Immigrant kids to get language lessons

Immigrant kids to get language lessons
Education Minister Stefania Giannini described linguistic inclusion as "fundamental". Photo: Andreas Solaro/AFP
Italian language lessons will be introduced for immigrant children in schools, a “fundamental” move to promote integration, Education Minister Stefania Giannini said on Tuesday.

As part of the plans new teachers will be hired to help students who speak Italian as a second language.

“The Italian language must become an instrument of inclusion and integration for the many foreign children that grow up in our country,” Giannini was quoted in Tgcom24 as saying.

“These children are ten percent of the total number of students in our country. It’s necessary to become aware of the fact that linguistic inclusion is fundamental,” she added.

The number of babies born to foreign parents is rising in Italy, while Italian couples are having fewer children.

READ MORE: Foreign births on the rise in Italy: report

Reflecting this change, Prime Minister Matteo Renzi said on Sunday the government would make it easier for the children of immigrants to get Italian citizenship.

Current rules mean second generation immigrants must wait until they are 18 before they can apply for Italian citizenship, despite being born in Italy.

Under new legislation children will be able to be granted citizenship before adulthood, if they go to school.

READ MORE: Immigrant kids may get swifter Italy citizenship

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