Our Tutors

English consultants working only with adults in Melbourne

Speak Better English was established in Melbourne in 2007. Since then, our English tutors have been providing private, one-on-one English lessons to professionals and students wanting individual attention and personalised programs in order to achieve their English goals.

All our language consultants are fully qualified teachers, born in Australia or England.  We have specific qualifications in teaching English to people who have come from overseas and speak English as an additional language (EAL). 

We also work with Australians who have spoken English all their lives, offering help with whatever skills they need. It could be as basic as punctuation and spelling issues, right up to assisting high level professionals who want to give a more polished impression in their reports and presentations.

Each of us has over 20 years’ professional experience across a wide range of programs including:

  • Advanced and intermediate conversational English
  • Business English and cultural orientation to the Australian workplace
  • Report writing and oral presentations for the workplace
  • Job application and interview skills
  • OET preparation
  • IELTS preparation
  • Academic and technical writing
  • Grammar (advanced/intermediate/beginner)
  • Pronunciation  (advanced/intermediate/beginner)
  • Spelling, punctuation and writing skills for people born in Australia

Our Tutors

Marianne Sherry

Marianne Sherry (Northcote)

B.A. Dip Ed, Grad Dip Ed TESL, Cert IV in Training & Assessment, Cert IV in Small Business
I started Speak Better English in 2007, because after almost 30 years teaching in schools, TAFEs and so on, I was ready for a new challenge, and I wanted to be able to teach individual students what they  needed and what they wanted.
My main focus these days is setting up new clients with fabulous teachers! I invite teachers with long experience, great qualifications and excellent skills to make themselves available to the students who contact me through the website. We offer our skills to individuals but also to organisations seeking to support their employees with programs to develop their communication skills.
I do still work with professionals and some IELTS students, and I have long-term students who came to me originally for IELTS prep or some basic need and are still coming now as they complete higher qualifications such as their Cert 4 in Training and Assessment or their MBA. Some students came to improve their punctuation, and now we study poetry and even Shakespeare! We do customized programs, and we go where you want to go!
I also completed a Cert 4 in Life Coaching in 2012, which has given me some tools to help clients with setting goals, as well as working with issues such as stress and anxiety before IELTS or OET tests, or before job interviews. 
I love the variety in my work, and the contact with people from all over the world, doing all sorts of jobs, with all sorts of goals. And I love being able to match committed students with great teachers!

Susie Orzech

Susie Orzech (Northcote)

BA Hons, Dip Ed, Grad Dip TESL, Cert 4 TAE

In her long career, Susie has taught at a number of different TAFEs and universities in the language support areas for both literacy and English as an additional language, as well as in OET preparation courses.
After 40 years teaching in large organisations, Susie decided to join Marianne at Better English so that she could continue teaching in a more meaningful way; designing customised programs to teach what individual students needed. 

Of course, preparation for the OET needs to happen within strict requirements, but even there Susie can focus on the needs of the individual student, whether this be in Reading , Writing , Listening, Speaking, or any combination of these.

Susie is particularly interested in teaching OET, academic skills, conversation, oral presentations, grammar and pronunciation.

Irene Comer

Irene Comer (Northcote)

 Grad Dip Inter-Ethnic Studies & Education, B Ed (TESOL),  Cert IV Workplace Training & Assess. (TAE40110) 

Irene has been an ESL/EFL teacher at TAFE for many years, initially working with recently arrived migrants.

She now has over 15 years experience teaching international students in the ELICOS programme. She loves her job and particularly enjoys creating interesting and relevant resources. 

Irene has extensive knowledge and experience in IELTS testing procedure and practice.  

On many occasions she has also taught English in China in NMIT’s Offshore English programmes for TAFE.

What Irene enjoys most about language consultancy is that it is customized to suit the special needs of our clients: “I really enjoy thinking about the best way to help a student, and then finding the most appropriate strategies and resources ……”

Like most language teachers, she loves learning about other cultures and languages and has travelled widely in China, other parts of Asia, Europe and North Africa. 

Sharon Duff

Sharon Duff (Elwood, St Kilda, CBD)

B Ed, Grad Dip TESOL

Sharon Duff has 20 years’ experience teaching English to new migrants. 
In her role as an EAL teacher, she has taught students from diverse cultural backgrounds. She has experience teaching all language levels from beginners through to advanced.  

Sharon has taught general English classes, literacy, IELTS and ELICOS students.  

She has also spent many years working with skilled migrants, assisting them with their language needs, job seeking requirements and the specific language skills that are necessary for business professionals.  

Furthermore, Sharon has also written and published resources for EAL students – most recently she has been the co-author of the popular “Sing with Me” series where adult students improve their English through song.

Melissa Brown

Melissa Brown (CBD)

Melissa has over 20 years’ experience teaching English to international students and new migrants. She has a Masters Degree in History, focussing on the migrant experience in Australia, and she has also spent extensive periods of time in China, Taiwan and Thailand, teaching Business English at various universities and working for UNESCO.

Melissa has taught students of all levels and from many cultural backgrounds. She is happiest creating and adapting materials to suit students' interests and special needs.

Melissa has extensive and up to date experience in IELTS testing procedure and practice.

"Whether I'm helping students with academic skills, pronunciation, conversation, presentation skills, or a difficult grammar point, I like to ease them out of their comfort zone."

Melissa Brown

Lauren Terrill (Eltham)

CELTA, Post Grad Cert in Eng Lang, BA Hons Humanities, Post Grad Cert in Geog, Cert IV Training & Assess.

Teaching English language has been a career and passion of mine for over 20 years. I have extensive experience with all kinds of language learners – migrants, international students, professional business people and new job- seekers in Australia.
My qualifications are from Australia and the UK (where I grew up). My overseas experience of English language teaching has spanned China, Vietnam and Brunei. This has given me considerable expertise in cross-cultural communication and, in particular, a sensitive appreciation of the cultural difficulties faced by students and migrants who have recently arrived in Melbourne.
I employ my linguistic skills and experience to identify key problem areas, then use empathy and sensitivity to offer supportive and friendly guidance for my students.  
I enjoy tutoring so much, because it gives me an opportunity to offer students more targeted and individual help, making better use of their time to achieve goals. Recently, I have been specialising in OET preparation for health professionals, where I have had considerable success in helping people to achieve their required grades (usually B).

Melissa Brown

Adrian Rice (Warrandyte)

BSc Zoology, Post Grad Teach Cert, MA Applied Linguistics, Grad Dip International Ed, Post Grad TESP Dip, 
Cert IV in Training and Assessment, Cert Career Coaching

I have worked in education since 1976 and hold a BSc in Zoology, an MA in Applied Linguistics and additional qualifications in Training and Assessment, Career Coaching and Management. I also have 15 years of teacher training and educational management experience.   

I have worked in the UK, Spain, Malaysia, Brunei and in Australia at several TAFE Institutes as a teacher and manager, and at Monash University English Language Centre in management and training. I have delivered teacher training programs to adult learners and teachers in China, Saudi Arabia, Vietnam, and most recently, Myanmar.

My interests are in the teaching of advanced grammar and pronunciation skills, in editing and report writing and also in the development of management and workplace skills for adult migrants.

Melissa Brown

Hazel Rice (Warrandyte)

BA Hons French/Spanish Post Grad Teaching Certificate, Post Grad Dip TESOL, Cert IV in Training & Assess.

I have over 35 years experience teaching English as an Additional Language in a range of settingsin the UK, France, Spain, Malaysia, Brunei, China, Myanmar and Australia.
Helping people to achieve their goals and make a difference in their lives has always been my aim.
For the past 14 years I have worked extensively with skilled migrant professionals assisting them to successfully apply for jobs in Australia.
My particular strengths are in the following areas:
• Understanding the job advertisement 
• Writing successful resumes and cover letters
• Addressing key selection criteria
• Preparing for and performing effectively in job interviews
• Developing networking skills
I believe that my extensive skills as a teacher and trainer enable me to work with people from all backgrounds and cultures in an enthusiastic supportive manner to maximize successful outcomes.

Melissa Brown

Sally Landers (Bayside, Clayton, Dandenong, Frankston, & CBD)

B.A. (Hons) Social Sciences, Graduate diploma In Education (TESOL/LOTE), CELTA Cert, CELTA Trainer, Cert IV TAE

My experience combines teaching Business English in London with 15 years of English (EAL) at the tertiary level in Australia, teaching both migrant and International students. Prior to that I worked as a Corporate Sales and Marketing Manager in the Hospitality Industry for 10 years.
I specialize in helping individuals achieve a level of spoken and written English that provides them with the confidence to communicate effectively in their senior and executive roles. Teaching and working overseas (China, Germany, Switzerland) provided me with an invaluable insight into cultural differences in education and business environments, which I incorporate into my teaching.
Key specialties include:
• Pronunciation and confidence in business conversations
• Developing grammatical range 
• Presentation preparation and honest feedback
• Understanding and appreciation of cultural subtleties in communication
• Workshops and group training with material tailored to the participants’ abilities, requirements and expectations
• Exam preparation including OET, IELTS and IACO. My students have achieved a high level of success in all of these exams.
Most recently I have run Effective Communication workshops for companies with employees from different countries,assisting them to improve their relationship with clients and colleagues. Last year I extended my skills to pitch coaching, drawing on both my business and teaching backgrounds, and my students have gained confidence and success at work and in entrepreneur pitch competitions.
A key component of success is enjoyment. I pride myself on using my abilities and knowledge to help my clients enjoy the experience of learning English, increase their confidence and give them the best chance to achieve their goals.

Melissa Brown

Deborah Williams (Malvern area, Caulfield, Oakleigh, St Kilda Rd, CBD)

Cert IV in TESOL
Earlier in her career, Deborah worked overseas in The Philippines, Japan, Indonesia and later in the USA and consequently has a good understanding of working and living as a foreigner in another country.
Deborah has had extensive administrative and PA experience working with Professors, CEOs and senior managers in the Education and Not-for-Profit sectors. She has had hands-on experience attending Board meetings, editing reports to Boards, writing agendas, meeting minutes, emails and organising training -all of which gives her solid background knowledge for your discussions about your workplace.
Your lessons will be tailored to your individual needs. You may be looking for help with day-to-day language problems in some of the following areas:
• Meetings – coffee and casual meetings, more formal Board/business meetings, how to keep a conversation going and when to stop
• Chatting at a business cocktail function or dinner/drinks party
• Preparing to participate in a training course – building your awareness of vocabulary
• Pronunciation
• PowerPoint presentations – writing and presenting
• Public speaking and/or business pitches
• Current affairs – feel confident to talk about what’s happening in the news
• Unconscious patterns and mistakes you may be making
• Writing emails / Business etiquette / Business idioms / Expressions / Negotiations and Disagreements / Relationship building
• Work customs/office culture/working with clients
• CV preparation and interview techniques
• IELTS and OET preparation

I finished the presentation, it was excellent and I am so happy. One of the audience commented on my English that it was good and very clear. Thanks a lot for your help and support. CB
IELTS scores received today: 8.0 Reading 8.0 Speaking. Thank you so much, fabulous improvement. Now need to concentrate on Writing. AA
Dear Deb, Thank you so much for all of your help and support. Really, I have learned a lot from you. We had interesting discussions. ST
I really really enjoyed your class. Thank you so much. AT
Thanks Deb. It was great working with you and I hope to work with you again in the future. RH
I would like to say thank you for all the great knowledge that you have given us and I am really glad that I gained a lot of new English phrases and words, as well as clarifying all those English expressions that I have been wondering about for years. KA
Deborah worked with my daughter’s teacher to reinforce and help her to understand English. Deborah was listening to my daughter. Now she became more confident with English at school and everywhere. She is not afraid to speak English with people. Deborah interacted with my daughter on subjects she liked. SL

Melissa Brown
Elizabeth Dartnell (Mont Albert)

BA (Hons) Dip Ed; MA in Linguistics; Grad Dip TESOL; Cert 4 TAE; ATCL in piano teaching.
With more than 30 years experience in teaching, mostly in English as an Additional Language for adults in Melbourne, I have a deep interest in language learning and cross cultural communication. 
I have travelled extensively, tried my hand at learning a number of other languages, and have taught English in a range of settings: in Indonesia, China and most recently Myanmar. 
In Australia, I have worked in TAFE with adult learners from many language backgrounds. There I gained a particular interest in developing the skills of people at intermediate to advanced levels with English for the workplace.
My strengths are in pronunciation, advanced grammar, effective oral presentations and writing for employment purposes. I also enjoy sharing the informal, idiomatic use of English as spoken in Australia. 
I believe in providing a supportive environment that builds confidence in learners, allowing them to progress towards their language and personal goals. 

Melissa Brown
 Frances Wang (Mount Waverley)

 B.A.(Hons),Dip. Ed.,Grad Dip. Ed. (TESOL), Cert. IV Training and Assessment
I have been teaching English as a Second Language for more than 30 years. I worked first at Hawthorn English Language Centre (now part of Melbourne University), then later at Box Hill Institute. During this time I have focused mainly on teaching academic English to students going on to further study, either at TAFE or University. 
 In 1995 I completed the training to become an IELTS examiner at Hawthorn campus of Melbourne University, and worked there as an IELTS examiner until mid 2016, over 20 years. During this time I also wrote detailed teaching programmes for IELTS preparation courses which I set up in overseas countries including China and Fiji. I have a very detailed knowledge of what is required to do well on the IELTS test and am therefore able to instill confidence in my students that they are on the right path to improving their IELTS score.
 I look forward to working one on one with anyone who has a goal of achieving a better IELTS score.

Melissa Brown
 Cathy Sadler (Mount Waverley)

 Master of TESOL (almost), Cert. IV in Training and Assessment
Within a few months I will have completed a Master of TESOL. I have been working towards this in addition to teaching at Hawthorn Melbourne. 

As a teacher, I am most experienced in academic English, and have a broad and accurate knowledge of the IELTS test. As a clerical marker for more than 7 years and now an IELTS teacher I can help you at all levels and in each component ( academic or general); my current specialty is helping students who are seeking a target of IELTS 8. 
In addition to this I have also taught the intensive University of Melbourne bridging program for students entering Melbourne University to undertake post-graduate studies, and I have experience teaching CSWE based classes and high school group tours.
I am enthusiastic and committed to supporting you and facilitating you as you achieve increased competence in your language learning. 
Although I specialise in academic English, I am here to help in whichever area of your language skills you feel you need to build on, and to help you achieve your full potential.

Melissa Brown
 Brian Edmond (Various Locations)

B.A. (Bachelor of Arts); LL.B (Bachelor of Laws); Grad. Dip. L.P. (Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice); WHSO (Workplace Health and Safety Officer); CELTA (Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults).
I have extensive experience as a lawyer, teacher, actor, and manager. If you want to improve your confidence and skills in English pronunciation, speaking,grammar, presentation-skills, listening, vocabulary, writing, and the finer details of all aspects of professional and business communication –I'm the man for you.

I teach English to adults and have taught English to students from many different countries including: China, Thailand, Vietnam, Taiwan, Japan, Korea, Turkey, Iraq, India, Pakistan, Hungary, Columbia, Italy, Macedonia, Malaysia, Czechoslovakia and Israel. This has included all levels of adult students from Elementary to Advanced; and adults with professional jobs with very high level English. 

I will work with you on the areas YOU want to improve. Helping you is what I love doing. I look forward to working with you.

Luke O'Higgins

Rosemary Brennan-Herrera (Eastern Suburbs)

BA, Post-Grad Diploma Education (TESOL, English, Spanish), Cert IV Training & Assessment

I have worked for over thirty years teaching ESL to a variety of students in a variety of settings in Australia and overseas. I have worked at Melbourne University, Melbourne Private and Swinburne Universities delivering EAP and ELICOS programs. I teach migrants and refugees general English, at all levels. I particularly enjoy supporting international students as their English explodes into life once they are studying in Australia.
My particular interest is in trouble shooting areas of difficulty for students, whether it is clarifying grammar or identifying problems in pronunciation or expression. Students might also suffer a lack of confidence, which means they are not speaking up in tutorials or dread presentations or are simply not using all the English skills they have in conversations. 
It is important to me to help students articulate and organise information and ideas in academic essays and reports and explore with them the necessary new language they need for confident fluency.
I also like to listen and to chat and to engage students in broadening their oral skills in a relaxed informal way.

Luke O'Higgins

Meryl Johnson (Mont Albert)

B Ed, Post Grad Dip TESOL, Cert IV in Training & Assess. Dip of Health, Dip Professional Writing & Editing

Moving on from over 30 years tertiary classroom teaching experience, I have most recently spent two years intensively teaching various levels of English one-to-one via Skype and Zoom, to migrants from many different cultures and backgrounds. My students improved both their English speaking and listening, and computer skills!
Whether you want to prepare for IELTS or OET, I have current procedural experience with both exams and have helped many students achieve successful results. In being part of consulting skills workshops for medical professionals I have gained valuable insights into current Australian medical practice.
If you want to improve your writing for business, enhance your English grammar while editing essays for further studies, or even just successfully pass the Citizenship Test, I will be pleased to assist you.
No goal is too big or too small and it is my pleasure to provide structure, materials and lots of supportive practice in your home or mine or online, with Speak Better English.
Luke O'Higgins

Amanda Hiorth (Fitzroy)

PhD, Master of Teaching, Diploma of Education (ESL and Japanese), BA (Linguistics and Japanese)

My three passions in life are teaching, language and learning; so working together with students brings me great joy. I am a language teacher, but I am also a cultural broker. Sometimes you might have the right words, but not the socio-cultural understanding to appropriately communicate your needs. Knowledge is power, so when you develop cultural insights behind the language you are learning, you have a greater ability to succeed when expressing yourself.

I have been teaching English for over 20 years, and 10 of those years was teaching English in Japan. I taught at all levels including the business sector and started a language school where I employed and trained teachers, created curriculums and lesson plans unique to each student, and interpreted and translated from Japanese to English. So I have extensive business experience, and understand how important it is to present yourself professionally, with confidence, using sophisticated language skills. Together we can work on specific language learning needs such as grammar, pronunciation, sentence structure, and useful vocabulary in the marketplace, but also other important skills needed for business such as how to give an impressive presentation, report-writing, marketing yourself in multi-mediums and networking.
I am highly experienced in teaching English for academic purposes. I myself have been a student at every level of the Australian education system, and have taught in Australian secondary schools, and lectured and marked many essays at Masters level for Melbourne University. I understand what it means to successfully interpret the criteria of an assessment, to write a high quality essay, or to give a presentation. I can also help with planning, structuring, editing and proofreading of work based on the target audience you need to reach. 
I really look forward to meeting you and working together to develop your skills.
Luke O'Higgins

June Rojas (Ringwood East & Croydon Library)

BA (Hons), Grad Dip Ed (TESOL/Psychology), Cert IV in Training & Assessment

I have been teaching English to international students and migrants since 1999 in both TAFEs and universities. While I have taught all aspects of the language for both General and Academic purposes, I particularly enjoy helping learners in their understanding and application of grammar. It is incredibly satisfying to be told that I help to clarify grammar issues that had been confusing for years!

I have also done extensive work in IELTS preparation for students ranging from intermediate to advance levels, and therefore am very familiar with the test.

I am also interested in coaching for public speaking and presentations, having had a variety of speaking roles in both academic and entertainment settings.  

I joined SBE mainly because I believe in striving to meet learners' specific needs, and to equip them with the tools to build up their English independently.  
Luke O'Higgins

Anne Collins   
(CBD, Toorak, South Yarra, Hawthorn, Armadale, Malvern)  

Dip Teach, BA, LLB
Anne has a unique combination of skills. She is an experienced corporate lawyer, banker and classroom teacher, and an experienced ESL coach. During 25 years living and working in Asia, Anne co-founded her own ESL coaching business.  
As we rise to senior positions, excellent English matters.Anne now specialises in assisting senior managers and senior academics, whether new to English or native English speakers,to polish spoken and written English and presentation skills. But she also designs and delivers training programs for whole teams, eg, targeting common errors in business writing, or upgrading negotiation skills. Anne works hard to exactly match coaching materials to the client’s needs. She firmly believes this is the only way to ensure real progress.
With clients from a range of language backgrounds, including from China, Japan, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore and Vietnam, as well as many others, Anne understands the various pronunciation and grammar challenges, especially of Asian-born English speakers. 
Anne has a background as a banking & finance lawyer with one of Australia’s top corporate law firms, as well as with a high-profile Hong Kong law firm, and also in senior management with an international banking group. This experience, combined with many years of teaching and coaching both in Asia and Australia, all enable her to provide effective tailored programs of the highest standard. But, most importantly, Anne loves coaching.

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