More questions about Beginner content

To prevent Steve from flying to Sofia to yell at me (just kidding), I am looking carefully at what kind of Beginner 1 content has been provided in other languages than Italian.
I have just seen a German collection about the alphabet, with the pronunciation of the whole alphabet in the first lesson and then one lesson for every letter. In French, there are many lessons about grammar.
What kind of Beginner 1 content would you like to find in the Italian library, or what kind of Beginner content do you usually look for (in case you are learning or have learnt a language from the very beginning with Lingq)?
Please, no answers like “Look at what Vera did” because I don’t feel like browsing dozens of pages of lessons (by the way, great job, Vera!)…

Hi Michele, I would quite like to see some basic dialogues about basic topics, lessons that are no longer than 5 minutes, for example:
This would allow learners to learn phrases about certain topics and may allow them to start having basic conversations about the topic.

Hi Michele, before I became a member of LingQ I used an English beginner book, and that brought me the ideas for my beginner series.

You should keep in mind, that Beginners need:

  • Short dialogues (or, if not possible, short descriptions or stories)
  • Spoken not to fast
  • Spoken clearly
  • Preferably staying in one time (present tense or past tense)
  • No ‘filler’ words (or only a few)

Consider what make sense to learn as a beginner?
Example: Meeting people, family relationship, asking for things, numbers, alphabet, fruits, vegetable, months, days …

My main beginner collections are “Ab jetzt lerne ich Deutsch! German Now!” and “Vera’s diary for beginners”. The other collections are for Beginner 2, Intermediate and Advanced students.

As far as I can see there are only the usual LingQ lessons for Beginners. It would be great to have more lessons.

You can be creative, and develop own ideas. Or you can follow Steve’s advice, and get some ideas by browsing the beginner content in different languages. It’s up to you :slight_smile:


The great thing about LingQ is that everyone can create what they want. You can look at what others are doing and copy, or just ignore them and do our own thing.

My advice, which you are free to ignore, is the following.

  1. Make all beginner lessons short, less than one minute long.
  2. Make the lessons part of a longer story, so that interest is sustained.
  3. Do not worry too much about introducing “everyday vocabulary” that fits certain topics. Rather focus on making your story interesting.
  4. Try to repeat certain patterns every now and again.
  5. Don’t worry to much about whether you are introducing more complicated structures.
  6. Keep sentences short.
  7. Have a lot of questions and answers, so that the same elements are repeated in the answers. If you produce a monologue, just ask yourself rhetorical questions. “Why did I go to Sofia? I went to Sofia for my work.” Do I like Sofia. That is a difficult question. I like some things, and I don’t like other things" etc.

You did a great job with an Italian in Sofia. I would produce a simplified version, 25 episodes, one minute long, slowly getting longer and more difficult, and as you did before, lead the listener on with “to find out what happened, listen to the next episode.”

Thanks everyone for all your opinions… even if I feel a bit confused now! I had already considered making a simplified version of an Italian in Sofia and I may do it.
Vera and Steve, I will certainly keep your advice in mind when I write my beginner lessons.

I had not seen Vera’s comments when I made mine but I think hers is excellent advice. Where I would disagree is on the need to stick to one tense. This is very difficult to do, without making the stories very uninteresting. I think you can introduce more than one tense, but just make sure that you repeat these patterns. But that is only my view, and everyone should follow their own inclinations on this.

I agree with Vera on keeping the filler words to a minimum. There are hard to remember as a beginner.

As mentioned above simple dialogues about different topics (dialogues are good to get to know how to begin basic conversations and natural speech) or short texts in order to know the way to express oneself and tell about our everyday life, work, hobbies, etc. What I also like to study in another language was some short texts about different areas or town. Why do you not make us travel throughout Italia? :smiley:
Daily life dialogues and a travel in Italia would be great!
Thanks Michele.

I have shared my first beginner lesson from “An Italian in Sofia”. Here is the link to the collection:
Any feedback will be appreciated.

Marianne, I had already thought about a collection on Italy, but I would find it difficult to write these lessons at a beginner level…

Yes, you’re right. I thought about it afterwards. I could be of an intermediate level…
But if you create one, which is not long and spoken not too fast, I would enjoy it a lot.

Michele, it is a fantastic lesson and I really enjoyed reading it. I really enjoyed this lesson, I think I might even study them as my first steps in Italian.

Thanks for your support, Harry! I’m glad you enjoyed it. I may record another one before going to bed.

I have just started writing the second lesson for beginners, but I’m faced to the problem of having to use past tenses (present perfect and imperfect). Would it be ok? Or how else can I do?

In my experience it is difficult to avoid using the perfect tense or other tenses, and even the subjunctive, if you want keep the story interesting. I would not worry about it. Just keep the sentences short and do a fair amount of repeating of words and patterns.

Michele, I wrote “Preferably staying in one time”. It is not a must. If an interesting story needs more than one tense it’s fine. As Steve said, don’t worry to much. Repeating words and patterns is a very good advice too.