Welcome everyone... Hello there!
Here I am, your personal tour guide in front of a pyramid at Giza, in Egypt. Ok, this was taken some years ago when I worked as a tour manager on board the Costa Eugenio cruiseliner. As you can see, travel is one of my passions! It broadens the mind and enables you to experience different cultures, languages, types of food, music... I encourage you all to take the time to travel, to meet people, and speak their languages.
I was born in Redditch, the UK which is a new town outside Birmingham in the Midlands, and not far from Stratford-on-Avon, (Shakespeare's birth town). I graduated in Modern Languages (Italian, French, and German) from Leicester University in 1988. During my gap year, I was an assistant English teacher in Vienna, Austria and collaborated with two high schools in the city.
Following my graduation in 1988, I accepted a one-year Japanese Ministry of Education (Mombusho) teaching post in Japan where I was a "JET" language assistant in 2 high schools in a beautiful town called Kurashiki (Okayama-ken).
After my year of adventure in Japan, I returned to Europe and then accepted a teaching post at a language institute in Padova. I have also worked as an executive secretary and public relations officer for two important multinational companies in and outside Padova. My experience also includes 6 months as a tour manager for Costa Crociere cruiseliners which took me as far as Egypt, Israel, Morocco, Spain, Portugal, and Greece.
In 1998 I started working as a language assistant ("collaboratore esperto linguistico" or CEL), mainly working at the Science Faculties (MMFFNN, Agricultural Sciences, and Engineering). I have been keen on developing online Web materials and courses with the help of technologies, which has inspired me to become a member of EUROCALL, the European Association for Computer-Assisted Language Learning.
How can I forget Leila Arianna, my bi-lingual daughter born in July 2006? She is always an amazing source of inspiration, and she never fails to surprise me and astound me. Thank you, Leila, for coming into my world!
I love playing music and play the piano accordion, the piano, and electric organ. With my daughter, Leila, I try to dedicate as much time as possible to playing percussion instruments, especially the African drums and bongos.
Cycling is another passion, and cooking ethnic food (Indian, Chinese, British fish 'n' chips wink !!!) for my family and friends. I love street festivals and ethnic shops and rummaging through second-hand markets and car-boot sales. I admit to being a lover of Facebook, YouTube, TED Talks, BBC Learning English and Twitter.