The La Academia Team
Meet Our Team
Alejandro Rios - Spanish Tutor
Hello, I am Rios. I am from Cádiz, this city is famous in Spain because their people are very happy and friendly and…am I like that? Let’s find it out!
I have an education degree which mixed with fun and professionalism could make your learning experience easier plus having good results at the same time!
Definitely if you are looking to enjoy your Spanish lessons and learn more about our culture, I’ll be more than happy to help you. ¡Hasta pronto!
Elisabeth Diamantidi - French Tutor
I am a French native speaker from Lyon and I am an experienced, qualified language teacher. I have been teaching one to one and group lessons in the last few years. My experience in public and private sector organisations really helped me develop reactivity, imagination and spontaneity. It let me draw on my energetic creativity and allowed me to utilise my communication skills. I develop bespoke lesson plans according to the needs of my students.
Can’t wait to meet you! A bientôt!
Anna Maria Forti Sheikh - Italian Tutor
Anna Maria is an experienced Freelance Translator, Language Consultant and Teacher of Italian at CDLCI – Education Department of the Italian Consulate in Manchester- delivering courses of Italian language and culture at pre-GCSE, GCSE and GCE level, and children in primary schools and Teacher of Italian from beginners to advanced level to adults at The Guild for Life Long Learning in Wilmslow.
Anna Maria has been a speaker at seminars and conferences for ALL, CILT, RSG ELL on teaching and learning strategies for the Italian language aimed both at teachers and students in Primary and Secondary schools. She has also been a Promoter of languages in secondary school with COLT – ROUTES into Languages with Manchester Metropolitan University, the University of Manchester, Salford, Preston and Bolton, and a promoter of cultural events with The Virtual Village and Dramatic plays in Italian for children and adults.
She has written articles related to teaching languages published on specialist quarterly reviews Tuttitalia by ALL (Association of Language Learning). She is co-translator and co-adaptor, of The Catherine Cheater Scheme of Work for Italian Y3 and co-author and co-producer of children’s stories.
Workshops offered in Primary or Secondary:
- Carnevale and Comedy of art;
- The importance of reading Fairy-tales in the foreign language acquisition process;
- Creator of the Fast food Italian style cookery course for children and adults with highlights on cultural and regional variations and traditions.
Shazia Munum - French Instructor
Bonjour, my name is Shazia. I have been teaching French lessons for over 2 years across the UK.
I initiate the French Language and Culture to different Levels ranging from Beginner to Proficient.
As well as working in Primary schools, I organise evening classes for adults and one-to-one private sessions online.
I am an enthusiastic and determined French Instructor and very clear-sighted in my ambitions. My commitment is total, especially when it comes to conveying my knowledge in my domain.
I have always had a passion for teaching and want to take this opportunity to encourage, motivate children and adults to learn a new language. I really enjoy introducing my own culture to people by discussing different topics such as current affairs, films, sports, songs and festivals.
I am looking forward to elevating your skills in all aspects of this subject. Merci et à bientôt !!!
Michelle Taylor - Science, Maths and Geography Tutor
Hello future tutees!
I’m Michelle and I’m originally from Edinburgh. I am a Ph.D. student studying Marine Biology. I teach Chemistry, Physics, and Maths to GCSE level, and Biology and Geography to A-level.
I believe teaching is most beneficial when it is tailored to the student. Everyone learns differently and it is my job as a teacher to ensure I change my style to match my students. I want my students to understand the concepts rather than just know how to answer questions in an exam.
Judi - Hebrew Tutor
My name is Judi, and I am a Hebrew teacher.
I live in Bariloche, a beautiful town in the Argentine Patagonia.
I was born in Israel, and the Hebrew language is in my heart. The Hebrew language accompanied me throughout my life. I started teaching Hebrew when I was very young, and I enjoy watching my students grow in their skills and enthusiasm.
I love every minute of my teaching, and I am committed to excellence, and I teach diligently and thoroughly. Hebrew is a millennial language, rich in its vocabulary and full of tradition! For that reason, one can discover new things every time one approaches the language. Hebrew is part of a culture that has been rich and vibrant for so many years.
Federica Whitefoot - Italian Tutor
Hi I’m Federica, but everyone calls me Fed in the UK. I’m Italian, more specifically Sicilian and I am a passionate linguist and traveller. I am a Qualified Language Teacher and I have been teaching in secondary schools until I had my own child two years ago. Now I work part time as an Italian tutor for la Academia.
Since coronavirus has hit the world things have been hectic but we have now found our “new balance”. Some of my students have decided to suspend their learning due to their changed circumstances but the majority has carried on. I have been able to teach remotely using Zoom or Skype and my students have been all very supportive and enthusiastic to have something to do aside working from home or doing home-schooling.
Louise Earle - Media Support
Hi, my name is Louise and I studied English Literature and American Studies at the University of Manchester. Since graduating, I have been working in digital marketing mainly creating content for a number of small businesses!
It is my pleasure to provide media support to la Academia, assisting with email marketing campaigns and web amendments! I especially like working alongside Andrea and Ruben, the friendly faces of the business!
Lydie Le Pajollec - French Tutor
I am a French national with a strong experience in teaching French, as well as being passionate about teaching. I spent the last 9 years teaching in primary school in France (equivalent preschool up to year 6). I am a certified French teacher and I hold a Master degree in education for non-native speakers.
I am qualified in teaching to both children and adults and I will make sure I will support you through your learning with fun and entertaining courses.
Ishraq Choudhury - A-Level Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Mathematics Tutor
Hello! I’m Ishraq and I’m from Manchester. I’m a 3rd year Medical Student studying at the University of Manchester, based at Wythenshawe Hospital, with 4A*s at A-Level in Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Maths. I teach all the Sciences and Maths up to an including A-Level, all exam boards included.
Miryam Lora Yuste - Spanish Tutor
My name is Miryam and I was born and raised in Don Quijote’s land: La Mancha (centre of Spain). However, my desire to discover new places in the world made me finish my degree in Modern Languages Philology in the University of Finland. This experience in a country where I could become aware of new approaches in the education system encouraged me, in turn, to finish my studies with a Postgraduate degree in Applied Linguistics and Teaching Spanish as a Foreign Language.Now that I am based in Manchester as a certified and experienced native Spanish teacher, I use my passion for the richness of languages, as well as their literature and culture, to connect my students to the class material. My areas of expertise include designing class material according to the CEFR and the PCIC (Instituto Cervantes Curricular Plan), and the use of innovative methodologies. Join us to discover the gift of mastering multiple languages!
“Learning is a treasure that will follow its owner everywhere” – Chinese proverb
Steve Whittaker - French, German and English Tutor
A Manchester native, Steve is a qualified language teacher, as well as having spent over a decade working in business services for major companies across France, Germany, Belgium and the UK.
Steve primarily teaches French, German and English. He specialises in languages for business and preparation for GCSE and A-Level language exams.
He firmly believes that getting to know the cultures behind languages helps improve linguistic abilities, and uses lots of authentic material to bring these to life.
Kay Pinto - English Tutor
Hello, I’m Kay and I’m an experienced, enthusiastic Primary and English teacher. I have lived and taught in Britain, Spain and Portugal, and worked with children, adults and communities from all types of ethnic and religious backgrounds, developing my inter-cultural skills and understanding.
My creative, flexible approach to teaching means that I am able to account for individual learning styles, which ensures my lessons are accessible, motivating and fun.
As well as teaching, I also love learning languages. It is well documented that language learning is good for the brain and that’s a good enough reason in itself. However, for me, a new language gives me a key to unlock aspects of other countries and their cultures that would otherwise remain unknown.
Diana Martinez - Spanish Tutor
My name is Diana and I’m from Colombia. I’m a patient, passionate and experienced Spanish tutor ready to help you whatever your current level.
Most importantly, I am an experienced tutor with students at all levels from Primary to GCSE and from A-Level to University. Whatever your needs, I will tailor your lessons to suit your own abilities and learning style.
With my tuition – and a little dedication on your part – you will make real progress towards your dream of speaking Spanish – so let’s get started.
Neda Kassas - English Tutor
I’ve been teaching English for 35 years and love it. I worked in several secondary schools, before going out to Egypt to teach ESL. While I was there, I taught a variety of classes including GCSE, SAT’s, IELTS and GMAT preparation.
I worked in the American University in Cairo’s English Language Centre for 25 years where I helped students to achieve proficiency in all areas of academic English skills – including listening, speaking, academic reading, essay writing, vocabulary, and grammar. I also lectured on Shakespeare in the University’s English Literature Dept.
Since returning to England in 2016, I have been working as an English tutor with a variety of students of different levels and with different needs.
I have a BA Hons. degree from Manchester, a PGCE English Literature and an MA in TEFL. Most importantly, I have a wealth of experience, lots of patience and a sense of humour.
Saray Ibañez - Spanish Tutor
Hello, I’m Saray. I am from the South East of Spain (Murcia) and I can’t wait to bring you some sun in my Spanish lessons. I am a Spanish philologist with a Masters in Education.
I’m looking forward to sharing my language and culture with you and, of course, using all my experience and knowledge to make you feel as passionate as I am about the Spanish language.
Let’s go and discover how enjoyable, dynamic and surprising this language can be. No boring classes, no waste of time. Come, enjoy and learn. I hope to see you soon in class.
Jessica Sandez - Spanish Tutor
¡Hola! My name is Jessica and I come from the beautiful city of Bilbao, in the North of Spain.
I love teaching Spanish. I teach Spanish in Primary Schools and adult lessons, in smalls groups and private lessons.
I have a master degree in History and a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE). I like to speak about Spanish culture, history and traditions in my lessons. Spain is more than a language, am I right?
I motivate and teach in a sympathetic manner. I like to use a range of teaching strategies and resources, always adapting that to the needs of each student and the whole class.
I find teaching gratifying and enjoyable as I always learn from my students.
Lena Chevrollier - French Tutor
Originally from France, Lena has had more than 5 years experience in the language sector for teaching French and English as foreign languages. She has worked in public and private secondary schools in the Manchester area for 4 years and has specialised in bilingualism with young children and teenagers. She is currently teaching students from the age of 4 up to 75.
Kiki Koukou - Greek Tutor
My name is Kiki and I am a native Greek speaker. I have been teaching Modern and Ancient Greek, Latin, History and Literature in Greece ever since 2004. I have been teaching in the UK from 2015 onwards. I have a Masters (Msc) in Cultural Studies, Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) in the UK and I am registered with the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS).
I have extensive experience in teaching students of all ages and levels of education, including preschoolers and adults. I offer services both as a private tutor and in a class environment, and I teach Greek as first or additional language, so, if it’s all Greek to you, let me help!!!!
Ruben Cnobel - Language Specialist
Ruben is a fully qualified language specialist, who has spent 12 years as a teacher in Argentina and eight years teaching Spanish in the UK. He has also worked in a number of primary schools in the last six years.
He is an experienced examination moderator for OCR – one of the largest examination boards in the UK.
Andrea Nicholls - Spanish Tutor
Originally from Argentina, Andrea is a highly respected Spanish teacher, translator and interpreter and has worked on a large number of high-profile cases for the police and HM Courts in the UK, as well as at the G8 Summit in 2013.
Andrea has worked in the languages sector since 1987 and has taught Spanish in a number of primary schools in the last eight years.
Eulália Gumbley - Portuguese Tutor
Olá! My name is Eulália and I am from Porto, Portugal. I have a degree in Modern Languages and Literature and a pgcert in Higher Education. I have been teaching privately, in language schools, secondary schools and universities in Manchester since 2002. Currently I teach English and Portuguese to all ages and levels.
I am also an experienced examiner for the Cambridge International Examination.
Laura Kovaleva - Russian Tutor
I am a professional teacher of Russian as a foreign language with vast experience in teaching the language to adults and children of different ages and from various backgrounds. I absolutely love teaching and always make my lessons both effective and enjoyable. It makes me feel happy that I have an opportunity to teach my native language and culture to people from other countries!
Gillian Hall - Japanese Tutor
こんにちは! I’ve been teaching Japanese in the UK now for over 20 years. My Japanese language qualification is the Japanese Language Proficiency Test Level 1 which I passed after a period of several years in Japan many years ago. I hold a PGCE in Japanese Language Teaching from the University of Nottingham.
I also teach English as a second language at all levels.
Dagmara Kida - Polish Tutor
My name is Dagmara and I am from Poland. I have a Master’s Degree in language teaching and many years of experience in teaching English and Polish to students of all ages. After working as a full-time English teacher in Poland, I decided to come to UK and focused on teaching Polish.
It is extremely satisfying to see when foreigners start to speak my unique and niche language. I am proud to spread Polish beyond my country’s borders and teach foreigners more about my culture.
I tailor lessons for the individual needs of my students (family/social, travel, work, business). I always try to make my lessons relevant, interesting and enjoyable for the learners. From the very first lesson I make sure that my students understand the basics and see some patterns to realise that Polish is not as hard as everyone thinks:)
Allyson Turpin - French and Spanish Tutor
I have a BA Honours Degree in French and Spanish, a post graduate teaching qualification (PGCE) and I also have experience of having worked as an examiner of Spanish for AQA.
I have been teaching French and Spanish for 12 years at all levels and to all ages at my local college, and I also tutor on a one to one basis. I am passionate about learning and speaking foreign languages and love passing on my knowledge to others. I particularly enjoy tutoring for GCSE/ IGCSE French and Spanish.
Lynne Curran - EFL Tutor
I have been teaching English language since 2004 and have a wide experience
working in colleges and language schools.
I also host overseas students and teach one to one at home and I work as an
assessor and moderator for the English Speaking Board.
I love seeing the progress students make and enjoy helping them to achieve
their goals and grow in confidence.
I always use a range of resources to make learning as interesting and
enjoyable as possible and particularly like working one to one or with
smaller groups as the learning can be more personalised and meaningful.
Halyna Savchyn - Russian and Ukrainian Tutor
I am a trilingual speaker who teaches both Russian and Ukrainian. Since obtaining my PGCE teaching certificate in 2003, I have been teaching in English primary and secondary schools and FE colleges. I teach beginner, intermediate and advanced level Russian and Ukrainian to adults and children. In addition, I have also provided Russian language tuition at such corporate customers as Gazprom.
I am extremely passionate about teaching and try to create Individual learning plans for each tutee so that they can meet their objectives in full. My techniques help improve listening, speaking, reading and writing skills and keep students motivated.
So, if you want to learn Russian or Ukrainian, why not contact me?
Vivien Hom - Chinese Tutor
Hi, my name is Vivien.
I am from China hence Chinese Mandarin is my first language. I have a first degree in Chinese Language and Literature. I came to UK in 2000 to pursue my Master degree which I graduated in 2002 with a MBA degree.
Teaching my young daughters Chinese Mandarin and about China has been a great incentive and motivation for me and made me realise how important it is to introduce the fascination of the Chinese language and culture!
I have great passion in teaching my native language.
Sonia Murillo - Spanish Tutor
My name is Sonia and I’m from La Coruña. I’m a teacher of Spanish who specializes in teaching children.
I’ve been working as a Spanish tutor in the UK for 4 years and also in primary schools, nurseries and children clubs. I love working in England.
Silvi Hilman - Spanish Tutor
My name is Silvi, I’m from Argentina and I’m a native Spanish speaker and one of the Spanish teachers at la Academia.
Having a Psychology degree has helped me a lot to have a different approach to students (children and adults) to create solid relationships with them.
My secret for a good lesson is to have fun and enjoy learning a new language!!
John Hofton - French and EFL Tutor
I have a BA Hons degree in French and am also a fully qualified teacher.
I have extensive experience of teaching French at Secondary School level, both as a French teacher and as a former Head of Department. I worked for many years as an AQA examiner of French and am currently an examiner for Cambridge International Examinations (GCSE and A-level).
In recent years I have been working with younger pupils both in primary schools and nurseries. I enjoy inspiring pupils and students of all ages to open their minds to the joys of learning the French language and culture.
Lynn Oldfield - French and German Tutor
After gaining my teaching qualification at Didsbury college, my degree at Liverpool and a studying for a year in France, I have taught French and German to adults and children for more than twenty five years.
My career has mainly been in secondary schools in Cheadle and Warrington but I am currently teaching in Primary Schools.
I absolutely love teaching languages and I believe that the the key to success is to engage the students by making the lessons fun and exciting.
Warka Al-Wandawi - Arabic Tutor
My name is Warka Al-Wandawi,
I am an Arabic teacher who teaches students from a range of cultures between the ages of 6-18 in schools and to all ages for home tuition.
I love the Arabic language and literature with a passion and hope to share this love of Arabic with the students. Using the most updated curriculum and resources, my teaching methods enables students to learn Arabic in a fun, memorable and interactive way……Welcome to Arabic
Fernando Navarrete - Spanish Tutor
¡Hola! I am Fernando from Spain, do you know Extremadura? It´s an incredible land where you can find Roman, Arabic, Baroque and Medieval cities surrounded by incredible nature, and eat the best tortilla ever!
I have been enjoying teaching Spanish for several years. I work with adults and children and enjoy every aspect of it. In class I like to discover all the aspects of the language and the Hispanic culture with you. Every class is important for me because we find new challenges. This is why I enjoy being a tutor. I bring all that to my classes where I also like to have fun whilst we learn, and of course we communicate in Spanish. If you are more intrigued about my region now, imagine how much we can learn in class ¡Hasta luego!
Judith Rafferty - Blog Writer
Hi there, I’m Judith, a friendly and accomplished Manchester-based copy and content writer.
I initially mastered my crafts during a longstanding successful sales and marketing career with several market leading high street restaurant, bar and venue brands.
I now specialise in digital marketing content and conversion copywriting. And I’m never short of ideas when it comes to languages, the creative possibilities are endless.
Cheryl Turner - Social Media
Hola! I’m Cheryl and I look after the social media for La Academia. I’ve been creating digital content since 2012 and have always had a passion for writing. As a ‘word nerd’ every day is a school day when working with languages – and the possibilities are endless.