Marcella Menegale
Educational Linguistics

What do you teach at Ca’ Foscari? What are your main research interests? 
My name is Marcella Menegale and I come from a small town on the border between Veneto and Emilia Romagna. After high school, I moved to Venice to attend the Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literatures. While continuing my education with two Master's degrees and a PhD, I collaborated with the Department of Linguistics and Comparative Cultural Studies both in governmental and international projects (with the team directed by Professor Coonan) and as a trainer on innovative teaching methods (CLIL, intercomprehension).
I am currently a researcher in Educational Linguistics and teach courses in this area. My research interests lie in the psychological aspects of language learning and in cognitive and metacognitive strategies, especially with a view to developing multilingual skills.

Tell us about your academic path.
As early as during my Bachelor's degree, my interest in language education led me to choose what was then the course in Foreign Languages and Literatures with Historical Linguistics curriculum at Ca' Foscari University in Venice. My education then continued in the areas of learning/teaching both Italian as a second language (with a first Master's degree) and foreign languages (with a second Master's degree and other specialisation courses), also in Venetian academic halls. After a few years of collaborations in governmental and European research projects, in 2008 I won a PhD scholarship in Language Sciences for a project on independent language learning and in 2020 I won the call for applications as a Researcher.

What is the aspect of your research you are most passionate about?
Today contacts between different languages and cultures are more than ever a part of our lives, and what we experienced in the past can affect our way of approaching others and ability to seize important personal and professional opportunities. Factors that are involved in the language learning process are so diverse (psychological, cognitive, social, cultural, and many others) that we never stop understanding them and discovering new possible teaching approaches that meet the linguistic needs of each type of user. This is what keeps my interest in my field of research alive, and what drives me to always accept new challenges with great enthusiasm.

What has given you the greatest satisfaction in your career?
Academic life is certainly demanding and requires you to work on many fronts: teaching, research, training, organising conferences, writing articles and books and many other activities. But there are many satisfactions: the happiness of one of your students graduating with honours, the success of a project with research teams from different universities, a compliment from a class or a colleague. One of my greatest satisfactions was participating in a recently published book containing inputs from the leading experts in learning strategies (A.U. Chamot, A. Cohen, V. Harris, E. Macaro, R. Oxford, J. Rubin), with whom I have had the honour of working with in the last few years.

Why Ca’ Foscari and Venice?
I chose Ca' Foscari over and over again. I remember the moment when I first chose it. I was in my fifth year of high school in Ferrara and during those months teachers would talk to us about universities, so that we could get an idea of our future. One day our literature teacher showed us a videotape (it was still the mid-1990s) about Ca' Foscari. I was immediately enraptured by the beauty of the university buildings, the richness of the classrooms, and the history that those places radiated. While praising the Faculty of Languages, she also told us that there were those who lectured in Venetian, a language with a high social status in the city. The following year I enrolled there. And after that I kept choosing Ca' Foscari again, for research and teaching.

Last update: 28/02/2023