People who are able to communicate in more than one language have a distinct linguistic and cultural advantage over monolingual people. Today’s society is multi-cultural. There are trade, cultural and tourist links with many other countries.
Learners of a “L.O.T.E.” also develop a better understanding of their own language and culture, and an appreciation of others.
Italian is a particularly valuable language for Australians to learn.
- In many countries Italians constitute a very large ethnic group. Italian is thus a major community language, and proficiency in Italian is a great advantage for many workers, consumers and community members.
- Italy is a popular destination for travelers. The ability to communicate in Italian makes a visit to Italy more culturally and socially enriching and gives many practical benefits. Italian is also one of the four official languages in Switzerland, and is spoken by millions of people living around the Mediterranean in Europe and Africa, by Italian guest workers in other parts of Europe and migrants in South America.
- Italian is a language in which it is relatively easy to achieve a basic degree of social proficiency. For example, it is a phonetic language, which means there is a lot of immediate transfer of learning from the spoken to the written form and vice versa.
- For students who are themselves of Italian origin, the study of Italian may fill in gaps in literacy, and has the extra benefit of enhancing the status of their cultural heritage and their sense of identity and self-esteem.
- Students of Italian gain access to cultural traditions which go back thousands of years and which have had a profound and direct effect on our society. The Roman Empire carried excellence in engineering and architecture and advanced systems of education, law and government to distant parts of Europe, the Middle East and North Africa. The Renaissance was another peak in Italian History, with figures like Leonardo da Vinci epitomising artistic and scientific genius in Europe.
- Italy has continued to achieve international acclaim in literature, fine arts, performing arts, architecture, philosophy, fashion and gastronomy and more recently the cinema and motor vehicle design. These and other cultural traditions are being perpetuated in across the globe by Italian visitors and settlers.