Elite Italian University Struggles With Shift to English

Elite Italian University Struggles With Shift to English 1

Francesco Anselmi for The Chronicle

Kaya Lacki, an English instructor, leads a class of university administrators at the Polytechnic U. of Milan. The university has begun an effort to make English the primary language of instruction.

In a small classroom at the Polytechnic University of Milan, six students sit around a table and, in slow, hesitant English, discuss the answers to a true-or-false test on various customs around the world.

"Number 19 is false," says Kaya Lacki, an English-language instructor from the United States with red, spiky hair. "Because if you've ever been on holiday in the U.S., you should tip a taxi."

"Teep is ...?" asks a confused