cod. 1009665

Academic year 2023/24
1° year of course - First semester
Academic discipline
Didattica delle lingue moderne (L-LIN/02)
Metodologie linguistiche, filologiche e semiotiche
Type of training activity
30 hours
of face-to-face activities
6 credits
hub: PARMA
course unit

Learning objectives

At the end of the course, students will have acquired knowledge related to the acquisition of a language, in particular of a second or foreign language, and competences on teaching a language to native and non-native students in an inclusive way, especially through a CLIL approach.
Knowledge and understanding:
students will develop knowledge and comprehension competence in the field of educational linguistics thanks to the use of different sources (manuals, books and scientific articles, lectures, online learning objects etc.) regarding fundamental topics and advanced research in the field of educational linguistics with a specific focus on issues related to inclusive language education.

Applying knowledge and understanding:
students will be able to apply knowledge and comprehension skills useful for specific training of perspective L2 and L1 language teachers, as well as for other professional profiles related to the field of school and academic publishing and computer assisted language teaching. In particular, students will develop skills needed both to create and support argumentation and to solve problems in the field of educational linguistics. Moreover, students will apply their knowledge and understanding to L2 teaching material design.

Making judgements:
students will be able to collect and interpret data to determine autonomous judgements in in the field of educational linguistics, including cross-cultural and interdisciplinary thinking on cultural and intercultural, scientific and ethical topics connected to the judgements expressed.

Communication skills:
thanks to the specific focus on communication competences and in particular on the development and use of mediation skills, students will be able to convey information, ideas, problems and solutions to specialists and non-specialists.

Learning skills:
thanks to the general scaffolding of the course which focuses on processes related to language learning and teaching in a social context, students will further develop learning skills useful to carry out advanced studies in educational linguistics and more generally speaking as learners in the third cycle or in lifelong learning education.


Erasmus students or other exchange students, as well as students enrolled on other degree courses should provide evidence of B2+/C1 competence in English in order to take this Unit. Moreover, only students in their 1st or 2nd year of a second cycle degree course or in the 4th year of a single-cycle degree will be admitted.

Course unit content

The first part of the course is dedicated to the exploration of the mechanisms which rule language acquisition.
The second part deals with language teaching processes focusing on inclusive language education. The main goal of the second part of the course is acquiring competences on the design of teaching materials applied to a second or a foreign language with the aim of making educational contexts more inclusive. As regards teaching and assessment, this objective will be pursued by exploring different methodological options, in particular through a CLIL approach. For this, the last part of the course will be specifically dedicated to reflecting upon assessment and language testing.

Full programme

- - -


The following bibliographic references (articles, book chapters, volumes) are the basis to prepare for the final exam related to this unit.
1 Mezzadri M., 2020, “LANGUAGE LEARNING AND TEACHING AND THE FORMATION OF DEMOCRATIC AWARENESS: THE CHALLENGE OF THE EUROPEAN LANGUAGE POLICIES”, in The 1st International Conference on Languages and Humanities 2020. Proceedings of the conference held in Yangon, Yangon University of Foreign Languages, pp. 179-191.
2 Tove Skutnabb-Kangas and Teresa L. McCarty, “KEY CONCEPTS IN BILINGUAL EDUCATION: IDEOLOGICAL, HISTORICAL, EPISTEMOLOGICAL, AND EMPIRICAL FOUNDATIONS”, in Volume 5, Bilingual Education, J. Cummins & N. Hornberger (eds), Encyclopedia of Language and Education, 2nd edition. New York, Springer, pp. 3-17.
3 Hult F., 2008, “THE HISTORY AND DEVELOPMENT OF EDUCATIONAL LINGUISTICS”, in Spolsky & Hult (eds.), The Handbook of Educational Linguistics, Malden (MA), Backwell Publishing, pp. 10-23.
5 Maggi F., 2012, “EVALUATION IN CLIL”, in F. Quartapelle (ed.), Assessment and evaluation in CLIL, AECLIL- EACEA, Como, Ibis, pp. 57-73.
6 Barbero T., 2012, “ASSESSMENT TOOLS AND PRACTICES IN CLIL”, in F. Quartapelle (ed.), Assessment and evaluation in CLIL, AECLIL- EACEA, Como, Ibis, pp. 38-55.
7 Marsh D., Mehisto P., Wolff D., Frigols Martin M. J., 2010, EUROPEAN FRAMEWORK FOR CLIL TEACHER EDUCATION: A FRAMEWORK FOR THE PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT OF CLIL TEACHERS, Graz, European Centre for Modern Languages, pp. 16-28.
8 Prof. Rizzolatti's lesson on mirror neurons held at Parma University o, 10-10-2022. More information on Elly.

Please, contact Prof. Mezzadri to check availability within the library system of the University of Parma.

Further readings
Path 1 students: as a reference book on language teaching methodology, meant not only for prospective English language teachers, the volume Harmer J., 2015, THE PRACTICE OF ENGLISH LANGUAGE TEACHING, Harlow, Pearson is highly recommended.
Path 2 students: students who cannot attend the classes regularly will substitute the readings listed above under the numbers 2, 3, 4 and 7 with THE PRACTICE OF ENGLISH LANGUAGE TEACHING. The topics dealt with in the book, together with reading n. 1 in the list above, will be discussed during the oral exam (see Assessment Methods and Criteria).

Teaching methods

Lectures; interaction with students during lectures; workshops; online activities. All lessons and other teaching activities are held in English.
All the activities will be carried out both on campus (Path 1) and online (Path 2) in an asynchronous and in a synchronous mode.
Students can follow the lessons live or watch them recorded. The recorded lessons will be available on the Team Class dedicated to this module.
In addition, specific online learning objects are made available on Elly.

Assessment methods and criteria

Assessment methods
Path 1 and 2: students will first have to create a teaching material (Learning unit) designed for the combined teaching of a content subject and a foreign language to K-10/11 learners through a Clil approach.
Students will be free to choose among all possible subjects and one of the following languages as the target language of their teaching material: English, French, German, Italian, Spanish. The language competence level of the target learners is a B1.
The teaching material will have to be sent via e-mail to the teacher in charge of the course ten working days before the day of the exam.
For more information on the creation of the teaching material, it is recommended to use the online learning objects available on the VLE platform “Elly” and follow the classes specifically dedicated to this.
Please, also check the section Recommended Readings above.

Assessment criteria
Path 1: for students who regularly attend the classes on campus, the final mark is the result of the sum of the scores obtained as follows: assignments (30% of final mark) and final project work (50%), class participation and interaction (20%).
Path 2: for students who cannot attend the classes regularly on campus or who attend them in a distance mode: final project (50%) and oral exam (50%). Path 2 students will be allowed to sit for the oral exam regardless of the performance in the written part. The oral exam will be based on a discussion about the written part and of topics dealt with in the two readings assigned (See Recommended Readings).

A fail is determined by a substantial lack of an understanding of the minimum content of the course, the inability to express oneself adequately (orally and/or in writing), by a lack of autonomous preparation, the inability to solve problems related to information retrieval and the decoding of complex texts, as well as an inability to make independent judgments. Moreover, a fail is due to a substantial lack of competence in applying the knowledge acquired to the creation of teaching materials.
A pass (18-23/30) is determined by the student’s understanding of the minimum, fundamental contents of the course, an adequate level of autonomous preparation and ability to solve problems related to information retrieval and the decoding of complex texts, as well as an acceptable level of ability in making independent judgments. Moreover, a pass is due to only partial competence in applying the knowledge acquired to the creation of teaching materials.
Middle-range scores (24-27/30) are assigned to the student who produces evidence of a more than sufficient level (24-25/30) or good level (26-27/30) in the evaluation indicators listed above. Moreover, middle range scores are due to acceptable to good levels of competence in applying the knowledge acquired to the creation of teaching materials.
Higher scores (from 28/30 to 30/30 cum laude) are awarded on the basis of the student’s demonstration of a very good or excellent level in the evaluation indicators listed above. Moreover, higher scores are due to very good to excellent levels of competence in applying the knowledge acquired to the creation of teaching materials.

Other information

- - -