The Inner West Italian Conversation Group holds regular, informal meetings on the third Thursday of every month.

The meetings used to be held in Club Redfern, but have now moved to Redforno Pizzeria, at 157 Redfern Street.

Sitting in the back alcove section of the restaurant, attendees can munch on antipasti, fresh pasta and classic pizzas while testing out their ability to shoot the breeze in a foreign tongue.

It’s not uncommon for language-learners to spend a period of time in their chosen country to really familiarise themsleves with conversation and listening skills, in an all-immersive environment.

It can really speed up the language acquirement process.

But practicing conversation – no matter what level you are at – is an important alternative to spending time in the desired country.

By engaging in conversation, students get more exposure to the target language.

New vocabulary and grammar structures then become available for use.

Then, there’s the age-old adage: “Practice makes perfect!”

When talking to other people, the psychological processes involved in retrieving information and stringing sentences together become more automated.

Conversation is also a way for learners to become more aware of what they are capable in doing, and what they have yet to learn.

Take note, error correction is an important aspect in conversation practice.

If error correction does not occur, mistakes may become habitual and very difficult to break out of in the future.

One organiser of the Inner West Italian Conversation Group said: “Being of Italian background, I'm keen to maintain my Italian and enhance my vocabulary.”

“Conversation is without a doubt the best way to become a better speaker of Italian,” he added.

“Gatherings dedicated to speaking Italian can only enhance your confidence.”

Inner West Italian Conversation Group will gather at Redforno Pizzeria, Shop 1, 157 Redfern Street on Thursday, August 15 at 6:30 pm.

For more information visit the group’s website.