Ciao, I’m Mirella! I created this Italian language and culture platform to share everything Italian with you.
I was raised in Italy, although born to Italian (Molisan) immigrants in Toronto, and returned to Italy when I was a child.
Fluent in four languages, with a bachelor’s degree in linguistics, I believe that learning a language should be fun and creative just like in my animated videos. If you love everything Italian, sign up for my newsletter to receive bonus material and indispensable resources.
I consider myself a promoter of Italian heritage, but also of modern Italian society. You can read more in this article on Panoram Italian Magazine
These are the kind words of some of my meravigliosi studenti!
~ Nikki and Brock Stoyko, St. Albert, AB:
Mirella is one of the warmest, most encouraging, and knowledgeable language teachers we have ever had the pleasure of meeting! I (we) have had numerous Italian language instructors over the years, and Mirella is the only teacher who has been able to teach the language in a clear, fun and understandable way that makes everything stick! She makes sure to adjust the course work to our needs, and she is always doing whatever she can to make us feel comfortable and confident with the language skills we are learning. If you are looking for someone to nurture your love or interest in the Italian language AND Italian culture, there is no one else better!
~ Lyne Rodrigue, Ottawa, ON:
I have been taking lessons with Mirella for a few years now and I am happy to say that not only did I learn the Italian language, but also learned a great deal about the Italian culture. Mirella is a unique and dedicated teacher, her positive approach facilitates the process towards fluency. I have taken classes with 2 other groups in the past but my Italian only really blossomed once I started my lessons with Mirella.
~ Abraham S., Chicago, IL:
I wanted to learn the Italian language for a long time. Thankfully, I stumbled on Mirella’s website by coincidence, and I am glad I did! Mirella is kind, soft spoken and an amazing teacher. I knew only a few words when we started but thanks to her tutoring methods I now have a good foundation of the Italian grammar and vocabulary. Mirella got me out of my comfort zone by making our lessons very interactive and interesting, she would only speak Italian and force me to answer her in Italian, which really helped me to learn it better and faster. Her methods helped with my listening comprehension. I always looked forward to our tutoring sessions. I highly recommend Mirella to anyone serious about learning Italian! Grazie mille.
~ Tina Rose, Montréal, Québec:
Having studied Italian for a few years with a variety of teachers, I can truly say that none compare with Mirella. She is a very serious, well-organized teacher, whose sessions are always interesting. She is passionate about all things Italian and I always leave my lesson feeling I have learned so much. As an added bonus, Mirella forwards me a list of new vocabulary we learned during our class as well as articles relating to different topics we may have discussed. I highly recommend Mirella to anyone who is interested in learning Italian at any level. Her calm yet structured approach to teaching is matched only by her patience and encouragement. Grazie mille, Mirella!
~ Fábio Cardarelli Minozzo, Montréal, QC:
I found out about Mirella through a friend who referred her to me as an excellent English teacher. Later I could attest her skills not only as an English teacher, but also as a life coach. When I think about Mirella three words come to my mind: skilled, flexible, and kind. Undoubtedly, she is extremely skilled and knowledgeable when it comes to English teaching; she is also very flexible as she adapted her classes to my needs and crazy schedule. Finally, she is an amazing human being! Mirella not only improved my English, but also myself as a person!
~ Jess Silver, Toronto, Ontario:
As a student of foreign languages for most of life, I have an appreciation for linguistic nuances and the various forms of expression to state a similar idea. Studying Italian with Mirella Colalillo for eight months, I’ve been able to not only learn colloquial expressions and vocabulary, but also have gained the confidence to speak Italian though at a beginner level, with ease and coherence. I can recognize linguistic similarities and differences between Italian, French and Spanish, in both oral and written form. Mirella’s style of teaching is engaging and direct. Though she is accommodating, and allows the student to voice what is they’d like to focus on in each lesson, she also makes it point to do that only once she feels that a sense of mutual trust has been developed.
I find that each lesson is stimulating and enjoyable because of the various aspects of Italian taught. Studying with a teacher like Mirella, you’ll learn to not only speak the language, but to appreciate Italian culture and people’s mannerisms. Each lesson has been part of larger journey for me and I’m so glad to have a teacher like Mirella to mentor me. If you’re a dedicated student with an ear for languages and want to learn Italian, you’ve found the right person to teach you.
~ Maria Fernandes, Montréal, Québec:
Mirella Colalillo, a fine young lady easy to get along with.
I know her for months now. She has given me some quality time teaching in a way that quickly I could converse in Italian much better than before I met her.
She is very professional, strict with herself and her way of teaching.
Time goes fast when learning with her. Wish I had more opportunities to attend her classes.
So if anyone desires to learn Italian, I highly recommend Mirella.
~ Lacy Berasngar, Moncton, New Brunswick:
I appreciated Mirella’s mastery of Italian grammar and very much enjoyed her personal tutouring. I appreciated her insistence on communicating only in Italian. This forced me to use the Italian I knew and to quickly add to my vocabulary and learn how to express myself better.
~ Nora Sablich, Montréal, Québec:
I would actually like to take the time to thank Mirella for her Italian course. Her program helped me finally understand the beauty of the Italian language and their culture.
I was very pleasantly surprised with the level of detail, full of new material like YouTube videos that made studying fun and easy. Her course notes and exercises were an easy way for me to memorize and learn the material. I am finally able to talk and understand Italian. An excellent course at a very reasonable price. Thank you very much.
~ Robert Doucet, Montréal, Québec:
I find individual tuition a great way to improve my language skills. Mirella is excellent at focusing on areas of weakness and providing many different tools to make the learning process enjoyable.
~ Rod Mitchell, Brighton, UK:
I write as the Director of Studies of Cactus Language Training (www.cactuslanguagetraining.com). Part of my role as the Director of Studies is teacher recruitment, training, curriculum and student counseling, this being my direct relationship with Mirella and her students. Cactus Language Training is an agency-teaching organization which arranges language and teacher training courses of various kinds worldwide.
Mirella has been a free-lance teacher of Italian and English with Cactus Language Training since the 1st of March, 2010, and came to us as an experienced teacher of Italian and English with international experience. In class she has proved to be a dependable, cooperative and intelligent teacher and has achieved great results with her students. Feedback has been very positive, students appreciating her maturity, teaching and the fun but serious atmosphere she creates – and the fact that what she taught proved to answer perfectly to their post-course needs.
Mirella shows an understanding of the various aspects of language teaching, from grammar and syntax, vocabulary, reading and writing skills, role plays, lesson preparation and development, class management, and so on. Her program planning shows a clear idea of course objectives, how to get to these, the importance of homework as part of the curriculum, and how her coursework is to assist her students after completing the course.
As a colleague Mirella fits in very well, and is a pleasure to work with. I would have no hesitation in recommending her qualities as a colleague and teacher to any organization, school or individual.
~ Scot Buzza, Cincinnati, Ohio:
I love my Italian lessons with Mirella! We’ve worked together on my Italian for a year now, and I’m happy with my consistant progress. Whether we work on grammar, conversation, translating, or just chat, I always feel as though I’ve learned something, and enjoyed myself besides!
~ Romain Lecomte-Somaggio, Montréal, Québec:
J’étudie l’italien avec Mirella depuis près de deux ans. A l’écoute, très patiente et généreuse, elle affiche une dextérité remarquable pour enseigner! Passionnée par l’apprentissage des langues et par la pédagogie, elle a toute l’énergie et le savoir-faire pour parfaire vos connaissances ou vous initier. Elle sait distiller ses cours avec brio tout en respectant le style et les besoins de chacun. De réels bons moments avec à la clé, des résultats convaincants assurés. Par conséquent,vous comprendrez que je vous le recommande vivement…Si vous désirez que l’apprentissage de l’italien devienne un jeu avec des résultats concluants, vous avez compris à qui vous adresser! Grazie Mille Mirella.
~ Rebecca Gruber, Toronto, Ontario:
Mirella has been my Italian teacher and mentor since beginning my adventure with this beautiful language and culture. In group and solo lessons, with students who were more and less advanced than I am, she has consistently been able to make the learning experience fruitful and delightful. Grazie mille Mirella!
~ Alejandro Hernandez, Montréal, Québec:
If you want very good teaching, and effective learning, where you know you will get the results, speak to Mirella. When you need to improve your English capabilities to express to others your expertise correctly, you have to be sure that the progress will be positive. Thanks Mirella for assisting me in my career goals.
~ Gwenda Jensen, Toronto, Ontario:
Mirella is a great Italian teacher. She helped me to become more confident in speaking Italian. I love her sense of humor, her patience, and the way she can communicate ideas to me, in simple terms that I understand, while speaking Italian. She is also great at explaining grammar. I love her dedication to teaching and was very sad to lose her when she left Toronto for Montreal. In the New Year I hope to get back in touch with Mirella for more Italian lessons via Skype, if she is available for that.
~ Nathalie Dagenais, Montréal, Québec:
J’ai suivi des cours d’italien avec Mirella en l’absence de mon professeur d’italien régulier. Mirella est très rigoureuse et professionnelle avec une excellente connaissance des règles de grammaire. Elle prend le temps de bien évaluer les besoins de ses élèves tout en demeurant à l’écoute de leurs attentes. Un grand merci pour tout Mirella!!
~ Engin Ozoguz, Montréal, Québec:
Mirella is a fantastic teacher. Studying Italian with her for just about four months, I was able to learn the essential vocabulary and grammar structures as well as the Italian culture. She is a very insightful instructor. She was able to adjust her program of teaching according to my specific needs. I was especially surprised by how easily she understood my issues and her advises were always spot on.
~ Kristina Bryant, Toronto, Ontario:
Mirella is an excellent teacher. I studied Italian with her for four months and was amazed at how much I was able to learn during that time. I directly attribute that to her wonderful teaching skills, as she manages to make learning very entertaining, while still maintaining professionalism and adhering to course requirements. She is constantly altering her curriculum to tailor it to her students’ needs, in order to help them achieve as much learning as possible in the amount of time that they have. At the end of my four months with her, I was able to communicate in person and over the phone in basic Italian while vacationing in Italy, without anyone switching into English because they didn’t understand me- that’s a true testament to her teaching skill!
~ Caroline Clark, England, UK:
I found Mirella to be an excellent teacher. Very able to lead interesting conversations and target grammatical problem areas. Her attention to pronunciation was much appreciated, but never off-putting. I always felt confident to speak and try to say more that I thought possible. I highly recommend her.