Frequently Asked Questions

What is your teaching philosophy?

I believe that the best learning opportunities are the ones that the students come up with themselves. For instance, in one kindergarten class, my students had trouble with punctuation. I observed that one student, Daniel, suddenly got excited about apostrophes. I fueled her passion with a big book on punctuation. His enthusiasm was contagious, and soon the entire class was asking bright and animated questions. Whenever possible, I try to deliver structured lessons in an unstructured way like this. Also I try to be close to my students, be their friend in lunch breaks but at the same time let them respect me as an educator in class. Students feel that I love them even if I am being strict if needed. And adult students feel my deep respect for their progress and my great devotion to them and our classes.

How do I know about my progress and results?  How do you evaluate your students?

I evaluate students with formal and informal methods, including quizzes and tests. I also grade in-class activities like reports, recitations, desk work, and group activities. For example: One of my students, Mila, showed a strong grasp of concepts during in-class activities, but performed poorly during testing. Through working closely with her, I discovered an undiagnosed vision problem. Mila got corrective lenses and her test scores rose to match her in-class comprehension. That is why I am convinced it is important to use different evaluating methods in classroom as well a standardized system to show students results in real time. I use my unique “Triangle evaluation System” which you can read and watch about in a BLOG section. I use this system for children aged 5-12.

Is age a factor?

All over the world, many people in their 50’s and even 60’s have successfully study English. In my teaching experience I had a woman aged 63 and she was such a devoted eager to learn student. However, the longer you have been away from a learning environment, the harder you will find the steep learning curve expected of you. You may also find that you have a lot of unlearning to do with regard to teaching methodology and ideas about “correct” English. You simply may be “afraid to speak in English, because you may make mistakes”. Don’t worry! What is more vital than age is that you approach learning English with genuine modesty, an open mind and desire to speak in English despite mistakes.

I am a non-native Russian Speaker. I don’t know Grammar well. Do I need it to speak English well?

Thank you for your question! No worries! I can make you smile now! Many Native English speakers don’t know grammar at all! They just speak it, because they have learned it from childhood. BUT many non-native speakers know grammar perfectly but still are scared to speak. The key here is to find balance! Yes, Grammar is important to sound correct, but it should not be a breaking stone to prevent you from speaking. The most important is to STOP being SCARED to speak because of errors. The most important in any language learning is to be UNDERSTOOD.  And when you have it, you can continue! Believe me I learned 5 languages! Together we can make it!