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Interested in learning Italian? Rocket Italian is an at home learning program that can take you from a simple “Ciao!” to confidently speaking phrases useful for your trip to Italy in a matter of weeks. You’ll have a charming accent too!
In this article I’ll take you step by step through what to expect if you go ahead and purchase the Rocket Italian program. I’ll be mentioning some of the key features, and what I think works and what isn’t so great. If you want to follow along and check the course our for yourself, you can access their free trial program (no credit card required).
Rocket Italian has recently been updated for 2021 with some exciting new features that we cover in this article.
Rocket Italian review summary
Easily the best and most convenient way to learn Italian at home. I learned so many words and phrases but best of all I got the accent and pronunciation right so people understand what I say. It’s a huge confidence booster before to my trip to Italy.
What is Rocket Italian?
Rocket Italian is a comprehensive online language course and app that teaches you how to learn Italian at your own pace. Using techniques to help you build your vocabulary, pronunciation and confidence quickly, Rocket Italian is available on a browser or learning app. So you can learn at home or on the go.
There are three tiers of language proficiency:
- Level 1 – Perfect for travelers, this set of lessons takes you from beginner to intermediate. When you complete this level you can speak good conversational level Italian.
- Level 2 – Do you want to have deeper conversations in Italian or perhaps conduct some business? Then Level 2 is the right stage for you. With lessons on how to conduct a professional phone call and tell a few jokes, you’ll be chattering away like a local in no time.
- Level 3 – If you want to take your Italian to the next level then choose the advanced program. We haven’t got this far yet but it promises to help you navigate complex business conversations, use less common but useful Italian phrases and conjugate verbs like a pro.
Every lesson in each of the three levels is structured and grouped into logical real life situations. On completing the lesson you complete a quiz so you can track your progress.
How does it help you learn Italian
There is no better way to learn Italian than to immerse yourself in daily life in Italy. But, we think Rocket Italian is the next best thing and a great way to get you started on your Italian language journey. The team at Rocket Languages use a range of different techniques to accelerate your progress and make sure you sound the part. Here’s how they do it:
Interactive audio lessons
Each level has several modules that cover a variety of conversational topics useful for travel or day to day scenarios. You listen to a conversation between two characters – Alex (an American) and Maria (an Italian) – and follow along watching the words and listening for how to speak them.
Once you’ve listened a few times then it’s your turn to try. The first step is to try speaking individual words into the voice recognition tool until you get them right. Then you can try joining in the conversation by taking the part of Alex or Maria. This really gets you thinking on the spot so you train yourself to recall the words in the context you would use them in real life.
In the 2021 edition of Rocket Italian the interactive audio lessons now have subtitles adding an additional level of reinforcement. You can read and hear the words at the same time.
Honestly this is the main difference I see between Rocket Italian and other at home language programs I have tried. Yes you can practise voice recognition with Duolingo and other free tools but they do not offer the conversational context that is so important in mastering language and building your confidence.
Language and culture lessons
This area covers grammar and cultural context which is where many language programs focus. And if I’m honest, this is where things can get a little boring. But not with Rocket Italian. Once again, the learning is broken down into manageable sections and you have the opportunity to speak the words and practise in typical situations.
Rocket Italian also provides cultural context and suggestions on how to start immersing yourself in the language without actually being in Italy. By focusing on the practical use of words and phrases and their context, the lessons are much more interesting that a dry textbook.
Each level of Rocket Italian comes with bonus audio survival lessons. These are like a podcast format where you hear Alex and Maria discuss certain situations in both English and Italian, stopping to explain words and context. At the end of each lesson there are reinforcement activities to help you remember the meaning and pronunciation of the words you learnt. You can download these lessons so you can listen on the go.
Now I think we all know that practise and repetition are key to making any language stick. Rocket Italian comes with several inbuilt tools to reinforce your learning and accelerate your progress:
- Virtual flashcards with audio – help with the visual recognition and spelling of words in Italian PLUS they are spoken so you’re picking up the accent and pronunciation at the same time
- Audio repetition – you listen to the instructor and repeat the words. Audio recognition checks for pronunciation
- Listening – you listen to the audio and type into the tool what you hear
- Quiz – multiple choice questions to help you remember vocabulary and phrases
In the 2021 update, new lessons are more structured and comprehensive than they were previously, and have “Action Replay” sections that summarize the lesson. We really appreciate the ongoing commitment to improvement and listening to client feedback to improve the product.
Some really neat features I only recently found are the ability to search for specific words within the Rocket Italian site and app, save vocabulary you want to remember and also to make your own notes. This is really handy if you want to go back to a particular scenario or remember certain words. It saves lots of time scrolling and searching.
If you need some help along the way there is a forum you can access online with answers to frequently asked questions and the ability to ask your own questions.
Tracking your progress
Do you like to know how you are tracking in your learning compared to an established plan? Rocket Italian has you covered. You can test your knowledge with quizzes available for each lesson and also take a benchmark test regularly to check your progress. If you have a competitive streak then Rocket Italian has a points system which shows you where you are on their learning leaderboard. I should point out that you can you all or none of these tools depending on what suits you best.
Who is Rocket Italian suitable for?
Anyone motivated to start learning Italian at their own pace. Rocket Italian’s interactive learning style is a great approach to build your confidence speaking in real life situations. You can walk off the plane and confidently order a gelato in Italian as soon as you set foot in Rome.
This is a very convenient way to learn Italian without leaving your home. Because the app and tools are interactive and fun you can make a lot of progress in a short amount of time.
If you’re taking a weekly face to face class using the Rocket Italian tools will help reinforce what you learn in class and keep up your momentum during vacation time.
And not suitable for…
Rocket Italian is not for you if you need the structure of a face to face or regular course to keep you motivated. With this approach your progress is completely up to you and the amount of time you dedicate to learning and practising Italian. So you’ll need to schedule that in to your day rather than relying on a regular meeting event set by a class or school.
The most useful features of Rocket Italian including voice recognition do require internet access. So if you were planning to learn offline then you would not be making the most of your investment. You can however download the content in pdf and audio formats as required.
Lastly, as a parent, I am always on the lookout for useful tools to help my kids learn Italian too. Rocket Italian is definitely useful for those aged from 15 and above. If you’re looking for a resource to help younger children (under 7) learn Italian try the Muzzy language program developed by the BBC.
What could be done better
For an online at home language course, I think Rocket Italian is a brilliant product. If you’re the type of person who prefers to buy products at a store and talk to a sales person unfortunately you can’t purchase the program this way.
If you want to learn offline you lose access to some of the most useful features which do require internet access.
How much does it cost?
Pricing for Rocket Italian depends on the number of levels of proficiency you want to buy. Lifetime access to Level 1, suitable if you want to get a reasonable understanding before a trip to Italy, is priced at $US 149.95. Each subsequent level is also $149.95. Given the results you can achieve and the amount of content included, we think this represents incredible value.
Example – Level one has 132 hours of lesson time, 2240 phrases with voice recognition, 33 interactive audio lessons, 33 language and culture lessons and a bonus survival kit with 10 audio recordings.
You can also take advantage of a 6 monthly payment program if you prefer not to pay upfront.
Rocket Italian Free Trial
There are many ways to learn Italian but you need to find the one that works best for you. Fortunately, Rocket Italian has a very generous free trial program so you can trial their approach before you decide that you want to purchase it. The free trial gives you unlimited access to 10 of the 150 lessons available on levels one to three of the program plus a 7 day email course that shares tips and techniques for learning Italian.
You can test out the interactive audio and language and culture lessons as well the reinforcement techniques for yourself so you can make your purchase with complete confidence. Try the program as a guest user (no email address required) or with the extra support of a full trial. In this case you will need to provide your email address but no credit card is required.Click here to access the Rocket Italian free trial
Summary – Rocket Italian review
Rocket Italian is a modern and fun way to learn Italian at your own pace at home. With fun audio capability and realistic scenarios to practise, you’ll be well on your way to speaking the language of love before your first trip. Or, improving your conversational skills for the future!
As the program offers a free trial, lifetime access and a 60 refund guarantee, you can try it out with minimum risk. Access the free trial and see if this learning approach is right for you. Or, if you are already convinced, check out the latest deals so you can start straight away. You’ll be saying “Lo adoro!” (I love it) in no time.