Children of Immigrants in Lower Secondary Education: Reasons and Consequences of School Retardation

Eleonora Mussino, Università di Roma
Salvatore Strozza, University of Naples Federico II

In Italy, foreign boys and girls are often enrolled in classes at a lower grade compared to their age, mainly because of language problems. In their education pathway they also encounter more difficulties than their Italian schoolmates, as the smaller number of passing students show. This brings about a widespread school retardation, which grows as the education levels increase. In the school year 2006/07 slightly less than 25% of foreign students enrolled in primary school, 50% in lower secondary and almost 75% in upper secondary lag behind, with a growing share of those with more than one year’s delay among older ones. The present paper aims at identifying the causes of the retardation and checking whether it affects the perception of one's performance and the level of future educational aspirations using data from a national survey (ITAGEN2) involving more than 20,000 lower secondary school students, half of whom foreigners.

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Presented in Poster Session 5