The Potential of ‘Intersemiotic’ Translations and Their Use in Academic Foreign Language Teaching

Lucia Amelia Salvato*

*Autore corrispondente per questo lavoro

Risultato della ricerca: Contributo in libroChapter


This paper describes the potential that intersemiotic translations have in foreign language teaching. The work is the outcome of a ten-year didactic and research experience in a Master degree course on expressive techniques of German as a foreign language, in which training was grounded on the analysis of different types of texts. Contemporary didactic methods are predominantly directed towards developing oral abilities. In contrast, attention in this paper is given more to the development of writing skills. To enhance student learning, the course was focused on the analysis and production of intersemiotic translations, such as describing figurative paintings or classical music pieces, and narrating silent films. Analysis is achieved by using foreign language according to CLIL (Content and Language Integrated Learning), i.e. as a vehicle and not just as a learning tool. The starting conceptual perspective is provided by the distinction drawn by Jakobson (1987) of three kinds of translation—interlingual, intralingual, intersemiotic—and by the concepts of syntagmatic and paradigmatic relations. The assumed viewpoint refers both to Linguistics and Semiotics, thus displaying the power of an interdisciplinary approach. The analysis of the ‘language’ of texts is hence pushed into a larger domain than linguistics alone, and the term ‘text’ assumes different forms other than the traditional ones—signs as semiotic phenomena based also on non-verbal codes. This study contributes to the literature on the improvement of language abilities. Through the analysis conducted at the formal, semantic, and pragmatic levels, students focus on style and technical terms to use them correctly in both written texts and oral discussions.
Lingua originaleEnglish
Titolo della pubblicazione ospiteChallenging Ideas and Innovative Approaches in Applied Linguistics. Studies in Linguistics and Methodology. Volume 10
Numero di pagine14
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2015

Serie di pubblicazioni

NomeStudies in Linguistics and Methodology


  • Intersemiotic Translation
  • Traduzione Intersemiotica


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