lunedì 26 maggio 2008

teaching Italian Blog

I'd like to share with you this example of a didactic blog: it has been created as a teaching resource for the Italian language and culture by the Babilonia Center for language and Culture in Taormina, and represents in my opinion a very good example of a blog not only for the teaching of a language but also of its cultural aspects.

It's full of fresh ideas, and the activities are involving and stimulating

Have a go! :-))


martedì 20 maggio 2008

Pocahontas - Colors Of The Wind (Asiatic Multilanguage)

leggenda controversa

produzione americana
doppiaggio asiatico

fa un certo effetto di straniamento, non trovate?

The Future of the English Language

an interesting video about English as a global language... and the comments left on the website are as interesting ;-)

domenica 16 marzo 2008

Frank Mc Court plays harmonica

for those who love Frank Mc Court... an unusual view...

venerdì 14 marzo 2008

a new-born wiki...

... and still in progress... but fun to experiment!

there's a story to create, if you feel like to have a creative collaborative break ;-)


domenica 9 marzo 2008

sabato 8 marzo 2008

Teaching language and culture: which culture? whose culture?

I have recently become particularly interested in the relationship between language teaching and the culture - or civilisation - aspects connected to it. Very often the representation of culture we find in textbooks are quite fixed and at times also stereotyped, not always corresponding to the actual complexities of the different communities making up a society and using a language. However, textbooks are and remain for a number of reasons one of the main tools used in our classrooms as a support to learning.

Also, referring to the debate on the use of English as a Lingua Franca as the use of this language in communication amongst non- natives is increasing, questions about ownership should not only be referred to the language itself, but – and even more – to culture. If the people who use a language have the right to appropriate it and to influence the way in which it is used, and if English as a lingua franca is increasingly used as a means of communication amongst people belonging to different cultures, it would therefore seem appropriate to include in the language lesson a reflection centred on different cultures, not only on the traditional “target language” one.

Moreover, the cultures our students are familiar with while using English to communicate are generally “pop cultures”, and they are often part of communities of practice – most of the times technological ones, but not only – where English is a privileged medium of communication alongside with Italian or other mother tongues.

Which culture should we then be introducing in the language classroom in order to a) actively involve our students both cognitively and emotionally b) motivate them by “bringing (their) real life” and world in our didactic activities, c) teach intercultural skills alongside with language?

The following video, spotted by the dear collegue Dani Millini, presents in my opinion an opening vision in this perspective, as the blog practice presented in the students’ voice includes the above aspects and many more: improving language skills alongside with learning about cultures, using blog activities to get to know classmates, more motivation in learning than from a textbook or from an article, active and personal exchange of opinions, ideas and suggestions, just to quote a few.

So… could blog spaces be an alternative to fixed activities in textbooks to appropriate culture and to make it more meaningful… and how? Looking forward to your comments and suggestions