Innovation in Language Learning

Edition 16

Accepted Abstracts

Language Learning, Teaching and Assessing during the Pandemic in Italy: Main Findings from a Survey

Letizia Cinganotto, INDIRE (Italy)


The paper focuses on the main results from a questionnaire which was spread among Italian teachers during the Covid-19 emergency in spring 2020 with the aim to investigate their perspective on some aspects related to language teaching, learning and assessing.

The questionnaire was developed within the current European policy discussion on plurilingualism and multilingualism: 2805 respondents filled it in, providing a non-exhaustive, but interesting picture of the teachers’ perceptions and feelings related to language learning and teaching. The context of the survey is represented by the Council Recommendation on a comprehensive approach to the teaching and learning of languages [1] and the survey was also aimed at spreading the Recommendation itself among Italian teachers, together with the other recent reports, such as “Education begins with languages” [2].

Considering the inputs provided by the Council Recommendation in order to improve the quality of school curricula and to help reach the Barcelona objectives (two languages plus the mother tongue) re-launched by the European Commission, the survey was planned and delivered anonymously in cooperation with the Italian Ministry of Education and with the supervision of the European Commission itself.

The main results will be highlighted in this paper, with particular reference to the Italian teachers’ knowledge, reactions, feelings and attitudes towards the different dimensions related to language learning, teaching, assessing and CLIL [3] [4], considering the challenges of remote and blended teaching during the pandemic. The respondents were 78,4% foreign language teachers, 5,3% CLIL teachers, 9,3% both CLIL and language teachers, 1% school leaders. Teachers taught mainly at upper secondary level (41,3%) and lower secondary level (31,9%), but also primary teachers were well represented (25,1%). The questionnaire collected a lot of very interesting inputs about remote teaching: teachers expressed their reactions about the strengths and weaknesses of open resources and digital tools. In particular, the use of videos [5] to convey or produce content in a foreign language was considered particularly effective, especially when realized by the students, as well as the exploitation of different webtools to create, adopt, manipulate learning contents, tailor making them to address the specific target of learners.  


  • Council Recommendation on a comprehensive approach to the teaching and learning of languages (2019).
  • European Commission (2020), Education begins with languages.
  • Cinganotto L. (2016), CLIL in Italy: A general overview. Latin American Journal of Content and Language Integrated Learning, 9(2), pp. 374-400.
  • Cinganotto L. (2021). CLIL & Innovazione, Pearson.
  • Cinganotto L., Cuccurullo D. (2015), The role of videos in teaching and learning content in a foreign language, Journal of e-Learning and Knowledge Society, v.11, n. 2.

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