In the American Italian departments, the use of literature for the development of second culture competence in the language courses tend to be sporadic. In fact, the teaching of language, culture and literature is likely to take place separately. Often, the teaching of Italian literature in the target language is restricted to upper division courses, whereas the introduction of literature in the language courses is not expected at the upper division level. On the other hand, the development of second culture acquisition has a tendency to be restricted to specific cultural courses.
This presentation will examine the use of visual resources, including graphs and maps as well as posters, photographs and works of art, to elicit content in an Italian Language and Culture Curriculum. One of the AP curricular requirements states that a World Language and Culture course provides opportunities for students to demonstrate their ability in Interpretive Communication to understand and synthesize information from a variety of authentic visual resources.
Italian language is immediately associated with a single nation: Italy. It is therefore very important for students of Italian to be exposed to texts and audiovisual materials that show the country, where the language they study is actually spoken, as it really is. Italy has changed a great deal in the last thirty years: it has become multicultural, and it has experienced the fall of the political party system that came into being after World War II.
This presentation originates from the idea that discussing social issues in the language classroom encourages intercultural reflection and provides a more complete image of Italian culture than the one based primarily on commonly regarded attractive and often stereotypical aspects of society.The presentation focuses on methodologies and best practices that enable students to discuss social issues in the target language. By doing so, it reflects on how educators can enhance instruction when fostering discussion on social issues in Italy that have global and personal implications.