The FSI Italian Familiarization and Short-term Training Course (FAST) consists of two volumes and thirty lessons that have been prepared with accompanying audio recordings. It is important that the basic order of events be followed. Inverting the order, or skipping steps, will seriously diminish the pay-off to the lesson. Self-confidence is the ultimate goal of a FAST course. How the student comes to the language is as important as how much language is learned. The sequence indicated in the steps below has proved successful at FSI. Both instructors and students find this approach more natural, less arduous, and at least as productive as other approaches. It is worth trying.
Prior to in-class study, it has been found beneficial to give students a chance to become familiar with the new lesson. If the new lesson has Cultural Notes, they should be read as informational background first. Then, with a sample dialog on tape to take home and listen to, students "get acquainted" with the new situation and the new language they will be studying. Although the term 'get acquainted" means different things to different people, it should, at a minimum, include listening to the dialog, understanding what is being said, and reading the language-usage notes. Notice that the native speaker's part in the dialog is often somewhat fuller and richer than the American's part. This has been purposely done since students will be expected to interact with native speakers in conversations in which the latter use a level of speech higher than theirs and one which needs only to be understood rather than repeated.
Words and phrases are easier to understand and more easily recalled if they are learned in a "use" context. The setting described in this section will help students imagine where, when and with whom they will use the language they are about to study. Students take a moment to read the description in this section silently.
You can find the other volume of the FSI Italian FAST course here: FSI - Italian FAST Course - Volume 1
Italian (About this sound italiano or lingua italiana) is a Romance language spoken mainly in Europe: Italy, Switzerland, San Marino, Vatican City, by minorities in Malta, Monaco, Croatia, Slovenia, France, Libya, Eritrea, and Somalia, and by expatriate communities in the Americas and Australia. Many speakers are native bilinguals of both standardised Italian and other regional languages. According to the Bologna statistics of the European Union, Italian is spoken as a mother tongue by 59 million people in the EU (13% of the EU population), mainly in Italy, and as a second language by 14 million (3%). Including the Italian speakers in non-EU European countries (such as Switzerland and Albania) and on other continents, the total number of speakers is more than 85 million. In Switzerland, Italian is one of four official languages; it is studied and learned in all the confederation schools and spoken, as mother language, in the Swiss cantons of Ticino and Grigioni and by the Italian immigrants that are present in large numbers in German- and French-speaking cantons. It is also the official language of San Marino, as well as the primary language of Vatican City. It is co-official in Slovenian Istria and in Istria County in Croatia. The Italian language adopted by the state after the unification of Italy is based on Tuscan, which beforehand was a language spoken mostly by the upper class of Florentine society. Its development was also influenced by other Italian languages and by the Germanic languages of the post-Roman invaders.
Italian is spoken in: Italy
Italian is also called: Italiano