Joanne Venter: Principal & Director of Studies (BA UED DELTA)
Joanne has been teaching since 1984 and has taught in England, France and South Africa. Before coming to Central Language School, Joanne was running teacher training courses in London, as well as managing a literacy scheme and a home tuition scheme in North London. Prior to that, she was the Assistant Director of Studies at a Business College in London. Her passion is teaching exam classes especially IELTS and FCE classes but she has also taught PET, ESOL and Business English and also ran a French Department for 13 years. In her free time she loves watching films, writing poetry, playing the piano and going for forest walks with her husband Mark.
Ali Pereira: Assistant Director of Studies & Activities Co-ordinator (BA DELTA)
Ali has been teaching since 2003 and moved to Cambridge in 2012 to join us at CLS as the new ADOS. Before coming here Ali taught in Slovakia and in Spain. She is responsible for making sure each student is in the class which best suits their level and ability as well as monitoring their progress. Ali says, "I enjoy working at CLS very much. I appreciate the small class sizes as it means the teachers can get to know the students and give them more individual support. I love the happy, friendly atmosphere that comes from everyone knowing each other. In the classroom I particularly like helping students with pronunciation and encouraging them to speak more confidently." Ali loves organising student activities like bowling, karaoke, museum visits, pub lunches and baking cakes!
James Dennis: Teacher & Exams Officer (BSc DELTA)
James studied Food Science at university and ended up working for the chocolate manufacturer Cadbury's. However, having also studied Russian and French, James realised that he preferred languages to chocolate (really James?!) and studied to become an English teacher. Since then James has taught English in Russia and the Czech Republic as well as at summer schools in the UK. In his spare time he likes cycling. James is originally from Bideford, Devon and is a passionate supporter of Plymouth Argyle, his favourite football team. James says, "I like teaching at Central Language School because it really cares for its students and they are truly its first priority. It's also a really friendly team."
Colin Rogers: Teacher (BSc TRINITY TESOL)
Colin grew up in the Somerset countryside and has had a varied career. After studying Medicine for three years, he worked with a university Christian union before becoming an English teacher. He has spent time in several countries in Asia, including India, Thailand and China, where he studied Chinese for six months. Having worked at Central Language School in the summer of 2013 and 2014, he re-joined the school in April 2015. He says, “I love the friendly atmosphere at Central Language School and the support students receive is excellent.” In his spare time Colin enjoys walking, cycling and music, and he sings and plays the guitar in a local band.
Heidi Matthews: Teacher (MA CELTA)
Heidi joined the school in the summer of 2014. Before that she studied literacy and development and helped implement literacy programmes in different countries as well as training teachers in rural areas. “l love the creativity of teaching,” says Heidi. “There are always new ways to make learning enjoyable and effective and it is so rewarding to see our students grow in confidence.” Heidi is a keen amateur artist, loves dancing and relishes tasting the food that students bring to our International Lunches.
Sian Serrano: Administration & Accounts Manager (BA)
Sian has been at the school since 2003 and therefore knows a lot about the school and its history. She also worked at 3 other language schools in Cambridge before coming here. Having studied languages herself Sian speaks Spanish and French and enjoys meeting people from other countries. Together with Joanne and Beverley, she helps with the many different enquiries from students before they come here to study. She says, "I find it very rewarding to finally meet students after exchanging so many emails with them." When she's not at work, Sian is kept very busy looking after her family.
Beverley Caswell: Accommodation Officer & Exams Administrator (BA)
Bev grew up in Zimbabwe and went to University in South Africa. There she taught in secondary schools, worked for Scripture Union and in office management for a Children’s Home. In 2004 she came to the UK to do care work before starting her Pitman’s Executive PA Diploma in 2014. This wealth of experience in a variety of roles brought her to CLS in 2015 to organise accommodation and exams. “My desire is to serve students, colleagues and host families faithfully, making a positive contribution to all aspects of day to day life at Central Language School.” Bev loves preparing meals for family and friends, enjoys walking, tennis and scrabble, and now we are trying to persuade her to buy a bicycle!
The school engages supply teachers from time to time, especially during busy times of year. Here are some of our regular team members.
Liz Torres (BA DELTA)
Liz first came to work at Central in 2003 after studying English Literature at Cambridge University. After 8 years as a teacher and Assistant Director of Studies, Liz left to have a baby. She now has 2 children and divides her time between looking after them and working as a teacher and IELTS examiner. She says "I feel very privileged to work at Central - the staff work very well together as a team and really care about each student. I particularly enjoy preparing students for exams - I find it extremely rewarding to help students develop their English skills and achieve their goals."
Hannah Stone (MA CELTA)
Hannah studied the History of English and worked on the Cambridge International Dictionary of English before joining the school in 2006. She is fascinated by the way language works and how people communicate. She also likes to use songs in some of her lessons because she loves music. "We all eat together at lunchtime, so students and teachers get to know each other and there is usually somebody laughing! Sometimes it is really hard to say good-bye when students leave the school."
Sofie Crump (BA TRINITY TESOL)
Sofie studied French and Spanish with TESOL at Exeter University where she completed her Trinity CertTesol alongside her degree. She taught English in Brittany, France for two years after graduating and moved to Cambridge in October 2016 to start working for Friends International – an organisation which supports international students in the UK. Sofie joined CLS as a supply teacher at the beginning of 2017. Sofie loves travelling and making friends from all over the world. In her spare time she enjoys walking in the countryside, hosting meals for friends and singing. Sofie loves the warm and friendly atmosphere at CLS and particularly enjoys getting to know the students at the school individually.