Paola Bonissone, Ph.D., Lecturer in Modern Languages and Classics (Italian)



Paola Bonissone, Ph.D. University at Albany, Lecturer in Modern Languages and Classics (Italian)
Language Curriculum & Instruction; Biliteracy; Classroom Discourse
Office: Kiernan Hall 223
Phone: (518)783-6901


Dr. Paola R. Bonissone is an experienced language educator that has worked in the fields of TESOL and Foreign Language Instruction (at all levels) for over 30 years on the East and West Coasts. She has taught Italian in both public schools and private institutions in New York and California. In California for many years she taught at the Italian Language and Culture School, which was partially funded by the Italian Consul General. Locally, she has taught language courses in both Italian and Spanish and has maintained an advanced Italian conversation group for over 25 years. She has also taught prospective teachers language methods courses and has evaluated new teachers. Her TESOL career has spanned 30 years and was the primary focus of her teaching experience both in New York and California before joining Siena. In California, she established and ran a number of ESOL public school programs, grades 6-8 and at the high school level. She created and ran an ESOL Summer Program for at-risk ESOL students. It was an innovative program in which
students wrote and published their own bilingual text.. In New York, she taught in the Intensive English Language Program at the University at Albany and also taught adult ESOL students in an EOP program. She was awarded a Title VII Bilingual Fellowship to further her  studies and her doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction. She has extensive classroom- based research experience working with the CELA Educational Research Center at the University at Albany. Dr. Bonissone was part of a national research team that examined exemplary English high school instruction throughout the United States under the direction of Dr. Judith Langer. She also examined literacy via literature instruction in an Adult ESL classroom which became the basis of her dissertation work. Locally, she coordinated the Hispanic Tutoring Program at the College of St. Rose, upon the Dean’s request. She developed the program, placed and monitored college tutors in local public schools assisting Latino students in academic subjects. She oversaw 46 students; developed a bilingual writing buddies project and created the yearly Un Dia Juntos outing and newsletter. In 2007, Dr. Bonissone joined Siena College as an Italian instructor. By 2010, she had developed Siena’s first Italian minor in conjunction with a semester of study abroad in the Siena Abroad program in Siena, Italy. Siena College’s first 6 Italian minors graduated in 2012 with subsequent minors projected to graduate each year.