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Some of our Teachers

Ruba, Arabic Teacher

Ruba – Arabic Teacher

My name is Ruba Abu Al-Shamat. I was born in Syria and then moved to Saudi Arabia with my family where I was raised and graduated from school. Later I moved to Syria and started studying Arabic literature at the Damascus University. When I returned to Saudi Arabia I worked with international schools and taught Non-Arabic speakers.  It was an amazing experience and gave me the opportunity to get to know a lot of people from different cultures and with many different traditions.

Currently I am living in Melbourne with my husband and my three kids. They are my whole life and I spend almost all of my time with them. For me, being a language teacher means that you are not only teaching your language but also teach the whole culture behind it and in my opinion Arabic is worth to be known to everyone. I also do believe, that teaching is based on some kind of a relationship between a teacher and students, so that everyone can enjoy the lessons.

Life is a long journey with a lot of experiences and for me working at the East Melbourne & German language centre is one of the most beautiful stations in my life.

Iraj – Arabic Teacher

I was born in Australia from parents who migrated here from the Middle East.  Being always curious about that part of the world, I ended up as a young adult living for five years in Cairo, Egypt, where I completed a Bachelor’s degree in Arabic literature.  Since then, I made the study of Arabic into a full-time career.  From Egypt I traveled to the United States, where I did two Master’s degrees am currently completing a PhD focusing on Arabic travel narratives from the early Ottoman empire.  For the last three years, as part of my doctoral program, I taught Arabic at all levels to graduate and undergraduate university students.  Toward the end of 2017, I returned to Melbourne and soon began teaching at East Melbourne Language Centre.

Learning Arabic can be a challenging undertaking, but full of rewards for the student who perseveres.  It is a process that is often fun, but bound to be frustrating at times.  As a teacher, I try to make the process more engaging and stimulating by frequently relating class material to various aspects of contemporary culture in the Arab world.  In addition to teaching students the skills to read and converse in Arabic, my goal is also to impart to them an appreciation for the amazingly rich heritage and culture of which the language is the prime embodiment.

Iraj, Arabic Teacher

Felix, German Teacher

Felix – German Teacher

Hey I’m Felix from Germany. I grew up in Münster, a town in the west of Germany, very close to the Netherlands. For the past five years I lived in Berlin, where I studied English philology and Italian at the Freie Universtität. During my studies I worked at an international school with students from all over the world, so most children spoke German as a second language. Moreover, I always enjoyed learning new languages myself, since it includes exploring new cultures, meeting new people and also finding out peculitarities about your own language and culture.

German has a lot to offer, when it comes to literature, culture and funny words, such as “Eichhörnchen”. I’m really looking forward to teaching German at the German Language Centre, because the students are motivated to learn and the classes are not overcrowded.

Andikka – Indonesian Teacher

I was born and grew up in Indonesia. I am a graduate of the Indonesian Language Education program at Unnes in Indonesia. Currently I am doing my Master in Applied Linguistics at Melbourne University. I enjoy teaching and since 2014 I focus especially on teaching Indonesian to foreign speakers.

However, many foreigners think that Indonesian is a difficult language to learn because there are affixes of Men-, ter-, di-, and others. But actually, if you already know the pattern, Indonesian is very easy and fun to learn. Understanding Indonesian is also very useful when you visit Indonesia, like Bali, Jogja, or Jakarta and it’s always easier to get around if you speak the language. I really like the rich culture of Indonesia and believe that teaching a language doesn’t not only mean to learn about grammar and spelling but also learn about the culture and the lifestyle of the country.

Andikka, Indonesian

Liudmila, Russian Teacher

Liudmila – Russian Teacher

My name is Liudmila and I was born & grew up in Moscow, moving to Australia less than 10 years ago. I have a Masters degree of teaching Russian and Literature and have been teaching Russian for more than 2 decades. I have enjoyed & continue to enjoy sharing my passion for the Russian language, culture and its rich history with hundreds of foreign students.

Embracing my passion for educating, I thrived in my role as an official guide around Moscow’s- historical buildings, exhibitions, culture & architecture – for tourists (local & foreign) & dignitaries.

Teaching is a fantastic vocation, with some of my students now life-long friends from various cultures and backgrounds. Travelling to Italy many times has allowed me to enhance my Italian and indulge my love of travelling, football (soccer!) and the open ocean.

I would like to introduce Russian language and culture to my students here at the EMLC and together we will try to find the key to a “mysterious” Russian soul and understand the Russian mentality …Russia is a great country as are its people, history & culture.

I look forward to catching a couple of games of the FIFA World Cup in Moscow in June 2018, and maybe seeing you there too! Another great reason to start learning the language straight away!!

Zoe – German teacher

I grew up in Bavaria (Eichstätt), have lived and studied in place-to-be Berlin and also did an exchange year at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. In September 2017, I came to Melbourne. I hold a BA in English and Latin as well as an MA in Education and taught at German secondary schools.
To me, learning a new language means to discover the gateway to a new world. My wish is to share my passion for learning languages with my students! Studying in Edinburgh, moving to Melbourne and making friends with all those lovely people I met on the way – if I hadn’t learned English, this would have never been possible. My goal at East Melbourne Language Centre is to open up the same new paths to my students. I wish to enable my students to discover the features of the German language, the particularities of its culture and to prep them up for their next trip to Germany!

Zoe, German teacher

Beatrice, Italian/Spanish

Beatrice , Italian and Spanish Teacher

Hi! My name is Beatrice and I am from Ferrara, a small city in the north-east of Italy. I have a BA in Foreign Languages and Literatures (English, Spanish and French) and an MA in Translation and Intercultural Mediation (Salamanca, Spain, 2011). I have been travelling and living in different countries for the last 9 years (UK, Spain, US, Australia) and I have been teaching Italian, Spanish and English as a Second Language since 2009. My very first official teaching experience was here in Melbourne. I did an Internship and later taught one-to-one as well as reduced groups. Since my first experience in 2009, I always found teaching (and translating, my freelance occupation) extremely stimulating, as it broadens your mind and makes you constantly think and compare knowledge from different perspectives. When you learn a new language you get a new soul says a Czech proverb, and I guess that sums up pretty well my passion for languages. I enjoyed the ambience at East Melbourne Language Centre from the very beginning as  it is relaxed and unpretentious, yet professional and student-oriented. I will be in Melbourne for the next two years, and hopefully for much longer, as I absolutely love its vibe and multicultural environment

Francesca, German Teacher

Having studied German at Monash University and spent time living in Austria (Klagenfurt) and in Germany (Berlin) I have come to really appreciate the value of learning a foreign language – there are so many advantages: one can get to know a new culture, a new way of seeing the world, meet new people and improve one’s understanding of how languages work and inform our world view, among other things! I thoroughly enjoy tutoring German and am excited to have the opportunity to teach at the East Melbourne Language Centre and to help others to also experience all these advantages of learning a new language.



Francesca, German Teacher

Marlies, German Teacher

 Marlies, German Teacher

Marlies is from the Allgäu, a region in Bavaria, Germany. She  originally studied Biology and Chemistry at the Technical University of Munich and worked as a science teacher. She did a PhD at the faculty of Environmental Chemistry and worked as a researcher at the Institute for Radiology and Environment in Munich.

In 1996 she came to Australia  and wanted a change from science. As she loves languages herself (She has learned some Latin, Spanish, French, Italian, Danish, Greek, Chinese and Swedish…to mention them all!!) she began teaching her mother tongue. In 1997 she started working at the German Language Centre which means we are celebrating her 20 years with Marlies this year. Watch our event calendar for details!

We asked Marlies:

Why do you think people should learn German?

Marlies: If you like travelling knowledge of the language of your target country opens up the hearts of the native people wherever you go. Language opens up possibilities on the employment market here and overseas and last not least it keeps your brain active and is fun. Germany, Austria and Switzerland are great countries to travel to and speaking the language makes the experience much more enjoyable.

What do you like about the Language Centre?

Marlies: I love the atmosphere at German Language Centre (GLC) , the very friendly staff & the students who all come for different reasons and are so enthusiastic. I worked not so happily in other places and have been with the GLC for so many years now. I think that shows it all, does it not?

Share a little anecdote with us…

Marlies: Okay, as English is my second language and Australian English my x th language I had some trouble finding the right words in my first years or let’s say pronunciation can be hard.

So: I had a beginners class with 12 men and one women. We learned about food and here it comes … I told them that in Germany most dishes are served with a side salad or “wedges” which was supposed to mean “vegies” and the whole class broke out in laughter. When asking why they are laughing there was only one brave student who would tell me. Guess who? The woman of course – the men were all cowards. But there I learned how important the correct pronunciation can be.

Learning with us here is fun and we can all laugh about our mistakes which need to me made in order to progress further.

Phillip, German Teacher

I grew up in the west of Germany in a town between Düsseldorf and the German/Dutch border. After my tertiary studies of German, History and Intercultural Education at the University of Duisburg-Essen and Heinrich-Heine-University Düsseldorf, I worked in several educational institutions, predominantly as a secondary school teacher and teacher of German as a foreign language for immigrant communities.

I moved to Melbourne in January 2017 and am excited to share my enthusiasm for the German language and literature with the students of the East Melbourne Language Centre. I’m also looking forward to making the most of the diverse language courses offered so that I can broaden my horizons and become more familiar with the international community, not only while travelling, but also in my daily life.

In my free time, I enjoy exploring Victoria’s beautiful landscapes on hiking trips with my dog.

Phillip, German Teacher

Andreas, German Teacher

Andreas, German Teacher

Place of birth: BadReichenhall

I’ve been working at the GLC since April 2014. I like the positive and relaxed atmosphere, the good relationship with students and colleagues and the variety of levels we get to teach! The students are always very motivated and up for a laugh. That makes it really fun to teach them. As a kid, I wanted to become a marine biologist and even during my studies, I never planned to be a teacher one day. Now I love my job here and at Monash University where I have been teaching for the last two years. I got so inspired that I am even doing my PHD in German Literature.

Sylvie, French Teacher

Originally from Toulouse, France. I completed a Graduate Diploma of Education (secondary) in LOTE (French)/ESL at Monash University in 2004. 
I since have been teaching French to secondary students. In 2009, I also started teaching French to adults.
I became a teacher because I am passionate about language learning and love interacting with students of all ages! It is always a thrill for me to share my culture, to see my students develop their communication skills and gain confidence in their abilities to speak and understand French. 
I enjoy working at the Language Centre because students can learn a language from native 
speakers in a relaxed and supportive environment.



Sylvie, French Teacher

Marta, German Teacher

Marta, German Teacher

Marta was born in Köslin in Poland. She moved to Germany with her family when she was  5 years old. Later she studied at the University of Konstanz, where she attained her Master of Linguistics in 2005.
In 2008 she decided to move to Australia. Here she completed her Certificate of Business in Sydney in 2009, and decided to stay.

She speaks German, English and Polish and is now taking on the challenge of learning Arabic. She has started teaching German and English while studying in Germany and continues to do so in Australia.
She has been working at the East Melbourne Language Centre since August 2014. We are very happy that she is putting her experience, motivation and enthusiasm into the school as well as into her classes. She has a sunny personality, which she happily shares with us, and her students.

Why should people learn German?

First of all, learning German is a lot of fun. In what other language will you find words like:


But that aside, Germany has a very interesting and beautiful cultural heritage, it is widely spoken and will, according to many experts, even improve your English vocabulary skills. It also teaches you a better understanding of English itself. I’d say that’s reason enough!

What’s the best about teaching?

I really enjoy meeting and working with lots of different people and sharing my culture and my heritage with them. This is true especially here in Australia, where German customs are lesser known, and are more interesting to foreign students, than they are to students from Europe.

When did you decide to become a teacher?

I actually didn’t plan on becoming a teacher, but life sometimes takes an unknown turn. In this case, it was a very lucky development, and I now really love my job! I really enjoy working in the Language Centre. There is always someone to chat to and to have a laugh with. The atmosphere is always very relaxed; it’s almost like being back home!

What do you do in your spare time?

In my free time I enjoy reading magazines like Der Spiegel or other news articles. I also watch a lot of documentaries; that is of course only when my little crazy 5-year-old girl allows me to have a spare moment. Besides that, I am “Living the dream”, like they say in Sydney: My child loves Vegemite, my husband is a musician in Melbourne and my heart belongs to S


May, Mandarin Teacher

I am from Mainland China. I have been working at the East Melbourne Language Centre for nearly 9 years. I am a qualified Mandarin teacher and I love my job because of the great atmosphere at the school and meeting people from different backgrounds, and helping my students to improve when they take challenges to learn a new language. I also like traveling and try to discover more about Australia and the world, and I am just starting to develop a new interest of getting and keeping fit.


May, Mandarin Teacher