March 10, 2013
Skill Level Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
When I was studying Italian in 2009 and 2010, the Italian channel RAI was 554 in Manhattan with Time Warner Cable. I don’t know how much it costs currently, nor do I know what other cable companies you might be able to find it through, but I do think it is helpful—especially once you have some basic skills going for you—to watch television in your target language.
Things you might feel you had to justify watching under normal circumstances—random sporting events, singing competitions, talk shows—you can watch with impunity as long as the programming is in a foreign language.
I, for example, watched some of the Italian version of the pop-singing competition X Factor. The three singers I saw were quite bad. But it was an amusing experience nonetheless. I also watched some soccer. And, in both cases, idling there in front of the tube, I felt virtuous!