Some of our Teachers
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 returned 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 teaching the whole culture behind it and in my opinion Arabic is worth knowing for 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.
Ruba, Arabic Teacher
Judith, German Teacher
Judith – German Teacher
I grew up in Magdeburg in a city located in the east of Germany. After my graduation from school I spent one year working as a volunteer in Lima (Peru) before I studied Political Science at the universities of Mannheim and Mainz in Germany with one semester abroad in Santiago de Chile. These experiences far away from home were tremendously enriching for me. I was able to learn a new language, get to know a new culture and broaden my own horizons. Enabling students to gain similar experiences is my main concern.
After the decision was made to move with my husband and my two kids to Melbourne, I started to study “Pedagogy and Didactics in German as foreign language”. So I am very happy to have now the opportunity to teach German at the East Melbourne & German Language Center. I want to inspire learners with the language and also with the German culture to promote a lively intercultural exchange. This is also the nice thing about the teaching profession: I don’t just teach, I also learn new things over and over again, especially from the students who bring their own perspective and experience into the classroom.
Kinda – Arabic Teacher
Kinda has extensive experience in teaching both colloquial and classical Arabic and teaches at several institutions across Melbourne. She also taught both Arabic language and culture at the United Nations when she was in Syria.
Kinda AlSamara is a doctoral researcher in Arabic and Islamic Studies at the University of Melbourne, researching women’s freedom in nineteenth century Arab renaissance discourse. Kinda holds an MPhil from Adelaide University’s Centre for Asian and Middle Eastern Architecture and an MA in Journalism from the University of Lebanon. Kinda has conducted extensive field research in Syria for a major Australian Research Council-funded project on the history of science and has also contributed to an important Adelaide University research project on the role of journalism in the promotion of science in the Arab world. She is a regular columnist in the Australian and international media and writes for the Australian Arabic-language daily El-Telegraph.
Kinda, Arabic Teacher
Ann-Kathrin – German Teacher
My name is Ann-Kathrin and I moved from Germany to Melbourne in September 2018. Growing up in a very little village in Germany was very nice, but I always knew that I wanted to get in touch with other cultures and languages. As a teenager, I was an exchange student to improve my English in Las Vegas. Being back in Germany, I graduated from high school and started studying Asian Studies (Arabic, Indonesian, linguistics) in Bonn (Germany) and Amman (Jordan). For my Master’s degree I chose Comparative Religions (Islam, Baha’i, Zoroastrianism, Farsi, Turkish). I enjoyed learning different languages a lot.
During my stay in Jordan I started teaching German to Arabic people. I already had some experience as I had been teaching German and English to school kids since I was 16. I enjoy teaching German to other people because I like supporting the intercultural exchange and also getting to know new people and learn from them. That’s the nice thing about being a teacher: I get to teach new things to other people, but at the same time I can learn a lot from them.
Even though I have been at the German Language Centre for just a few weeks, I feel like it’s a big family and everybody is welcome.
Phillip, German Teacher
I grew up in the west of Germany in a town between Düsseldorf at 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 a 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
Julita, German Teacher
Julita – German Teacher
I am from Szczecin, Poland but I was living in Berlin and Vienna before I decided to move to Melbourne. I studied Applied Linguistics at the Warsaw University and worked as a German and English language teacher for 7 years. After that I worked for the Polish embassies in Germany and Austria, which helped me get to know the culture and politics of these countries better.
I decided to move to Australia because I love the sun and the ocean (two things Berlin didn’t have;-) ).
As languages are my passion I wanted to make it my profession again and I am very happy to be part of the Language Centre team because of the amazing atmosphere, helpful, friendly staff and the fun and motivated students.
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 and I 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. Towards the end of 2017, I returned to Melbourne and soon began teaching at the 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
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.
Yvonne – German Teacher
Hallo, I grew up in a small town near Hamburg in Northern Germany. I moved to Melbourne in 2017 after living in Brisbane for two years. I studied Social Work in Germany but started working as a German tutor in Brisbane and later as a teacher in Melbourne. I love the crazy weather in Melbourne and that it’s such a multicultural city.
I have always enjoyed learning new languages myself. Speaking another language offers you new opportunities and makes it easier to connect with people and to understand other cultures. I am excited to share this passion with my students. It is very rewarding to help others and to watch their progress. I enjoy the small classes at the German Language Centre and hope to see you soon!
Yvonne, German Teacher
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 learning a language not only means learning about grammar and spelling but also about the culture and the lifestyle of the country.
Liudmila – Russian Teacher
My name is Liudmila. I was born and grew up in Moscow and 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 and 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 and 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!!
Liudmila, Russian Teacher
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 have enjoyed the ambiance at the 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 at least the next two years, and hopefully for much longer, as I absolutely love its vibe and multicultural environment
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. There is a great atmosphere at the school and I have the opportunity to meet people from different backgrounds and to help my students to improve and overcome the challenges of learning 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 in getting and keeping fit.
May, Mandarin 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 she has contributed more than 20 years of fantastic teaching!
We asked Marlies:
Why do you think people should learn German?
Marlies: If you like travelling, having 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 but not least, it keeps your brain active and it 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 the German Language Centre (GLC), as well as 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 says 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.
Sylvie – French Teacher
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 gives you a better understanding of English itself. I’d say that’s reason enough!
What’s the best thing 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 Schwabenland.