Cafetalk Featured Tutor Interview

Marina Marie

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Marina Marie Tutor Interview

Q. Hi Marina! Thank you for taking the time to do this interview. To start off, can you tell your students a little bit about where you come from/where you grew up?

A. I was born and raised in Serbia in a town called Niš. Several Roman emperors were born in Niš but the most famous is certainly Constantine the Great who was the first Roman emperor to convert to Christianity and who ended the persecutions of Christians. To me, Niš is a town of perfect size because it’s big enough to offer enough cultural content but not so big to make living in it stressful.

Q. Can you tell us a little bit more about your professional background? What got you into teaching, and what motivated you to keep pursuing this career?

A. Honestly, I have literally been teaching something to somebody my whole life. When I was in elementary school, I tutored my older cousin every time he failed his chemistry test. In high school, I tutored my classmates in Latin, French and logic. Immediately after obtaining a master’s degree in psychology, I was offered a position of a teaching assistant at a university. After doing this job for almost three years, I worked as a research assistant in the field of psychology at the Free University of Brussels. I taught my first English lessons offline more than ten years ago but when online teaching started gaining popularity, I gave it a try and fell in love with it “at the first sight”. I love that I have got to meet people from all over the world. I have some students who have been taking online lessons with me for two, three, even four years. I will tell you a secret - I sometimes imagine meeting them in person. I picture a kind of gathering of my dearest students who live far away from me and this little “daydream” really warms my heart. I hope I will make it come true one day.

Q. Have you always been a teacher? If not, what else have you been doing professionally? If yes, what are some highlights of your teaching career?

A. As I mentioned above, I worked in the world of academia and I actually still do because I’m doing research to obtain a PhD degree and I have also been doing some research unrelated to my PhD with my best friend who holds a PhD degree in psychology.

Q. What are you usually up to when you’re not teaching on Cafetalk? What are your hobbies and interests?

A. My absolutely most favourite hobby is singing. Nothing brings me such profound delight as singing. I’m the happiest, most alive when I sing. Another hobby that I have recently taken on is massaging. I bought a massage table almost two years ago and I’ve been using it to massage friends and family members. I haven’t had any training in that. I just follow my own intuition and senses.

Q. A lot of students are probably curious about the atmosphere in your lessons. What can a student imagine a lesson with you to be like? What’s your teaching style?

A. One thing I can guarantee is genuine warmth and interest in a student. It has happened to me a countless number of times that I remembered something students had told me a long time before. This often makes them wonder - how did I remember especially since I have many students? I remember because my students have my total, undivided attention and genuine interest in what they have to say. This is why I have even become friends with some of them.

Q. Since you offer a variety of lessons, is there any lesson you can recommend in particular? Or can you give a quick overview of which lesson might be good for which type of student?

A. There is one type of lesson that I particularly recommend because it is aimed at often neglected listening skills. This is the lesson “Breaking News English - Listening, Answering Comprehension Questions and Discussing”. English learners often experience great disappointment when they find themselves in a situation where they need to be engaged in conversation and then find out that they are not able to follow or have great difficulties following what other people are saying. This lesson is primarily focused on developing listening skills and that’s why I strongly recommend all English learners to give it a try.

Q. Finally, would you like to leave a message for your current and future students?

A. To my current students, I would like to send a message of sincere gratitude! Thank you for valuing me as a teacher and for appreciating what I have to give as both a teacher and a human being. To my potential students, I would like to send a warm invitation to a class that is more than just an encounter between a teacher and a student. Stay well and rejoice!


Marina Marie

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