Joanne Venter: Principal & Director of Studies (BA UED DELTA)

Joanne Venter, Principal and Director of StudiesJoanne 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 Parkes, Assistant Director of StudiesAli 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! At the moment, Ali is on maternity leave, with her beautiful daughter.
 

James Dennis: Teacher, Exams Officer & ADOS (BSc DELTA)

James Dennis, TeacherJames 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.”
 

Heidi Matthews: Teacher (MA CELTA)

2018 Heidi 150pxHeidi 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.
 

 David Grundy BA (Theology) MAHons (French & German) CELTA

David 250pxDavid had a varied career before coming to teach at Central Language School, including being a vicar of a church as well as a primary school teacher. He has also taught English in a remote province of Vietnam.  David is a great linguist - he has a degree in French and German, has read a few books in Swedish and is still trying to learn Vietnamese but says he is “making very slow progress.” He has been teaching at Central Language School since 2015 and says, "I love the fact that the students who come here are so motivated, and that the school has such a great blend of caring, Christian values and also a desire for excellence. I've never enjoyed a work environment so much." David loves to mix learning and laughter in his classroom! In his free time, he enjoys the countryside and going to the gym
 

Bethany Tranter (MAHons CELTA)

BethanyBethany originally comes from Oxfordshire (controversial in Cambridge, but don't hold that against her too much!). She studied French and Linguistics at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland, where she first discovered a love of English teaching. She taught in Scotland, Ecuador and Spain for 4 years and has been in Cambridge since 2017. She says, "I really love working in the warm, family atmosphere at Central Language School Cambridge and being part of a team who aim to support students in every way possible. I also appreciate being able to take things that I enjoy in my everyday life and turn them into fun activities for the social program." In her free time, Bethany likes practising her Spanish, cycling, cooking, making cards, Scottish dancing and going for walks in the woods.
 

Sian Serrano: Administration & Accounts Manager (BA)

Sian Serrano, Administration and Accounts ManagerSian 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 Gerry, 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.
 

Gerry Beves: Accommodation and Marketing (BAHons PGDip CELTA)

Gerry is a man of many talents. He taught at CLS in 2014-2015 and has also taught literacy to Gypsies and travellers as well as working as a carpenter and a pastor of a church. He is married with 2 children. He is passionate about the Christian values of the school and he likes fishing with his family, theme parks, playing guitar, helping his daughter learn guitar, violin and banjo, teaching his son how to code and build robots, taking his wife out to dinner (especially when she is paying), writing books, and being lazy!
 

Supply Teachers

The school engages supply teachers from time to time, especially during busy times of year. Here are some of our regular team members:
 

Hannah Stone (MA CEL)

Photo of Hannah StoneHannah 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."
 

 Gail Featherstone MAHons (French) & MA TESOL

Gail 250pxGail studied and taught French and German before her marriage to Simon, a British diplomat. Together they had 3 children and lived in China, Belgium, Switzerland and Malaysia. Gail says that one of the most useful qualifications for her life abroad was the willingness to sing karaoke at a moment's notice! After Simon's early death Gail worked at a charity in London and completed a Masters in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. She loves the warm, family atmosphere of Central and the opportunity to meet students from all over the world. Singing, swimming and writing drama sketches are some of her favourite pastimes.