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Valentina Cioccari, BA (Hon), MA

Born and raised in the province of Rome, Valentina Cioccari spent her twenties studying languages and travelling 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 seven 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.

Federica Giannicchi, BA (Hon)

Born and raised in a small town not far from Rome, Federica Giannicchi graduated in Foreign Languages and Literature, with a final thesis in Canadian Literature. It was there that the passion for the role of language shaping cultures began. She started working for the archeological Museums in Rome and kept cultivating her passion for art and English language, dedicating her free time in various cultural and volunteering activities and tutoring students of all ages. Only after few years working as an assistant for companies belonging to diverse business fields, she decided to dedicate herself again and with stronger passion than before to the study of languages and finally became a certified teacher of Italian as a Second/Foreign Language. In the past two years, she has worked for private language schools and taught Italian to immigrants for charity associations in Italy. Arrived in Canada in November 2015, in the following January she started her collaboration with ScuolaScuola, which gave her the chance to meet people deeply in love with Italian language and culture and allowed her to constantly transmit all her enthusiasm for this profession and all the shades that learning a foreign language includes.

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