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New Regional Dossier: 'The Italian language in education in Slovenia'

Did you know that in the Slovenian coastal region, Slovenian and Italian are official languages with equal status? Students in this region go to school with Slovenian as the language of instruction or to school with Italian as the language of instruction, from kindergarten to upper secondary school, but with compulsory additional instruction in Italian as a second language (L2; in Slovenian schools) or in Slovenian (L2; in Italian schools).


Regional Dossier

The Mercator European Research Center for Multilingualism and Language Learning, part of the Fryske Akademy, conducts research into education systems in European regions with an indigenous minority language and how this minority language is given a place within those systems. In cooperation with scientists and professionals from all over Europe, Mercator compiles the findings of these studies in so-called Regional Dossiers. These dossiers are written according to a set pattern so that they can be used for comparative research. The dossiers provide information on education statistics, such as the number of bilingual schools, the percentage of students learning the minority language, the language skills of teachers and so on, on policies on minority language education and on the structure of the education system in the region.


Italian in Slovenia

The latest dossier is The Italian language in education in Slovenia (2nd Edition). This Regional Dossier builds on the first edition from 2012, and was completely updated in 2023 by Nives Zudič Antonič and Anja Zorman. Zudič Antonič is Professor of Italian Literature and Researcher at the Institute of Intercultural Studies (University of Primorska, Slovenia), and Zorman is Associate Professor of Italian Language Didactics and Researcher at the Institute of Intercultural Studies (University of Primorska, Slovenia).

Italian is a Romance language spoken by approximately 60 million Italian citizens. Outside the country's borders, towards the east, Italian is spoken by about 20,000 Italians in Slovenia and Croatia on the west coast of Istria. This regional dossier focuses on the Italian spoken in the southwestern part of Slovenia, which borders Italy to the west and Croatia to the south. 

The main points of the Regional Dossier, the summary in three languages ​​(English, Italian and Slovenian) and the full Regional Dossier can be read here.

All Regional Dossiers, both new and older editions, can be downloaded free of charge from the Mercator website (Regional Dossier section).