Director, Professor Born in Siena, Italy
Lavinia Bracci is founder and director of Siena Italian Studies – Intercultural Study Abroad, which hosts educational exchange programs for undergraduate students as well as the Italian portion of the Graduate Program of International Development and Service organized by the International Partnership for Service-Learning (IPSL). Her research focus and interests are centered on innovative pedagogies in the field of Intercultural Studies and IC assessment. Through using service as an instructional tool she invented the FICCS (Full-Immersion: Culture Content and Service) approach to develop reflective intercultural competence and has co-authored a book on this approach entitled L’educazione riflessiva interculturale: L’approccio FICCS allo studio della lingua e cultura italiana. The FICCS approach was implemented in other European contexts (Portugal and Spain) and co-financed by the European Union through the Lifelong Learning Programme (Key Activity 2 Languages) turning into the EUFICCS (European Use of Full-immersion, Culture, Content, Service) methodology for Language Learning. Recently she has co-authored several publications on the FICCS and EUFICCS approaches as well as research on the Reflective Intercultural Competence Assessment (RICA) Model. Her and her team’s research has been presented in numerous conferences in Asia, North America and Europe. She holds a degree in Translation and Simultaneous Interpreting in German and Russian and taught foreign languages and Italian as a second language for many years. Currently she is teaching Intercultural Reflections for both undergraduate and graduate students at SIS.
Professor Born in San Giovanni Valdarno, Italy
Fiora Biagi was born in San Giovanni Valdarno but has always lived in Siena. She holds a dregree in Foreign Languages and Literatures (1998), the DITALS Certification cum laude (2001), the Diploma of Specialization in Teaching Italian as a Foreign Language cum laude (2001) and a PhD in Linguistics and Teaching Italian to Foreigners (2005). She has been working for several years as a teacher of Italian language and culture for foreign students. She is a researcher in the fields of language acquisition, language teaching and didactics, intercultural studies, intercultural competence and its assessment, the role of service-learning in a full-immersion context and in acquiring advanced linguistic competencies and deeper intercultural knowledge. She has also worked in the field of teacher training. She has been a lecturer in several meetings and conferences concerning language and content teaching, teacher training and intercultural competence and studies. She has also been working as teacher of English and translator. At SIS she currently teaches Italian Language, History of Italian Cuisine, Intercultural Reflections, Intercultural Communication, International Education, and she is the program coordinator for master courses. Fiora is also interested in early childhood education, psychology and has been herself a ballet instructor.