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Training Package

Module 2

Table of Contents

Section 3
The use of Social media, Apps, Videogames and Web games to enhance language teaching effectiveness and attractiveness

In this section we will provide examples of how web sites, social media, apps etc. can be applied to increase language teaching effectiveness and attractiveness, with special regard to LSP.
Within the perspective of “media as environment” (Rivoltella 2018), resources as web portals, web communities, company intranets and social media (e.g., Facebook, Instagram etc.) are “places” for sharing contents, obtaining services, meeting people. An example in this regard can be the web site The Research and Action Group on Language Learning (GRAAL - University of Rome 3) – described below - that is a space for methodological discussion and reflection for teachers and researchers, where teaching and applied research come together and support each other.
Within the perspective of “Media as a connective tissue” (Rivoltella 2018), we as teachers suggest the following environments and strategies, such as online communication, community of practice, meaningful language use and language teaching with social media, to develop written and oral comprehension, as well as oral and written interaction. Some examples in this regard can be blogs and social media, which can serve the purpose of sharing tips, best practices and information on topics that interest the members of the community and asking and/or providing support to each other through comments. These characteristics lend themselves well to the aim of establishing a community of learners. An example in this regard can be the social media pages of the Goethe Institut (see below). Blogs and social media can also provide examples of a meaningful use of language, since users can read, listen and add comments on a given topic and by doing so they can access and participate in textuality (see, described below). This latter objective is also shared by the use of websites for teaching purposes, a good example in this regard are news websites (see, described below) and, in particularly, the social media pages of Deutsche Welle (DW), i.e., Germany’s international broadcaster (see also the description below).
Games may also be suited for additional practice and reinforcement of skills in language learning by pairing them with more structured or formal learning materials. This strategy will provide a well-rounded learning experience within a motivating, enjoyable and creativity boosting context. As teachers, we suggest alternating game apps, to more formal study, since Language Learning Games are a good way to keep active the language learning process. Moreover, games may help strengthening the memorisation process of words, conjugations and language structures. In this regard, the resource (described below) can be provided as an example.
To conclude, we also suggest podcasts as supports for language learning. Given their nature as audio products, they can easily serve as a support for the enhancement of listening skills or even for integrated skills, if accompanied by transcripts. As learning material, podcasts offer up-to-date content (in audio format or both in written and audio format) and authentic native voices. This means that they can be used for listening comprehension activities, deepening knowledge of a given topic (meaningful language use) and practising pronunciation. In this regard, examples will be provided in the sections on the operative tool and on the case study.

Online Resources

Elävä Suomenlinna / Living Suomenlinna
The teaching material is an 8-part podcast series that can be applied to joint or autonomous contact or distance learning. It is in PDF format based on the podcast. Its tasks are suitable for multidisciplinary teaching e.g., courses related to culture, tourism, landscape, sea and city.

Deutsche Welle Community D
Deutsche Welle (DW) is Germany’s international broadcaster. “Community D” offers interactive learning opportunities on diverse social media channels ranging from podcasts and music videos to telenovelas within a didactic environment.

Kostenlos Deutsch üben
The Goethe-Institut is the Federal Republic of Germany’s cultural institute. “Kostenlos Deutsch üben” is an online platform, providing German learners with a wide range of learning opportunities, such as online games, a travel guide, an online community, and telenovelas – designed for language learning.

The Research and Action Group on Language Learning (GRAAL – University of Rome 3)
A virtual space hosting research projects and teaching materials on language learning and teaching. It is a place for discussion and self-training for teachers and researchers.

Italiano della Finanza
A blog addressed to students and professionals interested in exploring L2/LS Italian of finance (B2 – onwards). Contents are published weekly and include articles with vocabulary /grammar activities, podcasts with transcriptions and a thematic newsletter.

Easy Italian News
It offers a collection of news from the main Italian newspapers. Texts have been adapted for L2/LS Italian learners and are accompanied by the corresponding audio files.

Conjuguemos- Let's conjugate
It is a user-friendly community-sourced site, offering games for language learning. Almost all the activities were created and shared by teachers around the world.

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