About me

Ben Gill, English teacher with 20 years experience

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 over 100,000 subscribers. I can now call myself an online teacher, 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!


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57 Replies to “About me”

  1. Hello Ben,

    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??

    Thank you!

    1. 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

        1. Dear Ben,
          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

  2. 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!

    1. 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!

  3. 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.
    Best, Rodrigo

    1. Hi Rodrigo
      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!

  4. 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.

    Sincerely Yours

    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).

  5. Hi Ben,

    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!

  6. Dear Ben,
    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.

    1. Hi Vera!
      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.

      1. Hi Giga
        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.


  7. Hi Ben.
    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

  8. 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

    1. Hi Silvia
      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

  9. 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

    1. Hi 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

  10. thanks anyway, Ben. I will watching your videos and learn as much as possible from them 😃you are brilliant , congratulations!

  11. Hi! Ben
    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.

    1. 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

  12. Hi Ben,
    firstly thank you for your help. Your videos are full of great suggestions and tips and they are really useful to improve my english.
    I would like to get a C1 certification, but not immediately, maybe in 2024 or even more.
    The question is: Can I buy one of your courses now, in order to start to prepare for the exam, although I am not planning to take the exam in the next months? Can I complete the course at my own timetable?

    I am waiting for your next video and maybe for your own podcast.
    Thank you very much.

    1. Hi Roberta. Thanks for your message.
      Regarding your questions, when you purchase the course you will have full access to all of the content with no expiration date, so you can go through the lessons at your own pace (and repeat them as many times as you like).
      Let me know if you have any more questions.

  13. Thank you Ben.
    I’ve purchased the course so I’m ready to start.
    I know I won’t regret it.

  14. Howya Ben,

    I am leaving this comment to let you know that I truly enjoy your videos. I truly believe they are a massive resource and they helped me back in the day to pass my CPE when I was living in Dublin.

    I spent there roughly 7 years and I somehow managed to pass the exam, not without endless hours of study and interaction with natives, as well as training in a language school. Nonetheless, I didn’t pass with flying colors. I made some silly mistakes that I perfectly remember as a result of the stress, anxiety, and time constraints. It was back in pandemic times and we only had 2 minutes break in between the parts, dreadful. I got it anyway with a Grade C and it allowed me to come back to Spain and fulfill my dream of teaching in a Primary School so I can surely say that I am chuffed to bits.

    I know that Cambridge exams are a nightmare for most human beings, or at least for those Spanish human beings I came across in Dublin but my question is, do you think is worth giving it another shot in order to beat Grade C? That grade is a huge burden deep down in my heart hahahahaha.

    I considered doing your c2 preparation course and do the exam again against the opinion of 99,9% of people I know. ”Tú estás como una cabra/tarado/chota” and so on, you know yourself.

    I look forward to reading your thoughts on the matter.

    Best regards,


    1. Hi Manuel
      Thanks for your message, I’m glad my videos helped you pass the CPE.
      First of all, passing the C2 Proficiency exam is an amazing achievement, whatever the result. So, well done!!
      However, I understand you feel you can get an even better score and you’re a little frustrated that you didn’t get a fair chance to demonstrate your level last time.
      If you find exam preparation motivating and you enjoy the experience, go for it! You have nothing to lose as you already have the C2 certificate. On the hand, if you find exam preparation stressful and it causes anxiety, then I don’t think it’s worth it just to get a higher grade.
      At the end of the day, it’s a personal decision but if you have any more questions, please feel free to ask.
      All the best

  15. Hello Ben,
    I’m preparing for the CPE.
    Do you offer online private ou group sessions?

    Greetings from Brazil

  16. Hi Ben,
    I’ve stumbled across your videos which somehow have made me consider trying to take one of the Cambridge exams.
    It’s a long time since I’ve had my last English lesson – almost 30 years. After I’d discovered how quickly an unpractised foreign language slips from mind I’ve tried to practice English on a regular basis mainly by reading, writing (letters and emails) or listening to BBC and RTÉ.
    It’s been so long that I’ve actually studied for an English exam or that I’ve written an essay that I’d like to test my level before deciding what certificate I’m aiming for.
    I’d appreciate if you recommended one or maybe even more tests I could take in order to find out what level I’ve got.


  17. Hi Ben,
    I am interested in the C1 Premium preparation course but I would only buy it if you have time to zoom before 15 July because that day is my exam.
    Thank you very much for your reply.

    1. Hi!
      Yes, I will have time for the Zoom call before the 15th July. I’ll contact you via email when you purchase the premium course.

  18. Hello Ben,
    I have an 11 year old boy and would like him to start preparing for the B2 level. He has just passed the B1.
    Do you offer private or maybe small group classes?
    Thank you in advance

    1. Hi Maria
      I’m not offering any exam preparation classes at the moment but I am planning to give workshops in my online academy from September. I’ll share more details on my website and youtube channel soon.

  19. Hi Ben are you avaible to give me private lessons?I need to pass my b2+ exam in september (university of Pisa)
    How much does cost a lesson with you?
    I look forward to hearng from you

      1. Finally, I passed (on my own with lot od determination) the b2+ level on thursday at University …. now I’m studying for the c1 level… is too early try it on January? I was thinking to join your course but as I work I need to know the timetable to organize my time ….
        I look forward to hearing from you thanks

  20. Good evening!
    I’m gonna take C2 Proficiency exam next year. I’m preparing for it and working on some some specific vocabulary.
    Is it possible to have private classes with you? I’ll be more than happy to be evaluated by you and to be given some guidelines. I’m pretty sure that you’re busy, that’s why I’d like to book some classes in advance, if it’s possible. I’m not in a hurry, I’ve got plenty of time. If there are some opportunities in December, that suits me well.
    Thank you!
    Stay mellow! 🙂

  21. hello I am preparing for the cpe exam with the course and wanted to ask, where I can find the link to the telegram group?

  22. Good morning Ben! I’d like to buy one of your courses today but I need to know your opinion firt of all. Do you think is better to prepare C1 rather than C2 level If you start from B2 or vice versa? I did the FCE with Cambridge in 2020.

    Thanks for reading my question!

    1. Hi Emilio
      Generally,I would recommend that you take the C1 Advanced exam before the C2 Proficiency. However, if you got good scores in your B2 First exam and you’ve been studying consistently over the last 3 years, you may be able to skip C1 and go straight to C2. You also might find that more motivating. Bear in mind that it’s a very tough exam and not to be taken lightly.
      It also depends on your reasons for taking the exam. If you need a C1 certificate for something in particular, take that exam. If it’s a personal challenge, C2 might be the better option.
      I hope that helps.

      1. Ok, thanks for the reply! The truth is that I just got the 160 to get the B2 level and when I’m watching movies for example, I don’t understand at 100 % what I listen. I think you got reason, I should take the preparation for C1 firstly.

  23. Hello Ben;
    I think we bought the wrong course.
    My daughter is preparing for the C1 exam and I bought the “Complete C2 proficiency Cambridge English exam preparation course”, would it be possible to exchange the course to the C1 preparation course in any way?
    Thank you

    1. Hi Giulia
      Sure, no problem. I’ve just unenrolled your daughter from the C2 course and enrolled her on the C1 course.
      Let me know if there are any problems.

      Kind regards

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