Music and songs edition - IATEFL Slovenia Magazine Autumn issue 2015, no. 65

 
Music and songs edition - IATEFL Slovenia Magazine Autumn issue 2015, no. 65
IATEFL Slovenia Magazine
Autumn issue 2015, no. 65

Music and songs edition     1
Music and songs edition - IATEFL Slovenia Magazine Autumn issue 2015, no. 65
TWin odlični izleti!
       Turistična agencija TWIN se s kulturno-izobraževalnimi potovanji ukvarja
       že 20. leto. Ker v Veliko Britanijo potujemo pogosteje kot večina ostalih                                                     Zemljemerska ulica 12
       slovenskih organizatorjev potovanj, ponujamo odlično in preverjeno izvedbo.                                                   1000 Ljubljana
                                                                                                                                     Tel.: 01 280 28 20,
       Naše cene tudi že vključujejo javni prevoz in obvezne vstopnine. Cene so                                                      040 187 830
       odvisne predvsem od termina odhoda in vaše fleksibilnosti pri odhodu.                                                         e-pošta: twin@siol.net
                                                                                                                                     www.twintur.com

Zakaj s Twin-om v London:
1      Pogosti in redni, zagotovljeni odhodi v London. Twin                  6    Vsaj 183 osnovnih in srednjih šol je že potovalo z nami. Z nami
       organizira šolska potovanja v London že 20 let, v povprečju                zelo malo šol potuje samo enkrat. Če želite neobvezujoče
       imamo na mesec vsaj 3 zagotovljene odhode v London.                        vzpostaviti stik z organizatorjem na eni od šol, ki je že
                                                                                  potovala z nami, vam bomo z veseljem posredovali kontakt.
2      Odlično vodstvo. Pri Twinu se zavedamo, da je odlično
       poznavanje običajev in turističnih znamenitosti Londončanov
       le prvi korak k odlični izvedbi. Naši vodniki imajo dolgoletne
                                                                             7    Ponujamo 3-dnevni program, kjer za izvedbo ni potrebno
                                                                                  delovnika.
       izkušnje pri vodenju šolske mladine, zato odlično poznajo vse
       sestavine programa, saj jih sami pripravljajo. Tudi zato je                Več informacij na www.twintur.com ali na 040 187 830
       vodenje/izvedba toliko bolj fleksibilna glede na želje skupine.            ali v poslovalnici na Zemljemerski ulici 12 v Ljubjani.
       Naj še omenimo, da boste v Sloveniji težko našli vodnike, ki
       v London vodijo tako pogosto kot Twinovi vodniki.

3      Nastanitev, ki presega običajno turistično kategorijo. Pri
                                                                                  Osmisliti učenje je osnovna naloga vsakega učitelja in ni boljšega
                                                                                  načina, kako priljubiti angleščino, od tega, da učence popelješ po
       Twinu se zavedamo, da je dober spanec pomembna sestavina                   svetu. V današnjih časih to ni enostavno. Šole in učitelji se bojijo
       izleta. Vsi naši hoteli so hoteli s 3* in pri večini udeležencev           odgovornosti, mnogi starši pa ne zmorejo ali znajo otrok odpeljati
       presežejo njihova pričakovanja. Kot specialist za London lahko             sami. Ni bilo lahko pred 15 leti prvič sesti na avtobus in se podati z
       zagotovimo vsaj en bogat angleški zajtrk (običajnih zajtrki                agencijo, o kateri nismo vedeli ničesar, na večdnevno potovanje v
       v Londonu so skromni kontinentalni).                                       Veliko Britanijo. Bilo nas je strah pred odhodom, a takoj ko smo se
                                                                                  podali na pot, smo vedeli, da je bila odločitev prava.
4      Nikoli naknadno ne spreminjamo pogojev. Naša cena je
                                                                                  Po tistem, ko smo prvič potovali s TWinom, smo vedeli, da nas ne bo
       vedno znana že ob prijavi in se nikoli ne spremeni zaradi                  več strah. Lani smo že desetič odkrivali Evropo in vsakič smo se vrnili
       spremembe cen dobaviteljev, goriva oz letalskega prevoznika.               ne samo zadovoljni, ampak tudi hvaležni za TWinovo strokovnost,
5     Vedno ponudimo kakšno dodatno storitev –
                                                                                  prijaznost, ustrežljivost ... Hvaležni smo celotni ekipi in nikoli ne bi
                                                                                  izbrala druge agencije, saj sem prepričana, da niti cenovno niti
      brezplačno. S program zagotavljamo minimalni obseg                          strokovno potovanja ne bi mogla biti ugodneje in bolje izpeljana.
      storitev oz. ogledov, vendar nikoli ne izvedemo samo
      minimalnega obsega – vedno, pri vsaki skupini dodamo                     Ta ekskurzija je postala stalna praksa naše šole in učenci komaj
      nekaj posebnega, kar ni zapisano v programu. Prav tako v                 čakajo, da bodo dovolj stari, da se je bodo lahko udeležili. Nam,
      naših programih nikoli ne zapišemo “če bo čas dopuščal”, kajti           spremljevalcem, pa je v neizmerno veselje, ko jih opazujemo, kako
      vse naše programe vedno v celoti izvedemo. In ker si London              polni vtisov in lepih doživetij še dolgo pripovedujejo o potovanju.

    2 zelo pogosto   ogledujemo, poznamo    tudi optimalno
                                  To be up-to-date with what is going on, visitKsenija
                                                                                our website:
                                                                                       Tripkovič,www.iatefl.si
                                                                                                 OŠ Selnica ob Dravi
      zaporedje ogledov brez nepotrebnega hitenja.
Music and songs edition - IATEFL Slovenia Magazine Autumn issue 2015, no. 65
IATEFL Slovenia Magazine
    Vol. 15, No 65,
    Autumn issue 2015
                                                               Dear readers,
    Published by:                                              they say that life without music is like a body without a soul,
    IATEFL Slovenia,                                           so in this autumn issue we give you some ideas on how to use
    p. p. 1677, 1001 Ljubljana                                 music in your classroom and bring a little soul into your workday.
    Email: info@iatefl.si
    www.iatefl.si                                              Another schoolyear, another highly-anticipated 23rd annual IATEFL
    tel: 041 907065                                            Slovenia conference in Topolšica, which will be taking place from
                                                               3rd to 6th March next year. You can already register as a speaker
    IATEFL Slovenia President:                                 or as a participant on our web page www.iatefl.si.
    Lea Sobočan
    Vice president: Sandra Vida
                                                               We also invite you to get acquainted with the competitions calendar
    IN editor: Teja Podgrajšek
                                                               for this year. Not to forget our Lesson Jamming Saturday on 17 October,
    Music and songs part edited by:                            where we will devote our time to lesson preparation for primary and
    Kirsten Hempkin, Katja Težak                               secondary schools. You are more than welcome to join us!

    Printed by: Design Studio, d.o.o.                          Autumn seems to bring about change not only in the colour of the
    Graphics: Petra Turk                                       leaves but also to our IATEFL team and thus we are again in the
                                                               process of electing a new IN editor, so our winter issue will already
    Articles, letters and other
    contributions should                                       be under new editorial leadership. Let‘s wish her all the best!
    be addressed to IATEFL,
    p. p. 1677, 1001 Ljubljana                                 Teja Podgrajšek, IN editor
    Email: info@iatefl.si

    IATEFL Slovenia Board Members:
    Janja Čolić
    Dolores Malič
    Nataša Meh
    Doroteja Podgrajšek
    Lea Sobočan
    Sandra Vida

    Cover-page photo:
    http://all-free-download.com/

    ISSN 1855-6833

Conference announcement 23rd annual IATEFL Slovenia conference .. .............................................................                      4

Najava konference 23. mednarodna IATEFL Slovenia konferenca . . .................................................................                    4

A contest for the best bike-related poem ..................................................................................................          5

Foreword by the editors ......................................................................................................................       6

Embodying Music, Movement and the Arts Within a Vocational Learning Environment ......................................                               7

The Process of Language Comprehension in Italian Operas by Slovak Learners .. ...............................................                       12

Pop Songs as Secondary Supports in Paragraph Development . . ....................................................................                   16

Songs about Business in a Business English Course . . .................................................................................             23

Ivy Smith .. ....................................................................................................................................   27

                                   To be up-to-date with what is going on, visit our website: www.iatefl.si                                          3
Music and songs edition - IATEFL Slovenia Magazine Autumn issue 2015, no. 65
Conference announcement                                                  Najava konference
23rd annual                                                              23. mednarodna
IATEFL Slovenia conference                                               IATEFL Slovenia konferenca

will be held in                                                          bo potekala
Terme Topolšica,                                                         v Termah Topolšica
3rd– 6th March 2016                                                      od 3. do 6. marca 2016

Where inspiration is born                                                Where inspiration is born
With key speakers                                                        Glavni govorci bodo:
Ken Wilson                                                               Ken Wilson
Luke Meddings                                                            Luke Meddings
Thom Jones                                                               Thom Jones
Šárka Dohnalová                                                          Šárka Dohnalová
and others to be confirmed
Speaker proposals accepted until 25th October 2015                       Prijave govorcev sprejemamo do 25. oktobra 2015.
Early bird registration until 10th January 2016                          Zgodnje (cenejše) prijave udeležencev pa do
                                                                         10. januarja 2016
For updated information on the speakers,
registration forms and speaker proposal forms                            Aktualne novice v zvezi z govorci ter povezave
please check our website at www.iatefl.si                                do obrazcev za prijave najdete nawww.iatefl.si

As every year, the conference will provide superb                        Kot vsako leto bo tudi letos konferenca poskrbela
education, socializing, relaxation, and fun.                             za mednarodno udeležbo govorcev, več kot 60
We are looking forward to seeing you all again.                          delavnic ter neštete možnosti za povezovanje
Registration is open to any member of the public                         in mreženje. Veselimo se, da se bomo spet videli.
who wishes to attend the conference. Registration
fees differ depending on when you register and the                       Prijave so odprte za vse, vendar imajo člani društva
delegate's membership of IATEFL SLOVENIA.                                popust pri konferenčnini, zato vas vljudno vabimo,
We strongly recommend that the delegates register                        da razmislite tudi o članstvu v našem društvu,
early and take advantage of the early-registration                       ki prinaša še mnoge druge ugodnosti.
and member rates. In order to register, conference
participants should submit a completed registration
form and a completed IATEFL SLOVENIA membership
form (if they wish to join IATEFL SLOVENIA and be
entitled to member rates).

Napovednik šolskih tekmovanj
Sedmi razred OŠ :                                                        Drugi letnik srednje šole
Šolska raven: 29. 1. 2016 (petek)                                        Šolska raven: 16. 11. 2015 (ponedeljek)
Državna raven: 24. 2. 2015 (sreda)                                       Državna raven: 7. 12. 2015 (ponedeljek)
                                                                         to tekmovanje se v aprilu 2016 nadaljuje na mednarodni ravni,
                                                                         vendar končen datum še ni usklajen. Vse skupine, ki se bodo uvrstile
Osmi razred OŠ
                                                                         iz Slovenije, pa bodo o tem pravočasno obveščene
Šolska raven: 19. 10. 2015 (ponedeljek)
Državna raven: 23. 11. 2015 (ponedeljek)
                                                                         Tretji letnik:
                                                                         Regijska raven: 1.2.2016 (ponedeljek)
                                                                         Državna raven: 14.3. 2016 (ponedeljek)

4                          To be up-to-date with what is going on, visit our website: www.iatefl.si
A contest for the best bike-related poem
Contestants: students of 7th, 8th and 9th classes of Primary school (aged 13–15 years)
Theme: My bike
Contact: prof. Ana Tušek, Poljane primary school (ana.tusek@sola-poljane.si)
Deadline: 1st March 2016

A bike or a trike - do you have one? Would you like to have a magic or a super bike?
Do you like cycling? Where does your real or imaginary bike take you?
Write about it! Tell us about your bike, your free time, places you cycle to,
feelings you experience, friends you meet. The best three poems will be awarded
and published on the IATEFL web page and in IN magazine.

The poems should be sent to: ana.tusek@sola-poljane.si.

                            To be up-to-date with what is going on, visit our website: www.iatefl.si   5
Foreword by the editors
Have you ever thought about the role that music plays in our lives? Trying to define it adequately is a daunting, perhaps
an impossible task. Music seems to be everywhere – appreciated and produced in most (or all?) cultures and, in our
society at least, accessible 24 hours a day. We can choose to listen to it through a range of media and gadgets – radio,
CDs, MP3s players and even watches – or often, we find ourselves passively absorbing it as we have a coffee in a bar, as
a friend gives us a lift home, or through someone else’s headphones on the train.

Not only is music universal, it also performs an enormous variety of functions. Sometimes it simply entertains. We enjoy hear-
ing a particular song, although we can’t explain why the melody is so appealing – or it makes us move, by dancing, tapping
our feet or drumming our fingers on a tabletop. We use music as a backdrop, a soundtrack to cooking, studying or exercising.
We also cannot ignore the emotional pull of music: we often claim that music speaks to us, that the lyrics of a particular track
resonate with us, or that it speaks for us, when we dedicate songs to loved ones on the radio, or, in a contemporary equivalent,
post them on a friend’s Facebook wall. We listen to music to lift our mood or wallow in self-pity. Music is also intimately
connected to many of life’s ceremonies and rituals: songs are sung at funerals, at birthday parties, at weddings, or to worship
if we are religious. What about those songs that represent us or bind us as a community or nation? Think of the songs sung
on football terraces to support or intimidate, or national anthems. Music also defines us: what does it say about us if we prefer
The Beatles to The Stones, Oasis to Blur, or Katy Perry to Taylor Swift?

                                                    This is by no means an exhaustive list, but it perhaps gives us an insight into
                                                            why music is such an incredibly versatile and powerful classroom
                                                                 tool. We can use lyrics to teach vocabulary and grammar, to
                                                                     explore culture and society, and to affect the mood of the
                                                                        class – to calm or stimulate, or it can be “just for fun”.
                                                                           While there is a significant body of research available
                                                                              on the use of music in the classroom, the authors
                                                                                 of the papers in this special edition have all
                                                                                   found innovative ways to employ music and
                                                                                     song in their classrooms. Claudio Nobili
                                                                                       harnesses the poetic power of opera to ex-
                                                                                        plore the comprehension process and, ac-
                                                                                         cordingly, build student comprehension
                                                                                          skills in a Slovakian Italian language
                                                                                           classroom. Cvetka Sokolov highlights
                                                                                           a more specific problem – paragraph
                                                                                            development – and proposes a high-
                                                                                            ly motivating method of addressing
                                                                                            it through the use of popular song.
                                                                                            Business and music may seem at first
                                                                                            glance an unlikely combination; how-
                                                                                            ever, Nataša Gajšt demonstrates how
                                                                                           business-themed songs can be exploit-
                                                                                          ed to develop vocabulary, grammar and
                                                                                         awareness of economic issues in ESP
                                                                                        classes, while Pia Kiviaho-Kallio explores
                                                                                       how dance and movement have been in-
                                                                                      corporated into a vocational degree course
                                                                                    in Finland to further students’ language,
                                                                                 body language and managerial skills.

                                                                            We hope that these articles will prove enjoyable
                                                                         reading as well as helpful resources; certainly, the ed-
                                                                     itors have both enjoyed and profited from the experi-
                                                                  ence of gathering and editing such a varied and international
                                                              group of papers.

                                                                                                Kirsten Hempkin and Katja Težak

6                            To be up-to-date with what is going on, visit our website: www.iatefl.si
Embodying Music, Movement
and the Arts Within a Vocational
Learning Environment
  Pia Kiviaho-Kallio and Ivan Berazhny, Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences

This paper resulted from the awareness        1. Foyer                                         purpose of creating a functional and es-
that vocational curricula in Haaga-Helia                                                       thetically appealing educational venue that
University of Applied Sciences, Finland,      There comes a moment when random                 would support inquiry learning, and a ped-
list competences which inherently rely on     walking in space becomes transformed in-         agogical approach chosen for the new cur-
the students’ musicality and kinaesthetic     to dance. This can happen when a group of        ricula. To put it metaphorically, the con-
awareness. Reaching such competences          people are asked to walk with determina-         temporary building was designed to serve
logically invites continuous and consist-     tion and sharp turns in a spacious room.         as a dance master with the purpose of steer-
ent use of music and movement in the          Gradually, patterns start to form, the move-     ing the learning process in a more autono-
classroom as part of the learning environ-    ment acquires a clearer focus and the body       mous and creative direction.
ment. However, when looking at the in-        of people will find a common rhythm and
stitutional course descriptions, the space    eventually start breathing together. Should      In practice, inquiry learning takes place
reserved for the arts in classroom encoun-    you add music to this action, the result         via semester projects commissioned by
ters seems to be non-existent. The paper      would be reminiscent of a choreographed          industry. This in turn creates a demand
sets out to measure the extent of this gap    piece, something that could even be called       for new types of students with excellent
by a series of interviews conducted with      sublime in accordance with Longinus’ no-         skills in teamwork and self-management,
Haaga-Helia staff. Further, it suggests ad-   tion of sublimity as a local effect: “it comes   since learning mainly takes place in pro-
dressing the gap by designing and imple-      at a single stroke, like lightning, and is not   ject teams. Additionally, as learning moves
menting a series of dance workshops that      achieved by content or structure on a larg-      out from traditional lecture halls into a
match the curriculum requirements, with       er scale” (Heath, 2012, p. 12).                  real-life business context, students need
the purpose of exploring the benefits of                                                       to possess advanced interaction and pres-
dance pedagogy as a means of enhancing        The above description applies to the open-       entation skills to be ready to cooperate
communication in a multi-cultural class-      ing scene of Jerome Robbins’ ballet Glass        with professionals in the industry. Clear-
room. Additionally, the paper shares the      Pieces (1983) choreographed to music by          ly, these skills are not learnt via theory;
feedback given by the students on wheth-      Philip Glass. Equally, it also applies to an     they need to be embodied in practice.
er and to what extent such artistic inter-    everyday scene on Porvoo Campus, Fin-            Since Porvoo Campus is a multicultural
ventions are relevant and effective. The      land: that of students crossing an empty         learning environment with students rep-
paper concludes that there is a variety of    university lobby, accompanied by classical       resenting over 40 nationalities, individu-
ways to integrate arts, music and move-       or contemporary orchestral music. How            als also need to be encouraged to use Eng-
ment into vocational curricula and recog-     did we reach the point of employing mu-          lish as a lingua franca, regardless of lin-
nises that such steps would require a         sic, movement and the arts as a pedagogi-        guistic background or competence.
higher awareness and commitment from          cal resource in business studies? Here is the
the staff and administration. The authors     story of how and why students at Haa-            Significantly, Haaga-Helia Porvoo Unit has
also hope that the paper’s initiative and     ga-Helia University of Applied Sciences          also been a pioneer in employing dance and
examples can be helpful to various practi-    started dancing at business school.              movement as a pedagogical resource for
tioners in education who share similar                                                         practicing interactive skills in tertiary level
needs and concerns.                                                                            studies, introducing movement-based Eng-
                                              2. Dancing Porvoo Campus                         lish courses in 2014-15 aimed at preparing
                                                                                               students for a career in international sales
                                              Porvoo Campus opened in January 2011             and services, where it is not enough to
                                              to host degree programmes in tourism and         know a foreign language at the level of vo-
                                              business offered by Haaga-Helia Universi-        cabulary and grammar but where the
                                              ty of Applied Sciences in Porvoo. The            speaker also needs to acquire full control of
                                              planning process was quite unique in the         body language and paralinguistic features
                                              context of Finnish school architecture, the      of speech. This echoes Robinson, who de-
                                              campus being planned in close coopera-           fines dance as “a kinesthetic form of intelli-
                                              tion with the architect Jukka Sirén and the      gence” and points out how speech is “usu-
                                              teaching staff of Haaga-Helia, with the          ally accompanied by a dazzling variety of

                               To be up-to-date with what is going on, visit our website: www.iatefl.si                                     7
physical movements, facial expressions and       shops for first-semester students who en-       and problem-solving skills will be needed
gestures” (Robinson, 2011, p. 121). In a         tered the International Degree Programme        to an increasing extent. Finally, one inter-
dance-based language class, gestures and         in Tourism in autumn 2013 (TOBBA13).            viewee also perceived the role of the teach-
movements help the students to embody the        The purpose was to explore the benefits of      er as that of a performing artist: “The teach-
foreign language deep into their mind-set.       using the arts in vocational learning. Addi-    er needs to be a creative performer. The set-
                                                 tionally, interviews with staff members         ting is dangerously boring, so there needs
Traditionally, as a result of marginalization    were planned in order to explore views on       to be a provoking and polarizing element.”
of the arts in European education, dance has     involving the arts in learning as well as to
been positioned at the very bottom of the        discover best practices. The outcome in-        It could be argued that creativity is some-
hierarchy in an educational system that          cluded three dance and movement im-             thing that thrives by practice or it becomes
seems to favor subjects of immediate instru-     provisation workshops, Music Moves, Cam-        as stale as an isolated word on a Power-
mental value: mathematics, science and lan-      pus Chairs and La Serenissima, all super-       Point slide in a meeting room. As Kari
guages (Robinson, 2011). Furthermore,            vised by English lecturer Pia Kiviaho-Kal-      Kurkela of Sibelius Academy says, the cre-
there also exists an internal hierarchy be-      lio, who is also a qualified dance teacher      ative mind-set is something natural and
tween the arts where dance is placed at the      with long experience of employing dance         demystified, initially involving self-expres-
bottom of the scale, far below music and         and movement as pedagogical resources in        sion in open interaction with the outer re-
visual arts. This calls for promoting the in-    both comprehensive and vocational stud-         ality (Kurkela, 1993). According to Robin-
strumental benefits of dance in subjects         ies. Additionally, altogether eight inter-      son, creativity is also something you can
such as foreign language learning. For exam-     views with members of staff of Porvoo           train, it is “about working in a highly fo-
ple, Helsinki-based dance company Zodiak         Campus as well as one interview with a          cused way on ideas and projects, crafting
has been engaged since 2007 in developing        representative of the creative industries       them into their best forms and making
kinesthetic language workshops for primary       were conducted by Ivan Berazhny, a se-          critical judgments along the way about
and secondary level education, adopted in        mester coordinator for TOBBA13. Finally,        which work best and why. In every disci-
2011 as an innovative educational project        the ultimate goal was to make music,            pline, creativity also draws on skill, knowl-
funded by the Finnish Ministry of Educa-         movement and the arts visible on Haa-           edge and control. It’s not only about let-
tion and Culture. Zodiak is also offering        ga-Helia Porvoo Campus as well as to pres-      ting go, it’s about holding on” (Robinson,
movement pedagogy training for language          ent arguments for involving the arts in the     2011, p. 5). In reference to the situation on
teachers. On the other hand, regardless of       core teaching of business subjects.             Porvoo Campus, one interviewee summed
utilitarian justifications, dance should also                                                    up the benefits of the creative classroom as
be embraced as a channel to introspection        Initially, course implementation plans were     follows: “Learning creatively is more effi-
and finding authenticity and uniqueness in       examined in order to trace any signs of ar-     cient, since we know that 44 stiff slides do
the individual, as argued by Krantz (2015).      tistic interventions. Notably, there was no     not get you far with learning.” There were
In other words, why should we not value          mention of musical or artistic activities in    also statements mentioning a multi-senso-
dance as something existential and joyful in     the curriculum, as if this area of life was     ry classroom and the need to involve all
itself when practicing art for art’s sake?       non-existent and lacking significance in a      senses in learning as well as the need for a
                                                 business school. Yet, meta-competences          classroom where students get to move
However, the point of departure of this es-      such as team building, communication            around or leave the classroom space.
say is rather utilitarian and pragmatic: the     skills and responsible self-management are
primary question being whether music,            mentioned as core competencies in the           Notably, this type of creative learning is
movement and the arts can offer a shortcut       campus curricula, all these being skills that   not new to human beings. On the contra-
to providing a multi-cultural and mul-           can be easily enhanced by allowing artistic     ry, it was only in the 18th century that
ti-lingual student team with the necessary       activities into the formation of a business     Jean-Baptiste LaSalle organized the French
tools for gaining sufficient interaction and     professional. Lisa Ullman summarizes the        classroom in the rigid manner we know it
self-management skills in order to cope          benefits of educational dance and the Ru-       today, where the teacher is in frontal focus
with the challenge of working in indus-          dolf Laban method as follows: “Through          and the students are seated as in a table
try-commissioned semester projects. It           the movement of our body we can learn to        chart for the purpose of giving the teacher
should be pointed out that in the learning       relate our inner self to the outer world”       full control of the group (Foucault, 1993,
experiments reported in this study, dance        (Laban, 1988, p. 109).                          p. 174) When we move further back in
was not used for learning foreign language                                                       history, we encounter the Socratic ideal, as
skills as such. However, paralinguistic skills   Despite the published implementation            expressed by one interviewee: “Perhaps we
and interpretation of body language in a         plans, the interviews with the staff and the    could have walking discussions with stu-
multi-cultural group were naturally devel-       representative of the creative industries in-   dents like Socrates in Ancient Greece.”
oped alongside other essential team skills       dicated an understanding of the benefits of
which provide the pedagogical justifica-         arts in vocational studies. Firstly, the view   Generally, the interviewees seemed to rec-
tion for employing artistic methods in the       of the arts in relation to passion, prob-       ognize the instrumental value of involving
context of a business school.                    lem-solving and provocation emerged in          arts in the classroom: “music can create the
                                                 several interviews: “being passionate is im-    element of enthusiasm in the learning en-
                                                 portant in business. Training in the arts al-   vironment, even if it is difficult as we have
3. Backstage                                     lows you to be passionate.” Another inter-      different tastes in music […] when playing
                                                 viewee regarded the arts as a tool for prob-    guitar in class, getting the attention was
In summer 2013, the authors set out to           lem-solving and for preparing students for      immediate. To have a motivational class is
plan a series of interactive artistic work-      their future working life where creativity      important. The arts can achieve that as

8                                To be up-to-date with what is going on, visit our website: www.iatefl.si
nothing else. The students appreciate artis-     dents in their first semester of studies, thus      While the students still have their eyes
tic inspiration.” Significantly, including       it was planned to take place one month af-          closed, I’m studying their kinesthetic pres-
arts in tourism studies was even perceived       ter the start of the academic year. Notably,        ence in the room – that must be the mid-
as a necessity, since students today often       the group included students of more than            dle-aged Finnish man. He is concentrat-
seem to possess a limited knowledge of           a dozen nationalities and it was therefore          ing well, I immediately trust him. I ask
genres and epochs. Thus, arts-integrated         essential to find means of building trust           the students to open their eyes and stretch.
learning was perceived as an organic ele-        between team members, enhancing verbal              At this point I’m standing on safe ground
ment of substance studies: “In tourism the       and non-verbal communication as well as             – I’ve done this so many times before, I
knowledge of the arts and culture are es-        to explore ways of embodying Porvoo Cam-            know the timing and the sequence of
sential. When tourist destinations are           pus as a creative learning space.                   movements: fingers being the eyes of the
studied through their local cultures and                                                             body, the skin seeing etc. (Journal entry,
music, the students remember the out-            In the planning of the workshop, the basic          25.9.2013).
comes for longer.”                               structure of a dance lesson with guided ac-
                                                 tivities, contact improvisation and exercises     The initial challenge was to make the stu-
In sum, where the arts had been invisible        for taking possession of the space were cho-      dents focus inwards within the framework
in the official published implementation         sen as the point of departure. This is in ac-     of a hectic university campus at noon.
plans, the interviews revealed another, par-     cordance with Rudolf Laban’s model of ed-         Therefore, the meditative Spiegel im
allel reality of art awareness both in theory    ucational dance with emphasis on the phys-        Spiegel by Arvo Pärt was chosen to make
and practice. There seemed to be some            ical, emotional and social dimensions of          the students focus on their minds and
clandestine artistic activities being prac-      dance where the focus is on a meaningful          bodies. Simultaneously, they heard the po-
ticed within the classroom walls: guitar         process of dancing and “the participant’s         em “Species of Spaces” by Georges Perec
performances, playing music to create a re-      overall development as a moving/feeling be-       being read to them, a poem that beautiful-
laxed atmosphere during exams and teach-         ing” (Smith-Autard, 2002, p. 4) rather than       ly captures the essence of body in space as
ing students arts history as part of destina-    on teaching dance technique as such. The          well as multiple aspects of space as a con-
tion management. On the whole, the atti-         choice of improvisation exercises was in-         cept. The poem served as preparation for
tude expressed by staff members appeared         spired by Joyce Morgenroth’s classroom            an action word exercise in accordance with
positive, yet these artistic activities seemed   work (Morgenroth, 1987) and the structure         Laban movement analysis.
to have a marginalized position in the           followed the lesson plan presented by Hei-
courses and the outcomes were not gener-         monen (Heimonen, 2009) in her disserta-           In reference to the “safe ground” men-
ally shared with colleagues, as if they were     tion involving first-year students of industri-   tioned in the journal entry, the initial con-
something almost illicit and unspeakable.        al design at Lund University. Heimonen’s          sideration in such a creative workshop is to
However, as previously stated, creativity is     work with non-dancers exposed to move-            make the working atmosphere safe for stu-
something that flourishes through practice       ment improvisation during their university        dents and instructors, thus paving the way
and in interaction with the outer reality.       induction week served as a framework for          for ensemble work and contact improvisa-
Moreover, as described by Robinson: “Cre-        writing the lesson plan for Music Moves.          tion. Additionally, the instructor would
ative insights occur when they are com-          However, unlike the approach taken by             need to constantly monitor the dynamics
bined in unexpected ways or applied to           Heimonen, where workshops were not ac-            of the group, being ready to subtly inter-
questions or issues with which they are not      companied by music, we decided that music         vene whenever needed:
normally associated” (Robinson, 2011, p.         would play a central role in supporting the
158). Since artistic activities enhance crea-    movement activities on Porvoo Campus.               The willowy lady needs to fetch her things
tivity and bring forth a different perspec-                                                          from downstairs, setting herself apart.
tive to reality, these activities should be      In terms of music, it should be noted that          Maybe an indication of something? We
made visible in a business school and shared     contemporary dance teachers often choose            start with “action word” warm-up based
within the community as a valid pedagog-         to rely on natural soundscape, in other             on the Perec text. “Edges of space” – what
ical resource rather than being regarded a       words, sounds created by respiration and            is that? What are we supposed to do? I
random and undefined “flavor of the              moving bodies instead of composed mu-               think the transformation happens with
month” intervention, as expressed by Tay-        sic. On the other hand, for dancers with a          “space invaders”; this is the moment when
lor and Ladkin in an article exploring arts-     background in classical ballet, music               the people in the room turn into dancers.
based methods in managerial development          would be an organic part of the lesson as           They are getting it! The feeling of darting
(Taylor and Ladkin, 2009). With that in          long as the selected pieces are well-defined.       into the empty space, rediscovering the joy
mind, we are now going to illuminate the         Another question to consider during the             of free movement. However, I should have
outcome of the dance and movement im-            planning process was that the group size            studied the English version more closely –
provisation workshops implemented on             could not exceed fifteen. In the end, thir-         I know the text in Finnish almost by
Porvoo Campus during the academic year           teen students presented themselves at the           heart. Yet, in the English translation the
2013-14.                                         workshop on 24 September 2013, which                lines appear in a different order. The wil-
                                                 was the ideal number of students for an             lowy lady has returned; she is watching
                                                 ensemble practice. The outcome of Music             without participating. I need to get her
4. Ensemble work                                 Moves is best presented by juxtaposing au-          feel safe to join, so we switch to “inward
                                                 thentic journal reflections written by the          focus – outward focus,” removing cur-
The initial purpose of the first workshop,       dance teacher Kiviaho-Kallio alongside the          tains to the music by Saint-Saens, em-
Music Moves, was to serve as a team-build-       students’ feedback written after the work-          bracing the space. A very peaceful activity
ing session for international tourism stu-       shop.                                               (Journal entry, 25.9.2014).

                                 To be up-to-date with what is going on, visit our website: www.iatefl.si                                      9
Until this point, we stayed within the com-      movement patterns and qualities to those         and innovative use of learning space. This
fort zone of activities; however, the objec-     of team members.                                 was followed by La Serenissima in Febru-
tive of Music Moves was to build students’                                                        ary 2014, a workshop supporting destina-
self-confidence as individuals and as a team                                                      tion management studies. As indicated by
as well as to prepare them for the challenge     5. Mirror reflections                            the alluring title, Venice was studied
of autonomously working in semester pro-                                                          through Renaissance dance and various
jects. Thus, we decided to take activities       The learning achievements of the work-           water-themed movement improvisation
out into the Campus lobby in order to            shop were reflected by the students when         tasks together with visual glimpses into the
train the newly enrolled students in             they were asked to write a feedback para-        history and architecture of the city. Addi-
risk-taking. Naturally, a body that is ready     graph in full prose on the experience of         tionally, in March-April 2014 students al-
to dart into open space could also be de-        dancing and moving on campus. Firstly,           so took part in a field trip to Saint Peters-
fined as a risk-taking body, in accordance       the aim of taking possession of the space        burg, the Russian capital of classical ballet.
with the notion of Psychological Gesture         was fulfilled as follows: “All these practices   Several students participated in an interac-
as defined in the Mikhail Chekhov acting         gave the feeling that at least I know the        tive ballet walking tour where basic ballet
technique (Chekhov, 2002), where a spe-          building better, also got a more homie feel-     steps were studied in conjunction with the
cific gesture triggers the character and his/    ing here.” Students also mentioned leaving       history of dance in an authentic geograph-
her mindset.                                     their comfort zone: “I discovered how easy       ical setting. In all, the artistic interventions
                                                 it is to come out of your own comfort zone       seemed to have a positive impact on the
For an outsider, dancing and moving in a         and be relaxed with your surrounding en-         team spirit of the group, making the group
university lobby might seem a random ex-         vironment.” The workshop showed that             more empowered and autonomous and
ercise or even disturbance. However, the ex-     when students feel at home and embodied          thus preparing the team members for
ercise serves its purpose in training students   in their learning environment, they are          working in real-life projects.
to confidently take possession of a space, as    able to focus their energy on bonding with
expressed in the following journal entry:        team members, this being especially im-
                                                 portant in multi-cultural teams such as          6. Reverence
  The beauty and power of the music [Ber-        TOBBA13. Similarly, several students dis-
  lioz, Symphonie Fantastique] wipes away        cussed the workshop from such points of            Why move like Prometheus chained to
  the Campus noises. It actually conquers        view, summarized here by a student’s               his rock or Petrouchka confined to his
  the space and makes the participants           quote: “This workshop was important be-            cell when the space around us begs to be
  move in free circles, just like in a 19th      cause it teaches us to interact with each          taken over and conquered? Move spa-
  century ballroom choreography. Chang-          other in a creative open-minded way.”              ciously through space. Manipulate it,
  ing the music to 17th century Spanish “A                                                          cut through it, sweep across it, gather it
  Batallard Estrella” is a precarious mo-        Since dance is a universal language to hu-         in all embracing arms, cut patterns
  ment again (here I could have had an as-       mans, it brought human togetherness to             through it with scissor sharp legs and
  sistant to handle the technology), yet         the group. One student noted this as fol-          melting arms, be master of the air (Dar-
  when the music finally starts the group is     lows: “Happiness, friendship, laughter are         ius, 1984, p. 48).
  able to change into the mood of aggressive     something that every team needs to achieve
  quirkiness, embodied by sharp turns and        success.” Finally, the workshop also turned      We return to the opening paragraph with a
  knocking into people. And finally, Joyce di    out to have an impact from the point of          description of the first scene in Jeremy
  Donato inspires the students to seek who       view of responsible self-management, a           Robbins’ ballet Glass People, where danc-
  the leader is in the group without any ver-    core competence stated in Porvoo Campus          ers move in seemingly random patterns in
  bal indications. A fantastic experiment        curricula. Students recognized the impor-        a large open space. The image above, for-
  which gets even a bit dangerous towards        tance of taking care of their overall well-be-   mulated by mime and dance artist Adam
  the end when students start climbing and       ing: “The creative workshop today gave me        Darius in his description of how to use
  jumping over furniture – this can be re-       pleasure, both physically and mentally [...]     space in performance, could be applied to
  garded as dance in its most expressive         In mental terms, getting rid of four hours       Robbins’ choreography as well. Indeed,
  form, as dancers explore the limits of         sitting in class was such a relief.” Another     why move like Prometheus chained to his
  where movement can take you (Journal           student echoed Martha Graham in her              rock? On the whole, why be chained to as-
  entry, 25.9.2013).                             claim of dance being the hidden language         sumptions on how business subjects should
                                                 of the soul: “Altogether, dancing is proba-      be taught or why be confined to tradition-
Taking part in the activities in the lobby       bly the best way of discovering things           al classroom teaching in vocational educa-
can train students to sustain gaze coming        about yourself and showing emotions.”            tion? Upon asking students on Porvoo
from the outside without losing focus, an                                                         Campus to move in the main lobby to mu-
essential skill in doing business. Another       Encouraged by the positive learning out-         sic by Philip Glass, they were simultane-
important competence is being able to            comes of the Music Moves workshop, the           ously trained in the risk-taking, assertive
read the body language and non-verbal            method of involving music, movement              attitude and posture of a business profes-
signals of team members. In the Music            and the arts was introduced as an organic        sional. Accordingly, in terms of risk-taking
Moves workshop this was practiced by pair        part of first year studies in TOBBA13. In        there could not be a more efficient exercise
work and group tasks such as an exercise         October 2013 a choreographic workshop            than that of a simple walk under the gaze
called Living Sculptures, where movement         called Campus Chairs was implemented             of an entire university campus. No theo-
is performed in canon, adjusting one’s own       with the purpose of enhancing team skills        retical lecture on risk could have a more

10                               To be up-to-date with what is going on, visit our website: www.iatefl.si
profound effect than actually embodying           into the curriculum as a pedagogical re-               chairs, yet the path to clear space for artis-
the feeling of risk into muscle memory in         source. Significantly, this also contributed           tic activities has become shorter since the
the manner advocated by Chekhov in his            to making the arts visible and accepted in             initial preparations for the first Music
notion of Psychological Gesture as the phys-      the official campus curricula and, addi-               Moves workshop in autumn 2013:
ical manifestation of a character. What           tionally, there has been a seemingly cumu-
would be the Psychological Gesture of a           lative effect of artistic interventions in cur-        Yes, I had contracted M and the janitor to
business professional? Naturally, that of         ricular teaching and staff discussions.                remove the tables in room 2624a & b,
good posture, clearly defined movements                                                                  however, I ended up discovering that I
and a steady gaze, all enhanced by practic-       On a more profound level, students found               needed to do it myself: as a ritual. The
ing dance and movement.                           a method of self-expression through the                transition from English teacher to dance
                                                  universal language of dance and music,                 teacher could only happen through hard
Thus, the story that began in 2013 with a         thus moving away from a utilitarian ap-                labor. On a video featuring the Campus, a
first move through a campus space has tak-        proach towards a more holistic compre-                 professor had claimed that it’s easy to
en the authors and the students forward,          hension of the value of the arts in the com-           change the position of the furniture. May-
fast and gracefully, towards the ultimate         munity. Student-directed extra-curricular              be in theory, not in practice. And I did not
learning outcomes targeted by the campus          activities such as flashmobs and music per-            want it the easy way. I needed the time and
curricula: those of initiative-taking and         formances in public spaces have bur-                   the solitude. The sound of the tables scrap-
flexibility, empathy and integrity, leader-       geoned under the general view of Porvoo                ing the floor was so ugly that it caused me
ship and teamwork skills, focus on life-          Campus as a venue for creative activities.             physical pain, reminiscent of penitence
long development and genuine enthusi-             Notably, the use of space has also become              practiced by Catholics. Penitence for what?
asm - this being a manifestations of how          more bold and experimental, as lessons                 For being such a coward, for allowing my-
skills gained through an arts-based method        move out of the rigid 18th century French              self to come so far from my roots as danc-
can be applied in managerial development,         classroom seating model towards gallery                er? Gradually I saw the ugly sharp-edged
defined as Skills Transfer by Taylor and          walks, reminiscent of the scene in The                 tables go, paving way for beautiful open
Ladkin (2009). The initial purpose of our         School of Athens painting by Renaissance               space. Finally, the room was cleared. So
learning experiments and interviews with          painter Raphael. There will always be a di-            here, at last, I had my dance studio, the
staff members was to demonstrate the in-          chotomy between a pristine empty space                 one that was never built on Campus. (Jour-
strumental benefits of introducing the arts       and a classroom crowded with tables and                nal entry, 25.9.2013)

                       References

                       •   Chekhov, Mikhail. 2002. To the Actor (2nd ed.). New York: Routledge (originally published 1953).
                       •   Darius, Adam. 1984. The Adam Darius Method: A technical and practical handbook for all performing artists. London:
                           Latonia Publishers.
                       •   Foucault, Michel. 1993. Övervakning och straff. Translated by C. G. Bjurström. Lund: Arkiv förlag (originally published 1974).
                       •   Heath, Malcolm. 2012. “Longinus and the Ancient Sublime.” In Costelloe, Timothy (Ed.). The Sublime: From antiquity
                           to the present. New York: Cambridge University Press.
                       •   Heimonen, Kirsi. 2009. Sukellus liikkeeseen: liikeimprovisaatio tanssimisen ja kirjoittamisen lähteenä. Helsinki: Acta Scenica.
                       •   Krantz, Göran. 2015. Students´Experiences of Dance: a hermeneutic phenomenological study. Doctoral thesis Plymouth
                           University. Retrieved from: http://pearl.plymouth.ac.uk/handle/10026.1/3189?show=full
                       •   Kurkela, Kari. 1993. Mielen maisemat ja musiikki: musiikin esittämisen ja luovan asenteen psykodynamiikka.
                           Helsinki: Sibelius Akatemia, Musiikin tutkimuslaitos.
                       •   Laban, Rudolf. 1988. Modern Educational Dance (3rd ed.). Revised by Lisa Ullman. Plymouth: Northcote House
                           Publishers (originally published in 1948).
                       •   Morgenroth, Joyce. 1987. Dance Improvisation. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press.
                       •   Perec, Georges. 1998. Species of Spaces and Other Pieces. Translated by John Sturrock. London: Penguin Classics
                           (originally published 1974).
                       •   Robinson, Ken. 2011. Out of Our Minds (2nd ed): learning to be creative. Chisester: Capstone Publishing.
                       •   Smith-Autard, Jacqueline. 2002. The Art of Dance in Education (2nd ed.). London: Bloomsbury (originally published
                           1994).
                       •   Taylor, Steven S. and Ladkin, Donna. 2009. “Understanding Arts-Based Methods in Managerial Development”.
                           In Academy of Management Learning and Education. Vol. 8 no. 1, pp. 55-69.

                       Unpublished sources

                       •   Kiviaho-Kallio, Pia. Journal entry. Helsinki. 25.9.2013

                       Filmography

                       •   Music Moves workshop. 24.9.2013. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cgr8W3U-81Y
                       •   La Serenissima workshop. 24.2.2014. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lqwJrwXF2NU
                       •   Species of Spaces workshop. 30.9.2014. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ndjo-hmSe74

                               To be up-to-date with what is going on, visit our website: www.iatefl.si                                                 11
The Process of Language
Comprehension in Italian Operas
by Slovak Learners
  Claudio Nobili, Matej Bel, University of Banská Bystrica

This experimental research deals with         1. Introduction                                    ing Italian as a foreign language (FL) at the
the process of comprehension of select-                                                          A1 level at the Faculty of Performing Arts,
ed Italian lyric texts about love by Slo-     The correlation between words and music            majoring in Vowel Interpretation at the
vak learners who study Italian as a for-      seems to lie at the heart of modern general        Academy of Arts in Banská Bystrica. They
eign language at the Faculty of Perform-      linguistics. In fact, in the fourth chapter of     are used to dealing with Italian opera texts
ing Arts of the Academy of Arts in Ban-       the introduction to the Cours de linguis-          for study and work.
ská Bystrica, Slovakia. The works of          tique générale by De Saussure (1857-1913),
Tullio De Mauro on linguistic compre-         published posthumously in 1916 by his              The paper is divided into two parts: the
hension (De Mauro, 1999) provide the          two pupils, Bally and Sechehaye, language          theoretical part, in which recent findings
theoretical background to this research.      (or langue) is compared to a symphony              in the linguistic sciences on comprehen-
This article investigates the applicability   (Saussure, 1983, p. 28). If language can be        sion are presented, and the empirical part,
of the ideas about language comprehen-        compared to a symphony, the performance            in which the results of the above presented
sion as a multidimensional process to a       of individual musicians can be compared            experiment are shown.
foreign context of Italian language and       to the speech acts of parole, which are
opera learning. It pays particular atten-     unique, individual, unrepeatable and
tion to the specific dimensions of the        therefore temporary. The way in which              2. Theoretical models of language
process of language comprehension such        musicians perform a symphony does not              comprehension
as, for example, the con-textual, co-textu-   prejudice its reality, just as the individual
al, semantic and cultural dimensions.         performance of a language by speakers of           The manifesto of the XIX Congress of the
The relationship between language and         that language does not alter its existence.        Society of Italian Linguistics (Società di
culture is fundamental for understand-                                                           Linguistica Italiana, or SLI), held at the
ing the Italian tradition. The article also   Although distinct, langue and parole are           University of Sapienza in Rome in No-
takes into account the interaction be-        interdependent; language or social reper-          vember 1985 on the complex theme of
tween the verbal skills (oral speech,         toire (to continue with the musical termi-         comprehension, produced a classical im-
reading and listening).                       nology) that allows the speakers in a lin-         age of linguistic studies: the graph with
                                              guistic community to understand, and to            which Saussure illustrated the circuit of pa-
                                              be understood, is necessary to comprehend          role (Saussure, 2003, p. 21) as a linear
                                              acts of parole (in this sense language is an       model of communication and language
                                              instrument). It is also true that, at certain      comprehension.
                                              intervals, linguistic innovations occur at all
                                              levels of social life. Variation therefore first
                                              occurs with the acts of parole, and only
                                              then can usage allow it to establish itself as
                                              a standard rule at the level of language (this
                                              is the reason that language is also a product
                                              of acts of parole).
                                                                                                 Where two individuals are concerned, the
                                              The interdependence of language as an ab-          act of producing and understanding a lin-
                                              stract system of rules and as a variation in       guistic utterance essentially involves two
                                              usage can be observed in the process of            parts: an entirely psychic phenomenon
                                              comprehension. This paper deals with a             (the correspondence of an acoustic image
                                              qualitative assessment of Slovak students’         to a given concept in the brain of the pro-
                                              textual competence in the process of lin-          ducer P), and a purely physical process
                                              guistic comprehension of three texts about         (the propagation of sound waves, the ma-
                                              the semantic field of love from Italian            terial support to the expression of the
                                              operas, taking into account both text-level        acoustic image, from the mouth of P to the
                                              and sentence-level. The students are learn-        ear of the receiver R). On the part of R, the

12                            To be up-to-date with what is going on, visit our website: www.iatefl.si
act of utterance comprehension involves                          •    pragmatic dimension (the illocutionary                    3. Italian opera text comprehension:
the same two parties but in reverse order: a                          force of an utterance in a given situa-                   methodology and results
physical part (the physiological transmis-                            tion: affirmation, advice, order, invita-
sion of the acoustic image from the ear to                            tion, apology, and so on);                                The probabilistic and multi-dimensional
the brain), and a psychic part (the associa-                     •    “unlimitedness of the noetic field” (Pri-                 nature of comprehension will now be dis-
tion of this image to the corresponding                               eto) dimension, of which we can say                       cussed by presenting the most significant
concept in the brain).                                                and think with languages;                                 results of an experimental research study
                                                                 •    metalinguistic reflexivity dimension (the                 conducted in February and March 2014.
According to De Mauro’s hypothesis (1990,                             constitutive and universal function of                    Three texts3 from Italian love operas were
p. 174), a linear model of linguistic com-                            languages to serve as metalanguages of                    analysed by Slovak students. As Bonomi
prehension and meaning, symmetrical and                               themselves);                                              has pointed out, Italian has been the “lan-
opposite to the production and the signifi-                      •    diatopic, diastratic, diaphasic, diamesic                 guage of music” par excellence for external
er, has persisted for years because it corre-                         and diachronic dimensions;                                reasons (its good reputation in Italy and
sponds to the scientific and technical pur-                      •    semantic vagueness dimension (the pos-                    abroad), and for its internal and structural
poses of a historical and natural language:                           sibility of extending indefinitely the                    characteristics (phonetic and syntactic ones),
specialized vocabularies are configured, in                           boundaries of the meaning of a word in                    reasons Bonomi has defined “a linguistic and
fact, as a nomenclature, a set of pre-estab-                          a language to new meanings in relation                    musical question” (2009, p. 131).
lished signifiers to be applied as labels, by                         to new experiences).2
convention, to a set of equally pre-estab-                                                                                      The methodology of research involved an
lished meanings in a bijective mapping. In                       The relations between the six dimensions                       A1 Italian FL classroom of fifteen Slovak
other words, considering the signifier and                       listed above can be iconically represented                     learners, who are used to approaching Ital-
certain fundamental rules of combination,                        by De Mauro’s simile (1999, p. 58): the                        ian opera texts for study and work. Three
it is always possible to predict and calculate                   process of language comprehension devel-                       traditional texts about the general theme
the meaning.                                                     ops in a similar way to exploring the hand-                    of love were presented to the students dur-
                                                                 holds when climbing a tree or a small                          ing three different lessons, according to
However, since the 1970s and 80s,1 the                           mountain wall. We see and choose a hand-                       prestructured activities in the following
idea that comprehension is a linearly con-                       hold and if we can trust it, we choose and                     main phases: 1. eliciting lexical general in-
secutive and specular process in respect to                      try a second handhold, then a third, and a                     formation; 2. listening; 3. formulating text
linguistic production has begun to be chal-                      fourth one, selecting the order according                      comprehension hypotheses; 4. re-listen-
lenged, not because it is false but because it                   to circumstances. Thus, we climb by as-                        ing; 5. reading and testing the previous
is overly simplistic.                                            sumption, attempts, returns, new starts,                       hypotheses. The phase of reading was al-
                                                                 and the path is just one of the ways we can                    ways preceded by the phase of listening,
Comprehension is not a deterministic pro-                        climb higher. The tree or the rock wall re-                    based on authentic materials (YouTube
cess (as implied by the linear model), in                        fers by analogy to the expression of a word                    videos). During each phase, the interpreta-
which an absolutely certain value, 0 (total                      or sentence, a linguistic sense-datum im-                      tions of the students were noted on a black-
comprehension) or 1 (total incomprehen-                          mediately present in the experience and                        board and discussed.
sion), would correspond to a given linguis-                      object of sense-perception. Working around
tic utterance. It is a probabilistic and mul-                    and over its form, R chooses (it is “a”                        The first text presented to the students was
ti-dimensional process, the results of                           choice, not “the” choice, dictated by the                      Una furtiva lagrima, the aria from the sec-
which fall within an ideal range of values                       variability of the dimensions) how to re-                      ond act, eighth scene, of L’elisir d’amore by
between 0 and 1. In other words, we un-                          construct the meaning chosen by P, in a                        Gaetano Donizetti, libretto by Felice Rom-
derstand neither the whole nor nothing,                          continuous and dynamic communication.                          ani, performed for the first time in 1832.
but we understand “a little” according to                        The process of comprehension is finally
the following main dimensions not cov-                           the construction of one or more senses,
ered by the linear model of comprehen-                           which can be determined only with a high
sion:                                                            degree of “tolerance on the field” as it has
                                                                 been defined by the German logician and
•    con-textual and co-textual (sentences                       linguist Eric Lenneberg (1971), realized by
     which precede and follow an utter-                          cooperation, displacements and mutual
     ance) dimensions;                                           adaptations of the interlocutors.

1
   The reason for this late analytical and systematic explora-
tion in the field of comprehension by linguistic sciences is
to be found in the resistance to building a “sinetica,” a mul-
                                                                 2                                                              3
ti-disciplinary linguistic science which takes into account        In Nobili 2014 the purpose was to reconstruct the his-         The following definition of text has been accepted here:
not only phonetics and phonology, morphology, syntax and         torical and philosophical depth of this idea about linguis-    “Il testo potrebbe essere definito come una serie di frasi che,
semantics, but all the disciplines related to the more exten-    tic comprehension as a probabilistic and multi-dimen-          per il fatto di essere messe insieme in un certo modo, assu-
sive and complex field of human cognition. Even historical       sional process considering the review to Giuseppe Prezzolini   mono un significato complessivo.” (Telve 2008: 23). “A text
and natural language vocabularies point to the overall cog-      (Giuliano il sofista), Il linguaggio come causa d’errore-H.    may be defined as a set of sentences that, for the fact that
nitive, rather than purely linguistic, features of linguistic    Bergson (1904), and La Poesia di Dante (1921) by Croce         of being put together in a certain way, assume an overall
signs and text comprehension (see De Mauro 1988; 1999).          (1866-1952).                                                   meaning” (my own translation).

                                            To be up-to-date with what is going on, visit our website: www.iatefl.si                                                                       13
You can also read