Apart from selling everything you have and moving to Italy immediately, avoid bilingual language books; these only reinforce your existent knowledge of English. Find manuals, dictionaries, and exercises that are in Italian only. Finding a dictionary in Italian only (e.g., lo Zingarelli minore) will be your first key. Stream Italian radio broadcasts and listen to them as though they were your constant background music--or your mother's voice from the womb. From your location as given, you are in a large American city, so perhaps there are some native Italian speakers there? Find one to engage in conversation with as a tutor on a regular basis. The main thing is to give up translated English meaning as a supporting crutch and to learn Italian itself. (Note: my observations are based on my own adult experiences with learning French as a second language, as a result of my wife being French.)
Last edited by Alum of Potash; 02-17-2012 at 10:30 PM.
Wales is not like Arkansas in any way (with apologies to John Cale).