True target language

5th December 2003 at 00:00
I developed this activity with my class of learners from post-GCSE Italian up to bilingual level but it's easily tailored to younger students.

The class simulates the editorial board of a TV Channel which they've named Il Faro d'Italia - the Lighthouse of Italy. Each student is a journalist responsible for looking for news about Italy and reporting it weekly to the rest of the group in the form of a news report covering politics, sports, arts, music or unusual events.

We close the programme with a game called Falso Falso Vero inspired by the English TV game Call my Bluff. Each week, I divide students into groups of three and assign a word or a sentence, which may contain a typical Italian expression. Each team decides who will provide their correct definition and who the misleading ones. The rest of the class are the audience, trying to identify the correct definition. Each member of the audience can ask one question of the panel.

The game creates humour and the choice of definitions gives an insight into cultural differences. It allows every student to speak. Colleagues and I demonstrated the game to much laughter at the prize ceremony when our course won a 2003 European Award for Languages.

Marina Mozzon-McPherson, senior open learning adviser and tutor of Italian, institution-wide language programme, University of Hull.

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