The DITALS Centre in Italy created a new tool, the DITALS BASE Certification for Teachers of Italian as a Second Language. This test certifies a basic competence in teaching Italian to foreigners.
“We hope to offer an opportunity of change to people who need to escape the ‘low skills trap’ or wish to re-start a new professional project, in particular novice teachers,” says Professor Pierangela Diadori.
The target groups include individuals of Italian origin living abroad. It also targets post-high school and post-graduate students in Italy and abroad who wish to use their skills in Italian to start a career as Italian language teachers.
It is often more about lack of confidence than lack of skills.
“The challenge is to make the target group more confident about their potential skills and
knowledge in the field of teaching Italian language and culture to foreign students.”
Promoting diversity of cultures
To participate in the exam, the learner must have a proficiency in Italian at least at B2 level, but prior experience in teaching is not required. The examination is composed of three practical written parts, to test the skills related to the work in the classroom of a teacher of Italian language for foreigners. The exams take place in Siena and in other partner institutions in Italy and abroad, and the DITALS Centre organises preparation courses which integrate online modules on specific themes relevant for the exam.
Targeting adults, the certification provides an opportunity for the integration of both Italians and foreigners who have difficulty entering the labour market and whose knowledge of Italian at B2 level would help in social advancement and integration into the working world. The project also aims to develop the multilingual and multicultural skills of Italian people who live abroad.
The key value that inspired the DITALS team was the importance of promoting a basic teaching awareness in all those who are involved in the promotion of Italian as a foreign language. The partners see DITALS BASE as a means to also promote diversity of cultures and languages.
“Furthermore, the DITALS BASE could be an inspiring opportunity to open up to a new profession all those who have a basic education and a basic knowledge of Italian language and culture,” Professor Pierangela Diadori says.
The project: Ditals Base
- Award category: National projects (Italy)
- Learner target group: People starting their professional career, needing help to come out of “low skills trap” or wishing to re-start a new professional project
- Innovative practice: Promotion of basic teaching awareness
- Organisation: Centro DITALS – Università per Stranieri di Siena
- Contact: Prof. Pierangela Diadori
The article series shares good practices on engaging new learners by introducing the nominees of the EAEA Grundtvig Award 2017.
Text: Lou-Andréa PinsonPhotos: DITALS BASE