Italian Language Instructors and Curriculum Developers
Valentina Cioccari, BA (Hon), MA
Born and raised in the province of Rome, Valentina Cioccari spent her twenties studying languages and traveling in Northern and Southern Europe, engaging in many and varied cultural experiences. Studying Languages, Literature and Culture at university in Rome, she discovered her passion for the many ways cultural norms, expectations and context affect the way we use a language. She continued exploring the relationship between foreign language proficiency and the use of audiovisual media during her studies in London, where she earned a Master of Arts in Audiovisual Translation. In London, she worked as a translator and subtitle editor from English into Italian, observing the cultural differences between the American, English and Italian languages. Having to navigate her way around cultural differences in order to render meaning into conversations enriched Valentina as a foreign language learner and as a perspective teacher. With a desire for continued exploration, she pursued her love for language and film to Toronto in 2008. There, she continued her career in translating Oscar-winning films and television series into Italian, while pursuing her interest in teaching Italian. In the past 11 years, she has taught and developed curricula for private language schools and schools of continuing education as well as for multinational companies. Bolstered by her studies in Adult Learning and Curriculum Development she founded ScuolaScuola, a ‘blended learning’ school that offers its students a personalized learning experience combining face-to-face instruction with online study, respecting individual learning styles and personal pace.
Eleonora Maldina, BA (Hon), MA
Born and raised in Bologna, Emilia-Romagna, Eleonora Maldina learned English, French, Spanish and German. Being aware of how demanding and difficult it is to become proficient in another language, Eleonora has made her life mission to help people communicate and overcome language barriers. With this goal in mind, she earned a Bachelor Degree in Interpreting and Translation from the University of Bologna, specializing in English, Spanish and Italian. Translating seemed like an ideal way to build bridges that would help people from different language backgrounds to understand each other. However, she soon realized that the best way to help someone interact in a foreign language is not to translate for them, it’s to teach them that language. Put it more simply, she is a strong believer of the old saying “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime”! It was not by coincidence, then, that Eleonora started teaching Italian immediately after she moved to Toronto. Here she has worked as an Italian language instructor for over seven years, with a particular focus on oral and communication skills. Driven by the desire to improve herself as an Italian language educator, she pursued a Masters of Art in Languages and Literacies Education at the University of Toronto, where she focused on language teaching methodologies and language curriculum development.
Sebastiano Bazzichetto, BA (Hon), MA, PHD
Born in spellbinding Venezia, raised in medieval enchanting Treviso, Sebastiano Bazzichetto is an Italian language instructor from Italy who has recently completed his PhD in Italian studies, with a focus on Italian Baroque poetry. Besides literature, being also a former violin student, he is passionate about Italian art history, music and theatre, elements that he always merges into his language classes. Arrived in Toronto in 2012, feeling more a cultural promoter rather than a teacher, he fast understood that a language is the key to unlock the secrets of a society and its culture, and of Italian culture specifically. Sebastiano has taught extensively at the University of Toronto, and the Istituto Italiano di Cultura, where he also held several lectures about Italian opera, and art and architecture of Italian cities. Seeking a stimulating environment where to teach his mother tongue and to meaningfully interact with students, Sebastiano enthusiastically joined the team at ScuolaScuola in January 2017.
Caterina Micci, BA (Hon)
Born and raised in Sicily, Caterina has a degree in Archival and Librarian Sciences from “Università La Sapienza” in Rome. She taught Italian language and culture at Kappa Language School in Rome. As evidenced by her experience as an educator in summer camps in Italy, Caterina loves working with children and young adults. In Toronto, she worked as Italian Teacher and Tutor at Canadian College of Education. During her traineeship as a language instructor, she taught Italian to Chinese-speaking children. She likes to integrate her lessons using content from authentic material as Italian magazines, newspapers, movies, ads and songs. She is an art history, cinema and food enthusiast, and she always share her passions with students. Great music fan, she works as a translator for the Italian records label and publishing house Goodfellas.
Daniele Laudadio, BA, MA, PHD
Coming from a lovely medieval town in the countryside of the beautiful Marche region of central Italy, Daniele is an Italian language, culture, and food enthusiast. He is currently pursuing his doctorate in the Department of Italian Studies in the University of Toronto, where he is researching how the representation of food in Italian postcolonial literature helps redefine what being Italian means. Daniele is also a course instructor at UofT, where he has taught Beginner and Intermediate Italian, and History of Italian Cinema. Daniele has extensive experience in teaching Italian to North American students since his university years in Rome, when he was an Italian language intern and tutor for the University of California Education Abroad Program and the University of Southern California. Daniele believes in the cultural exchange enabled by language learning and teaching. Since learning a new language opens windows onto new ways to imagine the world, studying Italian in multicultural, global Toronto offers countless possibilities for mutual cultural enrichment. Daniele is thrilled to be part of ScuolaScuola.
Cristina Tommasi, BA (Hon), MA
Born and raised in the small town of Pero in Lombardy, Cristina Tommasi graduated with honors from the University of Milan with a degree in Philosophical Sciences, with a focus on North American culture. She’s been working in the field of education since 2013 and her passion for teaching has never stopped since. In the past three years, she has
worked for private schools and taught Italian to immigrants for charity associations in Italy developing an interest in social and immigration movements. In parallel to her professional interests, she’s an active member of a non-profit organization supporting projects with social purposes and promoting Italian culture throughout the world. Her love for Canada started in 2016, when she moved to Calgary to attend an Esl course at the University of Calgary. Cristina firmly believes in the importance of promoting Italian heritage all over the world and loves to share her language and upbringing with new students.
Silvia Pocai, BA (Hon)
After much success with her Bilingual Meditation technique in Italy, Silvia looks forward to exporting its benefits to ScuolaScuola the technique will make its North American debut. Born and raised in Lucca, a small Tuscany gem, Silvia Pocai started loving and learning English at three years old, and never stopped since. During the course of her studies in Psychology, she got in touch with different ways of living and perceiving life, becoming passionate about the infinite amount of healing techniques that are available. In recent years she has studied Psychosomatics, Hatha Yoga (which includes Asana, Meditation, Mantra and much more), Therapeutic Listening, Crystal Therapy, Reflexology, Aromatherapy, Nutrition, Positive Affirmations and NLP. After graduation she got the first level of Reiki by Mikao Usui, and in 2016 she started to lead meditations. The groups she was leading often comprised Italians and people from all over the world, so she would often lead bilingual meditations to allow everyone to fully understand what was being said. Bolstered by her studies in Psychology she soon discovered that bilingual meditations actually offer an extra gift compared to all the enormous benefits that classical meditation already provides. Thanks to the different mental state that is being experienced during deep meditation, mnemonic functions increase and therefore language learning accelerates. In 2017 she took part in a Hatha Hoga Yoga Teacher Training and was certified as a Yoga Teacher. In 2018 she attended the Basic and Advanced DNA ThetaHealing courses. With the desire to help people feel better and the wish to share all that she knows, she developed Targeted Relaxation, a problem-solving strategy with objectives, which combines therapeutic listening, a little gentle movement to unlock the energy channels and Bilingual Guided Meditation in the Theta state, to make the internal transformation concrete.