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MERIDIUM International Conference, Perugia, 23-25 November 2011 24th November – II Session – The impact of migration fl PowerPoint Presentation
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MERIDIUM International Conference, Perugia, 23-25 November 2011

24th November – II Session –

The impact of migration flows

schema outline
Schema / Outline

1. Il contesto dell’immigrazione nell’Italia di oggi /

The context of immigration in contemporary Italy

2. Immigrazione e plurilinguismo in Italia: filoni di studio /

Immigration and multilingualism in Italy: some research trends

3. Lingue d’origine e comunità linguistiche immigrate /

The native languages and some immigrant linguistic communities

4. Repertori linguistici di alcuni gruppi immigrati /

The linguistic repertoires of some immigrant groups

5. Conclusioni, con alcuni spunti comparativi /

Conclusions, with some comparative remarks

some statistical data
Some statistical data
  • Official ISTAT data:

January 2011, in Italy 4.570.317 immigrants, over a population of 60 million = 7.5%

  • Dossier Caritas Migrantes 2011 estimates about 5 million immigrants in Italy in 2010, among which 3 million came to Italy in the last 10 years.
  • Cf. 150 years ago: Italy 1861, 88.639 immigrants = 0.4%.
international and eu context
International and EU context
  • International level: in the last 10 years the immigrant population in the world grew conspicuously,

+ 64 million - > now 214 million people

+ more than 15 million refugees.

  • EU: almost 1 / 10 inhabitants was born in a country different from the country he/she is living in now.

In 2009 in EU 32.5 million people had a foreign citizenship, 6.5%.

Almost 15 million were naturalized.

origin of immigrants in italy
Origin of immigrants in Italy

Table A:Immigrants with residence permit (1980-2011)

(Source: Caritas/Migrantes based on ISTAT)

Year Origin (%) total n.

Europe Africa Asia America Oceania others

1980 53.2 10.0 14.0 21.0 1.4 0.4 298.749

1990 33.5 30.5 18.7 16.4 0.8 0.1 781.138

2000 40.7 28.0 19.2 11.8 0.2 0.0 1.388.153

2003 47.9 23.5 16.8 11.5 0.1 0.1 2.193.999

2008 53.6 22.4 15.8 8.1 0.1 0.1 3.891.295

2011 53.4 21.6 16.8 8.1 0.1 4.570.317

main features of immigration in italy 1
Main features of immigration in Italy - 1
  • Unequal distribution of the immigrants on the national territory, see Table 1:

35% North West; 26.3%, North East; 25.2% Center; 13.5% South and Islands. More precisely 24% of them live in Lombardy, about 11-12% in Lazio, Veneto, Emilia Romagna; about 8-9% in Tuscany and Piedmont.

  • In some regions and towns immigrants are about 10-12% of the whole population: Emilia Romagna, Lombardy and Umbria; Brescia, Mantova, Piacenza, Reggio Emilia, Prato.
  • 78.8% of the immigrants are of working age; low mean age, 32 years vs. 44 years of Italians; only 2% of immigrants are more than 65 years old vs. 20% of the Italian population.
  • almost 1 / 10 of the whole working population of Italy is immigrant
main features of immigration in italy 2
Main features of immigration in Italy - 2
  • frequent mixed marriages, in 2009 1 out of 10.
  • growingly stable phenomenon: 600.000 acquired Italian citizenship according to ISTAT (66.000 in 2010).
  • growing number of minors, almost 1 million, and of second generation people, almost 650.000.
immigrant pupils in italian schools
Immigrant pupils in Italian schools
  • Foreign pupils in Italian schools in 2010-2011:

711.046 = 7.9%.

  • 35.8% of the total number of foreign pupils are in primary schools;
  • 20.3 % in preschools, 22.3% in junior high schools, 21.6% in senior high schools.
  • Heavy growth in the last years in senior high schools:

14% in 2001-02 -> 21.6% in 2010-2011.

  • The whole world is represented in Italian schools
first native countries of pupils with non italian citizenship 2010 2011 total n immigrants
First native countries of pupils with non Italian citizenship, 2010-2011 – Total n. immigrants
italian educational policy
Italian educational policy
  • Focus on teaching Italian L2, intercultural education and dialogue, more than on L1 maintenance (although some pertinent hints are given in several laws)
  • Some laws and regulations: CM 301, 8.9.1989; law 40/1998; Regolamento DPR 394, 1999, etc.
  • CM 24, I.3.2006 Linee guida per l’accoglienza e l’integrazione degli alunni stranieri [‘Guidelines for welcoming and integrating foreign pupils’];
  • the 2007 document of the Italian Ministry of Education La via italiana per la scuola interculturale e l’integrazione degli alunni stranieri [‘The Italian way to intercultural school and integration of foreign pupils’]:

Main principles: inclusive policy, promotion of the acquisition of L2 Italian and of intercultural dialogue, care to the uniqueness and relational character of every pupil, [weak] development of multilingualism, parental involvement

a recent resolution of the miur
A recent resolution of the MIUR

January 2010

the It. Ministry of Education and University establishes that 30% is the maximum percentage of foreign pupils in a class, in order to avoid ghettoisation.

It also establishes that schools ‘can organize a first phase of language learning for foreign pupils [newly arrived in Italy], before they enter the class or in parallel to their setting-in phase, in order to facilitate their integration in the class’;

Furthermore schools ‘can organize enhancement courses where it is possible, resorting to teachers from the same school. Therefore it is convenient, in teacher training, to give special attention to methodologies and teaching measures suitable for promoting integration’


italian l2 in the schools and teacher training
Italian L2 in the schools and teacher training
  • Some Italian L2 teaching projects:

- MILIA, in the Nineties;

- integrated e-learning teacher training project Italiano L2: lingua di contatto, lingua di culture, 2003-2006

  • Some problems:

- still few resources at the financial and organizational level for promoting multilingualism and a real intercultural dialogue;

- often not enough competence at the pedagogical and linguistic level among teachers;

- non systematic intervention in this field;

- in principle no special teacher for Italian L2

some positive sides inter alia
Some positive sides, inter alia
  • growing expertise and sensitivity among teachers;
  • significant involvement of the civil society and of volunteers;
  • some costless public courses for immigrant adults, also in order to help them getting a certification
  • for ex. in Lombardy;
some research trends on immigration and language in italy 1
Some research trends on immigration and language in Italy - 1

a.Studies on immigrants’ acquisition of Italian as a second language (Banfi 1993, Giacalone Ramat 2003), also with a sociolinguistic perspective on pidginized learner varieties (Orletti 1988), on Italian ethnolects (Vietti 2005).

  • The so-called ‘Pavia Project’ on L2 Italian:

some developmental regularities at the morphological, syntactic level, then also at the lexical and discourse level

(cf. Giacalone Ramat 2003, Bernini et al. 2008).

  • Since the Nineties more interaction with European networks on SLA, work on Italian L2 in a comparative perspective:

-Vigoni-Project on Italian-German L2 (Dittmar/Giacalone Ramat 1999);

-The Learner varieties project, in different phases, coord. MPI of Nijmegen NL, with W. Klein, C. Perdue, then H. Hendriks, C. Dimroth


some research trends on immigration and language in italy 2
Some research trends on immigration and language in Italy - 2

b.2001-2002 new interest in the entire immigrants’ linguistic repertoire:

  • first sociolinguistic outlines of the linguistic situation of migrants in Italy [Mioni 1998] and presumptive lists of migrants’ native languages.

Cf. Vedovelli & Villarini 2001.

  • National CNR-Agenzia 2000 Project "Le lingue straniere immigrate in Italia" [lit. ‘The immigrated languages in Italy’], coord. by Massimo Vedovelli, University for Foreigners of Siena. Six Italian Universities [Bergamo, Cagliari, Milano Bicocca, Pavia, Siena, Verona].

On linguistic repertoires, language maintenance and language shift in some Northern Italy contexts, such as Turin, Pavia, Bergamo, Verona (Chini 2003, 2004; Massariello Merzagora 2004; Chini 2009c; Valentini 2005, 2009; Chini 2009a e 2011), the structure of immigrants’ repertoires (Guerini 2006; Berruto 2009), presence of immigrant languages in the Italian linguistic landscape (Bagna et al. 2004).

Possible rise of ethnolects and their internal variation in Italy [Vietti 2005].

cnr agenzia2000 project the pavia research unit
CNR-Agenzia2000 Project – The Pavia research Unit

The Pavia research Unit, coord. by M. Chini, with C. Andorno, M. Biazzi, G.M. Interlandi, investigated some sociolinguistic aspects of migration in the Province of Pavia and in Turin in 2002:

  • some qualitative investigations [Chini 2003]
  • a quantitative research based on a questionnaire studied the linguistic repertoire, the linguistic competence and the language uses of 414 immigrant pupils of public schools (9-20 years) and of 171 adults in the same areas, in Pavia and its Province and Turin (Chini 2004)
the main native languages of immigrants in italy
The main native languages of immigrants in Italy
  • 1) Romanian (21%)
  • 2) Albanian (11%)
  • 3) Moroccan and Tunisian Arabic, various Arabic dialects (13%)
  • 4) Chinese (5%)
  • 5) Ukrainian (and Russian) (4-5%)
  • 6) Tagalog/English (3%)
  • 7) several varieties of Spanish (about 6%).

On the whole possibly 122 languages according to Vedovelli/Villarini (2001: 228-229).

lingue immigrate
Lingue immigrate
  • Some L1 can become or are ‘immigrated languages’, i.e. languages socially rooted and potentially able to influence the local linguistic setting

[lingue "di sicuro radicamento sociale" in grado "di condizionare l’assetto idiomatico locale"; Bagna et al. 2003: 203].

criteria for identifying proper immigrant minorities l di 1990 chini 2004 2009a
Criteria for identifying proper immigrant minorities[Lüdi 1990, Chini 2004, 2009a]
  • 1) sufficiently high number of migrants;
  • 2) existence of a migrant community sharing the same culture and language;
  • 3) quite regular and frequent interactions also in L1 within the immigrants’ community;
  • 4) the migratory project should be definitive (long duration of stay; high number of young immigrants attending schools; important number of naturalizations);
  • 5) creation of (cultural, religious, sport, recreational, union, media) institutions specific of the immigrant community.
  • 6) positive intention to maintain L1.
immigrants media in italy 2005
Immigrants’ media in Italy 2005
  • about 50 newspapers and magazines, printed or on the internet,
  • on the whole 350.000 copies (3000-20.000 copies each);
  • 70% is distributed free of charge.
  • Main languages used in these publications:

English and French for Africans; Albanian; Romanian and Italian for Romanians;

Spanish for Latin-American immigrants;

Portuguese for immigrants from Brazil and Portuguese-speaking African countries;

Chinese and sometimes Italian for Chinese people;

Arabic, French, Italian for people from Arabic speaking countries;

English and Tagalog for media from the Philippines;

Polish in media for Polish people;

Urdu, Bengali, English, Punjabi, Sinhalese for immigrants from the Indian Region;

Russian, Ukrainian and Italian for Ukrainian [and Russian] people in Italy.

[Fiorentini 2005]

immigrants media in italy in 2007
Immigrants’ media in Italy in 2007
  • The 2007 survey of the Cospe organization (Cooperazione per lo Sviluppo dei Paesi Emergenti) found:
  • about 150 newspapers and magazines in immigrants’ languages: 63 magazines, 59 radio broadcasts, 24 TV broadcasts
  • two thirds of them are born in the last 5 years.

cf. Dossier Caritas 2008.

main immigrants native languages pavia and turin chini 2004
Main immigrants’ native languages(Pavia and Turin; Chini 2004)
  • Indo-european languages: Albanian, Bengali, Bosnian, Bulgarian, Sinhalese, Croatian, Kurdish, Indian and Iranian dialects, Romance dialects, Farsi or Persian, French, Greek, Hindi, English, Macedonian, Moldavian, Polish, Portuguese, Punjabi, Romany, Serbian, Spanish, Romanian, Russian, German, Ukrainian, Urdu.
  • Languages from other language families: Amarish, several varieties of Arabic, Bata, Berber, Bini or Edo, Standard Chinese, Wu Chinese, several Chinese dialects, African dialects, Diula o Jula, Lingala, Quechua, Swahili, Ruanda, Tagalog, Tigrinya, Twi, Yoruba, Zagon.
multilingualism before migration
Multilingualism before migration
  • Syria: Kurdish/Syrian Arabic
  • Romania: Zagon/Romanian
  • Ukraine: Moldavian/Russian/Ukrainian
  • Ethiopia: Amharic/Tigrinya
  • Nigeria 1: Bini/Edo/English/Pidgin
  • Nigeria 2: English/Yoruba
  • Ghana: English/Twi
  • Angola: Portuguese/Lingala
  • Congo: French/Lingala
  • Morocco: Moroccan Arabic/Berber (Chini 2004)
scale of language shift to italian and l1 maintenance in immigrant children
Scale of language shift to Italian and L1 maintenance in immigrant children
  • SHIFT:

school, Italian friends > transactions > non Italian friends > family (brothers/sisters > father > mother > grand-parents


grand-parents > father/mother > non Italian friends > brothers/sisters > school, Italian friends, transactions(Chini 2004)

relevant factors for language use and l1 maintenance
native country



length of stay in Italy


parents’ profession

school attendance in the host country

school attendance in the native country


social context of life


(Chini 2004).

Relevant factors for language use and L1 maintenance
the linguistic repertoire of immigrant communities before migration
The linguistic repertoire of immigrant communities before migration
  • 1) a national language and local related varieties and dialects, sometimes in a diglossia relationship;
  • 2) a national language, (local related varieties) and a minority language;
  • 3) an (international) exolanguage (also in pidginized varieties), sometimes one or more vehicular languages or lingua franca (cf. Wolof in Senegal), national languages, and local varieties and dialects;
  • 4) two widely spread languages, and sometimes more local varieties (i.e. Standard Arabic together with French, besides regional varieties of Arabic, among educated people from Morocco and Tunisia).
multilingual practices code mixing and switching
Multilingual practices, code mixing and switching
  • mio fratello eh beforearbeit lavora Pakistan + tre/äh du/+ anno + Germania ++ and then go/and thengehen Pakistan and eh + una fabbrica + fabrica and thenarbeit ålf[elf] person

(Pakistani immigrant in Alto Adige – South Tyrol;

Banfi 1995: 146-147)

some immigrants linguistic repertoires in italy
Some immigrants’ linguistic repertoires in Italy
  • Ghanaian community in Bergamo and its province (Guerini 2006)
  • Nigerians in Turin (Berruto 2009)
  • Pakistani immigrants near Milan (Berruto 2009)
  • Peruvian immigrants in Turin (Berruto 2009)
italian and romance dialects in immigrants discourse
Italian and Romance dialects in immigrants’ discourse

(8) dove vivo io parrano tutti il dialetto – dov|dove vado io a comprare un pane mi fa – rice- “quanto t’accattari?”, cioè quanto t’accattare è:: dialetto. e vabbene. piano piano::: mi sono imparato. già delle volte mi trovo difficoltà di parrare italiano perché già ! parro il dialetto meio di::: l’italiano vah!

(Palermo, Sicily; D’Agostino 2004: 207)

(9) c’era da scegliere far su famiglia + o andare sempre avanti + eh e niente con/ poi è stato + diciamo ‘sta ragazza qui “ma no state qui ma qui ma no” va ben abbiamo valudato che poi c’era il lavoro, c’era la casa e qui e là e quindi i conti li abbiam fatti io e lei + ?s’è ca fuma

[= che cos’è che facciamo?] (Lombardy, Chini 2003: 237)

the typology of immigrants repertoires depends on
The typology of immigrants’ repertoires depends on
  • number of languages in the pre-migration repertoire and its complexity;
  • status, functions and prestige of the languages of the original repertoire in the immigration context;
  • presence, function, penetration of Italian and its dialects in the immigrants’ repertoire;
  • structural distance between the languages of the repertoire; if reduced, probably more contact phenomena (Chini 2009a: 296)
some conclusions
Some conclusions

Main results:

- principal immigrants’ languages;

- initial language shift also in intra-ethnic domains.

Data to collect or topics to elaborate on:

  • statistical data on native languages and language use of immigrants in whole Italy;
  • language attitudes of immigrants and of native residents in regard to the languages of the repertoires, inn regard to multilingual practices and multilingualism;
  • rise and in depth analysis of the sociolinguistic situation of specific new linguistic minorities;
  • possible rise of new ethnolects in Italy;
  • impact of immigrants’ languages on the Italian "linguistic space" (De Mauro 1980).
comparing language uses in different immigration contexts 1
Comparing language uses in different immigration contexts - 1

NISU Project in Scandinavia (Boyd & Latomaa 1999):

  • intra-ethnic friendship networks are very conservative in relation to L1 maintenance;
  • 90-100% L1 usage among partners from the same country;
  • gradual shift and decreasing L1 maintenance along the following scale [cf. scale for Pavia and Turin]:

Maintenance of minority language among immigrants’ children in the Nordic area:

Father or mother of the minority language [ML] > adult of ML > brothers and sisters [younger > older] > father or mother of the majority language (Boyd & Latomaa 1999: 309-311)

comparing language uses in different immigration contexts 2
Comparing language uses in different immigration contexts - 2


  • in many immigrants’ communities L1 is more often used by children with their parents and among the parents, than by the children with brothers and sisters (Clyne & Kipp 1999; Clyne 2003: 42-46).

The factor ‘native country’:

Chinese immigrants and often Moroccan Arabic immigrants show high L1 maintenance (cf. in the Netherlands and in Australia: Extra & Verhoeven 1999: 19; Clyne 2003: 35). Data about Spanish speaking immigrants are less coherent in various areas.

Other possible explaining factors:

  • linguistic and cultural distance;
  • socio-cultural condition;
  • settlement patterns in the new country;
  • migration models
  • migration phase.
grazie molte dell attenzione

Grazie molte dell’attenzione!

Thank you very much for your attention!

Mulţumes mult! Hvala!

Grazzi ħafna!

Merci bien! Gracias! Danke sehr!

marina chini@unipv it