Our Approach

Katya is an ESL teacher, and Liz is a Voice and Speech coach.   We've been friends since elementary school and originally created Beyond Fluency together to address the needs of our students who are non-native English speakers.  They shared how their fear of being misunderstood, self-consciousness over pronunciation, and struggle to find the right words inhibit their self-expression.  The more conversations we had around these issues, the more we recognized a divide between having a working knowledge of the language, and feeling authentic as a speaker.  Through exercises that tap into the subconscious connection to words, the musicality of speech, and the playfulness of communication, we invite you to unleash the full power of your voice in a language that, while foreign, is very much your own.


Who We Are


Katya Pronin

Katya Pronin is a photographer and teacher who immigrated from the U.S.S.R. to the U.S. in 1979 with her immediate family.  As a small child, learning the language of her new home came easily, but less so for family and many friends.  Growing up in a multi-lingual and multi-cultural environment inspired her to travel, study language and art, and eventually get a Masters in Applied Linguistics and Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages.  She has been teaching in a variety of classrooms since 2003.  Currently she teaches Academic Writing and Language Skills at Parsons School of Design and Communicative Skills at the United Nations. 

Liz Pic Beyond Fluency.JPG

Liz Eckert

Liz grew up in an English-speaking household, but found greater freedom and confidence as a speaker in her early French classes and school plays.   This led her to earn her BA in Theater and French from Connecticut College, culminating in a prize-winning bilingual honors thesis performance.   Her studies at Columbia University's MFA Acting program with world-renowned voice instructor Kristin Linklater and Andrea Haring, Associate Director of the Linklater Center for Voice and Language, helped her apply the playfulness and power she found in other languages and characters to her own self-expression.   She is now a Designated Linklater Voice teacher, and has spent the last ten years using these skills with children and adults from all over the world.  She is currently the Head of Voice and Speech at Maggie Flanigan Studio and teaches at The Linklater Center for Voice and Language and Fordham University.


Reach Out

Our next offering is set for Saturday, May 5th.

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