University for Foreigners of Siena (Italy)


UFS logoThe University for Foreigners of Siena (Università per Stranieri di Siena) is a public university involved both in teaching Italian as a foreign language and in scientific research activities concerning the diffusion of the Italian language and culture all over the world. The University promotes and encourages the international dimension of research and training, the processes of meeting, dialogue, mediation between people with different languages and cultures through a series of educational and scientific activities. 

All the undergraduate degree courses, master’s degrees, master programs, PhD courses, postgraduate schools and certifications of teaching competences are open to Italian and foreign students. They include courses in teaching and promoting Italian language and culture, linguistic and cultural mediation and translation in the touristic business. At the University for Foreigners of Siena it is possible to learn European languages (English, French, German, Catalan, Portuguese and Spanish) as well as non-European languages (Arabic, Chinese, Korean, Japanese and Russian) to become a professional in the tourism, translation, economics, legal and sociological fields. The university has received the European Label for Languages ten times, from 2004 to 2019 thanks to its research on the promotion of teaching and learning of languages through innovation and effective teaching practices, encouraging awareness of European linguistic heritage and motivating citizens to pursue multilingualism throughout their lives.  

The University for Foreigners of Siena also hosts a Bilingualism Matters branch “Bilinguismo Conta”, which organizes periodical meetings, especially with teachers and parents, regarding the advantages of bilingualism. The team from Siena works mainly on bilingualism and multilingualism from an educational perspective and is involved in different training initiatives regarding bilingualism, translanguaging and pluralistic approaches. 

Prof. Carla Bagna


Carla Bagna is Associate Professor of Educational Linguistics at the University for Foreigners of Siena. She obtained her PhD in Linguistics and Italian Language Teaching to Foreigners at the University for Foreigners of Siena. From 2002 to 2006 she has been research fellow on the topic of immigrants languages, being part of the research group at the Centre of Excellence – Permanent Linguistic Observatory for Italian abroad and Immigrant Languages in Italy. From 2006 to 2014 she has been a researcher in Educational Linguistics. She currently carries out research on language teaching, in particular Italian as second language, immigrant languages in Italian society and schools, and methodologies for collecting and analyzing data on their presence, diffusion, vitality and visibility, in order to study the contexts and the conditions of plurilingualism and linguistic contact in Italy, and thus to suggest suitable measures to be taken in language education (also with regard to Language Testing). Currently she directs the Language Centre of the University for Foreigners in Siena and she is the Delegate for International Affairs at University for Foreigners of Siena.

Valentina Carbonara, Ph.D.


Valentina Carbonara completed her Ph.D. in Linguistics and second language acquisition in 2017 at the University for Foreigners in Siena. She taught Italian as a second language in different schools in Italy and abroad (Syria, Morocco and Turkey). As a Post-Doc fellow, she collaborates with Bilingualism Matters (Siena branch) and with the colleague Andrea Scibetta she coordinates the project: “L’AltRoparlante: translanguaging educational practices for the management of the superdiversity in class”, which was awarded the European Language Label 2018. She is guest lecturer at the University of Bergamo in the workshops of Linguistic for Inclusion. Her research interests are: teaching Italian as a second language, early language education, CLIL, bilingualism and translanguaging. 

Andrea Scibetta, PhD 


Andrea Scibetta is currently a Post-Doc fellow at the University for Foreigners of Siena and a Chinese language lecturer at the University of Parma. In 2017 he completed a PhD in Linguistics and Second Language Acquisition at the University for Foreigners of Siena. With the colleague Valentina Carbonara he coordinates the project: “L’AltRoparlante: translanguaging educational practices for the management of the superdiversity in class”, which was awarded the European Language Label 2018. He has conducted periods of teaching and research in Germany, Ireland (Erasmus + teaching Program), and, as a visiting scholar, in China. His scientific activity focuses on Chinese, L2 Italian teaching to Chinese students, promotion of Chinese in Italian schools, multilingual education.