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  4. Social savvy makes for innovative approach to English teaching

Social savvy makes for innovative approach to English teaching

Federica Del Zotto puts her Aussie experience at service of learners too

(ANSA) - ROME, MAR 4 - Federica Del Zotto has many strings to her bow.
    A qualified journalist, the 33-year-old has the curiosity of a seasoned reporter and the capacity to take complex concepts and present them in an easy-to-grasp way.
    As a young woman who grew up in the digital age, she is totally at home communicating on social media.
    And, although Italian is her mother tongue, she has native-level English after living in Brisbane, Australia, and studying at university there.
    She has combined these skills and experiences to develop an innovative approach to teaching English that takes advantage of the opportunities presented by social media and is tailored to the needs of Italian learners.
    "My method is based on making learning a language a fun and dynamic moment thanks to social media," Del Zotto told ANSA.
    "Italians often think that it is not important to know grammar well to get by in English, but this is not true.
    "I want my students to learn verbs, structures, vocabulary, expressions based on real life situations.
    "Unfortunately, students in Italy have very little chance to practice during their study career.
    "They rarely speak English during class and, for this reason, they find themselves in difficulty when they travel or have to use it for work".
    Del Zotto, who is originally from the northeastern city of Udine but now lives in Rome, developed her approach almost by chance.
    After working for several years as translator, teacher and language consultant for businesses, she started posting videos on social media during one of Italy's COVID-19 lockdowns in 2020.
    It was meant purely as a way to help people pass the time by improving or keeping up their English. The videos were a big success and her Instagram account @english_lessons_for_everyone now has around 80,000 followers.
    "Social media allows for a lighter and less stressful approach to language study," she said.
    "The student does not feel judged as he or she might feel in a classroom, but is inclined to learn something new.
    "Theoretical contents explained through an amusing video can be better fixed in the mind thanks to the visual component.
    "Furthermore, the community that is generated through social media can be of great help for people who need to be motivated by others".
    She is now about to present a new book, Easy Speaking, that gives students an additional tool and again harnesses her approach based on solid grammar but also featuring lots of 'streetwise' tips on how native speakers use the language "I'm getting a lot of positive comments about the content of the book and my different approach to teaching English," Del Zotto said.
    "It can be useful for all levels, from beginner to advanced.
    "People especially appreciate this book because I have included many practical tips on how to improve their English on their own, without needing to attend a class every week". (ANSA).


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