Posted by: SSU Lingua Franca | April 23, 2011

Future Teachers of Italian in the US go to Italy, Now with Two Destinations

Future Teachers of Italian in the US go to Italy, Now with Two Destinations

By Anna Rocca, Department of Foreign Languages

Dean Jude Nixon, Dr. Anna Rocca, Dr. Carlo Cipollone

Dean Jude Nixon, Dr. Anna Rocca, Dr. Carlo Cipollone

In March of this year the Italian section of the Department of Foreign Languages at Salem State and the Network of Autonomous Schools of the Piedmont region, Italy, signed a second Memorandum of Understanding under the auspices of the Consulate General of Italy in Boston. The first one was signed with the Lombardy region last year. This new one in Piedmont opens a second teaching fellowship position for Salem State students of Italian.

The goal of these arrangements is to offer opportunities for language study and teacher training as well as for an understanding of Italian culture and traditions to students who are native speakers of English. This program is extremely generous, providing students with the following:

  • a monthly study scholarship of net 600 Euros to assist secondary school teachers of English,
  • a program of study, training and intercultural experience lasting from three to eight months
  • the opportunity to take courses at the local university
  • the possibility to take the exam for the CELI (Certificate of Knowledge of the Italian Language), accredited by the Perugia University for Foreigners;
  • an extremely affordable living arrangement; and
  • the transfer of the appropriate number of credits at SSU, according to the hours completed in Italy.
Gissette Polanco

Gissette Polanco

Besides the two officially granted positions for Salem State students, one in Lombardy and one in Piedmont, next year a third will be added. Thanks to Dr. Carlo Cipollone, former Director of the Office of Education at the Consulate General of Italy in Boston, and who is now serving in Rome as the liaison to schools in Piedmont, three students will leave for Italy in October 2011. Robbin Crandall and Gissette Polanco, both minoring in Italian, have been respectively assigned to two prestigious schools in the city of Biella and Verona, both provinces of Piemonte. Kathryn O’Connell, minoring in Foreign Languages, will learn in a few weeks which city and school in Lombardy she will be teaching in.

Robbin Crandall

Robbin Crandall

Reflecting on her experiences up to this point and the opportunity that awaits her, Robbin Crandall briefly talked about her studies and the attractiveness Biella holds for her, her husband, and Lily:

One of the very best things about attending Salem State University for me has been the variety of opportunities for study abroad programs in Europe.  As an Italian Minor, I attended a study program for a few weeks last summer in Florence, Italy, which was wonderful.  This October, I am incredibly excited to have been chosen for an internship teaching English high school students in Northern Italy, all made possible by Salem State and my wonderful Italian teacher, Dr. Anna Rocca.

My husband and I (along with Lily the Cat) will be going to a beautiful little town called Biella, in the Piedmont region, close to the France and Switzerland borders, where we will live for at least six months.  My husband and I both look forward to experiencing the Northern Italian culture, interacting with the wonderful people of the region, and learning more of the Italian language.

Unfortunately, I can’t speak for Lily the Cat.

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