Before joining the Speak! ESL team, Doris worked for several years as a writer for a global clinical research organization where she collaborated closely with business professionals and subject-matter experts whose first language was not English. She understands the communication challenges non-native English speakers face in the workplace. She is also an ESL literacy tutor and has had the opportunity to work with ESL speakers from many different countries—one-on-one and in small groups at all levels of English proficiency. These experiences working with diverse cultures and her love for learning inspired Doris to further her knowledge of English as a second language and become EFL/ESOL and Business English certified. Doris earned her M.S. degree in Technical & Scientific Communications from James Madison University. She moved to Charlottesville 14 years ago with her husband and 3 daughters. Now empty nesters, Doris and her husband are taking the time to travel and pursue new interests.
Ellie is an accomplished English teacher and Charlottesville native with seven years experience teaching in-person ESL classes to individuals and groups from Central and South America, Africa and Southeast Asia, as well as teaching online classes to students and professionals of all language levels around the world. Ellie has always been a lover of language and cultural immersion. Since her graduation from the University of Virginia in 2006, she has lived primarily outside of the US, teaching English and learning new languages, and having the many, many adventures living abroad affords. She is also an artist and a designer, and helped to start two international businesses while she was living in Rwanda from 2010-2012. Certified for Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL), Ellie infuses her love of language, her business experience and her multi-cultural understanding into her ESL lessons. Read more about Ellie in B-Speak! in Bangkok.
Born in Charlottesville and raised nearby in Luray, Dana returned to Virginia in 2015 after having lived out of state for several years in the Midwest and in Southern California. She holds a B.A. in International Studies from Bridgewater College, a TESOL Certificate from Oxford Seminars, and an M.A. in Applied Linguistics from University of Massachusetts-Boston. Dana’s ESL-teaching journey began in college; she interned as an ESL teacher at a local literacy organization and fell in love with the prospect of utilizing her knowledge to help her students improve their lives. Since then, she has taught ESL classes and tutored private students of all skill levels with varied interests and unique backgrounds. Dana has also taught Citizenship classes and GED classes, but her passion lies in working with adult non-native English speakers, helping them to develop the linguistic and cultural skills they need to succeed in the United States. She has experience learning languages herself and traveling to different countries including Mexico, Ecuador, and Moldova, and she believes strongly that what makes a great teacher is empathy for her students’ experiences and genuine interest in the wonderfully demanding process of language learning.
Liz joined the Speak! team in 2012 to help pilot the B-Speak! program for international MBA students. Liz grew up in upstate New York and received her B.A. in Comparative Religion from New York University and an M.A. in English at Hunter College. After living in Manhattan for 14 years, she made her way south to teach in an immersion ESL program at UNC-Charlotte. She has since taught at community colleges in North Carolina and Virginia. She continues to learn and grow and be inspired by her many students from different cultures. Read more about Liz’s students Speak! Student Spotlight: Wenwen and Robin
Born and raised in Texas, where her parents’ first language was Yiddish, Paula has bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education. Her 19 years of ESL experience include university level instruction, public adult education and one-on-one work with academics and professionals. She derives deep pleasure from cross-cultural contact, the complexity of grammar and the remarkable ESL progress of motivated adults. Recently Paula lived in Cambridge, MA, where she subbed as an ESL instructor at the Harvard Bridge Program and tutored her grandchildren’s au pair in TOEFL skills.
Caroline Melton taught ESL at Rice University in Houston, Texas for five years before returning to her home state of Virginia and joining the ESL team at Speak! Language Center. She began her career as a volunteer, tutoring English students in community programs, non-profit organizations, and even an international market! She holds an B.A. from the University of Virginia in Religious Studies, and an M. Ed from the University of Houston in Curriculum and Instruction- Second Language Education. In 2015, she served on the Board of Directors for TexTESOL IV, a local TESOL (Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages) affiliate. In addition to teaching, Caroline is also a language learner and has studied Spanish for many years. She hopes to continue to practice and improve her own second language skills as she helps English learners improve theirs.
Jeannie has been working as a teacher for the past ten years. She has worked with students of all ages from kindergarten to adults. Most recently she was a high school reading specialist. She holds a M.S. in Literacy and Culture through Longwood University. Jeannie loves learning about and experiencing other cultures and has had the privilege of living and teaching in Uzbekistan and the Philippines. Certified to teach English, ESL, and reading, Jeannie loves the opportunity to work with students and help them accomplish their language goals. She is excited about continuing her journey as a teacher at Speak! in Charlottesville.
Having grown up overseas as a child, Megan is a “third-culture kid.” She has lived in Honduras, Sweden, Malaysia, India, Australia, Germany and most recently South Korea where she met and married her husband. An environmentalist, Megan studied biology and she incorporates her love of nature in her English language teaching, as well as weaving in themes of travel and intercultural communication. Since obtaining her MATESOL, she has been an ESL teacher at Seoul National University and in the culturally diverse community colleges of Seattle, Washington. Having recently moved to Charlottesville, Megan is celebrating her 10th year teaching ESL and is relishing in reuniting with her family who live locally. Read more about Megan in Speak! Stories: Megan and Youngchul
Reed is a new arrival to Charlottesville after studying Arabic in Egypt and living in Cambodia, Chicago and Boston, where he started teaching in 2013. Reed has worked with doctors, researchers, and people in business and government as well as their families. His students get a lot of conversation practice in class and they always have time to think and say their thoughts and questions. His students also work on professional goals, such as refining business presentations and writing articles and important emails. Reed helps students speak clearly and understand co-workers or just improve their English for daily life. For fun, he loves writing on typewriters and hiking around town with his troublesome dog.
Zoe’s interest in language learning and instruction began early. As a first generation Belarusian, she developed a keen curiousity and sensitivity to speakers of other languages through communications with family, especially her grandmother. In the mid 80’s, she lived and worked as an au pair in Paris, France. She went on to study language and education at the University of Mary Washington where she later earned her graduate certificate in TESOL. She has recent experience with both individual and classroom teaching. For more than 23 years Zoe’s passion for culture and language has also been channelled into her work in book manufacturing and international non-profit publishing and business administration. In her spare time, she enjoys connecting with friends, fiber arts, swimming and walks with her dog Nina. She loves being a part of the team here at Speak! to help both individuals and groups achieve their personal goals.