Being an English teacher is my occupation and vocation. I am a Master of Arts in English teaching and Applied Linguistics, Griffith University, Australia. After graduation, I taught at Griffith University and a variety of language academies in Australia, England, Scotland, Spain in addition to being a private tutor. Overall, I spent 8 years teaching students from different countries, cultural backgrounds, level of proficiency and age groups.
In my teaching, I follow and effective method mastered during my studies and teaching practice - a communicative student-centred approach. It means I explain neither grammar nor vocabulary in a traditional way. I make you think, reflect, learn and arrive at conclusions not just receive given results from your teacher. I put you in the centre and help you to feel the language, comprehend its core and the way it functions.
During the classes, we will have a lot of practical work. You will learn how to behave appropriately in any real-life situation. In other words, you'll be able to cope with whatever life throws at you in English. I pay attention to your pronunciation: I will correct your sounds and meticulously work on the improvement of your accent until it's native-like. I can teach three distinct types of English accents: Australian, British and American. You choose which one you prefer to become an expert in.
One of our best tutors! High-quality profile, qualified and response guaranteed. Helen will plan your first lesson with care.
Whether it is an improvement of spoken English skills or an exam preparation, you will reach your goals with me. Not only my education and experience secure this, but also my personality - I am friendly, considerate, supportive and down to earth. You will find it extremely easy to gain confidence, open up and practice your English in everyday real-life situations. Moreover, I take my classes seriously and always tailor lessons according to your needs. Therefore, whether you would like to become fluent in English for personal reasons, study/work abroad or pass IELTS, TOEFL or CAE - give it a go, you will be satisfied with your decision.
On a different note, as it is crucial for a teacher to see and hear students clearly during the classes for your successful learning process, you are required to have an excellent internet connection and a laptop (e.g. MacBook Pro, Samsung Notebook 9, etc.).
"In your opinion, what does it take to be a successful English speaker?"
1) A tutor, who has a university degree in English teaching and has dedicated his/her life to teaching, considers it as a vocation; someone who is able to guide the students on their learning path professionally and skillfully, understands what they are going through as s/he had experienced the same while learning another language.
2) Students must possess a resolute and unyielding desire to overcome all of the difficulties and keep working on their English skills until they achieve the results they are looking for. It’s crucial not to give up and believe in yourself and your abilities.
3) Patience - you’re not going to master a language overnight. Don’t pressure yourself, let your brain soak in the information you’re feeding it in a stable and stress-free manner. It’s better to learn less, but thoroughly understand the usages and pitfalls incorrect understanding of the expression brings, practice it as much as you can rather than just memorise 10 different expressions in one day and let your brain erase them all later. And there would be no escaping that, be well sure of that - our brain is not designed to learn a new language in a rash and stressful fashion. Just remember the nautical phrase used abundantly in “Pirates of the Caribbean” film series: “Steady as she goes” and you’ll be fine.
4) Try to live in a country where English is a native language - pick up a 2-3 month English course and off you go! You won’t believe the progress you’ve made. Be friendly, approachable and open-minded, don’t be afraid to strike up a conversation with your classmates or teachers - small talk is a key when it comes to loosening up and losing the fear of speaking in a different language. Soon you will realise that overcoming the language barrier has never been easier.
On top of that, if you have a chance, do your university studies there - whether it’s a Bachelor’s/Master’s degree or simply an exchange programme - give it a try, you won’t regret it. The longer you stay there and communicate with native speakers, the better. The same applies to business trips and other professional engagements: if an opportunity presents itself - grab it and never look back. No fear. No doubts. No regrets. See it as your motto.
P.S. Going on a 1-2 week vacation to an English - speaking country is a good idea as well, but don’t expect this trip to significantly enhance your English speaking skills. It might help you to pick up a word or two and make some friends, but don’t get your hopes up - this period of time is not enough to make a difference in your language skills clearly noticeable.
5) If you can’t visit / live in an English speaking country at the moment, that’s not a big deal, don’t let it prevent you from practicing English. You can always find native or English speakers where you are. Try googling things like “language exchange tandems” or “language exchange meetups” - I’m sure something interesting will pop up. Nowadays it’s been really common for like minders to get together and organise these sorts of events. Since the majority of them are informal, don’t be shy, give it a shot even if you don’t have anyone to go there with - you’ll definitely find someone to talk to and will end up making some awesome new friends.
6) If you decide to participate in these events, just see them as a way of chilling out in the end of a working week - don’t see your participation as something that you have to do, but rather what you want to do. In other words, allow an English speaking practice to become something that you do because it feels good, something you do because it’s fun, not something you do because you need it for work or studies. This kind of attitude will ensure that you see “learning English” as your friend at all times, even when it might be exhausting to keep working on your skills, and never as a foe. Moreover, it might help you to start thinking in English every now and then. Which brings me to my next point:
7) Think in English. Just try. You won’t have a hard time just trying, will you? Start slowly, once a day, don’t push it. Come up with something easy: “I need to put an alarm clock on” or “I’ve forgotten to brush my teeth”. Just think these simple sentences in your head. Don’t start with trying to analyse a movie or figuring out the purpose of our existence - no sense whatsoever, you’ll drop it after a few tries. Start slowly, steadily, imagine that you’re a baby learning how to walk. Keep this going for a couple of days, weeks or months - it’s entirely up to you. Then when you feel like it’s time to take it up a notch, move on to making little monologues in your head about silly mundane things, e.g.,: “Just look at this fantastic weather! Can’t wait to go on my lunch break and enjoy the sunshine. By the way, where is my lunch box? Have I forgotten it at home? No way, I remember putting it in my bag while that blond girl with a funny accent was on the news. Oh, here it is! How absent-minded of me”.
You see what I’m getting at? Soon, you won’t even notice how quickly you switch from one topic to another, how easy it is to let your thoughts flow and how unusual but satisfying it is to think in another language. Just start, start somewhere, you will get to your destination faster than you expect.
8) Choose your own way. No matter what everyone else says or recommends: listen to yourself and study with your own pace. Don’t compare yourself to others, it’s going to drive you crazy! Some people become more fluent or get the hang of a new grammar quicker than the others, and that’s totally fine. Mind that, but never allow yourself to think that you are less talented or less inclined to learning a language. That’s a complete and utter nonsense! You are as capable as everyone else. Never underestimate yourself - I keep saying that to my students almost every day. Allow yourself the luxury of mastering a language at your own pace. You’re going to get there - just give it as much time as you need.
9) Another key point: always keep your spirits high - that’s an absolute must, folks. If you’re frustrated or feel that you aren’t fully satisfied with your progress - address this issue immediately, talk to your teacher, discuss what is it that makes you feel upset or worried and your teacher should be able to coin for you a different approach. However, If your current teacher can’t help you with whatever issue you’re facing - find the one who can.
10) Accept that learning a new language is an individual process - there are no universal measures of how quickly one achieves the desired result. It all depends on you and your teacher. Therefore, believe in your success and choose your tutor wisely. If you haven’t found him/her yet, then keep looking until you find a teacher who best suits your needs. If you have - remind yourself from time to time how lucky you’ve been and show your teacher how much you appreciate him/her by studying hard and absorbing as much of what your tutor teaches you as possible.
11) Lastly, if you can’t remember a word from what you’ve just read and want a simple conclusion, just remember this: you deserve to have classes with the most talented, qualified and experienced teacher there is. Don’t settle for anything less.
"When did your passion for teaching languages begin?"
To start with, I was a very successful English learner back in high school. Even though English was our first language, we still had classes dedicated to mastering English writing and communicative skills, sociolinguistics, bilingualism, etc. My friends and classmates would always consult me regarding some tips or explanations if our teachers weren’t able to provide them. I was keen to help them out. Why not? I was really pleased they trusted me.
Soon, my mates would ask me: “Could you stay a bit longer after the class and explain us a thing or two? There are quite a few things we don’t get. We’d really appreciate it”.
I decided to give that idea a go since all of those guys were my mates and it felt great to do something nice for them. However, the real turning point was when they passed the exams I’ve been preparing them for with flying colours. What a pleasant surprise! I couldn’t believe how tangible and quick their progress was. Before I thought about some of them: “Oh, well, maybe they just don’t have a flair for languages”.
I have never thought like that since. As soon as they received fantastic results, I realised that everyone can learn a new language, no exceptions - they just need a tutor who knows which key to use to unlock this hidden and secure place in their brain called “language skills”. It became clear to me that the problem wasn’t them, but the lack of a necessary guidance, a proper tutor who could honestly say: “I’ve been in your shoes, I know how you feel and the difficulties you’re facing. And I sure can make the difference”.
I was very proud of my part in their success. So I thought to myself: ”Can’t believe how happy they are! And I taught them well without even knowing any professional teaching techniques. What if I actually learn couple of those? Go to the uni and become a highly qualified teacher? Dedicate myself to teaching and make it my vocation? Just imagine how many people I could help to achieve their goals and how happy would they all become”.
I decided it just there and then and never changed my mind since. I enrolled at Griffith University and in 5 years obtained my Master’s degree in English teaching. It wasn’t easy, but I always knew why I was doing it - my aim gave me the strength and willpower that I needed to make it happen. I’m immensely happy to realise that it was well worth it - I have been teaching for 8 years now and never doubted even for a second my decision to become a professional English teacher. I have to thank my students for that of course - they are fighters who keep studying and practicing until we reach the results everyone is hoping for. So thanks to all of you, guys :) You’ve chosen the right person to guide you along the way. The only thing left now is to keep calm and master your English skills step by step :)
General English classes, TOEFL, IELTS, FCE, CAE, CPE exam preparations:
60min. - 28€
- Master of Arts in English teaching/Applied Linguistics, Griffith University, Queensland, Australia.
- Bachelor's degree in English teaching/Translation/Interpreting, Griffith University, Queensland, Australia.
- IELTS (The International English Language Testing System), grade 8.5, Middlesex University, Great Britain, England, London.
- CPE (Certificate of Proficiency in English), grade A, Middlesex University, London, England, United Kingdom.
- TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language), score 118, Queensland University of Technology, Queensland, Australia.
- Certificate: "Cutting edge techniques in IELTS and TOEFL teaching", Griffith University, Queensland, Australia.
- Certificate: "Modern approaches to FCE, CAE, CPE teaching", The University of Queensland, Queensland, Australia.
- Certificate: "Communicative student-centred teaching, master the future", The University of Queensland, Queensland, Australia.
- Certificate: "Communicative teaching - contemporary methods", University of Glasgow, Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom.
- DELE (Diploma of Spanish as a Foreign Language), level C1, Valencia, Spain.
Perfect! Hi Helen! Thank you very much! This review makes me feel more motivated! You are an inspiring teacher!
Veronica is one of the most diligent students I’ve had in years. She is as passionate about being my student as I am about being her teacher. I’ve been having classes with Veronica for a couple of months now and her progress has been hard to overlook: her vocabulary has become much more abundant and sophisticated, her grammar - more accurate, her pronunciation - much clearer and more native-like. Moreover, she is genuinely interested in improving her current English level and that makes teaching her even more satisfying.
Vero, I will do my best to lead you on the path you’ve chosen and work on your English skills until we master them to perfection. You’re a fantastic student, just be yourself and continue to study hard. On my part, I promise I’ll keep you on your toes every step of the way :) Looking forward to our next class!
Helen is a great professional. The way she teaches English is very pedagogic and fun at the same time. We practice grammar through interesting conversations steadily increasing the complexity of vocabulary. She enriches the learnings by introducing native expressions which I can use in my English conversations with business colleagues and friends. Moreover, she prepares and personalizes every class, taking into account past studies, reviews and new topics to settle your knowledge and ensure your progress. In addition, she provides quite a few good examples to support each lesson and help you understand the sometimes tricky English grammar. To sum it all up, she really makes the difference, I'm learning a lot and I feel much more confident about my English since Helen has become my teacher.
I have always been happy with our classes and Helen's way of teaching, really interesting and productive. Not only does she correct my mistakes during the classes, but also sends me recordings which point out what should I pay special attention too. Moreover, she records exercises designed to improve your pronunciation, when I get home I listen to them and repeat the sounds, practice them in front of the mirror. Some of my colleagues at work are crazy jealous cause my English is better than theirs now.
Helen is a great English language teacher. She uses innovative ways of teaching, which always make me feel motivated. The lessons are adjusted to my needs and involve a variety of modern resources. Moreover, her methods help me to improve my pronunciation and incorporate new vocabulary. Apart from that, she is an enthusiastic and dedicated teacher who displays her extensive knowledge in every virtual meeting. Personally, I consider her as a supportive tutor. If you ask me, I wholeheartedly recommend her classes!
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