P. Gherardelli

Institute Leonardo da Vinci (ITALY)
In Italian vocational high schools, students take an average of 3 hours of English language classes per week and  study the English related to their specific discipline only in the last three years. Most students do not pursue their studies after the high school diploma. At the same time in the workplace a good knowledge of the English language is frequently a must.

The main questions addressed by this project are: how can we help  students make the most of the very limited amount of time dedicated to language learning? Is it possible to provide them with a method that allows them to pursue language learning independently and in accordance with their future careers?

My presentation will show how a project carried out in an Italian vocational school provided the ideal scenario for finding solutions to the above mentioned issues and testing them in the field. I will describe how a method was developed which identified, collected and organized the language learned.  I will also talk about how this method was later tested in many other contexts such as high school dropouts and training courses.
This will take us to the main outcome of the project. A graphic organization of language is crucial in the learning process. Its applications, both on paper and in digital format, can be useful in English as well as in other languages. This project also encourages and guides the students to exploit the material available on line from the point of view of the language.

I will also talk about the advantages and the positive impact of this approach on the students and about the results achieved in terms of motivation and learning.