Counteracting accent dIscrimination pRactiCes in Education

Type of project: European  |  Start date: 31/12/2022  |  End date: 30/12/2025

CIRCE intends to address the issue of accent discrimination in education. The school environment is a hotspot for addressing this issue: students are exposed to different accents and form and reinforce their attitudes and beliefs towards them also on the basis of peer pressure.

Teachers are confronted daily with regional and non-native accents of the national language, and are at risk of unconsciously succumbing to prejudice and negative evaluations of non-standard language. The literature shows how these phenomena can occur even in people with high sensitivity to linguistic diversity and multilingualism, and are extremely risky because they can result in censorious and hypercritical attitudes toward students already at risk of dropping out and dropping out of school.

CIRCE wants to bring more awareness in the school environment about the topic of accent discrimination, and to develop in students and teachers a greater tolerance towards accent variation.

It is in fact a phenomenon that is still little known, and the social tolerance that surrounds it hides its danger. It is actually a powerful discriminatory mechanism, and it is essential to unhinge its mechanisms by promoting knowledge of how it works.

CIRCE’s approach is:

  • transnational: by involving partners from different countries, it will offer a broad vision of the phenomenon, and above all it will produce the opportunity for a mutual comparison of linguistic prejudices related to the languages of the project partners in different countries;
  • integrated: it addresses all the actors in the school environment: students, teachers, families
  • sustainable: it develops tools that can be reused by students and teachers but above all it teaches a method to bring out the phenomenon, discuss it, and deal with it.
  • inclusive: CIRCE believes in the importance of communicating science to citizens, and to include them in the scientific investigation not as objects but as active subjects in the study of phenomena. For this reason CIRCE wants to build with students and teachers an investigation protocol for the analysis of the phenomenon of accent discrimination.
  • respectful of data: in the knowledge society data represent a value. CIRCE is aware of this and works to ensure that the data collected are FAIRified, and hosted on the CLARIN-IT archives.

The project will develop tools and resources to innovate school curricula and offer materials that enable teachers and educators to accommodate accent variation in their classrooms and other learning settings.

Funded by the European Union


Funding programme:
Erasmus+, Cooperation partnerships in school education (KA220-SCH)

Funding body:
European Union


CNR-ILC role:

Project coordinator:
University of Siena

CNR-ILC Research Unit Chair:
Claudia Soria