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Advanced Language & Culture

Adult advanced courses (C1–C2) typically have previous-level courses as prerequisites.

CLICK HERE for more about levels and curriculum.

$320.00

Categories: , , , , ,
Categories: , , , , ,

Advanced Language & Culture

Adult advanced courses (C1–C2) typically have previous-level courses as prerequisites.

CLICK HERE for more about levels and curriculum.

$320.00

Categories: , , , , ,

Instructors

Valentina Asciutti

Valentina Asciutti was born in Pescara, the city of flamboyant Italian poet and writer Gabriele D’Annunzio, a lovely town on the Adriatic Coast, in the Abruzzo region. As the Italian diplomat and journalist Primo Levi said after visiting Abruzzo in 1882: “dopo aver visitato e conosciuto l’Abruzzo, dico io: Abruzzo Forte e Gentile”. “Forte e Gentile” has since then become the motto of the region as it best describes the beauty of the region and the character of its people.

Valentina’s background is in Classics. She attended Liceo Classico in her hometown and proceeded to receive a BA in Classics at Università di Chieti. In 2003 she moved to the United Kingdom where she completed a Master of Arts at Durham University and then moved to London where she was awarded a PhD in Classics at King’s College London. After completing her PhD she embraced the new and cutting edge Digital Humanities field, learning how to best apply modern technologies, software tools and digital methods to the study of Humanities, in particular Latin, Classical Literature, History and Archaeology.  She was a Research Associate at the Department of Digital Humanities at King’s College London for five years before moving to the US. Valentina has been tutoring children and adults in Latin and Ancient Greek since she was a high-school student and is very passionate about teaching and communicating with her students.

She joined the Italian Cultural Society when she moved to Bethesda three years ago. She has  been contributing with the editing, writing and translating articles for the monthly newsletter Poche Parole and has recently joined the instructors team after completing a course on “Contemporary Italian and teaching it as a foreign language”.

She loves traveling, cooking, eating, and street art among many other things.

Nicoletta Nencioli Aiken

Born in the medieval town of Treviso in the Northeast of Italy, Nicoletta Nencioli Aiken is a journalist,author and teacher.  She comes from a long line of educators, professors and writers, her parents and grandparents have been linguistics and literature teachers.  Ms Nencioli Aiken remembers her earliest Italian-teaching experience – helping her mother review the students’ compositions.  A passion for the humanities brought her to study at the ‘Liceo Classico’ of Treviso, followed by the study of Law at the University of Rome, and Italian literature through ICON.

While in Rome, the call to write led her to pursue a career in journalism where she worked as a writer for the Italian public radio/television RAI and a reporter for several news and literary outlet.  Upon receiving her professional journalist credentials,  she moved to the US in 1992 where she worked for the Venice newspaper ‘Il Gazzettino’ until 2009.  She continues her journalistic work for the main Italian News Service (ANSA), reporting daily on wide range of topics.  Ms Nencioli Aiken in 2008  authored ‘Making out in Italian’  for Tuttle Publishing, a fun guide to the language of Italy as it is actually spoken. After tutoring in italian language and culture american friends and family, she now teaches italian at ICS. In her free time, she can be seen flying back and forth between Washington DC and Venice,bicycling  and speaking Italian to her American husband..

Sofia Caligiuri

I am an Italian-Naturalized American artist who lives and works in the Metropolitan Area of Washington DC.

I was born in Calabria, Italy, and later moved to Rome where I studied as a painter at the Academy of Fine Arts under Alberto Ziveri.  My favorite teachers included Fiorella Diamantini and Arnoldo Ciarrocchi, an exquisite Master Etcher who also taught Maccari.  We used to have etching lessons on Saturday mornings, while eating pizza bianca sprinkled with oil and salt accompanied by a couple sips of wine.  In this way, students enjoyed both intellectual and physical nourishment. I remember that it felt like a mystical experience each time. I illustrated several journals in Italy. Published two books “Le Novellette” Artemide Edizioni, Roma Italy 2004 and “The Fief, a story of love and other virtues” Artemide Edizioni, 2002 Roma, Italy.

I have held exhibitions of my work in Italy and in the United States.My imagery emphasizes the idea that the impermanence of all phenomena underlies the search for the meaning of life. Therefore, I follow memories and thoughts as Traces that ultimately will bring me to find Evidences of how my life developed and what type of evolution I experienced.  In other terms, my work is a tool that I use to get to know myself better and especially to discover what kind of mission I have in this life and fully develop my own potential.

Silvana De Luca

Silvana was born in Acqui Terme, a small city in Piedmont, famous for its thermal bath since Roman times. In high school she went through the classical curriculum, but she chose a scientific career at the
University of Pavia. In the United States she worked as a biochemist at Tufts Medical School in Boston doing research on cartilage components, and continuing the same research at the National Institutes of Health. After almost 20 years as a scientist she changed career and became an instructor of Italian at the Foreign Service Institute, the language school of the Department of State, where currently she teaches American diplomats posted to Italy. After joining the Italian Cultural Society and serving in its Board of Directors, Silvana became involved with the Language Program at ICS for which she teaches a variety of courses. Silvana finds great satisfaction in her profession and loves to promote Italian language and culture. With her husband Luigi she instituted awards for young scholars in music, art and classical languages. Silvana has two children and three lovely grand-daughters with whom she shares the love for the wonderful country that is Italy.

Cristiana Fabiani

Cristiana Fabiani was born and raised in Rome, Italy. Currently with over ten years teaching experience, Ms. Fabiani’s origins had her attend La Sapienza University in Rome, where she received both her Bachelors and her Masters degrees in International Studies. In 1992 Ms. Fabiani moved to the United States to work as a journalist for the Agence France Presse in Washington DC. She did this for ten years until she decided teaching was her true calling and in 2002 Ms. Fabiani switched careers to start teaching at the Italian Cultural Society’s language program. She has been with the institution ever since, helping to promote Italian culture through education. During this time Ms. Fabiani obtained her teacher certification in Italian from the state of Maryland, and from 2006 to 2011 also taught Italian at Tilden middle school in Rockville, MD. Aside from Italian she is fluent in English, French and Spanish. When not teaching Ms. Fabiani enjoys figure skating, cooking (Italian food) and writing. She currently resides in Maryland.

Antonella Salvatore Pellegrino

Antonella Salvatore studied classics in Italy where she earned her university degree. “I attended specialized courses for teaching Italian to foreigners at the Universita’ Ca’ Foscari in Venice, the Universita’ per Stranieri in Perugia, and at George Mason University in VA. I have been teaching Italian here in the Washington area since 2005 in which time I have taught college courses at American University, adult courses for the Italian Cultural Society, and courses for native Italian-speaking children at the middle school level.” She adds, “I have a great passion for the Italian language and its literature deepened since my school days at the Orazio Flacco Classical high school. (Flacco is the poet who coined “Carpe diem” to mean “take heed!” or “seize the day!” and who was born not far from my home town in Basilicata.) “I love my work and the language of “that beautiful country where the use of “si” for yes resounds!” (Dante Alighieri, Inferno, Canto XXXIII). She lives in DC with her husband Roberto and her daughter Elena.

Dario Penzo

Instructor, Marketing & Events Coordinator

Born and raised in Chioggia, an island in the Venetian Lagoon, Dario is an archaeologist and Italian teacher with a Bachelor’s degree in Cultural Heritage Conservation (2012) and a Master’s degree in Archaeology (2015) from the University Ca’ Foscari of Venice. He spent his academic years between Italy, Belgium and the United States before moving permanently to the DC area at the end of 2017.

Dario started his teaching career training archaeology students while working for the Ca’ Foscari University Anthropology Laboratory. He also had experience as substitute teacher for the Italian public school system, where he taught Italian language, literature, history, art and art history to students between 9 and 14 years old.

His passion for cultural heritage and Italian history was useful for his research studies, which allowed him to publish papers in Italian archaeological journals and present his theses’ research at the Green Templeton College of the University of Oxford.

Dario joined the Italian Cultural Society in Fall 2018, an opportunity that has helped him use his passions to promote real Italian culture in America. He was elected Secretary of the Board in 2020.

Camilla Presti-Russell

Born in Verona, Italy, Laurea in lettere, Università di Padova. Taught lettere in High School in Verona. Taught Italian at Boston University, at the Centro Internazionale di Studi, Verona, at the University of Maryland, College Park. Has been teaching for the Italian Cultural Society, Language Program since 2003.
Married with two grown children and six grand children.

Felicia Toscano

Director of the ICS Music School

Felicia Toscano is a classical guitarist, from Taranto, Italy. She started taking guitar lessons since she was 10 with Master Duilio Bellone.

She is a teaching veteran in  several County Public Schools in Italy . She holds a National Board Certified teacher of Italian for elementary school (2006). She holds Certificate  ICon AP Italian Language and Culture as a Tutor. She taught Italian language at G. Tosi elementary school, D. Purificato Elementary and Middle school , and Gramsci school  in Rome.

She entered the local Conservatorio “G. Paisiello” in Taranto  (which is Paisiello’s native town) ranking first among the entrance exam candidates. In Taranto, she studied with Master Pino Forresu, graduating in 1999 with a Masters Degree in Music. Than she studied Musical Interpretation with Senio and Alirio Diaz. She got a Permanent Certification as Music Teacher for Public Schools at “Roma 3” University in Rome.

She graduated as Orff-Schulwerk Teacher Education at S.I.M.E.O.S. School in Verona, and she attended Music Therapy Courses in Assisi (PG). She moved to Rome and she taught in several Public Middle and High Schools. She was on the board of private music schools and cultural associations such as “Music Risonanze Association” Rome – EUR and “Music and Arts Association” Fonte Laurentino – EUR.

From 2015 to 2017, she taught as Adjunct Guitar Professor at the Conservatorio Santa Cecilia of Rome. She was a volunteer teacher in the Down Syndrome children association in Rome and the Spastic Association in Taranto. In the course of her career, she has been awarded many first-place prizes in national and international guitar classic and folk music competitions: Spanish Music Festival of Puglia, Music Festival “Baroque City”, Guitar Festival of Fiuggi, Great Jubilee of 2000, International Competition Ferrero Luigi Riva dei Tessali, and European Music Competition “Pythagoras.”

Felicia formed several artistic partnerships with Spanish orchestras such as Acords Joves Orchestra de Montilivi Girona directed from Euken Master Imanol Ledesma. She appeared on stage both as soloist and with orchestras and various chamber ensembles. She is a highly distinguished and well-known seminar senior lecturer in the area of Mediterranean rites and guitar music analysis.

With her innovative and lively approach to music education, Felicia Toscano founded and directed Canarios Guitar Orchestra, which she conducted in several concerts, competitions, and performances. Felicia believes in fostering a tuneful, beautiful, artful learning community based on music education, and works as a concert performer and teacher in Italy and US. She also has a certification to teach in elementary, middle and high schools in Italy.

She lives in Bethesda, Maryland.

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