Italy, Italians and Italian Culture through popular memes

Someone says that, in this puzzling era where reality is augmented, people share posts rather than experience and everything travels on top of an optical cable, memes will be the foundation of the upcoming digital culture.

At least we have discovered fire.

At least we have discovered fire.

Although Italy (or at least part of it) seems to be somehow refractory to widespread technological innovation (see picture), memes about italianity are actually quite common on the internet. Pages like Original Italian Memes are indeed offering collections of Italy-related memes, and a simple Google search can open the doors to a universe of (sometimes idiotic) interpretations of Italian Language and Culture.

Italian Food

Being products of popular culture, memes often aim to mock renowned peculiarities of a specific culture. And I can bet everything I own that the first thing that comes to your mind when thinking of Italy and Italians is food. Although some food originally considered italian has somehow turned into world heritage (Pizza and Nutella, anyone?), there is still roomfor originality, as in the Latte Art, an elegant extension of the Cappuccino culture, category or in those memes who parody the irreducible affection that italian families have for anything related to food and eating.

Gorgeous, but NEVER after midday!

Gorgeous, but NEVER after midday!

As my grandma used to say: "t'è abbastato?" ("did you have enough?")

As my grandma used to say: “t’è abbastato?” (“did you have enough?”). Regardless of the answer, I would get more food.

Probably not food at all, if you ask me...

Probably not food at all, if you ask me…

True, there's also pasta.

True, there’s also pasta.

Italian Family

Another thing peculiar with Italy is, of course, family structure. In particular, nonni and nonne are priviledged subjects of very funny and sweet memes, preferably realized in the US or in Australia, where the descendent of Italian immigrants are still holding on to some of their traditions.

Not even in SUMMER.

Not even in AUGUST.

Gosh, that really makes me think of my grandpa (except for the chinotto - he was more into wine).

Gosh, this really makes me think of my beloved grandpa (except for the chinotto – he was more into wine).

This is so true I can actually picture the scene in my mind.

This is so true I can actually picture the scene in my mind.

Italian Language

Aaaand eventually we have reached our area of expertise! I am actually surprise by how many memes there are out there about Italian language – especially related to italian gestures. Needless to say, if you need material to create more memes like this you should sign up **instantly** to one of our Italian Language Courses in Rome!

Mmmm... no.

Mmmm… no (btw you are doing it wrong).

That would be so badass. We strongly encourage you to do it at our school.

That would be so badass. We strongly encourage you to do it at our school.

Probably both.

Probably both.

No, but they sound good!

No, but they sound really good!

Tourism in Italy

These are realy funny, especially for people who are living in Rome or in any other major italian city. Main target is, as you can imagine, the often innocent stupidity that takes over in each and every human being when he\she plays the role of the tourist (especially the english-speaking one).


And now I dare you to say that government in Italy doesn’t work…


Basically puts a vowel at the end-a of-a each-a word-a.

Before seeing this, I used to hate those pics in front of that poor, deformed and abused tower.

Before seeing this, I used to hate those pics in front of that poor, deformed and abused tower.


Good point mate!

Italian Economy

Let’s admit it: Italian economy is just a mess. Actually, after the big brexit earthquake, whole Europe is shaking while trying to collect the pieces of EU economy. Perfect subject for memes, isn’t it?

It is NSFW and we are actually very ashamed of fact that his guy has been our prime minister, but still people find it funny...

It is NSFW and we are actually very ashamed of fact that his guy has been our prime minister, but still people find it funny…

Germany for once depicted as the good guy!

Germany for once depicted as the good guy! That is unusual.

Italian sports

Here you’ll get exactly what you expect: lots of football-related memes! We play it dirty, but we can also play it funny.

Summer dance!

Dear Zinedine, we will always be thankful for this.

Dear Zinedine, we will always be thankful for this.

So much Balotelli, so little time...

So much Balotelli, so little time…

Italian Cinema and art

We as Italians gave so much to art history and to the movie industry, that would be simply unfair not to receive anything back, at least in the form of a meme.

Italian Spiderman: not even remotely Italian, but still gorgeous.

Italian Spiderman: not even remotely Italian, but still gorgeous.

A collection of Leonardo's Last Supper parodies, some of which are really clever!

A collection of Leonardo’s Last Supper parodies, some of which are really clever!

If you get this, you deserve an A+ in Italian History.

If you get this, you deserve an A+ in Italian History.

Stereotypes about Italy

If you think about it each and every one of those category contained a fair dose of stereotype which is a common strategy human beings use to understand reality. But sometimes stereotypes become either ridiculous or offensive, and yet a good occasion to build up a successful meme, as you know the internet too is both ridiculous and sometimes deeply offensive.


SUPER-MARIO-IS-ACTUALLY-JAPANESE – like some of your overpaid tattoos.

This is wrong in so many ways...

This is wrong in so many ways…

And that’s all! If you have any suggestion or got angry about something written in this article, feel free to load the comment section with you rants! Alla prossima! 😉

Read the original article on Kappa Language School’s website.


Ennio Morricone made us proud once again

Everyone has heard by now about Leonardo DiCaprio finally winning an Oscar. It’s the biggest internet news since that blue/black, gold/white dress that sent everyone into a panic. But another big name has waited quite awhile to receive his own oscar. While Ennio Morricone did receive an honorary oscar in 2007 for his contributions to the musical and cinematic community, he had yet to win one for a specific compostion he had done, UNTIL this past academy awards when he won for best soundtrack of the marvelous movie, The Hateful Eight directed by Quentin Tarantino.

Morricone is a composer of many kinds of genres, however, he started off working in the so called Spaghetti Western genre. For those who don’t know what Spaghetti Western is, it is a class of western movies produced and directed by Italians in Italy. The term was first coined by American movie critics after Sergio Leone made his mark on the cinematic culture with masterpieces such as A Fistful Od Dollars and The Good, The Bad And The Ugly. Morricone started in music around the age of 12, studying at the Conservatory of Santa Cecilia in Rome. He was first nominated for an oscar in 1979, and was nominated several more times until 2007.

Quentin Tarantino has always been a big fan of the Italian music legend, and has used Morricone’s compositions in several of his other movies, such as Inglourious Basterds, Django Unchained, and in both Kill Bill: Vol. 1 and Vol. 2. However, Morricone had never actually written an original soundtrack for Tarantino, confirming the general reputation of master Quentin amongst the movie estabilishment (“he is like that beautiful but yet awkward woman everyone likes very much but nobody actually has the courage to approach”, a critic once said). That until the director convinced Morricone to compose the soundtrack for The Hateful Eight. But Morricone, having accepted the job just two weeks before starting to work on another soundtrack, actually made use of a some scraps from the soundtrack of John Carpenter’s masterpiece The Thing which he wrote originally in 1982.

While Morricone has a worked in a wide range of genres and some of his pieces are extremely well-known, here are a selection of some lesser known compositions of his.

Similar to the superfamous theme from Once Upon A Time In America (see below), this delicate oboe piece from the movie The Mission (directed by Roland Joffé, starring Robert De Niro and Jeremy Irons) sounds delicate, intriguing and heartfelt, perfectly matching the atmosphere of the scene, in which father Gabriel and the Guarani tribesmen get to know each other through music.

The theme from the underestimated Moscow Farewell by italian director Mauro Bolognini, this track perfectly introduces the cold and rarefied scenario of Moscow under the communist regime.

Composed for the carachter of Deborah Gelly, played by Jennifer Connelly and Elizabeth McGovern, this theme doesn’t fail to outline the tragic profile of the woman, using a nostalgic and mellow refrai.

This track was composed for the movie Diabolik, inspired by the classic comic series, and borrows stylistic features from the coeval poliziottesco genre while preserving the original Morricone sound, based on a catchy and somehow obsessive melody.

From the movie with the same title directed by Alberto Bevilacqua, this dreaming suite pictures perfectly the intriguing traits of the movie’s main carachter, played by an outstanding Romy Schneider.

Do you agree with our list? Would you like to add some more titles? Post your own two cents in the comment section!

Read the original article on Kappa Language School’s website.

Italian cinema: 10 little known gems set in Rome

When you think about Rome in movies, you suddenly face a bunch of titles that brutally take the scene, leaving little space to a whole genre which we could boldly call “romexploitation”. That said, while approaching this list you shouldn’t expect quotations from La dolce vita, cuts from Eat, Pray Love (watching that particular movie is probably considered a fellony in various countries) or devoted tributes to La Grande Bellezza, for we’re going to approach romexploitation from a less traveled path, the one with the hidden gems. Although not every movie of this list is a masterpiece, each one of them depicts Rome with a particular palette, giving a vivid picture of what the Eternal City was, is or will be.

  1. Roma contro Roma, Giuseppe Vari (1964). As promised, let’s start with a cult b-movie which mixes historical drama with… zombies! Except for some scenes, the movie is not literally set in Rome (the main plot takes place in the geographic area of Asia Minor), but the omnipresent theme of the Caput Mundi, openly described as “the Queen of civilization”, endangered by an obscure goddess of terror, puts this movie right on the top of our list. Distributed in the US with the title The War of Zombies, this work is a bright example of the flourishing italian b-movie movement which has been inspiring masters such as Quentin Tarantino among others.
  2. Brutti, sporchi e cattivi, Ettore Scola (1976). Although this brilliant depiction of the roman slums in the early 70s is a little more known, this story is both unique and disturbing, especially if you consider that this often cruel fresco of human miseries doesn’t alter reality to create (both phisically and morally) monstrous characters, but uses real life as it was – and sometimes is – to show how the human condition can be as repulsive and unbelievable as a grotesque decoration. Having become famous both among cinephiles and language loving freaks for its outstanding mix of roman and southern dialects (the main charachter, played by immortal Nino Manfredi, is an immigrated patriarch from Puglia), this movie also contains one of the most sadly hilarious scenes in the history of italian cinema.
  3. Amore tossico, Claudio Caligari (1983). This movie has spurred such a cult that actual urban legends were born around it. Directed by standoffish author Claudio Caligari, this work ideally continues the tradition of italian neorealism, portraying its extreme consequences. Entirely played by non professional actors, literally collected from the worst drug streets of Ostia, Amore tossico offers an unprecedented insight in the world of heroin addiction during the early 80s. It is commonly believed that many of the performes died after the movie was shot, but this was the case for just two of them; nevertheless, this movie is so crude that watching it today, 35 years after the events depicted, still sends chills down your spine.
  4. Febbre da cavallo, Steno (1976). Enough with the bad feelings, let’s take a look at a title ascribable to the great tradition of italian 70s comedy. Directed by Steno, a master of the genre, this movie analyzes, with an amused and accomplice look, the world of horse betting in the sunny and easygoing scenario of the roman suburbs. Supported by a more than prestigious cast (Gigi Proietti, Katherine Spaak and Enrico Montesano above all others), this delicious comedy smells like hay and cigar smoke, and its surreal plot never fails to amuse the audience. Simply a must.
  5. Cosmonauta, Susanna Nicchiarelli (2009). Entirely shot in the Trullo neighborhood, located in the far western outskirts of the city, Cosmonauta is a delicate and empathetic narration of the ideological, political and personal growth of a young woman in the late 60s. Especially reccomended to those viewers who are not familiar with the role that Italian Communist Party (PCI) has been playing in the cultural history of the Belpaese.
  6. Mille bolle blu, Leone Pompucci (1993). Set in the district of Prati, near the Vatican City, during the summer of 1961, the plot of this nostalgic drama is characterized by two elements: the eponymous song, which evocates a whole set of cultural and historical references related to a that sort of paradise lost which Italy was in the years of economic boom; the solar eclipse, which actually took place that year and marked the childhood of so many of our parents (personally my mum told me nearly 1000 times about that unforgettable day).
  7. Un borghese piccolo piccolo, Mario Monicelli (1977). Being proud inhabitants of the Monti neighborhood, we couldn’t miss the chance to include our patron saint Mario Monicelli in this list. This movie, adapted from a book by Vincenzo Cerami and starring a majestic Alberto Sordi, is considered one of the highest peaks of Monicelli’s productions, though it is also one of his most bitter and dramatic works. Having nothing to envy from other movies focused on revenge and its aftermath, Un borghese piccolo piccolo turns out to be extremely disturbing both for the social environment in which it is set (roman middle class with its miseries and its tragedies) and for the dramatic and moral burden it carries, telling the story of a desperate father – once a charmless average man – who loses his only son in a tragic accident.
  8. Mortacci, Sergio Citti (1989). Again a grotesque comedy, but not as desperate as Brutti, sporchi e cattivi. Starring Vittorio Gassman and Sergio Rubini and set in a roman cemetery, the movie is a long and elaborated theatrical piece in which the souls of the deceased are discussing life, afterlife, destiny, love, grief, war, heroism, cowardice and any other human condition. The whole spirit of this enjoyable movie is summarized in the following line by Alma, one of the spirits that haunt the cemetery: «Le cose che prima ci facevano piangere adesso ci fanno ridere» (literally: the things that once made us cry, now make us laugh).
  9. In barca a vela contromano, Stefano Reali (1997). From the cemetery heading backwards to the hospital! This gracious comedy, starring roman icon Valerio Mastandrea among others, tells the story of a young man, Massimo, which is waiting for a knee surgery in a roman hospital and gets involved in an illegal black market within the hospital itself. Although this movie reports a serious problem of misconduct that afflicts the italian healthcare system, the tone in which the story is told lightens the atmosphere and makes the movie enjoyable without nullifying its moral and formative message.
  10. Et in terra pax, Matteo Botrugno (2010). Back to the suburbs with this dramatic story set in the ill-famous slum of Corviale (aka er serpentone, “the big snake”), one of the worst examples of urban architechture of the XX century. The plot itself doesn’t appear to be so original (it is the usual story of a failed redemption and harsh return to brutal reality), but what stuns the viewer in this movie is the clean photography, the genuine and immersive atmosphere of the roman suburbs, the psychological depth of some of the characters, alongside with some good choices concerning the sountrack (as suggested by the title). To us, one of the best movies of 2010 and altogether one of the best movies about Rome made in the last ten years.

And that’s it, our non-exhaustive list of hidden treasures. Needless to say we will get very disappointend if you won’t watch all of those movies and have your say in the comments. 😉

As an extra content, you can take a look at this beautiful tumblr, in which frames taken from old movies set in Rome are compared with modern pictures shot in the same streets. Enjoy!

[Special thanks to our bright student Andrea for cleaning up this mess and putting it into intelligible English!]

Read the original article on Kappa Language School’s website.

A puppet’s tale

pinocchio (1)Have you ever heard about the story of a wooden puppet who is able to walk, speak, eat and whose dream is to become a real boy? Of course you did! We are talking about Pinocchio, the main character of one of the most famous Italian childrens novels, “Le avventure di Pinocchio”, written by Carlo Collodi from Firenze. Pinocchio is well-known for his nose, which grows every time he tells a lie; so well-known, in fact, that pathological liars are said to be affected by the “Pinocchio syndrome” (please, take a look at the Korean drama “Pinocchio”) and that Italians use to say that la bugia ti corre su per il naso (which means that you can detect a liar only looking at his/her facial expressions). Pinocchio is irresponsible, disobedient, impudent and he runs away from his “father” Geppetto as soon as he is able to walk. After leaving Geppetto, the puppet meets a lot of strange characters, popular as much as Pinocchio in the Italian culture:

  • mangiafuocoMangiafuoco (literally “fire-eater”), the master of the Great Marionette Theatre, an irascible and ugly man, large and with red hairs, who sneezes every time he moves to compassion. And if an Italian friend calls you “mangiafuoco”, start asking yourself if you are a bossy and irascible person…
  • The cat and the fox (il Gatto e la Volpe), a pair of greedy cheats who lie to Pinocchio in order to rob him of his few belongings. In the Italian imagination they are icons of cunning and tricks: “essere come il gatto e la volpe” means to be inseparable… mainly to behave dishonestly. And how could we forget the Italian song “Il gatto e la volpe” by Edoarbo Bennato? Listen to it and you will learn not to trust the cat and the fox:)
  • The talking cricket (il Grillo Parlante), who tries to GRILLO_PARLANTE_DDDgive good advices to Pinocchio. He represents the conscience of the puppet, who continues to joke and laugh without listen to him. Do you like to invite constantly other people to behave in a good way and to be wise? Well, pay attention, you are becoming a “grillo parlante”!
  • The blue-haired fairy (la Fata Turchina), a warm-hearted fairy who forgives the misbehaviour of Pinocchio and tries to help him in all ways. So if you are a kind and sympathetic woman, always ready to help others (even too much), keep calm and begin to train you patience: you friends will start soon to call you fata turchina!

And if you want to know more about Pinocchio, you just have to choose whether reading the original fairytale or watching one of the movies based on the novel. I personally suggest “Le avventure di Pinocchio”, directed by Luigi Comencini (1972) – with an unforgettable Nino Manfredi in the role of Geppetto – and “Pinocchio”, directed by Roberto Benigni (2002).

Read the original article on Kappa Language School’s website.

A map of Italian cinema classics, region by region

I just found this map on the internet and thought it is very stimulating, especially if you consider that the most productive regions (Lombardia, Emilia Romagna, Lazio and Sicilia above all others) seem to work with genres that are seen as more appropriate to the cultural atmosphere of their specific territory.

For example, immersed in the grey metropolitan scenarios of the workaholic Lombardia you will find bright examples of italian noir of the early 70s, later turned into the exploitation subgenre known as poliziottesco (I milanesi ammazzano al sabato, which by the way is not the exact title of the movie, is just one of many quotable classics: see also unforgettable masterpieces like Milano calibro 9 or Milano odia: la polizia non può sparare) or several titles referable to the commedia comica tradition (Il ragazzo di campagna with comedian Renato Pozzetto is just one of the many quotable productions: see also the trashy masterpiece Fratelli d’Italia or one of the many movies starring singer Adriano Celentano, such as Lui è peggio di me).

On the other hand, Emilia Romagna, with its endless plains and its decadent moods, blooms with titles by maestros such as Federico Fellini and Bernardo Bertolucci: the first with his oniric and almost mystic approach to reality, obvious in the quoted classic Amarcord; the latter with his majestic fresco of italian history that is Novecento, somehow continuing the realist tradition of early XX century italian literature and the moods of some late neorealist classics (see Il Gattopardo by Luchino Visconti).

Lazio, being the region of political and spiritual power, suffers from a sort of good tempered parochialism, offering more than a title strictly related to the cultural and linguistic features of Rome and its sorrounding: the renowned Marchese del Grillo stands alongside many other historical dramas set in the papal Rome, such as Nell’anno del Signore or In nome del Papa Re, all presenting very strict references to roman dialects and famous roman vernacular poets (Giuseppe Gioacchino Belli and Trilussa above all others); later, neorealism will draw with both hands from the dramatic experience of nazist occupation of Lazio (La ciociara) and from the postbellic and postindustrial despair in the big city (Accattone and Amore Tossico, both starring amateur actors picked up from the streets).

Finally, the harsh and yet amazingly beautiful scenario of Sicilia has inspired movies in which the cultural features of southern Italy are clearly recognizable: the unforgiving presence of traditional family, with its suffocating tentacles, and the women’s role are two main topics in movies such as Divorzio all’italiana and Sedotta e abbandonata, both by Pietro Germi; and yet this accurate analysis of sicilian social structures sometimes leaves room to a more surrealistic approach, such as the one offerd in Totò che visse due volte by Ciprì & Maresco. Interestingly enough, movies about Mafia are not that common, or at least not as much as a foreign viewer might think…

Sorry, Molise and Valle d'Aosta. Your time will come.

Sorry, Molise and Valle d’Aosta. Your time will come.

Read the original article on Kappa Language School’s website.

Il lungometraggio: didattizzazione e utilizzo nel contesto di una classe di Italiano L2 – Terza e ultima parte

Some pics from our workshop

Some pics from our workshop

This is the third and last part of the transcription of our speech at the workshop Le parole sono importanti, organized by our friends from Happy Languges and hosted by our school on July, 28th 2014. We are confident it can provide some useful guideline to those, Italians or foreigners, are willing to implement the use of movies in their teaching method. The transcription is, of course, in Italian, but you can contact us and request a translation.

(clicca qui per leggere la seconda parte)

4. (continua da) Costruzione dell’unità didattica ed esempio di didattizzazione

Quando l’operazione di trascrizione per le scene selezionate sarà ultimata, potrà avere inizio il lavoro di didattizzazione vero e proprio. Ogni scena costituirà il testo base per un’unità didattica, e tutte le scene (per loro natura semanticamente coerenti), assieme ad una fase introduttiva di motivazione alla visione del film e ad una fase conclusiva di sintesi, costituiranno il modulo didattico nella sua interezza, che perciò avrà una struttura di questo tipo:

Lezione 1: motivazione e visione del film
Lezione 2: unità didattica 1
Lezione 3: unità didattica 2

Lezione n: sintesi

Si noti che, volendo ricondurre la struttura del modulo a quella di un’unità didattica classica, le unità basate sulle singole scene costituiranno latu sensu la fase di analisi del film, pur essendo a loro volta tripartite nella comune struttura globalità-analisi-sintesi del metodo comunicativo. A tal proposito si veda la dispensa 1, che riporta un canovaccio di lavoro per la didattizzazione del film Mine vaganti.

Prima di lavorare sulle singole scene, dunque sarà opportuno curare la fase introduttiva, o di motivazione, che precederà la visione integrale e immediata del film in classe. Ovviamente, la complessità e la profondità della fase di motivazione dovranno essere coerenti con il livello degli apprendenti a cui verrà somministrato il modulo. Come risulterà evidente dalle dispense 2 e 3, rispettivamente tratte da moduli didattici basati sui film Manuale d’amore (destinato ad apprendenti di livello A2) e Basilicata coast to coast (destinato ad apprendenti di livello B2), questa fase può prendere le mosse da elementi di base quali il titolo del film oppure, in caso di un pubblico di discenti con competenze più avanzate, da una sequenza introduttiva (ad esempio un breve monologo, come nel caso in oggetto) arricchita da testi di facile comprensione che introducano uno o più dei messaggi culturali veicolati dal film. A tale fase, che può avere una durata variabile e che dunque può configurarsi pure come unità didattica distinta (come nel caso di Basilicata coast to coast), seguirà come detto la visione integrale del film. È di fondamentale importanza che si tratti di una fruizione immediata, cioè non appesantita da supporti didattici, affinché lo studente sia esposto alla globalità del testo senza interferenze. Obiezione comune è che sarà inevitabilmente difficile, per uno studente di livello medio-basso, seguire l’intero lungometraggio senza perdere fondamentali porzioni di significato e dunque il filo narrativo; la risposta più sensata a tale obiezione è che questa eventualità deve essere presa in considerazione dal docente all’atto della scelta del film e del profilo di apprendenti ai quali quest’ultimo dovrà essere destinato. Inoltre, occorre ricordare che la comprensione richiesta da una visione globale del film è di carattere del tutto generale e riguarda più che altro gli aspetti salienti della trama, per cui si avrà cura, come detto, di selezionare dei lungometraggi la cui trama sia lineare e il cui messaggio sia veicolato non solo dalla lingua, ma pure dagli altri significanti del testo filmico (elementi visuali, ambientazione, musiche).

Quanto alla costruzione di unità didattiche attorno alle singole scene, si procederà rintracciando dapprima gli elementi grammaticali (mediante la mera conta delle occorrenze), quelli lessicali e quelli comunicativi presenti in ogni testo. Una volta evidenziati ed isolati i suddetti elementi, si avrà buon gioco nello strutturare un’unità classica basata sulle tre fasi (globalità-analisi-sintesi), come illustrato nelle dispense 4 e 5, rispettivamente unità didattiche costruite su uno degli episodi di Manuale d’amore (livello A2) e su una scena del film Mine vaganti (livello B1\B2). Si procederà perciò come segue:

  • breve fase di motivazione che riprenda gli elementi narrativi del film o introduca quelli particolari della scena in fase di studio;
  • visione globale della scena;
  • comprensione della scena con attività classiche (domande a risposta chiusa, domande a risposta aperta, incroci, esercizi di completamento);
  • comprensione del lessico;
  • analisi grammaticale;
  • analisi comunicativa;
  • sintesi (produzione di un testo, roleplay) e riuso.

Nel caso di studenti di livello avanzato, si potrà senza dubbio arricchire la fase di sintesi con ulteriori input testuali che chiariscano alcuni aspetti lessicali, comunicativi o culturali incontrati durante l’unità didattica (si veda, in tal caso, la dispensa 6, sempre tratta dalla didattizzazione di una scena di Basilicata coast to coast).

La fase di sintesi, ultima e fondamentale unità costitutiva del modulo, avrà il compito di chiarire allo studente gli elementi culturali veicolati dal film e, inoltre, gli offrirà la possibilità di esercitarsi nella produzione esprimendo le proprie opinioni sul film e analizzando le caratteristiche dei vari personaggi. La fase di sintesi può essere condotta come una vera e propria unità didattica, partendo perciò da un testo e innestandovi una serie di attività che sintetizzino le competenze (soprattutto culturali) acquisite durante il modulo, oppure, più appropriatamente, come una lezione di conversazione che prenda le mosse da una lettura di un testo di critica, come quelli in dispensa 7 sul film Basilicata coast to coast. È possibile inoltre proporre degli esercizi di riepilogo sui protagonisti del film, mettendone in evidenza i tratti caratteriali salienti ed il loro ruolo nella storia (come proposto dalle attività in dispensa 8, relativa nuovamente al film Mine vaganti).

Read the original full article on Kappa Language School’s website.

Il lungometraggio: didattizzazione e utilizzo nel contesto di una classe di Italiano L2 – Seconda parte

Some pics from our workshop

Some pics from our workshop

This is the second part of the transcription of our speech at the workshop Le parole sono importanti, organized by our friends from Happy Languges and hosted by our school on July, 28th 2014. We are confident it can provide some useful guideline to those, Italians or foreigners, are willing to implement the use of movies in their teaching method. The transcription is, of course, in Italian, but you can contact us and request a translation.

(clicca qui per leggere la prima parte)

3. Esempi di materiale disponibile in commercio sull’uso dei lungometraggi nell’insegnamento dell’italiano a stranieri.

All’interno della pur povera offerta di testi che presentano materiale filmico didattizzato, si è pensato di operare una selezione per estremi opposti, che evidenzi gli elementi di debolezza di quello che secondo noi è il testo che più si distanzia dal format ideale e i punti di forza del manuale che invece ci pare vi si avvicini di più.

  • Cristina Maddoli, L’italiano al cinema, Guerra edizioni, 2008

Elementi di debolezza: si fa menzione del target solo a pag. 16; i testi sono tratti dalla sceneggiatura e non dalla trascrizione dell’audio (differenza, come vedremo in seguito, cruciale); l’intero volume sembra impostato più che altro come una guida per madrelingua esperti del settore; l’analisi testuale è condotta su poche scene; le attività non sono adeguate o addirittura mancano; la mole di riflessione critica ed estetica è francamente debordante e relega l’attività linguistica e culturale destinata agli apprendenti stranieri a ruolo di appendice.

  • Paolo Balboni (a cura di), Quaderni di cinema italiano per stranieri, Guerra edizioni – Es. La prima cosa bella di Paolo Virzì, febbraio 2014, livello B2/C1

Elementi di forza: il volume si pregia di una buona fase di motivazione, che stimola gli studenti a fare ricorso alle loro conoscenze pregresse; le attività sono costruite sui dialoghi recitati e non sullo script; si presta una grande attenzione all’analisi lessicale, attraverso attività adatte al livello di conoscenza dell’italiano richiesta (es. analisi delle caratteristiche del toscano rispetto all’italiano standard); è riconosciuta la giusta importanza all’aspetto socioculturale, con attività che stimolano una riflessione sul ruolo della figura materna in Italia.

Di seguito, una breve bibliografia dei testi dedicati all’insegnamento dell’italiano a stranieri mediante lungometraggi:

Aiello R., Lorenzotti A., Cinema Italiano: cortometraggi d’autore con sottotitoli, Firenze, Alma edizioni, 2009
Balboni P. (a cura di), Quaderni di cinema italiano per stranieri, Perugia, Guerra edizioni, 2003
Celentin P., Triolo, R., Audiovisivi, intercultura e italiano L2, Venezia, Laboratorio Itals, 2005
Costantini L., Tomassini P., Montesi A., Per un pugno di corti: l’italiano attraverso i cortometraggi, Perugia, Guerra edizioni, 2008
Diadori P., Cinema, apprendimento della L2 e pragmatica transculturale, Milano, Fondazione ISMU, 2007
Diadori P., Micheli P., Cinema e didattica dell’Italiano L2, Perugia, Guerra edizioni, 2010
Maddoli C., L’italiano al cinema, Perugia, Guerra edizioni, 2008

4. Costruzione dell’unità didattica ed esempio di didattizzazione

I due elementi da tenere in considerazione per l’individuazione del film da didattizzare sono:

  • il messaggio culturale del film (che costituirà lo scopo globale del modulo);
  • la struttura del lungometraggio, nella valutazione della quale occorrerà tenere conto di caratteristiche quali la divisibilità in macrosequenze, la struttura narrativa (ad episodi, a cornice, a flashback o a flashforward ecc.), la linearità della trama ecc.

Una volta selezionato un lungometraggio, è d’obbligo adoperarsi in una visione ragionata dello stesso. La tecnica più proficua in tal senso è quella di sottoporsi, al pari di quanto verrà richiesto agli studenti, ad una visione globale del film, durante la quale il docente avrà cura di individuare con maggiore precisione gli elementi culturali in esso contenuti e di evidenziare un numero limitato di scene (intese come sequenze semanticamente compiute) di particolare interesse grammaticale e comunicativo sulle quali si intende operare la didattizzazione. Di tali scene egli sarà obbligato, in un secondo momento, ad approntare una trascrizione fedele (completa, cioè, di segnali fatici, riprese e interruzioni, inserti dialettali ecc.). Questo procedimento, senz’altro meccanico e fisicamente stancante, risulta indispensabile in quanto le sceneggiature, pur facilmente reperibili, risultano inadatte allo scopo. Ciò appare evidente per due motivi:

  1. la sceneggiatura nasce e si sviluppa come testo scritto, mentre al docente interessa il testo complesso costituito dal film (o dalla scena) nel suo insieme, che senz’altro prende le mosse dalla sceneggiatura ma la arricchisce e si arricchisce di contenuti (dati dalla mimica, dal contesto deittico, dalla prossemica ecc.) che nel medium scritto sono espressi, nel migliore dei casi, in maniera affatto parziale;
  2. raramente la sceneggiatura è fedele al recitato, sia da un punto di vista morfologico e sintattico (la piccola modifica di un pronome, operata da un attore in fase di recitazione, può risultare cruciale nel contesto di una lezione di italiano L2), sia dal punto di vista della variazione diatopica e diafasica (sono frequenti inserti dialettali e gergali o fenomeni di code-switching o code-mixing che scaturiscono dalla libera interpretazione del recitante).

Compito del docente in questa fase sarà anche quello di precisare, in base alla lingua (o alle variazioni linguistiche) contemplate dal film selezionato, il livello di apprendenti a cui intende destinare il modulo didattico. Concezione comune è che un film, in quanto unità semantica complessa, sia un tipo di testo adatto solo ad apprendenti di livello medio-alto; ebbene, quantunque sia chiaro che la comprensione del messaggio e lo studio delle forme espressive propri di un lungometraggio risultino senz’altro più agevoli per apprendenti con un livello di competenza avanzato, esistono strategie che possono permettere allo studente principiante di avvicinarsi a questo medium senza traumi e con profitto.


Read the original full article on Kappa Language School’s website.