Rocket Italian is a good, comprehensive and easy-to-use course that’s ideal for beginners and lower-intermediate students. It’s an independent learning resource that can definitely teach you how to speak and write Italian on its own.
A well-designed and user-friendly platform with solid materials.
There are lots of extra materials included in each lesson, but they’re too repetitive.
It’s not cheap, but it’s still affordable for most.
- The logical and clear structure of the modules and the lessons
- Downloadable materials
- Plenty of exercises and explanations
- It’s easy to keep track of your progress and check how good you are compared to other students
I Don’t Like
- Sometimes the recording feature doesn’t work
- The exercises are very repetitive
- The lessons are on the more boring side of things
For a one-off payment, Level 1 costs $99.95, Levels 1&2 cost $249.90 and all three courses purchased as a package are $259.90.
Rocket Languages has been given lots of awards, and many claim that it’s the best way to learn Italian.
But do these awards mean anything, and should we trust them?
No, I’m pretty sure they’re meaningless.
After all, these rewards are also present on the Rocket Chinese page, and that course was absolutely terrible — it received one of the lowest ratings I’ve ever given.
That’s why I was so surprised to find that Rocket Italian doesn’t suffer from the same problems as Rocket Chinese.
- The lessons are structured in a much more logical manner without throwing in advanced topics early on.
- The Chinese course had to deal with teaching learners how to write characters, of which they did a terrible job. Obviously, this isn’t needed in an Italian course.
- The technological side of the Rocket Languages apps seems to have improved since that review was written and more features have been added.
Rocket Italian is a user-friendly, feature-rich, useful learning platform. After spending some time on it and checking out its features, lessons, and exercises, it left me with a good feeling from a learner’s point of view.
What I liked the most about this platform was its very well-structured learning plan, which includes a logical lesson progression, a lot of information and sufficient exercises for practicing what you learn.
I believe it’s a good resource for beginners and intermediate learners.
This is an engaging course that covers lots of different areas
The first impression you get when you start looking over the lessons and the overall structure of Rocket Italian is that it’s simplistic, easy to learn from, and is quite broad.
Spread into audio lessons, language & culture lessons, and special vocabulary sheets, the platform seems well designed for learners looking to develop a solid foundation in Italian.
The modules each offer 8-10 lessons that are connected by topic and help the learners visualize a particular social context they could find themselves in — things like getting around in Italy, asking for directions and so on.
The structure of the modules and lessons is logical, meaning you start with very basic language items and gradually progress to more complex language.
I thought all of the lessons had sufficient practice opportunities for checking understanding, and they’re created in a way that’s engaging. There’s also plenty of downloadable material on the site, both text and audio files.
Get started quickly without a credit card
As with many resources out there, signing in is just a matter of submitting your email address and choosing a password.
You don’t need to submit any credit card details; there are no other obligations when you register.
The platform is extremely easy to browse through: the dashboard displays the levels available (beginner, intermediate, advanced), and each of these is further subcategorized into three main categories: audio lessons, language & culture lessons, and survival kit lessons.
The survival kit is basically a vocabulary building tool that’s split into various topics based on social contexts.
The modules that make up each level in Rocket Italian contain both interactive audio and language & culture lessons.
The structure of each module is quite comprehensive and extensive. You have the possibility to track your progress, and it’s easy to browse through the lessons.
As mentioned before, there are three levels available:
• Level 1 includes modules 1-6 + survival kit and review
• Level 2 continues from module 8 to 14 + survival kit and review
• Level 3 carries on with modules 16-21 + survival kit and review
Modules 7 and 15 are the review lessons that happen at the end of levels 1 and 2.
The Travelogue is a special section of the dashboard that offers some special additional lessons. It’s an extra learning section that can be purchased separately; it includes mostly audio lessons, but also has some practice exercises.
The last section of the dashboard is the My Tools category.
This one is divided into My Progress, Forum, My Benchmark, My Notes, and My Vocab.
These options allow you to save up information from your lessons, add notes to each lesson, find more information about the Italian culture and language in posts added by other people and track the progress that you are making with the modules.
My Progress – A great option for the competitive ones! You can set goals, watch the points of other students on the leaderboard and take tests to prove your skills.
Forum – Check out people’s posts and questions, and read language discussions.
My Benchmark – This is the placement test on Rocket Italian. Use it periodically to check your level and see how you’ve improved.
My Notes – Write anything you’d like to remember during your lessons at the bottom of the screen and it will be saved for you.
My Vocab – This is where you can save words from your lessons, creating your own little dictionary.
The lessons include exercises that test you in various ways
Each lesson has a complex structure, plenty of materials, and sufficient exercises for practicing what you’ve learned.
The way it’s designed is very user-friendly, enjoyable, engaging and rather fun to go through, especially when you get to have a conversation with your computer!
There are two main types of lessons: audio and language & culture. The structure they are built on is quite similar, but there are some differences that are worth mentioning.
Let’s take a look at what the audio lessons have to offer.
Each lesson has a brief description at the beginning along with shortcut icons that lead to the main sections of the lesson, the exercises: flashcards, hear it, write it, know it, and quiz. You can also download a full version of the lesson in a PDF file.
Each audio lesson starts with an interactive audio lesson of around 20 minutes where the teachers explain grammar rules, pronunciation, and cultural elements.
This is followed by a conversation section (a brief dialogue) that sums up the rules explained earlier. You can then listen to the lesson review and repeat the words you learned.
The Play it section allows the user to choose a role and get part of a virtual conversation, practicing vocabulary and pronunciation.
Extra Vocabulary is a list of bonus words; you can listen to them, record yourself and save the words under the My Tools section.
The Rocket Reinforcement is indeed a way to reinforce your knowledge. This is where you can practice most of what you’ve learned – there are plenty of reading, comprehension, writing and speaking exercises to complete here.
While these exercises provide you with tons of opportunities to practice what you’ve learned, my biggest complaint is that they can get very repetitive. Throughout the entire Rocket Italian course, you’ll be asked to do these same tasks over and over.
Examples of exercises in this section:
• Flashcards – Vocabulary training
• Hear it! – Listening and speaking exercise
• Write it! – Listening and writing exercise
• Know it! – Translating and speaking exercise
Each lesson ends with the My Notes section, where you can add ideas, mementos, or anything else you can think of! These get saved under the My Tools section for every single lesson.
The Language & Culture Lessons
These lessons have pretty much the same structure as the audio ones, but they place an emphasis on explanations of vocabulary and cultural elements.
They go into detail about word meanings and contexts as well as give information on grammar rules and language tips.
The culture part of each lesson talks about things like traditions, habits, cultural idiosyncrasies, and stereotypes. This includes many things people love about Italy: food, movies, celebrities and much more. I found this part of the lesson to be rich and extensive.
I must say I think Rocket Italian’s lessons are extremely helpful; they contain a lot of information and explanations, and they definitely can teach someone how to speak Italian.
Rocket Italian is always on sale?
Rocket Italian is not a monthly subscription — the courses are available for a one-off payment.
You can buy the levels separately or as a package deal. What surprised me about their plans was the fact that they offer 24/7 lifetime support (forum or email) once you become their client. They also have a 60-day money-back guarantee and free upgrades for life.
Although the levels 1, 2, and 3 package supposedly costs $449.85, I’ve never seen it not listed at a discounted price — $259.90 at the time of writing.
The same can be said for the level 1 which is listed for $149.95 but seems to be on constant sale for $99.95, and the level 1 and 2 package that has the original price of $299.90 but is always for sale for $249.90.
Rocket Italian is a pretty solid option that would certainly make a good choice for some learners, but it isn’t the only option. Let’s check out some more quality resources for learning Italian.
This one comes from Manu Venditti, a charismatic Italian teacher with more than 20 years of experience teaching the language. The lessons in his courses are engaging, extremely thorough, and designed to give you loads of active practice with Italian.
It isn’t the cheapest way to learn Italian, but serious learners will likely find a lot of value with the Italy Made Easy course. We’ve written a full review you can read here.
Another solid resource with an excellent course structure, the Pimsleur Italian course is full of audio lessons that will get you actively participating in the learning experience right away. The lessons require listeners to interact with the audio by repeating and answering questions frequently.
It’s a good option for learners that love audio lessons and want to get a bunch of practice listening to and producing the language right away. Visual learners that appreciate opportunities to practice reading and writing, however, may want to look elsewhere. Read our Pimsleur review here.
News in Slow Italian could be a good option for learners of Italian that like audio lessons but would prefer material that’s a bit more engaging than what you’ll find with Rocket Italian. You should be aware that the structure with this one won’t be as comprehensive as you’ll find with Rocket Italian.
The beginner course is structured like a play, and the intermediate level would make a good resource for someone looking to supplement their study with engaging lessons that they can pick and choose from. Here’s our full review of News in Slow Italian.
If you’re interested in a language-learning resource that offers more of a challenge, you may want to check out Italian Uncovered. The course used story-based learning to teach Italian, meaning it can be especially challenging for learners at lower levels, but it’s got a lot going for it.
Major advantages with this course are video explanations, practice worksheets and speaking practice activities that you could use with a language partner or tutor. Read the full Italian Uncovered review.
These are just a few of the many resources we’ve tried out for Italian. To see more, read about our favorite online Italian courses, the best podcasts for learning Italian, the top Italian apps, and some great YouTube channels for learning the language.
Rocket Italian Exceeded My Expectations
Rocket Italianis much better than I expected.
It’s not just the fact that the lessons are connected. They offer a clear structure, explain the information in detail and don’t confuse the learner at all.
The only real issue I have with the course is the repetitiveness of the Rocket Reinforcement exercises.
It might seem a bit pricey to some people, but I think it provides solid value in return. It covers grammar, vocabulary, and cultural elements and provides enough exercises to make learners feel confident about the progress they’re making with Italian.
Still not sure? Fortunately, the course is totally free to try out.