University Language Centre - CLA

The Language Centre has been teaching and assessing the language competences of students and staff of the University of Bologna since the early 1970s.

The CILTA was founded in Bologna in the early 1970s at the initiative of the Centre's first director, Luigi Heilmann, Professor of Glottology and Director of the Institute of Glottology at the Faculty of Literature and Philosophy of the University of Bologna. Just two years earlier (May 1967), Heilmann had been one of the promoters of the Italian Linguistic Society.
It is of particular significance that this is Italy's first University Language Centre. In fact, at that time Bologna had no Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literature (this was founded in 1995) and the Degree Programme in Foreign Languages and Literature was held at the Faculty of Literature and Philosophy and Teaching.

From the original statute and regulations it emerges that its primary objective was to provide qualified language teaching for the students and teaching and non-teaching staff of the University.

Classroom lessons, in line with the dominant teaching model of the time, was unsuited to the development of productive language skills: the creation of the University linguistic centre was a new experience, the result of a period in which the need for oral language competences, learning the "living" language, the expression and heritage of a culture, was increasingly felt.

The initial name, University Linguistic Laboratory reflected the typical approach to language learning of the time, as well as the need to motivate students to learn a language not only for study purposes but also for communication.

In the teaching field, currently the Centre's activities cover not only classroom lessons but a wide range of blended modules delivered in special laboratories and e-learning experiments for individual learning; in the field of linguistic research and training, the Centre collaborates with local and national authorities, schools of different grades and partners in European projects.

Directors of the Centre since its establishment:

  • 1971 - 1986: Luigi Heilmann
  • 1986 - 1990: Liano Petroni
  • 1990 - 2006: Rema Rossini Favretti
  • 2007 (until June), Director pro-tempore: Luigi Busetto
  • 2007 - 2012: Anna Maria Mandich

Since June 2012 the University Language Centre (CLA) has been a sector of the Academic Affairs Division (AFORM) and has been managed by a management committee.

The management committee is chaired by the Head of AFORM, Dr. Angela Negrini. The members of the committee, as from April 2016, are as follows:

  • Angela Negrini, Head of Academic Affairs Division;
  • Paul Bayley, Full professor of English language and translation in the Department of Political and Social Science;
  • Paolo Vicini, Head of Ravenna Campus Area;
  • Giovanna Filippini, Head of International Relations Division;
  • Sabrina Fusari, Associate Professor of English language and translation in the Department of Modern Languages, Literatures, and Cultures; 
  • Francesca Gatta, Associate Professor of Italian linguistics in the Department of Interpretation and Translation;
  • Joanne Nora Maloney,English foreign language instructor;
  • Paola Puccini, Associate Professor of French language and translation in the Department of Modern Languages, Literatures, and Cultures;
  • Martin Raybould, Collaborator and English language expert;

Professors Paul Bayley and Paola Puccini are, respectively, Head and Deputy Head of teaching in the Language Centre.