Sanremo winning song becomes tool to teach and learn Italian

Comunicarlo, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

After winning the last edition of the Sanremo Music Festival, Marco Mengoni’s song “Due vite” has now become a new tool for teaching and promoting the Italian language and culture in the world, thanks to the work of the Ca’ Foscari’s observatory on Language Education.

The purpose of the observatory, directed by Fabio Caon, Associate Professor of Educational Linguistics and Intercultural Communication and director of the Laboratory of Intercultural Communication and Education (LABCOM), is to promote the Italian language across the world through various actions: teaching cards based on songs, conferences and training on the use of songs to teach the Italian language, culture and literature, concert-conferences to increase the popularity of Italian music and opera in the world.

Every year, after the Sanremo Festival, the winning song becomes precious, authentic material for educational activities, in order to help those who study and teach Italian as a foreign language or second language to acquire linguistic skills and cultural knowledge.

“The observatory provides science-based and free educational material to those who study and teach Italian around the world. Why songs? Because people like them. Songs are often one of the reasons why someone decides to approach the study of the Italian language, and music is a particularly appealing way to learn a language, as well as some aspects of its culture and in some cases, its literature. Songs are also valuable vehicles of culture, as they are pieces of evidence of a living language, which evolves as our society changes.

Thanks to the patronage of the Italian Society of Authors and Publishers (SIAE) and the collaboration with the Dante Alighieri society, we manage to reach a very large audience of teachers, students and Italian music enthusiasts all over the world. We can thus monitor the diffusion of Italian songs in the world through international surveys and launch projects that allow us to analyze the mechanisms of song composition, both to provide the critical tools to increase young people’s awareness when it comes to music listening and to develop creative writing skills. We can also organize cultural events and concert-conferences both autonomously - with the aim of promoting Italian music internationally - and in collaboration with various training courses for teachers of Italian in the world, to help them discover the potential of using songs in their lessons”

For years, Fabio Caon has been engaged in activities connected to the teaching of Italian through songs. He has authored various volumes and essays on the subject and held conferences, training sessions and concert-conferences in Italian Embassies and Cultural Institutes abroad, to disseminate the culture of songwriting and its linguistic, cultural and literary relevance in Italy.