We will start this course by analyzing the debate about the choice of a common language in Italy (namely the “questione della lingua”) that emerged during the second half of the 19th century between Alessandro Manzoni and Isaia Ascoli – whose effort was the one finding a common official language for the newly unified Italy. Then, we will proceed chronologically by exploring nationalism and purism; we will continue our investigation by examining the language policy introduced during the fascist regime, and its socio-political consequences, unfortunately still alive in Italy. Crucial to this class will be the discourse about the views of remarkable Italian intellectuals who influenced the cultural scene before and after the republican Italy: among them Panzini, Gramsci, Pasolini and Calvino. Within the international scenario, we will investigate the issues related to Italian emigrants around the world and their language competence, as well as the linguistic experience of today foreign settlers in Italy. The question of language disadvantage among the lower classes will be explored through the work of Don Lorenzo Milani in Italy, and compared with the contrasting views of Bernstein in Britain and Labov in the US. Finally, we will focus on the most debatable issue of English as an international lingua franca which is presently the core of many arguments, due to its controversial repercussions in and outside Europe. Last but not least, the EU policy of multilingualism will also be matter of our investigation.