Italian (Scholarly Articles)

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  • Publication
    Open educational resources for online language teacher training: conceptual framework and practical implementation
    (AIRCC Publishing Corporation, 2022) Nicora, Francesca; Bologna, Oriana; McLoughlin, Laura
    This paper discusses a conceptual framework for the design of Open Educational Resources (OERs) for online language teacher training including an example of practical implementation. The authors identify in the principles of micro- and macro- learning, cognitive load theory and Threshold Concepts (TCs), the key elements that lead to the creation of effective OERs designed for the Lilac Project which aims to support language teachers in managing online learning environments. Data from questionnaires and focus groups were utilised to establish a set of TCs connected to online language teaching. These were then crossreferenced with existing TCs, and utilised to create micro learning content that does not negatively impact the cognitive load, but, at the same time, is positioned within a larger macro structure that allows for the development of deeper knowledge and competences. The structure of Lilac OERs will be presented as a practical example of how the potential of technologies to support learning can be embedded in online contexts.
  • Publication
    Moving online: Zoom and audiovisual translation tasks to teach foreign languages to children
    (Universidad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, 2022-12-12) Nicora, Francesca
    Este artículo explora la estructura de un curso de idiomas basado en Traducción Audiovisual (TAV) con el objetivo de adecuarlo para su impartición a niños en un entorno virtual. Dado el potencial de los programas audiovisuales, ricos en información contextualizada, las varias prácticas de TAV se presentan como herramientas poderosas para mantener un nivel alto de motivación entre los discentes, promover su bienestar y facilitar la adquisición de la lengua extranjera. No obstante, el uso de la TAV en estos contextos ha recibido escasa atención y son pocos los estudios realizados con estudiantes jóvenes. No sorprende, pues, que escaseen los recursos didácticos para profesores y que estos informen de dificultades a la hora de gestionar entornos virtuales y de diseñar experiencias efectivas de aprendizaje, especialmente durante el periodo de la pandemia. Presentamos aquí el primer estudio en el que se evalúan las percepciones de los niños sobre el uso tanto de Zoom como de tareas basadas en TAV a la hora de aprender el italiano de manera virtual. Dos años después de que se implementara en su formato inicial híbrido, el curso Impariamo coi cartoni! Learning Italian by captioning and revoicing cartoons, impartido como parte del programa Youth Academy en la Universidad de Galway, Irlanda, se reestructuró para adecuarlo a un entorno virtual. El curso, de 6 semanas de duración, se impartió tres veces, a un total de 38 niños de edades comprendidas entre los 9 y los 12 años. Se han recopilado datos a través de una encuesta y una entrevista realizadas al final del módulo así como observaciones recogidas durante las clases. Los resultados demuestran la valía de un curso de idiomas con enfoque en TAV impartido a niños en un entorno virtual. Su actitud es positiva en relación tanto con la plataforma Zoom como con las dos modalidades de TAV. Los participantes expresan preferencia por el locutado de las traducciones que ven como una actividad colaborativa síncrona, realizada en línea, que combate el aislamiento y promueve la sociabilidad. Su opinión sobre el subtitulado es que es una tarea más difícil, aunque algunos disfrutaron con sus experimentos como aprendices independientes remotos. Los resultados revelan que los niños son capaces de utilizar el software Aegisub de manera autónoma, aunque también necesitan el apoyo de sus progenitores en casa. Los beneficios y retos identificados durante el proceso de aprendizaje han sido esenciales a la hora de formular recomendaciones para profesores y señalan la necesidad de realizar más investigación sobre la TAV en contextos educativos tempranos.
  • Publication
    The corpus of Irish English speech
    (Irish Association for Applied Linguistics, 2022-09-20) Nicora, Francesca
    The past years have witnessed the collection of various corpora for the study of Irish English (IE). Most have been developed and driven by diverse research foci with a specific aim in mind, however, at present data sources consist of unavailable and/or outdated audio files of English spoken primarily in Dublin and Belfast. Additionally, a very limited number of investigations on the prosodic features of IE varieties have been conducted to date. As a result, a comprehensive overview of IE prosodic diversity is still missing and existing speech corpora do not allow for the analysis of intonation patterns, which requires more controlled, purpose-built data sets. A prosodic corpus devoted to the analysis of IE varieties needs to be incorporated into the research agenda. This contribution presents the corpus of Irish English Speech (IES) with the following objectives: to collect recordings of spoken IE across present-day Ireland under a unified protocol in order to guarantee comparisons among different datasets; to obtain an initial phonological inventory of each variety examined; to compare the phonological systems of diverse IE varieties; and to provide researchers with accessible and open data sources. The core of the corpus has been gathered in accordance with the guidelines of the Interactive Atlas of Romance Intonation project (Prieto, Borràs-Comes & Roseano, 2011-2014) via a questionnaire based on the Discourse Completion Task, which was translated and readapted for Irish English speakers, and a Map Dialogue Task designed to obtain spontaneous speech productions. This method has yielded the collection of a wide range of intonation patterns concerning different types of context-specific utterances, such as statements, questions, imperatives and vocatives. After an overview of the segmental phonology of IE, previous studies on the prosodic features of IE varieties and the speech corpora of IE will be examined with the purpose of identifying the gaps in existing literature, which will then be followed by a detailed outline of the development of the corpus of IES. This contribution will provide an illustrative example for fully exploiting the potential of the IES database and call for further in-depth investigations on IE prosody.
  • Publication
    Captioning and revoicing activities to learn Italian as a foreign language: A didactic proposal for children
    (Rutgers University, Department of Italian, 2020-12) Beltramello, Anastasia; Nicora, Francesca
    No abstract available
  • Publication
    Dance, multilingual repertoires and the Italian landscape: asylum seekers’ narratives in an arts-based project
    (Routledge, 2021-12-27) Ciribuco, Andrea; Irish Research Council; Horizon 2020
    This article examines the impact that an arts project had on the relationship between a group of asylum seekers and the Italian town where they live. The project brought together local youth and asylum seekers to engage in dance workshops and video-making workshops. This article combines interviews with project participants and teachers with an analysis of their artistic output. In doing so, it analyses how the multimodal nature of the activities enabled participants to communicate their concerns and aspirations without necessarily using the Italian language ¿ emphasizing the body as a communicative resource and placing it in dialogue with the landscape.
  • Publication
    Sottotitolaggio e apprendimento del vocabolario aziendale in italiano lingua straniera: uno studio esplorativo
    (Edizioni Edilingua, 2021) Nicora, Francesca
    Il presente articolo intende delineare le potenzialità della traduzione audiovisiva e promuove l’attività del sottotitolaggio interlinguistico nell’apprendimento del vocabolario aziendale nella classe di italiano lingua straniera (LS). Lo studio trae ispirazione dalla ricerca esistente nel campo della traduzione audiovisiva in ottica glottodidattica e dalla carenza di indagini sull’insegnamento dell’italiano LS per fini specifici tramite l’impiego di tecniche audiovisive. Dopo una breve introduzione sul valore pedagogico dei sottotitoli e sul quadro teorico di riferimento che ne corrobora i benefici, si illustrerà nel dettaglio il disegno sperimentale di un primo studio esplorativo volto a verificare l’efficacia dell’attività del sottotitolaggio nello sviluppo della competenza lessicale in giovani studenti irlandesi apprendenti l’italiano come microlingua aziendale e commerciale. Nonostante il numero esiguo di soggetti che hanno preso parte allo studio, una preliminare analisi dei dati permetterà di fornire importanti indicazioni future.
  • Publication
    Didattica performativa nella promozione della lingua e cultura Italiana in Irlanda: il corpo e la danza come strumenti di apprendimento linguistico e ponti tra culture
    (Università degli Studi di Milano, 2022-01-26) Dianetti, Michela; Nicora, Francesca
    Negli ultimi anni si è assistito a un progressivo interesse riguardo all’impiego delle arti performative in campo glottodidattico. Tale tendenza è dovuta ad approcci didattici sempre più orientati alla dimensione sociale e non verbale della comunicazione. Tuttavia, per il momento ci sono ancora pochi studi nell’ambito glottodidattico sull’utilizzo del corpo, immobile o in movimento, e della danza nella lezione di lingua straniera. Il contributo intende presentare il progetto Tra-balliamo, un percorso formativo incentrato sulla didattica ludico-performativa e finalizzato alla promozione della lingua e cultura italiana nelle scuole secondarie di Galway, in Irlanda. Dopo una breve introduzione sulla DPLS, viene delineato l’approccio fenomenologico che sottende a una glottodidattica di tipo esperienziale che promuove la danza come strumento di apprendimento linguistico e ponte metaforico tra culture. Una seconda sezione viene poi dedicata alla struttura della proposta didattica, alla progettazione delle fasi che la costituiscono e alla descrizione dettagliata delle attività svolte in classe, con l’intento di offrire un esempio di esperienza formativa che sia facilmente trasponibile in altri contesti o a lingue diverse.
  • Publication
    Okra in translation: Asylum seekers, food, and integration
    (John Benjamins, 2021-06-18) Ciribuco, Andrea; Irish Research Council; Horizon 2020
    This article explores the theme of food translation, based on research conducted in Italy in 2018 with a group of asylum seekers from different West African countries. It concentrates on a community gardening project revolving around the cultivation of okra: a vegetable that is a staple in many African cuisines, but not very popular in Italy, which provided the occasion for the participants to communicate their home foodways.As something that is linked to the most basic human needs, and yet bears high cultural significance, food can be used as a lens to explore the shifting relationship between language and other embodied forms of meaning. Translating food means engaging with a complex interplay of language, sensory experiences, and socio-cultural norms. Drawing from recent semiotically-oriented developments in translation studies as well as applied linguistics, and the semiotics of food, I analyze key participants involvement with the project.
  • Publication
    Translating the village: Translation as part of the everyday lives of asylum seekers in Italy
    (John Benjamins Publishing, 2020-10-27) Ciribuco, Andrea; Irish Research Council; Horizon 2020
    This article explores translation in the lives of asylum seekers from various African countries living in state-provided accommodation in the region of Umbria, Italy. While (semi) professional translators and interpreters play a crucial part in interactions between institutions and asylum seekers, translation invests the totality of the asylum experience. Translation is a vital skill for asylum seekers, and their interactions with the landscape of Italian villages involve the transfer of meaning across different languages and semiotic systems (such as body language, social norms, and cultural practices). Building on recent semiotic and spatial approaches to translation, this article examines the experience of translation that emerged from conversations with asylum seekers, providing an overview of a complex ecosystem of translation and shedding light on the everyday reality of refugee integration.
  • Publication
    How do you say kélén-kélén in Italian? Migration, landscape and untranslatable food
    (Taylor & Francis, 2019-09-19) Ciribuco, Andrea
    ABSTRACTThis article discusses translation and migrant (in)visibility in Italy in the context of the so-called migrant and refugee crisis, using food as a key element in the redefinition of the asylum seekersâ cultural identities. The article builds on the debate on linguistic performance and landscape in translation studies and sociolinguistics, relating the first results of a research project being carried out in Perugia (Italy) in collaboration with the NGO Tamat. If migrants are to gain agency and visibility, this can only happen in relation to the host landscape, the material and linguistic resources available in that landscape, and the possibilities for acting successfully as translators. Food is a key element of the discussion on migration and integration: by studying interactions in an agriculture class for asylum seekers, this article investigates how a discussion on food opens spaces for a productive exploration of difference that involves social, environmental and cultural elements.
  • Publication
    "Saving Venice": local, global and transnational perspectives on cultural heritage in children's fantasy
    (MDPI, 2019-05-29) Myers, Lindsay
    Children s literature has always been heavily influenced by the local and national climate in which it is produced, the birth of this literature having coincided in many places with the formation of the nation-state. Over the last 50 years, however, the effects of globalization have radically transformed the relationship between authors and their markets, and a new tension has arisen in children s texts between the local and the global. Celebrating commonality across boundaries while simultaneously safeguarding the tutelage of cultural heritage can be particularly difficult, especially when (as is the case with Venice) that heritage has been singled out by UNESCO as being under threat. This essay undertakes a close reading of three 21st-century fantasies for children set in Venice: Mary Hoffman s Stravaganza: City of Masks, Laura Walter s Mistica Maeva e l anello di Venezia, and Michelle Lovric s The Undrowned Child, all of which have been translated into other languages and reached audiences far beyond their places of origin. It asks what we mean when we speak about cultural heritage conservation in children s literature today and the extent to which the preservation of Venice s cultural heritage is being depicted in this literature as a transnational phenomenon.
  • Publication
    The languages of transnationalism: translation, training, and transfer
    (Irish American Cultural Institute, 2016-02-01) O'Connor, Anne
    In the flows and connections that are central to transnational studies, language is a conduit that facilitates transfers; it allows for the movement of ideas and people across national and linguistic boundaries. In the case of transnational Irish studies, foreign languages have been both bridges and barriers: bridges in that they allow access and interaction with nonAnglophone worlds, but also barriers because Irish Studies has generally shied away from non-English-language investigations. The degree to which transnational Irish Studies has remained Anglophone, even when purporting to be global in nature, is striking. 1 Irish interactions with Australia, America, Canada, and Britain have, for obvious reasons, dominated Irish transnational studies, while connections with European and non-Anglophone countries have historically received little attention.2 In this article I wish to examine exchanges outside of the English-language domain in nineteenth-century Ireland in order to highlight important alternative dialogues that existed beyond the dominant English narrative. To illustrate these trends, I will use two case studies of multilingual Irish transnationalism from the nineteenth century. The first focuses on translation activity, and the second investigates the study of modern foreign languages in this period. Both will serve to illustrate the currents and circuits between Ireland and Europe that existed in the period and offer new perspectives on an Irish transnationalism that traverses not just national but also linguistic borders.
  • Publication
    Petrarch goes west: translation and the literary canon
    (Taylor & Francis, 2017-09-08) Hodder, Mike; O'Connor, Anne
    This article addresses the translation of Petrarch's work on the Western fringes of Europe demonstrating how the appropriation and transformation of the European literary canon served domestic ends in Ireland in the nineteenth century. The afterlives of Petrarch's texts contribute to understanding how translation can introduce novel material to a target culture which in turn transforms the literature in a new social and cultural context. These translations chart the spread of Petrarch's influence throughout Europe and illustrate how cultures absorb traditions through translations and reworkings. Although the Irish translations of Petrarch (into English) bear some similarities to the British translation tradition, the differences that are highlighted in this study illustrate how translation responds to differing cultural contexts even when dealing with the same linguistic group and time frame. This case study of translations of Petrarch's poetry in Ireland discusses the reach and influence of the Italian writer, while also examining the ability of translation to refashion the poet according to distinct local trends.
  • Publication
    A voyage into Catholicism: Irish travel to Italy in the nineteenth century
    (Taylor & Francis, 2016-05-19) O'Connor, Anne
    The analysis of travel writing and Italy has often focused on the beauty, the history and the heritage of the country; this essay argues that religion was a key element in depictions of the country and that this was especially the case for Irish writers. Italy was a conflictual site for Irish religious debates in the nineteenth century and narratives of Italian travel developed against the background of Irish sectarian religious tensions in this era. This article shows how the Irish accounts of travel to Italy divided along religious lines and how it is crucial to understand Irish travel in the light of the tense religious dynamic of the period. Travel to Italy represented a divergent and influential experience of Catholicism for Irish travellers and Irish travel writing in the nineteenth century accommodated both anti-Catholic views and an emerging counter-narrative penned by indignant Catholic clerical writers.
  • Publication
    Historicized fiction or fictionalized history?: Lia Levi's Cecilia va alla guerra and the legacy of the First World War in contemporary Italian children's literature
    (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2017-04) Myers, Lindsay
    Historical fiction has always been a popular genre in international children's literature, and recent decades have seen a notable increase in the number of novels for children set during the First World War. Providing authentic experiences of past events while simultaneously respecting the attitudes and norms of today's readers can, however, constitute a significant ideological and philosophical conundrum. As Catherine Butler and Hallie O'Donovan have observed, "in a world riven by the effect of cultural mistrust and incomprehension writers seem to face a difficult choice: that of presenting a sanitized past with at least the sympathetic characters displaying an ahistorically liberal sensibility; or appearing to normalise and perpetuate those attitudes through fiction."1 Innovative narrative techniques and point-of-view shifts can be effective tools for engaging contemporary readers with the past, and narratives with first-person perspectives and multiple focalization have become extremely popular in contemporary First World War fiction for children.2 The employment of unconventional narrative perspectives is not, however, in and of itself, inherently progressive; the ideological message of any text being as bound up with the plot, the language, the structural patterns, and the characterization as well as with the accompanying paratextual materials. National biases can also often exert a powerful influence on the content and style of children's historical fiction, particularly when the work is set during a founding moment in that nation's history.
  • Publication
    Triumphant failure: the return of the Irish Papal Brigade
    (Cork Historical and Archaeological Society, 2009) O'Connor, Anne; |~|
    In early 1860, Italian unification was gaining momentum and Pope Pius IX, the temporal ruler of large parts of central Italy, feared an invasion of his extensive territories by the troops of Victor Emanuel of Piedmont Sardinia. The Pope therefore appealed for aid and protection from the wider Catholic world in the hope of forming an army of volunteers to protect the Papal States. The Irish responded to this call to arms, and in the early summer of 1860 about 1,300 men went to Italy to join the Papal Armies.
  • Publication
    That dangerous serpent: Garibaldi and Ireland 1860 - 1870
    (Taylor & Francis (Routledge), 2010-09-28) O'Connor, Anne; |~|
    This article analyses the reaction to Garibaldi in Ireland during the Risorgimento, a reaction which, in its negativity, generally contrasted with the Italian's heroic depiction elsewhere. Attitudes towards Garibaldi reflected existing religious divisions in Ireland, with Protestants supporting him and Catholics condemning his actions in Italy. The study examines ballads, pamphlets and newspapers to illustrate the pro-papal fervour felt in Ireland and the strength of anti-Garibaldi feelings. The decision of Irishmen to form a battalion to fight in defence of the Papal States in 1860 reveals that, ultimately, denigration of Garibaldi became a badge of Irish nationalism. The study highlights the position of Britain in understanding the relationship between Ireland and Italy in these years, pointing out Irish nationalists’ bafflement over Britain's support for Italian unification while it denied similar rights to Irish subjects. The article demonstrates how, in this context, domestic and tactical considerations coloured responses to Garibaldi in Ireland, with Irish issues projected onto the Italian situation, thus leading to entrenched and extreme attitudes towards the Italian soldier.
  • Publication
    Translating the Vatican: Paul Cullen, power and language in nineteenth-century Ireland
    (Taylor & Francis, 2014-09-29) O'Connor, Anne; |~|
    This paper examines how one of the most influential figures in nineteenth-century Ireland, Cardinal Paul Cullen, used language and translation to further his career and his vision for the Catholic Church in this period. It shows how Cullen's language skills served him throughout his life in his role as an agent and liaison, a linking figure between different worlds. The paper demonstrates how Cullen's linguistic abilities and translations gave an early jump-start to his career and subsequently expanded his sphere of influence from the confines of the Vatican to the vast expanses of the Catholic English-speaking world. Through language, Cullen positioned himself as a vital conduit for Irish–Vatican relations and came to be the dominant force in Irish Catholicism for almost thirty years, connecting Ireland to Rome and translating his ambitions and those of the Vatican into reality in Ireland. The paper will demonstrate how language was a forceful tool for change and an instrument of power when wielded by Cullen.
  • Publication
    Beyond the four walls: community based learning and languages
    (Taylor & Francis, 2011-09-20) O'Connor, Anne; |~|
    At a time when languages in universities are under pressure, community-based learning language courses can have many positive benefits: they can increase interest in language learning, they can foster greater engagement with learning, and they can encourage active learning, creativity and teamwork. These courses, which link the classroom and the community, help address needs in the community, share resources and make languages more visible. By giving students the opportunity to engage in practical work, their transferable skills are enhanced. The gap between the university and community is closed and positive attitudes towards language learning are fostered. This paper examines research into community-based learning and language courses and the effect that the approach has on students. Using an example of such a course in NUI Galway, the author gives voice to the student experience of a CBL course and its impact on their motivation, their style of learning and their attitudes towards language learning. Finally, a template for the introduction of such a course is proposed which guides instructors through the central elements in the design, implementation and evaluation of a CBL course.
  • Publication
    Dante Alighieri from absence to stony presence: building memories in nineteenth-century Florence
    (Taylor & Francis, 2013-10-12) O'Connor, Anne; |~|
    The Dante narrative is one of the key narratives of nineteenth-century Italy in the self-fashioning of Italian patriotism. This article looks at the ­momentum behind the project to commemorate Dante in Florence in the early decades of the nineteenth century; it also considers the effect of the outsider gaze on remedying the absence of reminders of the poet in the city; and the beginnings of the utilization of Dante for political and national purposes. It addresses the memorial cult of Dante within a proto-nationalist framework, a cult which was led by Italians, but to which awareness of foreign commentary made an important contribution. The project of raising a monument to Dante in Florence in the pre-unification period provides a case study for the close examination of many entangled concerns. An examination of monuments in the formative stages of the Risorgimento reveals their extreme potency and ability to provide concrete examples of how collective myths and memories are mapped onto a landscape. Furthermore, the monument to Dante in Santa Croce shows how politics, ideology and literature combined to bring the project to fruition and to contribute to the evolving nineteenth-century Dante narrative.