The AP® Italian Language and Culture online course
The AP® Italian Language and Culture course, developed by the ICoN (Italian Culture on the Net) consortium is an online course for teachers and students, approved by the US College Board. The ICoN AP® Italian Language and Culture course gives access to quality teaching material for exam preparation, and is made up of 15 units. In each unit students access authentic material (written, audio, and video), and explore issues related to Italian culture. Each unit includes activities with automatic correction or open correction, as well as in-depth grammar and vocabulary sheets. Automatic correction activities are closed-response activities: the system provides immediate feedback and records the activities and the progress of students, guiding them in the independent and conscious discovery of the language. Open correction activities are written and spoken activities linked to the topics of the units and tailored to the types of tests of the “Free response” section of the AP exam. These activities are highly motivating for students, and may also include research on the web and group work that encourages written and spoken interaction in Italian. All materials are included in the course, and there is thus no need for additional materials.
The ICoN AP course can be used in three different ways:
- As teaching material: only the teacher has access to the course, and uses it as an expansion and addition to the usual face-to-face teaching. The teacher can for example select the written, audio, and audio-visual texts of the course and use them in class to further explore some topics and to enrich lessons with authentic material, or can throw into the class some activities from the course and assign them as individual or group work. The course includes a range of support materials for the teacher (guides and instructions), with proposals for combining units, and ideas to propose expansion activities to students.
- E-learning - With tutor: The student follows the course in a virtual classroom, together with other students and with a specialist teacher/tutor; as well as performing automatic correction activities and open correction activities, the student interacts with class mates and tutor mainly through asynchronous tools (forum, and class and private diary). The tutor/teacher assigns homework, gives directions and suggestions, provides ongoing support to the student and uses platform tracking tools to assess progress and class participation. In this way, even students whose schools do not offer an AP course can register and prepare for the exam.
- Blended learning: the teaching materials of the course and the tools of the virtual classroom are used to support and integrate face-to-face teaching: the class teacher can for example use the automatic correction tasks for the individual work of the student, or else propose activities and tasks on the forum of the virtual classroom, to which all students are enrolled. Through the platform tracking tools, the teacher can continuously monitor and assess the progress of teaching.This mode allows flexible and customizable teaching interventions to be designed, alternating face-to-face meetings and time online depending on educational requirements and the needs of students.Technically speaking, the course can be used both on a PC and on mobile devices (iPads, tablets, and smartphones) and can therefore adapt to the different technological needs and tools of students and schools.