This project focusses on the issue of teachers’ language attitudes, motivation and practices by targeting the promotion of the Friulian minority language in education in multilingual Friuli Venezia Giulia (FVG). Although figures for speakers vary between 35% and 49% of the total population of FVG, Friulian is classified as “definitely endangered”; however, despite legislative attempts, it has still not been fully integrated in school programmes. The picture emerging from a recent survey on speakers’ habits and opinions towards Friulian is not negative, but it does not explore the school situation, i.e. how Friulian is perceived by teachers, crucial actors as far as language promotion is concerned. Addressing the issues dealt with in the two European Parliament Resolutions on multilingualism and on endangered European languages, this mixed-methods research will allow a comparison of prospective and in-service teachers’ attitudes with respect to teaching (through) minority languages, by comparing FVG and the Basque Autonomous Community in Spain, a well-known context for the success of the revitalisation of the minority language within a multilingual educational system. The research also aims at identifying examples of best practices of multilingual education to disseminate in the Friulian-speaking area. Such comparison is original and innovative as it parallels two contexts with a minority language which harbour a desire to internationalise their educational systems: it will allow to better frame and understand the weaknesses of the FVG system and identify possible steps that should be taken to promote the Friulian language, tackle the challenges of globalisation, while boosting knowledge of foreign languages and multilingualism. This fellowship will enable the ER, who specialises in the study of motivation in language education in Italy, to acquire new research and transferable skills and become an independent international researcher in Educational Linguistics.
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