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School and multilinguism


Schools in Ladin communities within the Province Bolzano are characterised by the presence of three languages; Ladin, Italian and German. Contact with neighbouring German and Italian speaking communities has facilitated cultural exchange since time immemorial. This peculiarity gave birth to a school system which is open to multilingualism.

A ministerial decree in 1948 laid the foundations for the introduction of parity in the use of languages in education within the Ladin speaking valleys of South Tyrol. In accordance with the parity model: parts of subjects are taught in German, other parts in Italian. Ladin is used as a teaching language at all levels to a varying extent.

The parity school model has had its own Education Authority since 1975 and its own Pedagogical Institute since 1987 both have their headquarters in Bolzano. For the training of Ladin teachers the Free University of Bolzano established a Ladin Department within the Faculty of Educational Science in Bressanone in 1998.


An example of a multi-linguistic project in the Ortisei Elementary School.

"Snowhite and the Seven Dwarfs" (some scenes) Concept and realisation Brigitte Perathoner.



1948 – Ministerial Ordinance No. 5145/76 of 27.08.1948 (Fto: Gonella, Ministro P.I.)

This Ministry guarantees immediately the implementation of Article 87, Constitutional Law 5 26th February 1948 concerning teaching in Ladin elementary schools in the Ladin speaking area with consideration of the legitimate wishes of the Ladin speaking people for an education system where children can not only learn their native language but also Italian and German.
Herewith is the following to be implemented from the beginning of the next school year in Val Gherdëina and Val Badia.

1st class:
Religion: one lesson per week in Ladin
Ladin – Italian: 19 hours using the Ladin alphabet
German: 6 hours conversation
total: 1+25 hours per week

2nd class:
Religion: one lesson per week in Ladin
Ladin: 2 lessons per week
Italian: 11,5 lessons per week
German: 11,5 lessons per week
total: 1 + 25 lessons per week

a) 3rd – 4th – 5th class
b) 6th – 7th – 8th (following elementary school)
Religion: 2 lessons per week in Ladin
Ladin: one lesson per week
Italian: 12 lessons per week
German: 12 lessons per week
total: 2 +25 lessons per week