Our school, the Liceo Statale “S. Pertini”, has recently adhered to the linguistic policy promoted by the Council of Europe, which aims at encouraging the development of a multilingual and multicultural learning environment, by implementing a CLIL programme. Students of section E, in their final year of study, have actively participated in the course taught in English and, in compliance with CLIL objectives, have carried out an inquiry on young people’s relationship to cinema, for the purpose of applying their theoretical knowledge about research methodology.
Podcast: Introducing the Questionnaire
Reflections on the questionnaire:
Given the little time we had to effectively carry out the project, the students and I deliberately decided to reduce the sample size. Consequently, we were able to accurately analyse the data collected before drawing our conclusions. In spite of the limited sample size, the experience turned out to be positive and educational for the students and it is worth reflecting on it.
The data content shows that the overall sample loves watching movies with a frequency of 1 to 2 times a week. Interestingly enough, data collected from a previous survey showed that young people are more likely to watch TV series rather than movies. Not only are TV shows usually briefer than films – less than one hour – but they also generally manage to better conform to the audience’s tastes and expectations. The TV show gets distributed while the shooting of the following season is still in progress – or has not even started yet. Hence, statistics describing its success are published and the authors are given the chance to create characters and plots which easily meet public tastes.
As far as the choice of the movie is concerned, most subjects stated the actors’ names and the film’s genre as being the main factors influencing their choice. Moreover, the majority of individuals prefers watching movies on a computer monitor comfortably sitting at home rather than going to the cinema. Thus, films are no longer considered as an artistic expression but as a mere form of entertainment. With reference to film language, only a small percentage of the sample do watch movies in the original language. Conversely, most of the subjects sacrifice an important aspect of the film experience in order to clearly understand the screenplay. Besides, the sound quality of dubbed productions is rather artificial and in most cases the dubber’s voice does not fit the actor. In my view, this general tendency could be regarded as a negative effect of the grammatical approach characterising language teaching in Italy, which sacrifices the development of listening skills and focuses mainly on grammar and translation. To conclude, a final reflection on the little appeal that cinema nowadays seems to have on a wide percentage of the sample. Of course, both a rise in tickets prices and the availability of films online are to be listed among the determining factors. Now, school as an institution should read between the lines and start questioning itself on the significance of making students aware of aesthetic importance. In other words, school should help individuals to conceive beauty as a value and not merely as a supplement. The experience of reading a refined edition or a paperback of a novel is as different as that of enjoying a movie on a big screen, in the dark with a proper sound quality, or watching it on a computer monitor. CLIL encourages students to read books and watch movies in the original language not to learn the language itself but in order to fully appreciate its beauty.