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Accreditata MUR con D.M. 02/12/2005
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Innovazione educativa e apprendimento permanente nella formazione degli adulti in contesti nazionali e internazionali, classe LM-57

Language training and literacy in adulthood


Anno accademico: 2021/2022

Periodo: I Semester - II Year


Crediti: 12 CFU

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Caterina Ferrini is a researcher in Glottology and Linguistics at the IUL Telematic University. She holds a PhD in Historical Linguistics, Educational Linguistics and Italianistics. Italian, other languages and cultures, XXX Cycle at the University for Foreigners of Siena. Her scientific activity concerns the areas of language sciences with particular attention to the linguistic component of Italian migrations in the world, the language of hate on social networks and the language of wine.


Italy has been a multilingual and multicultural country for many years. Italian society has not yet incisively developed policies and practices aimed at making the most of this wealth.

The course aims to provide training in language skills and communicative strategies implemented by speakers of different languages in a condition of language contact for a sustainable practice aimed at language training and the valorisation of minority languages.

The course focuses on issues related to lifelong learning, according to learners’ criticality and potential, derived from their multilingual skills, their primary and secondary literacy, their technological and communicative skills.

Special attention will be given to the correlation between literacy and human development in international cooperation contexts.

The course hosts a cycle of video lectures recorded by Prof. Barbara Turchetta, Professor of Glottology and Linguistics at the University of Bergamo.


MODULE 1 (3 ECT) – Multicultural societies

Video lessons Prof. Turchetta:

  • Multicultural societies between past and present
  • European languages and nationalism


Other interactive and self-study activities

  • 1 synchronous video lesson (according to calendar);
  • 1 reading of 1 essay proposed by the student;
  • 1 reference reading for the final examination.


MODULE 2 (3 ECT) – Migration flows and integration dynamics

Video lessons Prof. Turchetta:

  • Migration in Italy
  • Dual linguistic and cultural migrant identities


Other interactive and self-study activities

  • 1 synchronous video lesson (according to calendar);
  • 1 reading of 1 essay proposed by the student;
  • 1 reference reading for the final examination.


MODULE 3 (3 ECT) – Adult education: primary and secondary literacy

Video lessons Prof. Turchetta:

  • Knowledge transfer
  • Adult literacy and writing properties


Other  interactive and self-study activities activities

  • 1 synchronous video lesson (according to calendar);
  • 1 reading of 1 essay proposed by the student;
  • 1 reference reading for the final examination;


MODULE 4 (3 ECT) – Lifelong learning and human development

Video lessons Prof. Turchetta:

  • Languages for training and development
  • Lifelong learning and human development


Other  interactive and self-study activities

  • 1 synchronous video lesson (according to calendar);
  • 1 reading of 1 essay proposed by the student;
  • 1 reference reading for the final examination.

The course focuses on primary and secondary literacy for adults, both in the framework of long-life learning and in the context of intercultural mediation. Communication devices will be considered as part of mediation in plurilingual contexts and in national and international contacts, taking into account specific socio-political situations where language minorities are there. The course will also provide some information on international cooperation projects devoted to literacy in the framework of human empowerment and development.

  • To acquire awareness of the dynamics of a multicultural society.
  • To acquire basic knowledge related to the topic of migration and intercultural processes.
  • To develop the ability to analyse the sociolinguistic conditions of a society with a significant presence of linguistic minorities.
  • to increase the critical capacity to reflect on the contexts of intercultural contact and international relations, in order to enhance their educational significance.
  • To enrich the learner’s argumentative skills, for a correct definition and description of communicative phenomena in an intercultural context and in international relations.

To encourage the analysis of multicultural realities, through documentation and analysis of real contexts, also with a view to human development and international cooperation.

  • Ability to analyse multicultural and international contexts and situations with appropriate scientific tools.
  • Ability to design and implement measures for greater social integration of communicatively disadvantaged people.
  • Ability to collect and interpret data useful for making autonomous judgements, for teaching practice aimed at second language learning.
  • Ability to interact and mediate in intercultural communication, both in national and international contexts.


  • Documentary and communicative skills on course topics.
  • Professional skills specific to linguistic and cultural mediation.
  • Research skills applied to specific intervention cases;
  • Widespread knowledge of intercultural relations issues.
  • Interaction skills in given and new contexts.
  • Ability to manage training needs in primary and secondary adult literacy.


  • 8 video lessons recorded;
  • Podcasts of all the above-mentione video lessons.



  • 1 orientation forum;
  • 4 Thematic follow-up forums;
  • 4 Synchronous meetings with plenary discussion;
  • 2 Synchronous student orientation meetings;
  • E-tivity (see section in itinere assessment methods”)



Teaching materials are provided for each module: in-depth thematic studies, articles and slides by the lecturer, open access readings, online resources, reference bibliography.

Reference texts

  1. Turchetta B., 2004 “Contatti di Cultura nei processi educativi” Italiano e lingue immigrate a confronto: riflessioni per la pratica didattica. Edited by Chiara Grezzi, Federica Guerini, Piera Molinelli. Guerra, Perugia, pp.41-54. [open source].
  2. Turchetta B:, 2006 “Attività comunicative in prospettiva interculturale nella formazione e nel lavoro” in E. Banfi, L. Gavioli, C. Guardiano, M. Vedovelli (eds.) Atti del V Congresso Internazionale dell’Associazione Italiana di Linguistica Applicata, Bari, February 2005. Perugia, Guerra Edizioni, 159-178. [open source].
  3. “La numeracy nei percorsi di alfabetizzazione rivolti ad adulti stranieri analfabeti.” Italiano a scuola1 (2020): 291-304.
  4. Literacy for All: Making a difference. By Agneta Lind, UNESCO, 2008. Available for reading only at the UNESCO Virtual Library at the following link: those who have difficulty understanding the English text, a list of substitute readings can be provided.

    The essays shown in opensource can be viewed and downloaded at the link:

Access to the final examination is subject to the completion of the e-activities and participation in the interactive activities.

The assessment of learning will take the form of an oral interview on the course contents and on the final report submitted, if any. The grade (min 18, max 30 with possible honours) is determined by the level of performance for each of the following dimensions of the oral interview: mastery of contents, appropriateness of definitions and theoretical references, clarity of argument, command of specialist language.