Some people have the fortune of a life that allows lots of travel, and for them, the best way to learn a language is, without a doubt, immersion in a country that speaks the language. For most of us, though, our careers or families keep us planted in one spot for most of the year. Still, that doesn't mean we can't learn a new language!
YouTube to the rescue!
The first thing we're going to need are authentic sounds and pronunciations that make up the language we're learning. If words like glottal and bilabial don't scare you, and if you're really committed, you can learn your sounds from tables and charts [note: actually, that page is worth a look] but it's so much easier when you can hear an authentic native speaker. So the first thing I did is head over to YouTube and search for Italian alphabet pronunciation. (This also works in French, German, Russian, or whatever other language you are studying.) There are plenty of results, and I'm not going to stop after just one. Find a good one and save it!
Don't forget your old pal, Google
You can also find some really interesting, and handy resources just by spending a few minutes on Google. Using the same simple keywords, I turned up several useful results, including CyberItalian, which offers pronunciations for letters as well as special letter combinations, and simple descriptions of some important grammar and pronunciation rules.
Okay, now that we've found the Italian alphabet (or whatever alphabet you are learning), it's time to practice those sounds. Watch your YouTube videos and repeat with the speakers. Next, we'll take a deeper look at those sounds, and a few spelling rules.
Want to see my favorite language resources and courses?
I listed them here.