English as a Second Language

English isn’t just the most-studied language in the world, it’s also one of the most difficult to learn. From its confusing idiom to its sometimes bizarre pronunciation (there are no less than eight different ways to pronounce “-ough”), learning English as a second language is as challenging as it is essential.  

That’s where Cambridge Coaching comes in.  Our trained ESL instructors love working with students who are beginners in the language, as well as those who are further along. We draw our ESL tutors from Harvard’s School of Education, NYU’s language programs, as well as the Columbia Teacher’s College. Most of our tutors speak multiple languages, so they know what’s like to learn a new language, and they are realistic (yet optimistic!) about helping you meet your English speaking goals.

We offer ESL tutoring at all levels, from beginners who need grounding in grammar, to professionals who are looking to improve their spoken and business English.  Working with our tutors is far more efficient than attending a class, because our tutors will work with you to craft a unique curriculum that focuses on the things that you want to learn.  Our goal is to give you the skill and confidence you need, whether it’s for work, school, or travel.

Select the focus that is right for you to learn more about how we can help you improve your English.

Academic   Business    Enrichment    Test Preparation   Cultural Exploration

Suggested Approaches

We have 5 approaches to teaching ESL, and they encompass all linguistic goals from grammar heavy test preparation and translation to conversational enrichment and business packages. While each of the methods below can be effective, your specific goals will impact which method we select for your tutoring.  

Resources

Because we are not invested in selling proprietary materials, we’re able to pick and choose the best textbooks. Here are some of our favorites:

Daily Immersion: Newspapers & Music

In addition to what you study during your tutoring session, one of the most fun aspects of learning a new language is exploring the culture that it comes from! Podcasts are a great way to supplement your language classes. Immerse yourself as you stroll through Harvard Square, or as you walk down Lexington Avenue.

  • BBC Podcasts 
  • NPR Podcasts 
  • English Class 101 
  • All Ears Podcast 

Local & regional newspapers are a great way to follow current events in your new language, while advancing your reading comprehension. We’ve listed out some of our favorite news sources below, but since you’re in the States, just read whatever you can get your hands on!

  • New York Times 
  • Los Angeles Times
  • Wall Street Journal 
  • Huffington Post
  • The Guardian 

There are also tons of newspapers published in the United States that cater to bilingual populations. Find these daily publications  around NYC or Boston to get local news in your target language.

Tip: Highlight or make a list of the words you do not recognize as you read. Don’t stop to look them up immediately. Finish the article and see how much you can understand without the dictionary. Then, look up the words, and re-read. This process may seem repetitive, but it asks your brain to work a bit more actively, and will yield results!

Don’t miss out on English music! Some musicians are particularly easy to listen to in their native tongue. Listening to music will get you comfortable hearing your target language and help your comprehension. While you’re at it, you’ll expand your knowledge of colloquial vernacular and regional slang.

  • Chuck Berry
  • Maroon 5
  • Taylor Swift
  • The Lumineers
  • Edward Sharpe
  • Van Morrison
  • Vampire Weekend
  • Or, just turn on the radio!

English as a Second Language Tutors

Jeb

Jeb grew up on a beautiful, bucolic island near Seattle. Long commutes into the city to attend school gave him ample time to read and write, and he became a lover of books and developed an interest in English grammar and language at an early age. He received his B.A. in international relations...

Emily was born in Louisiana, and raised in Mississippi and Pennsylvania. She attended Tulane University in New Orleans, where she triple-majored in philosophy, psychology, and linguistics, and double-minored in English and French. In her senior year, Emily served as president of her college's...

Having grown up in Houston and Ankara, Turkey, Clayton returned stateside to study English and religion at Dartmouth. He also tutored other college students as a Writing Assistant at the Dartmouth Composition Center. After college, he moved to Beijing, China, where, in addition to teaching high...

Christine was born and raised in central Jersey, with plenty of fruit trees and lots of open fields to dream in. At Rutgers University, she double-majored in Physics and Cell Biology & Neuroscience and graduated Phi Beta Kappa and Summa Cum Laude. Her propensity for deep reflection,...

Matt was born in Boston and grew up in the nearby suburbs. Matt loved the Boston area so much he decided to stay in the area for college and attend Harvard. He's been on an artistic path since he was young, and he continued to develop his creative abilities at Harvard, balancing
pursuits...

Eric grew up in Wisconsin, and double majored in history and English literature at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where occasional rumors that the school had a football team (“Badgers?”) reached him while he was getting hooked on the writing of Joyce, Faulkner, Eliot and Woolf. He...

Sam grew up in central Connecticut and attended Columbia University, where he majored in sociology. During his time at Columbia, he took a wide range of courses, with a special focus in urban sociology, creative writing, and music theory.

Since graduating, Sam has spent time both in the...

Born in Poland and having attended high school and college in the United States, Zuzanna has spent most of her life with a foot in each country. She graduated from Columbia University in 2013 with degrees in statistics and linguistics; she is now a 5th year PhD student in linguistics at Harvard...

Kyle is female, despite her name. She grew up in Virginia, near Washington, DC, and has wanted to teach as long as she has been a student. When she was in high school, she began teaching about birds and trees and bees at the Burgundy Center for Wildlife Studies, a summer camp in West Virginia....

Born and raised in Washington, DC, Erica also lived in Brussels, Paris, and Massachusetts before coming to New York in 2005. Salutatorian of her high school class, she graduated a year early from Smith College, with high honors and as a member of Phi Beta Kappa. During her time at Smith, Erica...

Emily was born and raised in Indianola, Iowa, home of the National Balloon Classic. After graduating first in her high school class, she attended the University of Iowa as a National Merit Scholar and recipient of the full-ride Presidential Scholarship. While at U of I, Emily majored in...

Rebeca grew up in a fully bilingual household (Spanish/English) in Guaynabo, Puerto Rico. She moved to the United States to attend Haverford College, majoring in Comparative Literature. Her junior year was spent studying at Oxford University, where she fell in love with the tutorial system, thus...

Eric's first book, La Far, won the Iowa Poetry Prize and will be published by the University of Iowa Press in the spring. The book collects poems Eric wrote at Harvard (BA), the Iowa Writers’ Workshop (MFA), and Teachers College (MA in Elementary Inclusive Education expected 2014). Eight years...

Aleks was born in Poland and grew up all over the Midwest –Chicago, Detroit, and southern Wisconsin. She went on to be a proud Badger at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she continued playing club volleyball and writing. She majored in biology and did research in laryngology. She was...

Born, bred, and educated in New Jersey, Erica graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts from Princeton University in 2012. A Comparative Literature major and true language nerd, during her time at Princeton, she studied seven different languages, including Ge'ez (Classical Ethiopic). She...

David grew up in the part of Houston near the NASA Space Center and, in this environment filled with engineers from all over the world, developed an appreciation for different languages and cultures, as well as an appreciation for science and the spirit of exploration, discovery, and new...

After growing up on a farm in Iowa, Danielle moved to Massachusetts, where she studied English with a citation (minor) in Spanish at Harvard University. At Harvard, Danielle was elected to Phi Beta Kappa as a junior and graduated summa cum laude a year later. She spent most of her free time in...

Charlotte was born in Utah, grew up in England, and has lived in Mexico, Peru, and Chile. She holds a B.A. with first class honors and distinction in English and Spanish from Oxford University, an M.A. in Hispanic Studies from Brown, and a postgraduate certificate in translation from the...

Ryan P. was born and raised in Pittsburgh, and so remains—in accordance with the unwritten law of that city—a bantam of a Pittsburgh sports fan, even as he’s lived and worked in other places. In 2013, he graduated with a B.A., magna cum laude, in English Language and Literature from Yale...

In 2008, Brent graduated from NYU, double-majoring in Literature and Music. He made the Dean’s List and was awarded the Dean’s Grant for Creative Writing. After graduating, and living briefly in France, he became an English and History tutor, helping students improve their grades and craft...

Spenser grew up in the suburbs of LA. He attended Purdue University and graduated in 3 years with a degree in Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering with distinction for having a 3.86/4.0 GPA. In his undergraduate career, he had two summer internships at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory....

Jedd is originally from the college town of Ann Arbor, Michigan, where his youth was full of talented educators, vibrant co-ops, and great lakes adventures.

Jedd graduated from Swarthmore College where he studied Philosophy and Education and was awarded the Lang Scholarship for Social...

    Tarek is originally from Beirut, Lebanon and spent most of his formative years in his hometown. He completed his degree in Political Studies, with an emphasis on International Relations and a minor in History, before moving to Sabancı University (Istanbul) for his Masters degree in Ottoman...

Naamah clearly remembers her first tutoring gig - which involved teaching her younger brother to read the words of a Dr. Seuss book. Naamah grew up on the Upper West Side of New York City. She started off at the Heschel School, a Jewish private school, and then went on to Stuyvesant High School...

Alison grew up in Concord, MA, known for its literary and revolutionary history (local authors like Henry David Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson inspired the name of her first dog, Walden). From a young age, Alison has loved reading, writing, and finding quiet or unexpected places to do both,...

Hannah is a recent graduate of the Wharton School, where she completed an MBA and an MA in International Studies from the Lauder Institute at the University of Pennsylvania. As a student at Wharton, Hannah spent her extracurricular time as an admissions reader for the MBA program and was able...

Andrew attended a K-12 Waldorf School in Chestnut Ridge, N.Y. that included a semester abroad in Germany. Bitten by the wanderlust bug, Andrew finished his undergraduate psychology major in two years instead of four. This positioned him to be Clark University’s first student to study abroad...

Born and raised in South Texas, Colin was set free to explore the garden that is New Jersey at 18. He wound up at Princeton University, where he graduated with honors in shapes, colors and feelings (Anthropology) and learned a lot of languages (French, Greek, Arabic, and Chinese), many of which...

Alex was born and raised in a small rural town in northwestern Connecticut, where he developed a deep appreciation for math and science, eventually acing his SAT subject test in math. An aspiring math major at Columbia, he took a linguistics class on the recommendation of a friend, and ended up...

Born and raised in England, Karen went globe-trotting in her late teens through her early twenties, working at a variety of jobs (chambermaid, waitress, camp site assistant, flight attendant, van driver) in settings as far afield as Wales, Italy, Israel, Spain, Greece, and the United States. ...

Max is originally from Steamboat Springs, CO where he grew up skiing, hiking, biking, and climbing in the Rocky Mountains. He graduated Valedictorian of his high school class, and moved to New York City to attend Columbia University, where he majored in Philosophy. After graduating, he spent...

Alex attended Colby College, where he studied Chinese, graduating with distinction in the major. He then spent five years studying and working in China, first as an English-Chinese interpreter for the president of a major multinational corporation, and then for the cast and crew of a 52-episode...

A Midwest transplant, before coming to Cambridge, Emily attended Carleton College where she spent many hours exploring the college’s arboretum and majored in French and Francophone Studies. She graduated Summa Cum Laude and with distinction in her major and is a member of Phi Beta Kappa. Having...

Tess grew up “near Philly”—also known as the New Jersey suburbs. Prior to her Fulbright scholarship, she graduated summa cum laude and in the top 1% of her class year (Matthew Leydt Society) from Rutgers University’s Honors Program, majoring in political science and literature. During her junior...

After a rather nomadic childhood spent in 3 different countries and a handful of different cities, Carrie moved to the East Coast for the first time in 2013 to attend Harvard University. She graduated magna cum laude, majoring in molecular and cellular biology and minoring in social anthropology...

Erin Bartnett received her Masters in modern & contemporary literature from the University of Virginia, a certificate in publishing from NYU, and her Bachelors in English Literature with a concentration in Women's Literature from Rutgers University, summa cum laude, high honors.  She has...

As a student at Yale, Nate spent a disproportionate amount of time playing with dogs. Well, technically it was his job. Nate studied Cognitive Science as an undergrad, focusing how non-human animals process information without grammatical language. One summer, Nate took a break from dogs,...

Nell is a born and bred New Yorker who spent her formative years in Prospect Park. She attended Wesleyan University where she double-majored in Art History and English (Creative Writing), graduating with honors from the English Department for her creative writing thesis “Finding lost things,” a...

Julia grew up in Northern Virginia, and attended St. John’s College in Annapolis, MD (the ‘great books’ school), where she fell in love with classical languages. After spending a year baking bread in Antarctica, she went back to school for historical linguistics, and is now pursuing a PhD in the...

Catherine grew up in the greater Boston area but her passion for challenges and the international community led her to Jacobs University in Bremen, Germany for her Bachelor’s. In the very first semester of her three years in Bremen, Catherine plunged headfirst into the world of research....

Emmy did not learn how to read until third grade, many long months after her twin sister; and she has been making up for lost time ever since. An avid reader and book-worm (more like the Hungry Caterpillar of books), Emmy studied literature and the visual arts at Yale College, where she...

Born and raised in Brooklyn, Alyssa is happy to once again call Brooklyn home.  Alyssa attended Saint Ann’s in Brooklyn Heights and then Williams College, where she majored in English and wrote a collection of short stories for her Honors Thesis, one of which won the Wainwright Award for best...

Milena grew up in Vienna, Austria, which may lead you to believe that she loves classical music and winter sports. Though this is true, it was her weak spot for grammar and languages that brought her to the US and convinced her to pursue a PhD at MIT’s renowned Linguistics Department, famously...