Teacher of Italian as a non-native language for low educated users. A new professional profile

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


We aim at describing a new professional profile, i.e. “Teacher of Italian as a non-native language for low educated users”, as it has been defining within the research and teaching experience at the School of Italian language for Foreigners of the University of Palermo. In last years, migrants’ cultural features and age have changed and an increasing amount of people landing on Italian shores is constituted by MSNA (Unaccompanied Foreign Minors), mostly belonging to the category of LESLLA. This scenario imposes the definition of new competences, suitable for the training needs of these new users. Teachers of Italian L2 have to acquire literacy skills, which traditionally do not fall within their professional background. Moreover, these competencies should be markedly oriented in a strategic way. As a matter of fact, the timeframe for learning is typically long for illiterate adults, in contrast with the urgent needs of pragmatic use of the language. In addition, due to the migrants’ working needs and also because they undergo frequent relocations, it is hard to attend medium-long learning pathways. As a consequence, teachers have to learn how to design activities which, despite the short period of guided learning, may produce autonomous lifetime learning competences. We propose a training model articulated along three lines: a) initial training, through a post-graduate course in didactics of Italian L2, which includes a specific curriculum for low-educated users; b) in-service training, aimed at both Public School and CPIA (Provincial Centers for Adult Education); c) experimental teaching, at the School of Italian Language. On these bases, we will draft the new teacher’s skill-set in terms of linguistic and teaching competencies, and the paths leading to these skills, indicating both strengthened acquisitions and hypotheses being tested.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAlfabetización y aprendizaje de idiomas por adultos: investigación, política educativa y práctica docente
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 2017

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