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MSDE Establishes Memorandum of Understanding with Italy

BALTIMOREThe Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) recently hosted a signing ceremony establishing its third Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Italy. The MOU will be in effect for three years and promotes the study of the Italian language in Maryland schools, provides professional learning for teachers of Italian, and encourages student and educator exchanges between schools in Maryland and schools in Italy. The Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs promotes the Italian language in order to build capacity at the elementary and middle school levels. The first MOU was signed in 2005.

Maryland has approximately 4,500 students studying Italian ranging from elementary grades through Advanced Placement. Studying a world language for as many years as possible is an integral part of Maryland’s goal of preparing students for a globally competitive workforce. In addition to Italian, other languages offered in Maryland’s public schools include American Sign Language, Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Japanese, Korean, Latin, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish and, Turkish.

Professional learning for teachers of Italian is also underway. In October, the Embassy of Italy delivered an MSDE Continuing Professional Development course in cooperation with Georgetown University. More opportunities for teachers are in the planning stages.