Stephanie is a Virginia native and UVA grad who has spent most of the past two decades living and teaching in England, Ethiopia, India and Kenya. These years abroad have given her an abiding interest in intercultural rhetoric and the varieties of English around the world. Recently returned to the U.S. and Charlottesville, she’s in the process of adding an M.A. in Teaching English for Academic Purposes to her Ph.D. in Hellenistic Greek. Stephanie loves helping international students negotiate the personal and cultural challenges they face moving into higher education and academic English. In her free time she loves to cook, explore the Charlottesville area, and have long chats over tea.
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 is currently pursuing her M.A. in Applied Linguistics from University of Massachusetts Boston. She’s set to graduate in May 2016! 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Ruth Salomon is a National Merit Scholar with a BA in economics and an MA in international development, currently working toward the Cambridge University Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (CELTA) and ESL certification through the Virginia Department of Education. Ruth is a long-time freelance writer, with experience working for the US Agency for International Development in Russia and Eastern Europe. Her focus is on integrating the subject matter with the current interests of the student, making the learning process interesting so that the material will be easy to remember. She also helps students with effective time management and study planning.