Our team of Language Coaches are dedicated community members who are passionate about bringing second language & culture education opportunities to our community, and to the State of Montana Interested in joining our team of Language Coaches? Email email@example.com
Mouloud Mahi -Mouloud is from Oujda, Morocco, and received his bachelor’s degree in English Linguistics from Mohammed First University-Oujda. He earned diplomas from both the Training Center of Teachers in Safi as a primary teacher, and from the Regional Center of Teaching and Training in Fez as a High School teacher of English. He has been an English teacher at Ouad Eddahab High School since 2015. He is also responsible for the English club at his school and organizes district competitions for spelling bees and theater performances. Mr. Mahi enjoys reading, traveling, and sports. He has a wife and two children. During his year in the U.S. Mr. Mahi enjoyed experiencing American culture and meeting new friends. His primary objective for participating in TCLP (Teachers of Critical Languages Program) was to learn more about teaching methodologies, techniques, and materials to help him develop professionally. He was hosted by Irving Elementary School in Bozeman, MT.
Aisha Garged - is a former science teacher and microbiology professor. She is currently a language professor at Montana State University. She is a native Arabic speaker and passionate about teaching Arabic both as a heritage and a foreign language. She has been teaching Arabic in the Modern Languages Department at MSU for two years. She also taught Arabic to elementary school students in Bozeman with the World Language Initiative between 2016–2018. She is exited to be back teaching with this incredible organization and to be part of their Arabic Summer Language & Culture Camp.
Mohamed Abdalla - While in Egypt, Mohamed was touched by a friend from the U.S. who introduced him to things like hiking and camping and encouraged him to move to Bozeman. Mohamed is currently pursuing a degree in Civil Engineering at MSU. He is one of the friendliest and warmest people we know, and he is always very excited to share stories about his native country and about his family with members of the community. He loves tutoring and working with young people, and is dedicated to the mission of helping others learn second languages. Mohamed says what makes him happy about teaching languages is that, "you give someone the key to explore more...I feel like you live longer when you teach...I love seeing people growing in front of me. I can see myself reflected in these young people."
THE BELLA TEAM
Paola Torres - BELLA Team Lead - Paola is from Peru andis a former Spanish teacher at Helena High School. She moved to Montana from Lima, Peru where she worked as a journalist to start a new career as a foreign language teacher. She has experience teaching Pre-K, Kindergarten, Elementary, Middle School and adult students. She has taught with World Language Initiative for four years and she enjoys sharing her knowledge and culture with the community. Paola is the Project Lead for a new WLI-MT Program, BELLA (The Bozeman English Learner Literacy Alliance) supporting Newcomer EL youth through literacy & mentorship.
Cassidy Crawford - BELLA Lead Coach - Cassidy is from Colorado and moved to Bozeman in 2019 to attend Montana State University where she is currently studying Dietetics with minors in Anthropology and Hispanic Studies. She has been working with kids in after-school and summer camp settings since 2014. During the spring of 2021 she found a love for ESL through a tutoring program which led to her role as a coach for the pilot year of Bella (Bozeman English Learner Literacy Alliance). Cassidy is very excited to start her new role as the Bella Lead Coach and she is looking forward to another exciting and educational experience as a part of the WLI team.
Amanda Smith - BELLA Coach - Amanda was born and raised in Montana, but has found many opportunities to travel abroad and explore the world. In 2021 she traveled to Spain to immerse herself in the Spanish language and culture. She learned so much and is very excited to travel abroad again in the future! She has been taking Spanish classes for about six years and chose to study Spanish because she is a firm believer that knowing a second language will create more opportunities for someone in life. She feels it allows someone to better understand a different community and culture apart from their own.
ENGLISH LANGUAGE TEAM
Angélica Ravelo - Angélica Ravelo is a Peru-based translator and interpreter. She’s been working as an English teacher for the past ten years. She started learning English by watching cable TV with subtitles in Spanish when she was a child. She started repeating the phrases in English and learning the meaning of the words slowly until she decided to become a translator. She then created her own online language institute called Let’s Talk 2. Her background includes a major in business administration and work experience in international business.
Brigitte Morris - Brigitte was born and raised in France. She earned her Master’s in Sociology just before moving to Bozeman, Montana. She has been dedicating her time and sharing her passion of teaching the French language and Culture since then, mostly at MSU, in Bozeman Elementary schools (20 years ago), in a rural high school in Maine (2 years ago), and in the Bozeman Community at the Alliance Française de Bozeman-AF- that she founded in 1990. Since its inception, AF has become Bozeman International Language School that offers French, Spanish, Italian (regularly), Portuguese, and Chinese (on demand) classes to adults. Her mission is to promote communication in a variety of languages and foster friendly relations with people around the world. She received a Master’s in Education from MSU and intends to continue teaching French implementing communicative approaches, engaging learning, and best practices that she adapts according to her students’ ‘background’. With children, she applies methods that keep them alert and engaged: “French in action” through movement, songs, storytelling, games, listening, and reading.
Hannah McMaster - Hannah has been teaching private French parent/child classes and preschool classes for the past five years, and is entering her fifth session as a Coach for WLI-MT. In addition to teaching language, she is also an experienced preschool teacher, certified tutor, TEFL certified teacher, and mom to two elementary aged boys. In addition to her studies at university, Hannah learned French by living in Chatellerault, France where she was full immersed in the language and culture. She is passionate about exposing young children to the beautiful French language and culture and looks forward to a great year of learning!
Jack Wickum -Jack’s love of foreign languages began while finishing his university studies in Buenos Aires, Argentina. There he discovered the joy of exploring other cultures through language learning. Jack sees teaching as an opportunity to share those discoveries with students. He taught High School Spanish in Fort Collins, Colorado before moving to Saint-Flour, France for a year to teach English and learn French. Recently, he relocated to Bozeman and is excited to be a part of the World Language Initiative’s French Summer Language Camp.
Christina Crane - Christina Crane was raised by a German mother (from Bremen, Germany) and has fond memories of traveling to visit her German grandparents during her childhood summers. Through these experiences, she developed a deep and abiding love of the country, culture, and language. She studied German in high school and majored in Modern Languages & Literature-German at Montana State University, and studied abroad for a year in Freiburg, Germany. After spending time teaching yoga, practicing massage therapy, and promoting environmental education, her interest in teaching German was rekindled when her son was born. There followed Christina and her son taking German Music Lingua classes together, after which she began speaking German more at home, and even went on to co-create a German speaking group in Bozeman. Christina joined WLI-MT as a German coach in 2019; she is currently the Lead German Coach and SPARK for German Program Liaison and has also taught adult and youth classes both online and in-person. Teaching German connects Christina to her roots and allows her to inspire the next generation of German speakers.
Miriam Schlotzhauer - Miriam was born and raised in Vorarlberg, Austria, which is in the Western Portion of the Alps bordering Switzerland. She immigrated to Bozeman with her husband, who is a Bozeman native, and their first child. Now they are a family of four and German can be heard at the dinner table every evening. Being born and raised in Austria gave Miriam exposure to many cultures and languages. She enjoys traveling to new places and experiencing culture and language wherever she is. She has an Austrian degree as a heating and cooling technician, is a certified international climbing teacher/coach, avid climber, mother, wife and owns her own climbing apparel business. She also used to compete in Bicycle Ballet as a youth. She loves to teach and has a unique, very personal, but professional way of teaching. Learning by doing is her motto. "Keeping both parts of the brain active is an important challenge, but also very fun," Miriam says. She is very excited to be a part of the World Language Initiative program and looks forward to teaching German sharing her culture.
Julia Strehlau Jacobs - Julia is a German native who moved to Bozeman in the Winter of 2015. With a background in American Studies, she hadn’t considered teaching German, until she was approached by a few moms whose kids wanted to learn the language. She has since learned the joy of sharing her native language and culture with others and is excited to join the WLI team.
Amelia Buzzard - Amelia recently graduated from Hillsdale College with honors in German and Philosophy. Growing up with both Norwegian and Korean traditions piqued her interest in other languages from an early age. Since then, she has dabbled in many languages before investing in German as president of the German honorary and a college-level language tutor. WLI-MT has offered her the opportunity to pair her love for the international community with her love of teaching. As she journeys towards fluency, she hopes her own experiences of the trials and joys of learning will make her an effective guide for other learners.
Ying Liu - Ying moved to Bozeman from New York City with her husband, 3 kids, and 2 cats and instantly felt in love with this beautiful town in Montana! Ying grew up in Taiwan and is a native Chinese speaker. She got her undergrad/master degrees from New York University. She has been teaching Mandarin to students (age range from K-12) for over 20 years in various Chinese schools. Mandarin Chinese is the most spoken language in the world and one of the official United Nations languages. Ying believes in teaching Mandarin through methods like CI (comprehensible input) and TPR(total physical response), where the language could be understood by listeners despite them not understanding all the words and grammar structures in it. Ying likes to incorporate her teaching through art, cooking, music, culture, history, and storytelling. She aspires to help students in the community learn Mandarin through playful learning.
Lin Chai Ying - Lin moved to Bozeman with her husband from Palau. Lin is originally from Taipei, Taiwan. She is a native Taiwanese and Mandarin speaker, and learned English at a young age. Lin graduated from the Ming Chung University with a degree in English. Lin has matched her multi-lingual abilities with her love of teaching and travel, allowing her incredible opportunities to teach English in Charter Elementary Schools across Taiwan. Lin also utilized language to share her other passion of teaching and guiding Scuba to international guests while she lived in Australia and Palau. Lin naturally incorporates her professional and fun-loving demeanor into her teaching, creating fun and engaging lessons for her students. With immersive activities, Lin integrates cultural art, music and group activities to involve her students in the lessons.
Kristen Wolf - Kristen ND Wolf (@LaLobaLista) is a dynamic educator and presenter. Her background as a Montessori & Spanish teacher has led her to understand the process of language acquisition and human development in meaningful ways. Kristen enjoys creating a community with her classes. La Loba Lista’s (the ready Wolf) teaching style is engaging, story based and supported by language acquisition research. She is blessed with two children and a very supportive husband, as well as three dogs and one cat. Kristen loves getting outside and enjoying the beauty of Montana and its vibrant communities. She has travelled extensively and lived in Spain and has completed her master’s degree at MSU. She encourages you to come participate in or observe a class!!
Gaby Vidaurre García - Gaby was born in San Jose, Costa Rica and her native language is Spanish. She has been a Bilingual Preschool Teacher since 2010, and moved to Bozeman with her family and two dogs in June 2021. Her favorite hobbies are traveling with my family, cooking, and taking playful walks with her two dogs, Kai and Pringle. She is currently finishing a Master’s degree on Neuropsychology, multiple intelligences, and mindfulness in early childhood education at the University of Nabrija in Spain, which has helped her identify the importance of teaching young ones based on recognizing and validating their emotions and the different ways they learn. She is very excited to join the World Language Initiative team. She sees teaching as an opportunity to discover new cultures, make new friends and learn from other fellow teachers and students in her class. Her goal is to create fun, dynamic and creative lessons to motivate students to learn in non-traditional ways so they can enjoy each class to its best.
Becky Hopkinson - "If you told my high school Spanish teacher that I am now a Spanish teacher, they would never believe you!" Becky shares. Her passion for languages began a few years later while in college. She attended Indiana University of Pennsylvania and completed degrees in Spanish and International Studies. After graduating, she pursued a Master’s Degree in Latin American Studies at Vanderbilt University. She enjoys telling stories and creating stories with her students even more. She has been teaching Spanish to students of all ages, both in-person and remotely, since 2011. She is excited to be a part of WLI-MT!
Valeria Carrizo - Valeria was born in Argentina, where she still lives, and her native language is Spanish. Learning languages has been her passion since she was a child and, after years studying English, she graduated from university as both Teacher of English as a second language and Certified translator. She currently works as a freelance translator and as a teacher at kinder level, but her expertise encompasses over eight years of teaching groups of students at every level. She enjoys teaching a lot, probably because she has always felt an urge to help others. She shares that witnessing her students become more confident and have fun while learning is one of the most rewarding feelings she has experienced. In her free time, she likes to work out at the gym, walking her dog, and practicing yoga to relax. Valeria is looking forward to meeting her new students at WLI and sharing her language and culture with them.
Ellie Nolan - Ellie began studying the Spanish language at the age of fourteen, at Sentinel High School in Missoula. She loved it from the start and practiced with any and all Spanish speakers that she met. Her senior year of high school, she traveled to Costa Rica through a school program and fell in love with the idea of traveling. She came to Montana State University in the Fall of 2016, and began a double major with Hispanic Studies and History, with a French minor. In July of 2017, she studied in Peru for a semester, returning with improved Spanish skills and many new perspectives. Through this experience, she discovered her passion for the various cultures and contemporary social changes of Latin America. She also discovered the importance of learning a foreign language for the purposes of communicating with someone in their native language, therefore making a more profound connection with them and better understanding their perspectives and opinions, which may differ from her own. The learning of a foreign language not only has great cognitive benefits for people of all ages, but it also enables the speaker to travel, make connections, see new perspectives, and experience new ways of life. For this reason, she is honored and excited to be a part of the World Language Initiative by sharing her knowledge, experiences, and passion for language and culture with students.
Anita Pino - Anita is from Concepcion, Chile and speaks Spanish as her native language. She studied English teaching because she believes that learning a second language is a great tool in today’s world and enjoys being part of a community by teaching others. She is looking forward to sharing her native language with students and being part of WLI-MT, "because I see how they care for Bozeman’s growing community and making so many languages accessible for everybody in town."