“At CCLS Houston, we have a team of highly qualified educators who love working with language learners. Our teachers are all native speakers with many years of teaching experience and certified by CCLS Corporation.”
Rafael is a native Spanish-European instructor. He was born in Germany and grew up as a bilingual German-Spanish speaker. He is a Philologist and has a multicultural education acquired in Europe. He specialized in Literature and Linguistics and studied languages such as Spanish, German, English and Italian. He started teaching in Spain and was the director of a foreign language school. He also worked as a translator and interpreter for a bank company that exported meat products. Rafael was a co-owner of a fashion storefront and the first ecological dry clean store in Spain. He also has experience in the business field. Among his language skills and teaching Spanish, he also has been teaching medical Spanish, ESL, and German. Teaching language and contrastive-comparative literature is one of his many passions. He also practiced sports, participated in sport competitions, and enjoys sharing his culture with others.
Valentina is originally from Venezuela and has lived in the Houston area for about 45 years. She studied at the University of Houston, where she received a Bachelor’s in Spanish and French Linguistics and Literature and a Doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction. While in college, she taught Spanish at the Berlitz School of Languages. Later on, Valentina was a bilingual teacher at Houston Independent School District and an Assistant Professor at the University of Houston – Downtown. More recently, in her capacity of Educational Consultant, Valentina has trained pre-service and in-service teachers in the areas of Spanish as a Foreign/Second Language and for Bilingual/English as a Second Language Programs. She has traveled extensively to various continents around the world and holds travel as her most important interest.
Giannella is a native Spanish speaker from Lima, Peru. She graduated as an architect at Universidad Nacional Federico Villarreal, where she also taught design subjects as an assistant teacher. Upon arriving in California, 20 years ago, she practiced as an architectural designer and later moved to Texas where she is raising her family. She studied pedagogy to teach Spanish as a second language and started working as a language instructor, first teaching to her A&E colleagues, then to adult students from other professions.
During her 10 years of teaching experience, she has taught all levels of proficiency, as well as every age group (school age children, college students, adults and seniors) focusing the last 6 years on guiding adult learners through the process of learning Spanish. She teaches in a traditional classroom setting, at their own location and through virtual sessions with the confidence that she can provide relevant content instruction while maintaining her students engaged and interested in the class.
She enjoys sharing her beautiful language and the Hispanic culture by relating to the student from her journey as a second language learner herself (English and Italian), knowing firsthand the effort involved and steps needed to acquire the ability to communicate in meaningful and appropriate ways in a second language.
Lucia is passionate about people, culture and languages. She loves teaching others her native language, Spanish. She has acquired extensive knowledge during her academic preparation to be able to teach others to the best of her abilities. Lucía is originally from Uruguay. She moved to México in 2004, lived there for six years, then moved to Texas in 2010. Once in Texas, she started to study English at the University of Texas Language Institute. In 2016 got a bachelor in Psychology at UTRGV, and in 2019 received the masters in the Spanish Language, focusing on linguistics at the same university. She has been accepted to the Doctoral program in Curriculum and instruction at UTRGV. At the moment, she works as a Spanish professor at The Department of Writing and Language Studies at UTRGV. She teaches basic Spanish classes and advanced courses as well. She teaches courses to non-native speakers and linguistic courses to Spanish speakers students. Her philosophy of teaching is simple: free of stress classroom “I think in my classroom as a safe environment, a community where students are free of anxiety, that allows them to become more successful learners..” Lucía likes reading, listening to music, practising yoga and meditation. She is also a language student; she is studying Portuguese and thinking about visiting Europe. She wants to spend the summer in Italy, learning the language while experiencing the culture.
Aurora is a native Spanish speaker from Chiclayo, Peru. She attended Law School at Universidad Nacional Federico Villarreal. Upon arriving in Houston, 28 years ago, she had many jobs before becoming a teacher, including a part-time reporter at Univision Houston and the list goes on and on, until she found her calling; teaching Spanish. She personally approaches teaching as a privilege. She believes all students can learn when the opportunity is giving in a relevant and creative way.
She earned a master's in pedagogy to teach Spanish as a second language and started working as a language instructor, first teaching to high school students and, then to adult students from Lone Star College and Texas Southern University.
During her 11 years of teaching experience, she has taught all levels of proficiency. She teaches in a traditional classroom setting, at an Early College High School from Aldine ISD, and through virtual and face-to-face sessions with the confidence of providing relevant real-life experiences content instruction while maintaining her student's engagement and interest in the class.
Her students are her heroes because she can not see herself growing as a teacher without them. They inspire her to want to learn new instructional strategies in order to make her lessons interesting to them. She enjoys listening to their stories as they communicate during her Spanish classes. She loves their effort to speak at least a short paragraph in Spanish.
She enjoys sharing her knowledge of her beautiful language and her culture by relating to the student from her journey as a second language learner herself first English in the USA and then Italian in Perugia Italy, knowing firsthand the effort involved and the steps needed to acquire the ability to communicate in meaningful and appropriate ways in a second language.
She loves her students because they make her hopeful about the future of America (EE UU).
Byron is an instructor of over 16 years’ experience in adult-education, more than half of that time spent as an ESL and college English teacher. He has helped hundreds of students — especially international businessmen and women in oil & gas-related enterprises — achieve their language goals, in addition to drafting and editing business correspondence, reports, and presentations. Originally from Los Angeles, California, he has visited Mexico, Brazil, and the Caribbean, and has made his home in Houston for many years.
“Having taught at another international ESL school, I really like that CCLS uses practical, conversation-based lessons that are based on years of learning-psychology research, which suits my academic side. But instead of lots of reading, CCLS focuses on listen-and-say exercises as grammar is learned. It gets people speaking the target language right away — and I know the value of that kind of immersion.”
In his personal time, Byron conceived and operated a well-received jazz club & salon in Houston, and is a long-time songwriter and music producer. In addition to teaching certification through CCLS, he holds degrees from Houston’s University of St. Thomas and Houston Baptist University.
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.
Kenya is a veteran English teacher with fourteen years of experience. During her fourteen years in education, Kenya has taught elementary, secondary, higher education, and adult learners. She also served in several district-level leadership positions supporting numerous students and teachers. She holds a Master’s degree from Lamar University and a Bachelor’s Degree from Sam Houston State University.
Kenya worked at Lone Star College as an adjunct professor teaching English as a Second Language and Developmental English coursework. In this role, she had the opportunity to work with adult learners from diverse backgrounds to strengthen their English listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills. Her structured approach to teaching writing has improved the self-confidence of English Language Learners and enhanced their skills in the workforce. Kenya has specialized experience as a conversational and critical thinking instructor. Students have benefited from her ability to build technical skills for public speaking, private presentations, and comparative analysis.
Her philosophy of education is that all learners are unique and must have a stimulating educational environment where they can grow. It is her desire to create this type of atmosphere where students can meet their full potential. Kenya is from Crosby, Texas and enjoys traveling and spending quality time with her three children Chancellor, Chanel, and Chanler.
Diane is a graduate of the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor with a Master’s Degree in Education (English as a Second Language) and a Bachelor’s degree in Spanish Language and Literature. Originally from Michigan, upon graduation she moved to Venezuela and lived there for 40 years. She has recently returned to live in the U.S.
Seeing the need for effective English Classes in Venezuela, she created a small successful business doing what she enjoyed most, teaching ESL to students of all ages, most of whom went on to study or further their careers abroad. She has extensive experience in all aspects of language acquisition and is especially skilled in accent reduction due to her background in Linguistics, studies of multiple languages, and achievement of bilingual fluency in Spanish.
Mana, our business development consultant with an exceptional academic portfolio, is a well-rounded interdisciplinary educator and business thinker who is dedicated to providing the highest quality services for educational institutes to escalate their organizations to the next level by optimizing their operational management.
She has helped many professionals globally, transform their lives by making the right decision in their career transition, supporting them throughout the entire process. Apart from her Master of Science in biotechnology from New York University and MBA degree from Australia, Mana also holds a TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) diploma from Royal London Training College in the UK.
Mana’s objective with CCLS Houston is to not only provide a supportive environment in which everyone learns according to their needs, but to also help each client become aware of the best ways they can grow in the global market.
Dr. Evelyn was raised in Manhattan, New York, whose parents immigrated from Puerto Rico and established residency in the melting pot of the world, the Lower East Side. Her friends were Jews, Albanians, Puerto Ricans, Italians, Irish and more. From there, her passion to learn what made other people different while intuitively knowing they were the same.
She has been a university professor at both the Undergraduate and Graduate level. Has a Ed. D in Psychology and Counseling. She practices individual and couples’ psychotherapy and life coaching. For the past thirty years she has developed and presented Conferences, Workshops and Personnel Development Programs in a variety of industries both in the United States and in Puerto Rico.
Dr. Evelyn has a Juris Doctor degree and is admitted and active in the following courts: State of Texas Bar and the United States District Court for the Fifth District of Texas; Supreme Court of Puerto Rico and all local courts; the United States District Court for the District of Puerto Rico; the Unites States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit; United Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces.
Jodi 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.
Her philosophy is that training, no matter what the topic, should be motivational, enjoyable, cost effective and most of all beneficial. She believes an enthusiastic, positive approach inspires people to learn and her lively personality and unique programs have proven successful to individuals and organizations in many different cultures and countries around the world.
”Let’s not do it your way or my way; let’s do it the best way” (Greg Anderson)
Jodi looks forward to any opportunity to use her experience, skills and expertise to guide, innovate, encourage, enhance and support the professional development objectives and training needs of any individual, company or corporation.
Cecilia is a proud Brazilian who has recently moved to Houston. After studying international relations and foreign affairs at a leading institution in Brazil, Cecilia devoted the next decade of her life toward helping others attain the Business-critical skill of attaining a second language. She was successful in helping several students achieving a proficiency Portuguese language level throughout the years.
Looking for new challenges, she engaged in different projects such as filmmaking and organizing events. Currently, she is pursuing her master’s degree at Harvard University in International Relations as she continues her work in language teaching as a Portuguese instructor in CCLS Houston.
She is also interested in watching independent movies, tv series, and reading books. Her favorite kinds of story are sci-fi and detective stories. She enjoys practicing Taebo, Yoga, and Aerial silks. Acquiring and developing language skills are part of her life, in this sense, she studies French and works towards developing her Spanish.
Ingrid is a Brazilian journalist and spent over five years as a writer in a major newspaper in Brazil covering city, cop and political matters. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the Pontifical Catholic University of Minas Gerais, Brazil and English as a second language from The University of Houston, where she was honored twice by University of Houston as both Graduation Speaker and Outstanding Student. She also speaks Spanish, English and is progressing in French.
She moved to Houston in 2009 and has been working as a market reporter covering news and prices assessments for the petrochemical and natural gas markets. Besides communication, Ingrid has extensive experience in teaching Portuguese in the Houston area to executives in the Oil and Gas industry, corporate groups and private classes. She lives with her husband and her two kids in the greater Houston area.
Rita is a native speaker of Portuguese from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Speech Language Pathology.
Rita has extensive experience in teaching the Portuguese language in the Houston area to executives in the Oil and Gas industry, Corporate Groups and lessons with children.
Rita has developed individualized programs for students that that teach according to their level of language proficiency and deliver the best of the Brazilian culture.