Author Spotlight: John Giovanelli

Among his many other accomplishments, John Giovanelli is the chairperson of the World Languages Department at West Warwick High School in Rhode Island where he has been teaching Italian and Spanish for over twenty years. He is the co-author of Chiarissimo Uno and Chiarissimo Due.

Learn more about Chiarissimo Uno and Chiarissimo Due.

We recently had the opportunity to ask John a few questions about himself and teaching. Here's what he had to say: 

What advice would you have for a novice teacher?

Join and become an active member of local, state, and national professional organizations for the languages you are teaching. In addition, find and work with a mentor, colleague, or former teacher in your languages that you admire and feel comfortable with and use the time together to plan, share ideas and materials on all aspects of language teaching. 

What aspect of your teaching are you constantly working to improve–and how do you do it?

I believe in constantly updating and improving all my class assessments every year. I take the assessment in advance, just as a student would, and proof it multiple times for content, answers, and wording before it is administered.

In 20 words or less, what is your favorite part of teaching languages?

Interacting with students in Italian and getting them excited about the language, culture, history, and literature.

What exercise do your students enjoy the most in class?

My students love hearing me tell stories in Italian about things that happened in my childhood, my travels, when I lived and studied abroad, memorable language moments, and cultural events and celebrations that have been part of my life.

What’s the biggest challenge in teaching Italian, and how do the Chiarissimo books address that challenge?

The biggest challenge is always student oral communication in Italian. Chiarissimo Uno and Chiarissimo Due give students numerous opportunities in every sito to interact together and practice the language using current and recycled grammar and vocabulary. Students converse using topics that are practical to them and to which they have a direct connection in their everyday lives.