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Marcella Bonnan


Middle/Upper School World Languages Teacher

Middle School

Marcella Bonnan

Marcella Bonnan comes from a multilingual immigrant family as well as a family of language teachers, both of which greatly shape her as a language educator. After studying literature and French at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Marcella taught English in the south of France, where she discovered that she wanted to teach languages. After a year at three elementary schools in France, she pursued her Master’s degree in Education, specifically for teaching Spanish and French, at Northern Arizona University. Through her studies there, she developed her current inquiry-based approach to language education. Through the use of authentic texts and other cultural products, students make observations about linguistic structures and their uses, as well as about the cultures who speak the target language. Unit and lesson plans are created in relation to student inquiries in relation to their linguistic and cultural studies with the goal of having students participate in everyday and research tasks in the target language, including ordering food in the target language at a restaurant, exploring and explaining the importance of learning the target language in their city and communities, regularly engaging in meaningful conversation, and carrying out tasks for their project learning topics in the target language, amongst other applications.

Marcella Bonnan comes to Bennett Day with fourteen years of language teaching and in the past several years, she has worked with, created field experiences for, and studied at the Art Institute of Chicago as well as the National Museum of Mexican Art. Marcella learned about the Reggio approach to education while participating in Harvard’s Project Zero summer program as well as the summer institute for educators at the National Gallery of Art. Through these programs, Marcella has focused her professional development on learning through observation and using art to teach language and culture. This past school year, Marcella started her Ph.D. at the University of Illinois at Chicago in Literacy, Language, and Culture, where she plans to research the cultivation of student sense of belonging in language education. It is in relation to all of these passions and interests that Marcella is excited to become a part of the Bennett Day community, where student belonging, well-being and curiosity are centered and empowered.