I teach English as a foreing Language, English history and literature in an Italian Liceo Linguistico, an Academic Secondary School course of studies for students who wish to major in foreign languages. Before experiencing the wonderful teaching world upon which I stumbled in 2005, I challenged various career fields including working as an interpreter and translator for the U.S. NAVY at the Naval Air Station of Sigonella in (Sicily) Italy.
I still enjoy translating as a free lance for local businesses and provide online English lessons to learn, improve and practice the language to business and students.
I’m bilingual since I grew up in NYC where I attended school from elementary to achieving my High School Diploma at Bishop Kearney HS, Brooklyn (NY). Right before graduating I won a scholarship, sponsored by the Association “Sons of Italy”, to attend a course in Advanced Italian Literature with Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ held at the University of Urbino, Italy.
I later moved back to my mother country where I attended University and achieved my Master’s Degree in Foreign Languages majoring in English Literature whereas my second major is in French Literature.
What I Do
I teach English as a foreign language since 2005, my first teaching experience brought me to tackle the profession in various Italian secondary schools. The education system in Italy is quite different from that of other countries, in fact there isn’t a “secondary school”, on the contrary there are many types: from vocational, to technical istitutes and academic ones focusing mainly on humanistic studies of various types. All of them give access to University studies and enjoy equal dignity. It goes without saying then that the teaching methods vary as well, in those schools in which the practical use of the language is more stessed the didactic is centred mostly on current events to enrich vocabulary and its oral communication skills. On the other hand, in schools where the highlight is set on the humanistic and academic side of education, history and literature become more relevant because the study of the language is rooted on its origins, even cultural ones that have, during the centuries, shaped those of many other countries in which it is still currently adopted as the official language till this day. The skills that need to be developed include them all: listening, speaking and writing as well. It is in one of such schools that I have been teaching full time since 2010.
Overcoming difficulties and learning to deal with them
Ignoring or underestimating the hardships does not empower our potential, on the contrary, it’s only when we become fully aware what we need to do to overcome our hardships and how to cope with them that we are fully in power. That is why when learning a foreign language the first step needs to be the deep understanding of its most basic mechanisms, once we learn how it works we are ready to discover and use to our advantage all its secrets. Step by step we learn to put together all the pieces of the puzzle and acquire that language proficiency that allows us to avoid misunderstandings. In a professional setting this is an excellent asset that also builds a good reputation, moreover it is a self-esteem booster as well.
Didactic Methods, but not only
Being bilingual Italian-English offers me the privilege of knowing first person all the challenges that learning a new language entails. I know how difficult it may be to acquire full language proficiency, especially when it comes to achieve the correct pronunciation and master intonation, along with all the nuances and subtleties of a language that is different from our mother tongue. That is why mastering a foreign language also means understanding the different linguistic registers connected to specific contexts, whether this means formal and strictly professional, or rather more relaxed and informal such as that free time and more friendly meetings might entail. It wouldn’t be fully correct to assume that English is an informal language, in many cases it’s rather a stereo type and learning the various registers enhances our knowledge of the language itself and how to use it properly and accordingly.
2000 – 2004
I supervised a group of translators at the Security Department of the US Navy at the US Naval Station at Sigonella, in Sicily. My specific role was also to make sure that the relationships between the local military and police forces with that of the Security Department were as smooth as possible constantly cooperating in many types of joint operations. I was able to accomplish such sensitive tasks thanks to my personal ability to get in touch with others, on the one side, but especially because of my knowledge of the US culture having grown up there and because of my deep knowledge and understanding of local culture being born in Italy, on the other.
Translator at Busi Impianti SpA, Bologna at the construction site of Sigonella
I translated all the technical documents (the work was very detailed and included all the specifications of every single component, machine or system used) regarding the electric, plumming and heating systems and of all its trial tests carried out on the buildings constructed by the CMC, Ravenna at the construction site of Sigonella for the US Navy.
Translator – US Navy – Sigonella
1998 – 2000
I assisted counsellors and psychiatrists of the US Navy Family Center and of the Mental Health Department of the US Navy Hospital of the USNAS Sigonella. Among the most important I signal out the following: I assisted as translator the head of the Mental Health department during the psychiatric evaluation of a military personell held in custody in an Italian jail, this specific evaluation was conducted at the presence and in collaboration of the court appointed Italian psychiatrist; the second case regards my assistance as translator and as liason officer between Catania’s Law School experts and the SJAG lawyers assisting the US Navy Hospital’s bioethic commission works regarding the US military personnel’s living will and if and how it could have been implemented in Italy according to its laws on the issue at the time of the works.
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