Teaching and Learning Italian Abroad: A Comparative Pilot Study of Italian-Canadian, Italian-Australian and Italian Adolescent Speech

By Roberto Bergami and Biagio Aulino.

Published by The Learner Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This paper reports on pilot studies of adolescents who have been studying
Italian as a second language (L2), for at least one year, post-elementary
(primary school). The study was conducted in Canada and Australia.
The study focuses on the use if the Italian language abroad as a social dialect
spoken by high school students, in certain social contexts in Canada and
Australia.
Students pursuing Italian courses as a second language (L2) in high schools in
Canada and Australia were asked to complete a voluntary written survey. The data
collected, once analysed, revealed a framework of patterns of adolescent
communication, consisting of connotative and clique-coded language discourses.
This framework was utilised to undertake a cross-cultural comparison on Italian
adolescent discourse.
The paper points out that it is essential for a teacher of Italian, as a second
language (L2), to incorporate adolescent learning interest in considering the
design of a specific learning syllabus.
The paper concludes by acknowledging that Italian-Canadian and
Italian-Australian adolescent speech reflects the types of observations
suggested in the literature by researchers in North America, such as Danesi
(2003a, 2003b) and Clivio and Danesi (2000), who are among the very few who have
carried out cross-cultural comparisons. In Europe, too, researchers such as
Cortelazzo (1994), De Paoli (1998) and Marcato (1994, 1997) all report
similarities in a distinct and recongisable speech code developed by
adolescents.

Keywords: Italian Language Abroad, Foreign Language Teaching, Learning a Foreign Language, Adolescent Italian, Italian-Canadian Adolescent Language, Italian-Australian Adolescent Language

The International Journal of Learning, Volume 16, Issue 8, pp.595-614. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.310MB).

Dr. Roberto Bergami

Senior Lecturer (Practice of International Trade) and Associate Researcher, Institute for Community, Ethnicity and Policy Alternatives, School of Applied Economics, Faculty of Business and Law, Victoria University, Footscray, Victoria, Australia

Roberto has over twenty years experience in the manufacturing industry, primarily within the pharmaceutical sector. He has held a number of roles in finance, sales, marketing, customer service and logistics, all with an international focus. Roberto's teaching spans over 20 years with experience in Higher Education, TAFE and private education providers. A full time member of staff at Victoria University, Melbourne, Australia, since 1998, Roberto has a Master in Education and Master of Business by Research (Applied Economics) and is currently undertaking his Ph. D. He is currently a Senior Lecturer in the School of Applied Economics and Associate Researcher of the Institute for Community, Ethnicity and Policy Alternatives. Roberto has maintained his involvement with industry through a number of peak associations where he enjoys various grades of senior level membership. In 2002 Roberto received the State of Victoria Quarantine Award for his efforts in educating students in quarantine matters. Roberto’s main areas of research interests in international trade focus on government regulations, delivery terms (Incoterms), international payment terms and market entry barriers. His other research interests include the development of communities of practice, online teaching and online communities, migration from Emilia-Romagna (Italy) to Australia and teenage/youth dialect.

Dr. Biagio Aulino

Ed.D Graduate, School Board: York Catholic District School Board, University of Toronto, Canada

Biagio Aulino has a Doctor of Education from the University of Toronto, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education in the area of Second Language Education. He also has a Master of Arts degree in Italian Studies from the University of Toronto. Currently, he is Dean of French, Classical and International Languages in the York Catholic District School Board. He has been teaching for 20 years. Biagio also teaches part time at the University level in the department of Education, Methods of Foreign Languages at Niagara University in Ontario and French as a Second Language at the University of Toronto for teacher candidates who would like to teach at the elementary and secondary levels. Each summer session, Biagio teaches Italian as a Second Language to Canadian students in Italy during the month of July. His interests of study include the speech varieties of Italian Canadian adolescents, youth culture and second language acquisition.

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