I hope this email finds you well.
My name is Livia Manzini and I am a doctoral researcher in Italian linguistics at the University of Birmingham (UK). I am writing to you to ask you to contribute to my research by providing information and/or experiences in the teaching of segmental and suprasegmental features of Italian.
My study aims to explore the role of correct pronunciation and intonation in teaching Italian as a foreign language and how technology can be used as a valid teaching tool for improving non-native speakers' ability to master specific and fundamental phonemic and prosodic characteristics of the Italian language.
Currently, I am investigating the development of pronunciation and intonation in virtual learning environments. I have analysed tools available to the public (i.e. mobile apps) that could be included in academic curricula for the students’ autonomous training of pronunciation and intonation. However, whether the data collected suggest a rather significative number of digital resources available at present for the acquisition of English segmentals and suprasegmentals, little seems to have been developed for Italian so far. Apart from mobile apps, institutionalised learning digital technologies are often developed and in use in many universities. However, these are available for enrolled students and university staff only. Therefore, I would kindly ask you to share with me your experiences, feedback, and suggestions by answering to these questions:
1. Are there any specific digital tools for the development and training of foreign languages pronunciation and intonation in your university?
2. If so, which digital tools are in use in your university for the development and training of Italian pronunciation and intonation?
3. Please provide a feedback on the use of learning digital technologies for the training of Italian segmental and suprasegmental features during your experience as language tutors.
If you wish to contribute to my research or to know more about my doctoral research, you can contact me at LXM823@student.bham.ac.uk.
Your contribution and help are very much appreciated.
Many thanks and best wishes,