Polyglottist's Founder and Director
Olga is a founder and director of the Polyglottist Language Academy. She holds PhD in French from the University of California, Berkeley where she taught French for six years. She also taught French and Spanish at the University of the Pacific for three years. Olga is summer program director in Antigua, Guatemala where she takes students to study Spanish.
She has a formal pedagogical training in teaching languages, cultures, and literature and extensive experience tutoring in three different languages to professionals and high school, undergraduate, and graduate students living in the Bay area. She is as experienced in teaching in a big classroom as she is in one-to-one instruction.
Olga speaks four languages and she has also studied Old French, Latin, and Italian. Her interests include French Medieval and Early Modern literature, animal studies, the history of early modern political philosophy, classical moral philosophy, historiography, Latin, opera, and art.
Additionally, Olga is a passionate world traveler. She studied in three different countries and visited 20 countries.
Cinzia is an Italian native, born in the northern city of Turin and moving to Siena in Tuscany when she was 15 years old. She discovered her passion for languages in high school where she studied French, Latin, and Ancient Greek. After high school, she studied Law at the University of Siena, graduating in 2001, but the passion for language prevailed and during university she received a scholarship (Erasmus) to go to Spain and spend 6 months studying at the University of Barcelona, where she learned Spanish. Upon returning to Siena, Cinzia became a member of G.E.S., Group Erasmus of Siena, a student association, and taught Italian to visiting students from other EU countries, in particular Portugal and Britain. After university, Cinzia worked at a winery in Tuscany, responsible for document translation for both commercial and tourist purposes, as well as giving tours to the American and European visitors. In 2012, she moved to the Bay Area with her husband, and, in addition to being a full-time mom, has given private Italian lessons. Cinzia believes in teaching and explaining things with clarity and simplicity, because if you don’t understand well, you cannot remember well. She thinks that the teacher must provide motivation…and some fun!
Italian and Swedish Instructor
Valerie holds a PhD in Italian history from New York University and has taught Italian language and Italian history in both Italy and the United States. She is of Swedish-heritage and she also teaches Swedish at Polyglottist Language Academy. Her father immigrated to Berkeley in the 1960s from Sweden and his extended family lives in Stockholm. Valerie studied Swedish as an undergraduate at Columbia and completed her junior year abroad at Stockholm University, passing the state exam which demonstrates fluency for entering a Swedish university. She continued using her Swedish when she moved to Italy after college where she worked in journalism translating Swedish to English and Italian to English. In Rome she worked as an aid to American journalists covering the Vatican, and she quickly fell in love with the bel paese – the country's food, art, and above all, its language. After four years there, she decided to head back to school for her PhD. You can read more about her academic profile on her personal web site: www.valerie-mcguire.com. Recently, she decided to unpack her bags and to relocate permanently, or semi-permanently, to the Bay Area where she is originally from. She is currently working on a book based on her dissertation and a series of translations from Italian fiction into English about the Italian communities of North Africa. In her free time, she dances ballet and studies French.
Adeline was born and raised in France, close to the Swiss and German borders where she earned a PhD in Economics from the University of Besançon. During her PhD program, she gave lectures and tutorials at the university.
Following different career opportunities as an economist in the energy sector, she has lived in many different European countries, evolving in multi-lingual and multi-cultural environments. She has always taught French language and culture when abroad.
She has just recently arrived in the Bay Area to pursue new professional challenges.
Marcelo studied History and Law in his native country of Uruguay, where he graduated from Universidad de la República with a JD in Law and Social Sciences. He also became a historian and participated in numerous research projects. He is a published author with books and articles on History topics. As an educator, Marcelo started his career at Universidad de la República in 1989. In 1999 he moved to the United States, where he has worked as a Spanish instructor teaching Spanish language and culture at all levels (Spanish I-IV and above) and ages (from middle school to adult students) in one-to-one and group settings. He is a certified ELE (Spanish as a Foreign Language) Teacher and his experience includes designing workshops and teaching special programs (Immersion, Intensive, Traveling, Business, and others).
In addition to teaching, he enjoys traveling, discovering new places, taking walking tours, and doing History research.
Alex is a native Spanish speaker as well as fully fluent in English. His studies include university education in both languages, business administration/accounting and linguistics in Uruguay, and finally linguistics and film studies in the United States.
He has been a committed and enthusiastic teacher for more than 10 years, both as a Spanish instructor at various language academies and as a Graduate Student Instructor and Lecturer for the Linguistics Department at the University of California, Berkeley, where he also received his BA and MA in Linguistics.
Oscar Luca D'Amore received his laurea in philosophy from the University of Salerno. He also studied theology at the Institute of Religious Studies and Latin and Greek at the International Academy Vivarium Novum, where he worked for many years teaching and organizing the library. He has taught courses in philosophy, Italian literature, Italian language, Dante, and Latin. He has written poetry, articles and books. His interest is in philosophy of mind, in particular on the relationship between mind, brain and language, and phenomenology. He teaches in various schools and academies in the Bay Area. Teaching Italian for him is not just about teaching grammar, but through it the Italian culture showing his students how Italian evolved, in particular from Latin and Greek.
Vera is a German native speaker from Düsseldorf, who has been teaching German for the last 10 years, since she moved to the US. She has a Bachelor's and Master's degree in Linguistics from San Francisco State University, and is currently pursuing her PhD in German at the University of California, Berkeley, where she also teaches as a Graduate Student Instructor. She enjoys teaching all levels of German from beginning to intermediate, as well as conversation, writing and translation courses. In her free time Vera likes to travel and learn languages, and enjoys going for hikes in the Regional parks.
Christina has a master degree in German and has lived in Germany for 5 years. She learned a lot about German culture and traditions. She discovered her passion for teaching when she was a student, and she has been teaching German since then. First, she had private students and after she worked for Goethe Institute in Ukraine. She enjoys working with students of all levels and backgrounds to help them improve their language skills and gain confidence. She loves traveling, learning new things, and meeting new people.