Sanja Garanis (Zakanji)


Sanja Zakanji


Sanja was born in Osijek, Croatia where she spent the majority of her childhood years. Growing up, she grew to love Spanish and English languages by listening to them on television and radio. At the age of twelve, Sanja immigrated to Canada where she continued to study these languages intensely, while slowly adding to her repertoire French, Russian and Greek.
Sanja attended the University of Alberta where she received her undergraduate Arts degree in Spanish and French Language & Literature (2009) and then a MA specializing in Translation of Children’s Literature. She always enjoys returning to her alma mater as an instructor where she feels privileged to share her love of languages with the new generations.

What has surprised you about teaching remotely?

How much simpler it is. I teach an evening course and I used to drive during rush hour and when winter came I would have the added stress of dangerous road conditions. Now I can teach anywhere as long as I have a quiet space and internet. I cut down on travel time and I am more relaxed going into the lecture. I miss the interaction with the students but I find that they are participating quite actively from home. Perhaps they have lessened some stressors as well.

What's the last book you read and loved?

"The Lonely Hearts Hotel" by Heather O'Neill. A historic novel about two orphans in early 20th century Montreal.

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?

South America from top to bottom. To learn about the culture I have studied for years.

What 3 words best describe your experience as a teacher?

Punctual, caring, easygoing.

What is your favourite word in French?

I love any word that has lengthy vowels such as in the word "coeur" - they are so much fun to pronounce.