About Me

Tea in CanterburyHi! If you’re new to the site and you love learning languages, welcome! You’re in the right place if you have been practicing your target language(s) for a while now, but need an extra boost to your speaking confidence and are looking for some much-needed motivation, inspiration, and encouragement to help you push through and reach the next level. I know what it’s like to struggle with language learning because for over twenty years now I’ve been learning multiple languages, such as Spanish, French, German, and Russian. I’ve tried everything: classroom practice, independent study, private tutors, studying abroad, and online lessons.

As a result, I approach language learning from a multidisciplinary approach that combines a variety of resources and techniques, which I love sharing with students. I strongly encourage students to use their current knowledge and interests to propel their language learning instead of just focusing on grammar, vocabulary, and pronunciation with boring exercises. Personally, my French studies were greatly accelerated while living in Paris when instead of studying French literature at the Sorbonne, I focused on one of my passions, music. That experience taught me that when you combine your passions, hobbies, and interests, your language learning is much more enjoyable and beneficial because you learn while having fun.

Language learning isn’t just some obscure skill that you acquire once and then never use in real life like the Pythagorean theorem or the equation for photosynthesis. Languages are a means of communication to meet new people, discover new cultures, and find out different ways of living. I love getting to know new students from around the world and having fascinating discussions about their home countries and the differences they can expect when they study abroad in the U.S. after having successfully prepared for their TOEFL with me. Once you figure out how to effectively stay motivated and enjoy learning, then you are well on your way to achieving success. It’s a privilege for me to accompany you along your journey and it’s a real sense of pride for me when I see you achieving your language goals.

Many of my English students have obtained 90+, 100+ and even 119 on their TOEFL, which is even better than my own personal best of 117 (28R, 29L, 30S, 30W). My favorite sections for preparing students are the speaking and writing sections. Having listened to hours and hours of student audio recordings, I’ve figured out what works, what doesn’t, and what students really need to focus on to get the top scores. I recognize that lots of students are overwhelmed with their speaking level, worried about their pronunciation, shaky grammar, and lack of vocabulary, which is why I developed the 30-Day Speaking Challenge to help students boost their speaking confidence and fluency. I’m also currently developing a TOEFL Speaking with Confidence online video course for students’ specific exam preparation needs.

If you’d like to hear a little more about the 30-Day Speaking Challenge you can listen to this recent interview I did on the Lingua Materna podcast with James Granahan. I’ve also discussed TOEFL strategies with Adriana of English with Adriana, and if you’d like to hear about how you can work on your goal-setting skills, you can listen to this interview I did for All Ears English. If you are primarily focused on TOEFL prep, you should check out my 15-lesson series of webinars I recently taught for LinguaTrip. Lastly, if you’d like to hang out online, the best place to find me is on Facebook, in the Language Exchange group I organize for over 15K+language learners from around the world.