Let me introduce you to our amazing team.

We’ve been working in language teaching and training for over 230 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. 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.

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.

In addition to teaching and training, I'm interested in creating systems and learning experiences that work for humans. I've had the opportunity to do organizational needs assessments, develop teacher observation protocols systems, and work in global program monitoring and evaluation, and use learning design principles to create online and face-to-face learning experience that make an impact.

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
  • English Language Specialist in Paraguay & Peru, working in program assessment and quality, and teacher training
  • 19+ years of running English for Life Academy, from janitor to CEO, 24+ years of English Language teaching
  • Monitoring & Evaluation Lead Consultant for the US Department of State Access Microscholarship Program
  • English Language Fellow (ELF) and Virtual ELF in Paraguay (2019-2020)
  • 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
  • Training development and facilitation for organizations, such as Effective and Human Virtual Meetings for Organizations, and LGBTQ+ Engagement and Advocacy
  • 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.
  • Adjunct faculty teaching ESL, TESOL, and Spanish at Presbyterian College, Greenville Technical College, The College of Charleston
  • 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

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
  • Volunteer work with the Western Africa Research Center’s library, 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
  • Kim and Rachel and the Teacher Camp team in Paraguay getting ready for our teacher-campers
    Kim and Rachel and the Teacher Camp team in Paraguay getting ready for our teacher-campers

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