Teresa Lobalsamo

Associate Professor, Teaching Stream, Italian Studies Undergraduate Program Coordinator
Language Studies

In addition to introductory Italian language courses, and in line with her research foci, Professor Lobalsamo teaches an array of cinema, culture, and experiential learning courses in which she emphasizes active learning and communicative approaches.

Whether she is teaching a language, culture, cinema, or theatre course, Professor Lobalsamo is committed to the creation of student-centred environments that are inclusive, collegial, and respectful. Her classes are cooperative and discussion-based, employing a peers-teaching-peers model in which every student has the opportunity to take on the role of class leader and share their perspective. This model affords more room for critical thinking and reflection, the promotion of social and emotional development, and the provision of frequent feedback—all of which contributes to higher levels of student engagement and stronger undergraduate research.

Professor Lobalsamo believes that a meaningful university experience provides students with the opportunity to be productive inside and outside of the classroom. In addition to encouraging her students to present their research at local events and international conferences, she integrates collaborative, real-world opportunities into lectures, activities, and assessments so that students learn to recognize the transferability of their university skills. Many of her courses feature field excursions to Italian-Canadian diaspora areas and, more recently, study-abroad programs, allowing students to experience Italian culture firsthand while further developing their foreign language skills through on-site interactions.

Her teaching practices also inform recent scholarly activities (articles and conference papers) that centre on high impact practices in foreign language learning, cinema and pedagogy, teaching methodologies in large classes, and the benefits of study abroad. She serves on several campus-wide committees and she is also the American Association of Teachers of Italian (AATI) Regional Representative for Canada. Editorial credits include previous work on Italian Canadiana, volumes of conference proceedings, current member of the Quaderni d’Italianistica editorial board (currently), and current reviewer for the International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (ISSOTL).

Areas of Academic Interest

  • Italian Cinema
  • Cinema and Foreign Language Pedagogy
  • Italian Gastronomy

Grants, Fellowships and Awards

  • Teaching Excellence Award for Junior Faculty (UTM, 2017-2018)
  • Dean’s Excellence Award (UTM, 2018)
  • Jackman Humanities Institute (JHI) Scholars-in-Residence (SiR) Program (UofT, 2018)
  • UofT Instructional Technology Innovation Fund (2014)
  • Teaching Excellence Award for Teaching Assistants (UTM, 2008)
Ph.D., Italian Studies, University of Toronto (U of T) Dissertation: From Visual Learner to Visual Teacher and Beyond: Pedagogical Considerations on the Role of Children in Vittorio De Sica’s Neorealism
Master of Arts, Italian Studies, U of T
Honours Bachelor of Arts, U of T


  • “Drama-Based Foreign Language Learning and the Modern Mandragola.” Skenè. Journal of Theatre and Drama Studies, vol. 5.1, Spring 2019. Peer-reviewed.
  • “Experiential Pathways to Meaningful Learning in the Humanities Classroom.” Italian Canadiana, vol. 33, 2019.
  • “A Film Manual for Introductory Italian: Benvenuti al nord / Welcome to the North.” Canadian Scholars’ Press Inc., 2017.
  • “Outwit, Outlast, Outplay: Survival Techniques (for Teachers and Students) in the Large Language Classroom.” Nouvelle Revue Synergies Canada, vol. 9, 2016.
  • “Exploring Learners’ Perceptions of North-South through Italian Cinema.” Soleil, 2015.
  • “What Exactly Is ‘Italian Food’? An Overview of Italy’s Culinary Past.” ITA235H5 Cucina  Italiana Course Pack, Canadian Scholars’ Press Inc., 2015.


Current Courses
Italian for Beginners, Cucina Italiana: Italian History and Culture Through Food, Contemporary Italian Cinema I, Mafia Movies: Unraveling the Mob in Italian and North American Cinema, Italian Theatre and Performance