I am a founder and director of the Polyglottist Language Academy. I hold PhD in French from the University of California, Berkeley where I taught French for six years. I currently hold a French Lecturer position at the University of the Pacific, teaching all levels of French and literature there.

I have formal pedagogical training in teaching languages, cultures, and literature from UC Berkeley and extensive experience tutoring in different languages to professionals and high school, undergraduate, and graduate students living in the Bay area. I am as experienced in teaching in a big classroom as I am in one-to-one instruction.

I have also studied Old French, Spanish, Latin, and Italian. My dream is to learn Arabic and Ancient Greek one day. My interests include French and Russian cultures, French Medieval and Early Modern literature, animal studies, the history of early modern political philosophy, classical moral philosophy, historiography, Latin, opera, and art.

I am looking forward to share all my knowledge about languages and cultures with you!

Olga Sylvia, PhD

Please meet our outstanding instructors. They all hold advanced degrees (MA and PhDs) in the languages they teach and they also have years of experience teaching languages!

Staff Meeting in December, 2016

Sole was born and raised in Rome, Italy. She discovered her passion for teaching italian while she was still a student, for this reason she has started to teach privately, in particular offering classes to American students living abroad. She graduated in Applied Linguistics in July 2012. The same year she moved to Berkeley with her husband and she has been teaching italian since then. She taught in different schools through the Bay Area both adults and kids from 0 to 13 years old.
Besides teaching, she likes cooking, reading and watching all kind of movies, especially the ones that belong to the contemporary italian cinema.

Valerie earned her PhD in Italian Studies from New York University in 2013. She has been a visiting scholar at the University of Aegean (Rhodes, Greece) and the Gennadius Library (Athens Greece) while holding a Fulbright Scholarship to Greece and has also held a postdoctoral position in History from the European University Institute in Florence, and an Andrew R. Mellon Multi-Country Research Award from the Council of American Overseas Research Centers. Her research interests integrate Italian Studies and History and investigate issues of national identity, Italian empire, citizenship and migration from the Italian unification to the present. She has taught Italian language and culture courses at New York University and Pace University in New York City, as well as at the NYU campus in Florence, Italy. Currently, she is working on a book drawn from her dissertation about Italian colonialism in the Dodecanese Islands in Greece that is entitled Fascism's Mediterranean Empire: Identity and Rule in the Greek Islands (1912-47).

Oscar is our Italian instructor. He is an Italian native speaker who holds an Italian degree in philosophy from the University of Salerno, a prestigious university in Southern Italy. He also studied theology at an Institute of Religious Studies and Latin and Greek at the International Academy Vivarium Novum where he worked for many years teaching and organizing the library. Our Italian instructor has taught courses in philosophy, Italian literature, Italian, and Latin. He also has an extensive experience tutoring Italian and Latin to professionals in the Bay area.

Arthur is a PhD candidate in the Department of Italian Studies at UC Berkeley where he is currently working on a dissertation on 19th century writer Ippolito Nievo and Italian "proto-fantascienza".  He has taught Italian at UC Berkeley and tutored students in Italian at his alma mater Duke University, where he was a double-major in Mathematics and Italian Studies. Arthur holds a Masters in Italian Studies from UC Berkeley. He is also the President of the Italian International Student Association (also known as the Italian Society at Berkeley), UC Berkeley's premiere Italian cultural, academic, and professional society which works to strengthen exchanges and relationships between Italy and the Bay Area.He finds teaching Italian to be an illuminating and engaging experience and endeavors to instill in his students the drive to make the Italian language their own. In what little free time he has, he has been known to write poetry in Italian, translate snippets of Italian literature, and now and then terrorize trivia nights in the Bay Area.

Séverine was born in Lyon, France where she completed a degree in Education and a Master’s degree in Language, Literature and Translation. She taught both English and French as a second language in companies and vocational colleges for thirteen years in France and started her own translation and language training company. She moved to England with her family in 2012 where she continued tutoring and translating. She recently moved to the Bay area as her husband opened a campus for a French higher education group in San Francisco. She loves traveling and languages. She speaks French, English, Spanish and German. Her greater satisfaction is to convey her passion for the language and the culture to her students.

Meghan is a Michigan transplant to the Bay area. She completed a Bachelor's degree in French and English at Michigan State University. While there, she served on the Executive board of the Michigan State University French Club and participated in teaching an after-school French language enrichment program for elementary and high school students. 
She then went on to earn a Master's degree in French Studies at the University of Maryland where she also taught a variety of undergraduate French courses. She has traveled extensively in France and spent time living there while completing two study abroad trips as well as working as an au pair and an English tutor. She has also traveled to other Francophone regions such as Belgium and Quebec. Meghan is extremely passionate about the French language and culture and enjoys nothing more than to share this passion with others. She is also a lover of travel, cooking, and literature.

Emily is a PhD candidate in the Romance Languages and Literatures program (with an emphasis in French) at UC Berkeley, where she also teaches French. She enjoys working with students of all levels and backgrounds to help them gain confidence and ease of expression in the language.

Anja holds a Bachelors Degree in German from The University of Warwick and obtained her Masters in German from The University of New Mexico. Anja commenced her teaching career whilst living in Cologne in 2001 and has taught German for over 15 years. Since moving to the Bay Area in 2011, Anja has joined the staff at the German School of the East Bay and at The Bay Area Kinderstube teaching a variety of age groups. Anja seeks to instill a passion for and confidence in the German language. She is a firm believer in the fusion of language with culture and is ultimately excited to teach and subsequently learn from her students. Currently to be found raising her two sons and perfecting her early morning crepe making skills, in the small window of time she has to herself she loves trivia and chocolate.

Olga has a Bachelor’s Degree in Spanish and Slavic Studies, with a minor in Linguistics, from Northwestern University. She was born in Russia, grew up in the Chicago area, and recently spent a year in in Seville, Spain, where she studied Spanish culture, poetry, and film. She moved to Berkeley two years ago. As her main job, she makes current events videos in English and Spanish that are used in the curriculum of over 80 elementary and middle schools around the U.S. She is also a Spanish, Russian, and Portuguese tutor, instructor, and translator. One of her most memorable teaching experiences was teaching Spanish to a class of eight students aged 14-75 in rural Russia.
Outside of work, Olga loves learning foreign languages (she speaks English, Russian, Spanish, and Portuguese fluently and is currently learning Italian, French, and Japanese), translating songs, cooking, and traveling the world. Some of her favorite places in the world are Reykjavik, Lisbon, Barcelona, the Dominican Republic, Venice, Moscow, and northern Minnesota. However, her most favorite activity of all is sharing her love for the Spanish, Russian, and Portuguese language and culture with her students!

Marcela has taught Spanish and English for the past 6 years offering Spanish lessons in groups and personalized settings, individually and through organizations in the San Francisco/Bay Area. She has taught in Brazil and the US to students of different ages and backgrounds, and she specializes in language and culture understanding the needs in the learning process for people of different languages and the ESL/bilingual experience. Her teaching style is fun, practical, and with didactic grammar style while following appropriate traditional methods. She earned her B.A. in Anthropology with a concentration in Markets, and Language and Culture from the University of California at Berkeley, and her M.A. in International Studies from the University of San Francisco. She has experience working with technology companies, businesses, NGO's and educational institutions focusing in LATAM on marketing and global practices, and has also taken on complex language projects in Spanish and Portuguese. You can catch her in ACLU Spanish speaking videos, see her translations for Amazon Watch, and read her academic work in both, Spanish and English. She interprets and offers language, search, analytics, localization and translation services having worked at courts and for tech and translation companies such as Lionbridge. She was born and raised in Colombia and has lived in San Francisco for 16 years, spending time too in Brazil and the UK. In her spare time she likes to travel and work in her hat creation. Marcela has a passion for cleatech and education and speaks English, Spanish, Portuguese and is thriving to refine her French.