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Delegates at a Cambridge conference in Bologna explored ways of using a Cambridge curriculum to develop bilingual teaching and learning. The conference was the biggest event that Cambridge has hosted in Italy and brought together more than 200 school leaders, teachers and exams officers from across the country.
The event was supported by the Liceo Luigi Galvani in Bologna - the first state school In Italy to offer an integrated Cambridge IGCSE curriculum. Now that Italian secondary schools have to teach at least one subject through a foreign language in the final year of secondary education, many other Italian schools are choosing Cambridge IGCSEs.
Delegates discussed practical approaches to bilingual teaching and heard from leading educationalists. David Marsh, part of the team that launched Content Integrated Language Learning (CLIL) over 20 years ago, gave the keynote address. He spoke about the innovative nature of CLIL, and how it can lead to success in language teaching and learning.
Alessandra Varriale, Schools Development Manager, Europe organised the event. She said: “It was fantastic to welcome so many of our Italian schools to Bologna. While some have been with Cambridge for a long time, a large number have also joined us in the last year. It is my hope that our new schools now appreciate the possibilities that Cambridge qualifications will offer them and their students, and that all of our schools feel well-supported as they continue to work with us”.
Michael O’Sullivan, Chief Executive, Cambridge International Examinations, said: “At Cambridge, we have a deep interest in and engagement with bilingual education. The ‘blended’ approach of combining Cambridge IGCSEs with elements of the national curriculum is increasingly popular. Our goal is to work closely with schools to not just help young Italians develop bilingual competence, but to contribute more broadly to the richness and depth of learning.”
Our short video of the conference catches the flavour of the event. Zoe Neville-Smith, Marketing Communications Manager for Europe, has written a blog post, giving her personal account of the day.