Press Releases


MONTREAL, APRIL 18, 2005- The Council of Commissioners of the English Montreal School Board (EMSB) will welcome six members of Italy’s Senate, as well as the country’s Consul General to Montreal, at a special gathering on Thurs. April 21 (3 p.m.) at 6000 Fielding Avenue in N.D.G.

EMSB Chairman Dominic Spiridigliozzi noted that there is a significant Italian population in the Board’s schools, particularly in the East End. The EMSB’s PELO Heritage Languages program, for instance, aims to improve students' knowledge of their heritage language and gives greater depth to students understanding of human experience by fostering an appreciation of their culture. "By promoting the students' language and culture within a formal course, we recognize alternative means of expression and the value of cultural diversity," he said. "Moreover, a knowledge of a third language can give students registered in any one of the 10 international language programs a competitive advantage in the workplace by opening up additional opportunities."

Italian, is, of course, one of the programs offered at a number of our schools. Last year, in fact, Italian represented 80 percent of the registrations. In addition to Italian, other languages taught at the EMSB are Hebrew, Tamil, Portuguese, Greek, Spanish, Chinese, Punjab, Bengali, Urdu and Arabic.

The EMSB wishes to expand the teaching of Italian in its schools. In fact, the Board has already integrated courses in Italian into the regular curriculum at three elementary schools in St. Léonard -Pierre de Coubertin, Dante and General Vanier.

The Italian government has shown an interest in advancing the teaching of the Italian language outside of the country. Given the fact the EMSB has the highest proportion of Italian students of any public board in the province, Mr. Spiridigliozzi will formally ask the Senators for their support and assistance in securing special funding from the Italian government so that advances can be made in this area.

Next week, the EMSB’s St. Pius X Culinary Institute will embark upon an exchange trip to Italy. Mr. Spiridigliozzi and Commissioner Rocco Barbieri will accompany the students and staff. This program will enable students and teachers to develop the competency necessary for working successfully with advanced Italian cuisine in the food service and hospitality industry. It will also present an opportunity to establish links with other institutions abroad.

Michael J. Cohen
Communications and Marketing Specialist
English Montreal School Board
Tel: (514) 483-7200 ext. 7243
Fax: (514) 483-7213