I am Martina Zandonella, I am Italian and I have lived in the USA since 2013. Before moving here I have studied in top British Universities and worked in private and public schools the UK. With a Post Graduate Degree in Secondary Education, Languages, I have acquired the pedagogical knowledge of teaching, on top of my prior experience in schools. I am passionate about languages because they open may doors in the worlds and allow better communication, essential in every field. I particularly enjoy teaching Italian, my mother tongue, and Spanish. I tailor-make the lessons to better fit my students and I use variety of techniques including visual, auditory and kinesthetic (movement). I believe each students need to find their most successful learning methods, they need to learn by doing and they should have fun in order to achieve the best results.
In my spare time I love photography, the outdoors, in particular climbing and mountaineering. I teach skiing and lead expeditions for young people.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Bristol University - Bachelors, Economics and Politics
Graduate Degree: Bristol University - Masters, International Relations
Climbing, Mountaineering, skiing, photography, international relations, economics
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
I believe every lesson should be engaging and challenging for the students. The teacher should be knowledgeable and interested in sharing such knowledge and caring towards the students.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
During the first lesson, I present the student with a variety of materials to better understand their preferred learning method. I would like to establish a relationship and find out the learning aims of the student.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
Learning methods are very important to understand. I help the student to find out how they best assimilate information and give them the tools to research and solve problems on their own.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Mid-way goals make any mountain manageable. Look at the next goal, and do not get overwhelmed with it all.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I try to present in a different way to make the student tick.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
Underlying key information, summaries, and explaining, at voice, to the tutor are some of the possible methods.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
This depends on the aim of the student, but, in general, fun and engagement are always successful.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
By finding a way that better connects to the student. For example, if they are struggling with history, find an event that still has a repercussion to this day.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
Assessment for learning is regularly done throughout the lessons. Just a show of thumbs up or answering a question on the topic mid-lesson gives me an idea about the understanding.