Blended learning and bilingual education

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Abstract

The purpose of the applied research presented herein is to devise and promote language teaching paradigms that are intended to develop bilingual abilities in second-generation Latin Americans (aged 11-12 years) in the Italian middle school, thereby recovering their original linguistic background, while amplifying their knowledge of Italian, thus redefining a carefully balanced, pluralistic linguistic framework. Moreover, the study aims to establish a bilingual teaching model that may also be applied to different language pairings.

The LI.LO (acronym for Italian Language/Native Language) programme was designed and delivered in blended learning on Sybra/CLiRe (Centro Linguistico in Rete) platform of the University of Genoa and it focuses on the development of bilingual skills with respect to academic language, cognitive abilities, and computer competence. It promotes language proficiency and the complete integration of non-Italian, second-generation Latin American students.

The first part of the study illustrates Italian linguistic policies, underscoring the need to close the gap between the actual state of the Italian school system and extant norms. The second part of the study shows the theoretical and methodological assumptions of the blended model of the course LI.LO as well as the course activities. The third part of the article shows the results of the evaluation and self-evaluation questionnaires administered after the study’s completion.

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