Dr Giovanna Donzelli

I am tutor in Italian and Applied Linguistics at Swansea University.

I have a degree cum laude from the University of Urbino where I studied Italian, English and German languages and literatures in the Faculty of Lingue e Letterature Straniere Moderne. My graduation thesis was on translation of the play, ‘A scent of Flowers’, by James Saunders, whom I had the privilege to meet and interview in London in 1992.

I moved to the UK in 1998, where I started teaching Italian as a second language at Swansea University. My passion for languages and the growing number of unanswered questions which would emerge from my teaching practice led me towards further studies and research. In 2009, I completed a PhD in applied linguistics, on the acquisition of L2 vocabulary in formal instruction, where I investigated the foreign language input available to the learners in class comparing the words they hear with the words they learn.

Currently, I teach a range of theoretical and language modules in Linguistics and Italian, at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels.

Projects I currently coordinate:

‘The YA.com Scheme’ (the Year Abroad.com Scheme). This is a research project which investigates foreign language acquisition in the year abroad context in Italy. It attempts to qualify the relationship between the year abroad experience of third year UG students and the development of linguistic competence in Italian as a L2. It follows a pre-test -treatment (year abroad) - post-test design and focuses on analysis of morphosyntactic development and vocabulary gain in the target language. A second project, ‘Digital feedback in second language learning: The learner's view’, takes into account different types of feedback (e.g. ‘traditional’ feedback, audio and audio-visual feedback, peer- and self-assessment) and investigates the way they impact on the learner's motivation and level of commitment in the learning process.

Teaching

  • ALE203 Children as Language Learners

    This course covers a variety of topics related to foreign language instruction in the young language classroom. It offers a coherent theoretical framework to child development and language acquisition and it provides tools for the application of the theory to the teaching practice. Students will familiarize themselves with the concepts of rate of acquisition and ultimate attainment, acquisition and learning, natural and instructional settings in foreign language learning. They will discuss the role of picture-stories, songs and chants with young learners and strategies to develop reading and listening skills with children. A further important component of this course is its strong focus on employability through the development of teaching, lesson planning and group management skills. Students in this module will teach a maximum of two 50-minute teaching sessions. All practical teaching sessions will be delivered with video-conferencing, to children of different age groups, studying English as a foreign language in their home countries (i.e. Italy). Students will reflect on the differences between traditional face-to-face teaching and teaching with video-conferencing. No previous experience of computer-mediated technology is required.

  • ALEM34 Young Language Learners

    This is a module about young language learners and the way children acquire a second language in instructional settings. From the study of theories of child development, students will move on to the analysis of the classroom environment and focus on issues such as classroom management, resources and materials for the low level young learner classroom.

  • ENAM03 Young Language Learners

    This is a module about young language learners and the way children acquire a second language in instructional settings. From the study of theories of child development, students will move on to the analysis of the classroom environment and focus on issues such as classroom management, resources and materials for the low level young learner classroom.

  • ML-250 Teaching Modern Foreign Languages to Young Learners 2

    This course covers a variety of topics related to foreign language instruction in the young language classroom. It offers an introduction to the theoretical framework of child cognitive and linguistic development and it encourages students to identify ways in which the theories may inform the teaching practice. This is a combined Taught-Placement module, with a strong focus on employability. It provides students with practical teaching experience through 5 to 10 hours of group teaching in local primary or secondary schools and/or in schools abroad via video-conference. Students will be given the opportunity either to teach a language of their choice, among the ones studied in their degree programme, or English as a Foreign Language in the case of video-conferencing teaching. The students will learn how to structure a lesson plan, design or adapt materials which are suitable to the lesson¿s aims and objectives and age of learners. They will also acquire classroom management skills as well as important transferable and employability skills (i.e. organization, team work, confidence, taking charge of and pride in their own work, professionalism in dealing with the work environment, etc.) No previous experience of computer-mediated technology is required. Nevertheless, a pre-requisite for this module is that students have completed at least one 10 credit language module in the language they aim to teach.

  • ML-350 Teaching Modern Foreign Languages to Young Learners 3

    This course covers a variety of topics related to foreign language instruction in the young language classroom. It offers an introduction to the theoretical framework of child cognitive and linguistic development and it encourages students to identify ways in which the theories may inform the teaching practice. This is a combined Taught-Placement module, with a strong focus on employability. It provides students with practical teaching experience through 5 to 10 hours of group teaching in local primary or secondary schools and/or in schools abroad via video-conference. Students will be given the opportunity to either teach a language of their choice, among the ones studied in their degree programme, or English as a Foreign Language in the case of video-conferencing teaching. The students will learn how to structure a lesson plan, design or adapt materials which are suitable to the lesson¿s aims and objectives and age of learners. They will also acquire classroom management skills as well as important transferable and employability skills (i.e. organization, team work, confidence, taking charge of and pride in your own work, professionalism in the place of work, etc.) No previous experience of computer-mediated technology is required. Nevertheless, a pre-requisite for this module is that students have completed at least one 10 credit language module in the language they intend to teach.

  • MLI140 Languages for All - Italian 1

    Students will be able to gain basic knowledge within the A1 level of the Council of Europe scale in reading, writing, listening, and speaking in Italian, and using Italian in an effective way in everyday situations.

  • MLI141 Languages for All - Italian 2

    Students will be able to gain basic knowledge within the A1 level of the Council of Europe scale in reading, writing, listening, and speaking in Italian, and using Italian in an effective way in everyday situations.

  • MLI160A Italian Language 1A

    This module is the foundation of advanced level study of Italian which will equip students with the skills needed to use Italian in everyday situations and professional environments appropriate to level B1 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). The module aims to consolidate and extend the language skills developed by students at A level (or equivalent) and to facilitate their progress in linguistic competence. It concentrates on developing fluency and accuracy in written and spoken Italian, establishing a firm grammatical understanding of the language, and extending students' vocabulary in order to read, write, interpret and speak about issues related to contemporary Italian society and culture. The module aims to enhance students' employability by providing a grounding in the vocabulary and use of Italian in contexts relating to the world of work. Classes are mainly conducted in Italian. It is typically taken in conjunction with MLI160B.

  • MLI160B Italian Language 1B

    This module is the foundation of advanced level study of Italian which will equip students with the skills needed to use Italian in everyday situations and professional environments appropriate to level B2 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). The module aims to consolidate and extend the language skills developed by students at A level (or equivalent) and in MLI160A and to facilitate their progress in linguistic competence. It concentrates on further developing fluency and accuracy in written and spoken Italian, establishing a firm grammatical understanding of the language, and extending students' vocabulary in order to read, write, interpret and speak about issues related to contemporary Italian society and culture. The module aims to enhance students' employability by providing a grounding in the vocabulary and use of Italian in contexts relating to sustainability. Classes are mainly conducted in Italian. It is typically taken in conjunction with MLI160A.

  • MLI260A Italian Language 2A

    This module aims at building on the skills and knowledge acquired in the first year of study, and will equip students with the skills needed to use Italian in more complex concrete and abstract social and professional environments appropriate to level B2 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). It concentrates on developing fluency and accuracy in written and spoken Italian, so that the student can interact with a degree of fluency and spontaneity that makes regular interaction with native speakers quite possible without strain for either party. It also aims at establishing a firm grammatical understanding of the language, and extending students¿ vocabulary to read, write, interpret and debate (explaining a viewpoint, giving independent advantages and disadvantages of various options) about topical issues related to contemporary Italian society and culture. Moreover, the module aims to enhance students¿ employability by systematically developing a personal professional career planning portfolio, providing a sound insight into the world of work. Classes will be conducted mainly in Italian.

  • MLI260B Italian Language 2B

    This module builds on and consolidates the skills and knowledge acquired in MLI260A by concentrating on further developing fluency and accuracy in written and spoken Italian. This module aims to build on and consolidate the skills and knowledge acquired in MLI260A. It concentrates on further developing fluency and accuracy in written and spoken Italian appropriate to level B2 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). It specifically aims at preparing the students for their Year Abroad and/or extend inter-cultural awareness, widening students¿ vocabulary to read, write and do presentations about topics related to Italy. The module also aims to enhance students¿ employability, by training them to do a successful presentation using appropriate IT applications. Classes will be conducted mainly in Italian.

  • MLI270A Intermediate Italian Language 2A

    This module is the foundation of advanced level study of Italian which will equip students with the skills needed to use Italian in everyday situations and professional environments appropriate to level B1 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). The module aims to consolidate and extend the language skills developed by students in their beginners' Italian modules and to facilitate their progress in linguistic competence. It concentrates on further developing fluency and accuracy in written and spoken Italian, establishing a firm grammatical understanding of the language, and extending students' vocabulary in order to read, write, interpret and speak about issues related to contemporary Italian society and culture. The module aims to enhance students' employability by providing a grounding in the vocabulary and use of Italian in contexts relating to the world of work. Classes are mainly conducted in Italian. It is typically taken in conjunction with MLI270B.

  • MLI301A Italian General Language 3A

    A structured programme of mutually-supporting activities and exercises undertaken in class and privately is designed to develop and sharpen your skills in understanding and producing accurate, fluent and written Italian. Furthermore, this module offers practice and development of skills in translation from Italian (target language) to English, productive skills; writing in Italian (with a particular focus on essay writing) and speaking, as well as general communication skills. Writing and speaking classes will give you practice in the exercises covered by the module, and will be supported by a series of grammar workshop that will reinforce your existing grammatical knowledge as well as introducing new concepts.

  • MLI301B Italian General Language 3B

    This module offers practice and development of skills in translation from English to Italian (target language) and in the use of register in speaking and communicating in the target language. Writing and oral classes will give you practice in the exercises covered by the module and help you consolidate your theoretical knowledge of the Italian grammar, vocabulary and register.

  • MLTM07 Interpreting - Health Option & Introduction to Conference Interpreting

    This module will develop strategies and techniques to perform Sight Translation (L1 into L2 and L2 into L1), Bilateral Consecutive (including Telephone Interpreting), Conference Consecutive, and Simultaneous-Whispering modes of Interpreting. The contexts are Health issues and Current Affairs, covering a selection of topics in the following areas: Structure of the NHS and the equivalent National Health Services in the other countries studied; General Practice, Physiology and Professionals: The Role of the GP & The Role of the Consultants; A&E cases; Diseases: Symptoms, Diagnosis and Prognosis (conditions and diseases of the Circulatory, Digestive, Respiratory, Reproductive and Urinary Systems); Mental Health and Current Affairs related to Health issues of the cultures involved (Language 1 & Language 2). There will be a mixture of lectures on Interpreting Theory, live sessions, and Language Laboratory practical sessions using the latest technology to enhance your learning. The assessment will be an Essay (30%) and a Practical Exam in the Language Laboratory (70%). A wide range of materials will be available on Blackboard to practice the different modes of interpreting in your own time. This module will also prepare you for the Diploma in Public Service Interpreting (Health), examined by the Chartered Institute of Linguists (CIoL). This is optional and will take place in June every year (Registration by February; CIoL fee applies). Successful candidates will also be encouraged to apply to the European Commission Directorate General for Interpretation placement and freelance opportunities.

Supervision

  • 'A multidimesnional study of English Collocations in an EFL context' (current)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Prof Jim Milton