Born on the outskirts of London many moons ago, I grew up in a (quaint) village in Cambridgeshire, South East England… skip the boring details…. I moved to Madrid, Spain 20 years ago and having been teaching English ever since (I now live in Asturias)
During the first Covid lockdown, I decided to make a couple of videos and upload them to YouTube in order to share my knowledge and experience with the millions (about 50 people saw those videos). I’ve made more than 200 videos and have somehow managed to accumualte almost 100,000 subscribers. I can now call myself an online treacher, which I find extremely rewarding as I can reach, and help so many people around the world.
I specialise in helping students prepare for the Cambridge English exams (B2 First, C1 Advanced & C2 Proficiency) but also share lessons on all aspects of English learning including vocabulary, grammar, pronunciation as well as speaking and writing tips.
Thanks for choosing me to help you!
29 Replies to “About me”
I am planning to take C2 exam by the end of 2023 if possible. I finish English Filology but now I want to have my C2 certificate.
Do you think one year is enough to prepare the exam??
Hi Ana Maria
That’s a question that is almost impossible to answer because it depends on your current level, how much time you can dedicate to you preparation and your previous experience with the Cambridge exams.
However, one year is usually more than enough – in my opninion, anything more would be too much as you’d probably get fed up with your preparation and it could have a detrimental effect on your relationship with English in the long term.
I hope that helps
Hi, do you give private lessons on zoom? Thanks for letting me know,
I do, but I don’t have any slots available at the moment, I’m afraid.
Thanks for your answer. Is there a waiting list where I can sign in? Please let me know if there is a chance, I need to make a leap forward by June and I believe you could help me. Your podcasts are excellent.
Best regards Irene
Hello, good morning, Ben,
I just discovered your website and your courses and found them very interesting. I am planning to take the Cambridge B2 exam in early 2023. I have seen that the preparation for this exam is still in progress. Do you think it would be possible to know when it will be released to know if I can use this preparation for the exam?
Thank you very much, and keep up the good work, I think your work is great!
Hi Adda, thanks for your message.
I’m currently working on the B2 First preparation course and hope to launch it by mid-January. I hope that’s not too late for you!
Mid-January is perfect. It will be useful for my final review before the exam.
Thank you very much
Dear Ben, I normally don’t leave comments but this time I searched for your web because I really wanted to thank you and let you know you helped me a lot. I’m quite confident in my English, so when I was offered to take the C1 I accepted immediately. But, just in case (and also out of curiosity), I started searching on the internet about the exam and I found your Youtube Channel. One of the first videos I watched was the one where you say that probably the most common mistake is not preparing the exam because overconfidence. I immediately recognized and admitted that was my case. I took (and passed) B2 and TOEFL more than a decade ago, and I even lived abroad using only English as my work and life language. So in a way I was not going to bother much. But you are SO right about this. You don’t prepare ‘English’…. you prepare a very specific TEST with a very specific set of rules and procedures, time, etc.
So I did that: I prepared the test. Watched all you videos, downloaded practice test, and learned the sections, time, expectation, etc. for each part of the test.
I took the C1 test a few weeks ago and got an overal score of 203 (CEFR Level C2) and it was *thanks to your advice*. Feel free to post this wherever you like (but please don’t publish my email) because people need to know this.
Thanks so much for taking the time to send that message… I really appreciate it.
Congratulations on passing the C1 Advanced exam and getting such a high score!! All the merit is yours but knowing that my videos helped a little is very gratifying!
Thanks again and happy holidays!
Dear teacher Ben,
I would like to ask you an important question.
Is it possible that you record your speech with the text below.
It would be a great gift for all students if you publish your speech on YouTube.
This text provides a unique possibly to hear natural pronunciation of many difficult English words.
The second possibility is that you record your speech, and everyone who wants can buy the record from you.
What do you think of this request?
I hope to here from you.
Victor M. Kruglov
English is tough stuff
Dearest creature in creation,
Study English pronunciation,
I will teach you in my verse
Sounds like corpse, corps, horse, and worse.
I will keep you, Suzy, busy,
Make your head with heat grow dizzy.
Tear in eye, your dress will tear.
So shall I! Oh hear my prayer.
Just compare heart, beard and heard,
Dies and diet, lord and word,
Sword and sward, retain and Britain.
(Mind the latter, how it’s written,)
Now I surely will not plague you
With such words as plaque and ague.
But be careful how you speak:
Say break and steak, but bleak and streak;
Cloven, oven, how and low,
Script, receipt show, poem, and toe
Hear me say, devoid of trickery,
Daughter, laughter and Terpsichore,
Typhoid, measles, topsails, aisles.
Exiles, similes, and reviles;
Scholar, vicar, and cigar,
Solar, mica, war and far:
One, anemone, Balmoral,
Kitchen, lichen, laundry, laurel;
Gertrude, German, wind and mind.
Scene. Melpomene, mankind.
Billet does not rhyme with ballet,
Bouquet, wallet mallet, chalet.
Blood and flood are not like food,
Nor is mould like should and would.
Viscous, viscount, load and broad,
Toward, to forward, to reward.
And your pronunciation’s OK
When you correctly say croquet,
Rounded, wounded, grieve and sieve,
Friend and fiend, alive and live.
Ivy, privy, famous; clamour
And enamour rhyme with hammer.
River, rival, tomb, bomb, comb,
Doll and roll and some and home,
Stranger does not rhyme with anger,
Neither does devour with clangour.
Souls but foul, haunt but aunt,
Font, front, wont, want, grand and grant,
Shoes, goes, does. Now first say finger,
And then singer, ginger, linger,
Real, zeal, mauve, gauze, gouge and gauge,
Marriage, follage, mirage and age.
Query does not rhyme with very,
Nor does fury sound like bury.
Dost, lost, post and doth, cloth, loth.
Job, nob, bosom, transom, oath.
Though the differences seem little,
We say actual but victual.
Refer does not rhyme with deafer.
Foeffer does, and zephyr, heifer.
Mint, pint, senate and sedate;
Dull, bull and George ate late.
Scenic, Arabic, Pacific,
Science, conscience, scientific.
Liberty, library, heave and heaven,
Rachel, ache, moustache, eleven.
We say hallowed but allowed,
People, leopard, towed, but vowed.
Mark the differences, moreover,
Between mover, cover, clover.
Leeches, breeches, wise, precise.
Chalice. but police and lice;
Camel, constable, unstable,
Principle, disciple, label.
Petal, panel, and canal,
Wait, surprise, plait, promise, pal.
Worm and storm, chaise, chaos, chair,
Senator, spectator, mayor.
Tour, but our and succour, four.
Gas, alas, and Arkansas.
Sea, idea, Korea, area.
Psalm, Maria, but malaria.
Youth, south, southern, cleanse and clean.
Doctrine, turpentine, marine.
Compare alien with Italian,
Dandelion and battalion,
Sally with ally, yea, ye.
Eye, I, ay, aye, whey and key.
Say aver, but ever, fever,
Neither, leisure, skein, deceiver.
Heron, granary, canary.
Crevice and device and aerie.
Face, but preface, not efface.
Phlegm, phlegmatic, ass, glass, bass —
Large, but target, gin and give, verging,
Ought, out, joust and scour, scourging.
Ear, but earn and wear and tear,
Do not rhyme with here but ere.
Seven is right, but so is even
Hyphen, roughen, nephew Stephen,
Monkey, donkey, Turk and jerk,
Ask, grasp, wasp and cork and work.
Pronunciation — think of Psyche!
Is a paling stout and spikey?
Won’t it make you lose your wits,
Writing groats and saying grits?
It’s a dark abyss or tunnel:
Strewn with stones, stowed, solace, gunwale,
Islington and Isle of Wight.
Housewife, verdict and indict.
Finally, which rhyme with enough,
Though, throuh, plough, or dough, or cough?
Hjccough has the sound of cup
My advice Is to give it up!!!
«The Chaos», G. J. Nolst Trènitè (1870-1946).
Hi Victor! Thanks for the video idea! I’ll look into it
You are an amazing source of authentic English for anyone who is learning English.
I have a question about your courses. Do you provide students with a certificate at the end of any of your Cambridge course?
Thanks in advance!
Yes, I can provide a certificate. Just contact me when you’ve completed the course and I’ll send it to you.
I am planning on doing the premium C2 preparation course, and I want to take the exam in June this year. Is there a certain time frame in which the course has to be finished? I couldn’t find any information regarding this on your website.
It would be very helpful to know if I could start the course now, but receive your feedback on writing closer to the actual exam.
Thank you in advance.
There is no time limit for the course, it doesn’t expire.
Similarly, you can choose when to arrange the Zoom meeting with me (at a time that’s suits us both, of course) and when to send your writings for correction and feedback.
Let me know if you have any more questions.
I would like to prepare for the CPE exam. I prefer online course. Do you have group lessons?
If you purchase the online course, I’ll send you a link to my exclusive Telegram group where you’ll find information on prices and how to join the speaking classes and workshops and get your writings corrected.
I’d like you contact me if it is possible for you, I want to tell you about level B2.
I hope your answer . Thanks
Hi Lola. How can I help?
Dear Ben, first of all I would like to thank you from the bottom of my heart for your incredibly precious help in preparing for C2 which I have successfully passed last month.
All that free material so professionally accurate, perfectly organised and utterly pleasant to watch…how incredibly kind of you…you are amazing and your dedication is unique!!!
Since in my opinion you are THE BEST teacher I have ever met, I would love to continue my preparation with you and here’s my question… is there any chance of a pre-celta course from your side? Private online tutoring (any free slot?) That would be a dream come true for me!!!
I am going to take the intensive course in July and I would like to start getting ready for it since everyone says how much a daunting and stressful experience it can be!!!!
Any advice from your end would be greatly appreciated!
Many thanks and lots of SALUTI from the quaint 🙂 Padova, Italy
Thanks for your message!
Unfortunately, I don’t have enough experience with Celta to be able to help you prepare. I really specialise in the Cambridge English exams B2 First, C1 Advanced and C2 Proficiency.
All the best
Dear Ben, first of all congratulations on your website and your wonderful videos. I took CPE more than 20 years ago, but English has always been my passion and I have been studying it since I was 12. Unfortunately I have never become a teacher (yet), but who knows? maybe one day , after taking Trinity GES12 next May. By the way, can you train students forTrinity exams too?
best wishes Roberta
Thanks for your message.
I’m afraid I don’t help students with the Trinity exams preparation because I don’t have enough experience or knowledge of those exams.
Sorry I can’t help.
All the best
thanks anyway, Ben. I will watching your videos and learn as much as possible from them 😃you are brilliant , congratulations!
Thank you so much, Roberta!
I am from India. I have been following your YouTube Channel. Thank you for the hard work and for sharing your insight. You seem to be an honest teacher and you have helped me a lot. In February 23, I appeared for IELTS and got an overall 8-band score.
I want to take up your C2 proficiency course sometime. Although it is too costly for me, I am collecting money, hopefully someday I will be able to do it. I am a single mother and so my kids get a higher priority in my life; first I cater to their needs and then my studies come in. While cooking in the kitchen or while completing my other daily chores, I listen to your videos. Thank a lot! May god bless you and thanks for sharing the love for learning.
HI Devandar! What a lovely message, thank you. It means a lot to me that you enjoy my videos. Congratulations on get a band 8 score on the IELTS exam… that’s a great achievement!
All the best
Thanks Ben! It was done with your help!