Since 2013, I taught a wide variety of courses, both language and culture, in the face-to-face, blended, and online formats, in the US as well as in Italy.

Teaching is an incredibly multifaceted and inspiring profession. The rapport between teachers and students is one of exchange, which is beneficial to both and allows each to experience personal and professional growth. In foreign language classes students do not only learn grammar and factual knowledge about the language itself, but they also gain insight into cultural alterity; therefore, teachers are required to act as cultural mediators and translators, in order to ease students into a different, unfamiliar mindset. In all my classes, I provide the cultural context to understand and interpret Italian social behaviors and create a classroom environment that easily allows to compare practices and perspectives in Italy and students’ native countries. This classroom environment allows students to gain a better understanding of the world and of themselves, developing open-mindedness and self-awareness. 

My teaching philosophy enforces the communicative method; drawing from authentic and current materials, I design engaging activities that enable students to learn, exchange ideas, and express themselves in Italian. I cultivate students’ critical thinking by means of examining and evaluating cultural and social events in Italy, drawing on a variety of points of view, and stressing the importance of historical contextualization. Furthermore, I offer students the chance to engage with non-common sources, such as Italian comics, to foster an interdisciplinary approach to Italian culture as well as the development of multimodal literacy, which is increasingly necessary to comprehend and navigate contemporary communication. 

The University of Chicago, Assistant Instructional Professor, 2020-current

Corso di perfezionamento – online; blended (autumn 2020, 2021)

Italian Language, History, and Culture III – online; blended (spring 2021, 2022)

Italian Language, History, and Culture II – online; blended (winter 2022)

Beginning Elementary Italian III – online; blended (spring 2021, 2022)

Beginning Elementary Italian II – online; blended (winter 2021, 2022)

Beginning Elementary Italian I – online; blended (autumn 2020, 2021)

Indiana University, Visiting Lecturer, 2018-2019                                             

Italian Reading & Expression: “Comics and 20th century Italy: a Parallel History” (spring 2019)   

Italian Conversation & Diction: “Italian culture through contemporary films” (fall 2018)

Intermediate Italian II – blended (spring 2019; fall 2018)                                               

Elementary Italian I – blended (fall 2018)

Indiana University, Graduate Assistant, 2018

Topics in Italian Culture: “Cultures of the Renaissance” (spring 2018)

Indiana University, Associate Instructor, 2013-2017                                       

Italian Conversation & Diction in Florence (summer 2016; summer 2017)  

Elementary Italian I in Florence – blended (summer 2017)

Elementary Italian I – blended (fall 2016)

Italian Conversation & Diction: “Italian culture through contemporary films” (fall 2016)

Intermediate Italian II in Florence (summer 2016)                       

Intermediate Italian I in Florence (summer 2016)

College of Arts and Science Critical Approaches: “Cloak and Dagger: Literary Criticism of Detective Novels” – discussion sections (spring 2016)  

Accelerated Elementary Italian – blended (fall 2015)           

Elementary Italian II – online (fall 2015)

Elementary Italian I (fall 2013; spring 2014)

Sara was always EXTREMELY well prepared. She always had ppts with discussion topics/grammar exercises. She also was very thoughtful in her selection of reading materials. She also gave very thorough feedback on each assignment! (ITAL 204, Autumn 2021, UChicago)

Sara is an extremely personable and friendly professor who created an amazing learning environment in which she was always on hand to help with anything. (ITAL 204, Autumn 2020, UChicago)

I really enjoyed Professor Dallavalle as a teacher! I took Spanish for about 7 years, but no teacher has truly sparked my interest in the language as the way Professor Dallavalle did. She was very engaging and encouraged us to speak in Italian during class, which I think helped me have a deeper immersion and application of Italian outside of a classroom setting. I feel encouraged to develop my skills in Italian even more thanks to her. (ITAL 101, Autumn 2021, UChicago)

I can’t say enough good things about Sara. It’s truly remarkable how dedicated she is to teaching; it shines through in her meticulous lesson planning and passion for sharing her knowledge. (ITAL 203, Spring 2021, UChicago)

Sara is extremely passionate about this topic and it shows in the class. I was hesitant at first taking a class about comic books, but Sara really did an incredible job making me realize that a culture can be represented through the works of the time. I grew to love the comics and I am even more excited to read them on my own. The fact that we were able to learn Italian history and culture of the late 19th, 20th and early 21st century through comics is quite amazing. I loved the class, thank you! (M301, Spring 2019, IU)

Sara was always prepared and there is never a lull in the class, she is always engaging and wants us all to succeed. I love this class even if my grade isn’t the best and I still enjoy it I think that says something about how great of a teacher Sara is. She pushes us to work hard but still has fun. (M250, Fall 2018, IU)

Sara Dallavalle was an excellent professor. She was super enthusiastic and very dedicated. She was reliable and helpful. (M100, Fall 2018, IU)