L. Cignoni1, A. Fornaciari2, G. Fornaciari3

1National Research Council (ITALY)
2Section of Medieval Archaeology, Department of Archaeology and History of Arts (ITALY)
3University of Pisa, Department of Oncology, Transplants and Modern Technologies in Medicine (ITALY)
This paper discusses on how two complementary tools, an English grammar and a bilingual (Italian-English) glossary, can be expanded by University students attending a CLIL (Content and Language Integrated Learning) course in which a funerary archaeology lecturer from the Division of Palaeopathology, History of Medicine and Bioethics of Pisa University and an English language instructor from the Institute of Computational Linguistics of the National Research Council (CNR) in Pisa work together, integrating content and language. The classes will then be continued during archaeological excavations carried out at Benabbio in Tuscany where the students will be assisted by an archaeologist teaching them standard field techniques. Starting from a sample of Italian and English monographic texts and other publications in printed or electronic form dealing with the subject of funerary archaeology and other related research areas (places and types of burials, morphological analysis of the bones, interpretation of bone injuries, etc. as well as field archaeology, anatomy, chemistry and anthropology, which can provide new insights into past civilizations, cultures and practices so far undiscovered), we have extracted separate, preliminary lists of specialized terms. The students working alone, in pairs or in groups, are asked to track down additional words, definitions and example sentences drawn from authoritative sources, with specification of the author and detailed reference so that users may refer to the complete source document. The information should be written in independent appropriately labelled files, and sent to the computer analyst responsible for the computer software editing. The reading of various definitions at different levels of depth will enable the user to understand better, have a clearer and more exhaustive picture of a particular word, concept, or phenomenon. The glossary, addressed to the students who are at the same time creators and users of the product, can also be of interest to professors, scholars or translators who may need to dispose of the specialised terms of funerary archaeology in a language other than their own. Many of the definitions and other useful information can be exploited to illustrate the different grammar points and structures of an easy-to-use on-line English intermediate-level grammar book, to study the grammar not in isolation but in meaningful contexts and real-life situations, to encourage the learners to become active explorers of the language. This ongoing grammar can be a valuable resource for students with minimum linguistic knowledge and competence, but also be useful to those wishing to improve the English language, by enhancing learning proficiency. Implementation of the two complementary products - grammar and glossary - will proceed together, contributing to the learning of funerary archaeology on the part of the students, both learners and creators of the two tools. As we know, the possibilities offered by the computer in terms of space, links, cross-references, etc. make it possible to organize and customize the material, meeting as much as possible the users’ needs. The technological tools increasingly available in the educational context support both the subject and language teacher in making the learning process easier and more engaging, helping clarify certain concepts in a non-traditional way in order to accomplish various instructional objectives.