Prompting migrants’ experiential processes of deconstructing and authenticating a host community’s literary text through ELF


This chapter introduces an ELF-mediated on-going research project aimed at involving communities of migrants and refugees hosted in Southern Italy who are encouraged to access and ‘authenticate’ (Widdowson 1979) the Italian theatrical culture according to their own linguacultural and experiential backgrounds. Such an appropriation is assumed to occur by having migrants improvising on the plays (Checkhov 1953; Johnstone 1981), translating and re-writing them (Slembrouck 1999) into their own ELF variations, thus creating parallel texts to the original ones, and then embodying them on an actual stage (Guido 1999). This study specifically presents a case study on migrants’ appropriation and embodiment of Luigi Pirandello’s play Six characters in search of an author, where the original characters’ experiences of displacement and identity loss are filtered, reinterpreted and re-contextualized through the subjects’ different schemata, and then rendered into their own ELF variations at the semantic, syntactic, pragmatic and metaphorical levels (Guido 2008). The objective is to make migrants appreciate the original text by re-textualizing it into a new parallel one where their own personal experience of existential displacement and of being uprooted from their own native countries can find an artistic expression.

DOI Code: 10.1285/i22390359v38p373


Barthes R. 1977, ‘The death of the author’, in Barthes R. and Heath S. (eds.), Image Music Text, Hill and Wang, New York, pp. 142-148.

Burton D. 1980, Dialogue and Discourse: A Sociolinguistic Approach to Modern Drama Dialogue and Naturally Occurring Conversation, Routledge and Kegan Paul, London.

Chatman S. 1980, Story and Discourse: Narrative Structure in Fiction and Film, Cornell University Press, Ithaca.

Chekhov, M. 1953. To the Actor: On the Technique of Acting. New York: Harper and Row.

Cohen A. and Hosenfeld C. 1981, Some Uses of Mentalistic Data in Second Language Research, in “Language Learning” 31, pp. 285-313.

Cook G. 1994, Discourse and Literature, Oxford University Press, Oxford.

Culler J. 1975, Structuralist Poetics: Structuralism, Linguistics and the Study of Literature, Cornell University Press, Ithaca.

Culler J. 1982, On Deconstruction: Theory and Criticism after Structuralism, Cornell University Press, Ithaca.

De Man P. 1979, Allegories of Reading, Yale University Press, New York.

Derrida J. 1978, Writing and Difference, University of Chicago Press, Chicago.

Ellis R. 1985, Understanding Second Language Acquisition, Oxford University Press, Oxford.

Ericsson K.A. and Simon H.A. 1984, Protocol Analysis: Verbal Report as Data, MIT Press, Cambridge, (MA).

Genette G. 1976, Figure III: discorso del racconto, Einaudi, Turin.

Giampaolo M.T. 2013, The Acquisition of L2 English through Cognitive Strategies and Problem Solving, in “Lingue e Linguaggi” 9, pp. 93-104.

Giampaolo M.T. 2014, Riconcettualizzazione e verbalizzazione de “Il Bacio” di Gustav Klimt, in Politi G. (ed.), Testo interartistico e processi di comunicazione. Letteratura, arte, traduzione, comprensione, Pensa Multimedia, Lecce, pp. 49-60.

Guido M.G. 1999, The Acting Reader: Schema/Text Interaction in the Dramatic Discourse of Poetry, Legas Publishing, New York/Ottawa/Toronto.

Guido M.G. 2004, Mediating Cultures. A Cognitive Approach to English Discourse for the Social Sciences, LED, Milan.

Guido M.G. 2008, English as a Lingua Franca in Cross-cultural Immigration Domains, Peter Lang, Bern.

Guido M.G. 2012, ELF authentication and accommodation strategies in cross cultural immigration domains, in “Journal of English as a Lingua Franca” 1 [2], pp. 219-240.

Guido M.G. 2013, The Acting Interpreter: Embodied Stylistics in an Experientialist Perspective, Legas Publishing, New York/ Ottawa/Toronto.

Guido M.G. and Seidlhofer B. 2014, English as a Lingua Franca: Theory and Practice, in “Textus” 27 [1], pp. 7-16.

Guido M.G. 2018, An Embodied Stylistics Approach to Acting Interpreters’ Exploration of Shakespeare’s Verse Drama. A Case-Study Analysis, in “Lingue e Linguaggi” 27, pp. 221-261.

Iaia P.L. 2015, Analysing English as a Lingua Franca in Migration Movies: Pragmalinguistic Features, Socio-cognitive Implications and Translation Issues, ESE – Salento University Publishing, Lecce.

Jenkins, J. 2007. English as a Lingua Franca: Attitude and Identity. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Johnson, M. 1987, The Body in the Mind: The Bodily Basis of Meaning, Imagination, and Reason, The University of Chicago Press, Chicago/London.

Johnstone, K., 1981, Impro. Improvisation for the Theatre, Bloomsbury, London.

Levelt W. 1989, Speaking: From Intention to Articulation, MIT Press, Cambridge (MA).

Lyons J. 1968, Introduction to Theoretical Linguistics, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

Pitzl M.L. 2012, Creativity meets convention: Idiom variation and remetaphorization in ELF, in “Journal of English as a Lingua Franca 1 [1], pp. 27-55.

Pressley M. and Afflerbach P. 1995, Verbal Protocols of Reading: The Nature of Constructively Responsive Reading, Erlbaum, Hillsdale (NJ).

Rumelhart D.E. 1977, Toward an interactive model of reading, in Dornic S. (ed.), Attention and Performance, Erlbaum, Hillsdale (NJ).

Rumelhart D.E. 1980, Schemata: the building blocks of cognition, in Spiro R.J., Bruce B.C. and Brewer W.F. (eds.), Theoretical Issues in Reading Comprehension, Erlbaum, Hillsdale (NJ).

Seidlhofer B. 2011, Understanding English as a Lingua Franca, Oxford University Press, Oxford.

Skehan P. 2003, Task-based Instruction. Language Teaching, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

Skehan P. and Foster P. 1997, The Influence of Planning and Post-task Activities on Accuracy and Complexity in Task-based Learning, in “Language Teaching Research” 1 [3], pp. 185-211.

Skehan P. and Foster P. 2001, Cognition and Task, in Robinson P. (ed.), Cognition and Second Language Instruction, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp. 183-205.

Slembrouck S. 1999, Translation, direct quotation and decontextualization, in “Perspectives” 7 [1], p. 81-108.

Szondi P. 1962, Teoria del dramma moderno, Einaudi, Turin.

van Someren M.W., Barnard Y.F. and Sandberg J.A.C. 1994, The Think aloud Method. A Practical Guide to Modelling Cognitive Processes, Academic Press, London.

Widdowson H.G. 1979, Explorations in Applied Linguistics, Oxford University Press, Oxford.

Widdowson H.G. 1992, Practical Stylistics, Oxford University Press, Oxford.

Full Text: pdf


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribuzione - Non commerciale - Non opere derivate 3.0 Italia License.