"Fluid" Identities: Promoting Social Integration through Plurilingualism and Intercultural Education

Autore: Cinzia Colaiuda, esploratrice di lingue e culture

Estratto: The main aim of this paper is to analyze the outcomes of an action research project carried out in primary schools in Italy (2011-2015), devoted to the integration of all children (native speakers, migrants, refugees, foreign children) through the development of plurilingual and intercultural policies and the validation of all languages and cultures of origin. Children’s self-esteem and motivation in language learning were fostered on the basis of an inclusive approach to diversity perceived as a positive social and human value.

Data were collected through teachers’ annual reports, daily class diaries, semi-structured interviews, working groups. Through competency self-assessment and meta-reflection teachers improved their professional profile in order to act properly in multicultural contexts. All materials were fundamental for analyzing the positive or negative impact of the project on children’s behavior towards diversity and otherness, their perception of their culture and language of origin in relation to their peers and their integration in a multicultural classroom.

Through the implicit use of a whole-community approach parents from migrant backgrounds spontaneously took part in the main didactic activities of the project sharing elements of their language of origin. In so doing, they showed openness with the culture and language of the host country. At the same time, they were perceived as official members of our society by the local community.

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