A man in a black turtleneck and tan jacket smiles at the camera

Academic Year Position: University of Chicago

Hometown: Pescara, Italy

Program/Level: 7-week Italian Immersion Program/Level 1

Summers Taught at the LS: 1 

Giovanni Minicucci earned his Master of Arts in Italian Studies (2022) from the Middlebury Language Schools before going on to teach at the “Scuola Italiana.” In addition to teaching Italian, he loves spending time with students, discovering their passions, and being the Master of Ceremonies of cultural events.

What do you hope your students take away from your classes at the Language Schools?

Teaching language is one of the most fascinating professions there is. Transmitting language and culture to interested students is the most rewarding thing for an instructor. My lessons are in continuous interaction with them, the beating heart of the Middlebury days. I hope that my students leave my classes not only with a deeper understanding of the Italian language itself, but also with a newfound confidence in their ability to communicate effectively. In addition to grammar and vocabulary, I aim to convey in them a passion for learning the language and an appreciation for cultural nuances. My goal is for them to leave with the skills and motivation to continue their language journey even after their classes are over, perhaps in Italy or simply because of their own personal desire.

A teacher speaks about Italian grammar at the blackboard.

What have you learned from your time teaching at the Language Schools?

There are so many things you learn from teaching at the Middlebury Language Schools. First and foremost, the students, as they are of different ages, allow you to learn about their abilities in learning the language. Being their mentor and language learning support makes you part of such a magical and special process that I’ve only seen happen here at Middlebury College. The thing I find most important and effective is the relationship you create with them, from morning to night, where they are not just mere students, but they all become part of the Italian School family, also teaching us instructors so much that we can always improve according to their needs and requirements.

A man stands with a microphone in front of a group of smiling students.

What is unique about language schools students/teaching at the language schools?

Teaching at the Language Schools is an enriching and unique experience on multiple levels. One of the most significant lessons I’ve learned is the importance of adaptability in teaching. Every student brings unique strengths and challenges to the classroom, and being able to adjust my teaching methods to suit their needs has been crucial. Additionally, I’ve learned the value of fostering a sense of community within the classroom. Building strong relationships with my students and colleagues has not only enhanced the learning environment but has also provided me with valuable insights and perspectives that have enriched my teaching practice. 

Overall, my time at the Language Schools has taught me the importance of flexibility, empathy, and collaboration in effective teaching.
Students stand at the blackboard with their teacher, smiling.
For me, every lesson is successful, if first and foremost I notice the smiles of my students at the end of the day.

What was surprising to you about teaching at the Language Schools?

One of the most amazing aspects of teaching at the Language Schools has been the level of dedication and enthusiasm that students have brought to their language learning journey from the very first day they arrived on campus. Seeing their genuine passion for mastering a new language was incredibly inspiring and motivating. In addition, I was pleasantly surprised by the strong sense of community between students and faculty. Also being Master of Ceremonies for some cultural events, I could see how the collaborative atmosphere fostered a supportive learning environment where everyone felt encouraged to take risks and grow.

Not only that, I want to remark that the constant support of the Director, colleagues and staff, who are always ready to help and make sure that the experience at the Italian School is always flawless in every little thing. 

Overall, the depth of involvement and sense of belonging within the community of the Language School and the Italian School in particular were truly remarkable and exceeded my expectations both as a former student and as a current language and cultural educator. Come and enjoy us for the Summer 2024 session! 

Apply here

Students attend a cooking class

Giovanni Minicucci is a Ph.D. student in Romance Languages and Literatures at The University of Chicago. He received a Master of Arts in Italian Studies (2022) from Middlebury College, VT and a Master of Arts in Spanish Language, Literature, and Culture (2023) from Syracuse University, NY, where he also taught Italian and Spanish. At the “Scuola Italiana” at Middlebury College in addition to teaching Italian, he loves spending time with students, discovering their passions, and being the Master of Ceremonies of cultural events.

Before obtaining his Masters, Giovanni completed his “Laurea” with honors at the University of Chieti-Pescara, Italy, specializing in Translation Studies, Linguistic Mediation, and Intercultural Communication in English and Spanish Studies (2020). He furthered his academic pursuits as an Exchange Scholar for two semesters at Nazareth University (NY) and gained diverse experiences in the languages, literatures, and linguistics field at American and Canadian universities, including St. John’s University (NYC, Queens), St. Thomas University (Miami), Occidental College (Los Angeles), and Niagara College (Welland, Ontario).

He is the Founder and Director of ITALengUSA, supported by the General Consulate of Italy in New York, where he has been coordinating a language exchange project between colleges and universities in the United States and Italy for four years.

Students gather round to discuss something on a laptop.