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Marina Artese

Foreign language instructor: Italian

Area Formazione e Dottorato

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The CEFR Companion Volume: an Action-oriented approach for intercultural identity in the second language classroom

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According to the Common European Framework (2000), the approach to Foreign and Second Language (FL/SL) teaching should be action-oriented, in order to educate learners in their role as social agent/actor. Nonetheless, the FL/SL class experience does not always reflect this need and teaching approaches experienced in the class fail to create the social environment in which language learners can express themselves as social actors in a pluricultural environment (Puren, 2010).
This lecture presents preliminary results and considerations resulting from a study on the development of SL tasks for the enhancement of motivation and intercultural awareness of students of Italian as a second language at the University of Bologna. The students’ competence level in the SL is A2 or B2 of the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR). The SL tasks in the study are designed as case studies, follow a task-based-learning approach and are underpinned by recent research on identity and identity co-construction through interaction. These case studies have been specifically designed in order to prompt social, anthropological, sociolinguistic, and cultural reflection. From time to time, and in line with the learners’ level of competence in the SL, a selection of case studies has been assigned with the aim to productively allow learners to become aware of their social role. Further, the learners’ planning and implementation of the case study has been expected to enhance their motivation and to foster intercultural dialogue in and outside the class, thus promoting intercultural competence. In order to illustrate how the design of the case studies may help motivation and success, two examples of case studies will be presented. Learner-produced material will be presented and analysed with reference to the CEFR - Companion Volume issued in February 2018.