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Kristen Della Torre Buonanno

Kristen completed a M.Ed. in TESL in August of 2013. She is a high school English teacher in the Cranston Public Schools system who received her B.A. from Rhode Island College. Through the TESL program at RIC, she learned how to educate and support English Language Learners, as well as enhance classroom instruction in an English Language Arts setting.

Elisa Rivera

Elisa Rivera graduated from the M.Ed. in TESL Program at Rhode Island College in May, 2013. She has been teaching 2nd grade Dual Language in Central Falls, Rhode Island for the past 4 years. Elisa is an advocate for bilingual programs that provide students with enriched forms of instruction which support their first language while they learn English.

Ayako Kaihatsu

Ayako Kaihatsu graduated from the M.Ed. in TESL in May, 2007. She is planning to teach English in Japan when she returns to her native country. Currently, she is working on creating a web site and issuing email magazines, which respond to ELLs needs and demands, especially for Japanese students. Her target students are young adults and adults who often face more difficulties in acquiring a new language than younger students, at all levels of proficiency.

Maria Isabel d'Avila

Maria Isabel d'Avila graduated from the M.Ed. in TESL Program in May, 2007. She is a native of Mozambique and her first language is Portuguese. She has been teaching as a Substitute Teacher in the Central Falls School District for the last year. She plans to get a job teaching ESL to adults. She wants to give them the tools to help themselves become active participants in society. She enjoys traveling and getting to know other cultures. She would like to work in England, Spain, Vietnam, and Portugal.

Abdelaziz Elmejdouby

Abdelaziz Elmejdouby a recent graduate of the Rhode Island College MED program. Aziz is interested in teaching adult immigrant students. He has amassed a lot of experience as an EFL learner as well as an EFL and an ESL teacher. Aziz strongly believes that the best way to teach ESL is by using the learner ( his/her linguistic and cultural background) as a resource for learning and teaching.

Sarah Reis

Sarah Reis graduated from the M.Ed. in TESL Program in May, 2007. She has been teaching ESL ever since at The Paul Cuffee School, a charter school in Providence. She teaches all levels of ESL from beginner through advanced ESL for Kindergarten through fifth grade. She is also the program coordinator for grades K-10. Sarah has been at the school since it opened in 2001 and is happy to develop the ESL program there.

Alexander Nanni

The M.Ed. in TESL program at RIC exceeded my expectations. It was an opportunity to study the theory and practice of language teaching alongside peers from diverse teaching backgrounds. Language teaching is a huge field, but the courses that I took were an excellent sampling of its various aspects. In addition to methods classes, I was also able to study language acquisition theory, linguistics, educational technology, curriculum design, and assessment.

One of the most valuable elements of the program was the teaching practicum. I had the opportunity to spend many hours in the classroom of a highly experienced teacher. I was able to observe her teaching and to teach several classes under her guidance. The program director also observed two of the classes that I taught and wrote formal observations. Their feedback was invaluable.

I am now working as a level coordinator at the Preparation Center for Languages and Mathematics at Mahidol University International College, which is located in Salaya, Thailand. The curriculum is currently being updated to reflect current theory in language teaching, and I am able to put the knowledge I gained at RIC to use. Without having completed higher studies in education, I would have been neither qualified nor knowledgeable enough to participate in this project. The TESL program at RIC developed areas of my teaching that I have previously neglected, such as the integration of technology into instruction, and it prepared me for my current employment by giving me a solid understanding of theory.

Amy Bednarz

I recently graduated from RIC with a M.ED in Teaching English as a Second Language. I have been teaching ESL for the past 5 years. I teach grades K-5 students who speak a multitude of languages and have varying proficiency levels in English. It is so rewarding to watch my student's confidence levels increase as they become more fluent in English. Being an ESL teacher also means advocating for immigrant families and helping families navigate the American public school system at the same time increasing understanding and empathy to other teachers by respecting the child's culture and language.

Christina R. Izzi

Christina has been teaching Spanish for 12 years, and has been teaching at Narragansett High School since 2003. She received her M. Ed in TESL from Rhode Island College in May of 2010. Christina does most of her work with ELLs in the summer through tutoring elementary school students who have recently moved into the Narragansett community and need English support before they begin the school year. She has enjoyed the experience of working with a different age group, and she had focused her teaching on using children's picture books to teach grammar, vocabulary and culture.

Eileen M. Fiore

Eileen M. Fiore completed the M.Ed. in TESL in May of 2007. She is currently teaching high school French and Spanish in Stonington, Connecticut. She volunteered teaching ESL in a local program in Westerly and hopes to do it again someday. Her experience in the ESL program has allowed her to see language learners from a new perspective. She tries to pass along that sense of understanding to her students to help create tolerance and awareness for people coming to the U.S. and struggling to learn English.

Eileen is married with two boys and also loves to sing. Since graduation, she has recorded three cds which have sold over 1,300 copies in five states. Proceeds from sales have benefited St Pius X School in Westerly as well as the Chikumbuso School in Zambia, Africa.

Visit Outside to find out more. Eileen shares her talent with her students, singing in class and as an example that it's possible to have a career you enjoy as well as pursue the other interests that you love.

Judah Lakin

I am currently an English teacher, the librarian, and the ELL Coordinator at a charter school in Northern California. My work at RIC thoroughly prepared me for the work that I currently do. What I most appreciate about my TESL degree is that I have access to a plethora of knowledge and strategies to work with all students, especially ELL students, that many other teachers are attempting to learn on the fly. Part of my job is to help other teachers work with their ELLs, and my degree helps me do that every day.

Kelly Healey

Kelly Healey graduated from the M. Ed. in TESL Program in 2009. She has been a teacher for over 10 years, and presently serves as the District ESL Teaching and Learning Intervention Specialist for the Pawtucket Public Schools in Pawtucket, Rhode Island. Kellys work has been shared at various conventions such as MATSOL, TESOL, and the Rhode Island Best Practices Convention. Additionally, Kellys success with curriculum development, strategy, and standards based lessons has been featured by Education Week; The Center for Applied Linguistics; as well as TESOL. Most recently, her efforts are displayed in the TESOL Classroom Practice Series, Teaching Listening: Voices From the Field.

Lynn O'Malley

I earned my B.A. in Elementary Education from Rhode Island College in 1998 and have been working for the Cranston Public School System ever since. I continued my education at Rhode Island College and earned a Masters of Education in Teaching English As a Second Language in 2006. Currently, I am a Third Grade ESL Inclusion teacher at Edgewood Highland Elementary School in Cranston. EHS has a very diverse population and I love that the students there have taught me as much or more than I have taught them.

Mary Beth Czernicki

Mary Beth Czernicki graduated from the M.Ed. in TESL Program in May 2010. Soon after graduation, she taught a third grade Reg. Ed class at Times 2 Academy in Providence. The following school year, she landed a 6th grade position in which she currently teaches. It is a 6th grade content specific ELA class at Times 2 Academy.

Rachel DeNofio

Rachel DeNofio graduated from the M. Ed in TESL Program at Rhode Island College, in May 2009. She has been teaching in Providence, Rhode Island for eleven years. She is currently teaching Reg. Ed Kindergarten, where ESL students are mainstreamed into the classroom. She strives to provide explicit and direct instruction to all students regardless of language background. Although she is not considered to be an ESL classroom, she continues to implement ESL strategies learned within the program.

Rania Aghia

Luckily, as I was preparing to graduate from the TESL program, I was hired to be a 6th grade ESL teacher at Woonsocket Middle School, and continue to educate the English language learners in the same city I grew up in. I get to work with many wonderful teachers ensuring our English language learners are gaining all the information they can from the program. By collaborating with the content teachers, I am able to use the knowledge gained from the program and share it with my colleagues. I enjoy working with all the different English proficiency levels in the classroom. It's always a challenge, but a challenge ready to be conquered.

Hong Qian

Hong Qian graduated from the M.Ed. in TESL in May, 2008. She is teaching Chinese at URI this year. Chinese program is very new program which gets the support from Outside LinkFLAGSHIP. The program is aimed to train IEP and IBP students who want to get a one-year internship in China and a minor in Chinese for their BA. ​

Page last updated: June 16, 2016