Children as mediators of knowledge

Andrea Canevaro, Federica Ceccoli

In Italy, the large presence of migrant minors has been consolidated over the last ten years. Thanks to their schooling, they learn the Italian language and become familiar with the cultural practices of our country much more quickly than their parents and for this reason they contribute to the process of integrating the entire family by acting as linguistic and cultural mediators for those who do not yet speak Italian. The practices of cultural and linguistic mediation carried out by migrant minors are defined by international literature as Child Language Brokering (CLB) and are not only carried out to the benefit of the family, but also to facilitate the settlement of newly arrived foreign schoolmates belonging to their own linguistic community of origin. The aim of this article is to provide a description of the Child Language Brokering phenomenon from the perspective of the evolutionary dynamics of knowledge. After having presented in detail the practice of cultural and linguistic mediation by migrant bilingual minors and having explained its main features, the present study will show the contribution of the academic activities carried out in Italy so far and will present a series of activities that can enhance the valuable contribution that these minors make both for the integration of their family in Italy and for the settlement of newcomer peers belonging to their linguistic community at school.


Bilingualism, Child language brokering, Active education, Immigration, Cultural mediation.