|Michael T. Smith, Ph.D.is the Director of ESL Services. He has taught ESL in Utah, Hawaii, and Mexico. He has a B.A. and an M.A. certificate in teaching English as a second language, a master's degree in linguistics, and a Ph.D. in foreign language education with an emphasis on aspects of motivation in language learning. He speaks Spanish and has studied both Portuguese and Mandarin Chinese.
|Teresa Baker is the Assistant Director of ESL Services. She received her B.A. in linguistics and her M.A. in TESL from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She has taught in Mexico and South Korea, and has studied Spanish, Japanese, and Korean. Although her administrative duties usually keep her out of the classroom, she has taught courses and designed materials in grammar (her true love), listening/speaking, TOEFL preparation, GMAT preparation, oral communication, reading, composition, and English through current events. In her free time, Teresa volunteers with the Austin Humane Society, taking care of shelter dogs and helping them find new homes.
|Monica Malhotra is the Senior International Student Coordinator for ESL Services, where she assists with admission, immigration, information sessions, and sponsored student programs. She is also the board vice-president for the Multicultural Refugee Coalition, which aims to help refugees towards self-sufficency. Past experience includes working for a refugee resettlement program and working with the EastWest institute in New York as a development intern. She also worked at the international Office at UT as an international student advisor for over four years before moving to ESL Services. Monica earned her Bachelor's degree in Sociology from the University of Texas at Arlington and received her Masters degree in International Studies from the University of Exeter, UK.
|Shawn Meredith is the Admission and Immigration Support Assistant for ESL Services.
|Ashley Sallee is the Office Coordinator. She is also an instructor. Ashley is a native Austinite. After finishing high school at Westlake High School, she attended Austin College in Sherman, Texas where she earned a B.A. in Spanish with a minor in Psychology. While attending Austin College, she traveled to Spain, Portugal, France, the United Kingdom, Italy, Peru, Ecuador, and the Galapagos Islands. Her love of the Spanish language and her appreciation for the countries she visited inspired her to pursue a career in International Education. Ashley holds a M.A. in Foreign Language Education from The University of Texas at Austin. She has been working and teaching at ESL Services since August 2013.|
|Ellen Butki is the Academic English Program/Elective Classes Coordinator. She has a B.A. in political science, history and geography and an M.A. in teaching ESL/EFL. She has taught at both university programs and adult immigrant programs in California, Massachusetts, and Texas. After teaching business English in Argentina for five years, she returned to Austin in 2002. She enjoys helping students develop all four language skills and tries to constantly challenge her students as well as herself.
|Elizabeth Tate is the ESL Services Instructional Technology Coordinator. She is a graduate of Penn State University and joined the University of Texas ESL Services in August 2013. Prior to coming to Texas she worked for a school district in Pennsylvania as a Technology Facilitator for 9 years. She has her elementary teaching certification and enjoys working with staff and students to help them with their technology needs. In her spare time she loves to travel, camp and spend time exploring the outdoors.
|Fotini Terzi, Ph.D. is the ELP Coordinator. She holds a B.A. in English language and literature from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece, and an M.A. as well as a Ph.D. in TESOL from the University of Mississippi. She has taught ESL in Greece and in the U.S. for many years. She loves teaching international students because it gives her the opportunity to discover different cultures and meet people from all over. She is a native speaker of Greek and has studied French and Spanish. Although she has taught many different levels and classes, she is currently teaching writing and grammar in the ELP program.
|Rachelle Bumgardner is the the Special Programs and Sponsored Students Coordinator for ESL Services. She is a native Texan and began her career in language education in 2003. Before joining ESL Services in May 2010, she taught English as a Second Language in England, Uruguay, and Mexico. She holds a Master of Arts in Applied Language Studies from the University of Westminster in London, England, and a Bachelor's degree in International Studies from Texas State University. She speaks fluent Spanish and is studying Arabic. She attributes her passion for teaching ESL to her culturally diverse students, whom she learns from every day. In her free time, Rachelle enjoys running, swimming, and watching movies.|
|Rehema Apio is the Office Assistant at ESL Classrooms. She holds an M.A. in public health from The University of Texas at Austin and joined the ESL team in 2014. She is originally from Uganda and was a former ESL student. My hobbies are running, making friendships and hugging. My favorite thing at ESL is meeting students with diverse background and getting to know their cultures. Read more about Rehema's story in this International Office feature article.
|Meghan Ackley received her B.A. in French from Santa Clara University and her M.A. in Applied Linguistics from San Jose State University. She also has an M.A. In Slavic Linguistics from the University of Texas at Austin. She speaks four languages: French, German, Czech, and English and taught abroad in the Czech Republic for four years. She enjoys teaching listening/speaking, reading, grammar and pronunciation classes, and has been teaching at UT Austin ESL Services since 2005.
|Laraine Altun has been teaching English to nonnative speakers in the U.S. and internationally since 1989. She has taught in California, Utah, Arizona, Hawaii, New York, Mexico, Turkey, Korea, Iraq, Kosovo, Brazil and now Texas (so far.) She has also developed multimedia learning materials professionally for ELLIS and Reader’s Digest, among other organizations. Laraine is a licensed teacher trainer with the School for International Training in Brattleboro, Vermont. She received her TESOL Certificate from the University of California, Riverside Extension and her M.A. in TESL from Brigham Young University. Laraine loves to travel and make new friends, play with her grandchildren, and read fiction and nonfiction of all kinds.|
|Lobat Asadi, “Lolo” is an American-Iranian who has lived, worked and studied abroad in the Middle East and UK. She is now an English as a Second Language instructor with ESL Services, UT Austin and has instructed several special programs as well as ELP and AEP courses. Over the last 11 years of teaching, she has learned to love, accept and merge these experiences to create a holistic style of teaching that merges cultures. Lobat has traveled to most European and many Asian and Middle Eastern countries and loves to learn about different cultures. Lobat also specializes in cross-cultural communications training and is involved with the Cartus Relocations as a Middle East subject matter expert and is a member of the Intercultural Communication Institute, Portland OR.
|Amanda Carpenter was born and raised in Los Angeles, California. After earning a B.A. in English, with an emphasis in English Education from California State University at Long Beach, Amanda entered corporate America gaining practical business experience. Living abroad in Bermuda and Italy sparked a renewed desire to return to teaching, prompting her to earn a TEFL certificate. Currently, Amanda is completing her M.A. in ESL at Hamline University. Teaching and interacting with English language learners is a source of great happiness for Amanda. She loves learning about other peoples’ cultures and their perceptions of American culture. Amanda has studied Spanish, German, and Italian and will be studying Arabic in the near future. When she’s not in the classroom, Amanda enjoys traveling, skydiving, reading and expanding her knowledge.
|Dara Chambers received her B.A. in fine art with a minor in Spanish from Southeastern Louisiana University and her M.A. in TESOL from the University of Southern Mississippi. She taught EFL at the American School of Puebla in Mexico and at Samsung Human Resources Development Center in South Korea. She loves working with international students and particularly enjoys helping students improve their ability to communicate in a variety of contexts. Her interests include painting, sculpture, cooking, reading, and yoga.
|Matthew Cook was born and raised in Southern Missouri, in the heart of the Ozarks. He holds one BA in French, International Political Science and European History and another BA in Spanish. He earned his first MA in Romance Languages and Literature (French) from the University of Chicago in 2002, and a second MA in Romance Linguistics (Spanish) from the University of Texas at Austin in 2010. His literature focus was in WW II era writing and existentialism, and his linguistics focus was in SLA and Sociolinguistics (although he is also very interested in language contact, creolization, and dialect variations). He has taught French, Spanish and ESL since the year 2000, and has taught for several different institutions including the Universities of Nebraska, Chicago and Texas. Before coming to UT ESL, he spent five years teaching academic English courses at Texas Intensive English Program in Austin. He has lived, studied and taught in France and Mexico, has travelled to several other countries, and he enjoys fishing, hiking and watching squirrels and birds with his son. He is fluent in French and Spanish, is studying German, Italian and Arabic, and slowly picking up a few other languages.|
|Katie Cottier holds an M.A. in TESOL and B.A. degrees in Anthropology and French with a minor in Asian Studies from the University of North Texas at Denton. While completing her degrees, Katie studied abroad in Ghana, France, and Saudi Arabia. She taught EFL in Japan for two years and was a Teacher Trainer in eastern Turkey. Before moving to Austin, Katie taught Intensive English at the University of North Texas for five years. Through UT, she also taught in South Korea. Katie finds teaching ESL to be very rewarding because she loves meeting students from around the world and helping them achieve their individual goals. In her free time, Katie loves doing yoga, traveling, trying out new restaurants, and visiting museums.
|Ben Cunningham received his B.A. in Spanish and English literature from Texas A&M, and an M.A. in social sciences from the University of Chicago, where he studied linguistic anthropology. He taught ESL and English teacher-training with the US Peace Corps for two years in Spitak, Armenia, then taught for six years in Taipei, Taiwan before returning the States in 2011. He is fluent in Spanish, Eastern Armenian and Mandarin, and is currently studying French. He enjoys using his own language-learning experience to understand his students' challenges and help them reach their English goals.|
|Elsa del Valle-Gaster, Ph.D. earned her degrees from The University of Texas at Austin: a doctorate in Applied Linguistics, an M.A. in teaching English as a second language, and a B.A. in teaching high school English and Spanish. In addition, Elsa attended the University of São Paulo in Brazil for a year as an undergraduate, and Tel Aviv University in Israel for two years as a graduate student in TESOL. She has taught English in a variety of contexts in the US, Brazil, Israel, and Korea. In graduate school she also taught Spanish at The University of Texas at Austin. She enjoys learning languages as much as she does teaching them. Elsa speaks Portuguese and Hebrew and is currently studying Korean. An area of special interest to Elsa is the education of public school immigrant students in US public schools. She has developed ESL programs for public-school immigrant students and professional development programs for ESL and bilingual teachers.
|John Duke received his B.A. in Russian from The University of Texas at Arlington and an M.A. in Slavic linguistics from The University of Texas at Austin. He is presently a candidate (ABD) in the Department of Foreign Language Education at The University of Texas at Austin. He spent six years studying and teaching in Russia; in St. Petersburg he served as Director of the USIA English Teacher Education Program and was an Assistant Professor at St. Petersburg State University.
|Anne Duncan earned her B.A. from The George Washington University and her Master's degree in Liberal Arts from Harvard University. After working in industry and travelling worldwide to more than 30 countries for business and pleasure, and living briefly in Germany, she earned her ESL teaching certificate. She taught in the Boston area at a variety of adult English programs and at the Harvard University Intensive English Program. She loves teaching and watching students develop their abilities and confidence. Her primary research interests are the intersection of culture, language, and adult language learning, and the teaching of writing.
|Katie Dunlap holds a M.A. in Foreign Language Education from the University of Texas at Austin and a B.A. in Professional Writing from Baylor University. She grew up in Houston, Texas, and her experience moving to Doha, Qatar as a high school student led her to develop a passion for learning about new cultures. Before joining ESL Services in January 2014, she taught in Spain, Qatar, and the US. She has studied Spanish and Arabic, and is currently trying to use and practice those when she gets a chance. She has traveled extensively, and looks forward for her next opportunity to travel.|
|Sarah Episcopo holds an M.A. in linguistics from The University of Texas at Austin and a B.A. in English and French from Texas State University - San Marcos. Sarah fell in love with languages and language learning in France on her first college study abroad. There, in a classroom of 10 nationalities converging to learn French, she discovered the importance of language and cross-cultural education. Since then, she has taught ESL in France, Mexico, and the US. She is an avid traveler, a full-time "foodie," a grammar nut, a stained-glass artist, and an amateur brew master. Through her passion for teaching ESL, she hopes to both learn from students and inspire confidence in their abilities to navigate language and culture.|
|Katherine Ellis holds an M.A. in applied linguistics from the University of South Florida and a B.A. in French from Mount Holyoke College. She is bilingual in English and French, and loves teaching grammar, listening/speaking, and writing. She has traveled to Europe, Mexico, Slovenia, Jordan, Israel, the Caribbean, Russia, and Canada.
|James Fowler was born and raised in central Texas, and is a descendant of some of the original Texas Rangers. Mr. Fowler has earned the following degrees: Bachelor of Arts in Italian Literature from UT Austin, Master of Arts in Foreign Language Education from UT Austin, and Doctor of Jurisprudence from Thurgood Marshall School of Law in Houston. James loves teaching and discussing all English language skills and levels. He believes every class has wonders to be discovered and shared. His interests in the legal profession include immigration, access to justice, and human trafficking.|
|David Fox is a graduate of The University of Texas at Austin, holds a master's degree in adult ESL. He was awarded a 3 semester full-scholarship when he was an undergraduate. He began teaching ESL at The University of Texas at Austin in 1972, then went on to become an ESL consultant for the Texas Education Agency, and served as the director of the ESL Center at Sam Houston State. He taught in Malaysia for 5 years with SUNY-Buffalo, Indiana University, as well as The University of Texas at Austin. In addition, he taught 2 years in Japan for Texas A&M University. He has been with ESL Services since 1999; before joining us, he taught for the US Department of Defense Language Institute in San Antonio, Texas.
|Tracy Frank received her M.A. in teaching English as a second language from the University of Washington in Seattle and her B.A. in English from Suffolk University in Boston. Before happily settling down in Austin, she lived and taught in Thailand and Japan, and traveled extensively throughout Asia and New Zealand. Her greatest source of satisfaction as an ESL instructor is providing her students with the confidence and skills they need in reading, writing, and grammar to reach their goals.
|Nicholas S. Gatlin, PhD. Nicholas grew up in both Columbus, Ohio and Virginia Beach, VA. He earned his undergraduate degrees in Comparative Government and French Literature, and a minor in Economics from the University of Virginia (2002), as well as an M.A (2008) and PhD (2013) in Foreign Language Education from the University of Texas at Austin. His dissertation focused on motivation and anxiety levels in foreign language learning with respect to African-American college students. He worked in the field of finance for three years before crossing over into the realm of education. He taught at a charter school, as well as worked as a program evaluator for Columbus State Community College in Columbus, OH over TRiO programs, with emphasis on Upward Bound and Student Support Services. In addition, he worked for the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement at The University of Texas at Austin as Graduate Research Assistant in implementing and tracking the successes of two Outreach Programs for low-income, first-generation high school students from the state of Texas. He has also served as a Teaching Assistant under Dr. Louis Harrison in the course "African-Americans in Sport." Nicholas taught ESL in Shanghai and Hangzhou, China, which ignited his interests for further exploration in the field. He teaches courses in English grammar and Listening and Speaking. He enjoys interacting with the students in the classroom, as well as outside, as it allows for him to gain a deeper understanding and appreciation for their culture, and he likes to indirectly mentor the students achieve their goals for being in the US. In addition to French, Nicholas also speaks Italian and Spanish. Nicholas has traveled extensively around the world, and is always looking to embrace various cultures. In his free time, he enjoys weightlifting, tennis, yoga, swimming, spending time with friends, and---on a cheat day—searching for the best chocolate chip cookie in Austin.|
|Harriet Hoffman received her B.A. in English from Syracuse University and worked as a book editor in New York. She wanted to continue to do work with the English language while also interacting more with people, so she went back to school and received an M.A. in foreign language education from The University of Texas at Austin. She has been teaching in intensive English programs ever since. She has traveled in the US, Mexico and France, and has lived in Florence, Italy and Vieques, Puerto Rico. In her free time she likes to read, play with her cats, make pottery, and go water walking at the gym.
|Smyth Johansson earned her B.A. in English from Davidson College and then moved abroad to live and teach EFL in both Spain and Sweden. In 2006, she returned to Texas and worked within educational publishing developing and editing instructional materials for English language learners. Upon completing her M.A. in Foreign Language Education at the University of Texas at Austin, Smyth decided to return to the classroom and teaches ESL and first- and second-year Swedish. Her interests lie within Language and Culture, Scandinavian Studies and Second Language Acquisition, especially the intersection of pronunciation instruction, autonomous learning and technology.|
|Jennifer Jones holds an M.A. in TESOL from the SIT Graduate Institute in Brattleboro, Vermont and a B.A. in English from Boston College. Prior to becoming a teacher, she gained valuable business experience while working for a hedge fund and a brokerage firm in Boston for six years. In 2003, she decided it was time for a new life path and began her rewarding journey teaching international students. She loves building community in the classroom and developing ways to keep students engaged and motivated. In her free time, she loves kayaking, hiking, biking, reading, painting, practicing French and Spanish, traveling, and learning...anything!|
|P.J. Kinzler grew up in Austin, Texas and received his B.A. in English and his TESOL Certificate from Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. He later moved to Fort Worth, Texas where he earned his M.A. in Modern Languages from The University of Texas at Arlington. He lived in Chile for two years and has traveled to various European countries on several occasions, including the Baltic States. He is fluent in Spanish and speaks a little Russian. In Fort Worth, he taught ESL at Tarrant Community College and Spanish at The University of Texas at Arlington for several years. He loves to meet ESL students from all over the world and learn about their languages, countries, and cultures. In his free time, he enjoys spending time with his family, reading, watching movies, and writing and playing music.|
|Crystal Kusey studied abroad in Seville, Spain and in Buenos Aires, Argentina prior to earning a B.A. in English Literature and Spanish from The University of Texas at Austin. She taught English in South Korea before returning to UT Austin to pursue an M.A. in Foreign Language Education (FLE). Currently, she is a doctoral candidate in FLE at UT Austin where her research interests include second language interaction and intercultural communication, as well as second language motivation particularly in the realm of English pronunciation. Crystal’s teaching experience with students from various backgrounds has not only deepened her appreciation for the intricacies and richness of the English language, but has also given her a deep respect for the people who strive to master it. She feels fortunate to have the opportunity to meet amazing students who not only inspire her to think about the world and its people in new ways, but also give her joy on a daily basis. In her free time, Crystal enjoys traveling, cooking, reading, swimming, and spending time with friends and family.|
|Meagan Madariaga-Hopkins was born in Reno, Nevada. Her paternal grandparents were Spanish Basque immigrants, so she grew up attending Basque cultural events and listening to and learning as much Castilian Spanish as she could. She fell in love with international travel at age 17 when she won a Rotary exchange scholarship to Brazil, where she spent her senior year of high school. Upon returning from Brazil, she entered the University of Nevada, Reno where she graduated with a BA in International Affairs. During university, she had an opportunity to travel in Europe and spend a semester studying abroad in San Sebastian, Spain. Later, she earned her MA in TESOL from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Meagan has been teaching ESL for 16 years and has been at UT, Austin since 2008. Through UT, she taught for one semester in Daegu, South Korea. Meagan loves to check out new restaurants in Austin, see concerts in The Live Music Capital of the World, watch movies at the Alamo Drafthouse, and teach ESL at UT!
|Kelly Martin is the CELTA program coordinator, as well as an instructor. She received her B.A. in Latin American Studies and Spanish from Vanderbilt University, and her experiences studying abroad in Spain and Mexico led her to pursue a career in International Education. She began teaching English in Costa Rica, and has also taught in the US and South Korea. She holds a M.A. in Foreign Language Education from the University of Texas at Austin, and began teaching at ESL Services in May 2013. She has studied Spanish and Portuguese, and is interested in learning Korean and French. In her free time, she loves to discover new places and experience new foods.|
|Christine McCourt holds a B.A. in communications from Temple University and an M.A. in foreign language education from The University of Texas at Austin. She loves working with international students and has 20 years of teaching experience in ESL in the US and Korea. Apart from teaching, Christine has spent time working in the pharmaceutical, convention, and deejaying industries. Her area of specialization is oral communication skills, and she especially enjoys teaching pronunciation.
|Monica McCrory has been officially teaching English since 1996, but she began teaching English informally many years earlier. She grew up in a bilingual environment and began learning Spanish as a young child. Over the years, she has developed her Spanish and French through formal study, many wonderful friendships, and extensive travel in Latin America, Europe, and Asia. Monica obtained her M.A. in foreign language education from The University of Texas at Austin in 2003, and is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in learning technology through the University of Missouri. Monica has worked with English language learners of all ages, but has taught and conducted research with English language learners in higher education since 2001. In addition, she has conducted teacher workshops in China and Taiwan, as well as in the United States.
|Alison McGregor, Ph.D. has always been fascinated by language and culture. She received her B.A. in cultural anthropology and minored in German at Kansas State University. In 1992, she started her ESL career by teaching conversational English in Taiwan. She later earned her ESL teaching certificate and an M.A. in liberal studies at Wichita State University. From 1996-1999, she taught business English in Japan. Alison specializes in oral communication skills, including pronunciation and accent modification. She has recently completed her Ph.D. in education psychology at The University of Texas at Austin. Her research interests include adult language acquisition, prosodic features in American English, and skill development in second language acquisition.
|Kimberly Merriman grew up in Michigan, and received her B.A. in English from Michigan State University. During her undergraduate years, she studied abroad in Sweden, Germany, and England. Her passion for international education and intercultural understanding led her to pursue a career in teaching English to non-native speakers. She spent seven years teaching EFL in South Korea, Japan, Hong Kong, and Hungary before returning to the U.S. Kimberly is currently completing her M.A. in ESL Education capstone from Hamline University in the area of second language identity and acculturation. In her free time, she enjoys traveling and exploring new places in Texas.
|Estherlene Moya, a native Texan, was fortunate to have grown up in a bilingual family, an experience that helped her understand and appreciate the relationship between language and culture. She holds a B.A. in English and Spanish, a secondary school teaching certificate, and an ESL endorsement, all from The University of Texas at Austin. After more than a decade as a high school English, Spanish and ESL teacher, she has since devoted her career to teaching English to international students. She has developed curricula for all levels and skill areas, has worked in administration, and has taught American culture, oral communication, and ESL methodology for special teacher-training programs. Estherlene enjoys traveling, reading novels and cookbooks, and spending time with her family.
|Susan Murphy, Ph.D. is the GRS/ITA Specialist. She received her M.A. in French and her Ph.D. in foreign language education from The University of Texas at Austin. She taught English as a foreign language in France for two years and has traveled through most of western Europe. Susan has taught courses in ELP, AEP, and oral communication for international graduate students.
|Jeongbin Hannah Park is a Ph.D. candidate at the Foreign Language Education program in the department of Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Texas at Austin. She has taught English as second/foreign language for more than 13 years and Korean as foreign language for more than 6 years and. Her research and teaching interest focuses on second language reading and writing, technology and language learning, computer-mediated communication (CMC), and various aspects of on and offline discourse for language learning. Her publications include both practical language learning textbooks and research-based empirical studies. She holds an M.A. in Foreign Language Education and a B.A. in English Language and Literature.|
|Adrienne Pond holds a B.A. in Fine Arts/Dance from the University of New Mexico and a M.A. in TESOL from Hamline University. She performed with several dance companies, including performing in Japan, before moving on to teaching ESL in the U.S. and Hungary. She has always loved languages and is a published creative writer. She has lived in the U.S., Norway, Italy, and Hungary. She is passionate about world cultures, traveling, reading, writing, motorcycling, nature, and being part of her students' learning.
|Phyllis Potash holds an M.A. in linguistics from San Diego State University, a lifetime secondary teaching credential in English awarded at UCLA, and a B.A. in English from UCLA. Phyllis' ESL background draws on graduate course work at The University of Texas at Austin and at the University of California at San Diego (UCSD). Prior to coming to Texas, Phyllis taught ESL in Lyon, France as well as at UCSD and at a private school in La Jolla, California. In Texas, she has taught in the AEP and ELP programs at The University of Texas at Austin and in the ESL program at Texas State University in San Marcos.
|Mary Lou Price, Ph.D. received her M.A. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and her Ph.D. from The University of Texas at Austin. She has taught in ESL Services since 1992 and taught college-level French before becoming an ESL teacher. She has lived in the Philippines and France and has traveled and studied in Europe, Central America, and Mexico. She enjoys teaching all subjects but has most recently been teaching reading, grammar, and test preparation.
|Curt Reese, Ph.D. obtained his MA in TESOL and Ph.D. in Foreign Language Education from UT, and his BA in Spanish from Abilene Christian University. He has 20 years of teaching experience, and has taught in Costa Rica, South Korea, Mexico and Guatemala. He has been teaching at UT’s Intensive English Program since 1999. In the last few years, he was the lead teacher on joint programs between UT an international universities including Kyung-Pook National in South Korea and Universidad de las Americas in Mexico City. In 2011, he began work on bringing the CELTA, Cambridge University’s teacher-training program, to UT, and in 2012, he ran the first program. He currently serves as a lead tutor (teacher) for the CELTA. He is the author of the ESL textbook for teaching conversation The Conversation Game: A Systematic Approach to Acquiring Discussion Skills. Most recently, he has worked with the Fulbright Commission on teacher training for English Language Fellows and is currently working on a research project with faculty at UT and Sookmyeung University in South Korea on how beginning ESL teacher acquire teaching practices.
|Amanda Sekour has an MA in Applied English Linguistics from the University of Houston and a BA in French and International Studies from Baylor University. Prior to teaching ESL, she worked as an International Student Advisor and underwent training as a NAFSA (Association of International Educators) member. She has been teaching English in Austin for the past few years and is currently acting as Past President for the TexTESOLIII regional affiliate group of TESOL (Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages). Active in TESOL, she has presented at their International Conventions for the last three years and served as an advocate in Washington DC.|
|Sandra J. Shaw has been communicating across cultures since the age of 7, when she went to live in Libya for three years with her family. After first being introduced to language learning through Arabic, she took up Spanish and later Brazilian Portuguese. Her undergraduate work in cultural anthropology was completed at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota, and her M.A. in Latin American studies was awarded by The University of Texas at Austin. Ms. Shaw has taught ESL for over 20 years in the US and abroad; her most recent international experience was in Baku, Azerbaijan. She has also worked in ESL and academic publishing as a writer, editor, ESL specialist, and sales representative. She is committed to helping students and teachers from all over the world achieve their educational and personal goals.
|Heather Silsby grew up in Texas and received her B.A. in English from The University of Texas at Austin. After graduating, she moved to Granada, Spain for two years, working for a Christian non-profit organization and tutoring students in English. During that time, she discovered her passion for experiencing other cultures and language learning. As a result of her time abroad, she decided to formally pursue a career as an ESL instructor. She returned to UT Austin and completed an M.A. in foreign language education. She taught as an ESL instructor in Austin for five years joining the faculty at The University of Texas at Austin. She values the experience of teaching students from all over the world and guiding them in their English language-learning journey. In her free time she loves to read classic novels and watch thought-provoking movies, both of which she eagerly discusses with her husband and friends. She is also inspired by good food, road trips (especially to New Mexico), camping, hiking, and of course, traveling abroad!
|Will Slade His first passion was writing; then he began a mission to learn foreign languages, and then he discovered a passion for teaching his own first language. He started to combine all three in 2004, and since then he has worked and taught high schoolers, adults, and elementary students in Loja, Ecuador; Denton, Texas; and Austin, Texas. He has an M.A. in Foreign Language Education at the University of Texas at Austin and a B.A. from the same university in English and the Plan II Honors program with a minor in Spanish. He’s fully proficient in Spanish and continues to work on his French and Portuguese with ambitions to learn the languages of all of his students. He is really excited to grow with his students and watch them create amazing projects and develop their own abilities!
|Emily Spurgeon grew up in Massachusetts, and holds a B.A. in anthropology and African diaspora studies from Tulane University, and an M.A. in TESOL from Hunter College. Prior to becoming a teacher, she worked in university administration at Northwestern University, and in corporate and educational fundraising at a New York City public television station. Emily loves to travel and learn new languages, and she has studied French, Spanish, Yoruba, and Brazilian Portuguese. She has taught English to international students at New York University, Hunter College, and the Texas Intensive English Program, as well as to adult immigrants through several non-profit organizations in Chicago and New York.
|Rachel Stokes has a B.A. in Music Composition from Mercer University and an M.A. in Applied Linguistics and ESL from Georgia State University. Her journey teaching ESL began in Japan in 2005, continued in Atlanta where she met her husband, and most recently landed her in Jordan where she directed the English Studies Department at the Consortium for Global Education in Amman. Rachel has dabbled in Spanish, Japanese, American Sign Language, and Arabic. She also enjoys cooking for friends and family, painting, and playing music.|
|Sarah Strigler Goldstein holds an M.A. in Semitic linguistics from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and a B.A. in Religion from the University of Rochester. Before moving to Austin, she taught and lived in Egypt, Jordan and Israel and is fluent in Hebrew and Arabic. She loves teaching the GRE and academic English writing to international students and especially enjoys helping students overcome language challenges. In her free time, she enjoys going to concerts, baking pies and reading books.|
|Lina Terrell taught in the ESL Program for one year just after receiving her Master’s degree in FLE from UT-Austin, and then spent ten of the next seventeen years in Japan teaching English and studying Japanese. Other achievements during that time include obtaining a Japanese motorcycle license, which she put to good use touring the country on an old Honda 250cc; and a second Master’s in Historical Japanese Linguistics from the University of Hawaii-Manoa.|
|Carolyn Thompson, who finds working with international students fascinating, currently teaches listening/speaking in AEP. She holds a B.A. in Spanish and a master's degree in foreign language education, both from The University of Texas at Austin. Although she's a Texan, she has studied and traveled in Mexico, Central, and South America and loves New England in the fall.
|Terri Vaughn, Ph.D. worked with displaced Central Americans on the Texas border in the 1980s. Afterwards, she earned her B.A. in interdisciplinary studies with a concentration in linguistics, then received both an M.A. and Ph.D. in English from the University of Texas at Arlington. She has also completed a Cambridge CELTA (Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults) intensive training course. Terri has several years of experience teaching English to both non-native and native speakers in many educational settings--from private homes to university classrooms. In 2008, Now and Then (a book of poetic reflections related to her earlier work with Central Americans) was published by Thorpe Springs Press.
|Margot Volem received her M.Ed. in TESOL from Seattle University and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Painting from the University of Oregon. She began her language-teaching career in 2007 at Highline Community College in Washington State, where she taught English for Medical Terminology. She spent two years at an IEP at Oregon State University, working as both an instructor and coordinator. She then spent a year working for the U.S. Department of State and Georgetown University, as an English Language Fellow, in the Hatay Province of Turkey where she did teacher training and taught speaking and writing to the Faculty of Medicine at Mustafa Kemal University. Before coming to UT Austin, she worked for Clark University, teaching at Shandong University of Science and Technology, in Jinan, China. An avid traveler, she has visited more than thirty countries in East Africa, Europe, Asia, and Latin America, and had a brief stint running a hotel in Costa Rica.
|Matt Wallace, born and raised near Austin, has been professionally teaching English as a Second Language for over a decade. After earning his B.A. in Language and Composition from the University of North Texas, he moved to Japan, where he taught English and studied Japanese. Upon returning to the U.S., Matt taught at the Texas Intensive English Program in Austin and went back to school for his M.A. in Foreign Language Education. He has been at U.T. since 2011, where he has taught in both the ELP and AEP programs as well as served as a student events coordinator, producer of the WHAT? student newsletter, and co-coordinator of special programs.|
|Vickie Yllander received her B.A. in English literature and her M.A. in linguistics from Louisiana State University. While at LSU, she taught ESL to international undergraduate students. This experience prompted her to seek more international teaching opportunities, so she moved to South Korea and taught EFL at a university in Seoul. After many years abroad, she returned to the US to pursue a Ph.D. in foreign language education. She is currently a doctoral candidate at The University of Texas at Austin. Since moving to Texas, she has taught in both university and adult education programs. She finds teaching a rewarding and enriching experience. She thinks it’s the best job in the world!
|Erica Yoon holds an M.A. in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) from The California State University in Fullerton and a B.A. in Political Science from State University of New York at Geneseo. She taught English in CSU Fullerton, Cypress College, Hope University, and North Orange County Community College District before she started teaching at UT Austin ESL. Erica loves learning about different languages, countries, and cultures around the world, so she really enjoys her job where she can interact with international students. She believes that English can be greatly improved when learners have fun learning the language, so the belief makes her think of various ways to keep her class interesting, interacting, and fun for the students and herself! Erica loves traveling, and she has traveled to Turkey, France, the Netherlands, Mexico, Korea, Japan, and Dominican Republic. In her free time, she likes to go to the park, read a book, sing a song, listen to music, watch movies, and cook something sweet and delicious!