TEACHING LANGUAGE AND CULTURE: A PROJECT-BASED APPROACH
The paper is focused on the description of the lexicographic project «Florence in the Works of World Famous People» and its application to teaching language and culture. The creation of an encyclopaedic multimedia associative dictionary for guides and tourists, “Florence in the Works of World Famous People”, is a joint long-term project, organized by Dr. Olga Karpova (Ivanovo, Russia) and the Romualdo Del Bianco Foundation (Florence, Italy). The dictionary is devoted to Florentine influence on different national cultures. It is compiled during annual international workshops held in Florence where students and their tutors from leading European and Russian universities work on their entries and the concept of the dictionary as a whole. This paper mostly focuses on the contribution of the group from South Ural State University (SUSU, Chelyabinsk, Russia) to the development of a comprehensive view of the Florentine heritage. The SUSU group has created 12 entries for different editions of the dictionary. They are devoted to European, Russian and American famous people who visited Florence in various historic periods and were so inspired with its atmosphere that they expressed it in different works of art. In this paper we describe the general idea of the dictionary, explain the three-step procedure of making an entry, give an example of the entry on J.F Cooper, and develop the concept of “the dictionary without boundaries”. We also describe the experience of the application of the dictionary to teaching such subjects as lexicography, culture-oriented linguistics and culture studies for the students of the linguistics faculty. In the end, we comment upon the insights gained from the project and its importance in the process of education.