This video comprehension activity – created by Roberto Balò, a L2/LS Italian teacher – is intended for students and professionals (teachers, interpreters and translators) from level B1 onwards and aims both to deepen the knowledge of the lexicon of eco-sustainable architecture through the analysis of an authentic video and to improve written and oral production skills. In this way, the resource can be used for multiple task: note taking, transcripts, summary or expansion.
In the video, Chiara Tonelli – architect and team leader of the first Italian group admitted to the international Solar Decathlon Europe competition held in Madrid in 2012 – presents “MED in Italy”, a prototype of a house powered by renewable energy, explaining its working and its principal characteristics.
The materials can be used both for classroom context in a course if appropriately prepared by the teacher and for autonomous study, allowing the interaction of the participants through the possibility of leaving comments and receiving feedback from Roberto Balò on the activities carried out.
The resource was tested and evaluated by 12 ERASMUS students (9 at B1.3 level and 2 at B2.2/B2.3 level) enrolled in Italian language courses at the University of Bologna.
The following positive aspects emerged from the analysis:
- topical theme. The content of the video is extremely motivating due to its topicality. In this way, you learn the language and at the same time you learn something new about ecological architecture;
- gradual difficulty of the exercises to better understand the multimedia material;
- links to other articles and related activities; suggestions for further self-study and deepening of content;
- the web page offers a variety of exercises: one for reading comprehension, one for oral comprehension with a Youtube video and one on vocabulary. The activities are so diverse because they make use of different types of materials; this aspect is very positive because the student learns a lot from different types of input;
- Regarding the technical features and graphic aspects, the video is very dynamic and attractive with music in the background.
- Cannot write on the page;
- Lack of interactivity on the website;
- Lack of answers/results/corrections to activities;
- The design of the web page is not very attractive;
- One cannot click directly on the video;
- Lack of updates on the website;
- Advertisements on the side of the page do not help the reader to concentrate, given the information overload.
Suggested use: The activities are geared towards university students or adults in general, as the structure of the activities requires the ability to study independently. There should be an interactive input mask and the possibility of self-monitoring/correction.
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
This teaching resource offers interesting insights from both linguistic and topical point of view, suiting the needs of intermediate and advanced students who want to expand their language proficiency in the field. It can be implemented as part of a much more comprehensive course. The resource presents the subject in a clear manner and can increase students’ interest and motivation: the short video, text and activities provide good opportunities for the development of listening, reading, writing, speaking and vocabulary. The resource meets teachers’ needs to use recent, up-to-date and appealing materials; furthermore, the same structure of activities can be adapted for other existing audiovisual sources. The materials proposed could also be used by professionals (translators and interpreters) to deepen their vocabulary.
Website of the Teaching Source: