Our Teacher Profiles – Evening Courses

Cactus has a vast network of carefully selected, native speaking teachers who are fully qualified and experienced in teaching languages to adults. See our teacher profiles below to meet some of the inspiring teachers who teach our 10-week adult evening courses across the UK.

French Teacher Profiles

Samira

Why should students learn your language?

It’s the language of love! And also, French is spoken in so many countries including Europe, Africa and America.

What do you most enjoy about teaching?

What I enjoy most about teaching is adapting my teaching methods to individual needs, passing on my knowledge and giving a skill that will permanently be theirs. That amazing exchange and not forgetting the thanks I get, it’s really rewarding.

Country of Origin: France
Language Taught: French

Genevieve

What do you enjoy most about teaching?

The excitement I feel at the beginning of each term. Meeting so many new students helps keep my interest and forces me to adapt my teaching style to every student’s personality and needs. Not one class is ever the same; the way each student reacts to learning activities and group interactions is always different. Watching students overcome their grammar anxiety, express feelings with confidence and competence is incredibly satisfying.

Country of Origin: France
Language Taught: French

Emma

What do you enjoy most about teaching?

What I like most about teaching is trying to pass on my love of the French language and the numerous cultural treasures that can be found throughout the French-speaking world. I always try to make my lessons as varied, dynamic and interesting as possible. From games to songs to videos to Art and general interest conversation topics, teaching a language offers infinite chances to have a really enjoyable time in the classroom. Finally, I delight in meeting different people and having more and more complex exchanges with them in French. I find that in most lessons I learn something myself, whether it is something about my own language teaching or thanks to something one of my students has said.

Country of Origin: France
Language Taught: French

German Teacher Profiles

Natascha

Qualifications: M.A. in Russian Linguistics, Spanish Linguistics, Pedagogy, PhD in Spanish Linguistics

What makes a good teacher?

When she/he is able to pick up each single student at his/her level and explore the new language together with his/her pace.

Country of Origin: Germany
Language Taught: German, Russian, Spanish

Italian Teacher Profiles

Cristian

My top language tips:

If you concentrate on the alphabet and the few rules of phonetics, you will be able to read everything with the right pronunciation after only a couple of lessons & if you can master the Italian body language, you will be able to make yourself understood even without using any spoken words.

Country of Origin: Italy
Language Taught: Italian

Ugo

Three tips for beginner students of my language…

1. Italian is very easy to speak, read, and write; you will be amazed at how much you can understand after few lessons!

2. Italian can be perceived as a bit tough at the beginning; you will be dealing with masculine words and feminine ones. But, like in any system, things will slot into place pretty easily and patterns will be simple both to understand and to predict.

3. Do not be afraid of talking to your teacher: teachers are there to help, support, and make things easier. Be curious and active in your learning. Buying a pocket dictionary and a pocket book of verbs will help you in no time to be a true autonomous learner. Cultivating an interest, a hobby or a sport will add extra vocabulary and structures to your journey through classes.

Country of Origin: Italy
Language Taught: Italian

Angela

What is your experience in teaching?

My experience in teaching goes back 35 years, before I left Italy. Working with students for all these years has given me the opportunity to learn that the best way to teach a foreign language is by teaching it through the culture; in this way students have a broader outlook on different cultures and learn the language in a more proactive way. Whilst preparing my courses, I always take into consideration the individual needs of the students and their interests. Teaching Italian art, history, traditions, law and business is also for me the best way to stay close to my culture by sharing it with my students – some as young as three years old.

Country of Origin: Italy
Language Taught: Italian

Spanish Teacher Profiles

Amalia

What I enjoy most about teaching:

The construction of the building! Yes! I always have in my mind that the process of teaching and learning a language is like the construction of a building. At the beginning it is slow and very challenging, but at the same time, very important to create a good basis. Later it is shinier and shinier and more and more enjoyable.

What makes a good teacher?

Don’t forget you were a student once! Being patient and able to put yourself in your students’ shoes when something is difficult for them will help any teacher along the path.

Country of Origin: Spain
Language Taught: Spanish

David

Why should people learn the language you teach?

Spanish is becoming more and more important in the world. There is a growing population of Spanish speakers. Also, being able to speak more than one language is a sign that you are cultured and have a passion to want to be able to communicate with other people in another country. That’s always a positive thing.

Country of Origin: Spain
Language Taught: Spanish

Paula

What makes a good teacher?

A good teacher is somebody who learns more everyday, somebody with a passion for their subject. A good teacher is calm, passionate, engaging, intellectually stimulating, has a good sense of humour, listens to the students, encourages them, helps them, challenges them to think, is supportive and has an interest in the individual student.

Country of Origin: Spain
Language Taught: Spanish

Portuguese Teacher Profiles

Sandra

What makes a good teacher?

A good teacher is someone with a good awareness of the subject matter, but who is also able to convert that knowledge in a meaningful way to the students. Being flexible, patient and creative are all key elements to becoming a good teacher. But most importantly, the passion and love for the teaching profession.

Country of Origin: Portugal
Language Taught: European Portuguese

Paolo

How and why did you become a teacher?

I got my first job as a teacher when I was 19 years old, in a school for very poor children. I saw the brightness of their little eyes when my pupils started to repeat their first words in English, and I realised then my passion for the education system. So, I decided to create a free Spanish and English bilingual course for the pupils in a poor Brazilian community at the weekends. No money, no prizes, just their little eyes saying ‘thank you’ was all I needed. Since then I haven’t stopped teaching.

Country of Origin: Brazil
Language Taught: Brazilian Portuguese

Japanese Teacher Profiles

Rinko

Top language tip:

Please don’t worry about making a mistake. Practise speaking as much as you can and just enjoy learning!

Students should learn my language because:

It will give the opportunity to catch a glimpse of one of the most unique and intriguing cultures in the modern world. Japanese grammar & also pronunciation follows a clearly definable set of rules and has less irregular cases in comparison with English.

Country of Origin: Japan
Language Taught: Japanese

Russian Teacher Profiles

Natasha

How and why did you become a teacher?

I was born a teacher. My favourite teachers at school and university became my friends for life and I still keep in touch with most of them. They made a massive impact on me, they widened my intellectual horizons and taught me not only their subject but attitudes to many things in life. This is how I see my role as a teacher. I believe that my lessons are a lively exchange between the students and myself. In my lessons the students learn not only the language, but also a lot about the country and its people.

Country of Origin: Russia
Language Taught: Russian

 

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