Margherita M

After a generic start in the field of foreign languages, my university career has increasingly focussed on
Italian teaching to non-Italian speakers. Already at the end of my BA in Foreign Languages and Literatures I
decided to concentrate on this specific subject and I wrote my thesis Class Interaction And Language
Fossilisation: A Case Study based on data I had personally collected. The success of the thesis and the level
of expertise I had acquired motivated me to seek a further specialization and I therefore applied for the MA
in Italian Language and Culture for Foreigners. During this two-year course, I was granted an Erasmus
allowance that entitled me to attend the academic year 2017-2018 at UCL (University College London) as an
exchange student. This period abroad deepened and enriched my understanding of the British approach to
language study as well as my personal interest in British culture. As I went back to Italy I graduated with a
thesis on the evolution of Italian language teaching in Italy, Past and Present of Scholastic Italian Through
the Analysis and Comparison of Students’ Compositions from 1948 and Today, again based on personally
collected data. After university, I pursued my studies in the field by obtaining a DILS Pg (2 nd level) certificate
in Italian language teaching.
Beside my academic career, I had the opportunity to enhance my practical skills by gaining
operational experience. From October 2012 to May 2015 I volunteered as an Italian language teacher for
small local associations as ALP and Meltin-PO operating in my home town, Prato, where the number of
migrants unable to afford a professional language course is considerable. Within these projects, I was
usually assigned to classes of young learners with an A1 level. In time, I gained autonomy both in class and
in programming. Another relevant experience was my MA curricular internship at the language school La
Bottega delle Lingue in Summer 2017. I spent the most part of my 180 hours there teaching Italian to
refugees with different levels of language (from beginners to A2), schooling and literacy. My main role
during the internship was the one of teaching assistant as I followed the programme of the appointed
teacher. However, by the end of my internship period I was occasionally asked to substitute some of the
teachers on holiday and/or prepare autonomously some classes under the supervision of the other more
experienced members of the school.
My first experience as a professional teacher consists in a regular full time contract for the
academic year 2018-2019 as a substitute teacher of English language and culture for the Italian public high
school Francesco Datini. The six classes I had been assigned to were all part of a schooling programme for
adults. This role allowed me, on one hand, to manage autonomously classes with a varied range of levels
and, on the other, to face a new typology of learners as English is, for most of my students that year, a
completely foreign language instead of a second one. Since the academic year 2019-2020 I have been
working as an Italian language assistant at Fettes College, in Edinburgh. During this time, I have contributed
to the preparation of the Upper and Lower Sixth forms towards their final exam for IB Italian Ab Initio. My
main role has been to prepare autonomously a programme of both one-to-one and pair lessons with the
aim of supporting the main course programme conducted by the Head of Italian, Mr. Coppola. This
experience with small groups and single students has allowed me to explore some more conversational
methods as well as the importance of more tailored approaches. Throughout the year, I have also taken
part to classes of the main course on a weekly basis, in order to enhance my experience of class
management through observation and participation. During the Covid19 lockdown, I have been given the
chance to keep working from home using programmes such as Skype for Business and Microsoft Teams.
I am convinced that further experiences as a language tutor and language teaching assistant in a
foreign environment represents the ideal continuation of my professional growth on many different levels,
allowing me to work with individuals from a different background than mine and to become familiar with
the different needs of different types of students. On one hand, dealing with pupils from the IB or IGSCE

both at school and with my tutees would keep me in touch with the official UK programmes and
requirements. On the other hand, independent learners or university students would allow me to
experiment on different topics. All my tutees would benefit from my experience and the units and
techniques developed in these years. I would also be happy to share some examples of authentic Italian
culture (music, films and novels) with those who might be interested.