Research Seminar: Mirco Tonin (Free University of Bozen-Bolzano)

Title: "The Effect of the Language of Instruction on Academic Performance" (with J. Bernhofer)

  • Data: 25 maggio 2021 dalle 12:00 alle 13:15

  • Luogo: Microsoft Teams


With the growing international mobility of students, it is becoming more and more common to study in a language other than the native one. To explore the impact of the language of instruction on grades, we use administrative data provided by the Free University of Bozen-Bolzano. We exploit the fact that students whose mother tongue is for the most part Italian or German learn and take exams in English, German, and Italian. Our results show that even though there are no ex ante asymmetries in terms of grades between speakers of different native languages, taking an exam in a second language leads to a loss in grade points of approximately 8.3%. We also look into the effort allocation of non-native learners by analyzing the exam success rate and bring evidence to some strategic elusive behavior of students in terms of exam language portfolio composition.

Invited by: Research Seminar Team

Local Organizer: Massimiliano Onorato