- MA in Linguistics and Intercultural Communication
- IH Certificate in Teaching Very Young Learners
- TEFL/TESOL Certification
I was born in Yonkers, a suburb of New York City. I’m both American and Russian. Most of my life I have lived in Russia, but travelled a lot and for a short period lived and worked in the US.
After graduating from Moscow State University, where I studied linguistics and intercultural communication, I worked at a high school in Moscow and taught English to teenagers. It was quite challenging, but I enjoyed sharing my love of the English language and culture. After that and up to 2011 I had an exciting experience of working as a camp leader in an extraordinary camp where we organised role-playing games based on popular fiction and used innovative methods for developing thinking, creative and teamwork skills, one’s outlook on life and responsibility to society.
Later I had an opportunity to use my knowledge of language in charity. I founded and coordinated the work of a Charitable Translators Community, the first pro bono translation charity in Russia, where we also ran career guidance programmes for teenagers and reading and learning English in village schools. I enjoyed working in the nonprofit sector, because you can meet a lot of caring people who are ready to share their knowledge with others.
After the birth of my son I returned to part-time teaching. I upgraded my education and taught EFL to young learners and teenagers.
What is the favourite part of the course you teach?
I enjoy learning new things together with my students.
Which teaching method do you prefer and why?
In teaching English I usually stick to a communicative approach. I believe that especially with young learners it's important to let them acquire the language in a more natural way without using translation or any complex grammar exercises. They start speaking and understanding easily if the learning process is not a lesson, but an engaging game, when the language is around them and used in a meaningful context.
Who is your role model or mentor or who inspires you?
My family members are my best mentors. My husband inspires me to be brave enough to try new things. My son teaches me to be flexible and empathetic. My brother teaches me to be consistent and responsible. My father teaches me to be there when I'm needed. My mum teaches me to be myself no matter what they say.
What is your life motto?
I don't really have a special motto which I'm guided by all my life, but for now this quote from About Time movie appeals to me: “I just try to live every day as if I’ve deliberately come back to this one day to enjoy it as if it was the full final day of my extraordinary, ordinary life.”
What are the three things you can't imagine your life without?
My family and friends, my faith and beauty in various senses.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
Play with my son, spend time with my husband. I go downhill skiing when I have time and money. I enjoy hiking, listening to my favourite music, reading poems and spending time with friends. I love board games. I'm happy when there's an opportunity to meet with like-minded people and talk about what we love, to share with and learn from each other.