The Italian Book Club

italian book club


Italian book club

Now that you have achieved a higher level of Italian you might want to read authentic material. Reading Italian literature and specifically novels is one of the best ways to improve your Italian language, expand your vocabulary and increase your knowledge of the Italian culture.

Parla Italiano School is launching a new pay-as-you-go reading club which will meet online using Zoom every month.

Each session can be taken as one-off or as part of a package. Readers wishing to participate will need to have achieved an intermediate or more advanced level of Italian.

The main aim of the club is to discuss the excerpts, to develop speaking and to work on lexis. Please note that we do not read the entire book but only a selected chapter, which can be easily read within the timeframe.  The session will have some structure but also enough flexibility so that the participants can truly express themselves fully. Zoom allows for smaller groups to be formed within the class, so that participants can have plenty of talking time during the session. Students will have the opportunity to meet different, likeminded people who enjoy discussing and exchanging ideas. The teacher will supervise and guide the discussion, she will be available to help and to clarify any items of language if required.

The programme will be carefully selected. It will include contemporary authors such as Stefania Auci, Antonio Tabucchi, Dacia Maraini, Lorenzo Maroni, Elsa Morante, Alessandro Baricco and so on.

For the current programme please click on current course schedule.

This class is once a month, the session lasts for 1.5 hours. You can book each session separately or you can book a bundle of 5 lessons and get a discount. The maximum number of students per session is 10 and we will operate a waiting list if necessary. Students wishing to participate will need to have read the pages of the book chosen for that session, beforehand. After booking their session, students will receive a Zoom link to access their room.

To book follow the link and choose your session/s here:
Book Club on Zoom

For further information and any question you might have, please email: or phone: +44 7941 092593 (UK number).

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La misteriosa cassetta di kiwi (livello A2)

italian kiwi

Italian kiwi

Ecco un’altra puntata del nostro blog. Questo può essere complementare alla vostra lezione di italiano (Italian class). Può aiutarvi a capire la cultura italiana (Italian culture) e la lingua italiana (Italian language).

I kiwi misteriosi

Oggi sono scesa di sotto e fuori dalla porta ho trovato una cassetta di kiwi. Che sorpresa! Ma chi li avrà lasciati? Forse mio marito è andato al mercato? Forse è un regalo? Oppure, li ho comprati io e poi li ho dimenticati fuori? Sto perdendo la memoria? Continua a leggere per scoprire la risposta.

Il trasferimento

Sono italiana, ma vivo a Londra da decenni, sono sposata con un uomo inglese e abbiamo due figli. Recentemente ci siamo trasferiti in un piccolo paese dove vivono ancora i miei fratelli e dove anche noi abbiamo una casa.

A Londra non c’è più nessun membro della nostra famiglia, nè di quella inglese, nè di quella italiana. C’è un fratello di mio marito ma abita lontano. Quindi i nostri figli normalmente non vedono il resto della nostra famiglia, tranne quando siamo in vacanza in Italia.

Ora che ci siamo trasferiti, mio fratello, o come lo chiamiamo in casa, lo zio Enrico, ci fa spesso delle sorprese.

Siamo fortunati, visto che quest’anno ha deciso di prendere un anno sabbatico. Mio fratello è single, così ogni settimana viene a pranzo da noi e poi gioca con i bambini. Ridiamo e raccontiamo vecchie storie della nostra famiglia. Usiamo il nostro lessico familiare*, un linguaggio nostro che solo una persona della famiglia può capire. Alle volte basta una smorfia o un movimento delle mani, per capire di cosa o chi si stia parlando.
Un giorno sono scesa di sotto e ho trovato una cassetta di kiwi. Ecco che lo zio dopo aver raccolto i kiwi dalle sue piante, li ha lasciati fuori dalla nostra porta di casa per farci una sorpresa.
Grazie zio Enrico!

Nel nostro prossimo blog scriveremo un aggiornamento divertente sul fatto di non avere ancora il medico di famiglia. A venerdì!

*Lessico Familiare è un libro scritto da Natalia Ginsburg, lo consiglio agli studenti di lingua italiana, in quanto relativamente facile da leggere ma soprattutto molto bello.

Annunceremo il nostro prossimo blog sulla pagina Facebook:

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Learning Italian: It only takes a 1000 words

learn 1000 italian words

Learn 1000 Italian words

The other day, I came across this bit of information which I thought was really interested: it only takes a 1000 high frequency words to understand most of what is said ordinarily in a foreign language, in fact between 80% and 95% of what is saidConsidered from a complete beginners’ point of view, it makes learning a language less daunting and very achievable. This information was in fact part of a British Council campaign a few years ago. 

However, we know that a language is made up of a vast amount of lexis; it is estimated that the Italian language has around 470,000 words and if you think that this is a great deal, consider that the English language is estimated to include around 1 million! So why is it possible to get by in a language with only 1000 words?  

Learn 1000 Italian words: Our everyday language is actually quite simple and incredibly predictable.

Therefore, we can predict the language used in a wide range of basic situations by the context and therefore, a few keywords can reveal the meaning of full sentences. That is why the more confident a student is and the more s/he will try to understand also by predicting the meaning. 

If however, even acquiring 1000 words feels daunting and you feel like you are forgetting the new words as fast as you are learning them, let me give you a few tips on how to learn them more effectively. First of all, language has meaning in context. This means that it is more effective to learn new words presented in a dialogue or text or by recording them in families rather than randomly

Also, reading lists over and over is not an effective way of remembering these. 

Words needs to be anchored within your existing knowledge. This is easier that it sounds and it can be fun. For example let’s take the word cucchiaio, which means spoon, the first part of the word is pronounced as in ‘cook’ so here we would suggest to think of a cook with a spoon in his hands. 

In our classes we teach these techniques and more. Our new online classes starts soon, please see our courses on this site. For more information or for a free assessment, please email:, phone me on 07941 092593 or visit