You'll find plenty of beginner-friendly language courses out there, but not many as detailed and comprehensive as the Uncovered series from Olly Richards (I Will Teach You a Language). Honing in on the StoryLearning method, the Uncovered language courses aim to improve your language skills by, you guessed it, telling you a story.
In this review, I'll be diving into the Italian version of Uncovered to give you an in-depth look at everything this course can offer you. From a breakdown of the course materials to what I find great, and slightly disappointing, about the course, I cover it all.
The other Uncovered courses: German, French, Japanese, and Spanish follow the same storytelling model so if you got on well with these, you'll have no problem getting to grips with Uncovered Italian.
Hopefully, by the end of this post you will have learnt enough to answer the question: “Is Italian Uncovered worth it?”
Let's get to work.
Table of Contents
Who is Italian Uncovered for?
Italian Uncovered is perfect for beginners who are happy with self-study learning. This means you can start this course without any prior knowledge of the Italian language.
If you have some experience with Italian, this is also a great course to go for.
The course corresponds roughly to the CEFR levels of A0-B1. In simple terms, this means complete beginner to lower intermediate level.
Not a beginner? Check out my review of Grammar Hero instead, which is suitable for intermediate learners of Italian.
The StoryLearning method
What is the StoryLearning method?
Olly Richards always loved learning through books and stories, so when he started creating books and courses himself he used stories as a pivotal part of the products.
Recently he started using the name “StoryLearning” to describe his methodology. Instead of teaching through rules and grammar, Olly's StoryLearning method allows you to immerse yourself in the language while enjoying a story.
Subliminally, you'll pick up vocabulary, grammar and other language specifics in a more natural manner.
The course contains 20 chapters that all follow a similar structure.
In the course, you'll be taught by Martina Scattolin, a native Italian tutor from Venice with a Masters degree in Language Sciences and Linguistics.
In each chapter, you'll explore a new part of a funny short-story called “The Man with the Hat” or in Italian: “L'uomo col capello“
The short story section is available in PDF and MP3, so you can listen to a native speaker reading it out while you follow along in the PDF.
Let's take a closer look into a chapter of the course, and see how the actual learning takes place.
How each chapter is structured
Here's what you'll be doing in every chapter of Italian Uncovered (all chapters follow the same structure.)
Let's break down each of these lessons:
A brief introduction to the module, as well as what you will learn in the chapter.
2. Read and Listen
In this lesson you'll be going through the next part of the short story “The Man with the hat“
In this lesson, you only read and listen to the Italian version.
3. Cognates and Translation
In this lesson, you get to see the English translation, and Martina takes you through a video lesson where you discover the most useful cognates of the chapter you just read in the short story.
P.S Cognates are words that share the same meaning in two or more languages.
You'll then take a quiz, reinforcing and testing what you've just learnt.
In this lesson, you learn some of the vocabulary that you were just introduced to in the short story. First, you can watch a short video before testing your skills with 17 pages of worksheets.
In this module, a few specific grammar points are explained using helpful examples from the text.
In this lesson native speaker Martina will appear on your screen to help you with your Italian pronunciation.
Being a self-study course, Uncovered doesn't feature any direct interaction with an Italian-speaking tutor or person.
The course compensates by providing a speaking lesson. The idea is to find a partner or your own tutor and use the material Unocovered provides to practic your speaking.
Simply take the document to your tutor, and you'll quickly be practising what you have just learnt!
Finally, the last part of each chapter is a test on how well you have understood the materials. There are also quizzes throughout the course for making sure you understand what's happening in the story.
Italian Uncovered: Price and Guarantee
What does Italian Uncovered cost?
Italian Uncovered costs $297 and comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
The guarantee allows you to try it out for a month. If, at the end of the 30 days, you're not enjoying the course, you can get a full refund, no questions asked.
This is a higher price than other beginner courses, but way cheaper than comparable in-person classes.
It's also a lifetime offer, so you don't have to keep paying monthly fees over and over to access the content like other subscription language services.
What I like
- Incredibly comprehensive with 100+ hours of study materials
- Working through the story is fun, and you really feel like you progress as the story gets harder.
- Probably the best Italian beginner's course out there today
- Lifetime access, no subscription required
What I don't like
- I'm not a huge reader in my native language, so using the StoryLearning method is a bit out of my comfort zone, however with the audio and video lessons dispersed throughout I'm OK with it.
- It's a significant investment and might be out of budget for many Italian learners.
- Doesn't have a way to practice speaking directly, but does provide resources to go over the materials with a tutor or speaker.
Italian Uncovered is one of the best Italian courses on the market today. The interactive story-based method features a very comprehensive curriculum that will get most people well into the upper beginner levels of Italian. Highly recommended.
If you follow the instructions and put in the hours, this course will help you to learn Italian – without a doubt.
It will take even complete beginners well past the upper beginner levels, if you do the materials according to the instructions.
There's really no reason not to give it a try, as it also comes with a 30 day no-questions asked refund guarantee.
I wouldn't recommend it to are people who struggle with self-motivation. You do have to put in the work yourself, and there's no teacher to make sure you actually do the work.
But, if you do and take the time to complete all 20 chapters, I promise you, your Italian will be amazing.
Questions and Answers
“Are there any Italian Uncovered discounts or coupons available?”
Unfortunately, there aren't any Italian Uncovered discounts or coupon codes available.
Olly Richards very rarely discounts his courses, so your best bet is to keep an eye out for the big seasonal sales such as Black Friday.
If you are part of the Actual Fluency email club I always email out when there are big sales you should check out.
Italian Uncovered Reviews
Here is a selection of reviews of Italian Uncovered, from people who have taken the programme:
“I've just begun, but, Italian Uncovered has quickly become my favourite online learning experiences.
Honestly, it's like having your brilliant best friend help tutor you in a new language!“Tivi
“I am so happy I found Italian Uncovered. “
“Italian Uncovered is totally different from the other courses I've tried, as one learns naturally. I always eager to find out what happens next in the story and I'm learning so much in such a short time.”
Italian Uncovered Alternatives
There aren't many comprehensive beginner-friendly Italian Courses out there that you can use to go from nothing to intermediate in Italian.
If money is an issue then I would consider looking into ItalianPod101, which you can start using for just a few dollars per month (or check your local library for free courses!)
For free solutions, I would use Duolingo, Memrise, or even YouTube! – they are pretty basic, mostly vocabulary-based apps – but they'll get you started nicely.
Other Italian products by Olly Richards
Conversations Italian – an intermediate course for practising listening and conversational ability.
Grammar Hero Italian – an intermediate course on how to learn the most tricky aspects of Italian grammar, uses a similar story-based format as Uncovered.
Book: Italian Short Stories for Beginners – Short stories in book format, with a free audiobook.
Italian Short Stories for Beginners Volume 2 – the continuation of the book series for intermediate learners.
101 Conversations in Simple Italian: Short Natural Dialogues to Boost Your Confidence & Improve Your Spoken Italian
101 Conversations in Intermediate Italian: Short Natural Dialogues to Boost Your Confidence & Improve Your Spoken Italian
I hope you enjoyed the Review! Have you tried Uncovered before?
Disclaimers and notes
From Kris Broholm, owner and founder of Actual Fluency.
Actual Fluency uses affiliate links throughout the site, which means that course owners pay a commission for each sale referred (at no additional cost to the buyer)
I Will Teach You a Language and Olly Richards had no say on this post, and no financial incentives were provided to promote this product (apart from the affiliate commission as mentioned above).
All information correct as of July 11th, 2021.
Kris is the founder of Actual Fluency, and has spent the last 8 years becoming an expert in language learning software, methods, and techniques.
Originally from Denmark, he now lives in Portugal and speaks 5+ languages at varying levels. His other interests are Wine, Online Marketing, and Travelling.