Images Can Speak (and Teach Too)? Film as Teaching/Learning Medium

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This paper explores the use of film to support and enhance the teaching/learning of Italian as second language at advanced level in academic context. The project examines the nature of the film as didactic instrument, and the manner in which Italian and film can be combined effectively in classroom. Film has been proved to be an attractive and valuable means for teaching/learning an L2. Students consider film an entertaining moment and through image and language they retain linguistic and socio-cultural information. In the selection of the film, the proficiency of the students, the topics contained in the unit program, the range of teaching strategies and activities adopted as support to the film vision, and learning goals are taken into consideration. Film improves language learning, listening skill and vocabulary. By contextualising the language the students can familiarise with the difference of registers and expressions (slang and idiomatic terms in particular). Vice versa, by watching no-sound scenes students can elicit dialogues in Italian by connecting scenario, characters, face expressions and gestures. Ultimately, film is a container of themes and cultural values which can be useful to broaden students’ socio-cultural information, their intercultural understanding, stimulate discussion in class and an active critical thinking.


Keywords: Film, Flexible Medium, Language, Italian, L2, Teaching Portfolio
Stream: Literacy, Language, Multiliteracies; Languages Education and Second Language Learning
Presentation Type: 30 minute Paper Presentation in English
Paper: A paper has not yet been submitted.


Luana Ciavola

Associate Lecturer, Italian Studies
Department of International Languages, Macquarie University

Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

LUANA CIAVOLA graduated at the University La Sapienza in Rome (Italy) majoring in Modern and Contemporary Italian literature. In 2002 she moved to Australia where she recently completed her PhD in the Department of Screen Studies at the University of Melbourne with a thesis on Italian cinema from the 1960s to the 1980s. In her doctoral thesis she analyses the socio-political and psychoanalytical representation of sense of revolt in Italian films. Her areas of research are Italian language, culture and cinema; Italian political cinema; representation of the other in film; gender representation and feminist film theories; independent Italian cinema. More recently she has written on the representation of new immigrants in contemporary Italian cinema. She has taught Italian language, cinema, society and culture in Australia since 2003. She is currently Associate Lecturer in Italian Studies in the department of International Languages at Macquarie University in Sydney.

Ref: L09P1101