Intercultural language education
Since 2003 my research interests focus on language learning and teaching in an intercultural perspective. In particular, I have been studying:
- The theoretical and methodological challenges of integrating intercultural and communicative objectives in language curricula;
- Models of intercultural (communicative) competence;
- The language-culture nexus in language education, in the light of the recent non-essentialist approach to applied linguistics and social sciences;
- Language and intercultural learning in an interactionalist and socio-cultural perspective;
- The assessment of intercultural learning.
Study abroad, intercultural education and multilingualism
Since 2012, I have been interested in study abraod and internationalisation in higher education. Preferably, I address these issues too in a linguistic and intercultural perspective, and thus concentrate on:
- Teaching methodologies which can foster mobile students’ intercultural learning;
- Language uses within the Erasmus communities: code choice, code-switching, and multilingual interactional dynamics in general.
Writing and teaching to write
Since 2012, I have also been interested in writing and teaching to write in Italian L1 and L2. Initially I focused on academic writing; more recently, thanks to a collaboration with the Department of Education and Human Sciences of the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, I have started analysing children’s writings.
Concerning academic writing, my research focuses on:
- Planning, conducting and verifying the effectiveness of educational programmes which break down writing into phases, processes, and procedures;
- Experimenting with teaching methods which integrate systematic reflections on writing within the disciplines;
- Analysing students’ expectations, assumptions, and perceptions of writing practices in higher education.
With regard to children’s texts and the (meta)cognitive and socio-cultural processes involved in writing development, I research:
- the development of coherence and cohesion devices (use of paragraph, reference to entities, punctuation, and connectives) in narrative texts;
- the management and learning of reported speech.