Meet our Team

Cinthya Trueba

Cinthya TruebaCinthya is the president and CEO of the Cultural Center for Language Studies (CCLS Houston), in Houston, Texas. CCLS is a language school focused on developing fluency in English, Spanish and Portuguese for corporate-level clientele. Cinthya draws on over a decade of experience in teaching, business management and public relations in the U.S., Canada and Latin America. She is a graduate of Universidad Pan Americana in Mexico City, with a B.A. in Business Administration and Business Management. She served as the Executive Director of the Camera de Empresarios Latinos de Houston (Entrepreneur’s Latin Chamber of Commerce in Houston), and has been repeatedly recognized for her accomplished business skill, language instruction expertise and knowledge of Latin American business and social cultural nuances.

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Patricia

Academic Coordinator at CCLS Houston

CCLS Houston TeamPatricia was born in Puerto Rico were she earned a bachelor’s degree in Hispanic Studies from Universidad de Puerto Rico and a master’s degree in Spanish from Universidad Interamericana de Puerto Rico. She is currently working toward her doctoral degree in Curriculum and Instruction.

Patricia has participated in many educational projects as Spanish teacher, curriculum consultant, master trainer, instructional coach, and content editor of educational publications, among others. Currently she is an academic program manager and professional development program coordinator for an international organization. On her free time she is volunteer coordinator for Writespace, a literary nonprofit organization based in Houston.

Fani

CCLS Houston TeamFani is an English as a Second Language (ESL) teacher with over 20 years of experience in the corporate and classroom environments.

She is passionate about teaching, tailoring instruction to the needs of students considering their goals and learning styles.

Being bilingual herself and having lived abroad for many years, Fani has had the privilege of working with students of all levels and multiple nationalities, in group and private settings, face to face and online. From Accent Reduction in the English language to Business English, from teaching homemakers to CEOs or diplomats, she is always devoted to the students and their learning journey.

Fani has a strong academic background, with a Master's degree in Software Engineering.

Maria

CCLS Houston Team

Maria is from Bahía Blanca, Argentina, and since 2002 has been involved in developing and teaching Spanish, Culture and Literature courses at all levels, from high school to college. She holds a B.A. in Literature and Education from Universidad Nacional del Sur (UNS, Argentina) and a M.A. in Spanish from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She is currently working on her dissertation for her PhD in Cultural Studies. In 2014 Maria moved to Houston with her husband and is looking forward to putting her expertise into practice in CCLS Houston classrooms.

During her years in Illinois, Maria taught all levels of Spanish as well as specific courses on Cultural Studies. She earned several awards in teaching, and her students consistently regarded her as an effective, dynamic, and approachable teacher. As a Spanish instructor, she combines the communicative approach to second language acquisition with contextualized learning that students can relate to. Maria believes teaching and learning must be a dynamic experience that involves its participants on a personal level and enables them to comprehend content in a meaningful way.

Maria’s main goals as a teacher of Spanish, Culture and Literature are to assist students in developing their ability to communicate in a new language and acquire transcultural competence. With an extensive background in Cultural Studies, Maria is eager to develop and teach a Seminar on Transcultural Competence for Business, as it is an indispensable tool for today’s global market.

Lynda

CCLS Houston Team Lynda was born and raised in Texas, but her love for people and diversity drew her to embrace the cultures of others, not only at home, but also in countries such as Mexico, Nicaragua and Burkina Faso. It was this love for people and language that prompted her to begin teaching English as a Second Language (ESL).

She is passionate about teaching because it offers her one of the best opportunities to enter someone’s world and simultaneously introduce her world to them. Lynda has taught multicultural students, ranging from toddlers to adults, for nearly 13 years. She earned a degree in English from the University of Houston, and holds a TEFL certification. Most recently she was certified to teach ESL at CCLSHouston, and it has proved to be a wonderful and rewarding experience.

Her pastimes include writing books and poetry, developing curriculum, reading, and spending time with her family and enjoying nature.

Carlos

CCLS Houston Team

Carlos is from Caracas, Venezuela where he got a bachelors’ degree in teaching English as a foreign language. He taught English there at an adult level for several years both at public and private institutions. He also taught Spanish as second language at a language academy and worked as an onsite English-Spanish translator for a private enterprise for 4 years. In 2011 he moved to Houston to pursue a Master’s in Spanish Linguistics which he earned in 2012 at the University of Houston. He also started teaching Spanish at the same University in 2012. In 2016 he completed a doctorate in Spanish Linguistics at the University of Houston where he continues teaching Spanish. He also works as a freelance translator. From a research point of view, Mr. Romero is interested in the changes that spoken Spanish undergoes among the Hispanic bilingual speakers of Texas.

Layla

CCLS Houston Team

Layla is a multilingual, multicultural language instructor with an M.A. in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) from West Virginia University. She was born in Germany, where she grew up speaking German, English, and Russian, and has lived in the US since 2006. She has experience teaching and tutoring ESL, German, English composition (for native and non-native speakers), creative writing, TOEFL preparation, and English conversation, as well as proofreading personal, business, and academic writing, and translating German>English.

Layla has a genuine, natural enthusiasm about languages and language instruction. She loves immersive, interactive classrooms, and believes that learning to communicate successfully should be an empowering, joyful experience. She believes that language and culture go hand in hand, and that you can't teach one without the other, so her English instruction is always influenced by her students' cultural background as well as the cultural and social situations they encounter in their lives here in the US. A permanent resident herself, Layla knows what it takes to adapt to new environments and is happy to help students navigate new territories of both language and culture to make their day-to-day experience a richer, more positive one. She loves working with students from a variety of backgrounds, and finds that the best teaching environments are those where students and teachers learn from and about each other.

Layla is also a writer of fiction, poetry, and personal essays. Her work is published or forthcoming in Bayou Magazine, Liminal Stories, Strange Horizons, ARTHouston, and elsewhere.

Caroline

CCLS Houston TeamCaroline was born and raised in Houston, TX. She attended the University of Texas at Austin where she received her bachelor's in Corporate Communications and a minor in both Business and Spanish. During her third year at the university, she studied abroad in Granada, Spain for six months studying Spanish and Business.

After she graduated, she volunteered as an English Teacher in Angol, Chile through the English Opens Doors program, sponsored by the Chilean Ministry of Education. She spent six months working with both middle school and high school students. After she returned from Chile, she became an ESL teacher here in Houston on the University of St. Thomas campus. She worked with adults from all over the world. Now Caroline also works for a study abroad scholarship that helps fund U.S. citizens to study abroad.

Tania

CCLS Houston Team

I am a Brazilian primary teacher with large experience, who graduated in Journalism and became a Flight Attendant to experience a multicultural and multilingual world.

As a primary teacher, I have vast experience in literacy, since I taught for many years in public and private schools in Rio de Janeiro.

I obtained a Bachelor's degree in communication with emphasis in Journalism from Helio Alonso University and I flew in renowned Brazilian airlines, acquiring the necessary international experience to meet the most diverse demands in the translation field.

I graduated in teaching in one of the most renowned school of teachers in Rio de Janeiro - the Superior Institute of Education - in 1996 and then fulfilled another year of specialization in literacy and early childhood education.

In 1997 and 1998 I taught fourth grade for the private system and from 1998 to 2003 I taught in public schools, teaching children 4-6 years while attending journalism College.

After that I was in two exchange programs in the United States to improve my English, and there I also had the chance to learn Spanish.

Once back in Brazil I decided to become a flight attendant, which gave me the chance to know the world as it really is, with all the different people, cultures, smells and flavors and now I am happy to be able to share all this experience.

Carol

Carol is originally from Madison, Wisconsin. She earned her Master of Education with a concentration in English as a Second Language (ESL) and Instructional Design from the University of Saskatchewan-Saskatoon, Canada. Ms. Pianzola also has 30 graduate hours in Applied Linguistics from the University of Texas-El Paso, and she holds Lifetime Texas Teacher Certifications in ESL and Spanish. Ms. Pianzola has enjoyed teaching ESL in a variety of educational settings, including public school, university, adult continuing education, and corporate.

Jodi

JodiJodi is a highly qualified, professionally recognized and internationally accredited Corporate Training Instructor with a degree in Psychology, formal qualifications in business and education and a 15 year successful track record teaching and delivering training and coaching programs in the USA, Canada, the Middle East and Asia.

Utilizing a highly versatile, interactive teaching methodology, Jodi presents with confidence, enthusiasm, conviction and naturalness and has the ability to connect to and capture any audience. She compels a powerful, effective and lively rapport with all course participants no matter what their background. Her priority with any group or individual is to always maintain a positive, collaborative atmosphere and ensure all training sessions are successful as well as pleasurable.

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Beatriz

CCLS Houston TeamBeatriz was a pioneer of television news in Houston. In April 1990, she started as an anchor for the first newscast in local Channel 45, (Notivision 45, later Noticias 45) and continued working there until November of 2005. Before she started as a member of the news team, from late 1987 to early 1990, Beatriz co-hosted the first Spanish-language variety television program in Houston, “Variadisimo”.

During her more than 15 years in television news, Beatriz served as anchor as well as reporter and correspondent, covering special assignments in Houston, and beyond. She also assumed the position of Producer, News Director and Managing Editor. As a correspondent, Beatriz covered historical events such as Pope John Paul VI’s visit to Mexico in 1999 and the Mexican Elections of 2000 for channel 45 and other affiliates of Univision.

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