Christy Verhelst

Christy V.

Urbana, IL

About Christy V.

Christy teaches: Ages 6 and up
Teaching since: August 2008
Last sign in: 2 days ago



I was exposed to Spanish throughout my childhood from my dad who is from Colombia, and from my amazing Spanish teachers in secondary school. After minoring in it at college, I perfected my fluency from living in Spain for 2 years and studying it for over 15 years! My adventures with the language led me to pursue an MA in Spanish. I currently work as a university instructor for basic Spanish and Intro to Spanish grammar. I've also been tutoring individual and small groups of all levels for the past 5 years -- Young children, high schoolers, college students, and adult learners! I enjoy leading creative, interactive lessons that are different for each student I work with. My students have gone on to pursue bilingual positions, live in South America, or improve their performance in Spanish class by 2+ letter grades! I truly enjoy the work I do in helping others learn an important new skill.

Because I became fluent while immersed in the language, I believe language learning comes from speaking and communicating! So, my lessons focus mainly on speaking. I create interactive activities that help students learn speaking skills like making comparisons or ordering food. I also make sure to cover other aspects of the language (grammar, listening comprehension, reading, and writing) through explanations, in-class activities and homework. But, every lesson I teach is different! I tailor them to each student according to level, goals, pace, and learning style. And I make sure to get feedback from students at the end of each lesson to help plan future lessons. Overall, I am a resourceful, enthusiastic, attentive and creative tutor. I strive to challenge students while creating a comfortable and fun learning environment. Students of any level are welcome!

I look forward to possibly working with you... ¡Hasta pronto!

Photos and Videos

After graduating from Illinois Wesleyan University.


Private Spanish Instructor
Jan 2011 - Present

Gives one-on-one and small group Spanish lessons to students ages 8 to adults, from beginners to advanced learners. Some classes are unstructured, focusing on conversation practice. Other classes are structured around a theme with a grammar concept and corresponding vocabulary.

Also tutors high school students and college students from beginners to advanced.

Instructor of Introduction to Spanish Grammar
Aug 2015 - May 2016
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Taught third semester Spanish: Introductory to Spanish grammar. Led interactive class activities to practice grammar concepts. Facilitated class discussion, moderated online discussion boards, assessed student compositions, and graded final and midterm exams. Also provided one-to-one grammar explanations to students during office hours.

Instructor of Introductory Conversational Spanish
Aug 2014 - May 2015
University of Illinois

Taught 3 sections of introductory conversational Spanish. Led conversation activities that helped solidify the students' knowledge of grammar and vocabulary. Also moderated online discussion boards, assessed student compositions, and graded final and midterm exams.

English Language and Culture Classroom Assistant
Oct 2010 - May 2011
Estepa Language Academy, Spain

Worked in Spain, leading weekly classes for adult students learning English as a foreign language. Worked with students ages 14-65. Created and led conversation, vocabulary, and review activities appropriate to students' levels.

English as a Foreign Language Teaching Assistant
Oct 2009 - May 2010
Junior High la Llitera, Spain

Worked as a language and culture assistant in Spain. Led weekly English classes to improve speaking, reading, and listening comprehension.

English as a Foreign Language Teacher
Jan 2008 - May 2008
Center for International Educational Exchange

Led a Spanish class for two adult students with an advanced Spanish level.

Spanish Teaching Assistant
Aug 2007 - Dec 2007
Illinois Wesleyan University

Led weekly conversation groups for students in 100-level Spanish classes, helped with homework, and proofread compositions.


PhD in Spanish Literature and Culture
Aug 2015 - Present
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Master of Arts in Spanish Literature and Culture
Aug 2013 - May 2015
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Bachelor of Arts in Music, Minors in Spanish and Psychology
Aug 2005 - May 2009
Illinois Wesleyan University
Jan 2008 - May 2008
Universidad de Sevilla

Languages Spoken

Fluent / Native Proficiency
Limited Proficiency
Fluent / Native Proficiency


Summer Research Fellowship
Jun 2016
University of Illinois Spanish Department
University Graduate Fellowship
May 2013
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Illinois Wesleyan University Alumni Scholarship
May 2009
Illinois Wesleyan University
Thomas J. Watson Scholarship
Mar 2005


Sigma Alpha Iota (ΣΑΙ)
Oct 2006

Sigma Alpha Iota is a professional International Music Fraternity for women. Formed to uphold the highest standards of music and to further the development of music in America and throughout the world, it continues to provide musical and educational resources to its members and the general public.Sigma Alpha Iota operates its own national philanthropy, Sigma Alpha Iota Philanthropies, Inc.

Alpha Phi Omega
Sep 2006

Alpha Phi Omega is a national coeducational service organization founded on the principles of Leadership, Friendship and Service. It provides its members the opportunity to develop leadership skills as they volunteer on their campus, in their community, to the nation, and to the organization. With more than 400,000 members on over 375 campuses, Alpha Phi Omega continues to provide more service on more campuses than any other collegiate service organization.

34 Reviews on Christy V.

Write a Review
Lisa K. May 14, 2017
· Spanish · Online
Monique Mar 8, 2017
· Spanish · Online
Kim T. Feb 18, 2017
· Spanish · Online She is very friendly and I learn a lot on my first lesson
Amber E. Feb 12, 2017
· Spanish · Online Love the speed and I feel like I am already learning so much!
miral Jan 16, 2017
· Spanish · Online Christy is the best instructor ever. I am on my 4th lesson and have learnt more than i expected to learn. I have a deadline and I really enjoy lessons with her. I am 29 and a physician by profession so I expected to not learn at the pace I am quite frankly. The lessons are fun and she is very open to questions. Would recommend her to anyone in a heartbeat . yes she is that good. But having said that respecting your time and your teacher's time is of essence the more dedicated you are to your work the more you will gain. It does not take away from the fact that I look forward to working with her for all of my spanish language needs.
gracias christy
Vanessa H. Jan 10, 2017
· Spanish · Online Great first class!
Kristal H. Jan 2, 2017
· Spanish · Online
miral Dec 27, 2016
· Spanish · Online excellent patient kind all words describe christy
i have learnt so much in a single lesson and it was far from boring
i went in with an open mind and was more than happy with her. looking forward to the next lesson!
Sabrina Dec 20, 2016
· Spanish · Online
Uzo M. Nov 13, 2016
· Spanish · Online
Christy Verhelst
Christy V.

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