30921 - Teaching of the Italian Language L2 (LM) (M-Z)

Course Unit Page


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

Quality education Reduced inequalities

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

Students develop and/or consolidate some key skills through specialised readings: the ability to analyse how the Italian language works, not only in terms of the language as a ‘system’ (at phonetic, morphological, syntactic, and semantic levels) but also in terms of its ‘use’ (the textual and pragmatic dimensions); the capacity to reflect critically on the mechanisms of communication, considered in relation to both general social (individual and social) behaviours and the specificities of communication in Italian; the ability to develop coherent and conscious proposals in the field of teaching Italian as a second language.

Course contents

The course aims to introduce the concept of acquisition of L2 Italian and to provide the theoretical and pedagogical bases to promote its learning in a variety of teaching contexts.

The first part of the course will present the principles and variables which characterise the acquisition processes of L2 Italian users and learners (including interlanguage and learning varieties, communication strategies, interactional dynamics). Referring to the main theories which describe and explain language acquisition, we will observe and analyse the peculiarities of L2 Italian use and learning, at phonological, morph-syntactic, semantic, pragmatic and textual levels.

The theoretical knowledge acquired and the analytical skills developed during the first part of the course will serve as bases for reflecting on the pedagogical choices of the L2 Italian teacher in terms of curricular planning, methodological choices and class management. This second part of the course will invite students to observe and critically evaluate the teaching acts required of the L2 Italian teacher (e.g., identification of the students’ communicative needs, definition of learning objectives and syllabus, preparation of teaching materials and aids, management of class interaction).

Finally, the topics covered during the course will be contextualized within the broader frame of plurilingual and intercultural education, according to which teaching a new language also implies enhancing each learner’s plurilingual repertoire and promoting forms of intercultural learning.


Language acquisition

  • Chini, M. (2005), Che cos’è la linguistica acquisizionale, Roma: Carocci. [Entire book] [112 pp.].
  • Andorno, C., Valentini, A. & Grassi, R. (2017), Verso una nuova lingua: capire l’acquisizione di L2, Torino: UTET. [Chapters 1 and 2] [81 pp.].

L2 Italian learning (and teaching)

  • Giacalone Ramat, A. (ed.) (2003), Verso l’italiano: percorsi e strategie di acquisizione, Roma: Carocci. [Chapters 2, 3 and 4] [88 pp.].
  • Bettoni, C. (2001), Usare un’altra lingua: guida alla pragmatica interculturale, Roma: Laterza. [Chapters 3, 4 and 6] [117 pp.].
  • Costamagna, L. (2008), “Insegnare e apprendere la fonologia dell’italiano L2”. In Grassi, R., Bozzone Costa, R. & Ghezzi, C. (eds.), Dagli studi sulle sequenze di acquisizione alla classe di italiano L2, Perugia: Guerra, pp. 81-95. [14 pp.].
  • Corda, A. & Marello, C. (2004), Lessico: insegnarlo e impararlo, Perugia: Guerra. [Chapters 1 and 2] [55 pp.].
  • Pallotti, G. (2005), “Le ricadute didattiche delle ricerche sull’interlingua”. In Jafrancesco, E. (ed.), L’acquisizione dell’italiano L2 da parte di immigrati adulti, Roma: Edilingua, pp. 43-59. [16 pp.].
  • Andorno, C. (2012), “Varietà di esiti dell'apprendimento dell'italiano nella varietà dei contesti di apprendimento: possibilità e limiti dell'acquisizione naturale”. In Grassi, R. (ed.), Nuovi contesti d’acquisizione e insegnamento: l’italiano nelle realtà plurilingui, Perugia: Guerra, pp. 157-174. [18 pp.].

From language learning to L2 Italian in the classroom

  • Grassi, R. (2008), “Dalla Linguistica acquisizionale alla Didattica acquisizionale: una strada percorribile?”. In Grassi, R., Bozzone Costa, R. & Ghezzi, C. (eds.), Dagli studi sulle sequenze di acquisizione alla classe di italiano L2, Perugia: Guerra, pp. 9-20. [11 pp.].
  •  Diadori, P., Palermo, M., Troncarelli, D. (2015), Insegnare l'italiano come seconda lingua, Roma: Carocci. [Chapters 9, 10 and 11] [89 pp.].

L2 Italian, plurilingualism and interculturality

  • Cook, V. J. (2010), “Who is the L2 user? Multi-competence and foreign language learning/teaching”. Proceedings of the Shiko Language Education Society, 30(11), 1-9. [9 pp.].
  • Beacco, J-C. et al. (2016), Guida per lo sviluppo e l’attuazione di curricoli per una educazione plurilingue e interculturale, Strasburgo: Consiglio d’Europa. [“Executive summary” and Chapter 1] [32 pp.].
  • Cummins, J. (2007), “Rethinking monolingual instructional strategies in multilingual classrooms”, Canadian Journal of Applied Linguistics/Revue canadienne de linguistique appliquée, 10(2), pp. 221-240. [19 pp.].
  • Andorno, C. (2020), “Stimolare l’interazione plurilingue sui contenuti di scuola nello studio a casa: lusso, necessità, opportunità”, Italiano LinguaDue, 1. pp. 469-492. [23 pp.]
  • Borghetti, C. (2018), “Otto criteri per analizzare la dimensione (inter)culturale dei manuali di lingua: il caso dell’italiano L2/LS”. In Tabaku Sörman, E., Torresan, P., & Pauletto, F. (eds.), Paese che vai, manuale che trovi, Firenze: Cesati, pp. 81-100 [19 pp.].
  • Borghetti, C. (2013), “Unmasking stereotypes in travel guides. A teaching activity for intercultural foreign language education”. In Houghton, S. A. & Furumura, Y., Lebedko, M. & Li, S. (eds.), Critical cultural awareness: managing stereotypes through intercultural (language) education, Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, pp. 114-134 [20 pp.].

Further readings for attending and non-attending students

Students are considered ‘attending’ if they have taken part in at least 50% of classes.

  • Attending students are required to study the slides projected in class (slides can be downloaded from Insegnamenti Online);
  • Besides the bibliography reported above, non-attending students are required to study:
    • Andorno, C., Valentini, A. & Grassi, R. (2017), Verso una nuova lingua: capire l’acquisizione di L2, Torino: UTET [Chapter 5 “Teorie sull’acquisizione di lingue seconde”] [44 pp.];
    • Chini, M. (2011), “Qualche riflessione sulla didattica di l2 ispirata alla recente ricerca acquisizionale”, Italiano LinguaDue, 2. pp. 1-22. [22 pp.];
    • Diadori, P., Palermo, M., Troncarelli, D. (2015), Insegnare l'italiano come seconda lingua, Roma: Carocci [Chapters 7 and 8] [58 pp.].
    • Studying the course slides is also recommended.

Additional (optional) readings

  • Consiglio d’Europa (2002 [2001]), Quadro Comune Europeo di Riferimento per le Lingue: apprendimento, insegnamento, valutazione, Firenze: La Nuova Italia. The English version is available HERE.
  • Council of Europe (2020), Common European Framework of Reference for Languages: learning, teaching, assessment - Companion volume, Strasbourg: Council of Europe. Available HERE.

Teaching methods

Teaching will take place through lectures and workshops (students’ reports on small research projects, sessions of analysis of L2 Italian textbooks).

Assessment methods

Learning will be assessed by means of an oral exam aimed at evaluating the students’ knowledge and competences related both to the theoretical and to the practical issues related to L2 Italian learning and teaching.

Assessment criteria:

  • Extent of knowledge and degree of analysis of the topic;
  • Clarity;
  • Skills of synthesis and argumentation;
  • Terminological appropriateness;
  • Degree of autonomy in analysing phenomena related to language learning and teaching.

Teaching tools

Different sets of slides will be projected during each class; students can download them weekly form Insegnamenti Online. Workshops entail the use of additional tools, including printed handouts (grids for analysis, surveys, etc.), web sites, and web resources for Italian language teaching.

Office hours

See the website of Claudia Borghetti