Speaking English Well: Why Is It More Difficult For Italians?

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Speaking English Well: Why Is It More Difficult For Italians?

Speaking English fluently is an ambitious goal for most Italians. Despite the recognised importance of the English language on the global stage, many Italians find this language particularly difficult to learn and use in everyday situations. In this article, we will take a closer look at some of the most difficult challenges that Italians face when speaking English, supported by helpful tips on how to study English more effectively.

Structural and Phonetic Differences

Italian and English differ significantly in terms of grammatical structure and phonetics. English has a range of vowel and consonant sounds that are not found in Italian which can make pronunciation particularly challenging. For example, the “th” sound in English doesn’t have a direct equivalent in Italian phonetics, often causing Italian speakers to approximate the sound, which can lead to comprehension difficulties.

Traditional Teaching Methods

Many Italians grow up studying English through traditional teaching methods that emphasize studying grammar over speaking practice. Whilst this approach does create a solid understanding of language and grammar rules, it often leaves students unprepared for real conversations. It is essential to include activities which stimulate listening and conversation into a language learning programme, such as conversing with native speakers or using interactive learning platforms.

Limited Exposure

Limited exposure to spoken English on a daily basis is another significant obstacle. Without regular contact with the language, it’s difficult to acquire fluency and natural intonation. Italians can overcome this barrier by increasing their exposure to English through watching films, TV series and talking to native speakers.

Tips on How to Study English

Approaching the study of English with flexibility and openness is crucial. Using a variety of resources and modern technology can greatly facilitate learning. Attending courses at specialised schools like ILS, listening to English podcasts and participating in conversation groups are just some of the strategies which can significantly improve your English-speaking skills.

Personalisation and Continuous Practice

Personalise your study method according to your specific needs. Be consistent and try to immerse yourself as much as possible in the language. Try to avoid translating word for word, instead focus on idioms and natural-sounding expressions. Consistency and practice are essential in order to overcome difficulties and improve your English-speaking skills.