Introducing Gisi Cannizzaro (Episode 63)

“How much does a particular country value multilingualism, multiculturalism or on the other end, how monolingual is it and what phase is it in maybe shifting from a monolingual mindset to a multilingual mindset? Lots of groups are doing workshops with the mainstream Dutch school teachers to explain to them not to be afraid of the multilingual children in the classroom, to tap into it as a resource. It’s a hot topic for the primary schools here in the Netherlands for the children to become global citizens or to have exchanges with other countries. And I think, well, yeah, you can send a Dutch child abroad, but they’re sitting next to a Turkish kid and a Polish kid in their own class. So there is a shift here that there are organizations trying to build it into the teacher training.”

Gisi Cannizzaro Bio

Gisi is from New Orleans, Louisiana, in the U.S. and speaks English as her mother tongue. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in German Studies from Loyola University (2004, New Orleans), an Erasmus Mundus European Master’s degree in Theoretical Clinical Linguistics (2007, Groningen, Joensuu, and Potsdam), and a PhD degree in Child Language Acquisition (2012, Groningen). She worked for six years in Eindhoven, the Netherlands, as an educational consultant helping multilingual, internationally mobile families with children. In 2018 she initiated two projects: one to organize Italian lessons for Italian-speaking children and one to organize a network of heritage language programs in Eindhoven. As a part of these projects, she has helped add 500 Italian children’s books to the Eindhoven Library. Together with her Italian husband, Gisi is raising trilingual children (English, Italian, and Dutch).


To learn more about previous guests on It’s About Language or access other episodes of the podcast, visit It’s About Language or click on the Podcast tab above.

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