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Italian in Slovenia


pre-primary education

primary education

secondary education

Scuola elementare "Vincenzo e Diego de Castro" Pirano

Scuola elementare "Vincenzo e Diego de Castro" Pirano



 Scuola elementare "Vincenzo e Diego de Castro" Pirano 


Use Minority language as

We use the minority language of our region as medium of instruction (= to teach subjects other than the language itself, such as mathematics, gymnastics, history, etc.)

Name of the school

Scuola elementare “Vincenzo e Diego de Castro” Pirano


Via Vojko 1

Postal Code



Pirano - Piran

Telephone number

00386 5 67 13 740

Fax number

00386 5 67 13 741



Contact person

Sonia Mugherli Imperl

E-mail school


E-mail contact person



Total number of teachers


Total number of pupils


Pupils aged



Minority language(s) in your region



Languages taught as a subject in your school

Italian, Slovene, English  - as optional subject in the last triade also Spanish and German (1 hour per week)

In case of different languages as a subject, what is the division between them (e.g. in percentages or hours per week)

Italian: 1st triade 6-7 hours per week, 2nd triade 5 hours per week, 3rd triade 4 hours per week
Slovene: 3 or 4 hours per week
English: 2, 3 or 4 hours per week (starting from the 4th grade)

Languages of instruction

Italian, slovene as L2, English as foreign language 

Languages used outside formal lessons (in the school yard etc):

Italian, Slovene, Italian dialect

Skills trained in the minority language

Reading, Listening, Speaking, Writing, Mediation

Teaching material

The availability and quality of the teaching material is reasonable.

Please explain

Sometimes, we have to use translations of Slovenian school books, or we make the translations ourselves.

Developers of the teaching material

Teachers in the school or colleagues, translations or adaptations from other languages, publishing houses 

Please provide a brief description of projects concerning multilingualism in your school in the past and the present

  • Comenius INFO Project (2005-2007): Designing a training model for teachers working in multilingual areas with minority language (Istitut Pedagogich Ladin)
  • Comenius project DOVE (Doing an OverView of Europe): within the multilateral project DOVE, 5 schools from different countries are working together: Slovenia, Sweden, France, Lithuania, and Romania.

Does your school have any contacts with (another) school(s) abroad? If so, please describe the kind of contact or activities

Project D.O.V.E.: The name of the project is “Doing the OverView of Europe” or DOVE because our common aim is to get to know the ways in which different people live their traditions, their awareness of nature and environment and also the European citizenship. Dove is a symbol of peace and a bird, We think that the name encompasses these two additional features our project aims at.

There are three main topics we would like to address with our project.

Firstly, we look into our own regional identity  in promoting it in our own schools and also by presenting it to our partners . Local history, tourism potentials, economical resources, ethnic groups and local languages are explored during this phase.

Secondly, we study the environment and our surroundings. The preservation and the quality of water sources is of a central concern.  We want to make the next generation aware of the need to preserve wetlands, and the importance for flora and fauna as precious heritage wetlands have to offer.

Thirdly, we want to make our pupils aware of what European citizenship means nowadays and to communicate in as many languages as possible with our project partners.

We plan to strengthen children’s awareness of being European through travelling, studying abroad, exchanging and discussing issues. Getting to know other cultures helps battle xenophobia and provides for ways of solving problems together.

With the use of ICT (blogs, social networks, mail, etc.) we are planning to initiate contacts, help the children to get to know one another faster and overcome national stereotypes about partner countries.

Main problem regarding minority language education

The main problem regarding minority language education is the lack of qualified teachers using the minority language.

Possible solutions

Make the teaching profession more appealing to the young population.


Our main problem concerning minority language education is that the italian language, for approximately 50% of the students, is used only at school. Also, there are other minority languages present among the students and that is a serious interference for the learning process in generally if the families are not involved. Another problem is the lack of qualified teachers on the territory, especially for the secondary school. Therefore, we employ teachers from Italy, but they stay only for a few years so we are in constant search for permanent teachers. 

A solution might be to promote the minority language and the school on the territory with activities as courses and creative workshops, but we are doing that already. For the lack of permanent teachers we don't see a real solution - we would have to make the profession more appealing for the new generations improving the work conditions and wages on a national level.

Our school is a full immersion italian language school on a bilingual territory.