About Samantha

The Greek language and culture inspires me. While I was studying Modern Greek at the university of Amsterdam, I also started studying linguistics. This made me go back to the roots: Dutch and learning Dutch as a second language. After working as a research assistant in Linguistics, I decided to start teaching.

Now it’s a fact: I am a teacher of Dutch as a second language to Greeks and I love it! It combines those things I like most and know best: the Greek and Dutch language, and teaching!

Brief CV

From a young age Samantha was interested in languages and the puzzling qualities of them. Pursuing her love for languages, she decided to study Modern Greek at the University of Amsterdam (2008) and later also Linguistics (2010). She obtained a bachelor degree in both (2012), but wanted to further explore the possibilities of putting linguistics into practice. A master in applied linguistics at the University of Utrecht followed, where she got the chance to expand her knowledge on Dutch as a second language. She graduated with excellence and continued working at Utrecht University as a research assistant (2012-2016). During this time she created a steady foundation for Kookoovaja which was established in 2014.

About Vasso

I have been a second language (English and Greek) teacher for 8 years. I love teaching Greek because I enjoy seeing my nerdiness about my language and culture pay off! Watching my students grow confident to use such a challenging and beautiful language, and develop strong bonds with the Greek culture is an amazing experience. My passion is to discover and bring in the classroom extra-curricular material (like comics, series, games and songs) that make the classes fun, motivating and easier for people with diverse literacies.

Brief CV

Vasso has worked as a language teacher (English and Greek) since 2007, first at Omiros Schools in Athens and now at Kookoovaja, and as teaching assistant in the Department of Media and Culture at Utrecht University since 2015. She holds bachelor degrees in English Language and Literature (cum laude) and Theatre Studies from the University of Athens, a master in Cultural Policy Management and Communication from Panteio University and a master in Gender and Ethnicity from Utrecht University.

About Anita

It is an absolute pleasure to work with people who want to learn the Greek language and connect with the Greek culture. It makes me happy to show my students the individual way to their own journey to Greece, by teaching this unique language. I love sharing my passion for the Greek language, history and culture with diverse learning methods that are specifically created and suited to every student’s needs and interests.

Brief CV

Born and raised in Germany to Greek parents, Annita is bilingual. Her passion for the Greek language and culture led her to study in Greece, where she became a teacher of the Greek language. In 2008, she graduated as a primary teacher from the Aristoteles University of Thessaloniki. She has a versatile language teaching experience, both as a first and as a second language. After her studies, she worked as a classroom teacher in a primary school in Skopelos, where she gained experience being responsible for student’s activities. In 2010, she specialized in teaching Greek as a foreign language while she was employed by the German School of Athens. In 2012, she moved to Amsterdam where she has been teaching Greek and German in both private and group settings to students of various ages, levels and educational backgrounds.

About Mariëlle

Being the child of a Scottish expat father and a Dutch mother, I’ve always been intrigued by language: what can it do, how does it create meaning, and what is lost in translation? As a child, I often carried around a heavy dictionary to translate Dutch songs and phrases into English and vice versa, and it is this love for language that made me study English Language and Culture at the University of Utrecht, and start my own academic language coaching and editing business. What I love most about teaching language skills is that moment when the penny drops for my students— it’s so rewarding and highly addictive!

Brief CV

Mariëlle holds a BA in English Language and Culture, minors in Gender and Post-Colonial Studies, and a Research Masters in Gender and Ethnicity. She has been a university level teacher since 2010, and became known almost instantly as that teacher who actually provided useful and elaborate feedback on her students’ papers. The moment her colleagues and supervisors started to ask her to translate and edit their work, she realised it was time to use this skill to help others improve their academic writing. Mariëlle is also the coordinating editor-in-chief of the bilingual journal Tijdschrift voor Genderstudies (Journal of Gender Studies). In between these jobs, she edits and writes fiction.

About Oana

A long-term sufferer from the ‘itchy feet syndrome’, I am now counting the Netherlands as the fourth country where I have lived so far. I was apparently born to wander this part of the Earth and I obviously wonder what new adventures are in store for me. Teaching Romanian and English in Kookoovaja is one such enterprise and I welcome every student who wishes to embark on this adventure with me. Given my background in journalism, curiosity, communicativeness, inquisitiveness and thirst for knowledge are essential traits of the way I learn and teach in my turn. If you would like to perfect your English for general purposes or for business, prepare for an English language exam, or step into the realm of Romanian language and culture, let’s talk!

Brief CV

Oana is a Journalism and English graduate of the West University in Timișoara, Romania. During her university studies she took a gap year to perfect her knowledge of the English language in London, England, which resulted in her successfully passing the Cambridge Proficiency Exam. Her teaching experience spans 14 years now. She has taught in-company English courses to levels from elementary to upper-intermediate. While living in Slovenia for 11 years she taught English in companies specialised in finance, media, commerce or consulting, and Romanian to Slovenes doing business in Romania or to Romanian language enthusiasts for fun. She is experienced in teaching classes of up to ten students, as well as one-to-one classes to busy managers. Since 2015 she has been living and working in the Netherlands, connecting to people from various cultures and acting as an intermediary between various languages.

About Stéphanie

I’ve always loved language. What it exposes and mystifies, how it handles truth and challenges imagination. It’s the most evident and at the same time magical way of manifesting ourselves and making sense of the things that surround us. I like the dual (or multiple) perspective you get when knowing two (or more) languages. You come to look at things and the languages themselves in different ways. Teaching is sharing this idea that students can amplify their world and benefit from this broader horizon in more ways they perhaps could have imagined beforehand. Moreover, I find it very rewarding helping students gain the confidence to speak a new language and the motivation to keep speaking that new language.

Brief CV

Stéphanie is a French native speaker who learned Dutch at the age of eleven when she moved from France to the Netherlands. She’s been teaching Dutch as a second language since 2015 at Dutch language and writing school Skribi and is teaching French at Kookoojava now as well. She graduated in Communication and Information Sciences at Utrecht University (2008) before obtaining a Bachelor of Arts with honours in Writing for Performance at Hogeschool voor de Kunsten Utrecht (2011). She’ll start with a post-hbo program NT2 teacher at Hogeschool Utrecht in september 2017 to deepen and strenghten her teaching skills in second language learning.

About Valentina

Languages have always been one of my greatest passions. I believe learning foreign languages and cultures opens your mind and is a fulfilling and challenging experience. For this reason, I graduated in Intercultural and Linguistic Mediation, which pays particular attention on the cultural aspects of the language and of the countries where this language is spoken. After learning 6 languages and teaching English to primary school children, I decided to start teaching Italian and I absolutely love it. Seeing the passion that the students have for my own language and culture is extremely rewarding and motivating.

Brief CV

Valentina has worked as Italian and English tutor since 2009, both privately and in schools. She holds a Bachelor Degree in Intercultural and Linguistic Mediation from University of Rome “La Sapienza”, where she specialized in Dutch Language, Literature and Culture, Russian Language, Literature and Culture, Italian Literature and General Linguistics. She also studied Nederlandse Taalanalyse and Italiaanse Cultuurkunde at Leiden University. During her Master Degree in Gender Studies at Utrecht University, her research was on homophobic bullying in educational environments. Valentina has been an activity planner and coach for the Global Alliance for LGBT Education, where she gave trainings to both teachers and students. She also gives Professional Scrum Master trainings in Amsterdam.