Second language at school, the Italian

With the deadline for enrollment in high school approaching and therefore also the choice of foreign language to study in high school, and at the end of 2022, which saw the initiatives of the “Year of the German language in Italy” promoted by the German Embassy, the Italo-German Cultural Association deems some considerations appropriate.
Germany is in first place as a destination country for Italian exports. Given the important commercial exchanges between Italy and Germany, in Italy German is the second most requested working language after English, both in the industrial sector and in the service sector (Source: Unioncamere – Ministry of Labour).
The most spoken language in Europe is German with 100 million native speakers from Germany, Austria, German-speaking Switzerland and South Tyrol. About 70 million Europeans speak French, about 63 million English, while Spanish is spoken by about 50 million people.
From the data provided by the Tourist Observatory of the Liguria Region for the period between January and September 2022, the presences of tourists from Germany amount to 1,231,496 to which must be added tourists from Austria (147,385) and the German-speaking component of Swiss tourists.
In the latest data regarding the presence of tourists in our province from January to October 2022, tourists from Germany and Austria represent 15.46% of the presence of foreigners, to which must be added those from German-speaking Switzerland. The overall Swiss presence is 6.4%.
Unfortunately, the importance of the German language in the economic, tourist and cultural fields still does not correspond to an adequate presence in the Italian school. This was demonstrated by the survey carried out by the Apollis Research Institute on behalf of the Goethe Institut of Rome, published in 2020 with the title “Quantitative and qualitative study on the role of the German language in Italy. final report”.
The 2015 ISTAT data published in 2017 relating to the knowledge of foreign languages ​​in Italy saw English known by 48% of the population aged 6 and over, French by 30%, Spanish by 11%, German only by 6 %. These data are part of a general picture which shows that the knowledge of foreign languages ​​in Italy is less widespread than in the rest of Europe: while 54% of Europeans are able to hold a conversation in at least one foreign language, only the 38% of Italians are able to do it.
This situation also penalizes the choice of German, which despite the job opportunities it offers in Italy and abroad and the possibilities of exchange at all levels, despite the significant progress in teaching, continues to be associated with the negative stereotype of a difficult language and to often be the victim of unfavorable conditions within the school organization, especially in middle school.
ACIT of La Spezia, a partner of the Goethe Institut, is committed to the diffusion of the German language and multilingualism in Italian schools, from a European point of view.
A significant event in this sense took place on 14 December last at the Dialma – Urban Creative Building Site with the delivery to the pupils of the “Piaget” middle school of the diplomas relating to the A1 and A2 level German language certifications obtained in the last school year. The president of ACIT Cozzani and the vice president Baracco, the families of the award-winning youngsters and the professors Prof. Manfredini and Bordone were present. The importance of certifications as confirmation of the results achieved and reinforcement of the motivation for language learning was underlined.
ACIT is available to provide information and promotional material and for meetings to be held at the schools. With a view to multilingualism, the meetings are held jointly with the Alliance Française. In this regard, it should be remembered that at the local level the presence of French-speaking tourists in our province in recent years is a phenomenon worthy of consideration.

Second language at school, the Italian-German cultural association explains why choosing Goethe’s language – Citta della Spezia