Publication Date

Summer 4-1-2018

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (Master of Arts in TESOL)

First Advisor

Elka Todeva

Second Advisor

Leslie Turpin


Europe is again in an intense state of migration influx. While some European countries have historical precedence for these types of population shifts, Italy has largely remained outside the modern phenomenon, since it did not experience the economic boom of post WW2 and the subsequent demand for migrant workers, nor did it experience the pull effect of language migrants after the decolonization of Africa. Italy therefore also missed the second surge of migration during the 70’s and 80’s when families of these immigrants began arriving in Europe. What Italy did experience throughout the 20th century, and continues to experience today, is the emigration of massive numbers of Italians due to economic instability and a lack of job creation. Italy is now witnessing a surge in immigration of asylum-seekers crossing the Mediterranean after the death of al-Gaddafi opened the Libyan border. Most of these migrants are moving from Sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East, particularly after the Arab Spring and successive civil wars. Their journey through the Sahara and Libya can take months or years and is often filled with abuse and torture. When migrants finally arrive to Italy, they are in need of services, such as psychotherapy treatment for trauma, but the rapid rate at which they are arriving and the sheer numbers make it difficult for Italians to meet these needs. The absence of effective language teaching is also a serious issue, as there has been little demand for teaching Italian to speakers of other languages before now. New agents for social change, people known as Intercultural Mediators, are providing not only linguistic intervention, but also orientation and psychosocial support. Intercultural Mediators bridge communication between Italians and immigrants as well as create space for new cultures to emerge. Despite the progress being made with the help of Intercultural Mediation, unemployment remains a constant threat to peace and integration. For this reason, the author includes a business proposal presenting “integration through job creation” in Socrates, a sock company where immigrants and Italians learn from one another in a collaborative environment of raising sheep and producing wool socks.


Bilingual, Multilingual, and Multicultural Education | Curriculum and Social Inquiry | Educational Methods