This site uses technical, analytics and third-party cookies.
By continuing to browse, you accept the use of cookies.

National Observatory for the Promotion of the Italian Language in the United States at the Italian Embassy in Washington. The Italian Language: Soft Power for Promoting Italy and its System of Excellence.

The Embassy of Italy in Washington hosted on April 11th the annual meeting of the National Observatory of the Italian language, a coordinating and guiding body with the main actors in the promotion of Italian language and culture in the United States. At the meeting, chaired by the Deputy Chief of Mission, Minister Plenipotentiary Alessandro Gonzales, approximately sixty members of the Observatory participated remotely, including the Deputy Secretary General of the CGIE, Silvana Mangione, the Consuls General of Italy in the United States, school principals, Directors of the Italian Cultural Institutes, Managing Entities, Comites, associations of Italian language teachers, Eduitalia and ASILS, the University for Foreigners of Perugia and American universities.

In his opening remarks, Minister Gonzales discussed how the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and Italy’s diplomatic-consular network in the United States prioritize the promotion of the Italian language as a “soft power” through which Italy exports and promotes everything that it represents to the world, a lifestyle, but also a system of excellence that concerns not only traditional sectors such as food, clothing, and fashion, but also more advanced sectors such as research and the aerospace industry, just to name a few.

During the meeting, the 2024 Strategic Plan for the promotion of the Italian language in the United States was approved, confirming the need to strengthen quantitatively and qualitatively the offering of Italian courses both at the grade school and university levels, to maintain a positive trend in the growth of AP (Advanced Placement) Italian exams, and to promote exchanges and partnerships between Italian and American schools and universities.

The latest available data on the spread of the study of the Italian language in the United States indicate a considerable increase in courses offered by American schools that have directly received contributions from the MAECI (Italy’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation) and in “other learning contexts” (associations, language schools, private organizations, and companies, which also offer courses for adults). This confirms the effectiveness of the diversification strategy outlined in the most recent editions of the Strategic Plan, aimed at meeting a demand for Italian that is less “classical” and transcends the boundaries of educational institutions.

However, the data also highlight a significant decline in Italian courses organized with ministerial financial contributions by Managing Entities, which are experiencing a difficult moment coinciding with the introduction of new sector regulations. Minister Gonzales reassured participants about the attention and commitment with which the MAECI and the Embassy are addressing the issue, in order to support the activities of the Entities in the current transition phase.

In conclusion, the importance of working together to promote, through the beauty of the Italian language, an image of Italy that combines tradition and innovation was reiterated.