Teaching

As a doctoral candidate at New York University, Gianna has taught a wide range of university-level courses in Italian language and culture. She has earned two pedagogical certificates (“The Art of Teaching” and “Achieving Success through Communication”) and has been recognized for outstanding teaching by the CAS Student Council Curriculum Committee.

Gianna has been the instructor of record for a variety of Italian language courses, ranging from elementary to advanced, in both intensive and extensive formats, and has consistently received outstanding student and departmental evaluations for those courses.

She has also had the opportunity to design the syllabi for several more content-oriented language courses, including Advanced Review of Modern Italian and Italian through Cinema. These two language courses are the best at NYU, according to student evaluations.

She has also served as a teaching assistant and grader for a variety of courses in the Italian Department at NYU.

Courses Taught

Elementary Italian I     

Instructor, New York University
Fall 2015, Summer 2018

Elementary Italian II

Instructor, New York University
Spring 2016, Summer 2019

COURSE EVALUATIONS:

  • “It was GREAT. I’m going to miss Gianna immensely.”
  • “great class”
  • “inclusion of culture was interesting”
  • “love the modernness brought to the class”
  • “very relaxed atmosphere”
  • “no complaints, Gianna is amazing
  • “Gianna was a fantastic instructor. She made me feel comfortable asking questions even if it took a while to formulate them.”

Intermediate Italian I

Instructor, New York University
Summer 2017

COURSE EVALUATIONS:

  • “Truly this class was outstanding—incredibly informative, lucid, welcoming, challenging, playful, well-organized, and funny. It was a complete pleasure! Gianna Albaum is a genius and a wonderful person!”
  • Gianna as a professor is amazing. I went into this class feeling insecure writing and speaking in Italian because this is my first Italian class at NYU. Gianna created assignments that were interesting and helped me feel comfortable writing in Italian again. She is always very encouraging and created a classroom environment that was comfortable for everyone and extremely informative. I feel like I have learned so much in 3 weeks!”
  • “This course was beyond wonderful
  • “Gianna is fabulous! She is a brilliant, wonderful, hilarious Italian teacher, the best I’ve ever had.
  • “She seems to really care about her students and is always willing to help”
  • “very kind and understanding when I expressed my nervousness”
  • “I expected this class class to be challenging, and it was. But I also expected to dread this class and I don’t. Even though it is a challenge the lessons are interesting and the workload is manageable.”
  • “Each lesson spent the perfect amount of time focusing in on new tenses and vocabulary and then applying new tenses/vocabulary in practice exercises”

Intermediate Italian II

Instructor, New York University
Summer 2016

COURSE EVALUATIONS

  • “Gianna prepared so many activities and exercises in addition to Allora’s—it was great and very helpful.”
  • “Gianna’s classes were very hard but also very rewarding. We learned a lot and laughed a lot.”

Italian Through Cinema

Instructor, New York University
Spring 2018, Spring 2019

Description: Ti piace il cinema italiano? In this course we will build fluency in Italian while enjoying award-winning classic and contemporary Italian films. Students will get to know the genres and directors that have made Italian cinema famous across the world, from auteurs like Fellini and De Sica to more popular genres like the peplum and the spaghetti western. This seminar-style course also offers advanced students a fun and unique opportunity to develop their conversational Italian. Class discussions will explore a range of topics related to Italian current events, culture, and history, including the mafia, sexual politics, and the European migrant crisis.

COURSE EVALUATIONS

  • “Gianna is a PHENOMENAL professor. She is super creative, incredibly intelligent, funny, and interesting. She is super caring and caters her classes to the interests of her students. She goes not only the extra mile but an extra 100 miles for her students. Italian through Cinema was the best class I have ever taken at NYU.
  • “Gianna is the best professor I’ve ever had. Not only was it a joy to go to her class every day, but I started off terrified to speak Italian, and by the end I was nearly fluent! She is also just the sweetest all around. Do yourself a favor and TAKE HER CLASS”
  • “never any sense of boredom or monotony”
  • “I loved this course so much”
  • “I have always been very nervous about speaking in Italian and my instructor was really helpful in making me more confident in my abilities and helping me learn.”
  • “This was easily the best course I have taken yet at NYU. Gianna Albaum design an incredibly creative course in which she managed to not only expose us to Italian language through film, but also to use film to explore Italian history, culture, politics, and the nature of film/art in general.”
  • “Each film was carefully selected to align with a particular aspect of Italian life/politics/culture, and Professor Albaum supplemented our knowledge in these areas with a vast array  of resources, from autobiographies to interviews to documentaries”
  • “The projects she designed were especially thought-provoking and intellectually stimulating”
  • “Our class discussions were always lively because Professor Albaum asked great questions and was always genuinely interested in our opinions. My written and spoken Italian has definitely improved dramatically, since I’ve been able to use Italian in context and speak and write about topics I find genuinely fascinating.”
  • “The constant feedback in the course was so useful and important to improvement in my Italian language skills”
  • “I learned so much about Italian culture and history while improving my vocab and diving deep into Italian cinema as well as the politics and social motivations that influence it. This was one of my favorite courses at NYU.”
  • “I feel that presenting in this class not only helped me with my Italian language skills but helped me overcome any existing nervousness I had speaking in front of an audience in English. Overall amazing course.”
  • “Professor Albaum is an amazing professor. She really cares about her students and wants to see them succeed.”
  • “The professor was very open to student concerns and points of view, which helped make a very productive course”

Advanced Review of Modern Italian

Instructor, New York University
Fall 2018

Description: This course offers a comprehensive review of Italian language through an engaging examination of a wide variety of contemporary issues and current events in Italian culture, including immigration, Slow Food, ecotourism, fake news, Italian television, and Italy’s role in the EU. Students will expand vocabulary and improve conversational skills through in-class discussion and small-group speaking exercises. Students will also craft short weekly response papers in order to polish and perfect their written Italian. This course is a prerequisite for other advanced courses in language, literature, and culture and society. 

COURSE EVALUATIONS:

  • “Honestly an amazing professor! The class was challenging and stimulating while at the same time not being overwhelming. The instructor was clear and helpful, and understood our strengths and weaknesses. She was easily accessible during office hours and via email, and was always willing to help. I truly enjoyed going to class every week. I was really nervous going into this class because I hadn’t taken Italian in over a year, but I feel as my Italian has greatly improved throughout this semester, thanks to Gianna.”
  • “Gianna is AMAZING. She will make you love Italian, and she is so skilled at helping students become better conversationally as well as on paper. She always goes the extra mile for personalized feedback, and she is hilarious in class. I would take her every semester if I could!!”
  • “Gianna is very approachable and friendly. I enjoyed having her so much this semester that I am taking a course with her next semester.”
  • “This course really helped me improve my Italian”
  • “There was a really good balance of smaller exercises and homework assignments, larger assignments, and fun topics which made for an overall very productive course. I do not have a bad thing to say about it.”
  • “I really like the class discussion part in this class. And I also like the readings and media materials that our professor prepared.”
  • “We were always interacting with material in different and stimulating ways and therefore the class didn’t get boring” 
  • “Always available when we needed her”
  • “Gianna is an amazing professor! She really cares about her students and organized the class very well. She wanted to make sure that we were learning a lot and having fun while learning.”
  • “She also had such a unique style of teaching, and it was so fun to have her as a teacher. REALLY cared about the course, which made me want to put a lot of effort into the work!”
  • “Prof Albaum is dedicated and incredibly invested in every aspect of the class—and the fact that she caters every lesson to our needs and interests made the class remarkably conducive for learning.”

Teaching Assistantships

CORE-UA 400: Mapping the Renaissance

Professor Jane Tylus, New York University, Fall 2016

Description: Designed as a “Texts & Ideas” class for NYU’s College Core Curriculum, this course explored confrontations with the unknown in antiquity and the Renaissance and examined a wide range of texts including Gilgamesh, Homer’s Iliad, Tornabuoni’s Sacred Narratives, Columbus’s Four Voyages, Leon-Portilla’s Broken Spears, and Shakespeare’s Tempest.

  • led weekly discussion sections for two sections of this first-year core course (40 students)
  • evaluated and provided feedback for students in my sections on their participation, attendance, exams, and response papers
  • designed and led several tutorials for students in my sections on expository writing skills, such as crafting an argument, writing an introduction, and providing textual evidence

COURSE EVALUATIONS

  • “She was the most involved and caring TA I’ve ever had at NYU”
  • “very patient and warm-hearted”
  • “one of the best TA’s I’ve had so far”
  • “exceeded my expectations. marvelous compared to other recitations I have had”
  • “Gianna was amazing to have as a TA. She made everyone feel comfortable in the class in speaking up. She also had a very encouraging spirit”
  • “recitations were super helpful”
  • “feedback on my essay was both constructive and clear”
  • “We were given very interesting/unconventional exercises to do during class. They were really fun.”
  • “really liked the fact that it made us analyze more rather than spit out the summary”
  • “best prepared instructor I have had this year”
  • “The instructor was informative, thorough, and open in her teaching style”
  • “I love how the ancient literature can be this enjoyable to learn”
  • “Gianna worked really hard to make us better students and writers”
  • “helped us look through our papers and gave suggestions for improvement”
  • “Gianna found exciting and interactive ways to get students to participate in group discussions”

ITAL-UA 150 Visual Languages of the Renaissance: Emblems, Dreams, Hieroglyphs

Professor Nicola Cipani, New York University, Spring 2019

Description: This upper-division course explored Renaissance fascination with the interplay of text and image and examined various endeavors to make knowledge visible, including emblem books, hieroglyphic studies, bestiaries, and dream visions.

  • evaluated and provided feedback for exams and response papers
  • designed and led guest lecture on expository writing skills, such as crafting an argument, writing an introduction, and providing textual evidence