The team

Meet the international team behind the Mother Tongues Festival 2019!
Mother Tongues Festival 2019. Tallaght, 2nd and 3rd March 2019. Picture Enzo Francesco Testa Photography.
Mother Tongues Festival 2019. Tallaght, 2nd and 3rd March 2019. Picture Enzo Francesco Testa Photography.
FRANCESCA LA MORGIA  – Mother Tongues Director and Festival Producer

Dr Francesca La MorgiaFrancesca is Assistant Professor in Clinical Speech and Language Studies in Trinity College Dublin, and the coordinator of the Irish Research Network in Childhood Bilingualism and Multilingualism. Since 2006, her research has focused on child language development and bilingualism. Before joining Trinity, Francesca lectured in UCD, DCU and at the University of Reading, where she was also responsible for the English branch of Bilingualism Matters. She has been running workshops for bilingual families, teachers and other professionals for 10 years, and in 2017 she founded Mother Tongues, to offer these workshops and classes to a wider audience. Francesca has since been shortlisted for a number of national awards, including the Social Entrepreneur Awards and Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur.

ELENA CRISTOFANON  – Festival Manager

Elena CristofanonElena always believed that languages are the fundamental way to express ourselves.
Since she moved to Dublin from Rome in 2014, that became an issue even more important to her, as she found herself struggling with the barrier of truly express her ideas and passions in a language she didn’t fully control. One year later she decided to learn Spanish (for love) and also started teaching Italian to Irish people. At that point, she realized how much bilingualism and multilingualism can shape and change people's minds. With an academic background in art history, a master in Standards for education in museums and her skills in graphic and web design she supports the creative side of Mother Tongues.  -

EMA STAPLETON  – Assistant Manager

ema stapletonEma is a writer and musician from Dublin. She has a Masters in Popular Music Research from Goldsmiths College, London and an undergraduate degree in Commercial Modern Music from BIMM Dublin. She enjoys teaching music theory and vocals to all levels. She learnt French and Irish in school and loves speaking them whenever she gets the chance. She has volunteered for numerous music festivals and is putting her festival knowledge to the test by helping to organise Mother Tongues Festival! (Photo by Ruthless Imagery)

INÊS PÁSCOA BAPTISTA – Volunteers Coordinator

Inês Páscoa BaptistaInês is a freelance translator/interpreter and project manager. She has a Master Degree in Literary Translation from the University of Florence and has worked as an HR assistant with Eures, as a travel agent and as an international customer care support agent.
Passionate about languages for as long as she can remember, she speaks Portuguese, Italian and English fluently. In her student years in Portugal and later in Italy she lived with people from different countries and cultures - this cultural exchange made her realize that multiculturalism and multilingualism are the basis for a stronger society. She lives in Ireland since late 2017 with her family, raising her daughter to be trilingual.

CLAUDIA KUNKEL – Community Development, Dublin

Claudia KunkelClaudia studied Speech and Language Therapy in Munich. She worked as a speech therapist until she moved to Rome in 2008, where she did therapy with bilingual children and taught German at the Goethe-Institut. She has been living in Ireland since 2016. She is fascinated by the many different strategies used by adults to learn a second language and by the great capacity of children to learn two or more languages simultaneously.
Throughout her career, Claudia has been supporting parents in the early stages of their child’s linguistic development, integrating new technologies in therapy and in language teaching.

JULIE ANNE BROWN – Community Development and Advisor, Galway

Julie Anne BrownJulie Anne de Brún lives in Galway city and is originally from Maigh Cuilinn in Co Galway. She works as a Primary School teacher in Maigh Cuilinn.  She is also a Colourstrings music teacher through the medium of the Irish language. She teaches in Maoin Cheoil na Gaillimhe, in Galway city and in Teach na Gaeilge, with Conradh na Gaeilge, in Maigh Cuilinn. Julie Anne works with children and parents who want to promote and improve their own Gaeilge. These parents want to bring up their family with Gaeilge. She is also a member of the committee of Gaeilge Mhaigh Cuilinn, which promotes the use of Gaeilge in the community and Mother Tongues Ireland too. She has a great interest in bilingualism, and its many positive effects and benefits.