Edited by Marco Tamburelli and Mauro Tosco
[Studies in World Language Problems 8] 2021
► pp. 221–234
According to the UNESCO Atlas, Sardinian is an endangered language, and the debate about its promotion in Sardinia is lively and passionate (Moseley 2010). In fact, over the past two generations, the language vitality and vigour of the limba (in Sardinian: language) have been drastically reduced. Nowadays, youngsters tend to abandon the limba when the literacy process towards Italian starts in school. The OCSE-PISA 2012 reports that students in Sardinia are among the lowest in literacy within the Italian state: Bolognesi and Heeringa (2005) argue that youngsters are losing Sardinian without mastering the Italian language. In order to reverse this language shift, a common written standard, the Limba Sarda Comuna (LSC) was made official by the local government in 2006. However, the LSC is still contested: “plastic language”, “Frankenstein monster idiom” are some of the epithets cast against it by the local press. In this contribution, we show a successful pilot experiment of a concrete application of the limba at school, that in our opinion could be easily applied on a wider scale in other parts of Sardinia. In fact, in the academic year 2014–15, three classes in a middle school of Orosei (Nuoro) took part in a laboratory where the limba was used both orally (local variety) and in written form (LSC, for the didactic material) following the so-called CLIL approach. Students learned Sardinian history in a Mediterranean and European perspective, using the LSC in reading and writing. No participant – L2 speakers included – rejected the LSC for being “artificial”, even though the local variety is approximately 85% similar to the LSC, according to Bolognesi (2007). This pilot experiment shows that a concrete application of the LSC in schools is possible and desirable. A discussion on how to expand this pilot experiment in different settings will be provided.