Q & A with Rita Peroni, Italian teacher

VSL Italian teacher Rita Peroni

VSL Italian teacher Rita Peroni

I’ve been working at VSL, Distance Education for more than 20 years.

Lately, I’ve been … working on developing a new Practice Exam kit for VCE Italian students. The kit will contain two mock written papers and accompanying CDs.

The most important thing I try to take to work each day … is an open mind and a sense of humour.

What I love most about teaching is … contributing, even in a minor way, to the personal growth and development of my students.

My advice to parents is… Micromanaging your children may do more harm than good. It goes against natural development and may actually impede them from learning how to handle themselves in the real world.

pinocchio1-0ec0eThe book that changed my life is … Pinocchio, by Carlo Collodi. It’s the first book I remember my father reading to my sister and I when we were little girls, in the original language. I was completely captivated by Pinocchio’s many adventures and looked forward, each night, to the next instalment. This early exposure to literature and the Italian language helped seal my fate. My love of the Italian language led me to become a teacher and I’m an avid reader and collector of fine books.

The most inspirational figures in my life are … my parents. I greatly admire their strength and courage in leaving their beloved country to come to a completely foreign land, on the other side of the world, overcoming great obstacles and hardships, in search of a better life.

The food I love best is … the traditional southern Italian “peasant” food that I grew up with. This cuisine is based on simple dishes with an emphasis on home-grown seasonal fruit and vegetables, legumes, pasta (yum!!) and olive oil, accompanied by a glass of red wine.

I don’t really have a favourite TV show … but I do like those period dramas like Downton Abbey. I find particularly interesting, the period details such as the costumes, architecture and interiors, customs and language as well as the historical context.

A website I visit regularly is www.italymagazine.com – Here you will find a glossy on-line magazine covering every aspect of Italian life and culture.

I enjoy all types of music … but the music I most like to listen to is Blues and Jazz piano.

If I had to choose my favourite artist … I would probably have to name Salvador Dalí. I find his bizarre dream-line images intriguing. Among my favourites are those from the Man of La Mancha suite and those depicting scenes from Dante’s Divine Comedy, which I find sublime.

When I visit Italy I love to … visit museums and historic sites and eat lots of fresh mozzarella di bufala and anything with truffles.

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