This teaching unit created by Valentina Gallo – researcher at Padova University - is intended for students and professionals (teachers, translators and interpreters) at level B2 onwards who want to improve their L2/LS Italian skills, focusing on the language of art and - especially - of painting. The selected materials present Naples, one of the oldest and most interesting historical centres in Europe both nowadays than in the past. The discovery of some architectural aspects of the town is matched at the same time with the analysis of the works by two painters who lived and worked in Naples in different periods: the Lombard Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio in the seventeenth century and the Apulian Giuseppe De Nittis two hundred years later. With this diachronic approach, the students can understand some of the changes Naples experimented in her history. The materials – based on written understanding - can be used both for the classroom context (with the teacher’s support) or for the autonomous learning and aim at the development of written and oral production, at the lexical improvement and at the grammatical reflection.
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 material was interesting and useful because on the Vivit website the vocabulary is presented in parallel with the grammar: for example, the hypothetical period is explained with examples taken from the text. The grammar rules are explained in detail and there are also special examples such as the implicit form of the hypothetical period. The exercises are presented in a clear and simple form and it is also good that there is the possibility to check one's answers.
The materials are suitable for the given language level. The texts presented are full of new words (e.g. frame, portrait, sketch, still life) and with the exercises you can learn them more easily. With the description of the city of Naples, for example, you not only get to know new words but - at the same time - you see how words are used in context and can remember them better.
The resource is motivating because the explanations are not too detailed but mainly focus on the most important aspects of a topic. On the other hand, as far as innovation in the approach to language study is concerned, the materials are not innovative because first there are explanations and then exercises, as in traditional teaching;
From a technical point of view, the materials are easy and intuitive to use, also because the images and videos make everything more interesting and fun.
As for the critical points, the exercises are few compared to the explanations. The author (or the teacher who uses this resource) should integrate and extend the exercises in order to facilitate the students' learning.
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 alternating written texts – some of them authentic – with iconic materials, suiting the needs of intermediate and advanced students. They can follow the proposed artistic itinerary, also having the opportunity to improve their reading and writing skills. At the same time the students can expand their specific related vocabulary, having also the chance to exchange opinions and comments on the page. All the exercises have the solutions at the bottom of the page thus allowing a quick self-assessment. This teaching unit displays a great potential to facilitate the development of students’ language competence.
Website of the Teaching Source: