Hello everyone! My name is Elena Polisca and I am Senior Teaching Associate in Italian in DeLC. I am also the Department's Admissions Officer.
I am new to the University and joined Lancaster in September 2018. It’s very exciting to join a new institution and get to know new colleagues and students. I love the campus and how everything is within hand’s reach – and yes, it is definitely true that Northerners are very friendly!
I started my career as an academic and, twenty years on, this is still my dream job. I know I am one of the lucky ones!
So, what is my job about? I am a Languages tutor and at Lancaster I will be teaching on the Italian Minor degree programme in DeLC. My focus is going to be teaching 2nd and final year students. I will be helping 2nd year students develop their learning skills in the Italian language and continue to build strong foundations after they started studying Italian as beginners the previous year. With final year students, we continue to work hard on their language skills and the re-discovery of the language after a period of residence abroad in the country of the students’ major language(s).
I have a long experience of teaching and every level of learning comes with its own challenges and demands; however, far from being boring and repetitive, my job is very interactive and I get to meet new students every year. This is by far the best thing about my job. The most exciting days in the academic year are, for me, the day I get to meet the first year students and the day I see finalists graduate in July. Being part of the students’ learning journey is fantastic and knowing that I have contributed to helping them achieve their objectives is humbling and extremely satisfying.
For the department, I will also work as Admissions Tutor; this means that I will be interacting with applicants who are going through the UCAS cycle and making their choices regarding their preferred study place. Reading students’ personal statements is fascinating as I get a glimpse of what our future students may be like, what ignites them and where their interests lie.
I have a strong interest in language learning and pedagogy and am interested in finding innovative ways of learning that can be of benefit to the students. I have worked a lot with e-Learning, peer-to-peer projects, projects with secondary and primary schools and experimented with different ways through which intercultural communication can be ‘taught’. In all instances, my students have always played an essential role in the success of each endeavour and I believe that directly involving them in decision-making processes is crucial to their learning, both in terms of transferable skills and motivation for the subject.
When I am not teaching, reading or learning (I have started learning Spanish recently), you are very likely to find me playing (and trying to embarrass, of course) my two children who are 12 and 10 and fully bilingual – lucky them! Outside of work my biggest passion is cycling and exercising and, like a true professional (ahem), I do wear lycra every time I am out on my bike(s).