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Old Oct 30th 2017, 10:52 pm   #1
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Default School fails to help with Italian

I just wonder what to do, they (liceo) should be supposed to give alfabetizzazione but they don't do anything, I'm paying for private tuitions but it can't be enough, and my son keeps being left behind, I think it's profoundly unjust, when he's 15 he will be able to enrol at CPIA, but before then schools are supposed to help children, yet they don't. International schools are not an option as too far, how did you overcome this complete lack of help?
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Old Oct 30th 2017, 11:31 pm   #2
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Default Re: School fails to help with Italian

How old is your son?

How long have you been in Italy?

What was your plan for your son when you took him to Italy? How did you prepare him for the transition?
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Old Oct 30th 2017, 11:34 pm   #3
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Default Re: School fails to help with Italian

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Originally Posted by JoshinItaly View Post
I just wonder what to do, they (liceo) should be supposed to give alfabetizzazione but they don't do anything, I'm paying for private tuitions but it can't be enough, and my son keeps being left behind, I think it's profoundly unjust, when he's 15 he will be able to enrol at CPIA, but before then schools are supposed to help children, yet they don't. International schools are not an option as too far, how did you overcome this complete lack of help?
Where's Lorna.

She knows all about everything. Oh yes she does.

Hopefully she & others in Italy will pass by soon. I do hope this can be resolved for your son or at least you be given some pointers to help.
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Old Oct 31st 2017, 6:53 am   #4
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Default Re: School fails to help with Italian

At a scuola elementare, or even media I suppose there would be more help than at a liceo - there the syllabus assumes you already know Italian. What sort of liceo?
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Old Oct 31st 2017, 9:12 am   #5
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Default Re: School fails to help with Italian

Unfortunately, there is very little help for non Italian speakers and what is available, if available, will depend on the local authorities. There is very little money for schools for anything. When Italian kids fall behind, they have to hire a tutor and hope that they don't have to redo the year. How old is your son? I think that you will find that the general opinion here is not to put your child in a liceo unless they are fluent.
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Old Oct 31st 2017, 9:37 pm   #6
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Default Re: School fails to help with Italian

We've been in Italy for one year, he passed terza media last year and now he is in liceo scientifico. I'm asking cos EU law 77/486/EEc states that children are entitled to receive free language tuition in order to adapt to the school system, unfortunately I see that's just on paper. I'm here to understand what you did to overcome this problem (except private tuitions and self study), maybe one of you knows more about help for children between 12 and 14, I'm not interested in younger and older age groups. What kind of schools did your kids go? My son would love to become a vet and that's why he went to liceo scientifico, he's learning slowly Italian and is certainly not at the same level as his peers.
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Old Nov 1st 2017, 10:51 am   #7
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Default Re: School fails to help with Italian

Not to be blunt about this - but your expectations of the school system are unrealistic.

Second-language learners ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD would struggle when put into such a situation.

Schools cannot be everything to everyone, regardless of what the ideal or theoretical is. They are not equipped for it and practically it just can't happen.

If your son is struggling to keep up because of language issues - I would seriously consider (1) somehow finding the funds for an English-medium international school; (2) moving him to the UK to live with a relative, and going to school there for free; (3) investigating distance-learning options that may be open to internationals, such as School of Isolated and Distance Education in Australia or some of the US Virtual Schools.

You said what other way is there besides private tuition and self-study. Sorry but those are the ways.

Now time for you, as Pulaski said, to make a plan - consider this a lesson learned for if you have a younger child.

Sorry to be so blunt. But parents bringing kids to English-speaking countries have the same issues.
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Old Nov 1st 2017, 10:57 am   #8
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Default Re: School fails to help with Italian

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Originally Posted by JoshinItaly View Post
We've been in Italy for one year, he passed terza media last year and now he is in liceo scientifico. I'm asking cos EU law 77/486/EEc states that children are entitled to receive free language tuition in order to adapt to the school system, unfortunately I see that's just on paper. I'm here to understand what you did to overcome this problem (except private tuitions and self study), maybe one of you knows more about help for children between 12 and 14, I'm not interested in younger and older age groups. What kind of schools did your kids go? My son would love to become a vet and that's why he went to liceo scientifico, he's learning slowly Italian and is certainly not at the same level as his peers.
How did he manage the written italian test for terza media and the oral exams ? What did the Liceo say when you asked what they could offer ?
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Old Nov 1st 2017, 11:26 am   #9
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Default Re: School fails to help with Italian

My two kids were both born here and I have often been told by their teachers that their Italian isn't as good as their Italian peers and the blame has always been laid at my feet because I speak English. None of those teachers seemed to understand how ridiculous I always found that blame: if I only speak English, then where did they learn their Italian grammar from? The teachers.

My daughter is now in her 4th year at the Liceo Scientifico and it's a tough school. It will be tough for your son because not only is Italian grammar almost bloody impossible, there will be lots of literature and Dante to study too. The only help ever offered is when the teachers do some extra class hours during the summer holidays for kids that have fallen behind, got less than a 6 on their report and risk having to sit an exam at the end of August to determine whether they get to move up a year or stay down to repeat the year. Unfortunately there isn't anything else really. My daughter was failing physics in her second year. She went to the extra summer lessons and still didn't understand anything because they were held by the same class teacher that had failed most of her pupils during the year anyway. Like everybody else I paid for private tuition and luckily she passed the end of summer exam.

The primary school in my village gives extra Italian to foreign kids who don't do the religious lessons. This is because there has been a huge influx of foreign families to the area and the children are mostly of primary school age. I haven't heard of any of the middle schools or high schools offering the same.

Have you looked to see if your 'comune' offers Italian classes to foreigners? Some of them do hoping to help them integrate and learn the language.

Find a good Italian tutor and make sure your son makes a note of each upcoming test and what the test will be about. Get the tutor to cover those topics so your son has a better chance of getting a 6 (or higher). Anything less than a 6 is an "insufficient" grade in all subjects. The system they use here is all based on class tests and the grades are added up at the end of the year and then averaged out. Any student regularly getting less a six in any subject will inevitably end up with a fail at the end of the year. It's hard and it puts a lot of pressure on the kids. You could be bloody Einstein in maths and still end up with an end of year exam to sit in Geography. It doesn't matter that you scored 100% in maths.

It will be parents' night soon. The first one usually happens before the Christmas holidays. When your son's Italian teacher starts banging on about him, ask her/him if they have any suggestions or if they have any books to help him or if the school provides any extra classes during the year.

Best of luck to your son.
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Old Nov 1st 2017, 11:35 am   #10
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Default Re: School fails to help with Italian

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How did he manage the written italian test for terza media and the oral exams ? What did the Liceo say when you asked what they could offer ?
Yes ...... because those Invalsi tests are bloody hard. I made my son do some of the online ones because he kept failing the practice ones in school and the teacher kept sending them home covered in red pen. I did a couple of online ones myself and failed both of them and I thought my Italian was pretty damn good.
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Old Nov 1st 2017, 12:43 pm   #11
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Default Re: School fails to help with Italian

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Yes ...... because those Invalsi tests are bloody hard. I made my son do some of the online ones because he kept failing the practice ones in school and the teacher kept sending them home covered in red pen. I did a couple of online ones myself and failed both of them and I thought my Italian was pretty damn good.
Been there , done that , failed too
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Old Nov 1st 2017, 12:57 pm   #12
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Default Re: School fails to help with Italian

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Been there , done that , failed too
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Old Nov 1st 2017, 10:11 pm   #13
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Default Re: School fails to help with Italian

Dear friends , thank you so much for your reply . I want to clarify something : within 8 months in Italy my son had b1 Italian ( which is 3 years in Cpia ) he passed his invalsi not superb but passed . Of course my son has prof ones a week to help him plus twice a week he has some help from non professional older students and the rest I do what I can, the reason I asked about this 12-14 is that there is nothing for this age group, if there is help in scuola media or from 15yo kids at CPIA, this age grpup is completely left out. In the uk and us there is help for foreign students, special assistance working with the students every day, and the reason I was referring to the law is that the law is there and all the schools should comly, maybe you are not aware of it but it does exist Sending back the child to the UK is not an option, I'm very grateful for your advices, but mayne you can also advise me if not scientifico which one is the easiest school to be able to get to university later? Thank u
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Old Nov 1st 2017, 11:29 pm   #14
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Default Re: School fails to help with Italian

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Originally Posted by JoshinItaly View Post
Dear friends , thank you so much for your reply . I want to clarify something : within 8 months in Italy my son had b1 Italian ( which is 3 years in Cpia ) he passed his invalsi not superb but passed . Of course my son has prof ones a week to help him plus twice a week he has some help from non professional older students and the rest I do what I can, the reason I asked about this 12-14 is that there is nothing for this age group, if there is help in scuola media or from 15yo kids at CPIA, this age grpup is completely left out. In the uk and us there is help for foreign students, special assistance working with the students every day, and the reason I was referring to the law is that the law is there and all the schools should comly, maybe you are not aware of it but it does exist Sending back the child to the UK is not an option, I'm very grateful for your advices, but mayne you can also advise me if not scientifico which one is the easiest school to be able to get to university later? Thank u
Help for students is an EU directive. If nothing is specified (I haven't read the directive), countries can decide the level of help that they think necessary.

As to studying Veterinary at uni, liceo is probably your best bet. It is a very competitive university course and selection is by an entrance exam.
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Old Nov 2nd 2017, 9:58 am   #15
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Default Re: School fails to help with Italian

I bet if you went to your son's school and quoted Article 2 of that directive at them:

Article 2

Member States shall, in accordance with their national circumstances and legal systems, take appropriate measures to ensure that free tuition to facilitate initial reception is offered in their territory to the children referred to in Article 1, including, in particular, the teaching — adapted to the specific needs of such children — of the official language or one of the official languages of the host State.

Member States shall take the measures necessary for the training and further training of the teachers who are to provide this tuition.


the school would say that they are complying because your son is getting both free Italian lessons and English lessons. That doesn't necessarily mean free extra tuition or special classes. All they have to say is that he gets a bit more time or attention or some things explained to him singularly and the school has covered its back. There is no money in the schools. That's a well known fact and plenty of kids with autism, dyslexia and other learning difficulties are not getting the help, support, teaching aids and special teachers that they are supposed to have by law.
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