FIONA KERR, SENIOR TRAINER

Fiona graduated in theater studies from the Guildford Conservatoire in Guildford, England, and spent ten years in British theater as an actress, and then became a presenter, researcher and writer with Thames Television in London. Fiona hails from London, England but can force herself to use 'gotten' and 'wanna' when absolutely necessary. Her professional performance experience shines when she’s in the classroom and captivates her students. Since moving to the United States, she has taught Drama, English, Spanish and French at elementary schools in the Boston area.  Since earning her TEFL Certificate at the Institute in 2005, she has taught ESL at the Boston Center for Adult Education and The Boston Language Institute on a regular basis.  At the Institute, she has been a member of the English for Foreign-Born Professionals teaching team as well as a TEFL trainer.  Her recreational passions are travel, theater, music, and walking on the beach.

SUSAN BIPPUS, SENIOR TRAINER

Upon completing her BA in English Literature at Rutgers University, Susan traveled to the Czech Republic to get her Trinity College TESOL Certificate.  After four years in Prague teaching Business English, General English, and Cambridge test preparation at the Caledonian School, she received a Trinity College LTCL Diploma in TESOL. A TEFL trainer at the Institute since fall 2006, Sue hails from the small Massachusetts town of Swansea.  She is appreciated by TEFL grads for her warmth and insight.

CHARLIE DISILVA, TRAINER

Charlie graduated from UMASS-Amherst with a degree in History. He worked in the restaurant/customer service business, making friends with his coworkers from all over the world. Looking for a new challenge, Charlie earned his TEFL Certificate at the Institute in 2008.  At the Institute, Charlie divides his time between teaching ESL and training in the TEFL Certificate Program.  Charlie grew up in Winchester, Massachusetts and Brattleboro, Vermont. In his free time, he enjoys playing guitar, hiking the White Mountains, practicing karate, reading history books and anything related to Boston sports.

PAUL PANZA, TEFL Trainer

Since 2006, Paul has taught English in Boston and Tokyo to students of all ages.  He has traveled throughout Asia and lived in Australia and Japan. He studied Japanese immersion-style in Tokyo, so he knows first-hand how challenging and rewarding language programs can be. In winter 2008, Paul earned his TEFL Certificate at The Boston Language Institute and began teaching there after graduating. He recently earned a Master of Education with a TESOL Focus from Northeastern University. 

MEG MURPHY, OBSERVER

After sweating her way through a 100-page thesis on George Eliot’s Middlemarch and triumphantly claiming her B.A. in English Literature from UMASS-Amherst, Meg dove headfirst into the wild world of secondary education.  She spent six years teaching English and creative writing to middle and high school students at a private academy in Rockland, MA.  Having miraculously retained her sanity and good humor, in 2010 Meg retired from full-time teaching to pursue her dream of becoming the next great American novelist. (Status check? Not there yet…).  Volunteer work as an ESL instructor with Park Street Church sparked an interest in earning a TEFL certificate, and in the fall of 2012 Meg graduated from BLI’s part-time TEFL program.  Reared in the cranberry bogs of Carver, MA, Meg endured a brief year-long stint in Louisiana and enjoyed a semester abroad in East Anglia, England.  She now hails from Bridgewater, MA, where she, her charming and intelligent husband Ian, and their distinctly dog-like cat Sayuri struggle to get on in this strange new world.  Meg is well on her way to summiting all 48 of New Hampshire’s 4,000 footers and is an avid reader, traveler, and runner.

KERRY SABBAG, TRAINER/OBSERVER

Kerry’s first ESL experience was teaching at a school in Moscow, where she was tapped to teach a TOEFL class simply because she was the only American available! She soon understood that more training was necessary to be a good ESL teacher, and – toward that end – she earned her TEFL certificate in 2013.
In addition, Kerry has a PhD in Russian literature from Brown University. She taught Russian language and literature for 5 years at the University of Kansas before returning to New England and embarking on a new career teaching English and Russian at The Boston Language Institute.

RICH SHAH, TRAINER

After spending his childhood in Brockton and teens in Pepperell, Rich braved the long winters of Maine to receive his BA in modern languages from the University of Maine at Orono.  During his studies there, he studied Spanish, German, Latin, and Turkish with concentrations on French and Russian.  Immediately after his graduation in 2000, he flew over to South Korea where he spent 8 years in ESL, exploring exotic locations in Asia and learning the language.  Starting as a teacher, he eventually worked his way up to become a manager and teacher trainer when he decided that it was necessary to return to New England to further both his career and his education.  He is also considering working towards his MA in linguistics in the near future.  When not in class, Rich escapes the city to visit friends and family or just to get some quiet alone time.

ALEXIS GIANNOPOULOS
Alexis grew up in central Massachusetts.  After graduating from Hofstra University in Long Island, New York with a degree in Psychology she returned to her beloved city of Boston.  After realizing Psychology was not the path she wished to take, she enrolled in the TEFL Certificate Program at The Boston Language Institute in April 2008.  Since graduating from the program, she has taught both in Boston and Tokyo and has completed a Masters Degree program in Applied Linguistics at the University of Massachusetts Boston.  Besides teaching English and TEFL training Alexis loves travel, yoga, delicious food and autumn in New England.  

RYLAN VACHON, OBSERVER, ESL/SPANISH TEACHER

After two years studying Musical Theater and Spanish at Oklahoma City University, Rylan studied for a year in Madrid. After he received his TEFL Certificate from The Boston Language Institute in 2008, he went back to Spain for a year to teach English in a secondary school outside of Granada.  In June, 2009, he returned to continue his studies in Linguistics and French at Boston University and to teach ESL at the Institute before becoming Program Coordinator for English as a Second Language in August, 2010.  After a summer internship in Paris last summer, Rylan’s happy to be home, and close to his friends and family.

ABDELKRIM MOUHIB, TRAINER/OBSERVER

Born and raised in Casablanca, Morocco, Abdelkrim Mouhib attended Hassan II University in Morocco where he received a BA in English linguistics. He taught EFL in Morocco from 1993 to 2001. In 2002, he moved to Boston. He graduated from BLI, Boston MA as a Teacher of English as a foreign language. He, then, received his MA in Applied Linguistics from UMass Boston University where he is currently a PhD candidate. He has been teaching Arabic and ESL in the United States since 2003. He has also been a translator and interpreter from English to Arabic (and vice versa) since 2006. As a member of the American Association of Applied Linguistics, a member of the American Association of Teachers of TESOL, a member of MAFLA, and a member of the American Association of Teachers of Arabic, Abdelkrim was able to participate in several conventions and workshops. He has become an expert in foreign language teaching. He has worked for highly-ranked higher institutions such as Boston University. He currently teaches the Arabic language and cultural perspectives at The Boston Language Institute, Umass Boston, and Salem State University.

SUSAN GUZMICH, PROGRAM COORDINATOR, TEFL

Since earning her TEFL Certificate at The Boston Language Institute, Susan has taught ESL in Allston Brighton and Hyde Park.   Susan graduated from the University of Michigan with a BA in Anthropology and Linguistics.  Following that, she was a VISTA Volunteer with the National Housing Law Reform Project in Ann Arbor.  She has called Boston home for 32 years and has volunteered with many community-based organizations throughout these years, including as an ESL teacher at the Haitian Multi-Service Center in Dorchester.   She worked for twelve years with the City of Boston’s Office of Jobs and Community Services, where she was a planner and procurement specialist for skills training and education services.  Susan and her husband frequently host international students who come to Boston for research and study opportunities.  They enjoy traveling and hiking with their two grown children.