Anna Paoli

    1.     Where, when and how did you start learning a second language?

    Age 13, when I attended a private, strict Foreign Language specialized high school

    2.     What did you find difficult about learning a second language? How did you try to overcome those difficulties?

    My school largely relayed on the Grammar Translation method and I was thrown in at the deep end having studied only French up to then and I was literally rescued by a (German!) teacher who brought me up (linguistically) with the Audio-Lingual method. This given approach offered a model of language competence based on transformation drills and although it later suffered a severe blow in favour of more communicative approaches, it supplied me with extremely solid basis for both the First and the Proficiency exams, which I prepared and successfully sat in Cambridge (U.K.)


    3.     Did you learn the language successfully? Why/ why not?

    From that time on my various teacher training courses which I took part in, being part of my academic training at University for my degree and my M.A, spanned several approaches, methods, techniques which all shared the same notion that “Language is Communication.

    However, as I developed as a teacher, the way I related to methodology also evolved, I currently find myself rather eclectic in my choices of what to do in my classroom. I therefore tend to exclude one single method in favour of macro strategies which picking from various approaches and their related methods are to guarantee the maximation of learning opportunities, foster language awareness, promoting at the same time learner autonomy.

    So I’d say Yes, It’s still a long but fascinating journey.