Starting in August, Consorzio ICoN – a network of 18 universities that work in agreement with the Minister of Foreign Affairs – will offer 31 professional development courses online for Italian educators abroad, members of official Bodies of 12 different countries for a total of approximately 600 teachers. The courses have been made possible by an extraordinary subsidy provided by the governing bodies of the Directorate General for Italians Abroad of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, under a memorandum of understanding made with ICoN, the objective of which is to provide professional development opportunities on the main aspects of teaching Italian and help them develop digital learning competencies.
Each course lasts 8 weeks and through distance learning, educators will be able to take the courses that perfectly accommodate their work and study schedule. Each teacher will attend virtual classes where s/he can share experiences and knowledge with other teachers of their region and develop teaching materials that can be used immediately in their teaching. Each class will be lead by an expert educator or a tutor. The first two courses, syllabus design and unit planning, and contemporary Italian fiction, will begin on August 23 for educators who are members of the official organization CO.AS.IT in Melbourne.
ICoN watches with great interest the world of Italian educators abroad, which has a decisive role, qualitatively and quantitatively, in the worldwide dissemination of our language. In 2014 and 2015, ICoN provided professional development courses for several hundreds of teachers of different countries, like Argentina, the United State, Brazil, Belgium and Germany. At a time of technological and educational change for ICoN, the Consortium has invested resources and energy to produce 5 courses updated in terms of format and technology, that use teaching materials of educators of associate universities of video materials and language lab activities and that are delivered on the new ICoN platform. Course topics for Italian as a second/foreign language cover syllabus design and unit planning, contemporary Italian fiction, error correction, contemporary Italian language, and assessment. See the ICoN website for course descriptions.