Posted by Andrea Buchetti, October 1 2022
One of the most successful training experiences I carried out took place in Pisa during my bachelor studies.
At the time I was volunteering in a local cultural center called "Circolo Agorà" which, through its library, spaces and special training courses, is active in the area for a free sharing of knowledge and skills towards disadvantaged social categories.
With them I undertook in-depth training as a teacher of Italian for foreigners and as a legal desk assistant for migrants. After about three months of preparatory course I began together with other young colleagues to work as a volunteer in collective Italian classes with foreigners of all ages mainly from Eastern Europe and sub-Saharan Africa.
The course that developed with the classes, having overcome initial difficulties, soon turned out to be a mutual cultural learning experience. Methodologically, together with my fellow trainers, we therefore decided to appeal to the generative cultural differences that existed in the group of students as tools for dialogue, exchange and sharing aimed at practicing the Italian language.
The result was not only a fluid learning of the language outside the rigid structures of cathedratic lessons, but above all the birth of a laboratory of mutual cultural contamination where through concrete experiences (such as moments of collective cooking in which each person offered the group a typical recipe from his or her land cooked all together) friendships and bonds were created that I still cultivate today and that have helped the insertion into the local territory of the unaccompanied migrants who attended the course.