Italy's ambassador to Qatar, Alessandro Prunas, addressed the Italian Mother Tongue students from the International School of London (ISL) Qatar and their families along with the school’s Italian Mother Tongue teacher Nicoletta Pillon introducing the 20th edition of the Week of the Italian Language in the World. Since 2001, every third week of October is dedicated to celebrating the Italian language all over the world.
“I was glad to virtually meet the ISL Qatar students and their families and present this important initiative aimed at promoting the Italian language and culture in Qatar. I am very thankful that ISL Qatar accepted to join the celebrations by carrying out learning activities in connection with this edition’s theme ‘Italian Between Word and Image: Graffiti, Illustrations, Comic Books’," the Italian ambassador said.
It is crucial to give an opportunity to young people from different countries and cultures to continue to learn and speak their native language, the envoy said.
"Multicultural environments allow us to better support diversity and mutual understanding, which are key values of our communities. The Italy embassy in Qatar is eager to extend co-operation with ISL to future forms of collaboration in the field of education," he added.
Supporting mother tongue language literacy is central to the ISL Qatar mission. It goes beyond preserving cultural connections and providing a soft landing. Research over the past three decades increasingly demonstrates that continuing mother tongue language and literacy in the first language alongside the development of the new language is in the learner’s best interests. It is important not only for subsequent language development, but also for overall personal and educational development.
ISL Qatar students’ cultural and linguistic identities are valued and nurtured through international curriculum and mother tongue language programmes. ISL Qatar currently offers 12 mother tongue language programmes in Spanish, French, Arabic, Portugese, Greek, Swedish, Turkish, Japanese, Dutch, German, Russian and Italian.