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Bilingual and Non-Bilingual Classes at Primary School in Italy

Results from a Standardised National Test

Francesca Costa    Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Italia    

Cristina Mariotti    Università degli Studi di Pavia, Italia    



This study aims at determining the effectiveness of the Bilingual Education Italy (BEI) project as opposed to monolingual programmes in primary education in Italy, a country with low exposure to English as a foreign language. The BEI project originated from a memorandum of understanding between the Directorate-General for Educational Systems and School Autonomy of the Ministry of Education, the Ministry for Universities and Research, and the British Council. The research questions focus on the difference in the performance in English, oral mathematics and oral Italian between BEI and non-BEI students. To answer them, a statistical analysis of the English language competence state test in two primary schools involved in the BEI project was carried out. A descriptive analysis of the scores obtained by BEI and non-BEI students was performed, followed by the analysis of the correlation between the scores in English, Italian and mathematics, and a linear regression considering all the relevant variables. The results point to an advantage of BEI students over non-BEI ones.

22 Maggio 2023
14 Febbraio 2023
08 Settembre 2022

Keywords: Standardised national testPrimary schoolCLIL (Content and Language Integrated Learning)BEI (Bilingual Education Italy)

Copyright: © 2023 Francesca Costa, Cristina Mariotti. This is an open-access work distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction is permitted, provided that the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. The license allows for commercial use. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.