DiM Project consists in a multilingual dictionary on line for foreigner students and teachers of school and organization that deals with language training for foreign students. It was designed by CPIA of AVELLINO. CPIAs (Provincial Centers for Adult Education) are schools set up by the Ministry of Education which offer services and activities for adult education as a contribution to personal, cultural, social and economic growth of all citizens. They are located throughout the Italian territory.

DiM (Multilingual Dictionary) was born to support the teaching and the learning of Italian language for foreigner students. Mostly of our students are immigrants especially from African and Asian countries facing many problems such as low literacy or illiteracy. DiM was conceived as a work in progress and it can be suitable for learning and teaching any language.

The first objective of DiM is to create an online multilingual dictionary through an open source platform containing at least seven foreign languages spoken by students of our institutions for the level A1 level (according to the Common European Framework of References for Languages) translated in each European language used by all the partners involved. Every partner will work on a language to collect the necessary data and will help to implement the online platform. The dictionary will be a didactic tool, usable by teachers in their lessons and by students in autonomy. It will be an instrument to implement the autonomy of the students, learning how to learn. It will help all the institutions involved in teaching a second language to improve the welcoming of students with low literacy level also in their mother-tongue. Every institution will disseminate the project to reach a higher number of users and to stimulate more people to come to school. We will use social network and the European platform such as Epale and create in a final multiply event with our partners. It will by a duty for every involved institution to do any effort to disseminate the project inside and outside the institution by creating meetings and using all the channel that we will construct.

The second objective is the valorization of the sociolinguistic heritage of our students. On that purpose, every institution will try to involve a congruous number of students in the realization of the dictionary and also create internal workshops on different languages giving centrality to languages less known on the territory creating an intercultural exchange and a more wider vision on sociolinguistic heritage. We would like to show the beauty of language in all its linguistic and cultural aspects through linguistic workshops that include both purely linguistic and lexicographical aspects and the cultural and artistic aspects (as regards alphabets, for example) of the various languages.

DiM will be disseminated in other schools and countries to promote the integration between different cultures and languages and the social inclusion of immigrant adult students against any kind of social, cultural or linguistic discrimination. It is a way to preserve and give dignity to the languages of origin of foreign immigrant students. In this project our students, as native speakers, collaborate actively to its realization and promote the knowledge of their cultures through their languages.

DiM consists of 4 stages each following one another which are: planning of the dictionary; collection of the entries; writing and producing. In the first stage the reference point as such as the starting point is the A1 Level lexical list, published in the Profilo della Lingua Italiana according to the Common European Framework of References for Languages.

The second step dealing with the collection of the entries (words) is carried out by students who complete a form with the translation of the words in their own language. The teacher will then record the translated words with student’s collaboration.

In the writing stage we take care first to study the characteristics of the different alphabets and then, if necessary, reproduce the transliteration of the words in the Latin alphabet.

At the end DiM  will be published on a web platform on which all the languages collected can be visualized and used by anyone who want to use it for didactic or cultural purposes.

The result for each word consists of:

  • a schematic drawing for each word;
  • a brief description in Italian/any other language;
  • the translation of the word into the different languages involved;
  • audio for pronunciation in the different languages involved as it can be seen from the attached example.

The creation of a free and open multilingual online dictionary could be the basis for further activities to be implemented later, such as, for example, a linguistic and cultural database of the various countries and a multicultural online library.