Christy Verhelst
Urbana, IL
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Christy Verhelst

Christy V.

Urbana, IL
Profile-background-check Background Check
This teacher successfully passed a thorough criminal background check with SterlingBackcheck. This badge verifies trusted teacher status.
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This teacher is rated in the top 15% of teachers in the specialty subject. This badge demonstrates subject mastery on a nationwide scale.
Teaching Locations:
Profile-location-online Online
Teaching Locations:
Profile-location-online Online
Levels taught:
Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
I first heard Spanish from my dad who's Colombian, so my lessons focus on communication via dynamic task-based activities! First you discover grammar functions & the meaning of vocab through simple comprehension activities. Then we practice these new items through conversation questions or communication activities that simulate real-life tasks like ordering food, asking for directions, or describing a person. This creates a fun atmosphere for learning and gives students ample opportunities to speak! I also like to use multimedia like videos, pictures and powerpoints to make lessons more interactive, especially online lessons! For beginners, I use the book Spanish Demystified or Easy Spanish Step by Step as a learning resource and to provide grammar homework.

Besides speaking, my lessons also cover the other aspects of a language: Reading, writing and listening comprehension. I target those skills with activities such as short readings & writing assignments for homework, and themed listening activities with questions to check comprehension.

For intermediate and advanced learners, I'll create a custom curriculum that matches where you're at and what your goals are. We'll focus on activities that build on your strengths and target areas you struggle with. Of course, I am always open to feedback and changing things up according to the student's needs and preferences!

Overall, I strive to challenge students while creating a comfortable, fun and interactive learning environment that emphasizes communicating in Spanish. Students of any level are welcome.

--Group Rates--
I also offer group lessons so you can learn with your friends and family! Use the "ask a question" feature to ask me about those special rates! They cannot be booked online so be sure to contact me or the customer service team if interested.

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Cancellations, No-shows, Scheduling, Makeup and Tardiness Policies:

**Time is valuable for both student and teacher, and it is important to stick to your schedule if you want to achieve your goals! In regard to cancellations, please show the same respect and courtesy to me that you would like to receive yourself. Thank you!!!**

As per Takelessons' policy, please give 24 hours notice for cancellations and rescheduling, or you will incur a missed lesson fee. I reserve the right to waive the missed lesson fee for emergencies & unforeseen circumstances. Please plan ahead and look at your calendar for lesson dates that will not work for you, and let me know!

Makeup lessons / rescheduled lessons may not be cancelled or rescheduled, or you will be charged a missed lesson fee.

Chronic cancellations, reschedules & frequent late cancellations will result in losing your recurring time slot until reliability is reestablished.

Lesson reminders are sent via email, so check your email often, or sign up for text message reminders to avoid missing a lesson. Make sure to sign in to your TL account to check lesson dates, and contact me at least 24 hours in advance of any lessons you will not be able to attend. If the lesson is on the TL calendar, I plan on being there to teach you!

For tardiness, provided I am free directly after your lesson, and you do not arrive to your lesson more than 15 minutes late, I will give you back half of the time you are late. After 15 mins, the lesson is considered a "no-show" and I will charge you for a missed lesson.

If you need to take more than a 2 week hiatus from lessons, your recurring timeslot will be released in order to open availability to other students. You will have the opportunity to secure a timeslot once you are ready to resume a regular lessons schedule.

About Christy V.

I was exposed to Spanish throughout my childhood from my dad who is from Colombia, and from my great Spanish teachers. After minoring in it at college, I perfected my fluency from living in Spain for 2 years and studying it for 18 years! My adventures with the language led me to pursue an MA in Spanish. I am currently a PhD student in Spanish Literature and work as a university instructor for Spanish conversation. 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!

Reviews

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4.9
55 Reviews
5
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Leroy B.
Profile-location-online Online

Fantastico!!!

Posted Apr 16, 2020
Sasha

I need some patience for sure because I'm SO self critical I can block my own progress. Christy is great, patient and so far, is bringing my conversational spanish out of its shell.

Posted Dec 6, 2019
Miles
Profile-location-online Online

I appreciate her willingness to accommodate me and my schedule and, although I have only had 1 lesson so far, can feel that I am already growing in knowledge and confidence. I really like that she gives me assignments I can work on between lessons so that I can make the most of my lesson time with her.

Posted May 29, 2019
Jeff
Profile-location-online Online

Posted Nov 17, 2018
Willow
Profile-location-online Online

Christy has been great and adjusts her tempo to my daughter as needed. Highly recommended!

Posted Nov 4, 2018
Jackie
Profile-location-online Online

Posted Oct 29, 2018
Brionna H.
Profile-location-online Online

Posted Aug 29, 2018
Tarina A.
Profile-location-online Online

Posted Jun 27, 2018
Tina
Profile-location-online Online

Christy was a great tutor. She listened to what I wanted to accomplish and then she tailored the lessons to help me achieve my goals. She is an excellent speaker and has studied both in Spain and Colombia. She is very creative and gives you relevant homework assignments to cement the lesson. She is always on time for the lessons and has never cancelled a lesson. I highly recommend her if you want to learn Spanish quickly!!

Posted May 17, 2018
Therese
Profile-location-online Online

Helped me with basic conversation! Good about reviewing info from past lessons. I would recommend her to others that want to learn Spanish for work.

Posted Apr 16, 2018
Ciaran
Profile-location-online Online

Previously I’ve found it difficult to pick up Spanish... Christy was able to work with me at a (slow) pace that was comfortable for me. The homework she gave me was very well suited! She was also very encouraging!

Posted Apr 13, 2018
Natalie T.
Profile-location-online Online

Posted Feb 21, 2018
Melinda
Profile-location-online Online

Posted Feb 18, 2018
Kasia
Profile-location-online Online

Very prepared for the first class, looking forward for to our next meeting.

Posted Aug 15, 2017
Andrew
Profile-location-online Online

Posted Jun 29, 2017
Sabrina
Profile-location-online Online

Posted Jun 27, 2017
Trish F.
Profile-location-online Online

Christy is very good and I feel confident that we will work well together to accomplish my goals!

Posted Jun 25, 2017
Trish F.
Profile-location-online Online

Totally feel comfortable with her. Christy is going to get me where I want to be. Thank You!

Posted Jun 25, 2017
Aleta-Tim R.
Profile-location-online Online

Very prepared! Even without knowing anything about us, good prep for a first lesson!

Posted Jun 10, 2017
Natalie
Profile-location-online Online

Posted May 30, 2017
Joey&Alli K.
Profile-location-online Online

My kids really enjoyed their first lesson and they learned a lot! Thanks for making it fun!

Posted May 27, 2017
Lisa K.
Profile-location-online Online

Posted May 14, 2017
Monique
Profile-location-online Online

Posted Mar 8, 2017
Kim T.
Profile-location-online Online

She is very friendly and I learn a lot on my first lesson

Posted Feb 18, 2017
Amber E.
Profile-location-online Online

Love the speed and I feel like I am already learning so much!

Posted Feb 12, 2017
miral
Profile-location-online 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

Posted Jan 16, 2017
Vanessa H.
Profile-location-online Online

Great first class!

Posted Jan 10, 2017
Kristal H.
Profile-location-online Online

Posted Jan 2, 2017
miral
Profile-location-online 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!

Posted Dec 27, 2016
Sabrina
Profile-location-online Online

Posted Dec 20, 2016
Uzo M.
Profile-location-online Online

Posted Nov 13, 2016
Claire
Profile-location-online Online

Christy has been a great teacher for my 6 yr old daughter. She's using a nice mix of songs, pictures and dialogues to keep my distractable child engaged the whole time.

Posted Nov 7, 2016
Kelly B.
Profile-location-online Online

Christy is great!! I've learned so much and it's only been a few weeks. She was able to adapt to my knowledge level, abilities and preferred learning style. I'm not really a book learner and I have limited time - Christy recognized that and adjusted the lessons and homework to match my needs, which makes me a lot more motivated to learn.

Posted Oct 29, 2016
Isabella F.
Profile-location-online Online

Christy is a wonderful Spanish tutor. She is very attentive and patient. She is very knowledgeable and has a great strategy for teaching and learning and making it fun. She has been so helpful! We would definitely recommend her! She has been incredibly helpful in aiding my daughter in learning and understanding Spanish. She is amazing! Highly recommend! She has made a world of difference in my daughters life!

Posted Oct 13, 2016
Becca
Profile-location-online Online

Simply put: Christy is the best! I love having her as my Spanish teacher. She is super patient, extremely knowledgeable and she's able to explain complicated grammar rules in a way that I not only understand but also remember. In only a few weeks I can already see major improvement in my Spanish. I highly recommend her!

Posted Sep 29, 2016
Becca
Profile-location-online Online

Christy is FANTASTIC! My one golden piece of advice is for you to let her help you learn Spanish! With her patience, keen knowledge of the language & excellent instruction I was able to really get a handle on the subjunctive tense. I'm so glad I have her for a teacher!

Posted Sep 29, 2016
Kelly H.
Profile-location-online Online

Great 1st lesson, looking forward to working with you. Thanks!

Posted Sep 10, 2016
Antonia M.
Profile-location-online Online

Really good instructor

Posted Sep 4, 2016
Chizitelu
Profile-location-online Online

Excellent. My daughter likes her. She was very happy with the 1st lesson . I like her myself. She is very friendly and has a good way of engaging you to like the subject. She responds promptly to emails and phone.

Posted Aug 19, 2016
Tony
Profile-location-online Online

Christy is fantastic. I have had a couple lessons with her now. I am very happy with her. She did a great job with her initial assessment of my level of Spanish comprehension. She provides guidance on what she believes I should cover next and she is still working towards my specific learning objectives at the same time. I would recommend her to anybody.

Posted Jul 15, 2016
Zamir
Profile-location-online Online

1st lesson for my son was great. Christy had good videos. She incorporated music which he loved. Gave some sites to use to continue to practice. Overall great lesson. If you want someone patient with kids she's the one.

Posted Jun 27, 2016
Bracken
Profile-location-online Online

I'm a collegue of Christy's and have been impressed by her creativity and resourcefulness when it comes to planning her lessons. She is able to bring grammar and vocab to life with the activities she creates! She also is good on her feet when it comes to explaining difficult concepts that students struggle to understand. I think that's why she is able to work with students of all levels! Christy really cares about helping her students learn, and it shows.

Posted Jun 7, 2016
Sara Ann
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Christie is an experienced, attentive and knowledgeable instructor. Can't recommend enough!!

Posted May 31, 2016
Kelsey

Christy has been my colleague as we worked towards our Master's degrees and is also a good friend of mine. She is very fluent and has a high level of knowledge about Spanish language and culture. She is a very smart and conscientious person with lots of tutoring experience. I highly recommend her as a tutor!

Posted May 26, 2016
Tina
Profile-location-online Online

Christy has an excellent knowledge of Spanish and is always prepared for lessons. She makes things practical and interesting. She is on time, interested in her students and very encouraging. She makes learning Spanish fun!! I highly recommend her.

Posted May 26, 2016
Regina
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

I attended the same school as Christy and was able to practice speaking Spanish with her. She is very enthusiastic about sharing her passion for the Spanish language which is clear in her detailed, helpful lesson plans. Since she lived in Spain for two years, she has a very high level of expertise and is able to aid both beginners and more advanced students. After practicing with Christy, I can speak Spanish with much more ease.

Posted May 26, 2016
Jessie
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Christy is very knowledgeable about the Spanish language and she always prepares fun and thoughtful lessons. She is very flexible and willing to address the specific areas where her students need or want further instruction. She is reliable and friendly, and I always enjoy my lessons with her.

Posted Dec 8, 2015
B.B.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

I had a very hard time with spanish, Christy was able to elevate much of the stress through breaking down the language and going through practice problems. Available to meet almost all the time.

Posted Nov 16, 2015
Ann
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Christy is an excellent Spanish teacher! She is always prepared, and has creative lessons planned. She is friendly, professional, and knowledgeable about her subject. She is also very flexible, and works with you on an individual basis, so that you can progress at the rate that you are comfortable with. I highly recommend her!

Posted Nov 14, 2015
Marie
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

I took Spanish lessons from Christy this summer and was very happy with the quality and effectiveness of her teaching! She tailored lessons to me, what I wanted to learn and my previous experience and made it fun with quizzes to test my memory and some home lessons to help further my learning. Christy was super friendly, professional, and a Spanish expert. I could tell she really has a passion for the language and cared about helping me learn. Thanks Christy!!

Posted Nov 12, 2015
Yu-Ying W.
Profile-location-online Online

Christy is a very good teacher. She is very attentive to my son's needs.My son's grade went up quite a lot. I am very happy with her. I highly recommend her.

Posted Jun 24, 2015
Mary Elizabeth B.
Profile-location-online Online

Christy is so awesome! So helpful! Disciplined and really motivates you to practice and do your homework! She pushed me but not too much. So it was still manageable for me! Thank you Christy!

Posted Jun 24, 2015
Mary Ann D.
Profile-location-online Online

She's very eager to teach, and great about correcting in a non-critical way. Christy is willing to work with my schedule, and has been very accommodating. Her knowledge of Spanish is fantastic, and I look forward to every lesson.

Posted Jun 10, 2015
Denise B.
Profile-location-online Online

After having 3 Lessons with Christy, I can say that I am very happy and highly satisfied!

Posted Aug 12, 2014
C F.
Profile-location-online Online

I have been working with Christy for over a month and could not be happier with my decision to choose her as my teacher. I am amazed at her ability to customize her lessons to fit my needs; helping to reach my goal of speaking Spanish with confidence. Additionally, Christy is always maximizing our time in ways that help me get the most from our lessons each week. When I am having difficulty with a topic or theme she breaks the components down into ways that I understand and starts to build from my current skill level until I grasp the concept. Often times when a topic is challenging Christy sends me helpful tools to study before our next lesson. Working with Christy is awesome and I look forward to working with her each week!

Posted Jul 22, 2014

Photos & Videos

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Experience

Instructor of Intermediate Spanish Conversation
Aug 2016 - Present

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Created original lesson plans to foster speaking and comprehension skills about specialized topics.

Private Spanish Instructor
Jan 2011 - Present

Self-Employed

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.

Education

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

Spanish
Jan 2008 - May 2008

Universidad de Sevilla

Languages

English

Fluent / Native Proficiency

Portuguese

Limited Proficiency

Spanish

Fluent / Native Proficiency

Awards

Summer Research Fellowship
Jun 2017

University of Illinois

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

IBM

Affiliations

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.

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