ItalianPod offers an entirely new approach to learning Italian online. The program mainly consists of podcasts that are exceptionally well-produced. In other words they are using technology to make the learning of the Italian language easier.
- Short and simple Italian lessons that is compatible with all MP3 players & iPods
- No fixed times - any time that is suitable to your time zone is convenient
- Can access the course materials any time of the day or night
- It is of great help especially when it comes to pronunciation
- A teacher to guide you through web conferencing software
Before we begin, we have to have a brief idea on podcasting. Basically, podcasting is a subscription method for publishing audio files (typically MP3 audio) published in a way that allows subscribers to receive an automatic notification that new shows are available, automatically downloading them to a computer and transferring the podcasts to a portable media player. The name comes from iPod and broadcasting and has managed to cause confusion because an iPod is not necessarily needed to listen to podcasts. Instead, this is comparable to having on demand cable, with the cable box automatically downloading new shows as they become available.
Learners are given full access to all ItalianPod audio podcast lessons which include high-quality audio and video file podcasts with unlimited access to their library of hundreds of podcast lessons. In addition, PDF transcripts accompany each podcast, including the lesson dialogue, key vocabulary and translations (to be read on an iPod).
There are also vocabulary study tools that include virtual flashcards and iPhone access. Furthermore, students who purchase 1 or 2 year subscriptions will receive a Digital Lesson Pack with 115 ItalianPod lessons that can be downloaded instantly.
You can use the flashcards and the games to ensure that you remember the vocabulary you’ve learned from previous lessons. You can then review your vocabulary list, identify words that you are not sure about, and look them up in the ItalianPod dictionary. There is also a Grammar Guide which you can skim through to identify structures with which you’re unfamiliar and find lessons that cover those points. Finally, take the Listening Test when you want to know the improvement that you have made.
ItalianPod has taken a unique pedagogical approach of the classroom and the community features of the social web and has tailor-made a customized learning pathway for each student.
The teaching method is very simple. They ensure that all students get to know the basics of Italian grammar. In addition, students also get full access to each podcasts’ accompanying learning materials & study tools where they can review, reinforce and build on the lesson's new vocabulary, grammar and sentence patterns. In addition there are also online lesson review exercises and a high-quality audio review file containing new vocabulary and examples of usage.
There is a personal podcast RSS feed which the user can subscribe to in order to receive new lessons automatically. The students also get access to a bookmark tool, where they can save lessons of interest, to study in their own time. In other words, a flexible learning schedule. The students also have the option to join the ItalianPod community / group / forum and get to participate in online discussions.
The grammar section covers some of the most interesting expressions from the dialogue giving grammar rules and extra examples. There is a lot of useful, informal Italian with a lot of new vocabulary. The student can log into the Learning Center and download Audio & PDF Transcript of Italian verbs with some of the most common and useful idiomatic expressions that use this important verb.
There are lessons of every level from the absolute beginner to an advanced level student. The course suits any student and courses are adapted to the capabilities of students.
ItalianPod provides one-to-one tutoring through lessons that can be downloaded on to your iPod/ Phone or you can study online with the help of students and teachers in the community.
The cost for the entire course is around $399 which takes 24 months to complete. There are two other types of courses which take 6 months and 12 months to complete. The costs for these courses are $139 and $239 respectively. The monthly subscription per lesson costs around $29. The fees are refundable within 30 days of payment. In addition, users who purchase 1 or 2 year subscriptions will also receive a Digital Lesson Pack with 115 ItalianPod lessons which are instantly downloadable.
ItalianPod provides support through telephone and fax. They can also be contacted through a 24/7 online chat, email or by regular mail. They also have a help forum and FAQ section.
Ease of Installation
It is highly unlikely that you could run into any installation problems. Like all iPod courses, you don’t really need anything, other than a computer and an internet connection. But your podcasts would be a lot better if you have some podcast software (eg., Juice, Doppler and iTunes), that you can subscribe to and manage the podcasts, and an mp3 player, that lets you take podcasts with you anywhere and listen to it at anytime you want.
To simply put it, ItalianPod is an online podcast training service designed around your needs rather than the traditional constraints of online language schools. Spending about 5 minutes each day practicing their podcasts can make a whole world of difference.