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On the 19th November the first Conference of Italian teachers in South Australia was organized and held by the Consulate in llaboration with University of South Australia. The event was attended by over 60 teachers. Among the speakers Prof. Anna Rita Tamponi, cultural attaché of the Embassy in Canberra; Susan Cameron, Executive Director of the Department of Education and Child Development; Edgar Bliss, Senior Education Adviser at the Catholic Education SA; Professor Angela Scarino, Associate Professor in Applied Linguistics at the University of South Australia; Prof. Enza Tudini, Senior Lecturer in Italian and Applied Linguistics at the University of South Australia; and prof. Alessandro Vecchiarelli Language Assistant at the Dante Alighieri Society of South Australia.

Consul Roberta Ronzitti opened the conference by explaining the promotion and diffusion of the Italian language in South Australia by the Italian Consulate. The goal of the Conference, in fact, was to bring together as many teachers / professors of Italian to analyze the state of our language teaching in South Australia, jointly assessing aims and activities to further promote the promotion and teaching of the language . The Minister of Education and Child Development, the Hon. Susan Close, in her opening speech emphasized the importance that the South Australian Government puts in matters related to the promotion of a second foreign language and the positive outlook of the new strategy that the promotion of languages may have in relation to the Italian idiom.

Ample space was then given to the illustration of teaching foreign languages, especially Italian, both in public schools than in Catholic ones, at primary, secondary and university levels. There were also presented to the public the “bilingual project” implemented at the Norwood Morialta High School – with local government funds, and the role of language assistants funded by the Italian
government – as an example of success in the promotion of the Italian language, as well as the key role of languages assistants.

Prof. Tamponi illustrated the Italian Government policy on the promotion of the Italian language, in particular in its variations in Australia, as implemented by the activities of the Embassy in Canberra in cooperation with the Italian Consulates on site.

Particularly interesting was the section relating to the continuous training of Italian language teachers, at all levels, and the
importance of the teacher’s role in creating the desire for learning our language in order to encourage studens not to abandon the Italian language from one school level to another.