Is there a perfect spaghetti sauce? Is there a perfect teacher? 🙂 Have you heard about the marketing research made by a company that produces spaghetti sauce? Originally, they wanted to find out what are the characteristics of the perfect spaghetti sauce: should it be mild or spicy, thin or thick, with texture or without… But, their marketing research informed them that there is no such a thing as one perfect spaghetti sauce for everybody – different people like different spaghetti sauces. So, instead of placing one “perfect” spaghetti sauce on the market, they decided to place three different spaghetti sauces, to satisfy different tastes of different people. You might be guessing what is the link between a spaghetti sauce and learning Croatian. Well, just as there is no one perfect spaghetti sauce, there is no such thing as one perfect teacher for everybody.
Our job is to find teachers who are linguists with a university language degree, native Croatian speakers, trained in teaching Croatian as a second language and professional, and it’s up to you to choose which of our teachers is the best match for you: your vibe, your personality, your style of communication, your sense of humor… Only when that match is really good, your learning Croatian experience gets really, really good!
P.S. You can try having your Croatian lessons with more than one teacher and later on choose which of them is your favourite spaghetti sauce! 🙂
Teacher and founder of SpeakCRO
Teacher and content creator
Ivana Horvatić Drešar
Role: Teacher and founder of SpeakCro
Education: Master degree in Croatian language and culture and a Master degree in Sociology from the University of Zagreb
Languages: Croatian (mother language), English (proficient), Spanish (proficient), Italian (basic), German (basic), Latin (basic)
If you would like to book your trial Croatian language lesson with Mateja click here.
Role: Teacher and content creator
Education: Master degree in Croatian Language and Literature and a Master degree in English Language and Literature from the University of Split, English and American Studies at University of Graz, Austria
Languages: Croatian (mother language), English (proficient), German (upper intermediate), Latin (basic)
My love for languages began at my early childhood, so my decision to study English and Croatian later on came naturally to me, as well as my professional involvement in different aspects of language teaching, translating and editing.
Driven by wanderlust, the passion for meeting different people and different cultures, and the constant desire to explore and learn more, I have spent one semester in Graz, Austria preparing for my thesis. I take every opportunity to travel and see new places – but also to go back to my hometown, Split. As the local saying goes, “You can take a person away from Split, but you can’t take Split away from the person”. I am a living proof! Is there anything better than going home just to lie on the beach, read a good book and enjoy a cup of coffee? Of course not, thank you very much.
I have been teaching Croatian as a second language since 2014 and I have enjoyed every second of it. It’s like a dream come true – turning your passion for languages, teaching, meeting new people and cultures into a professional occupation. Apart from the great satisfaction of seeing a student being able to lead a conversation in a language they didn’t know a word of at the beginning of our mutual journey, what keeps me motivated is exploring how the students from different speaking areas react to learning Croatian, what language and cultural obstacles they encounter and finding the best way to overcome these obstacles in a fun and friendly manner.
A wise man once said, “To learn a language is to have one more window from which to look at the world” – well, if that’s true, open that window and enjoy the view!
If you would like to book your trial Croatian language lesson with Antonia click here.
Education: Master degree in Croatian language and literature from the University of Zadar
Languages: Croatian (mother language), English (proficient), German (basic), Dutch (basic), Latin (basic)
Being born and raised in the north of Croatia, in Čakovec, where I lived for 18 years, and later studied and worked in Zadar at the beautiful Adriatic sea where I spent another 16 years of my life, made me hear, learn and use different ways of Croatian – a language that is so stratified, knotted and can be tricky yet so interesting and full of surprises (and exceptions), my native language, something that I had a natural understanding and love for.
I was introduced into the world of teaching very early, even before I started actually going to school, because my aunt was an elementary school teacher who used to bring me to her classes. And I liked it from the very beginning. After doing various student jobs like being a journalist, babysitter, salesgirl, and waitress, I started working at the University of Zadar at the Department of Croatian language, and there I had the opportunity to be a co-organizer of the International School of Croatian language for foreigners and this is when my love towards this call was born. My later business activities brought me into event management in which I stayed for 10 exciting years. Organizing an art and music festival with an international organization gave me many valuable experiences, and somehow I found myself always working with foreigners. The next logical step was to combine teaching and people I was surrounded with. So I started teaching Croatian again and never stopped since.
I am a mother of two loving and wild boys, so there is not much free time for leisure activities which I used to enjoy such as reading, singing and doing something fun that doesn’t include kids, but in our family, there is always time for languages. We actively use and speak three languages, as my husband is Belgian, so actually teaching never stops and I can make a final conclusion that teaching is my life. 🙂
When you have a talent and large knowledge in one certain field, the first logical thing to do is to share it. By sharing, what you get in return is immeasurably bigger. In my case, teaching my own mother tongue and having a chance to meet so many beautiful people and learn from them gives me the opportunity to remind myself that we are all the same but different, to learn how to notice, understand and love the diversity and to help and respect the others.
If you would like to book your trial Croatian language lesson with Tamara click here.
Education: Master’s degree in Teaching English Language and Literature and a bachelor’s degree in Art history from the University of Zagreb
Languages: Croatian (native tongue), English (proficient), German (basic), French (basic), Latin (basic)
I’m a teacher and I could say that I have been a teacher almost my whole life. I was a total geek at school and my friends would always come to my house after school and we would have pancakes and tutoring lessons in Maths, English, Croatian, Chemistry or anything they needed help with. Although I’ve been an English tutor for almost 15 years now, teaching English to all age groups, from babies to adults, I still find every new student and every new lesson fun and exciting.
As my high school education was coming to an end, I was thinking about what I want to be in life, what career I should choose. And the answer was obvious: I want to be a teacher. It was Maths or English, and today I’m very happy I chose English. Studying a language is an amazing and never-ending process and I am so happy that I can give that to someone who wants to learn Croatian, especially because learning Croatian, just like any other language, is also learning about our way of life and our customs, amazing food and places, “kava” that we can spend hours drinking and all the crazy tiny details that make us special, and I like to think charming :), as a people.
Growing up in a family of eight, I earned my living while being at the uni. I’ve always loved working with people, finding out what they are like and getting to know them or just observing them, so I’ve always chosen jobs which included exactly that. I’ve been a tutor, a babysitter, and a waitress during my college days. I’ve also been a singer for a few years and I really loved it. I had gigs with my band on the islands of Croatia and it was an amazing experience. Reading the audience’s reactions was a way of communicating with them. In other jobs as well, I learned a lot about people. Communication with people has always been a pleasure and a challenge for me. 🙂
As for my personal life, I live in Zagreb with my husband, a dog and two crazy cats and we love spending time outdoors (except the cats) so we use every opportunity to get away and see hidden gems of nature that Croatia is full of. We ride bikes, go camping, and go mountain climbing.
I also love making cakes and cookies and I can’t stop myself from always making too much so my family and friends enjoy them. I hope that one day I will make some for you, as well, my dear reader!
My other passions in life include reading books, playing ukulele, having a glass of wine with my friends, visiting the islands of Croatia, watching a good movie, crying to those same movies, listening to music (my favorites are Don Williams, Ella Fitzgerald, The Tallest Man on Earth and the list goes on and on…), cooking, and visiting museums.
I hope you’ll become my student and I promise to do my best to help you to learn Croatian well! 🙂 Learning a new language is not only learning different words for the same things, but learning another way to think about things. It’s like becoming a member of a cool new club! And I am here to welcome you to ours! 🙂
If you would like to book your trial Croatian language lesson with Kristina click here.
Education: Master’s degree in Teaching Croatian Language and Literature, and a Master’s Degree in Teaching History from the University of Split
Languages: Croatian (native language), English (proficient), Italian (intermediate), Slovenian (intermediate), Latin (basic)
As a history and Croatian language student I lived in Italy, Slovenia and Czech Republic. After my studies, I came back home to Podstrana, a small place near Split where I live with my family. My family originates from the small place Krivodol, near Imotski, as did the great Croatian poet, Tin Ujević.
My relatives live all over the world: in the USA, Argentina, France, Germany, Bosnia and Herzegovina… I think that we even have some long lost cousins in Canada. Unfortunately, we have lost contact with some of them, otherwise it would be a great excuse to finally see North and South America.
During my studies I have been the head of the Students of History Association “Toma Arhiđakon” (you would find this hard to pronounce even if Croatian is your mother tongue) and I have also worked there as a volunteer.
Dancing is a huge part of my life. I’m a dancer and a dance instructor. I dance reggaeton and dancehall mostly, but I try to learn and explore every dance style that I find interesting – like hip hop, vogue, jazz funk, heels and afro dances.
I like to draw, mostly with graphite pencil and I practice drawing portraits, gestures, human anatomy and animals. Sometimes I even make small figures out of paper, cardboard, sponge or felt material and give them to my friends as gifts. I like to say that I am creative, but my brother claims that I ran out of money for presents.
I have experience in teaching Croatian Language and History for native speakers as well as foreigners. I also like to read, especially “magic realism” novels written by Allende and Marquez, Russian realism (Dostoevsky), Monaldi & Sorti, or to watch a good movie, especially French comedies. I have been a huge fan of the book series about Harry Potter since I was a child, and I am sure he and Ron would die in the first book if there was no smart Hermione to help them out.
Drinking coffee is almost like a meditation for me (or I do so mostly to raise my low blood pressure). I also like to make pastries, but it becomes a real ‘Home Cooking Adventure’ when I have to clean up afterwards.
As a true grammar fanatic, I annoy my family and friends by correcting them when they make mistakes in Croatian or using English words when talking in Croatian. But, don’t worry. Since you pay for the lessons, I will be very gentle and nice with you.
I hope my sense of humor won’t stop you from becoming my student! I’ll do my best to help you learn Croatian. Let’s do it together! Dobrodošli!
If you would like to book your trial Croatian language lesson with Anamarija click here.
Ivana Horvatić Drešar
Education: Master’s degree in teaching Croatian Language and Primary Education from the University of Zagreb
Languages: Croatian (native tongue), English (proficient), Spanish (basic), German (basic), Latin (basic)
Teaching has been my passion since I was a little girl playing with my friends all day long outside in improvised classrooms torturing them with my teaching skills. 🙂
For the last ten years I have been working as a Primary school teacher in several schools in Zagreb. I have experienced all forms of teaching: work in combined classrooms, in daycare classes, home schooling and traditional classrooms. Consequently, I have gained a lot of experience, not only in teaching, but in working with people in general, doing administration work, team work, organizing excursions and field trips, organizing and leading parent meetings, fairs, school plays, writing articles for school websites, professional training, and all kinds of projects.
Since our marriage in 2011, my husband and I have lived in Zagreb, but a few years ago we moved to a small place on the outskirts of Zagreb called Klinča Sela and we really enjoy being there. We have one daughter and two bunnies.
I enjoy reading books, watching movies and documentaries, learning about history, traveling and visiting museums – that is something my family do not always enjoy because I can be like a museum maniac dragging them from museum to museum. I also like cooking and baking cakes and cookies – and that is something my family likes.
I always feel happy and proud when I can help someone from another country to learn something about Croatia, and I am enthusiastic about sharing my knowledge.
I am really excited to meet my students and to share my passion for Croatian language and culture.
There is a saying: s jezicima ste bilo gdje kod kuće, your home can be anywhere where you know how to speak the language. So, I will be happy to help you to feel at home in Croatia.
If you would like to book your trial Croatian language lesson with Ivana click here.
Role: Content creator
Education: Master’s degree in Teaching English Language and Literature, and a Master’s degree in Teaching Philosophy, a bachelor’s degree in Sociology, and a bachelor’s degree in Comparative Literature from the University of Zagreb
Languages: Croatian (mother language), English (proficient), Spanish (basic) and German (basic)
Croatian is my mother language, but teaching it has completely changed how I perceive it. Once I started reading and thinking about its patterns, exceptions, etymology and interesting phrases, I completely, and a bit unexpectedly, fell in love with it.
My English degree has provided me with tools to think about languages in theory, but also to pay great attention to how people actually use it and how to turn these findings into lessons.
Since I became a Croatian teacher at SpeakCro I have been creating educational materials for one-on-one Croatian lessons with students as well as for our blog and Facebook page.
Through teaching Croatian I have met people from many different countries and learned how their culture and mother tongue influence how they see Croatian language and customs. We have learned many things together – from preparing to give birth in a Croatian hospital to reading recipes, Croatian fairytales, analyzing songs and planning trips.
In my free time, I enjoy reading books and listening to audiobooks and podcasts. I also like being creative – doing DIY projects, taking photos and cooking. I love experimenting with food and learning about the science behind cooking. I live in Zagreb with my husband, and I am quite enthusiastic about exploring the city. There is always something new to see, even though I have lived here since 2009.
I would really enjoy sharing my enthusiasm for Croatian with you. I truly believe that there isn’t one right way to teach or learn Croatian language – there are so many ways to make the process more motivating, more enjoyable and more productive for the student, just by focusing on their personality, interests and learning styles. Vidimo se!
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