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Some of our Teachers

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

Amani, Arabic teacher

Amani Zayegh – Arabic teacher

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Amani: I have been teaching Arabic for nearly 3 years now. Melbourne is the city where I grew up and I studied at The University of Melbourne. In my free time I enjoy playing basketball, reading and travel.

Why do you like to teach?

Amani: The reason why I enjoy teaching languages is, as I find, that speaking a person’s language allows you to create a deep, heartfelt connection with them.

What do you like about the German Language Centre?

Amani: The lovely staff and relaxed friendly nature of everyone.

Kristina Mertens – German teacher

Hi! I grew up in the “bushland of Germany”, it´s called Altmarkkreis Salzwedel in Saxony-Anhalt. That´s why I love the opposite: to live in big cities. I became a professional German language teacher in the Goethe-Institut Casablanca, Morocco. After this era, I decided to move to Melbourne in July 2017 because it´s the most livable city in the world and yes, it´s true!  I love my happy life here with all its circumstances: I love working as a German teacher because this unwieldy, bulky language can be taught and learned with so much fun – if you use the right creative teaching methods and of course the job as a (German) teacher offers worldwide opportunities. The German Language Centre is ideal for me because I like the unspoken trust in the team and the friendly helpful atmosphere among students and colleagues! I wish to share my knowledge and a positive attitude to all people I meet. After teaching I enjoy the city, run around the beach and on the weekend I go for walks and hikes in the Victorian bush…back to the roots!

Kristina, German teacher

Valeria, Italian and Spanish

Valeria Suriano – Italian and Spanish teacher

Valeria was born in Andria, in sunny Puglia (“the heel of the boot”) 26 years ago. She has a strong passion for art, foreign languages and cultures, books and travelling the world. She speaks Italian, Spanish, English, Portuguese and a bit of French and she considers herself as an open-minded person with big imagination and curiosity. Valeria graduated in Foreign Languages and Cultural Mediation and holds a Master’s degree in Specialised Translation at the University of Bologna. She has been an exchange student in Seville (Spain) and in Melbourne, where she studied and completed an internship as an academic translator and Italian language assistant at the University of Melbourne (2014). She fell in love with this beautiful multicultural city, so she returned to Melbourne for 3 months to conduct her Thesis research at Deakin University, a translation into Italian of an Australian novel (2015). In 2016 she came back to Melbourne and worked as a proofreader and sub-editor at Il Globo, the Italian newspaper and as a NAATI Professional Translator, but she’s also been working as an Italian and Spanish teacher in a number of schools, Wesley College, Carey Baptist Grammar School, Academy Mary Immaculate and more. Now she is excited to be part of the East Melbourne Language Centre team and family!

“I love being a teacher because I can help people follow their interests and achieve their goals. I love teaching languages because I can enable my students to communicate and express themselves in a different language, with different people. Ultimately, thanks to my job, I’m able to inspire others to strive and improve themselves. What I especially like about East Melbourne Language Centre is the familiar yet professional atmosphere, which helps students feel comfortable and competent enough to start speaking from the very beginning.”

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

Beatrice, Italian/Spanish

Francesca, German Teacher

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.



 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.

Marlies, German Teacher

Phillip, German Teacher

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.

 Elena, Russian Teacher

Elena was born in the beautiful city of St. Petersburg in Russia, where she studied at the Pedagogical University and did her Ph.D. in teaching Russian as a foreign language. Besides Russian, she speaks English and French fluently.

After her postgraduate studies, she worked in a language school in the heart of St. Petersburg. Besides teaching Russian, she took part in cultural programs for the students and showed them the beautiful, historical city of St. Petersburg. She and her husband later moved to Lebanon and then Jordan, where she also taught Russian as a foreign language.

Elena came to Melbourne in 2009 and started to work at the East Melbourne Language Centre just a month after her arrival. We’re more than happy that she is still with us after 6 years and still enjoys teaching in our school. We’re lucky to have found such an inspiring and highly qualified teacher!


Elena, Russian 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.

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

Sylvie, French Teacher

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.



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


Marta, German Teacher