I have worked for the last five years in secondary independent teaching. Most recently I was Head of Russian at North London Collegiate School, a highly selective independent school for girls in Stanmore. I held this role between September 2012 and August 2017.
I am a Cambridge graduate in Modern and Medieval Languages (Russian and German). Having studied French and German to A-level, I went on to study German and Russian at Cambridge, where I specialised in Russian. I spent one year living in three Russian cities: Voronezh, St Petersburg and Moscow. Whilst studying Russian language and literature at St Petersburg State University, I taught English to Russian students on a 1-to-1 basis. In Moscow I worked at the news website pravda.ru as a translator.
After graduating with a First Class degree (with Distinction) in 2005, I spent a year teaching English as a Comenius Language Assistant (part of the European Union's Socrates education programme) in a secondary school in Riga, Latvia. During this time I learned Latvian to intermediate level.
In 2006-08, I completed a two-year full-time research master's degree in East European Studies at the School of Slavonic and East European Studies (SSEES) at University College London. Here I specialised in the ethnic politics and sociolinguistics of post-Soviet Latvia, with a particular focus on the Latvian education system. During my time at SSEES I also learned Polish to intermediate level and spent one month at a language school in Krakow.
After a brief time teaching English as a foreign language at Oxford School of English, in March 2009 I joined the Foreign and Commonwealth Office as a Russian language and culture specialist. The job involved translating documents from and into Russian, as well as occasional interpreting assignments abroad. I left this post in June 2012 in order to begin my role as Head of Russian at North London Collegiate School.
In 2010 I received a Diploma in Translation (Russian->English) from the Chartered Institute of Linguists. In 2017 I qualified as a tutor for English, Russian and German on the language-learning app Tandem.
In 2017-18, as part of a sabbatical from teaching, I completed an MSc in Social and Cultural Anthropology at the University of Amsterdam. During this year I conducted three months of fieldwork in Ukraine, where I interviewed displaced persons from Crimea.
Aside from my academic background, I am an open, friendly and well-rounded person with a good sense of humour. I love foreign cinema, travel and music, and sing in a choir. I am a keen runner, swimmer and cyclist and enjoy taking part in long rides for charity. I am also currently doing a diploma in transformational coaching with an aim to incorporate coaching and mentoring in my future career.
I have five years' teaching experience in the Modern Foreign Languages Department at North London Collegiate School. I have taught Russian to GCSE, Pre-U and International Baccalaureate (IB), German to KS3, IGCSE, Pre-U and IB, and French to KS3. I have also taught the Theory of Knowledge (ToK) as part of the IB Diploma programme.
I have several years' experience of teaching English as a Foreign Language (EFL) in a range of settings both in the UK and abroad. This includes summer schools (Discovery Summer, Oxford, 2005; St Clare's, Oxford, 2006; Kings Schools, London, 2017), private language schools (Oxford School of English, 2008-09), a secondary school (Rigas Teikas vidusskola in Riga, Latvia, 2005-06), a bank (Hansabanka in Riga, Latvia, 2005-06) and on a private 1-to-1 tutoring basis. I have taught all levels from beginners to advanced.
Whilst at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, I taught Russian to employees preparing for posting to Russian-speaking countries. I also delivered an English grammar course to assist pre-posters with learning difficult foreign languages.
My background in EFL teaching ensures I give clear and concise explanations on the grammar of the foreign language I am teaching. An in-depth knowledge of how English works simplifies the task of teaching Russian, German or French. Being a native English speaker is also a considerable advantage when teaching other English speakers: a student of any foreign language must first be able to understand their own grammar before attempting to learn another!
My aim in teaching is always to help students help themselves. This I do by offering clear explanations, showing ways of applying new knowledge, and encouraging the student to work to the best of their ability. My approach to each lesson is always methodical and the content well planned and structured. I place a strong emphasis on reinforcing what has been learned during the lesson by setting relevant exercises to be done independently. I believe tutoring is not about spoon-feeding students what they need to know to pass an exam but about teaching them to think for themselves. Learning this way prepares them for the challenges of later life.
|Languages||English (British), Latvian, Polish|
|Availability||Weekends, Weekdays (all times)|
|References Available||On File|
|Chartered Institute of Linguists||2010||Professional||Diploma in Translation (Russian > English)|
|University College London||2008||Masters||MRes East European Studies, Grade: Distinction|
|University of Cambridge||2005||Bachelors||BA Modern and Medieval Languages (Russian and German), Grade: First with Distinction|
|Interlingue Language School, Rome||2003||Professional||TEFL certificate, Grade: Distinction|
|Unpublished feedback (Usually negative)||1|