Welcome!

Hi there! I’m Anastassia Sakharova, a London-based English tutor.

I teach English

  • to adult non-native speakers living in the UK or planning to relocate here
  • to connection seekers who use language to build meaningful relationships with people around them as well as around the world
  • to those who can’t be satisfied with making small talk about the weather but want to have deep, intelligent and stimulating conversations
  • to those who don’t feel at home with English and/or native English speakers (because they’re impossible to understand) and desire to change that.

I’ve been there.

Eager to meet people but lacking vocabulary to have proper conversations with them.

Worried about making mistakes and sounding stupid.

Struggling to understand native accents, asking for repetition and still failing to make any sense of what was being said.

Feeling like an alien that’s just landed on a new planet, curious but lonely and uncertain how it’s going to work out.

It’s worked out great for me.

Small talk is still there (you just can’t NOT make it living in the UK) but so are meaningful and intimate conversations.

Once complete strangers are now good friends (one of them even became my husband!).

The initial feeling of being lost and isolated has been replaced by the new feeling of belonging.

It didn’t just happen.

I worked a lot for this change to take place.

But that’s how I know how to help you to overcome the difficulties, gain confidence and connect with people through English.

All for a better, more fulfilled life.

Which doesn’t have to include marrying an Englishman though.

Want to find out more?

About me

I will never forget the frustration I felt when I first came to London as a tourist and couldn’t understand a word of what the locals were saying.

Of all the things I’d learnt in the years of studying the language only one proved useful (sort of) when I eventually got the chance to reality-check my English – native speakers are absolutely impossible to understand.

I mean, they had no trouble understanding each other but I was completely lost in their babble.

Know the feeling?

What often happens next is that you start thinking there’s something wrong with you and your English.

As a result, your confidence sinks low and the fear of looking stupid rears its ugly head.

To protect your self-esteem, you feel tempted to do the most natural thing – pretend that you understand or even avoid native speakers altogether.

However, there’s a better solution.

Native English speakers ARE notorious for being hard to understand and are not going to change I’m afraid.

But you can learn to make sense of what they say.

All you need to do is learn how to listen to real-life (not textbook) English.

And I can help you with that.

Living in London and being married to an Englishman, I’ve been exposed to real-life spoken English with all its tricky features (connected speech, fast speed, liberal use of idioms and slang, various accents) 24/7 for over ten years.

Prolonged exposure has trained my ears, whereas my CELTA (Cambridge Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults), continuous professional development and, more importantly, 10+ years’ teaching experience has provided me with the knowledge of how to help my students break the sound barrier and start to better understand native speakers.

I believe that to be truly happy we need not only to communicate but connect with others as well.

And here language is key.

The more languages you speak, the more people you can connect with.

The better your knowledge of a language, the stronger and more meaningful your relationships with other people.

And strong and meaningful relationships are essential for a happy life.

So I can’t wait for you to join me on this exciting journey from being lost for words and scared of making mistakes to speaking with confidence, exploring the tremendous opportunities that knowing English opens up, landing a better job or maybe even moving abroad.

A journey to a better, more fulfilled and happier life.

Why me

1-on-1 vs Group Classes

Like any bespoke service, 1-on-1 language classes are more expensive than group ones. However, the benefits are immense:

  • you get a personalised study plan that focuses on what YOU need to learn, rather than have to follow the syllabus of a textbook you haven’t chosen and may not even particularly like
  • you also have a say in how you spend time in class, the activities and tasks as well as the amount and type of homework you’d like to do
  • you learn at your own speed, not the speed dictated by the learning abilities and language competences of your classmates
  • being the only student in class, you get the teacher’s undivided attention and lots of feedback, which will help you learn better and faster
  • if you tend to shy away from speaking for fear that your classmates will be judgmental of your English, then the supportive and relaxing atmosphere of 1-on-1 lessons is just what you need to boost your self-confidence.

Learn from the comfort of your home

As I teach online, you can learn without leaving home.

And when it suits you!

No more wasting your precious time getting to class and back or having to adjust your daily routine to attend pre-scheduled offline group classes!

My only suggestion is that you find a place where you won’t be disturbed for the entire duration of the lesson.

No need to figure it out for yourself

We’ll be working in partnership so you’ll be able to co-design your learning experience while I’ll be nurturing your creativity, learner autonomy and self-confidence.

Working together means that I’ll come up with a monthly plan based on your needs and expertise, you’ll commit to doing your homework and we’ll be meeting on a weekly basis to practise conversation, deal with any questions you may have about your learning and celebrate your progress.

I’ll be also providing all learning materials but you’re welcome to bring to class anything you have questions about or would like to discuss.

My qualifications and experience

In me you’ll find a CELTA (Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults) qualified teacher with 10+ years’ experience teaching individual students and groups from complete and false beginners all the way up to the advanced level.

In 2020 I took the FutureLearn How to Teach English Online course.

I also hold a Cambridge CPE (Certificate of Proficiency in English).

I’ve lived in London (UK) since 2011 – and been married to an Englishman for 10 years (not sure what exactly this proves, if anything, but it’s at the very least a fact of life!)

Support a small values-based business

Big corporations – and language school chains are no exception – don’t care about their customer’s satisfaction as much as small businesses and individual entrepreneurs.

In the world of big numbers they operate in the personal needs and feelings of their clients as well as their staff are often neglected, if not outright ignored.

For me, on the other hand, your progress and emotional comfort are top priorities.

I value your precious time and hard-earned money as I value mine; that’s why I do my best to help you achieve your learning goals and become an independent learner so you can continue your studies on your own as quickly as possible.

Moreover, I teach because it’s my calling, because it’s something I can do to change people’s lives for the better, to make a difference.

I haven’t been very fortunate with teachers as a language learner myself, and I want your English learning experience to be more enjoyable and fulfilling than mine.

Services

SPEAK UP! Conversational classes

Are you an independent learner like me?

Are you happy to study grammar, do reading, writing and listening on your own?

Awesome!

But languages are tools of communication and as such are best learned through communication.

So you need someone to practise speaking with.

OK then, you might say, that’s not a problem any more – just find a language exchange partner and practise with him/her.

Alas, easier said than done.

To start with, how many people are learning English?

And how many English speakers are learning your mother tongue?

Now, if you’ve ever spoken to someone who isn’t very good at a particular language, you’ll know that keeping up a conversation with them is hard work especially if you’re expected to correct their mistakes as well.

Another issue is that it’s even harder to find someone you won’t get bored with after the initial excitement and enthusiasm wane.

I know this from personal experience, and I’ve tried language exchanges a few times.

If you haven’t yet, give it a go and see what happens. (And let me know how it went!)

That’s why you may want to consider taking conversational classes with me.

What they are:

What I offer is not just a friendly chat on Skype or Zoom that lacks direction and leaves you feeling that you’re wasting your time and not learning anything.

You get 30-minute 1-on-1 lessons with a logical structure and a clear outcome.

What we talk about depends on your interests and needs, but whatever the topic I guarantee you fascinating and memorable discussions inspired by thought-provoking reading texts, audio, videos, wisdom quotes, controversial statements, pictures etc.

Benefits:

You will

  • become more spontaneous in your talk
  • broaden your vocabulary
  • boost your self-confidence
  • overcome your fear to speak in a supportive and relaxing atmosphere
  • stop shying away from talking to other people

Who they are for:

Intermediate (B1) to Advanced (C1) students who need speaking practice with feedback in order to

  • upgrade their speaking skills before/after moving to an English-speaking country
  • reactivate their English before a holiday abroad
  • or simply keep up their English in a non-English speaking environment

Price: £160 for a package of 8 classes (£20 for a 30-minute class)

Why packages:

Learning takes time and commitment. From personal experience as both a teacher and learner I know that 8 lessons is the minimum required for you to see progress and achieve your short-term goals. Whether you take 1 lesson a week or 2 is up to you.

Discover YoUK Classes

Have you lived in the UK for some time but still don’t feel you belong here?

Maybe you struggle to understand native speakers? And as a result, avoid watching British TV (because unlike films on Netflix it doesn’t come with subtitles), or limit your social circle to your compatriots and people speaking your first language.

I’m not saying you can’t survive like that.

But there’s a better option. You can learn to understand the locals – not just the words they say but also what they actually mean! And why they behave the way they do. That can not only save you some embarrassment but also improve your chances of making the right connections, getting that dream job and feeling at home in the UK.

Having married an Englishman, I had little choice but to become British myself. (Though, it could be the other way round – I ended up with an English husband because I’ve been learning and teaching English for too long!)

It doesn’t mean rejecting your old identity though. It means adding another dimension to it, broadening your cultural horizons and living a more fulfilling life in your adopted country.

It’s an exciting journey and I’ll be happy to be your guide.

What they are:

Skype/Zoom 1-on-1 classes with a strong focus on listening, speaking and accent training inspired by all things British – history, food, films, music, life in all its variety – and aimed to raise your cultural awareness, help you avoid embarrassing faux pas and better fit in with Britons.

Benefits:

These classes will make it easier for you to

  • understand locals
  • connect with people and build meaningful relationships
  • go beyond small talk and have more intimate conversations
  • fell more confident wherever you go – from a coffee shop to a job interview
  • enhance your career prospects

Who they are for:

Intermediate (B1) to Advanced (C1) speakers who are

  • new arrivals in the UK
  • planning to move to the UK
  • simply interested in all things British

Price: £280 for a package of 8 classes (£35 a 45-minute class + homework)

Why packages:

Learning takes time and commitment. From personal experience as both a teacher and learner I know that 8 lessons is the minimum required for you to see progress and achieve your short-term goals. Whether you take 1 lesson a week or 2 is up to you.

You can book your trial lesson here

Book a trial lesson

If you like what you’ve read so far and would like to meet the real person behind the words, feel free to book a FREE 30-minute trial lesson using the form below.

Haven’t made up your mind yet?

No problem!

Maybe you could be interested in signing up to my blog updates then?