What’s the impact of English for Life Academy?

Here’s what some of our graduates, clients, and community partners have to say about their experience working with us.

From Our Graduates

“I took the ESOL Praxis II yesterday afternoon.  I passed it with flying colors, even more important than THAT, was the fact that I HAD NO TEST ANXIETY.  The English for Life Program works!”

Weslica Johnson, English for Life graduate
Spanish and ESOL teacher, Greenville


“Hey Kim, just thought I’d drop you a line to let you know that I am teaching and loving it! I started teaching a week after we arrived in Cambodia. You were right. I had no trouble finding a job. In fact, I had several offers and could choose which one I liked best!  It’s a great motivation to keep learning Khmer and to use a lot of techniques that Debbie and Catherine taught us in class. Actually, I’ve met a few other English teachers that are not TESOL certified and hearing their stories has made me very grateful for your class!”

Emily Crowley, English for Life graduate
English Teacher, Cambodia

“Hello Debbie and Kim! Greetings from Brazil!  It’s been almost five months now and I am loving Sao Paulo, learning Portuguese, and teaching English! I work in fancy buildings with coffee machines that make any sort of espresso drink you want on every floor.I feel that I’ve come such a long way and owe so much to both of you. I wanted to thank both of you for your encouragement.  Truly, Debbie, if you hadn’t sent Kim to me to talk about a fundraiser for English for Life, I might still be in Greenville wondering what I’m doing with my life.  Thanks to you both!”

Meg Pierson, English for Life graduate
English Teacher, Sao Paulo, Brazil

“I do want to thank you for all of the work you do.  It was a great blessing to be a part of your class and to really be stretched while doing something I love.”

Natalie Swecker. English for Life graduate

“Kim, after 3 weeks here (in Beijing) I’ve had a chance to notice the teachers and teaching styles and feel very fortunate that I took your TESOL courses. They were excellent preparation.  Even though —- is a good company, I feel better prepared than some of the teachers they have here, especially in terms of cultural sensitivity and positive feedback. Keep up the good work!”

Keith Bernard, English for Life graduate
English Teacher, Beijing, China

“All in all, both the class and the practicum were phenomenal preparation for being a teacher in any area.  I would not have thought I could go from knowing nothing to being as confident and resourceful as I am now.  All of the classes were necessary and useful and I’m grateful that I taught where I did (for my practicum).  I really enjoyed the whole program and will tell everyone about it.”

Emmy Leslie, English for Life graduate
English Teacher, South Korea

“I wanted to thank you for all of the time and energy you put into our Charleston TESOL program. I had an outstanding experience and would highly recommend your program to anyone who expressed interest. Thank you for giving us your 100% each and every class and I look forward to completing my coursework AND becoming a highly sought after TESOL teacher!”

Kira Rucquoi, English for Life graduate

“As a Foreign Language teacher, not only the TESOL Certification course, but also the practicum developed at Lifelong Learning Sullivan Center have been two of the most meaningful and rewarding experiences during my career.”

Lysette Segura, English for Life graduate
English Teacher, Colombia, South America and Greenville SC

“After teaching for 32 years I retired from the public school system. Realizing that I missed teaching, but wanting an entirely different experience, I explored the possibility of teaching in an ESL setting. Although I already had a Master’s Degree and a Specialist’s Degree in Education, I did not feel prepared to teach persons who did not share my same native language. TESOL has given me tools to teach non-English speakers. It has given me the perspective and confidence I needed to adapt my own prior teaching skills and knowledge into tools for the ESL setting. My TESOL certification has already opened up several job opportunities for me, I have also been gratified by the volunteer ESL teaching I am doing at a local community center. I would highly recommend TESOL to any teachers that may be interested in a new experience. ”

Cynthia Pierce, English for Life graduate
Reading Instructor, Greenville Technical College, Greenville, SC

“This class, and the requirements for graduation has been tough, and I’m glad for it. It has pushed me in a lot of ways, and molded me into someone who is not afraid to speak to a group of people now. In some ways, I have matured more. but it was a great stretching, pushing and shoving that I went thru. And I wouldn’t miss it for the world.

“Thank you Kim for what you have done, not only in my life, but also for what you are doing in the lives of other people.  I know you don’t get the thanks you deserve, but let me say thanks on behalf of them, and for myself too. Keep up the great work. I hope you have students teaching in every country.”

John Lehr, English for Life graduate
English Tutor, Greenville Literacy Association, Greenville SC

“I would walk Main Street wearing sandwich boards for your class.  I tell everybody about it. The things I learned in the course have completely transformed the way I work with students, as well as the way I prepare.  Classes have become more diverse in the media used, in the use of pairs and teams, in the applications of themes to classes or series of classes, and in my own level of security.”

Debbie Spear, English for Life graduate
English Teacher, Wetzel Services, English for Life Academy
Practicum Coordinator, English for Life Academy, Greenville, SC

“The classroom experience was the best part of the class. All of the teachers ‘practiced what they preached’ on us. We were witness to some excellent applied adult learning. The classroom time was varied and fun, and I found myself looking forward to each class. Each classroom experience (and observation) taught me a new trick for helping students learn. Experiencing the ‘trick’ firsthand was part of the learning for me. If I had read about them only, I would have thought they were silly. But experiencing them let me see that they do work…Thanks to all of the wonderful teachers who helped me in this class. I’m in awe of your skills and dedication. You are amazing and I can only hope that some day I can demonstrate a tiny bit of what you’ve taught me.”

Cindy Fowler, English for Life graduate

“Kim, it is with great pleasure that I inform you, with the help of English For Life and those involved in this process, I will be working for WSI-Tumbaco (Ecuador) in the coming months! I am so excited and so grateful for all of your help during this quest. I look forward to keeping in touch and helping English for Life in whatever way possible.”

Neil Stanford, English for Life graduate
English teacher, Quito, Ecuador

“I can’t thank you enough.  I really do love my students and teaching, and your class really made the difference in my deciding to go further with my pursuits.  I can only say thank you, thank you, thank you! “

Robbie Diamond, English for Life graduate

“The experience I gained through observations, tutoring, and student-teaching has been immeasurable. If I had any doubts before about what I was called to do with my life, I am now confident that I am meant to teach ESOL. I am so glad that I took this course through English for Life, as it not only had the best course objectives and practicum requirements, but was also taught by a handful of experienced teachers who really care about each student’s success.”

Megan Reynolds, English for Life graduate

“I am kind of sad to get this thing finished…I’ve really enjoyed associating with you and the other people from my class.  I stand by my statement that this was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.”

Wells Floyd, English for Life graduate
English teacher, Brazil

As I reflect on the experience as a whole; the course work, lectures, practicum, and the instructors (which I have grown so fond of); the amount of knowledge I have gained in this very short three month period from your program is truly invaluable! This experience has made me so very aware of who I am as an educator and who I aspire to be in the ESL classroom. The tools you all have given me have greatly prepared me for the challenges ahead. So with this knowledge and these tools I am ready to teach English as a Second Language and I will genuinely enjoy the adventure. Thank you all so very much for sharing with me your expertise and accomplishments. I will never forget this journey and I will encourage others who have the passion to “take the voyage” with you at English for Life.

Lisa Keeler, English for Life graduate

From Our Language Class Students

“Hi Kim, Once again thanks for all. I am 100% happy. It has been a great experience for me.

Elisabeth and Karla are two high qualified “teachers,” capable of understanding my needs and adopting the right tools to make me improve my English knowledge. I have also enjoyed both from human point of view.

I really invite Debbie (HR manager) to consider you as a preferred partner for Trelleborg Coated Systems US in that kind of training.”

Maurizio Avagnale
HR Vice President, Trelleborg Coated Systems

“I’ve taught English to kids in elementary schools. My students are almost 1000. It’s a very hard work but that’s my pleasure! Sometimes I look back when you taught me English. You gave me a lot of words that from the bottom of your heart in my class. When I’m depressed, your heartful words makes me cheer up.”

Hisako Shima, English for Life English Student
English Teacher, Japan

“I have decided to attend Appalachian State University.  It is only because of your English lessons that I was able to get a good score on my test and get accepted.  Thank you so much for everything.”

Shan Shan Zhou, English for Life English student
Graduate Student, Boone, North Carolina

“Instructor was a great personality fit for work setting.”

Ginny Hughes

“Kim was a great instructor; she was able to teach while keeping things relevant and fun. I would recommend her to anyone.”

Inna Porter

“The instructor was really good! She made the class interesting and fun. She engaged us in many activities to reinforce concepts. I really enjoyed it.”

Turkessa Dionne Allen

“Kim is always organized and prepared. She is very knowledgeable in Spanish and made class very enjoyable!”

Suzanne Price

“I loved the class trips! A lot better way to get cultural experience than staying in class and listening to boring Professors. Our Instructors were awesome!”

Jaihee Han

From Our Clients and Community Partners

“I believe you all have so many resources…especially yourselves (!)…that our international students…and our entire community…could benefit from.  Thanks so much for your time investment and high quality of services..and your genuine commitment to our students!

Honestly, while (the student) was willing to work very hard to make this semester as academically successful as possible, you and the English for Life Team deserve a great deal of credit for your expertise and professionalism.  We are fortunate to have you all in our increasingly diverse community.  You went way above and beyond to do the job right.  I certainly look forward to working with you in the future!”

Dr. Lesley A. Quast
Assistant Dean for Advising
Professor of Education
Furman University

“I just want to take a moment to say thanks to you and English for life for the excellent training that was provided to our Queretaro office. I have only heard great comments from the Queretaro teams and our training manager about the training. Our management team can already see the communication gap closing between our customers and the CSR’s.”

Roy Fowler, English for Life client
Operations Manager for Michelin NA

“English for Life is the recipient of our 2010 Community Service Award for outstanding commitment and dedication to the English learners and teachers in our community.  We are thankful for the tutors and training they provide us, and we are happy to partner with them in the services we provide to the community.”

The Greenville Literacy Association

“You are not only a great teacher and teacher trainer but you’re a natural at creating a positive, communicative atmosphere for teachers. We all benefit!”

Johanna Brassert
Middle School French/ESOL
Christ Church Episcopal School

“Kim had a sense of humor, and she responded to our questions without getting upset. She honored our perspectives and allowed us to practice.”

Etta Greene Carter

Adult Education Director, SC