DEAL license for language teachers

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Country Studied: Italy

Area of Focus: Certification for language teachers

The “dyslexia friendly” language teacher license is issued by the Italian Dyslexia Association (AID), in cooperation with the DEAL Research Group of the Ca ‘Foscari University of Venice.

The license is designed as a document that certifies that the language teacher has theoretical and practical knowledge about teaching languages to students with SLD. The license is issued after passing an online test that serves to verify the knowledge of the legislative framework and of the key concepts of inclusiveness-accessibility in language teaching, as well as the practical skills to analyze and work on linguistic materials and, in general, to design didactic interventions in compliance with the principles of inclusiveness-accessibility.

The test seeks to verify the competences for language teaching to students with SLD, from legislation, to design and implementation of didactic practices and tools.

This is a certification issued to language teachers, regardless the educational level/s they deal with. Currently the material for the course is available online and the test, which is made up of 3 parts (legislative framework, theoretical and practical parts), is carried out online, through a form.

The license test is carried out on an annual basis.
The legislation part of the test is done online.
The second part, relating to language teaching, is delivered online too, according to this timeframe:
Theoretical part: online test, 45 minutes for completing it.
Practical part: 3 hours to answer questions and deliver the reference document by email.

The good practice is addressed to teachers who intend to support people with SLD in language learning, and in particular to all those who want to become AID tutors.

The practice is a certification of knowledge and skills, and the assessment is based on an online test including two different parts:

  • The first part: the legislation

The first part of the test focuses on the legislative framework concerning teaching for students with SLD in the Italian school. To pass this part of the test, the candidate must answer correctly at least 70% of the questions.

  • Second part: language teaching

This second part focuses on teaching languages ​​to students with SLD. Only the candidates who have passed the first part of the test can have access to this one. This second part is divided into two sub-parts: a theoretical and a practical one

Theoretical part

In this part, the theoretical knowledge of the candidate is verified through a test including two sections: the first section is made of 10 multiple choice questions on purely theoretical issues; the second section includes 10 other open questions.

Practical part

In the practical part, the candidates will have to demonstrate their skills and experience in the creation and / or adaptation of language teaching materials for students with SLD and, moreover, their abilities to adapt language learning approaches and methodologies to a diagnosis of SLD.

DEAL license online platform including study materials and hosting the candidates for taking the test

This DEAL license is conceived as a document certifying that the teacher has specific knowledge and skills on teaching languages (mother tongue, foreign, second or classical language) to students with SLD. The license represents a further validation of their skills in the field of teaching languages to students with SLD.

The DEAL group is part of the CRDL (Center for Research and Didactics of Languages) which deals with research in the fields of education and language policy, teaching of foreign languages, intercultural communication. The Center applies this research to teachers training, to the development of curricula and teaching materials, to consultancy for bodies, centers, companies that deal with language teaching.

DEAL is part of the Language Education Network, a website where you can find information, materials, tools, initiatives for those involved in teaching Italian and second, foreign and classical languages.

DEAL is part of the LABCOM Intercultural Communication and Didactic Laboratory, which studies the role of communication both in teaching and in the knowledge of languages, with particular attention to the intercultural dimension.

AID is currently the main association in Italy on dyslexia and other learning disabilities, with more than 80 local branches all over the country, managed by volunteers, and a total of 18.000 members (parents of dyslexic children, adults with learning disabilities, psychologists, teachers).

  • Evaluation and certification of competences
  • Inclusive teaching
  • Learning styles
  • Adaptation of learning approaches and methodologies

It could be useful for teachers to reflect on their competences for teaching languages to adult people with SLD and to have them validated, so as to both empower teachers and to make them more aware of their further needs for competences.