This paper argues for the inclusion of Young Adult Literature (YAL) in the Italian class. First the possible reasons for the remarkable success of this type of literature will be explored in order to better understand and fully exploit the phenomenon (Section 1). Secondly, the aspects relevant for language learning will be listed all the while sustaining the author’s view that dialogues created for narrative purposes do have the quality of sufficient authenticity to make them didactically exploitable for language-learning/teaching purposes. Examples of practical activities through which to put these dialogues to good use will be provided (Section 2, the core of the paper). Aspects of Italian YAL that help bridge the gap between Italian language and literature curricula will also be touched on, insofar as they encourage collaboration between teachers of different subjects and stimulate students to look for and find connections among other disciplines. This kind of collaborative work, it will be argued, may also help to find an alternative way of successfully re-familiarizing students with literary texts tout court, whose crucial value has been confirmed through the arguments of contemporary scholars and teachers (among others, Khdhir and Hasan 2016; Law 2012; also see Chiariello 2017 on the importance of “reading the world”) as well as through the evidence of recent research (see, for example, Schrijvers et al. 2016) (Section 3). In the closing section, other positive aspects of YAL will be listed in relation to motivation, communicative, and cultural learning to further support its place in the Italian class.
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