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Internationalisation in an Italian speaking academic context: an analysis of foreign students' perceptions

Thanks to my job as an administrator at Opera Universitaria di Trento I am in charge of providing student services such as scholarships, accommodation, loans and other benefits. This often gives me the opportunity to meet many foreign students. Generally speaking, keeping in touch with these students made me realize that the majority of them tend to use English as the common language even after several years already spent in an Italian speaking context in Trento and its University. This made me reflect upon the attitude of foreign students to the Italian language and moreover to the Italian culture. Are they interested in the Italian language? Do they attend Italian courses besides the academic ones? Do they begin conversations in English because people in front of them are supposed to speak English as a lingua franca or do they really have great difficulties in communicating in Italian? What is their opinion of Italian culture? Do they feel accepted and integrated within the University and also within the local community?
As a matter of fact, internationalization is one of the strategic actions of the University of Trento which aims at attracting ever more foreign students. The university aims at bringing foreign students into an ever more internationalized academic environment. But does the University take into consideration the integration aspect as well as internationalization level, providing foreign students with linguistic and cultural “tools” in order to learn how to be well-integrated with their peers at the University? As underlined in the dissertation, language is used both as a means of communication as well as a carrier of culture. Thus the importance of studying both the language and the culture of the place where you live seems to be fundamental in order to feel accepted by the native Italians as well. Is the University aware of any problems deriving from the English non-speaking context out of the University in which students pass their everyday lives?
In the light of the abovementioned considerations, I decided to prepare a questionnaire with the specific aim of analyzing foreign students’ perception of learning the Italian language and culture. Unfortunately it is almost impossible to be exhaustive in this kind of research, as internationalization involves more types of foreign students than the ones interviewed, and an interesting field of research regards the implications culture has in the teaching of a foreign language. Besides, the present study does not have a demonstrative aim, but only an explorative one. Thus, the conclusion of the dissertation is an attempt to identify what is the perception of the Italian language and culture by the foreign students interviewed. Moreover, we can find if mastering the Italian language and culture somehow influences the everyday life of a foreign student who decides to study and live in Trento.
As for the structure of the dissertation, I began with the theoretical part which deals with a general overview on the national and local context in the academic world relating to their internationalization policy (Chapter 1); secondly I tried to underline the deep connection of language with culture, reporting some theoretical studies (Chapter 2); the last chapter is devoted to presenting the analysis of the collected data of the sample interviewed and the related considerations (Chapter 3).

Mostra/Nascondi contenuto.
3 INTRODUCTION Thanks to my job as an administrator at Opera Universitaria di Trento I am in charge of providing student services such as scholarships, accommodation, loans and other benefits. This often gives me the opportunity to meet many foreign students. Generally speaking, keeping in touch with these students made me realise that the majority of them tend to use English as the common language even after several years already spent in an Italian speaking context in Trento and its University. This made me reflect upon the attitude of foreign students to the Italian language and moreover to the Italian culture. Are they interested in the Italian language? Do they attend Italian courses besides the academic ones? Do they begin conversations in English because people in front of them are supposed to speak English as a lingua franca or do they really have great difficulties in communicating in Italian? What is their opinion of Italian culture? Do they feel accepted and integrated within the University and also within the local community? As a matter of fact, internationalisation is one of the strategic actions of the University of Trento which aims at attracting ever more foreign students. The university aims at bringing foreign students into an ever more internationalised academic environment. But does the University take into consideration the integration aspect as well as internationalisation level, providing foreign students with linguistic and cultural “tools” in order to learn how to be well-integrated with their peers at the University? As underlined in the dissertation, language is used both as a means of communication as well as a carrier of culture. Thus the importance of studying both the language and the culture of the place where you live seems to be fundamental in order to feel accepted by the native Italians as well. Is the University aware of any problems deriving from the English non-speaking context out of the University in which students pass their everyday lives? In the light of the abovementioned considerations, I decided to prepare a questionnaire with the specific aim of analysing foreign students’ perception of learning the Italian language and culture. Unfortunately it is almost impossible to be exhaustive in this kind of research, as internationalisation involves more types of foreign students than the ones interviewed, and an interesting field of research regards the implications culture has in the teaching of a foreign language. Besides, the present study does not have a demonstrative aim, but only an explorative one. Thus, the conclusion of the dissertation is an attempt to identify what is the perception of the Italian language and culture by the foreign students interviewed. Moreover, we can find if

Laurea liv.I

Facoltà: Lettere e Filosofia

Autore: Rita Frizzera Contatta »

Composta da 47 pagine.

 

Questa tesi ha raggiunto 96 click dal 29/03/2013.

Disponibile in PDF, la consultazione è esclusivamente in formato digitale.