Our Instructors

A typical instructor at The Boston Language Institute is a native speaker with years of teaching experience in this country and abroad. Because of the quality of our programs we tend to attract highly motivated students whose level of motivation as a class further enhances the results for each student in the class. The Institute's three decades of successful programs rely on highly experienced instructors, carefully selected texts and teaching materials and the use of the communicative approach which forms an actual performance in a language: speaking, reading, writing and listening.


Our approach is based on the premise that each aspect of language learning supports the other. If your goal is to merely speak well, reading is the best way to develop a rich vocabulary and writing will support your memory of words and phrases over time. If your goal is to pass a particular language test, speaking as well as reading and writing will more than help achieve that objective. It's this comprehensive, communicate approach that sets us apart from our competitors and has made companies, government agencies and universities choose The Boston Language Institute when their employees have an important need to perform in a new language.


Students at The Boston Language Institute have in common a particular reason - academic, relationship, business, or travel – which makes it important to actually speak the language they are studying rather than merely passing tests.



Abdelkrim Mouhib

Born and raised in Casablanca, Morocco, Abdelkrim Mouhib attended Hassan II University in Morocco where he received a BA in English linguistics. He also graduated from BLI, Boston MA as a Teacher of English as a foreign language and 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, 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 culture at The Boston Language Institute.


Sana Tannoury Karam

Born and raised in Beirut, Lebanon, Sana has a BA in Economics from the Lebanese American University and an MA in Political Studies from the American University of Beirut. Sana’s scholarly endeavors and passion for academia has led her to settle here in Boston in 2011 where she is currently pursuing her PhD in History at Northeastern University. Sana's attachment and fascination with the Arabic language led her to the Boston Language Institute when she felt the need to teach her native language as a second/foreign language. She wishes through her teaching to keep her deep connection with the Arabic language as well as to relate to her students the cultural and social nuances that she thinks make her language so unique and interesting. Sana currently teaches world history at Northeastern University. She also plays the violin, dances ballet and spends most of her time writing about the modern intellectual history of the Middle East.



Lijian Zhao

A professor of Chinese Department of Nanjing University and a Harvard Visiting Scholar, Lijian Zhao immigrated to the U.S. in 1992. She promptly joined the Boston Language Institute as the faculty head of Chinese and later the Director of the Foreign Language Department. She was the founder of the Chinese program, the curriculum designer and syllabus writer. When referring to Chinese learning, one of Lijian's students said, "You want the best Chinese? Go to the Boston Language Institute". She has widely taught in the Boston area including corporate classes and Immersion classes for the National Defense. Now Ms. Zhao, a certified Massachusetts teacher, has joined the faculty of the World Language Department at Newton South High School. Her passion and devotion have won her high praises and respects from students and parents.


Fan Stanbrough

Fan was born in China and has had the pleasure of teaching Mandarin Chinese for 5 years. She has taught students of all ages and from diverse backgrounds, in-group and one-on-one classes. Fan obtained her degree in Architectural Design in China. She also is a professional web/graphic designer with more than 10 years of working experience. Fan enjoys designing, teaching Mandarin and cooking Chinese food. She loves to introduce her eastern culture to her new friends and students.


Marilyn Bao

Marilyn was born in Shanghai, China, where she received a Bachelor’s degree of Fine Arts from Shanghai Teachers’ College. In Boston, Marilyn received a Master’s degree in Music Education from the Boston Conservatory of Music. Thereafter, she became a music director, music teacher and language teacher in the Boston area. Marilyn has been a Chinese language instructor at the Boston Language Institute for 20 years. She has been actively teaching various levels of Chinese language at the Boston Language Institute. Marilyn speaks two dialects: Mandarin and Shanghai dialect. She is also a classic violinist who performs in Boston and the North Shore of Massachusetts.



Charlotte Dekeersmaeker

Charlotte was born and raised in Belgium, a very small European country that has 3 official languages: Dutch – which is her native language – French, and German. Growing up surrounded by three different languages has been a great advantage to her, she has been studying foreign languages since she was 10 years old.

After graduating from the University of Leuven, she worked as a lawyer, specialized in European Employment Law, Commercial Law and Immigration Law. In her professional career she has frequently used Dutch, French and English. Since she has lived in Boston, she specializes in teaching French and Dutch to adults. She spends her free time reading books, learning Spanish and trying to understand all the American sports.


Sarah Verhaeghen

Sarah was born and raised in Belgium, a small European country that has 3 official languages: Dutch – which is her native language – French, and German. She studied foreign languages from a young age, which has been a great advantage in her travels and life in foreign countries. Sarah studied biology at the University of Leuven and obtained a degree in teaching. She has been a high school science teacher for several years and worked at Ghent University Association to implement environmental care. She followed her husband to spend a year in the south of France and volunteered in a Bed & Breakfast. In August 2012, they moved to Boston, where Sarah has explored new educational approaches; as a science teacher in the Cambridge Rindge and Latin School, as a teaching assistant at Harvard University, and as a language and culture teacher at the First Dutch School of Boston, a school for children age 4-12. She teaches French and Dutch at the Boston Language Institute. Teaching is what gives her energy and inspiration. She enjoys it very much to work with students who are eager to learn her native and second language and adores communicative exercices. In her free time Sarah likes calligraphy, knitting and going outdoors into nature.



Soheila Ayoboff

Soheila was born and raised in Tehran, Iran. She got her Bachelor’s in Persian Language and Literature at Allame Taba-Tabei University in Tehran in 1988. She obtained her Master’s degree in Persian Language and Literature in 1995. Her passion and biggest goal in her life was to become an effective teacher. In 1992, she reached that dream when she became a certified high school teacher in Tehran. Besides teaching, she worked as a part time editor for a local Newspaper. Moreover, she lived in Exeter, England, for five years. She also lived in Geneva, Switzerland, for three years where she received a professional certificate in French language. During this time she taught the Arabic and Persian languages and literature in-group and one-on-one classes to students in different age groups. Soheila moved to New York in 2007.


She was determined to reinforce her teaching methods, so she earned a Master’s in TESOL from Lehman College in 2011. She applies the SIOP model in teaching Farsi in order to make the lessons more comprehensible for her students. Currently, Soheila, who is an experienced and inspiring Farsi instructor, is working at BLI for the immersion programs as well as all other levels. She enjoys hiking, cooking, theater, music, singing and reading.



Barry Bridgelal

Barry Bridgelal-bhim was born (and lived until the age of 8) on the beautiful Caribbean island of Trinidad. It was his family's move to New England which nurtured his penchant for foreign languages and fostered his interest in different cultures such that he has studied over ten languages. Barry has obtained a BA in International Relations and a BA in French Literature from Tufts University. In addition to such degrees, at King's College London he received a MA in French Literature with Philosophy.


After his post-graduate studies, Barry has been happily working as an instructor of French and Italian primarily teaching our immersion programs as well as all levels of both languages. Teaching apart, he quite likes travelling to big cities, cooking Indian cuisine, and learning about wines especially rosé! However, what drove him as a student of language and what pushes him to stimulate his students stems from a quotation from the great Federico Fellini : "A different language is a different vision of life".


Naima Sait

Naima was born in Algiers, Algeria, where she received a BA in French Literature and BA in Translation and Interpreting French-Arabic-English. She has teaching experience at the college level and she also has worked as a translator for a translation firm. Naima's passion for foreign languages in general (French in particular) led her to the Boston Language Institute where she is teaching French as a second language. She enjoys reading, swimming and music. Naima also teaches Berber and Arabic.


Charlotte Dekeersmaeker

Read her bio under Dutch.


Sarah Verhaeghen

Read his bio under Dutch



Joe Federico

With an undergraduate degree from the University of MA with a major in Education, Joe pursued further studies at the renowned summer language program at Middlebury College, VT, where he graduated with a Master’s Degree in Spanish. He was also a recipient of the Spanish Embassy scholarship award for studies in Salamanca, Spain. He is fluent in both Spanish and Italian with a reading knowledge of French and Portuguese. With over 25 years of experience in the foreign language classroom, Joe has brought his considerable knowledge to BLI for the last 10 years.



Pauline Lombardo

Pauline has a BA in Romance Languages and Literature and a MA in French Literature. She has extensive teaching experience at the high school level as well as the college level. She holds a Massachusetts teaching certificate in French and Italian. Her interest in teaching, language acquisition and interpreting was nurtured in a completely bilingual home in which, Italian was the major language spoken. She is affiliated with the Centro Attività Scolastiche Italiane, an education committee under the auspices of the Italian Ministry of Education and the Italian Consulate as a former member of the Board of Directors and currently as a consultant. She is a member of the American Association Teachers of Italian, the American Association Teachers of French, the Massachusetts Foreign Languages Association, the Pirandello Lyceum and the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages. Pauline also enjoys music, dancing, travel, cooking and reading.


Barry Bridgelal

Read his bio under French


Carmen Sivers

Born and raised in Salerno, Italy, Carmen moved to the US to attend Brigham Young University. She then attended the University of Massachusetts where she received a BA in Italian language and literature with a minor in French. Carmen has been teaching Italian since 1994, all levels, including children, adults and professionals, both in private and group settings. She also works as a Voice Talent and translator for various companies in the Boston area, and periodically also teaches Southern Italian cooking classes. Carmen has a passion for her family, music, genealogy, cooking, and foreign languages.





Nanae K. Duggan

Born and raised in Osaka, Japan, Nanae permanently moved to the USA in the summer of 2011 and has been teaching Japanese at BLI and in private tutoring settings. Her first experience as a Japanese instructor dates back to when she was 20 years old teaching the language to learners of all ages, levels and backgrounds at a local community center in Vancouver, Canada, where she attended Western Town College. At Konan University, Japan, she studied the teaching of Japanese as a second/foreign language for 2 years in the Japanese Instructor Qualification Course while majoring in English/American Language and Literature there. While teaching languages has and will continue to be her life-long passion, she has enjoyed working as an English-to-Japanese translator and engaging in the education and travel/tourism industries. Her personal interests include playing tennis, cooking, reading, watching American TV shows, and playing with animals.



Ariane Buchholz

Ariane was born and raised in Londrina, Brazil. There she attended Universidade Estadual de Londrina and received a BA in History. In 2005 she decided to pursue her passion for language and began teaching English as a Second Language to children, teenagers and adults. To further improve her language skills she moved to the US and enrolled in courses, spending a year in Chicago and a year in Boston. In 2008 she resumed teaching in Brazil to the most advanced courses. Now back in Boston, Ariane enjoys teaching her native language, Portuguese, and sharing her love of Brazilian culture to new students.



Elena Neva

Elena Neva was born in Tajikistan. She studied in Dushanbe, Tajikistan and Moscow, Russia. She is well traveled having visited 26 countries and 15 states in America. Elena is the mother of two, likes to travel, dance, read, write and teach. She is also a Senior Producer on TV3 Medford with two shows - "Russian Time" (Russian) and "Meeting Interesting People". She is the author of four books and is an art historian and artist.

Elena taught at Haifa University in Israel. Since 1994 she has taught a variety of topics in the USA, including the Russian language, piano, art history and art classes. She has been an adjunct professor of Russian and art history at Bunker Hill Community College since 2002. Elena has taught Russian at the Boston Language Institute since 2008.


Natalia Billings

Natalia was born and raised in Georgievsk, a little town in the Southern Russia. She has always loved to read, and teaching her native language has been a strong desire of hers. These passions culminated in the decision to major in Russian and English languages, and Literature. She graduated from the Pyatigorsk State Linguistic University in 2005 with summa cum laude and an equivalent of the USA Master degree.

In 2008 she attended the Boston Language Institute TEFL Program. Natalia was fascinated with the multicultural environment of the BLI, and the passion for languages of the staff and the students. She has been teaching the Russian language here ever since. During her classes she practices a communicative approach with an emphasis on interaction as a goal of learning a foreign language. Natalia is married and recently had her first baby.



Marisol Sanchez

Born and raised in Managua, Nicaragua, Marisol studied "Sciences of Education in Foreign Languages" at the Nicaraguan's National Autonomous University (UNAN). She has been teaching Spanish since 1992. She has been a member of our staff since 1996 and specializes in different areas, such as group classes, immersion classes, Spanish for healthcare workers, lawyers, and corporate professionals. Marisol believes fluency in a second language is especially important in the modern world. She always includes Latin American culture in teaching her students. Teaching at Boston Language Institute has given her a chance to have the great experience of teaching Spanish and building friendships with people from around the world. She is proud to be part of the Boston Language Institute and loves to teach Spanish!


Joe Federico

Read his bio under Italian



Zeynep Koch

Zeynep was born and raised in Istanbul, Turkey. She attended Marmara University for Business Management. She started playing volleyball at an early age and played professionally in her country. Being around lots of foreigners brought her to a point where she wanted to learn and teach languages. She started learning Spanish in Turkey. After moving to the United States, Zeynep started teaching Turkish to a wide variety of people. For the past 5 years, she has developed different techniques and skills with every student. Zeynep has worked in retail as a buyer and manager for the past 5 years in addition to teaching. She currently works at Penti USA as a sales manager and a buyer.


  • Since classes are limited to 12 students, we encourage you to register early. You can register online. Select your language, level, session and time. For those not able to register online, a Program Coordinator will be happy to take registration information by phone (617-262-3500 x241), or e-mail. The Institute holds monthly Open Houses at our Kenmore Square office where you can discuss your language needs and meet teachers and staff. Registration is also available at a Open House.



Open House


617-262-3500 x 244




Private instruction offers students an opportunity to work one-on-one with an instructor at their own pace. The instructor carefully selects materials and plans lessons to effectively meet the student's goals and individual learning style.

Private programs offer a flexible schedule and a customized curriculum. A minimum of 20 hours of instruction with one or two classes (each 90 or 120 minutes) per week is the suggested module, but dates, times and content can be arranged according to your requirement.


Immersion programs are designed to teach the equivalent of levels 1 to 5 of the Institute's regular core programs in one 6-week or 4-week, 90-hour sessions. Classes meet Monday through Friday, 3 hours a day in 6-week programs/4.5 hours a day in 4-week programs).

The main goal of these programs, which meet in small classes of 4 to 12, is to help students, from day one, to increase confidence in their ability to use their new language in a wide range of real-life situations and improve their oral skills as they progress from level to level.


Since 1981, The Boston Language Institute has been serving the language needs of major international corporations, government agencies and leading professional firms.

Our training in over 140 languages, along with our cross cultural orientation seminars and executive coaching, have helped our clients succeed in the international arena. Whether on a one-on-one basis or in a group setting, we work closely with our clients, assisting them to choose a program that best fits their schedule and language needs.