Cafetalk Featured Tutor Interview

Marco Loiodice

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Marco Loiodice Tutor Interview

Q. Hi Marco! Would you kindly give a brief self-introduction to the Cafetalk community?

A. My name is Marco Loiodice, I was born on July 25th 1980 in Milano; my father’s name is Gino, he’s from Milano, my mother’s name is Gabriella, she’s from Firenze, my elder brother’s name is Giorgio. My grandma on my mother’s side took care of me in the daytime, while my parents were working in their company, her name was Gina and she was from Prato.

I spent the ordinary days of my life in Milano, and the summer holidays in Forte dei Marmi, a small town in the northern area of Toscana. Luckily my parents always encouraged me and supported me in developing many different interests.

Since I was 6 years old, my parents adviced me to focus on learning english, I’m still so much thankful. I have also been allowed to deal with computers since I was very young, and I had the chance of reading many books on man different topics. Reading and writing are two of my biggest passions.

Since I was into many different interests as I grew up, my working experiences have also been quite various. I have always had an inclination for teaching, I love to share knowledge and help others study and learn. My first experience as a teacher happened as I taught sailing in the summertime since I was 10 years old until I was 18.

As an IT professional, I have worked with servers and networks, routers, web oriented programming and websites creation. Working in the IT field, by its nature, means practicing english, that’s a good thing about my professional experiences.

I like to talk about many different topics and I like to be friendly, I like to make friends with anyone.

Q. Tell us a bit about where you’re from. You’re originally from Italy - what kind of city or town did you grow up in, and where do you live now?

A. I grew up in Milano, in the inner area of the city, until I was 6 years old. Then, on my strong request, my family moved to the outer south side of the province, and I lived in Basiglio, a small town with plenty of nature in it, until 2009. Then I met my girlfriend, and I moved to Torino to live with her. Milano is big on the cultural development, it gives anyone big chances to develop passions and hobbies. Torino is a vivid city as well, but it is less noisy and there are more green areas in it. Milano is one of the biggest cities in Italy, while Torino is a smaller city and it allows its citizens a more relaxed way of living.

Both cities are placed in the northern side of Italy, their weather is usually fresh between spring and autumn and cold in winter.

Q. What are you usually up to when you’re not teaching on Cafetalk? What are your hobbies and interests?

∙ Music

I studied the electric bass for 7 years and piano for 2 years. I played jazz in many different bands in many different locations around Milano and I have always listened to many different kinds of music. I have also followed many seminaries with many different teachers, such as Michael Manring, Faso and Christian Meyer, Alex Acuna. As I patiently wait for the right chances to play music again, and I also dream of teaching music to kids and teenagers, I keep my days joyful by letting the music spread all around and be shared with all my friends.

∙ Communities

I have been part of many different online communities since 1995, I always liked forums and chats.I like how online communities allow people to exchange and enjoy feelings and thoughts while enjoying the same freedom and the same chances of development. I dream of communities that link together online and offline sides, I like connections in any place.

∙ Free Software - Sharing Economy

I have promoted and taught the use of free software, especially the GNU/Linux operative system. I like the free software, it looks like an example of how humans might work together and mutually help instead of competing against each other. I hope that our future will see the rise of a sharing based economy, where all resources and services are available for free to everyone and equally shared, a happier and nicer world.

∙ Philosophy and Mythology

One of my favourite writers is Luciano De Crescenzo. He’s a former IBM engineer, but he left his first job to become a passionated writer. He has written many books where he shares philosphy and mythology knowledge in a light and humourous style. In his own words, “I might be one of those 3 stepped ladders that allow to reach those books that are placed in higher places”. Of all his works, some of my favourite are “Il dubbio” and “Elena, Elena, amore mio”.
Along with De Crescenzo, I have studied Friedrich Nietsche (Also spracht Zarathustra is my favourite of his works), and I have also studied Dante Alighieri (La Divina Commedia) and Luigi Pirandello (Uno, nessuno centomila).
I’m much interested in the eastern cultures, I have studied the Heart’s Sutra and the Dhammapada, Bruce Lee writings, and I would love, once living in Japan, to study and practice Shinto. I also read Ghandhi’s autobiography (The Story of My Experiments with Truth).

∙ Free Hugs

I like to share free hugs anywhere anytime. It’s nice to share such an easy yet so powerful and lovely act.

∙ Sport

I played volleyball between 1995 and 2002 in a team, and I have been playing playground basketball since I was a kid up to these days. I was a sail teacher since 1990 to 1998, and I have participated to many regional regattas. I like baseball very much and I would love to get into it further once I managed to move to Japan.

∙ Volunteering

I work as a teacher in a cram school that is offered for free to middle and highschool pupils. I teach italian and english for all levels, and japanese for beginners. I also teach english and japanese to the kids in my neighbours.

∙ Gastronomy

I like to cook and make sweets, I like to eat homemade food the most. I would like to learn something about the japanese gastronomy, once I got there.

∙ Photography

I like to take pictures, especially spontaneous and posing portraits. I also like nature photography, I hope to get to Japan soon and photograph anything anywhere.

∙ Manga, Anime and Fansub

I loved anime and manga since I was a little boy. I grew up watching anime and reading manga, and discovered the wonders of the japanese culture. I have joined a fansub team one year ago, and I have been working as a translator and translation checker. I translate both from japanese and from english to italian. I like fansub because they give everybody a chance to get to know many beautiful anime and manga that might get lost or forgotten because of the hardships of the commercial deals.

Q. In your profile you mention that you have been studying Japanese for about three years. What made you decide to study Japanese, and what do you take away from it being a teacher yourself?

A. I have been in love with Japan and japanese culture through all my life, and grew up watching anime and reading manga such as Maison Ikkoku, Urusei Yatsura…
Three years ago I woke up and decided to study the japanese language, in order to dive into the depths of the japanese culture and also try to make some japanese friends. I was so much lucky when I met my japanese teacher, and I have been making great japanese friends since I began studying their language.
I have recently felt a kind of call of nature and I hope that I’ll be able to find a job in Japan and live there at least for some years. I wish I could get a good japanese fluency and develop myself further with the help of the japanese people and the japanese culture. I would like to work as a teacher, young students would be my first choice, and I would like to teach english, italian, music or information technology. I would also like to learn how to cook in the japanese style, practice the japanese calligraphy and take pictures both in the natural and urban areas, and also take pictures during the traditional festivals, matsuri.
When it comes to home, I would rather living in a medium sized city, between the full size urban areas and the countryside.
Some of the reasons why I love the japanese language are the honorifics layers and the way kanji link images to meanings. There is much magic in the japanese language and culture.

As an english and italian teacher, my own japanese studying experience helps me share feelings and emotions with my japanese students. We also have the luck of sharing much interest into our cultures. Even when my role as a tutor requires a kind of serious and professional attitude, I like to be friendly, and I always try my best to act as if my students were the hosts and I was their guest. I’m honoured when my students let me enter their cultural environment and share their interests and passions.

Q. A lot of students are probably curious about the atmosphere in your lessons. What can a student imagine a lesson with you to be like?

A. I like to focus the precious amount of time that my students share with me during our lessons on those activities that require my presence and support. I like my students to both attend my lessons and spend some time by themselves, so that they can both get my support and practice through repetition at their own pace.
There are some aspects of a language, such as pronunciation, that are based on imitation. Those matters cannot be carried on by the students on their own, they need their teacher to check and follow, and they might add some audio/video materials such as Her Majesty Elizabeth II’s Christmas speeches (I linked one of those in my tutor’s columns, seriously).
There are other language aspects, such as grammar and listening, that can be worked out and improved by the students with a certain degree of independency (the tutor still has to cover and check from time to time).
I always try my best to encourage and help my students grow confidence, my effort in learning japanese makes me believe that any result can be achieved with the right attitude.
I think that achievements can be reached by the funniest means, and that daily reachable goals are the best way to walk a long road.

Q. Your most popular lesson is your “Italian lesson for Japanese people” lesson. How do you you help Japanese students learn Italian? Do you have any tricks up your sleeve?

A. As I’m studying japanese and I’m an italian mothertongue teacher, I’m able to recognize che differences between our two languages that might be hard to face for my japanese born students.

This is a brief selection of some of the toughest aspects:

Japanese is a SOV verb (Subject, Object, Verb), italian is a SVO language (Subject, Verb, Object). Japanese has the modifier ahead of the modified, italian puts the the modified before the modified.

Japanese hasn’t got any distinction between male and female, singular and plural, when it comes to conjugation and declination. Italian has got many exceptions and complicated structures in regard to those aspects. There are many homographs and a complicated accent and tone system that often leads to different semantics.

Just like I enjoy studying kanji and watching anime to improve my japanese fluency, my students are also able to use those same instruments to study and practice italian. I usually invite me students to watch anime together in our spare time, and then talk about them during our conversation lessons. The japanese mothertongue students might also use a kanji study app to memorize the italian translation of the main kanji meanings.

I like to encourage my students and kindly fix their mistakes without ever letting them down. We learn at our best when we do it in a funny and relaxed manner.

Q. Finally, would you like to leave a message for your current and future students?

A. I would like to encourage my current and future students to look for cultural aspects, passions, goals and enthusiasm towards the language that they want to learn.
In regard to the studying method, we should focus each day on reasonable and reachable goals, and use our favourite means to accomplish them. We might listen to some music while reading the lyrics, we might watch a subtitled anime or a movie, we might have a nice text or voice chat with our friends, we might read an audiobook. These means might be helpful and and fun.
When it comes to the reasons why you might choose me as your teacher, I think it might be best to let my students talk. Feel free to check my reviews, they are placed right under my profile as a tutor.
I hope that I’ll be able to share my love for languages, both when I study them and when i teach them, and I hope that we will share some useful and fun times.
Thank you for your precious time and kind attention

Marco Loiodice


Marco Loiodice

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