Measures under the linguistic minorities law
Italy is a rich land of historical linguistic minorities in their variety and quantity. The Ministry of Interior estimates that about 5% of the Italian population has not the Italian tongue as native language. The Italian Republic is one of the few European countries which explicitly protects linguistic minorities (Article 6 of the Constitution). It was applied before 1999, especially in some regions with special status (Valle d'Aosta, Trentino Alto Adige, Friuli, and Venetia Giulia).
The law 482/99 protects the language and culture of the Albanian, Catalan, Germanic, Greek, Slovenian and Croatian, and those speak French, Franco-Provençal, Friulian, Ladin, Occitan and Sardinian. Also notes the existence of other linguistic minorities.
The linguistic minorities benefit specific measures in various fields such as education, communication, radio, press and TV public service. The sector's competence is conferred to the Presidency of the Council of Ministers, the Ministry of Interior, the Ministry of Economic Development and the Ministry of Education, University and Research. Regional and local governments are responsible for the implementation of laws, programs and ad hoc activities in the territories where the linguistic minority is recognized and formally/informally transmitted.
There is a TV authorization for reception and transmission of foreign broadcasters television signals in favor of the recognized linguistic minorities (D. L. 30.01.1999, n. 15 converted into Law 29.03.1999, n. 78; Legislative Decree no. 31.07.2005, art. 30, paragraph 2). Such measure intends to promote the learning of minority languages and cultures as development of cultural and territorial pluralism. Schools should develop agreements in conjunction with local authorities, in the framework of a wide and conscious territorial integration.
With num.113 Decree of 23 October 2002, it was constituted a Technical Committee with the task of developing an annual program of law implementation and to evaluate the projects submitted by the schools. It includes some general managers responsible for the education offices operating in the territories of linguistic minorities, in order to link the national support plan with a specific territorial level programming. Law enforcement in education has focused on five aspects, namely:
- updating of a database and a specific section in the website of the "MIUR" Ministry;
- financing school projects that activate the teaching of the minority language;
- promoting the activities relating to the application of the law;
- training of teaching staff;
-monitoring of the initiatives carried out.
From the experiences made in the first three years of application of the law 482/99 two significant aspects can be derived:
• integration of language training with teaching is useful for affordability issues and personal motivation;
• It is indispensable the immersion in the school environment in the reference language and the consolidation of its standard variant, in the cases in which the language enter into learning activities.