ERIC Number: EJ1052196
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 61
Language Testing, "Integration" and Subtractive Multilingualism in Italy: Challenges for Adult Immigrant Second Language and Literacy Education
Love, Stephanie V.
Current Issues in Language Planning, v16 n1-2 p26-42 2015
Since Italy's unification in 1861, the establishment and diffusion of the standard Italian language at the expense of all other linguistic varieties has dominated language and education policy discourses. Today, as Italy has transformed from a country of mass "emigration" to a country of mass "immigration," the language learning of immigrants and refugees has become highly politicized. This politicization was exemplified in 2009 and 2010 when Italian law mandated the passing of a mostly written A2 Italian language test for the renewal of legal immigration documents. As a result, formal language learning has become another potentially prohibitory challenge for the already complicated legal status of many immigrants. This paper explores the historical macro-level discourses and policies concerning multilingualism, education and national identity in Italy from unification to the present context of immigration. Then, it discusses the local-level challenges of providing adult immigrant language and literacy education today. I argue that the politicization of immigrant language learning, with its subtractive instead of additive approach to multilingualism, has become a serious obstacle for the legal and educational outcomes of adult students with little or limited formal education and literacy backgrounds.
Descriptors: Language Tests, Second Language Learning, Multilingualism, Italian, Immigration, Language Variation, Educational Policy, Refugees, Standard Spoken Usage, Laws, Nationalism, Adult Education, Literacy Education, Second Language Instruction, Outcomes of Education, Adult Students, Language Planning, Foreign Countries, Semi Structured Interviews
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Adult Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Italy; Italy (Rome)