Distance Teaching in Slovenian-Medium and Slovenian-Italian Bilingual Primary Schools in Italy During the COVID-19 Epidemic Norina Bogatec, Sara Brezigar and Maja Mezgec
Summary: With the outbreak of the coronavirus epidemic in the beginning on March, schools in the Italian Republic had to introduce distance learning almost overnight and continue with it until the end of the school year 2019/2020. Minority schools in Italy, in particular schools with Slovene as the language of instruction and the Slovene-Italian bilingual school in Špeter had to face this challenge. The paper presents the results of a study carried out by the Slovene Research Institute in Trieste an initiated by the Regional Commission for Slovene Schools in Italy among parents and teachers, on their experiences with distance learning, also because distance learning might continue or resume in the 2020/2021 school year. In the article, the authors explain that the implementation of distance learning has uncovered some new challenges faced by both teachers anr students, especially in the field of teaching methods, technical equipment and computer literacy. Moreover, challenges that the Slovene-medium schools have been facing for a long time, have been exacerbated by the epidemic, such as, for example, linguistic challenges faced by non-Slovene speaking pupils and parents.