, we can just save and bookmark the picture. Exploring the Instagram App is essential to get a feel of it and when you are free, whip out your notebook or even phone and start going over your saved posts.
If you’re feeling brave, leave a comment on the picture or video that you liked and practice the language presented. If you don’t feel up to that yet, just jot your comment down. It is normal to feel shy about leaving comments so make sure to keep all your notes in one place. When they add up, even after a week, they will give you a sense of accomplishment.
Is there anything else I can do??
A few ideas from Elfin who is learning Spanish: Since I am learning Spanish, I realized that teacher accounts were great but weren’t enough to keep me going. So, I went in the search explore part of Instagram and started looking hashtags with the word Spain in it.
That is how I followed Spanish accounts that talk about going to Spain, which is what I hope to do and these will keep me inspired. Plus, I also get exposed to Spanish in other contexts. Tiny things always add up to something bigger. So, even if I don’t have time to crack those verb tenses, or that grammar book, I do have time for IG and that exposes me to tiny moments of native content.
Make sure you check out the comments on videos/pictures because they provide a lot of interesting language tips.
Similarly, if you’re learning Italian or you probably are in love with the country, what better way to keep you motivated in your studies than to follow accounts that showcase Italy?? Start with classic accounts such as IgersRome and IgersItalia and then you’ll quickly find more account suggestions on the IG App. Join a community and share your passion: Join a language challenge.
These are organized by teachers on IG where you are supposed to commit to posting one video/picture a day for a month on words/topics suggested by the teacher/organizer. At the end of it, you get feedback from fellow learners which gives you the feeling that it’s alright to make mistakes and that we are all in this together. For more detailed info on how to join a challenge check this blog post. Remember, you can’t do this alone. And why should you??
Learning a language is about connecting. Share on Instagram Stories!!
Lastly, I can’t recommend following IG stories enough. It’s a great source of motivation and learning the local language. IG stories are similar to Snapchat where you post a picture/video and talk about your day or just share snippets of your day. These help to know local life to a language learner. Do remember that these stories are not like IG posts and disappear after 24 hours. This also means you can keep adding more daily. IG Stories are a great way to practice your listening skills and learn new vocabulary.
An Italian account on IG stories I really recommend is @lucreziaoddone from Learn Italian with Lucrezia. Follow her! My only recommendation would be not to get lost in the process as Instagram is a very addictive app. Also do remember, it shouldn’t be your only source of study!
Grazie mille carissima per la tua ispirazione!
For more tips on learning Italian click here!
- Castellammare di Stabia- between Naples and Sorrento
- Sfogliatelle calde Attanasio- a Neapolitan institution
- Ischia and The Story of a New Name
- Day trip to Procida from Naples
- 7 Reasons why you should give Naples a chance
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In the comments below, let m know if you use Instagram to learn Italian or any other language??
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OliverSeptember 14, 2019 at 8:33 pm
Thanks for sharing useful Information. It’s fantastic Article.
ItalophiliaSeptember 17, 2019 at 7:10 pm
Thank you for reading
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[…] Ispirazione: Learning Italian through Instagram […]
godwinsongsOctober 20, 2017 at 9:18 pm
My previous post had the address wrong. It’s http://www.godwinbooks.com You can read passages from my book there: “Florence, Dante and Me.” It’s about my self-imposed year of total immersion in Italian in 1960. Vittorio Gassman reading Dante was one of my great sources of inspiration. Google him: Vittorio Gassman reads Dante. You are in for a treat if you have never heard him. Many years later Robert Benigni took up the gantlet. He’s good but lacks the gravitas of Gassman. One page you will like is my visit to Empoli to witness a re-enactment of the Ghibellines’ meeting, presided over by Farinata, to decide whether or not to level Florence to the ground. “O Tosco, che per la città del fuoco/Vivo t’en vai, così parlando onesto.” Here is some of the most powerful poetry in the Italian language.
godwinsongsAugust 16, 2017 at 10:28 pm
If you would like me to send you twenty or so pages of “Florence, Dante and Me” please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.godwinbooks.com
godwinsongsAugust 15, 2017 at 11:00 pm
I would like to post sample pages from my new book, “Florence, Dante and Me” (A Canadian student tries to take on an Italian identity during his year in Florence, 1960-1). There is a lot in my book about learning Italian. See my site for samples: http://www.godwinbooks.com
IshitaAugust 16, 2017 at 11:06 am
Thank you. I’m going to check tonight.
meethiflyerAugust 4, 2017 at 12:13 am
Wow, nice one! Every language-learner should read this 🌸 I have recently started teaching my native language.
𝗖𝗵𝗲𝗰𝗸 𝗼𝘂𝘁 𝗺𝘆 𝘃𝗶𝗱𝗲𝗼 𝗼𝗻 𝗟𝗲𝗮𝗿𝗻𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗖𝗿𝗲𝗼𝗹𝗲:
IshitaAugust 5, 2017 at 1:11 pm
yes indeed 🙂 I will check it out …thanks!
Liz HenslerJuly 8, 2017 at 9:20 pm
So helpful! Grazie!
IshitaJuly 9, 2017 at 12:16 pm
Thanks Liz. Happy studying!
ultimatetravel8July 8, 2017 at 4:18 pm
Yes. But just a little. I studied for a year. Are you Italian?
IshitaJuly 9, 2017 at 12:17 pm
Haha no. I am Indian 🙂
ultimatetravel8July 8, 2017 at 1:36 pm
Great! Iatalian is such a beautiful language
IshitaJuly 8, 2017 at 4:13 pm
Indeed. Do you speak it ??
thatanxioustravellerJuly 6, 2017 at 6:02 pm
Hi! I’m a fellow Italophile, and I’d never thought of using Instagram in my studies – what a fantastic idea!! I’ll definitely be trying this out, and I look forward to seeing more of your posts! Grazie mille!
IshitaJuly 6, 2017 at 11:24 pm
That’s something so nice! I’m glad this post could be useful.
dudeandthefoodJuly 5, 2017 at 11:16 pm
Love the name of your new series Ispirazione!! Keep these posts coming. Love the way Elfin has imbibed learning with Instagram.
IshitaJuly 6, 2017 at 11:18 am
Thank you for reading. Glad you like the name. Elfin is such a big inspiration!
Alok SinghalJuly 5, 2017 at 6:51 pm
Italian is a wonderful languauge. I learned a bit of French during my MBA course.
These are some great ways to learn!
IshitaJuly 5, 2017 at 7:48 pm
Thank you Alok. I think so too. Can you speak French?? I tried 2 yrs in my PG too. But found it tougher
Alok SinghalJuly 5, 2017 at 7:53 pm
No, I just learned to clear my language exam…we just used to have fun in the class ☺️
It is a great language, though. I wish I had learned the basics at least!
dudeandthefoodJuly 5, 2017 at 11:17 pm
I hope I can learn a new language someday. You both are inspiring me!
IshitaJuly 6, 2017 at 11:19 am
Someday you will 🙂
amindfultravellerblogJuly 5, 2017 at 12:29 pm
What a great language tool Ishita, I had no idea 😉
IshitaJuly 5, 2017 at 1:12 pm
Elfin makes it so simple and easy! good luck 🙂 glad you liked it!
amindfultravellerblogJuly 5, 2017 at 1:13 pm
Followed her on IG. All good. 👍🏼
IshitaJuly 5, 2017 at 1:13 pm
Hue LeJuly 5, 2017 at 11:30 am
Thank you for this great post. I’m studying italian but sorta slow in progress now! Will definitely try this method!
IshitaJuly 5, 2017 at 12:03 pm
That’s great! Always nice to know more people studying the language. I’m sharing my experience of learning Italian on Instagram today. Hop on!!