The daughter of Italian immigrants, Alberta Gulotta grew up bilingual in Brooklyn, with a deep appreciation for the language and culture of her parents’ homeland.
That appreciation blossomed into love after Gulotta graduated from Fontbonne Hall Academy in Bay Ridge, when she would travel to Italy each summer. Eventually, she studied abroad in Florence, Italy, earning a degree in Romance Languages and Education and deciding to devote her life to teaching young people the beauty of the Italian, Spanish and French languages. To achieve that goal, she also studied secondary education and taught Italian and Spanish to children in New York City public schools.
Gulotta’s innate love of Romance languages ultimately spread outside her classrooms. She developed unique language programs for children in her Dyker Heights neighborhood, and began her own business. The Little Language Studio, also known as La Scuola Italiana di Brooklyn — the home of her original children’s Italian Playgroup — and The Kidz Cooking Studio are her latest accomplishments.
The Woman of Distinction designed her language immersion programs to be fun and interactive, using music, hands-on activities, visual aids, props and toys. They offer Italian classes for infants and children, including a bilingual Italian nursery program, culinary classes and a culinary summer camp, as well as private cooking parties. She keeps her teacher-student ratios small, with the motto: All children have the power to learn a foreign language.
Dyker Heights resident Regina Andriolo, who enrolled her son Andy, now a teenager, in Gulotta’s first children’s language class, said: “Her devotion to her young students and her enthusiasm for teaching the Italian language through immersion speaking, song, and art was readily apparent.”
“Alberta gives her young Brooklyn residents many opportunities to expand their knowledge of the world outside their own community,” said Andriolo, who was honored as a Woman of Distinction just last year.
“Her language students present a wonderful show each spring, entirely spoken and sung in Italian, and they have also appeared in the Brooklyn and Manhattan Columbus Day parades. These experiences, and the many others Alberta provides, build self confidence and knowledge of other cultures in our youngsters.”
Among the many accolades Gulotta has received in the 23 years she has educated children in the Italian language, she is especially proud of being named Educator of the Year last year by the American Italian Educators Association.
It’s evident that Gulotta’s enduring desire to educate others in language is rooted in her love and respect for her Italian heritage.
“I promote bilingualism with the goal to preserve the Italian language,” she says, “as well as teach the culture to children in Brooklyn and beyond.”
Neighborhood: Dyker Heights.
Occupation: Owner and director, head teacher.
Company: Little Language Studio and The Kidz Cooking Studio.
Claim To Fame: Educating children for more than 23 years.
Favorite Brooklyn Place: Under the Brooklyn Bridge.
Woman I Admire: Every independent and ambitious woman I know.
Motto or Life Saying: The key to a good life is to always be happy.
©2017 Community News Group
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