Let me introduce you to our amazing team.

We’ve been working in language teaching and training for over 225 years, (collectively, of course) and we can’t wait to work with you.

Click on the photo below and learn more about our team

Kim Carroll

Director of Unusual Circumstances:

Teacher, trainer, coach, consultant

We sat across the table from each other for four hours every day in a small school in Guatemala. She didn’t speak a word of English. I didn’t speak of work of Spanish–yet. Still, we communicated, and better and better every day. I remember thinking, “Is this a profession? Could I teach English like this to people who come to the U.S?”

Deciding to participate in a study abroad program to Central America my sophomore year in college was life-changing, to put it mildly: I when I returned I changed schools, moved from Ohio to Colorado, and began to get involved in environmental and community education.

After graduating from Naropa University in Boulder, CO (which included living and working on an oral history project in Bluefields, Nicaragua), I moved to Greenville, South Carolina. I began teaching English to adult immigrants first as a VISTA volunteer, then as a teacher for the school district, at Greenville’s literacy organization, and for several private language schools.  All the while, I continued my study of English Language Teaching.

So many teachers I met during this time were interested in additional training and professional development, and encouraged me to develop a TESOL certificate program. English for Life Academy was born.

Since then, I’ve had the pleasure of working with incredible people who want to learn English, who want to teach in other countries, who want to provide the best training for their international teams, and who want to be capable, confident, creative teachers.  And I’ve developed programs for companies and universities, working with faculty, staff, executives, and students as they develop their language skills and intercultural competence and move toward international success.

I’ve enjoyed working in South Korea, Mexico, Ecuador, as an English Language Fellow in Paraguay, and with people from all over the globe right here in South Carolina.

Professional Interests and Philosophies

One of the things I most love about teaching and training is the cultural aspect: understanding the intersection of place and language and people is fascinating.  Just observing and assisting people as they get used to a new culture or language is satisfying and fun.  It’s such a wonderful way to support people, give them the tools they need to be successful, and give back to the community at the same time.

And I haven’t even started on my love of geeking out about languages and grammar…

Most importantly, I believe everyone can learn a language. Even you. Even me. I teach accordingly, and I encourage new teachers to make learning interactive and applicable to the lives of learners they teach.

I’ve always wanted to create a place that would be a fun, welcoming, and challenging place to learn, a supportive, creative, collaborative place to teach, and an environment that encouraged community and communication. I hope you’ll come and join us!

Professional Highlights
  • 20+ years of English language teaching experience, working with a range of ages, cultures, proficiency levels
  • 15+ years of running English for Life Academy, from janitor to CEO
  • Adjunct faculty teaching ESL, TESOL, and Spanish at Greenville Technical College and The College of Charleston
  • Certified Professional coach and trained Mastermind facilitator
  • I love developing specialized English courses for specific groups such as customer service representatives (Michelin), international sales representatives (Cryovac), au pairs (Aupaircare), South Korean Middle Schoolers (Experience English Summer Camps), and more
  • I do my best to remain current in my field. I’ve developed and facilitated various teacher education workshops, courses, and conferences including: Service Learning Semester for U.S. Government Class, Second Language Acquisition, Culture in the Classroom, Hearing Voices: Oral Histories in the Language Classroom, Creativity in the Classroom, Music in the Classroom, BEST Plus Training and Refresher, Get Your Game Face On: Using Games in the ESL classroom, The English Literacy Teacher Resource Guide, Planning, Managing, and Enjoying your Multilevel Class, and TESOL Certification Program
  • In addition to staying current in ESL, I have continually expanded my knowledge of business, marketing, and training, and I love working with entrepreneurs as they develop their businesses.
  • I’m a member of several related organizations: The South Carolina ESL Task Force for the State Department of Education; TESOL inc, the International Center of the Upstate.
  • Even for fun I like to get people talking: I'm a My Neighbor's Voice facilitator and Pecha Kucha Greenville organizer

Arturo Castellanos

TESOL Instructor, English teacher, graphic designer

I found teaching by absolute chance. Ever since I can remember, I have always been interested in the fine arts, graphic design, illustration, music… and traveling. After I finished high school in Mexico, I took a break from studying and headed for Germany. I lived in Heidelberg for about a year and worked at an American childcare center where, rather ironically, my English really came together. Not speaking a word of German, I spent most of my free time at the Haus Der Jugend, where I met the most amazing, open-minded, interesting, welcoming people from faraway lands: friends who could not understand a word I said and vice versa. Language IS art!

After I went back to Mexico, I had to figure out a way to pay for college. I could have started a promising career in catering (working at McDonald’s), but I came across a teaching ad in the local newspaper. The only requirement was to speak English and they even offered a free, unpaid training course during the first two weeks. I could do that… it would be a temporary fix that provided a weekly paycheck and seemed much easier (and hopefully, safer) than flipping burgers in front of a burning grill. I thought I would try to enjoy it while it lasted.

Since then, I have done it all: I have taught children, teenagers and adults; college students and business people; I have certainly learned more than I could ever teach and now I even get to travel and explore new academic experiences outside of Mexico. I didn’t really think this through or plan it, but I guess I have been really happy doing it.

As I said, a temporary fix… it’s been 25 years.

Professional Interests and Philosophies

Can’t seem to divide professional and personal interests into categories, so I guess they haven’t really changed: the fine arts, graphic design, illustration, traveling… and teaching. I might add that I love movies and the mix of all of the above into communicational experimentation.

A teaching philosophy… mmmh…

  • Step away from your teacher’s desk and turn your class into a “learning community”
  • Grammar rules and vocabulary are just an excuse to create emotional connections: to communicate and learn exciting new things

Professional Highlights
  • TESOL and EFL instructor, graphic designer, English for Life Academy
  • Business English instructor, Mexico City, Mexico
  • University English Instructor, all levels, Tecnológico de Monterrey, Guadalajara, Mexico
  • Advanced Levels Program Coordinator, including curriculum design & implementation, and teacher observation & feedback
  • Over 25 years teaching experience working with university-level and adult language learners

Elizabeth A. Kunze

Resume Coach, Business & Technical English Specialist

I am one of those educators who came to teaching later in my career, discovering how much I love it. I began my career looking at rocks (working as an Exploration Geologist in the western US), then started looking at market research data (after getting an MBA in marketing), then moving into the education phase of my career when I started working for a talent solutions company. For the last ten years plus, I have been teaching individuals and groups best practices in leadership effectiveness, career development, job search and resume writing.

Along the way, I have had the amazing good fortune to live and travel internationally, living in Santiago, Chile, travelling throughout South America, as well as spending time in Europe — France, Spain, Italy, Croatia, and Poland just to name a few of my favorite places.

After putting down roots in Greenville, SC, I began volunteering as an ESL tutor, and after several years of teaching, I decided there must be a better way. So I pursued a TESOL certificate, opening my eyes to new ways of teaching English as a Second Language. My teaching experience ranges from individual tutoring and small classes to large classrooms with formal curricula for college-bound, international students. One of my favorite topics is teaching Business English to help global language learners be successful at work. (I have also been known to teach words that can get non-native speakers into trouble, because I believe it’s important to know what NOT to say, too.)

Professional Interests and Philosophies

I try to create a learning environment that is fun and productive without being intimidating. And I tend to use educational materials that meet students’ individual interests and needs, whether we’re using recipes or articles on parenting to finding the right vocabulary to use with sick children at the pediatrician’s to working on the manufacturing floor or working with engineers.

Having lived abroad and travelled widely, I know first-hand the value and challenges associated with learning a new language and culture as an adult. It is never easy, and often humorous, especially after asking someone in French, “if they are a toilet” rather than “do you have a toilet?” (Some things are just impossible to forget, try as I might.) Moreover, three of my four grandparents spoke English as a second language, and I can well remember hearing their stories about learning English the hard way without the benefit of formal instruction. Lastly, as a lifelong dabbler in language studies — having studied Spanish, French, Japanese, Italian and Portuguese — just as my students work to expand their English language skills, my quest continues to build and improve my Spanish.

Professional Highlights
  • Business English, English for Specific/Technical Purposes, and resume writing instructor, English for Life.
  • Extensive background in corporate training, classroom instruction, and education working with diverse student populations.
  • More than 10 years in ESOL instruction — working with all levels from beginner to advanced students — with special interest in Business English.
  • International experience includes working with Latin American, European, Middle Eastern and Asian nationals, both in group and one-on-one settings.
  • Driven to help adult learners develop and leverage language/communication skills to increase personal and professional success.

Hannah Langmuir

Practicum Supervisor

There was no way I was going to grow up not loving travel.  I was raised in the UK by parents determined to see the world - exploring new countries was a normal way of life.  From a very young age I discovered a love for seeing new places and meeting people from cultures different from my own.

Over the years I have worked with students in many ways in several universities here in the USA, in Great Britain and in Sweden.   I have guided students in study abroad programs, career services and literacy programs.  It was a natural step to combine my love of international experiences and diverse groups of people with my interest in students and teaching.  My first foray into teaching ESL was as a volunteer with the Red Cross in Boston, MA.  I was hooked.

English for Life Academy’s TESOL Certification course better prepared me to take on new teaching opportunities.  Shortly after completing the course I moved to Sweden where I taught English as a Second Language to international graduate and post-doctoral students, visiting researchers and professors associated with Lund University.  Here in Greenville I have taught at the International Center for the Upstate.

One of my favorite things about being connected to English for Life is the many people we see come through the program – there is no way to categorize our students: they come from all walks of life, all stages of life and from many countries.  We never have a dull moment!

Professional Interests & Philosophies

I’m fascinated by the intersection of language and culture and my graduate studies have focused on intercultural relations.  I’ve taught students from many countries with many different first languages.  As we compare languages in class, we are always uncovering interesting cultural differences and similarities.

My main goal in the classroom is to keep our focus fun and relevant.  If I can tie in our subject material to the student’s life and personal interest, they engage more and overcome any intimidation they feel.  I find the most success when I keep students smiling and laughing.  It helps break down any shyness about trying out the new language they are learning, and keeps them interested through the class.

Professional Highlights
  • Facilitator of incoming and outgoing study abroad students at York St. John, a college of Leeds University in York, England
  • Several years in career services at Cornell University, Ithaca, NY and Harvard University, Cambridge, MA
  • Chair of an organization at the International School of Lund in Lund, Sweden that helped international families adjust to life in Sweden and to Swedish school culture
  • ESL teacher in Lund, Sweden, Boston, MA, and Greenville, SC

Desiree Beauchamp

Special Projects Coach & Consultant

I hate being bored. And I get bored fairly easily. Because of this, my resumé is diverse (one might say “random”) and I’ve done a lot of cool things. I discovered teaching English as a second language when I was at a really frustrating point in my life. I was ready for a change, but I had no idea which way to go next. I was looking for something that would keep me interested and engaged long-term. I wanted to expand in some areas of my life that had been neglected, like developing my interests in culture, psychology, travel, and foreign languages, but I also wanted to really utilize the skills I had learned through all my varied career choices. I felt like I had endless potential but absolutely no direction.

Kim talked me into giving teaching English a try, mostly by promising me that I could not possibly get bored with this field. I agreed, somewhat skeptically, and I fell in love. I love the interesting people I meet, the interesting things I learn, and the constant challenge of not only communicating across cultural barriers myself, but teaching others to do so as well.

Now I have three primary areas in which I work. I teach one-on-one classes, in person and online, mostly to adults, around the world — I am currently teaching in 10 different countries. I teach TESOL certification classes to train other teachers. And I work in intercultural training, building powerful global leaders for organizations and facilitating successful international transitions.

My last educational endevor was completing my Master’s degree in Intercultural Relations, and I hope to spend more time training others to work and communicate more effectively, regardless of which country or which culture they find themselves in!

Professional Interests and Philosophies

As you can probably guess from above, I am obsessed with culture — how it functions in society, the psychology that drives it in individuals, the intersections of culture and language. I am also completely fascinated by the act of transitioning between cultures. I love observing how such transitions affect people as individuals, and learning more about to how to facilitate these transitions smoothly and effectively.

In addition to this, I am a total linguistic nerd. I love languages. I am really interested in the way languages work and the way they sound, and finding effective methods to learn foreign languages efficiently and easily is a personal interest of mine. I also enjoy teaching others the tricks I learn in my own language studies.

My core personal values include connection and fun. I believe in the power of relationships and the power of individuals to create a better world. I also believe that life and learning happen best when they are approached with a playful attitude, and that exploring the world in a broader sense is a powerful way both make a difference and have a great time doing it.

Professional Highlights
  • Working one-on-one and with adult and teenage learners. Specialized in developing effective communication skills and increased intercultural agility.
  • 10+ years of professional teaching and training, in a diverse range of contexts
  • Experience developing and implementing on-line courses, while retaining all the personal touches and fun that can be had in a traditional classroom
  • Certified evaluator of several different global competency inventories, including the GCI and IES tests by Kozai
  • Most interesting past job: K9 Handler for Wilderness Search and Rescue. Talk about learning to think on your feet and respond effectively under pressure!

Rachel Martin

TESOL Instructor / Curriculum Developer

Languages have always fascinated me. As a child, I thought they were magical doorways. Egyptian hieroglyphs and Latin roots connected me to the past. Spanish and French offered different ways of expressing myself. Klingon launched me into a world of pure imagination. My first experience with not speaking the language of the community around me came at age 13, in Russia. 

I developed a sense of wonder and quite a collection of dictionaries.

I come from a family of teachers and went to college with no intention of following in their footsteps. However, after a senior-year internship in refugee resettlement, two years with an Americorps literacy program, and a stint working in a library, I enrolled in a Masters in Teaching program and the rest is history.

I love teaching English, coaching teachers, and collaborating with colleagues. I am constantly learning, and I can’t imagine another profession where I would get to work on such a variety of projects.

Yet, at its core, teaching is a social and emotional experience. The foundation is relationships. Therefore, it is a privilege and a responsibility. You spend time with your students, they trust you with their stories, and you have an opportunity to learn about the world as it really is.

Working in cross-linguistic and cross-cultural settings has taught me to focus on what is being communicated and what is misunderstood. It is my hope that TESOL teachers can contribute to greater understanding between individuals and cultures throughout the world.

Professional Interests and Philosophies

I believe that students learn best when they feel relaxed, the material is relevant, and they are actively making connections to their lives.

Some of my areas of interest include instructional design, community literacy, peer learning, the connection between teacher well-being and student social-emotional learning, and bilingual education.

Professional Highlights
  • +13 years experience
  • 5 years teaching in a bilingual school
  • Lead teacher for an intensive English immersion program
  • Fulbright ETA in Senegal
  • English Language Fellow in Peru
  • Volunteer work with Americorps, Talk Time, Rain City Rock Camp for Girls, the Western Africa
  • Research Center’s library, and World Relief

Katie Kpaeyeh

TESOL Instructor/Spanish Immersion Coordinator

Like most ESL teachers, I stumbled into this field because I love to travel. I was a Spanish major and had studied abroad in Spain, but frankly, I knew my Spanish was not up to par. At 21, my solution seemed very straightforward. If I can speak English, I can teach English, right? So, I applied for a year-long volunteer program in Guatemala at an orphanage called Nuestros Pequenos Hermanos.

Even though I had zero credentials, they hired me since I was a native speaker. I then embarked on what would be the most challenging year of my life, but also the most rewarding. I started out as a horrible teacher, but was determined to get better. I was teaching kids from kindergarten to middle school and was using the tried and true “fake it till you make it” methodology.

Despite my rough entry into teaching, after a couple months, I was completely hooked. I guess you could say I am a glutton for punishment. I spent hours researching online and making lesson plans, and slowly, very, very slowly, things in my classroom went from chaos to controlled chaos.

Like many unsuspecting college graduates looking to improve their second language, I had gotten more than I bargained for. The year in Guatemala cemented my love of both traveling and Spanish and whet my appetite for teaching English. Since then, I have continued on my journey to become a better teacher and, I can tell you, the work is never over.

Professional Highlights
  • Community Education including early childhood, afterschool, adult ESOL and GED
  • TESOL trainer in Charleston, Greenville, and Quito
  • Spanish Immersion to Quito Coordinator
  • HIgh School Spanish Teacher
  • IEP, AEP, and Refugee Resettlement teaching
  • TOEIC rater

More than just vacationed in…
  • Guatemala
  • Ecuador

Maria Gurovich

TESOL Instructor/Charleston Coordinator

I was born and raised in Poland. When I was seventeen I came to the US as an exchange student. Even though I had been studying English since kindergarten, and had even taught English as a foreign language, being immersed in American culture was a whole different ball game. Yes, I knew my grammar and I was able to communicate, but I was completely lost in the culture. What with all the references to baseball and all!?  First base...what?!?

That’s when I realized that I wanted to teach English and I wanted to do it right. In addition to grammar, reading, and writing, I believe in incorporating culture and that without being familiar with it you will sound and act foreign. More importantly, you will never fully comprehend the society around you.

Throughout college I taught Polish and as a native speaker I learned the hard way that just speaking the language does not mean that you can actually teach it. Most of my responses to my students’ questions were “That’s just the way it is, I don’t know why” or “Let me get back to you on this one.” Therefore, I believe in rigorous teacher training, for every teacher, but especially language teachers, to ensure high quality instruction that both language learners and future educators deserve.

More than just vacationed in…
  • USA
  • Poland
  • Ecuador
  • Katie, Maria, and TESOL class trip

We’re waiting for you.

The whole world is waiting for you.

We would love to work with you.

We created the Teach Abroad Starter Kit just for you. Learn about the process and complete the tasks in the Starter Kit, and you’ll be on your way to teaching abroad in no time.

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English for Life Academy

Kim Carroll