Pedagogical motivations and a brief history of the project
The project Observing interlingua arises from the collaboration between the University and the first grade primary and secondary schools of the city, to give life to a research on the learning and teaching processes of the Italian language for children of foreign origin. Later, and in a very natural way, the recipients of educational interventions have become all children, even those who have Italian as their mother tongue.
The Municipality, which has long been committed to contributing to the qualification of educational projects and paths, collaborates with educational institutions to reflect on methodologies, teaching methods and curricula with a research and experimentation approach, which takes intercultural education as a opportunity to welcome and enhance the different skills of each one.
The school as a place of citizenship exercise offers itself as an inclusive context in which institutions with different competences can identify places and methods of comparison to define common objectives and forms of collaboration capable of taking on all the students with their multiple diversities.
“What do we propose to the class that holds many foreign children and a variety and heterogeneity of levels and skills?”
The project Observing Interlingua originates from questions that families and teachers of foreign children arriving in our city pose to educational institutions and the local body. The values of acceptance, dialogue, multilingualism and intercultural are epistemological presuppositions that support the project.
In the school the learning of the Italian language is important, it is expected by children / teens, families, teachers. Dealing with the problem of building the language learning and its teaching means facing a complex path that has to do with cognitive aspects but also with aspects more related to emotions, experiences, experience, different representations of the world, to reports.
We believe that the attention to the development of the Italian language must be inserted into the daily life of learning and school life because a language is learned in the relationship, in communication, within a motivating and soliciting context.
The experimental path started in the 2006/2007 school year within the Collodi primary school. Over time it has activated a network that involves class teachers, educators, linguistic-cultural mediators, university professors, trainees, educators, families and the territory to try to propose a reflection among different professionalisms that can allow us to have a valuing look, to give ourselves the time for reflection and analysis, sharing planning and educational proposals close to what children are experiencing, their skills, their potential to understand their learning and their processes.
Learning English as an L2 seeks teaching strategies and ways of welcoming that are attentive to different subjectivities. Language learning takes place in a process of continuity and variation in which creativity in the search for relevant words and the invention of structures are an integral part, in a process that highlights the sharpness, the intelligence of children in the elaboration of provisional linguistic theories.
The educational experimentation of Observing Interlingua wants to be a contribution of reflection starting from which it is possible to build didactic paths to involve the whole class in itineraries of development of linguistic and metalinguistic competences.
This research aims to activate tools for observing the inter-languages of children to enhance them, to give legitimacy to communication, even that which uses imprecise linguistic forms that contain “errors”, in order not to constrain the approach to disciplinary contents to the correct knowledge of Italian.
It is a research that wants to build experiences in which children can express themselves in Italian through different communicative registers:
from spontaneous conversation to the request to tell and tell stories and lived situations. A research to give life to linguistic education that is really attentive to the skills of children (of all children). A research that focuses on creating a climate of sensitive and welcoming listening that starts from the enhancement of everyone’s knowledge and know-how, considering error as an element of the evolutionary process.
A research in which the role of the adult is to put oneself in an attitude of “mirroring” to give confidence to the skills of each child.
This research also aims to arouse the motivation and the opportunity of mutual help, to create contexts capable of giving life to individual and group responsibilities starting from a well being together, to generating cooperative and collaborative learning.
Give children the opportunity to keep their stories by recording them, collecting their inter-languages
to elaborate the narration resulting from negotiation in a small group (first through orality and then writing), to encounter more elaborative languages and more disciplines, means giving shape to a shared learning context in which everyone produces understandings in the level of complexity that belongs to him at that time, it also means doing in-depth linguistic and metalinguistic paths.