Characteristics of Foreign Language Education in Italy and Implications: From the Perspective of National Foreign Language Capacity
Keywords:national foreign language capacity, foreign language education, acquisition planning, education in Italy, language policy and planning
This article reviews foreign language education in Italy using a national language competence-oriented evaluation approach. Foreign language education is at the heart of the acquisition component of language planning, and assessing foreign language education from the perspective of the purpose of language policy, i.e. the promotion of national language competence, which refers to the sum total of the government’s ability to deal with all language-related issues of strategic interests and allows for a more direct application of language planning theory. Based on the theoretical framework of National Foreign Language Capacity and acquisition planning, this study presents a detailed analysis of the characteristics and problems of Italian foreign language education policy, taking into account its ‘rationality,’ ‘coverage,’ and ‘influence,’ which are three interrelated indicators that allow for a comprehensive and specific assessment of national foreign language competence. By revealing the inadequacies of Italy’s national language proficiency system, the author intends to provide an insight into the gap between the effectiveness of policy formulation and implementation in foreign language education in Italy and to suggest some widespread problems in foreign language education that are similar to those in China.
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