Intercultural education: basic needs and integration strategies

January, 29th 2009

The conference, organized by Asils and Italian in Italy, took place in the Sala della Protomoteca in Campidoglio, Rome, with the patronage of the Municipality of Rome, the Province of Rome, the Lazio Region, the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Cultural Heritage.

Interculturality, the teaching of Italian as a L2 in school and post-school age and the strategies for integrating foreign students into the national education system represent areas of primary interest for those involved in language training in the private sector.

Learning the language of the country to which you go and being able to communicate is, for immigrants, the first step towards integration. For this reason, Italian language courses help foreigners not to feel excluded from social and work dynamics. Knowledge of the Italian language is a tool that allows you to acquire the communication skills necessary for survival, for looking for a job and for an intercultural approach with the community in which you live. In teaching the Italian language to adults there are three transversal objectives to be pursued: self-realization, socialization and acculturation.

The teaching of Italian as a second or foreign language requires specific training. The widespread consideration according to which native Italian teachers are automatically teachers of Italian for foreigners is, unfortunately, an erroneous practice in use among Italian schools of all levels. The growing influx of non-Italian mother tongue students into our public schools is rapidly changing the national school system and - in particular - these changes are being felt within the kindergarten and primary school classes.

The didactic experience lived by the teachers in relation to the foreign students, gives rise to the need to formulate a specific planning and to identify more suitable strategies for the different didactic interventions which allow a full integration of the foreign students within the school, motivating their desire to communicate and get out of isolation.

It is in this context that brings stimuli and new opportunities that the Conference that ASILS and ITALIAN IN ITALY intended to organise, with the stated aim of providing a contribution to the ongoing debate on training needs in an intercultural key, on methodologies and tools integration of these new "Italia”

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