Marilena Beltramini was born in Bagnaria Arsa, Udine (Italy).
She lived with her family but she used to spend part of the year at her auntís house where since her early childhood she spent most of her summer in the house library. She was encouraged to be clever and learn about the world. She was curious about anything new and she still is.
Significant for her further school choices was her middle school English teacher who contributed to her motivation to language study, a passion she would cultivate in the years to come. But it was at university that her real passion came to surface. The study of Wellek and Warren's Theory of Literature proved seminal and opened her the doors of the mysterious and yet fascinating world of literary texts and textuality.
In november 1992, she graduated with a dissertation on Kurt Vonnegut's fiction and discovered the challenges of Postmodernism, a field she would gain further awareness of in later years. University life was interesting and she particularly enjoyed lectures and tutorials on the Metaphysicals, T. S. Eliot and V. Woolf, texts she still loves reading and studying.
After graduation she started teaching in the hope to get a permanent position. She attended a training course that unveiled her the world of textual analysis and critical theories - reading perspectives totally new to her - despite her experience previous with Wellek and Warren. She came into contact with intertextuality, J. Kristeva and several important scholars she would study later. Since then her interests have been in the field of literature from various perspectives and since than she has tried to transfer the new discoveries to school practice. In the meanwhile, after gaining a permanent position in the state school, she became more and more interested in reading and teaching texts in view of making them alive in the school context.
Further significant experiences followed. She was awarded scholarships at Aberdeen and Norwich universities. In Aberdeen she discovered David Lodge's fiction and received training in the study of poetry within a trans-national context. The encounter with trainers she considers key agents of her professional transformation opened her new borders of learning and new directions to take. She became aware of the potential of project work and a new phase in action research followed, so much so that the results obtained encouraged her to reshape her syllabuses which for some years became mainly designed on project basis.
In the mean time she was invited to design and implement teachers' training actions. She organized courses including theoretical input and workshops the results of which turned out promising.
In 2001 she won a post at General Direction U.S.R. Friuli Venezia Giulia where she was in charge of trans-national projects and the implementation of the school reform in the field of foreign language learning. She came into contact with different learning and teaching agencies also at European and international level. In the same year she was offered the opportunity of an Arion Study Visit that saw her in Galicia where she was also invited to give a lecture at Santiago de Compostela University about language learning and international projects, minority languages included.
In the last few years she has gone back to school and, in addition, she has started a teacher training experience at SSIS for Udine University. She has successfully completed a Master in >Open Distance Learning and one in Eurocultures.
Lately her action research has mainly included European and international project work and experimentation of active forms of learning and teaching, including ICT and ODL. Her latest Master of Arts thesis focussed on The European Dimension in Secondary School Education.
At the moment she is involved in the implementation of a Portfolio of the European Student and the design of active citizenship forms of learning in language learning and is Member of the Scientific Committee of Culturalpeadria.
Marilena lives in a small village near Cervignano del Friuli where she teaches at "A. Einstein" Liceo Scientifico. She regularly visits the U.K. and spends some time in London, the city she considers the most interesting example of a global European capital.