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A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
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A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

LANGUAGE BARRIERS

Language barriers represent one of the main challenges facing the Humanitarian Corridors program. To confront this challenge, Caritas Italy recommends that minors be enrolled in compulsory schooling and that adults be enrolled in school or in a CPIA (Italian Learning Center for Adults). In many cases, the beneficiaries speak only Tigrinya ​​or languages native to their ethnicity and do not have knowledge of European languages. Learning Italian allows beneficiaries to become independent in managing their daily tasks, such as shopping, talking with neighbors and doctors, and asking for help. In addition, after passing the third level exam, it is possible for beneficiaries to access a number of regional professional courses, such as the course to become an operatore socio-sanitario (OSS) or an Unlicensed Assistive Personnel (UAP). Of course, being able to speak Italian is a critical factor for beneficiaries hoping to enter the workforce. 

Reducing language barriers is difficult in many of the Italian reception areas. These barriers include the bureaucracy that controls enrollment in schools, the difficulty of gaining enrollment in CPIAs because of a limited number of spaces, the sometimes very low level of the beneficiaries’ previous schooling, and, in some cases, the absence of cultural mediators in the first reception phase who can effectively explain the importance of gaining facility with the language to achieving integration.

All of these elements make language the first and most important barrier facing beneficiaries upon their arrival, making necessary the presence of a cultural mediator who can work with them to ensure integration. The challenge of language barriers must be seen in part as a challenge to find cultural mediators, particularly for beneficiaries who speak only the language of their specific ethnicity.