I graduated in Modern Foreign Languages and Literature in 1995 at the Faculty of Letters in Florence. During my course of study, I attended the University College of Cork, Ireland, and the University of the Pacific, in Stockton, California, for a total of a year and a half of study and research abroad.
As soon as I graduated I started working as an Italian teacher for foreigners and I continued to carry out this activity exclusively by private schools until 2016; since that year I have devoted more and more time both to my independent project which is now Parla Italiano con Barbara and to update and expand my training.
Indeed in 2019, I obtained the Certification of Competence in Teaching Italian to Foreigners, DITALS, issued by the University for Foreigners of Siena, in addition to other Certifications.
My All-around Vision of Teaching and Learning
In the schools where I worked for 25 years, different educational approaches and methods were adopted. Building on this plurality of experiences I have been developing and putting into practice my all-around vision, whose primary objective is that my students obtain the best possible results, even in the long term.
I pay particular attention to the different and specific needs of each student.
In general, I believe that the active participation of learners should always be privileged, their motivation should be stimulated and at the same time, the atmosphere should be as relaxed as possible.
In my more intensive or longer courses, I have taken as inspiration the quotation:
“No significant learning can happen without a significant student-teacher relationship.”
Throughout my career I have always believed, without the rhetoric, that while I am teaching I am learning from my students at the same time; in the course of my career I have certainly grown as a human being and especially for that I have always loved my job.
Teaching, like all other learning subjects, must take into account changes over time and in society. Today the new scenario is increasingly characterized by the possibility of accessing numerous resources, free or not, to learn through the Internet, applications, and books in this field. Therefore the role of teachers of Italian to foreigners is also changing – this is a change that affects all teaching subjects -: we are no longer the almost exclusive source of the content to be studied and, especially from intermediate levels upwards, it is no longer a question of indicating only what to study, but also and above all how to do it.
So today, alongside my teaching career and passion, another aspect of my skills takes on more importance than before: being a consultant, an Italian Language “coach”, who can guide students faster towards their goals.
And... an Extra Passion: Theater
I graduated from the “Teatro della Limonaia” in Sesto Fiorentino as an actress and continue to cultivate my interest in Theater through writing and acting.
Over the years and in the schools I have worked for, I have often proposed the combination of theater techniques and language learning, through workshops and the staging of small shows.
I continue to be sure that Theater and Language are a very useful and fun combination at the same time and, when the opportunity arises again, I intend to propose it again through new projects.