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OUR PASSIONATE INSTRUCTORS

Our teachers are the core of Fluent City and all speak with native-level fluency. They come from all over the world—from Paris to Tokyo to Buenos Aires (and everywhere in between!) and are eager to share their love of language with you. Explore some of their stories below.

Yamid Abella Hoyos

Originally form Colombia, Yamid has a law degree and has been teaching Spanish for the past 4 years. Yamid loves to work with motivated students who want to learn and enjoy a little bit of the Latin American culture with him while learning Spanish.

Jesús Aceves-Loza

Jesús is a lifelong language instructor with 14+ years of experience in creating engaging, fun, and personalized lessons for his students from Mexico to Sweden. When not teaching, Jesus loves photography, books, coffee and learning new languages himself.

Juan Alzate

Juan is originally from Colombia and has taught Spanish in the US for 8 years. He has a passion for teaching and encourages his students to have fun while learning! When not in class, Juan enjoys exploring the city and cooking new Spanish dishes.

Yuliana Barmotina

A native of Belarus, Julie relocated to the United States after earning her degree in English Education from Minsk State Linguistic College.

Karen Ben Youssef

A Brazil native, Karen is fluent in three languages and holds a B. A. in Education from the University of Rio Grande do Sul. She has stepped foot on five continents already and looks forward to helping you improve your Portuguese!

Daniela Blini

Daniela has been teaching Portuguese to adults learners from around the world for eight years. She has great passion for learning new languages and believes that New York City is the best place to do it.

Isabelle Burden

Isabelle is a native New Yorker from a German-speaking family, giving her unique personal insight into both classroom and experiential learning.

Catalina Campos

Catalina is a Costa Rican native and graduated from the Universidad Nacional de Costa Rica with a degree in Language Education. She has over 14 years of teaching everyone from international professionals to PhD candidates.

Minwei Cao

Born in China and raised in Iowa, Minwei has been switching between English and Chinese since she was little. She's currently studying French and Japanese and loves the Fluent City community for its active exchange of languages, ideas, and new learnings!

Ryan Carter

Ryan's upbringing in Florida instilled an interest in regional Spanish variations, which led to his later studies in Argentina and Spain.

Maryah Converse

Maryah learned Arabic as a Peace Corps volunteer in Jordan. She has over 14 years’ experience teaching adults and children, including in academia and private language schools in Jordan, Indiana, Cairo and New York.

Carolina Cuervo

Carolina was born in Colombia, grew up in Panamá and has taught Spanish in the US since 2005. Her students affectionately call her Caro. She holds an MA degree in Spanish Language and Literature. Aside from teaching, Caro loves dancing and meditation.

Eric Dadmun

Eric is a skilled French teacher with a degree in French language and experience using his French with the Peace Corps in Senegal. He is a passionate and experienced language learner having studied six different languages!

Lydia Darly

Lydia is a native French speaker, born and raised in Paris, who is also fluent in Italian (she lived there for 5 years) She is passionate about language and how she can use it to impact the world! As a teacher, she strives make lessons fun and engaging.

Victoria D'Asto

Victoria has basically made a career out of being a professional francophile, as a teacher and chef in the French tradition. When not teaching, Victoria is probably cooking a cassoulet, baking madeleines, or teaching her rescue dogs commands in French.

Esther Daye

Esther is from León, Spain. She has a BA in Flute Performance and an MA in Education. She found her passion for teaching through teaching music in Spain for the past 10 years. She is especially good at adapting to her students' specific learning styles.

John Dethlefsen

John has taught and tutored languages — English, Latin, Spanish, Russian — for six years.

Simona Facchini

Simona was born and raised in Mantua, Italy. She speaks Italian, English, Spanish, French and has over 7 years of teaching experience. In her free time she enjoys exploring the city, new restaurants, going to Broadways shows and Opera concerts.

Allan Fajardo

Allan is a Honduran-Canadian Spanish teacher and novelist. He has taught Spanish and Social Studies in Honduras and worked as a private tutor and Spanish interpreter for community health centers in Canada.

Andrea Fernandez

Andrea is a Venezuela native with a PhD in Latin American Studies and over 5 years of experience teaching in university and professional settings. Andrea loves to use history, art, music, politics, pop culture, current events and theater in class.

Valentina Gandini

Born and raised in Milan, Italy, Valentina worked at La Scuola International Italian School of San Francisco and as a Language Supporter for all ages since 2012. In her spare time you can find her in a museum or cooking delicious Italian food at home!

Sara Garcia Tasich

Originally from Madrid, Spain, Sara discovered her love for teaching when she volunteered as a Spanish teacher to a group of refugees. Mangoes are her absolute favorite fruit!

Eliana Gonzalez

Eliana is a born-and-raised “Porteña”, but after 9 years she's now a proud New Yorker. Whether you need to order food when you travel, communicate with your clients more efficiently or talk to your abuela, she's here to help you achieve your goals!

Maryssol Ibarra

Maryssol has been teaching for over 8 years and students love the ability to learn from a native speaker. Growing up in Mexico, she says her coolest travel experience has been coming here to America; and that everyday feels like one big adventure.

Margaret LaPre

Margaret is an enthusiast for all things German/Swiss/Austrian

Dennis (Yueh-Yeh) Li

Dennis Yueh-Yeh Li is a native Mandarin Chinese speaker from Taipei, Taiwan.

Mark Libatique

Mark will come to your event and eat your free food. Whether it's in a private or group lesson, in French or Chinese, be prepared to talk about your horoscope, the latest in Hulu TV, and who would win in a fight: Fergie or Mother Theresa.

Helen Ludden

Helen spent her childhood in France and has used her languages both in a business context and, for the last twelve years, in a secondary school in the UK. When not teaching, she loves running, yoga, meeting fellow linguists and hanging out in Central Park

Lexee McEntee

With a background in theater, Lexee is a French instructor who likes to get her students learning through fun and unconventional teaching methods. When not teaching French classes, Lexee is probably working on her next screenplay or reading a Camus novel.

Torkom Movsesiyan

Named a “Renaissance artist with extraordinary abilities” by the New York Foundation for the Arts, Torkom is a dance artist, polyglot and a cultural ambassador of the arts who has been teaching Spanish and Arabic at Fluent City since 2014.

Abigail Nanquil

Abigail is a language enthusiast who started teaching Japanese in 2009. In her spare time she enjoys doing yoga, traveling with friends and family, and figuring out if one can actually be both a dog person and a cat person.

Jeremiah Oliver

Jeremiah has studied French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, piano, and musical composition.

Cristino Pacquing

Cristino studied French language and literature at New York University. In addition to French, he also knows German and Spanish. Cristino has worked at the US Sciences Po Foundation, in Membership at FIAF, and as a French-English translator at Datawords.

Victor Pajarito Xochmitl

Victor is a Head Spanish Teacher at Fluent City who has been teaching with us since 2014. Raised in Brooklyn, Victor teaches Spanish and Russian and speaks 10 other languages at varying levels.

Vincent Perez

Vincent was born and raised on "La Cote D'Azur" in Cannes. When not teaching, you can find Vincent playing guitar at home or enjoying all the amazing eats NYC has to offer (despite his best attempts to stick to his diet).

Khaled Ramadan

Fluent City's Head Arabic Instructor, Khaled is a Syrian-American who has been teaching in the US for seven years. He has a vast knowledge of various dialects. Khaled enjoys traveling, trying new cuisines, and attending concerts and Broadway shows.

Manuela Rana

Manuela is a native Italian speaker from Puglia. She started teaching Italian while she was still a university student in Bari. When she isn't teaching, Manuela works as a fashion photographer with major brands like Dolce&Gabbana and Burberry.

Claire Reid

After receiving a Masters in Translation Studies from the Sorbonne, Claire began teaching both English and French. She enjoys writing haikus, figure drawing and hanging with her cat Pâcome.

Israel Rodriguez

Israel has 25 years of teaching experience in Los Angeles, New York and Guatemala and believes that learning a language expands your understanding of different worlds. Israel is also a certified triathlon coach and once did an Ironman in France.

Alexandra Romero

Passionate about languages and intercultural exchanges, Alexandra has taught English and Spanish as foreign languages for over 12 years. Originally from Puerto Rico, Alexandra loves teaching because it gives her an opportunity to learn new things as well.

Dinah Sandoval

Dinah grew up bilingual in the suburbs of LA, earned two bachelors degrees and worked abroad in Botswana and Peru. She believes that the world is a weirdly beautiful place and looks forward to using her creativity and quirkiness in the classroom with you!

Bill Santagata

Bill has been teaching French for Fluent City since 2013. He has a B.A. in French and an M.A. in French Literature from NYU. He is also a movie lover and always ready to give French-language movie suggestions.

Robert Sciarrone

Robert has taught French for 12 years and Italian for a whopping 27. He is also a classically-trained pianist (but also has fun with Ragtime!) and performed at the Carnegie Recital Hall.

Anna Shilova

A native Russian speaker born in a British mission in Zambia with a doctoral dissertation on Hispanic Cinema, Anna excels in creating immersive atmospheres in her classrooms and to transport students and help them ramp up their speaking abilities quickly.

Aubrey Shultz

Originally from Washington D.C., Aubrey has studied French for over 13 years including time spent studying at the Toulouse Business School.

Tai Soda

Tai was born and raised in Japan, and aims to introduce the beauty of the Japanese culture through language and illuminate new perspectives through the lens of a different language. When not teaching, Tai likes to run, play tennis and draw.

Allan Sulbaran

Allan is a Venezuelan native who has been teaching Spanish in the US for many years. As one of the most experienced teachers on staff, Allan assists with the training of all of our new Spanish teachers at Fluent City.

Mo Sun

Mo studied Teaching Chinese as a Second Language at Sichuan University before proceeding to study cognitive linguistics at the prestigious Fudan University, in China. Mo enjoys writing, microfilm, photography and spending time with her two guinea pigs.

Yasunori Tanaka

Yasunori studied film and has worked as Video and TV director for many years. Yasunori moved to NYC about four years ago and has experience teaching both Japanese and English.

Andy Travis

Andy is a theater and visual artist, he infuses his creativity into every class so as to help his students grow. He has been speaking Spanish for 28 years including a four-year stint in Barcelona. Andy enjoys cycling, dancing, and studying languages.

Atiya Tucker

Atiya is originally from New York. She started learning French when she was 12 years old and have been in love with the language ever since.

Nery Vera

A Peruvian native, Nery has more than 30 years experience teaching students of all ages and backgrounds in Lima, Madrid and New York City. Nery is ready to help you get speaking no matter where you are headed.

Erica Wang

Erica is from Montreal and grew up in Silver Spring, Maryland. She holds a B.A. in French Language & Literature, B.A and Bachelor of Music (B.M.) in Piano Performance from University of Maryland College Park. She also teaches piano and loves to hike!

Eirene Wang

Eirene is what you might call a language guru: she grew up speaking English, French, and Chinese, and now also speaking Spanish, Russian, Italian and Swahili. She holds a Master's in International Affairs and was a Fulbright scholar.

Sivan Weizmann

Originally from a small village next to the Sea of Galilee in Israel, Sivan has been living in New York City for the past 8 years. Sivan uses her passion for cultures and food as a way to make learning a new language exciting.

Marie Windal

In her role as Head French teacher, Marie is one of the senior-most instructors at Fluent City, responsible for training new French teachers and curriculum. Marie likes to structure lessons around current events and French culture, especially art.

Jiayan Xiao

Jiayan was born and raised in China, in the Zhejiang province. She was the lead vocalist in a punk disco band called Unattractive Girl once in Oakland, California. When not teaching, Jiayan likes to Instagram her cat a lot.

Jacqueline Youm

Jacqueline is a Senegalese American who loves learning all types of languages. She has been teaching French, English, and Spanish for more than eight years and loves it. She has a B.A. in Modern Languages and Psychology and a J.D.

Diego Zoghbi

Diego was born in Colombia and grew up in Texas. He is an avid reader and likes to incorporate his knowledge of historical linguistics, phonetics and geography into his teaching. He is a Gemini and a gourmand.

Viktoriia Zykina

Originally from Ukraine, Viktoriia speaks five languages and sees herself not only as a teacher, but a tour guide and companion for her students on this amazing journey of immersing into the German language!

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