29879 - Teaching of Modern Languages (LM)

Academic Year 2023/2024

  • Docente: Rosa Pugliese
  • Credits: 6
  • SSD: L-LIN/02
  • Language: Italian

Learning outcomes

By the end of the course, students will know the theoretical bases and the methodologies of second/foreign language learning and teaching; the historical background of the field and its current connection to the evolution of research on second language acquisition as well as to contemporary factors (ie.: multimedia technologies, multilingualism, the intercultural dimension in the everyday communication and the European language policies).

On the practical level, students will be able to apply the components of the teaching process (ie.: needs analysis, definition of language aims, language syllabus design, elaboration and implementation of a language teaching unit, etc.) to a range of different teaching/learning contexts.

Course contents

How do you learn a second language (L2)? How can language teachers help their students to learn a second language (L2)? In which ways does the teaching of L2 differ from the teaching of L1 (mother tongue language)? And what does it imply to teach it in the current era of globalization? The ‘teaching of modern languages’ as a field of studies has a relatively recent history, but, over the last few decades, several social and cultural changes have started shaping it in new ways. Not only are these ways radically distant from the initial structuralist view and practice of language and culture; they also are new with respect to the relevant innovation introduced by communicative approaches in the late ‘70s.The latest developments in the field deal with the multilingual turn induced by geographical mobility, the advancement of scientific research about social interaction, the evolution of multimedia technologies, the supranational educational policies…, i.e. with far-reaching phenomena and their consequent theoretical and practical perspectives according to which learning is being reconceptualized.

In this course, we will briefly overview the historical background of the discipline. We will then address core issues related to central notions (such as interlanguage, communicative/interactional/plurilingual competence, language repertoire, language skills, pragmatic meaning, ‘translanguaging’, etc.), in the light of recent knowledge in language sciences and psychology of learning, as well as of the elaboration of teaching methodologies. Among the various ways of seeing the ‘language learner’, the development of his/her reading/writing skills (language comprehension and production) will be deeply examined. We will explore classroom interaction, error correction while interacting, and the best practices to enhance learning. We will also mention the intercultural dimension of language teaching and the educational effects of the relation to the cultural variety and diversity (according to a dynamic approach).

As for the practical abilities of the future L2 teacher, we will discuss the main features which need to be considered when organizing a language course: needs analysis, definition of teaching aims, lesson planning, choice of resources and instruments, design of language communicative tasks, management of interaction in the language classroom, multiple language assessments.

The course will take place in the 2nd semester.


  • A. Ciliberti, Glottodidattica. Per una cultura dell’insegnamento linguistico, Roma, Carocci 2012 (integrale)
  • L. Mason e A.Ronconi. "Text comprehension: the role of individualdifferences", CLUB Working Papers in Linguistics 5", 2021, pp. 119-134.
  • J. Zuengler, E. R. Miller, “Cognitive and Sociocultural Perspectives: Two Parallel SLA Worlds?” TESOL Quarterly, 40/1, 2006, pp. 35-58.
  • Kunitz, “Che cosa succede durante il lavoro di gruppo nelle classi di lingua straniera? Alcune risposte dall’Analisi della conversazione”, in Lend 4/2019, pp.8-17.

The bibliography list will be completed and provided on the first day of class.

Teaching methods

Teaching will be carried out through lectures and group work (mainly, analysis of videos, written and oral texts, activities in language classes; reports).

Assessment methods

Learning will be assessed by means of a written exam. Students are required to write an essay (of minimum 10 and maximum 15 pages,  the annotated bibliography included) on a specific topic of their choice among those in a list provided by the teacher. Students will receive specific guidelines concerning the following points: essay structure, text formatting, sources, and schedule to submit the essay. The written exam will be evaluated according to the following criteria:·

  • extent of knowledge concerning content;
  • skills of synthesis and argumentation;
  • skill in explaining links between theoretical and practical aspects;·
  • clarity
  • lexical appropriateness.

Teaching tools

power point presentations, dvd,  websites.

Office hours

See the website of Rosa Pugliese


Quality education Decent work and economic growth Reduced inequalities Peace, justice and strong institutions

This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.