My name is Daniela and I am an Italian teacher! I live in Trapani, a very nice town in Sicily, a paradise on earth located in Southern Italy.
I love foreign languages! I have been studying languages since I was 7 years old. I started with English and that was immediately love at first sight! Then, I went on with French and Spanish and when I entered University I added Arabic and Turkish. Actually, I really wish to keep on studying Turkish, it’s a very interesting language but it's hard, so now I’m studying Portuguese on my own. It’s easier than Turkish and it’s similar to Italian and Sicilian, which is my dialect.
I like reading and listening to the music! About the latter, I think it’s a “secret key” to learn languages, because thanks to the music it’s easier to remember words, verbs and certain structures in a new language. For this reason, I don’t really have a favourite music genre, I try to get the best out of all songs :-)
I love animals too! When I was a child I wanted to be a vet, so I could deal with dogs, cats and all the animals on earth but I also loved foreign languages too, so in the end I chose to get a dog to take care of and start a new adventure at University studying foreign languages, my big passion!
In 2012 I got my Master's degree, but I started working a year before. I work as an Italian and English teacher. I teach Italian in a private language school in my town. I teach English in the public school system and, as a freelancer, I work in military barracks teaching English to soldiers according to the STANAG (NATO) requirements.
In 2016 I got my CEDILS certificate (Certification in teaching Italian to foreigners), that certifies the theoretical and practical skills in the field of teaching Italian to foreigners.
I have experience in teaching Italian online. Thanks to this industry, I met many nice people willing to learn Italian, each one having a different goal in their lives. When teaching online, it's amazing to get in touch with new people, cultures, and ways of thinking although there's not a "real" classroom and in spite of it, it's amazing to see that people learn, practice and have fun the same way as being in class.
Before I started working, I had many internships that helped me in a theoretical and a practical way. During my internships and studies I also realised that teaching is not easy, as it's not just about transmitting and transferring information, but it's all about passion and the ability to involve people in what you're doing.
I really love my job! It's amazing to meet people from around the world having different ages (from teenagers to 65+) and cultures (from Europe to Asia, to America to Middle East).
My approach is based on communication and practice. I don't completely avoid grammar, as it explains the rules of the language and is useful, but most of the time we forget about the goal we are aiming at, which is to communicate and express information, rather than being perfect in a language (at least when we're taking our first steps in that direction).
I don't see mistakes as a big deal because I'm sure we can learn from our mistakes. Depending on the mistake and on the person I'm working with, I sometimes try to make a joke out of that mistake, so that my student can easily remember what to avoid and how to correct himself in the future.
I believe in the "power" of games and music! I believe in games, especially in the communicative ones, because while being focused on the final aim of the game, the student realises he/she is speaking with little effort. At the same way, I believe in music because I think it's the easiest and most enjoyable way to remember words, structures or the right position of prepositions within a sentence. When I was a 7/8 years old, I used to listen to Madonna's songs although I couldn't understand the lyrics, I was too young and so I just listened to her singing, but with the passing of time those songs helped me in my English tests where I had to fill in the gap with the correct preposition. Refrain and verses came to my mind and that saved me! Then, it happened the same thing when I started to first communicate with native people, and so on.
For me it's very important that my students feel comfortable during my classes. That's my first aim both in class and online, because being anxious doesn't help when learning. I like to use many books for my classes but I also try to create my own materials.
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