Director of Studies
Karen Benson | BA Hons (Modern Languages) PG Dip (Marketing), CELTA, DELTA (mod 3), M Ed (TESOL)
I am very proud to be the Director of Studies at such a professional, friendly school. My responsibilities include the day to day running of the school and the development of our English programs. My priority is ensuring that our students have a positive experience here at Strathfield College, in terms of achieving their learning goals and benefiting from the rich cultural diversity in the College. My door is always open to students. I am passionate about the role of autonomous learning in second language acquisition, and am delighted to be overseeing our guided self study program. I consider myself lucky to be working with a team of teachers who are equally as enthusiastic about their role in ESL education as I am. Please feel free to contact me to discuss our English programs.
Aparna Jacob, Head Teacher | MA Creative Writing (UNSW), CELTA (International House, Sydney), BA English Literature
Having started my career as a writer and editor, I was drawn to ESL teaching because of my passion for English and because I love communicating this to students.
Be it preparing learners for TAFE and university or for exams like IELTS, my teaching focus has always been to help students develop learning skills and strategies they can employ beyond the classroom. I am committed to assisting learners gain the language skills and confidence they need to achieve academic, social and work advancement.
As Head Teacher, I work with our DoS and our close-knit team of teachers to ensure that our learners at Strathfield College are fully supported and encouraged in their pursuit of language excellence.
Ahmad Al Romi | BA in English language and literature (ELL) , MA in Translation and Linguistics (TL), MA in Interpreting and Translation (IT), Cert IV TESOL
I am delighted to be a part of the ESL team at Strathfield College; a team which has been praised for having great rapport with both their students and colleagues.
I am very passionate about teaching and have taught English for 5 years. I have a Masters degree in Linguistics and another in Translation. I find both qualifications have allowed me to open the door to students' language problems. I come from a diverse background, which I believe assists me in understanding student behaviour and thinking.
Amanda Eads | BA English Language Writing and Rhetoric, BA Interdisciplinary Middle Eastern Studies, Postgraduate Certificate (TESOL)
During my studies and travels in the past years, I have endeavoured to learn Spanish and Arabic. As a language student myself, I understand and recognise the challenges of learning a new language, living in new places, and experiencing different cultures.
In the classroom, I use my own learning experiences to relate to the students on a personal level. I believe it's important for students to be engaged in authentic English as well as their course books therefore, I include a lot of extra materials such as music and video clips in my lessons. Most of all, I think language learners are dedicated and determined people making a huge effort so lessons should be fun!
Ben McGowan | BA (Education), CELTA
I have been involved in the education industry for about 5 years. While I was teaching children at primary schools in Brisbane, I had the opportunity to join a volunteer organisation which taught English to newly arrived refugees. I liked this experience so much that I decided to make English teaching my full-time career. Since then I have greatly enjoyed the challenge of helping my students progress towards their language goals, while providing a friendly classroom environment in which they can meet new people from across the world.
Benjamin Lee | Postgraduate Certificate (TESOL), BA (Educational Studies), Diploma of Graphic Design, Diploma of Arts (Fine Arts).
I've been teaching English language for over 5 years now and have thoroughly enjoyed meeting an amazing variety of students across all walks of life as well as various cultures. I've come to admire and respect the sheer character of each person that comes overseas to Australia to experience life here.
I particularly love music, playing the flute and guitar and singing. I also have some drawing ability and it's been wonderful to be able to use these various creative skills in teaching more effectively.
I love all kinds of food, especially Asian food. I'm also fascinated with Asian languages and I enjoys seeing students progress in their learning journey and realise their goals.
Jenilee Palma | Bachelor of Arts (Major in Spanish), Masters of Arts (TESOL)
Being an Australian-born Filipino, I have always been surrounded by various cultures and languages. As I have experienced learning foreign languages first hand and seen the difficulties my parents have faced whilst learning English, I know exactly how students may feel when they come to an English speaking country to learn the language. For this, I commend them on their bravery!
My philosophy on how much students take in relates to the environment of the classroom and the teacher. I strive to make the classes as interesting as possible whilst focusing on what needs to be learnt. I include a lot of communicative activities in my lessons. This usually proves to be a success and it is a very rewarding feeling when the students have realised they are able to use what they've learnt in real life situations.
When I'm not teaching, you will find me running marathons, rock climbing or going on a road trip. I love adventure.
Julija Stepanova | Postgraduate Certificate (TESOL), BA (English Philology and literature).
I joined Strathfield College in 2011. My educational and employment background has prepared me with the skills and flexibility to teach English in Australia. I adapt easily and am open to new challenges and opportunities. I started learning English at an early age in school and continued on through university. Having learned English as a second language helped me to understand the learner's position and difficulties students might encounter. My aim is to create a supportive and dynamic environment that encourages students to participate.
Lucie Spaven | BA Fine arts UNSW (Jewellery major) BA Visual Arts USYD (Glass major), CELTA
I have been teaching since 2010. For me, teaching is very rewarding, I enjoy helping people learn and grow. I myself have learnt a second language and so have a good understanding of the learning process. I am a compassionate and approachable teacher with a lot of experience in dealing with different cultures. I aim to make all my lessons interactive and engaging whilst having a clear focus.
I have travelled a lot and lived overseas for a number of years, experiencing new places, cultures and people is one of my passions. I also have a great interest in outdoor activities, art, music, theatre and dance.
Marcela Simkova | (BA Politics, CELTA and T.E.F.L)
I have taught English in colleges and universities in Europe and Australia. I believe even Academic, Business and IELTS classes can be fun! Having taught nearly all types of English, I am now mostly involved in exam preparation. I love my job and my prerogative is for my students to love their classes too. In my class students get individual attention and as I say: "We don't have problems, we have only challenges."
Rachael Wass | BA Media, MSc Comparative and General Literature, Cambridge CELTA, Cambridge DELTA.>
I have been teaching English for almost 4 years. Before coming to Australia I lived and taught English in Italy for 3 years. I arrived in Sydney last August and I started teaching in Strathfield in March. I love travelling and working with students from all nationalities. I like my lessons to be interactive, informative and interesting. I really enjoy seeing students' English improve and to helping them achieve the English level they are aiming for.
Outside of work I love to do yoga, read books and watch films. I am passionate about the environment, animals and vegetarianism.
Sue Lewis | BA History, Grad Dip Literacy and Numeracy, Dip Ed
I have been teaching English on and off for about 10 years. I joined Strathfield College in 2007 and have taught various levels of English within the school. I like the classroom to be a fun, safe and engaging place for students to learn. I very much enjoy teaching students from different backgrounds.