Dr Chiara  La Sala

Dr Chiara La Sala

Senior Teaching Fellow in Italian

+44 (0)113 343 9534

Summary: Relationship between standard Italian and local or regional varieties spoken in Italy.

Location: Michael Sadler Building


I graduated in 1991 from the University of Rome 'La Sapienza' with a degree in Modern Languages and Literatures (English and German). I took an MA in Applied Linguistics at the University of Salford, and in 2004 completed a PhD at the University of Leeds on 'Attitudes towards the Safeguarding of Minority Languages and Dialects in Modern Italy: the Cases of Sardinia and Sicily'.

I was Lector in Italian at the University of Salford from 1993 to 1995, and joined the University of Leeds in October 1995.


I am the module co-ordinator for ITAL1010, the core Italian language module for 1st year students and the module convenor for Level 2 core Italian language modules (ITAL2016/2017).

I have designed and developed the final-year module ITAL 3233 'Minority languages and dialects in Italy since Fascism to the Present'. This module allows students to carry out their own case study, i.e. a sociolinguistic survey using a problem-solving model.  The students enhance their research skills for their final year as well as learning the techniques of interviewing and formulating questionnaires.  Students have the chance to develop further their enterprise skills, by conducting an in depth investigation which gives them the opportunity of establishing contacts, creating networks, and refining questionnaire and interview techniques.

Office hours: Monday and Thursday 11:00 - 12:00


My teaching activities are underpinned by the most current research on pedagogic innovation in language learning. I am engaged in developing innovative teaching methods and new ways of enhancing the students' learning.

In September 2013, I was awarded an Individual Teaching Development Grant by the Higher Education Academy, for a project entitled 'Promoting the Common European Framework of Reference for Language (CEFR) for progression from ab initio to degree challenges.

In the academic year 2009/2010, I was awarded funding by the Faculty of Arts - Learning and Teaching quality Enhancement Fund - to develop innovative ways of giving feedback and of promoting independent language learning.

In the academic year 2008/2009, I was awarded funding by the White Rose Centre of Excellence in Teaching and Learning in Enterprise to develop a model for sociolinguistic survey.

I am conducting an investigation into innovative ways of setting clear standards to be attained at successive stages of learning and I have incorporated the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages: Learning, Teaching, Assessment (CEFR)into my language teaching.

Papers and publications

Output of the Higher Education Academy funded project 'Promoting the Common European Framework of Reference for Language (CEFR) for progression from ab initio to degree challenges.  

           Final-Year Students Italian A Programme - Challenges in achieving language proficiency

           Final-Year Students Italian B Programme - Challenges in achieving language proficiency

           Written Language Assessment Criteria

           Grammar Checklist A2-C2

  • Journey to becoming a teacher researcher', in https://www.heacademy.ac.uk/blog/journey-becoming-teacher-researcher
  • 'Pensare in inglese e scrivere in italiano: difficoltà degli studenti e strumenti di sostegno', presented to the event 'Teaching Italian as a Second Language: Study Day with Maurizio Trifone' (Leeds, 19 March 2011)
  • 'Developing Potential through Independent Learning using the VLE', presented to the LTC8 2011 The Eighth Annual University of Leeds Learning and Teaching Conference 'Inspiring Students to Develop Their Full Potential' (University of Leeds, 7 January 2011)
  • 'Introducing an Enterprise Activity as an Innovative Method in a Final-year Content Module', presented to the conference 'Enhancing the Italian Studies Curriculum: Innovation and Development Conference' (University of Manchester, 17 September 2010)

  • 'Minority Language Planning in Italy: the Standardization of Sardinian, presented to the conference: 'Italian linguistics in the UK: traditions, challenges, perspectives' (University of Reading, 11th June 2010)

  • 'Promoting Independent Language Learning through the Use of the VLE', presented to the LLAS conference: 'Supporting students' learning outside the classroom: promoting independence and autonomy in LLAS disciplines' (Leeds, May 27th 2010) http://www.llas.ac.uk/events/archive/6085
  • 'Liaison Interpreting as a Teaching Technique for Italian' presented to the fourth biennial conference for languages in higher education, jointly organised by CILT, the National Centre for Languages and the Subject Centre for Languages, Linguistics and Area Studies: 'Languages in Higher Education Conference 2008: transitions and connections' (York, 8 July 2008), http://www.llas.ac.uk/paper/3231

Additional information