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Italy To Teach School Subjects In English

Discussion in 'Health and Education' started by Regina Juno, Feb 1, 2015.

  1. I have started learning English when I was five. I started learning German when I was ten. I still have trouble when speaking German (I avoid it, actually), but I have no such difficulties when it comes to English. I adore it, I study it, I speak it everyday. This doesn´t change the fact that my native language is Croatian. I speak Croatian perfectly, not because I have studies it in school since I was little, but because it is my mother tongue. I am a native speaker. Nothing can change that. Sometimes it might happen that I can´t remember a certain word or a phrase, but that doesnßt mean that I can´t speak Croatian perfectly.

    We had both English and Croatian in primary school since we´d started the first grade when I was six. We managed to study both languages. We didn´t have any problems. And our native language was still the "first", so to say. I believe this is the same with all children: they pick up languages easily. The younger children are, the easier it is for them to learn. The acquisition process happens early on - it´s when children can achieve the almost "native" or "native-like" proficiency. That´s why there are so many bilingual children: they speak BOTH languages. It´s an advantage.

    Besides, learning languages helps the brain develop more quickly as the logical connections are being made in between the languages and comparisons... the children who learn languages have fewer problems in school curriculum simply because they think logically. They´re used to it. Same is with playing the piano or something else. It might seem ambitious, but it does help and children don´t have many problems.

    I´ve quoted my textbook here, on learning languages and language acquisition :)
     
  2. I think it's a great move to let them learn english in such young age. Italian popolation are mostly ignorant when it comes to English and one way to get them more confident with English is surely this one.
     
  3. I think teaching in English loses the Italian culture. I think the schools should continue to teach in Italian but offer English courses to the students as well. I think that taking away the language of the country really takes away from the culture. While I understand English is one of the most spoken languages in the world, I think it should be offered as a secondary language as opposed to the primary language.
     
  4. While I might not go as far as to say it helps to lose Italian culture, as I think that will always be embedded into Italians at a young age, I do think that learning English will maybe devalue the importance of it a little.
     
  5. It will be necessary to teach English for students from other UN countries who want to join universities in Italy. Not only students from other countries but also for Italian students who will want to advance their studies in other countries.
     
  6. From what I'm reading, before English was only taught as a "second language." Similar to students who opt to take Spanish or French in school in America. Yet few of those American students are even fluent in that language. It's like an elective to them. With this new initiative, it looks like the English language will at least be a compulsory subject in elementary school, the same way math and science are required (and necessary).

    The same thing has been happening for years in Denmark and Sweden. And I've noticed that Swedish people often do very well when they come here for work and interacting with Americans. I don't think it causes them to lose their Swedish culture at all. They still all identify as Swedish and almost all of them prefer Sweden and go back there to live indefinitely.

    In any way, it's just another way to be able to compete. There are documentaries online where Chinese students are now learning English as a mandatory subject. I highly doubt it's going to make them any less Chinese. It's just a way to interact with the rest of the world.

    Regarding Italy, I often wonder if the standardization of the Italian language actually resulted in loss of culture with local dialects. I think that's the sad thing. But I also see where standardization of any language is necessary. And I'm grateful for it, as it allows me to learn the language.
     
  7. Well they say English is the universal language so it makes sense for people to take it i school. I don't see it as a negative at all. I don;t think it makes anyone cultrually different. I took French in HS and college. It didn't make me less American.
     
  8. I agree that one should never overlook their primary language or that of their own country. I think most schools should at require learning both rather than one. However, I think the move towards English has to do with global awareness rather than what a large population in the country is speaking.
     
  9. I don't see why it's such a big deal, most countries do it, and it helps diversify the studies, as well as teach the students a secondary language at the same time. Why not? English is one of the most common languages in most countries, and it would help if everyone knew it, for communication purposes. I do not see a downside in this, as it will help the students learn more, communicate more, and branch out more when it comes to other countries outside of their own.
     
  10. I think this is great - I think that so many European countries have better teaching of English than I do in my home country (and I am in a native English speaking country!)

    Of course, I don't want to downplay the importance of knowing your national language - I do think the curriculum should also put an emphasis on Italian language. But I don't think knowing multiple languages hurts at all! It's a benefit, from making travel easier to increasing employment opportunities!
     
  11. Some of the people that I worked with in Genoa spoke great English, some of them spoke barely a word, I guess being able to learn a new language is like a skill, some people are better at it than others. This was a software development firm that had clients all over the world so English was basically mandatory for at least the people dealing with the outside world over there. Some of the guys also were able to speak French fluidly. A second language comes very naturally to people in Europe, a lot of Germans speak good English, same with all the Nordic countries. It is a combination of being powerful economies that export a lot of goods all over the world, being tourist destinations and basically being a melting pot of several cultures for millennia.
     
  12. Nah, I don't think this would ever become a reality. However, it's completely okay to have some classes in other languages if it's pre-arranged before. We do that at my university and I think it's a great thing.
     
  13. I can certainly see both sides of this argument. There surely is something to the culture argument, such as @KimmyMarkks mentioned, but then again if it is in addition to then maybe you are just adding and not really taking anything away. If that is the case, maybe you are starting at a young age and thus better preparing them. I would say that the ultimate judge would have to be the parents, so I am curious to see what Italian parents are thinking on the matter.
     
  14. I guess learning in English in Italy is supposed to be mandatory or at least made an option long before now. I am somehow surprised that all the while learning was only by the local languages.
    One thing I have come to understand education taught in English language seems to have a higher rating and a wider world recognition. This probably is because English is universal language understood by many.
     

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