Schools in South Tyrol are becoming ever more multilingual!

Whether it’s Urdu, Sicilian dialect, or Japanese, all languages can be an enrichment to every classroom. Our project helps schools, teachers and pupils to find out how!
Our research aims to support schools and teachers in meeting the needs of multilingual students from every kind of linguistic background.

For schools

Practical tools for exploring multilingualism with students.
Book the traveling exhibition, download lesson materials, and book workshops.

Research

We work closely with schools and analyse data from students.
View study findings and publications on the topics of language competencies, multilingual didactics…

​Project description

The project “One School, Many Languages”, hosted by the Eurac Research in Bolzano, Italy, aims at finding out how multilingualism is perceived, managed and utilized in South Tyrolean schools. Research also focuses on how schools can overcome the established but often restrictive boundaries of language policy and language planning in order to meet the needs of plurilingual individuals while preparing all students for the demands and challenges of living in a multilingual society.

The results of the project’s pre-study (2012), conducted in a survey of 10 schools among school principals, teaching staff, students and their parents, reveal how diverse the situation is – both in terms of students’ linguistic backgrounds and also with regard to the schools’ concepts of dealing with multilingualism. However, the study also indicates a great need for systematization, a growing demand for professional exchange and further qualification, and a huge potential of expanding and adapting the existing approaches, concepts and methods for dealing with the actual language diversity at all schools.

Within the three-year project, language curricula, guidelines, workshops, supporting material as well as specific class projects will be developed for an adequate promotion of language competences in increasingly diverse learning environments. Particular attention will be directed at students whose first language(s) differ from the language(s) of instruction while fostering the linguistic and intercultural competences of all class members. Moreover, an evaluation study is being conducted for assessing the effectiveness of the project’s activities and schools’ development in the sense of further establishing the overall educational target of promoting language awareness and multilingualism.​

Associate partners

The project “One school, many languages” is hosted by Eurac research. It is a cooperation between the Institute for Applied Linguistics at Eurac research and the German Pädagogische Abteilung (pedagogical department) of the German provincial education authority. The Italian
Direzione Istruzione e Formazione and the Ladin Bildungsdirektion are involved through collaboration with the Competence Centre (Kompetenzzentrum) and the Language Centres (Sprachenzentren).

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