BBC BUONGIORNO ITALIAN REVIEW

bbc-beginner-buongiorno-italiaAn independent language course review by Sarah Maddocks

Buongiorno Italia is a beginner’s Italian language course from the BBC (and already I am slightly prejudiced as I love the courses that the BBC produce). The course comes complete with 3 x 60 minute audio CDs and over a 300-page course book.

The CDs and book are divided into 20 short units and the book contains dialogues, language notes, information about Italy and vocabulary and practice activities. The CDs are designed to help develop listening and speaking skills with pronunciation practice, conversations and interviews.
The course book has a grammar section, pronunciation sections and an answer section which gives the answers to the activities. At random intervals (well they seem randomly placed), there are sections called lettre A, B, and so on – this is a transcript of the audio on the CD. You can then answer questions in the book, which mirrors the type of thing you would have to do in a GCSE exam. The book is designed to be used alongside the CDs as they contain dialogues and interactive exercises to do whilst listening.

The woman who introduces the course sounds a little odd at first. I’m not sure if she is an authentic Italian or from England. Some of her words sound like she has an Italian accent, whereas with others, she sounds like she has never left England. I prefer it when you have a native speaker (I suppose she could be a native speaker and have lived in England for a long while!).

The CD starts by giving you a list of Italian words, but you are not told what they are in English. You have to pronounce the words after you hear them, but I didn’t really like this bit of the course, as I like to know what it is I am saying first (but then I’m no language course designer and I’m sure the BBC do know what they’re doing!). The exercises during the course are really helpful to test what you have picked up. The number exercise was good as they use a conversation in a bar scenario and you have to listen and then pick out the numbers you have heard. The conversation was at a good pace and so the exercise wasn’t too difficult (this was a real confidence boost as I had never learnt Italian before and to be able to recognise numbers already was fantastic).

The course instructions are given to you in Italian and then repeated in English, this is a good way of learning instructions as they are repeated throughout the course so you are picking up new language without even realising it.

I didn’t just want a language course which gave me the holiday basics without the cultural background or the grammar of the language. The BBC offers you the whole linguistic package and it is definitely worth a go!

I found Italian quite easy to understand as it is similar to Spanish which I’d already been learning. It was easy for me to deduce what was being said, rather than to have to look up every word in a dictionary. The course doesn’t give you every single word that is said, they just give you the key vocabulary and expressions. I found this better; as firstly it is not repetitive and secondly it makes you feel you are picking up the language a lot faster.

After each new section there is a summary of what you have just learnt, with a very basic grammar note. There are also interactive activities, but I found that I couldn’t do these without listening to the section on the CD a couple more times so I could get the hang of it.

The dialogues on the CD are useful to hear Italian in everyday contexts and to get used to the Italian accent. I found some of the pronunciation difficult. When reading the course book, a lot of the words were similar to French and Spanish and I had a tendency to say the words with a French accent, which was, of course, completely wrong. I decided to bang the pronunciation into my head and listened to the CDs more and more to get used to saying it differently – this seemed to work, although I suppose I will see when I speak to an authentic Italian!

Throughout the course book, after each section you can learn more about the country and culture of Italy. I found this a good way of taking a break from the course and I was still learning about the country rather than just stopping the CD for 10 minutes. A sort of educational break if you like.

Overall this course is great. The Italian that I learnt is more than enough to be able to go to Italy and have a proper conversation with the locals. This is what I look for in a language course – I didn’t just want a course which gave me the holiday basics without the cultural background or the grammar of the language. The BBC offers you the whole linguistic package and it is definitely worth a go! Dieci out of dieci for me!

to buy BBC Buongiorno Italia [UK]>>
to buy BBC Buongiorno Italia [USA]>>
to find out more about BBC language courses>>

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Language Gifts

Give a very different gift for any occasion… give the gift of language!

Here are our top ideas for giving a language gift. Give the language advantage!


01 Give a language calendar

How better to start off the New Year with a 2012 calendar in Spanish, French, German or Italian? You’ll be able to practice a little bit of your language every day and you’ll also know all about international holidays and events that have occured on a particular day too. Get organised and get the language advantage!
for more information and to buy a language calendar, browse our Language Advantage Gift shop on amazon.co.uk>>
for more information and to buy a language calendar, browse our Language Advantage Gift Store on amazon.com>>

02 Give an audiomagazine subscription

think french audio magazinesHow about this for a very different kind of gift! Give them an audio magazine from the Think Language range. We recommend the Think Spanish, Think French and Think Italian audio magazines, which are proving to be a very popular way to learn Spanish, French and Italian online.They are designed to improve your Spanish, French or Italian the fun way, whilst also teaching you about the life and culture.

There are between eight and ten articles every month, covering topics from people, fiestas, ecotourism and recipes.  It is an authentic approach for learning French, Spanish or Italian online, for intermediate and advanced learners.  You can even download the audio onto your iPhone or mp3 player and listen while you’re away, following a print out of the audio in magazine style, along with explanations of vocabulary.

Browse the Think Spanish, Think French and Think Italian audio magazines>>

03 Give some magnetic poetry

spanish-magnetic-poetryFor the creative wordsmiths among you, why not get your friends and family some magnetic poetry in French, Spanish and Italian? They might drive you crazy by sticking words all over your kitchen – or you may be surprised at how romantic the ‘feed the dog’ messages can seem when left in French! Fun and you’ll absorb new words while opening the fridge and clearing the dishwasher.
for more information and to buy magnetic poetry, browse our Language Advantage Gift Shop on amazon.co.uk>>
for more information and to buy magnetic poetry, browse our Language Advantage Gift Store on amazon.com>>

04 Give a language gadget

Give the latest in language technology, the speech-to-speech translator, to the person that has everything, but is always travelling across the world! They’ll never be stuck for words – and will always have something to start off a conversation. This is really cool! There are many more language gadgets including dictionaries for your PDA.
for more information and to buy a language gadget, browse Ectaco in the UK and USA>>

05 Give a language toy or game

orchard-toys-trouvons-imageBilingual dolls, board games in other languages, sticker books, story books, dvds, videos, CD-ROMs and more! You may even enjoy Scrabble or Monopoly in Spanish! Give your children a language gift and they’ll be having so much fun, they won’t realise they’re learning a language … and you’ll be giving them one of the most fantastic gifts a parent can give a child!
for more information and to buy a language toy or game, browse our Language Advantage Gift shop on amazon.co.uk>>
for more information and to buy a language toy or game, browse our Language Advantage Gift store on amazon.com>>

06 Give a foreign language movie

Give a foreign language film on DVD to learn a bit of the lingo in real use! Follow along with subtitles or just see how much you can pick up by just watching the film. You’ll learn a lot about the culture too. A perfect present to help pass a cold winter’s night!
for more information and to buy a foreign language film, browse our Language Advantage Gift shop on amazon.co.uk>>
for more information and to buy a foreign language movie, browse our Language Advantage Gift store on amazon.com>>

07 Give a CD in another language

manu-chao-world-music-cdTake a look at our selection of world music – there is music there from many languages and many cultures. You’ll be surprised at how quickly you will be singing along. A great present for the music lover in your family and it is sure to get a party going over this holiday season!
for more information and to buy world music, browse our Language Advantage Gift shop on amazon.co.uk>>
for more information and to buy world music, browse our Language Advantage Gift store on amazon.com>>

08 Give a language course

michel-thomas-mandarin-chinese-foundationThere are lots of language courses to choose from, but the most popular are the audio-only courses. Try out Michel Thomas and Pimsleur – these courses are so addictive, you may not see your friend or relative for a good few hours – they’ll be driving around in the car or they’ll be tied to the stereo. For intermediate or advanced learners, a language audiomagazine is a language gift to last a year! You’ll be giving a CD with an accompanying vocabulary and study guide – and the opportunity to keep up with the latest news and views straight from the country.
for more information and to buy a language course, browse our Language Advantage shop on amazon.co.uk>>
for more information and to buy a language course, browse our Language Advantage store on amazon.com>>

09 Give a language book

If your friend or relative is really passionate about languages, then there are some superb books and dictionaries for them. Some are amazing reference books such as the encyclopedia of languages or whet the appetite of your friends and family for New Year travel with a travel novel. They are all books that someone who is language-mad would be proud to own! And they’ll be so absorbed by their new book, that they’ll leave plenty of food and drink for you!
for more information and to buy a language book, browse our Language Advantage Gift shop on amazon.co.uk>>
for more information and to buy a language book, browse our Language Advantage Gift store on amazon.com>>

10 Give a culture book

A culture book is an ideal gift for anyone in your family that is an avid traveller, whether for pleasure or for business. From a light-hearted look at the different customs and foibles of different nationalities, to a serious look at the academic theory behind cultural management – they’ll be something here to engage the traveller in your midst.
for more information and to buy a culture book, browse our Language Advantage Culture shop on amazon.co.uk>>
for more information and to buy a culture book, browse our Language Advantage Culture store on amazon.com>>

11 Give a Spanish-language holiday

If you’re really flash with cash, then you may want to treat your loved one to a language holiday. How would they like Spanish and Dancing or Spanish and Scuba Diving? You can combine your Spanish-language holiday with many activities. Why not give it a whirl!
browse language courses in Spanish-speaking countries>>

Browse more language gifts from our Language Advantage Gift shop UK and Language Advantage Gift store USA


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ITALIAN LANGUAGE COURSES FOR KIDS

language advantage brings you the best and most innovative language courses for children to learn Italian. Get the Italian language advantage for kids!


01 learn Italian using BBC Muzzy

bbc-muzzy-20th-anniversary-edition-level-1The BBC Muzzy courses are world renowned as a complete introduction to language learning for kids. They include DVDs, CDs, workbooks and much more. This course is ideal for children aged between 3 and 12 learning Italian. Check the DVD region for your country!
Find out more about BBC Muzzy Italian language courses from the BBC Shop>>

02 carry an electronic Italian dictionary translator

Fun and colourful, this handheld dictionary will give your kids the Italian word they are looking for immediately. It will help build their vocabulary, especially when used on location in an Italian-speaking country!
more information and to buy a dictionary translator from Ectaco>>

03 get an Italian-speaking Language Littles toy doll

kids-italian-language-littles-dollThese lovely little toy dolls will enchant your child, and will also help them learn a language while playing – these dolls speak Italian as well as English! Each Language Little will recite between 25 and 30 phrases with the help of a sound chip in the dollâ??s tummy – including greetings, numbers, colours and days of the week. Language Littles toy dolls are not currently available on amazon.co.uk.
for more information and to buy, browse our Language Advantage Kids store on amazon.com>>

04 Vocabulary Builder Learn Italian

kids-italian-vocabulary-builderA CD-ROM for children who are beginning in Italian, with speech recognition, so that your kids can record their voices and then play them back in a cinema show! Great fun and packed full of games. Over 100 words including colours, numbers, actions and simple sentences.   For ages from 4 to 12 – but popular with adults too!
for more information and to buy, browse our Language Advantage Kids shop on amazon.co.uk>>
for more information and to buy, browse our Language Advantage Kids store on amazon.com>>


Other ways to learn Italian for kids:
more Italian language courses and dictionaries for children on amazon.co.uk>>
more Italian language courses and dictionaires for children on amazon.com>>
more Italian language cd-rom software for children on amazon.co.uk>>
more Italian language cd-rom software for children on amazon.com>>

 


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GERMAN LANGUAGE COURSES FOR KIDS

language advantage brings you the best and most innovative language courses for children to learn German. Get the German language advantage for kids!


01 learn German using BBC Muzzy

bbc-muzzy-20th-anniversary-edition-level-2The BBC Muzzy courses are world renowned as a complete introduction to language learning for kids. They include DVDs, CDs, workbooks and much more. This course is ideal for children aged between 3 and 12 learning German. Check the DVD region for your country!
Find out more about BBC Muzzy German language courses from the BBC Shop>>

02 carry an electronic German dictionary translator

Fun and colourful, this handheld dictionary will give your kids the German word they are looking for immediately. It will help build their vocabulary, especially when used on location in a German-speaking country!
more information and to buy a dictionary translator from Ectaco>>
 

03 get a German-speaking Language Littles toy doll

kids-german-language-littles-dollThese lovely little toy dolls will enchant your child, and will also help them learn a language while playing – these dolls speak German as well as English!  Each Language Little will recite between 25 and 30 phrases with the help of a sound chip in the doll’s tummy – including greetings, numbers, colours and days of the week. Language Littles toy dolls are not currently available on amazon.co.uk.
for more information and to buy, browse our Language Advantage Kids store on amazon.com>>

04 Vocabulary Builder Learn German

kids-german-vocabulary-builderA CD-ROM for children who are beginning in German, with speech recognition, so that your kids can record their voices and then play them back in a cinema show! Great fun and packed full of games. Over 100 words including colours, numbers, actions and simple sentences.   For ages from 4 to 12 – but popular with adults too!
for more information and to buy, browse our Language Advantage Kids shop on amazon.co.uk>>
for more information and to buy, browse our Language Advantage Kids store on amazon.com>>


Other ways to learn German for kids:
more German language courses and dictionaries for children on amazon.co.uk>>
more German language courses and dictionaires for children on amazon.com>>
more German language cd-rom software for children on amazon.co.uk>>
more German language cd-rom software for children on amazon.com>>


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SPANISH LANGUAGE COURSES FOR KIDS

language advantage brings you the best and most innovative language courses for children to learn Spanish. Get the Spanish language advantage for kids!


01 learn Spanish using BBC Muzzy

bbc-muzzy-20th-anniversary-edition-level-2The BBC Muzzy courses are world renowned as a complete introduction to language learning for kids. They include DVDs, CDs, workbooks and much more. This course is ideal for children aged between 3 and 12 learning Spanish. Check the DVD region for your country!
Find out more about BBC Muzzy Spanish language courses from the BBC Shop>>

02 Nintendo DS and Nintendo Wii My Spanish coach

kids-spanish-coach-nintendo-wiiCan’t get your kids off their DS? Well let them learn while they play! This Spanish language game, available on both the Nintendo DS and the Nintendo Wii, teaches you Spanish in small chunks and then introduces tonnes of games to help you to practise.
for more information and to buy, browse our Language Advantage Kids shop on amazon.co.uk>>
for more information and to buy, browse our Language Advantage Kids store on amazon.com>>

03 carry an electronic Spanish dictionary translator

Fun and colourful, this handheld dictionary will give your kids the Spanish word they are looking for immediately. It will help build their vocabulary, especially when used on location in a Spanish-speaking country!
more information and to buy a dictionary translator from Ectaco>>

04 get a Spanish-speaking Language Littles toy doll

kids-spanish-language-littles-dollThese lovely little toy dolls will enchant your child, and will also help them learn a language while playing – these dolls speak Spanish as well as English! Each Language Little will recite between 25 and 30 phrases with the help of a sound chip in the dollâ??s tummy – including greetings, numbers, colours and days of the week. Language Littles toy dolls are not currently available on amazon.co.uk.
for more information and to buy, browse our Language Advantage Kids store on amazon.com>>

05 Vocabulary Builder Learn Spanish

kids-spanish-vocabulary-builderA CD-ROM for children who are beginning in Spanish, with speech recognition, so that your kids can record their voices and then play them back in a cinema show! Great fun and packed full of games. Over 100 words including colours, numbers, actions and simple sentences.   For ages from 4 to 12 – but popular with adults too!
for more information and to buy, browse our Language Advantage Kids shop on amazon.co.uk>>
for more information and to buy, browse our Language Advantage Kids store on amazon.com>>


Other ways to learn Spanish for kids:
more Spanish language courses and dictionaries for children on amazon.co.uk>>
more Spanish language courses and dictionaires for children on amazon.com>>
more Spanish language cd-rom software for children on amazon.co.uk>>
more Spanish language cd-rom software for children on amazon.com>>
free on-line Spanish for children

 


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BBC Language Courses

language advantage brings you our top language courses from BBC languages.

The BBC is amazing. They have language learning for every occasion, in many different media, from phrase book to TV programmes and, of course, their famous (free) BBC languages website. We’ve selected the best of what they have!


Browse the BBCShop.com for language courses (for UK & Europe only)>>
(you will need to search on your language in the search box e.g. French)


01 BBC Get Into

bbc-get-into-frenchlevel: beginner
languages: French, Spanish
method: interactive
media: cd-rom, cd, book, on-line

The Get Into series is a language course for those of you who like to have the freedom to choose how to learn. You can select from a CD-ROM, audio CD, book or on-line material and quickly start to learn French or Spanish.

read our BBC get into Spanish review!

Browse the BBCShop.com for BBC Get Into language courses (for UK & Europe only)>>
(you will need to search on ‘Get Into’ & your language in the search box e.g. Get Into French)

for more information and to buy BBC Get Into, browse our BBC Language shop on amazon.co.uk>>
for more information and to buy BBC Get Into, browse our BBC Language store on amazon.com>>


02 BBC Quickstart

bbc-quickstart-italianlevel: beginner
languages: French, German, Italian, Spanish, Arabic, Greek, Mandarin Chinese, Portuguese
method: audio-only
media: cd, mp3 download

Quickstart is a new audio-only course (with accompanying booklet) aimed at the growing number of people going away on weekend or short European breaks who want to grasp the basics of the language beforehand, without having to master any complicated grammar or phrases.

read our BBC quickstart Spanish review!

Browse the BBCShop.com for BBC Quickstart language courses (for UK & Europe only)>>
(you will need to search on ‘Quickstart’ & your language in the search box e.g. Quickstart French)

for more information and to buy BBC Quickstart, browse our BBC Language shop on amazon.co.uk>>
for more information and to buy BBC Quickstart, browse our BBC Language store on amazon.com>>

NEW! BBC Quickstart is available as an audio download in French, German, Italian, Spanish, Arabic, Greek, Mandarin Chinese and Portuguese

for more information and to buy BBC Quickstart audio downloads from audible.co.uk>>


03 BBC Talk Short Courses

bbc-talk-japaneselevel: beginner
languages: French, German, Greek, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Arabic, Greek, Mandarin Chinese, Portuguese
method: multiple media
media: book, cd, dvd, tv, on-line

The BBC Talk short courses are for absolute beginners and encourage you to make real progress as they introduce your new language to you in 10 easy-to-follow units. It only takes a few minutes a day and you’ll be understanding and beginning to speak the language in no time!

read our BBC talk Portuguese review!

Browse the BBCShop.com for BBC Talk language courses (for UK & Europe only)>>
(you will need to search on ‘Talk’ & your language in the search box e.g. Talk French)

for more information and to buy BBC Talk, browse our BBC Language shop on amazon.co.uk>>
for more information and to buy BBC Talk, browse our BBC Language store on amazon.com>>


04 BBC Beginner Comprehensive Language Packs

bbc-beginner-french-experiencelevel: beginner
languages: French, German, Italian, Spanish
products: French Experience 1, Deutsch Plus 1, Italianissimo 1, Suenos World Spanish 1
method: traditional course
media: books, cd

BBC Language Packs for beginners are traditional language courses with course book and CDs. They will give you solid progress from beginner level through to lower intermediate.

read our BBC suenos world Spanish 1 review!

Browse the BBCShop.com for BBC Beginner Comprehensive language courses (for UK & Europe only)>>
(you will need to search on the language series in the search box e.g. French Experience or Italianissimo etc)

for more information and to buy BBC Beginner Comprehensive, browse our BBC Language shop on amazon.co.uk>>
for more information and to buy BBC Beginner Comprehensive, browse our BBC Language store on amazon.com>>


05 BBC Intermediate Comprehensive Language Packs

bbc-intermediate-german-deutsch-pluslevel: intermediate
languages: French, German, Italian, Spanish
products: French Experience 2, Deutsch Plus 2, Italianissimo 2, Suenos World Spanish 2
method: traditional course
media: books, cd

BBC Language Packs for intermediate level learners are traditional language courses with course book and CDs. They will give you solid progress through intermediate level.

read our BBC suenos world Spanish 2 review!

Browse the BBCShop.com for BBC Intermediate Comprehensive language courses (for UK & Europe only)>>
(you will need to search on the language series in the search box e.g. French Experience or Italianissimo etc)

for more information and to buy BBC Intermediate Comprehensive, browse our BBC Language shop on amazon.co.uk>>
for more information and to buy BBC Intermediate Comprehensive, browse our BBC Language store on amazon.com>>


Other BBC language courses:

You might also like to try some of the other BBC Language courses:bbc-portuguese-phrasebook

BBC Get by Travel Pack
BBC Phrase Books
BBC Beginner Courses: Greek, Italian, Hindi, Japanese, Portuguese, Russian, Urdu
BBC Language for Kids: BBC Muzzy; BBC Salut Serge

Browse the BBCShop.com for more language courses (for UK & Europe only)>>
(you will need to search on your language in the search box e.g. French)

read our BBC steps on-line review!

to buy more BBC Language courses visit our BBC Language shop on amazon.co.uk>>
to buy more BBC Language courses visit our BBC Languages store on amazon.com>>



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FRENCH LANGUAGE COURSES FOR KIDS

language advantage brings you the best and most innovative language courses for children to learn French. Get the French language advantage for kids!


01 learn French with BBC Muzzy

bbc-muzzy-20th-anniversary-edition-level-2The BBC Muzzy courses are world renowned as a complete introduction to language learning for kids. They include DVDs, CDs, workbooks and much more. This course is ideal for children aged between 3 and 12 learning French. Check the DVD region for your country!
Find out more about BBC Muzzy French language courses from the BBC Shop>>

02 learn French using BBC Salut Serge dvd

kids-french-salut-sergeThe BBC has a kids’ French course called Salut Serge, who is a very likeable monkey! This course is ideal for children aged between 5 and 10 learning French through a DVD and also includes a CD, an activity book and song sheet. Check the format for your country!
for more information and to buy, browse our Language Advantage Kids shop on amazon.co.uk>>
for more information and to buy, browse our Language Advantage Kids store on amazon.com>>
Buy your favourite BBC Salut Serge language programmes on DVD from the BBC Shop>>

03 Nintendo DS and Nintendo Wii My French coach

kids-french-coach-nintendo-dsCan’t get your kids off their DS? Well let them learn while they play! This French language game, available on both the Nintendo DS and the Nintendo Wii, teaches you French in small chunks and then introduces tonnes of games to help you practice.
for more information and to buy, browse our Language Advantage Kids shop on amazon.co.uk>>
for more information and to buy, browse our Language Advantage Kids store on amazon.com>>

04 carry an electronic French dictionary translator

Fun and colourful, this handheld dictionary will give your kids the French word they are looking for immediately. It will help build their vocabulary, especially when used on location in a French-speaking country!
for more information and to buy a dictionary translator from Ectaco>>

05 get a French-speaking Language Littles toy doll

kids-french-language-littles-dollThese lovely little toy dolls will enchant your child, and will also help them learn a language while playing – these dolls speak French as well as English!  Each Language Little will recite between 25 and 30 phrases with the help of a sound chip in the dollâ??s tummy – including greetings, numbers, colours and days of the week. Language Littles toy dolls are not currently available on amazon.co.uk.
for more information and to buy, browse our Language Advantage Kids store on amazon.com>>

06 Vocabulary Builder Learn French

kids-french-vocabulary-builderA CD-ROM for children who are beginning in French, with speech recognition, so that your kids can record their voices and then play them back in a cinema show! Great fun and packed full of games. Over 100 words including colours, numbers, actions and simple sentences.   For ages from 4 to 12 – but popular with adults too!
for more information and to buy, browse our Language Advantage Kids shop on amazon.co.uk>>
for more information and to buy, browse our Language Advantage Kids store on amazon.com>>


Other ways to learn French for kids:
more French language courses and dictionaries for children on amazon.co.uk>>
more French language courses and dictionaires for children on amazon.com>>
more French language cd-rom software for children on amazon.co.uk>>
more French language cd-rom software for children on amazon.com>>
free on-line French for children

 


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