Our Instructors

Our instructors are language experts with PhDs from top universities and substantial years of academic teaching experience.

Chinese

Gregory Guangming Li
PhD in Music, UCLA, Los Angeles, California

Learning Chinese can be a daunting process for many people. By using contexts relatable to daily life and demonstrating the relationships between Chinese and English in their linguistic, functionality, and cultural meanings, students can more quickly grasp the new language and it can become rather approachable.

 

French

Evelyne Fodor

Evelyne Fodor
PhD in French and Francophone Studies, UCLA, Los Angeles, California

I believe that a key element in the foreign language classroom is keeping the students motivated. My personal style of teaching brings enthusiasm, cultural elements, and technology into the classroom to increase learning motivation. I teach with a contagious smile and open personality that helps me to interact with my students as I guide them through their learning process.

RuthGooleyRuth Gooley
PhD in French Language and Literature, UCLA, Los Angeles, California

I offer a class where learning is fun, interactive and connected to real life and to experiences everyone can relate to. I believe in a stress-free learning environment, where students’ language skills are developed according to each individual’s rate of learning and all participation is valued and respected.

Stephane MullerStephane Muller
EdD in Didactics of Languages and Educational Technologies, Universite du Maine, Le Mans, France

I am a firm believer in active learning and I maintain a very lively and interactive classroom. Teaching is not about lecturing to students; it is about presenting theories and concepts in a way that they can integrate this information into their own life experience. I accomplish this not only in my presentations and lectures, but also in the questions that structure classroom discussion and, particularly, in writing assignments. In each of my classes, I emphasize critical thinking and real-world applications of the concepts we study.

Italian

DoraBonaventuraDora Bonaventura
MA in Teaching Italian as a Second Language, Universitá per Stranieri di Siena, Siena, Italy

I believe in a communicative approach centered on the ability to use the Italian language as a method to communicate. I consider it appropriate to integrate the use of methods that focus also on the emotional and relational aspects of the students. At a cognitive level this method involves the whole person by focusing not only on the rational part of the student’s brain, but also their overall perception of reality.

Japanese

HiromiKinjoHiromi Kinjo
PhD in Comparative Literature, UCLA, Los Angeles, California

I believe that learning a target language is ultimately a tool to develop more effective and smooth relationships with people from different countries. My teaching style originates from my firm belief that it is not that without teachers, students can’t learn, but without students, teachers can’t teach. I hope I can continue to encourage students to study Japanese, one of the critical languages, and teach it to as many people as possible.

Spanish

Emilia Chuquin

Emilia Chuquin
PhD in Latin American Literature, Minor in Spanish Linguistics, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, Albuquerque, New Mexico

Education is sacred nourishment for the brain. Thus, my personal Philosophy of Education states, “An Interactive Approach with Multiple Paths from the Heart to the Mind.”

 

Kathleen Costello
PhD in Spanish from the University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa

She has taught Spanish in a wide range of settings in the U.S. and has lived, studied, and taught in many Spanish-speaking countries including the Dominican Republic, Colombia, Cuba, Mexico, and Spain. All of her courses are interactive and incorporate diverse aspects of Spanish-speaking cultures.

IngridNorrmann-Vigil

Ingrid Norrmann-Vigil
PhD in Applied Linguistics, UCLA, Los Angeles, California

She focuses on student centered learning and facilitates the course so they are actively involved and in charge of their own learning. One way to accomplish this in language courses is to have students participate in weekly cultural activities of their choice and have them submit videos sharing these events with the rest of the class.

MarianaPensaMariana Pensa
PhD in Comparative Literary Studies, Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada

Main field of research: Latin American Theater, with a concentration in Argentinean Theater. I love to travel and learn about new cultures. I hope learning the Spanish language will spark the students’ interest to do the same.

 

Eilene Powell
PhD Hispanic Languages and Literatures, UCLA. Los Angeles, California

She is passionate about teaching and seeks to give students of diverse origins and life experiences a supportive environment from which to speak.

 

Svetlana Tyutina
PhD in Spanish, Florida International University, Miami, Florida
PhD in Applied Linguistics, Herzen State Pedagogical University of Russia, St. Petersburg, Russia

I believe that the best way to learn is by doing, so the classes I teach always focus on practicing the language and the concepts learned in the course. My research interests include Service Learning, Languages for Specific Purposes, and Hispanic Orientalism, and I try to incorporate these elements in my courses.