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. 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 an Americorps VISTA volunteer at Greenville’s literacy organization, then as a teacher for the school district 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 beginning to offer TESOL Certificate courses in 2004, 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 a State Department English Language Fellow (ELF), Virtual ELF, and English Language Specialist in Paraguay and Peru, and with people from all over the globe right here in South Carolina.