The Second Cycle Degree in Language Sciences and Cultural Studies for Special Needs is an international course, conducted in English, which aims to provide students with in-depth knowledge and advanced linguistic and cultural competences in English and in a second European language, as well as research skills in language sciences. In addition, the course devotes specific attention to aspects related to language learning and teaching, with particular focus on educational contexts in which there are learners with special needs, such as language or learning disorders and deafness.
In fact, among the strengths of the course is the acquisition of skills in the field of inclusive language education. The course aims at training language experts able to work with learners with language disorders, both in the educational field and in the field of research or activities related to the cultural language industry (publishing houses, certification bodies, companies dedicated to online language training, etc.). Depending on the subjects selected within the training offer, students enrolled in the course will acquire the necessary skills to profile as teachers, researchers and cultural operators in the field of foreign languages, including Italian as a foreign or second language, in Italy and abroad.
Some courses make use of a blended teaching method, which integrates face-to-face and distance teaching and, through a special e-learning platform, allows the management of teaching activities both in sync with traditional lessons and in deferred mode.
These activities are divided into:
- multimedia lessons realized with advanced distance learning tools, with the possibility of interactive work activities to be carried out with the students (self-assessments and self-study tests, etc.);
- interactive communication systems between students and between teachers and students;
- online student reception hours.
This mode of delivery makes it possible to offer students who may need a temporary alternative to the face-to-face mode of attending lectures. In addition, significant educational results are expected from the opportunity that e-learning offers to interact with peers and with the teacher in addition to lecture hours.
The course is aimed at students who have attained an intermediate-advanced level of competence in at least two European foreign languages, one of which must be English.
Subject to the acquisition of a sufficient number of credits in appropriate groups of scientific-disciplinary fields, the graduate may, as provided by current legislation, participate in the admission tests for the training courses for qualification in secondary education in Italy.
In addition, the course lays the foundations for profiles of editors and instructional designers capable of combining competences in cultural and linguistic fields with those related to traditional and e-learning language education, especially with reference to teaching in the presence of language disorders, and able to apply the principles for the construction of inclusive learning environments accessible to all, especially to students with disorders.
In summary, on the basis of advanced linguistic-cultural and glottodidactic competences, the graduate in this course presents competences in highly evolving fields such as language education for special needs and instructional design applied to e-learning language education. These are skills that can be spent in national and international contexts: from the world of education, to the world of traditional and digital publishing, from the world of e-learning to international agencies.
The course aims at achieving its educational objectives through a didactic path based on the presence of a core of disciplines related to Language Sciences and to English language and literature. To complete the course, students are required to add a specialization in a second language, including Italian L2.
Graduates in the course are highly qualified experts in languages, language learning and communication languages.
They are able to use fluently, both orally and in writing, at least two of the languages spoken in the European Union, with reference also to the disciplinary lexicons of which they possess a level of competence of approximately C2 level for English and C1 level for the second foreign language studied, in the curriculum where it is foreseen. They possess:
- an advanced knowledge of linguistic theories and methodologies;
- specific knowledge of the structure of natural languages, also with a view to training for integration into language teaching and education;
- a solid background in modern languages;
- a solid background in the literatures of known modern languages;
- skills relating to the new languages of communication and information.
They are also familiar with the techniques of analysis and description of linguistic systems and are able to use the main IT tools in their specific areas of competence.
They have skills in teaching foreign languages (and, depending on the course chosen, also Italian L2) in the traditional way or in e-learning.
Moreover, graduates can work effectively in language teaching pathways to support students with speech disorders, intellectual giftedness, and deafness.
The course aims to provide a thorough grounding and advanced linguistic and cultural competences in English and a second foreign language (including Italian as a FL/L2), and research skills in the field of Language Sciences and Cultural Studies.
It devotes specific attention to aspects related to language learning and teaching, with particular reference to Special Educational Needs affecting communication and language, such as developmental language disorders, learning disorders and sensory disabilities. A strength of the course is the acquisition of competences in the field of inclusive language education.
The course also allows students to develop basic skills in Instructional Design needed to work as editors or instructional designers. Such skills are combined with language education competences in traditional and e-learning modes.