IsmuNews – January 2015


  • The European Language Portfolio (ELP)  – a tool to support language learning throughout lifetime


  • Increase in the number of Italians who decide to move abroad
  • Citizenship at 16 years old: possible scenarios
  • Migrants speak Italian at the workplace, survey says
  • In Italy more than 189 different nationalities live side by side


  • 15th February 2015, Milan. Workshop on the project “Diversity Improvement as a Viable Enrichment Resource for the Society and the Economy”


The European Language Portfolio (ELP) – a tool to support language learning throughout lifetime

The Ismu Foundation, in collaboration with the Language Policy Unit of the Council of Europe, edited the Italian version of the European Language Portfolio (ELP).
The ELP is one of the tools developed by the Council of Europe – Language Policy Unit, in the context of the Linguistic integration of Adult Migrants (LIAM) Program to promote language learning throughout learners’ lifetime. In particular, ELP supports the development of learner’s autonomy, plurilingualism (that is the ability to communicate in at least two languages in addition to the mother tongue, albeit at different levels of competence) and intercultural awareness.
Learning the host community language is an excellent opportunity for adult migrants to start the process of integration into the new culture and society.

The Italian version of ELP was edited by Costanza Bargellini and Silvana Cantù and is the result of a piloting that has been conducted in agreement with the Language Policy Unit of the European Council by the end of 2013.

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Download the documents:

Visit the Council of Europe website for the different tools provided by the COE useful for the planning of linguistic education programs for adults. Click heare


Increase in the number of Italians who decide to move abroad
The Favourite destination is Europe

While in the 1990s and 2000s we saw a decline in the number of Italians living abroad, in the first part of the century we are experiencing a restart in the emigration phenomenon. In 2013, the Italians living abroad were 3 million, mainly distributed in Europe (where they were 1.7 million), Latin America (with a significant drop in the last twenty years: from 515.000 in 1990 to 273.000 in 2013) and North America (also experiencing a decline: more than one million in 1990, today 747.000).

at 16 years old, possible scenarios
The hypothesis of granting Italian citizenship to foreigners born in Italy who have completed the compulsory studies, as recently proposed by thePrime Minister Matteo Renzi, would allow them to obtain the citizenship at the age of 16 instead of 18.

In 2011 the Ismu Foundation carried out a comprehensive study on the various Italian citizenship acquisition channels and estimated, assuming no changes in law, a number of acquisitions between 100.000 and 109.000 for 2013, with an official number of 101.000 units then released by Istat (The Italian Office for statistics). On the basis of those data, in 2014 new acquisitions of Italian citizenship should thus range between 111.000 and 125.000 units, and in 2015 between 119.000 and 137.000 units.

An interesting question to ask is what would have changed in terms of new acquisitions if on 1st January 2012 the existing law had been changed in order to allow acquisition of citizenship at age 16 instead of 18, as suggested by the legislative proposal put forward by PM Renzi. In its 2011 study, Ismu took into consideration precisely that scenario estimating a surplus of 3.000 acquisitions in the first year since the introduction of the law, a number then reduced to a few hundreds units in each of the following years.

Now, taking as an hypothesis that the suggested law would entry into force in 2015, it is likely that the number of new acquisitions would not be so different compared to that estimated in 2011: in fact, it is quite safe to assume that anticipating the possible granting of citizenship of two years, at 16 instead of 18 years old (for those who want it and for those who do have not obtained it first in other ways) would only produce a slight quantitative impact during the first year of legislation, with no significant impact in the following years.

Three years ago, through a comprehensive comparative study, the Ismu Foundation proposed to introduce in our legal system a moderate ius soli, a proposal that since then has been met with wide consensus by politicians and public opinion.

Migrants speak Italian at the workplace, survey says
According to a recent ISTAT (Italian National Statistical Institute) report on linguistic diversity, 91% of migrants speak mainly Italian at the workplace, 60% of them speak Italian with friends and 38% speak Italian within the family context.  When dealing with Chinese speaking migrants, the above percentages drop respectively to 51%, 28% and 9%. Ukrainian migrants are those who speak more Italian at the workplace (98%); within the friends context the record goes to Spanish (74%) and French speakers (72%), while within the family it goes to Russians speakers (67%).

In Italy more than 189 different nationalities live side by side
Only citizens from Narau, Micronesia and Vanuatu are not represented in Italy

Today there are 193 United Nations’ Member States, from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe. To them, we have to add Vatican City (recognized by 180 countries); Palestine (recognized by 120); Kosovo (109); Taiwan (22 including Italy); Northern Cyprus (recognized only by Turkey); Abkhazia and South Ossetia (recognized by 5-6 countries including Russia).

On January 1st, 2013, 189 different nationalities out of the 193 countries recognized by the UN were represented in Italy; the only three countries with no representation in Italy were Nauru, which counts a little more than 10.000 inhabitants, Micronesia (just over 100.000) and Vanuatu (over 250.000 inhabitants).

In addition, Italy has among its resident citizens from the Vatican City, Palestine, Kosovo and Taiwan, which, however, are not members of the UN, as well as a number of stateless persons. Since Italy does not recognize Abkhazia, South Ossetia and North Cyprus, we are not able to determine if citizens from these countries are actually present in Italy.

The nationalities represented in Italy span from the citizens of the largest States in the world, like China (one billion and 400 million people, with 223.000 residents in Italy) and India (one billion and 252 million people and 129.000 residents in Italy), to those of the less populous countries in the world, such as Tuvalu and Palau (respectively with about 10.000 and 20.000 inhabitants, and three and two residents in Italy).


Sunday, February 15th 2015, Milan
Workshop on the project “Diversity Improvement as a Viable Enrichment Resource for the Society and the Economy”

On Sunday, 15th February 2015 (14.30 -16.00, Hostel Gogol, via Chieti 1, Milan) will be held the first workshop on “Diversity Improvement as a Viable Enrichment Resource for the Society and the Economy” (DIVERSE) in the context of the SIETAR Conference.

The project, coordinated by the WWELL Research Centre of the Catholic University of Milan, involves 14 partners, including the ISMU Foundation, in the ten following European Union countries: Italy, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and Hungary. With its rich calendar of events related to research, experimentation and awareness raisingthe DIVERSE project aims to enhance the human capital of migrants, improving the practices for the recognition of their qualifications and their informal knowledge, enhancing their knowledge and their skills and turning them into a competitive lever for the businesses and other organizations performances, also promoting their participation in voluntary activities. The project aims to update the European integration model, still trapped in the “guest worker” syndrome, by turning diversity from being a problem to be managed into a strategic resource for economic and social development of the European societies.

See the Complete Program of the workshop