Begin or continue your study of the Italian language with Sentieri Italiani! Our Italian language classes use a communicative approach incorporating listening, writing and conversation. Classes are organized around challenging and interesting topics that are structured to provide the insight needed for students to achieve fluency.
Class discussions are lively and engaging and combine the best of both worlds — high academic standards and a friendly community setting. There are classes for all levels of students, whether you are just starting out or you are already conversational.
We will work with you to help select the class level that best matches your level of language competency and meets your personal goals.
Sentieri’s classes are meant to be taken sequentially.
Therefore, if you have never taken an Italian class, you need to register for the BASIC 1 course.
Sentieri’s Textbook Procedure
The most efficient way to get textbooks out to everyone is to
have our students order their own textbooks online.
The titles of the books and links to purchase can be found under the individual class listings.
First-year basic courses cover grammar including articles, present and past verb tenses, prepositions and pronouns. Listening, writing and conversation exercises will have you speaking Italian in your first year!
Intermediate courses focus on building a higher-level vocabulary and grammar including combined pronouns, advanced verb tenses and idioms. New students can join our second-year program provided that their previous studies have covered basic grammar. Intermediate and Conversation classes are structured by level and are not a series. New students can join these classes at any point during the year and will join the group in progress. If you are not sure of your level, please contact email@example.com to determine which class you should join.
Advanced courses continue to focus on building a higher-level vocabulary and grammar including combined pronouns, more advanced verb tenses and idioms. New students can join our advanced program provided that their previous studies have covered basic and intermediate grammar.
These courses are taught at five different levels: Conversation 1, Conversation 2, Conversation 3, Conversation 4 and Book Club. They are for students who have had at least three years of formal Italian instruction. We stimulate conversation with advanced textbooks, film excerpts, newspaper articles, short stories and cultural materials that emphasize Italy’s current events. New students should have a minimum of three years of advanced study. The most advanced conversational group and book club are comprised of students with at least five years of experience. Intermediate and Conversation classes are structured by level and are not a series. New students can join these classes at any point during the year and will join the group in progress. If you are not sure of your level, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to determine which class you should join.
Sentieri Italiani provides group classes, semi-private lessons and private tutoring for students for both adults and children. Whether you are attending group classes or working with an instructor one-on-one, you will find our approach highly professional, creative and energetic, and your learning experience filled with fun. Sentieri’s salon-like setting is intimate and relaxed. Don’t be surprised when you hear the hissing of the steam from the espresso machine or the pop of a cork!
Group classes: 8 to 12 students — classes run for 10 weeks for two hours
(except for summer, when we offer a five-week program)
Italian Certification Programs
Sentieri Italiani offers a preparation course for the Certification of Italian as a Foreign Language (CILS).
The CILS exam offers non-Italians the opportunity to test their proficiency in Italian and receive an official designation of their level of linguistic competency. Certification is awarded by the Università per Stranieri di Siena and is recognized by the Italian Government on the basis of an agreement with the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The CILS exam takes place at DePaul University, Department of Modern Languages twice a year, in June and December.
New students, please call us at 872.202.4639 to inquire about registration.
What people are saying about group Italian classes at Sentieri
“We are Lisa and Bill, husband and wife. We have been learning Italian at Sentieri together for 2 years. We had no previous study, but today we can certainly get any everyday matters across in the language, although we do not promise the Italian is perfect. That’s pretty fast. We’d like to think we are geniuses, but the Sentieri teachers deserve the credit. They know how to get class members speaking out in Italian without any apprehension. “Just say it and don’t worry” is the attitude. The classes are great fun, like a group of friends getting together. And amidst the fun, they teach a lot about the language. If you want to learn Italian and have great fun doing it, we highly recommend.” — Lisa and Bill Cleveland
“I signed up for my first class at Sentieri three years ago, and since then the charming school on Broadway near Bryn Mawr has become a sort of second home and cultural center for me. It’s the place I go to improve my Italian, and also watch Italian movies on Friday nights, check out books, and participate in everything from book clubs to Chicago blues evenings with fellow Sentieri students. The Advanced Conversation class I take every Wednesday night allows me to practice my Italian in a relaxed atmosphere; its combination of reading exercises and spirited conversation keeps the learning fun. I recommend Sentieri to everyone who has been to Italy and loves it, as well as to everyone who loves it but has yet to make the trip!” — Natalia Nebel
“During most of my seventy-plus years of life, because of my profession (music teacher), I have had to spend a good deal of time and effort studying language. My faulty grasp of English grammar had always limited my ability to gain much fluency until I began classes at Sentieri Italiani. The excellence and professionalism of the teaching, the creativity of the approach and the supportive atmosphere have been a revelation to me. I find myself not only able to understand spoken Italian for the first time in my life, but to be able to converse with others and read printed material with facility and enjoyment. The atmosphere of encouragement and the helpfulness of the faculty have enabled me to make more progress in less than a year than I ever had even in several years of study before. I love the classes and thoroughly enjoy every hour I spend in this really remarkable school. I am beginning to think that my long hoped for trip to Italy as a tourist who can speak the language is really going to be possible.” — Dr. Ronald Combs, Professor Emeritus, Northeastern Illinois University
“Sentieri Italiani è un’oasi nel deserto. Le lezioni sono sia di ottima qualità sia divertenti. C’è una varietà di sentieri per imparare con insegnanti bravi — la conversazione, il film, la musica e la grammatica. Ci sono anche gli eventi sociali che offrono l’opportunità di parlare la lingua ed incontrare nuove persone interessanti. Sentieri Italiani è un posto speciale dove si può avere un’ autentica esperienza italiana!” — Bernadette Battaglia
“Es con muchisimo gusto que recomiendo Sentieri Italiani como el mejor centro educacional, cultural y social donde aprender la bellisima lengua italiana. Hace unos anos comence a estudiar italiano en Sentieri recomendada por una amiga a quien le estare eternamente agradecida ya que mi experiencia en esta institucion ha sido la mejor que he tenido en mi carrera estudiantil de idiomas. Sentieri cuenta con los mejores profesores cuya lengua materna es el italiano, profesores titulados en la esenanza de idiomas con un conocimiento total de la gramatica, literatura, cultura y por supuesto, atracciones turisticas de Italia. Continuo asistiendo a Sentieri porque como con cualquier idioma es necesario practicarlo, utilizarlo, vivirlo, gozarlo para tener verdadero dominio de la lengua. Sentieria proporciona experiencias que cubren todos los aspectos, se aprende y se disfruta la bella y divertida cultura italiana. Se hacen fiestas, excursiones a teatros, restaurantes, museos, visitas a univeridades donde se presentan personajes famosos quienes nos amplian el conocimieto de la filosofia, politica y pasion de Italia. Si tienen interes en aprender italiano de una forma facil, divertida, espontanea con profesores competentisimos y muy profesionales Sentieri es la mejor seleccion.” — Livia Gutierrez