The resource was tested by the University of Bologna group
Number of students involved: 10 Level B2 from different disciplinary macro-areas
Number of lecturers involved: 1
Students worked autonomously on an individual questionnaire and a final written report containing a summative evaluation of the resource, including the degree of appreciation and motivation enhancement, the possible improvements of their language skills and the technical quality of the resource in terms of innovation, usability and accessibility.
All students appreciated 'Easy Italian News' very much in terms of:
- very interesting content of the proposed news, with lots of opportunities to learn specialized vocabulary. Moreover, the use of simplified versions of the original news enhanced motivation to learn new words in a more natural and direct way and contributed to ‘dispel the fear’ in learning a new language;
- the double input, written and oral, to improve reading and listening at the same time, enhancing learning and storing of words and structures;
- technical functionality: the clear interface and the wide format fit for mobile learning made the resource very easy to use. The site received a very high evaluation, as a user-friendly, safe and effective one;
- the opportunity to participate in a community of learners.
No negative aspects were noted by the students.
In the classroom context, the texts contained in the site are very good inputs to be used for teaching units based on topics covering current affairs, culture, society, etc.
At an operational level, teachers can start from listening comprehension activities and then move on the written text so students can verify the hypotheses made. Then grammar structures, vocabulary and culture specificities can be explored, according to students’ needs and proficiency level, as some of the content is complex, not only grammatically but also in terms of infrequently-used terms which, anyway, may be in daily use in Italy.
But the texts can be also be used for autonomous learning. The site contains a section called ‘advice’ where good tips and experience reports are provided, according to the learning style and proficiency level of Italian of users.
Capacity to match the needs of lecturers and students
The provided tangible improvements
The capacity to motivate students to improve their language skills
Effectiveness in introducing innovative, creative and previously unknown approaches to LSP learning
Measurement of the transferable potential and possibility to be a source of further capitalisation/application for other language projects in different countries
Skills assessment and validation
Availability of appropriate tools for lecturers to monitor students’ progress and for students to assess own progress and to reflect on learning
Flexibility of the contents and possibilities for the LSP lecturers to adapt the contents to their and to students’ need
Assess the technical usability from the point of view of the lecturer and the student
Assess the accessibility from the point of view of the lecturer and the student
The approach is very simple, it doesn't provide any particular tangible improvement to LSP teaching and learning but, thanks to the nice and interesting selection of news taken from the whole range of the Italian press and to the combination of audio file and written text, students may be motivated to use them. Moreover, the site includes also good and pesonalized advice for self-learning and encourages the learner to challenge herself even at lower levels of Italian.
In order to facilitate comprehension and metalinguistic reflection, the written texts are formatted by putting in a line words that are linked grammatically or in collocation: this creative method lends itself to be transferable to other languages and be a source of further application.
Website of the Teaching Source: