Raffaella Leproni, Mireia Canals-Botines, Sharon Tonner-Saunders

Web-Building Connections: A Best-Practice Example of Using International Resources in Online Intercultural Didactics for Teachers

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: interculturality, storytelling, teachers’ self-awareness.

The English Language fifth-year Lab at Primary Education Science in Roma Tre (academic year 2019-2020, second semester) aimed to foster trainee teachers’ language competences while providing them with methodological skills and examples of active engagement in intercultural projects using e-learning/distance learning. The Covid-19 lockdown deeply affected the course development: it forced participants to restructure their learning and activities so as to meet their new needs of self e-teaching in an e-didactics modality, as well as the fears that the new scenario was triggering; it also enabled them to discover unforeseen perspectives of international cooperation and emotional empathy with their peers at home and abroad, which fostered their will to use English as a lingua franca and improved their linguistic skills. Task-based activities regarding the different Lab modules, which ranged from self-/peer-directed assessment questionnaires to story writing and video recordings of different games, singing and creativity sessions, made the Lab become a sort of hub for innovative strategies and practices in language teaching, including the use of Makaton and music to tell stories and describe illustrations. These outputs, which have been collected and are currently under research, were meant as an assessment for the students, but also as motivating challenges to tackle the future teachers’ competences in intercultural international activities (and use English) themselves. Strategies for L2 teaching and learning have proven effective also in conveying a sense of extended community, belonging and participation in achieving shared goals to foster responsible citizenship.

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