Meet Our English To-Go Teacher for the Summer, Giulia!

I'm picky when it comes to deciding on shoes and outfits, so when it was time to hire a summertime teacher for English To-Go at The English Schoolhouse, I expected it was going to take some time, and it did. I had a laundry list of requirements (and several interesting interviews and candidates--many people were fantastic) which included the following and more: smart, friendly, capable, experienced, punctual, good with children, good with adults, sane, creative, autonomous, honest...mother tongue. Giulia is all of these, except the last adjective. "Are you mother tongue?" I asked her over the phone prior to her first interview. "No..." she answered directly but in a very convincing British accent, "But I've lived in the UK and I studied there for quite some time." What can I say? I'm a sucker for British accents...and smart women. Giulia has been accepted into a Masters program at Oxford in the fall. Smart teacher = smart students. She got the interview, and it was clear shortly thereafter that she was the right person for the job. I offered her the position and she's been in training for more than a week. Read the interview below and consider having Giulia come to your home or office during the summer months for English lessons...she's just the person to do it!

Name: Giulia Gonzales

Age: 23

Where are you from and how long have you been in Rome? I am from Imperia, I arrived in Rome in January, 2013 (Sono d'Imperia e son arrivata a Roma a Gennaio 2013)

What are some of your favorite things to do in the city? Well....I know it's quite a cliche' but walking or cycling around Rome at whatever time, night or day, is just priceless! Then, Rome offers such a wide variety of concerts, exhibitions, aperitivi, lectures, plays...what else? (Be'....sto per dire una grande banalita' ma camminare o andare in bicicletta per Roma, a qualsiasi ora del giorno o della notte, e' davvero qualcosa di impagabile! In piu' la citta' ti offre una tale varieta' di concerti, esposizioni, aperitivi, conferenze, spettacoli...che altro?)

How many languages do you speak and which is your favorite? Why? I speak Italian, English, Spanish and French. I have different feelings towards English and Spanish. I love them both but for different reasons. Since I was young, I always loved to speak in English, pretending to speak it by myself...I ended up studying for my BA in English and this experience made me closer to this language and I appreciated it even more . My fascination with Spanish has a more visceral root: I lived in Peru for 5 months, I have family there and this gave me the chance to know this amazing country in a more authentic way...I can say that a piece of my heart is still there! (Parlo Italiano, Inglese, Spagnolo e Francese. Amo parlare sia l'Ingelse che Spagnolo, ma per ragioni molto diverse. Da quando ero bambina, mi e' sempre piaciuto parlare l'Inglese e mi divertivo moltissimo a parlare da sola un mio Inglese storpiato ed inventato. Sono poi finita a studiare in Inglese per il corso di laurea, e questa esperienza mi ha avvicinato ulteriormente alla lingua, facendomela apprezzare ancora di piu'. Il mio interesse per lo Spagnolo ha una radice molto piu' viscerale. Ho vissuto per 5 mesi in Peru. Laggiu' ho una parte della mia famiglia che mi ha permesso di conoscere questo splendido paese in una maniera piu' autentica...Posso dire di aver lasciato un pezzo del mio cuore laggiu'!)

How do you think kids learn languages best? In my experience, I've seen that the best way to learn a new language is by being immersed within it. Every language holds a completly different world, and you can discover it just by trying of using it instead of your original one. It takes time, as does everything in life that has to last. It makes no sense studying rules and nouns and not applying them to your life. You either embrace it or not, there is no middle-way. (Per quanto mi riguarda, essere immersa in una nuova lingua e' la maniera migliore per impararla. Tutte le lingue hanno mondi a se', diversi gli uni dagli altri, ed e' possibile scoprirli solamente praticando la lingua. Ci vorra' del tempo, ma come qualsiasi cosa nella vita che deve durare. Non ha molto senso studiare regole e nomi quando non si ha la possibilita' di applicarli direttamente alla tua vita personale. Vi sono due possibilita': o abbracci totalmente una nuova lingua, oppure non lo fai...non vi sono vie di mezzo.)

How do you think adults learn languages best? It depends. in Italy we are used to studying grammar. Personally I need to have a general picture of grammar structures when I approach a language. Then it is only applying it to my personal reality. But I know many friends of mine, with different learning backgrounds, who did not have such a need to know grammar when studying a new language. And the results were the same (Dipende. In italia siamo abituati a studiare la grammatica sin da piccoli, e personalmente, io ho bisogno di avere un'immagine generale delle strutture grammaticali quando mi avvicino ad una nuova lingua. Comunque, cio' che fa la differenza e' il metterla in pratica ed il parlarla. Molti miei amici pero', con backgrounds di apprendimento differenti, non sentono la necessita' di sapere la grammatica quando studiano una nuova lingua. Ed i risultati sono comunque gli stessi)

If you could speak any other language, what would it be? I would really love to learn Arabic. Or Greek, I find it so smooth and sweet! (Mi piacerebbe moltissimo imparare l'Arabo. O anche il Greco, la trovo una lingua cosi morbida e dolce!)

You could have gotten a job at any other language school. Why did you choose to work at The English Schoolhouse? Well, the initial feeling is the most important for me, and the English Schoolhouse - or better to say, Tamara- passed it! Moreover, I found myself agreeing with the learning principles and politics of this school. (Be', la prima impressione e' quella che conta e l'English Schoolhouse -o forse sarebbe meglio dire Tamara in persona- mi ha colpita molto positivamente! Inoltre, mi trovo d'accordo sui principi di insegnamento di questa scuola.)

What's your favorite children's book?
The other day I said to Tamara "Pinocchio" (wow, huge cliche' for an Italian!!!) or "Winnie the Pooh", but actually my favourites were Gianni Rodari with "Le favole al telefono" and Beatrix Potter with "Peter Rabbit" (L'altro giorno a questa domanda di Tamara ho risposto con "Pinocchio" (whao, che cliche' per un'Italiana!!) e "Winnie the Pooh" realta' credo fosser piu' Gianni Rodari "le favole al Telefono" e Beatrix Potter con "Peter Rabbit")

What song gets the most play on your iPod?
Thats a really tough question...the list could be endless...the evergreens are Devendra Banhart, Nina Simone, Bob Dylan, Elio e le Storie Tese (who I have seen twice in a week here, isn't it amazing??), Rino Gaetano...Sorry, I really couldn't get down to a single song! (Questa e' una domanda davvero lista potrebbe essere interminabile...gli intramontabili sono Devendra Banhart, Nina Simone, Bob Dylan, Elio e le Storie Tese (che ho visto ben due volte in una sola settimana qui a Roma, fantastico!!!) Rino Gaetano...Scusate, son stata proprio incapace di scegliere una sola canzone!!)
Have you ever been arrested? (Just kidding)
Mmmmmm...Would I still get the job??? (mmmmm manterrei comunque il lavoro???)
NO!!!! LOL!

What do you like to do in your spare time?
I like reading, walking/cycling around (in the nature or in the city), running, playing/listening to music, going to concerts, exhibitions, cooking (and eating of course!)... (Mi piace leggere, camminare/andare in bicicletta in giro (in citta' o nella natura), correre, suonare/ascoltare la musica, andare ai concerti, esposizioni, cucinare (e mangiare, ovviamente!)...

Anything else you'd like parents or your future adult students to know about you?
Well... actually would sound like "advertising myself" and I don't like anticipations, let's see which first impression I make on them! (In realta' no...allora mi sembrerebbe davvero di farmi una autocampagna pubblicitaria... nessuna anticipazione, vediamo che prima impressione faccio) 

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