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Database of Teaching Sources

A database of selected, reviewed, tested, assessed and validated e-learning based language teaching sources addressed to Higher education students for the learning of 18 different European languages.

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Easy Italian News – La stampa italiana

Date of Publication


Target Group


Domain Area

Business & Communication
International Relations
Journalism & multimedia

Learning Scenario

Autonomous learning
Classroom Context

Target Language


Language of Instruction


CEFR level


Type of Material


Linguistic Features



Critical Thinking


The site includes a collection of news from the main Italian newspapers. The texts are simplified and adapted for learners of L2/LS Italian, so that they can be understood also by lower proficiency levels. The written texts are accompanied by the corresponding audio file.
The approach to the text is based on two principles (quoted from the site):
1. There’s a text to go with the audio (so that’s potentially easier than watching or listening to the ‘normal’ news)
2. The articles are formatted in such a way as to highlight
which words go together (collocate or are grammatically-linked) with other words. According to the authors, once you get used to the odd formatting, you quickly fall into the habit of reading and listening to every day. Within a few months, your comprehension of spoken and written texts will improve considerably

The subscription to the site is free and you receive an email notification when a new post is made.

Case study

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.


Comprehensive approach
Capacity to match the needs of lecturers and students


Added value
The provided tangible improvements


Motivation enhancement
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: