9055 Gaylord, Suite 100, Houston, TX 77024 Phone: (713) 789-6338

Instructors

Liz Thrush

Owner

Liz Thrush founded Be Bilingual Language School in 1989. Thrush studied Interpretation and Translation and served as the director for a language school in Mexico before returning to the United States. After re-locating to Houston, Thrush founded her own language school and began developing her own conversational method for teaching Spanish. Due to the high demand for individualized language instruction and Thrush’s extremely high standards for instructors, Be Bilingual has grown tremendously. Today, Be Bilingual continues to successfully teach language skills to students of all levels and walks of life.

Mervette

Mervette was born in Cairo, Egypt and, since her childhood, she enrolled in the German School, which catered to the German community in Egypt. Growing up in this multi-cultural environment left an immense mark on Mervette, simultaneously developing a passion for Egypt’s Pharaonic heritage, as well as immersing herself in a dual Western-Egyptian culture. By the time she graduated high school, Mervette was already fluent in three languages besides Arabic, her native language. In college, Mervette took on Engineering studies, including an internship in Hanover, Germany, where she started her Arabic teaching career by tutoring her German coworkers. She has taught them Arabic language as well as Pharaonic Egyptian culture. Mervette had a very successful career in Swissair, where she developed as a person, and learned the intricacies of working in a corporate setting. Mervette obtained her Arabic-English translation certificate from the American University in Cairo, where she completed further studies in the Arabic grammar. Mervette has taught in several language centers and international schools. She is excitingly bringing her unique experience and sharing her knowledge about Arabic and the various cultures that she is familiar with.

She has been teaching Arabic since 2006.

Morena Schiavone

Italian Instructor

Morena was born in Loreto A. a small and cozy town in the middle of Italy. She graduated in Law at the Alma Mater Studiorum University of Bologna, in Italy, where she worked as a Lawyer for several years until she moved in the USA. Since then she started teaching Italian to beginner students, advanced groups (levels B1-B2 and C1-C2) and kids classes from kindergarten to 4th and 5th grades.

In 2016 she obtained the online tutor certification for the course ICON  AP Italian language and culture and  Destinazione Italiano.

In her free time Morena enjoys to write short stories, some of them were published by “Collane letterabilia”. She also co-authored few articles on the European Capitals for the Italian newspaper “ Il Sole 24 Ore”.

She loves teaching Italian and she thinks everyday more that teaching  it’s  a beautiful cultural and human exchange.

Pat Walz

English and Accent Reduction instructor

Pat Walz has been an English and Accent Reduction instructor at Be Bilingual for 4 years.  She has a Bachelor of Arts from St. John’s University and a Masters from S.U.N.Y. New Paltz both in English and Education.  Her teaching experience spans over forty years teaching not only privately, but also in secondary schools and at the college level.  She is a published author and was a Contributing Editor for Bird Talk Magazine for twelve years.

Pat has been active in the Houston Read Program, the Amnesty Program and has taught for Harris County, and for the Chinese Cultural Center.

 

Born in New York City, she has resided in the Houston area for thirty-two years with her husband and her pet cats and dog.

Cristina

Spanish Instructor

Cristina Salazar was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina; she graduated from the College of Business Management Administration in the University of La Plata. She has a degree in Communication and Spanish Literature. She then traveled to The United States where she has been teaching Spanish for 9 years.

In Buenos Aires she graduated from Big-Ben British School in English Communication. She also studied Italian and French
In the states she has worked with beginners, intermediate and advanced student from Shell, Chevron, Apache, and other oil corporations. She enjoys teaching individuals and groups.

Cristina`s hobbies are writing stories and being informed about European news, reading stories about Scotland Yard; her favorite hero is Sherlock Holmes. She likes to study about Castilian culture, The Cid Campeador and Spanish literature.

Alejandro Cardenas, M.Ed.

Spanish Instructor

Graduated with a degree in Economics from the University of Oregon. He had a successful career in Finance, working for stockbrokers as a trader and eventually managing the peso risk for position for Citibank Mexico N.A. Worked as a financial controller for a five star resort and the largest private security firm in Cancun, Mexico.

He moved to The Woodlands, Texas, obtained a teacher certificate from the State Board of Education in 2005. Taught Spanish 2, 3 and 4 for 6 years at Splendora High School; named Department Chair for Languages Other Than English.  He earned a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership from Sam Houston State University  and earned the Principal Certification from the SBOE in 2012.

Alejandro has been teaching Spanish and English at Be Bilingual since 2014.

Alejandro is a passionate educator that believes every person can learn if they take the time, and have the enthusiasm to learn.

Robert

English Instructor

Robert O’Hara is a proud American, born and raised in Connecticut. In 1996, he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Communication and Geography from the University of Miami, Florida. Furthermore, he taught himself Spanish and Brazilian Portuguese while living in Brazil and Mexico. Robert’s professional experience not only includes more than six year of English instruction, but also Business communication, such as writing business promotions and websites in sound effective English, and writing for a well-known Pennsylvanian political blog.

With experience teaching numerous foreign professionals from GE, Xerox, and UBS, Robert is confident that he can improve any individual’s English effectively and efficiently.

Ernest

Arabic Instructor

Ernest, an Egyptian descendent, graduated from Cairo University in Business Administration. Since childhood, he has had an inert passion for the Arabic language since his father, a retired school principal and teacher, instilled in him a love for Arabic literature. Currently, Ernest is a writer for a number of Arabic periodicals, an author of book series and an editor of a California-based magazine.

Ernest loves to teach and seeks to bestow the beauty of Arabic to all his students.

Sandra

Spanish Instructor

Sandra was born in Mexico City but grew up in Houston Texas. She went back to Mexico City for high school and university, where she studied Classical Studies at Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, French and Photography. She taught English for seven years before moving back to Houston; she was a supervisor and instructor for TOEFL examinations, created level exams as well as mid-terms and finals and also evaluated and interviewed potential teaching candidates. Sandra worked with Mexico City´s TURIBUS, instructing and perfecting their tour guides in the English language and Mexican culture.

Sandra imparts her classes adjusting to her student´s needs and is more than happy to share her knowledge on Mexican history and culture.

Giannella

Spanish Instructor

Giannella Da Fieno is a native Spanish speaker from Lima, Peru. She studied architecture at Universidad Nacional Federico Villarreal, where she also taught design subjects as an assistant teacher. As a result of practicing in Peru and USA, she is qualified to teach the language to A&E professionals as well.

She has studied in the USA to become a Spanish as a second language teacher and has experience teaching adults using authentic materials and meaningful communication based on the needs of the student and considering his/her learning styles. This contributes to a relaxing classroom atmosphere, where her students can benefit from real life dialogues and conversation while learning relevant language content.

She has taught at Be Bilingual since 2013.  She has incorporated her vast experience to Be Bilingual’s  conversational method.

She enjoys sharing this 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.

Vera Pereira

Portuguese Instructor

Vera was born in Brazil, Rio de Janeiro and has been living in the U.S. since January 2001 in the city of Houston.  She came with her two daughters Viviane (Bilingual Teacher) and Gabriela (She got a 100% scholarship to HBU, a talented runner).  Vera’s extended family has lived in Houston for many years.

Vera is a Psychologist who has a Specialization in Human Resources and Education.  She is a certified professional who took an Alternative Certification Program in 2006 (Texas Teachers).  She took Intensive English Classes at HCC for 4 years.

Vera has been teaching Portuguese classes since 2001 to individuals and groups.

Vera develops materials and teaching strategies to make sure that all students are achieving their goals of learning the language. She prepares, arranges and modifies the lessons as needed for her students. She also develops materials for Portuguese Immersion Classes.

Vera has successfully organized and involved in the “Houston Expat Brazilian and Portuguese Speaking Meetup” since November 2004. Today the group has more than 1200 members that meet several times in the month at various Brazilian events and restaurants. The philosophy of this group is to join people that want to improve their Portuguese by practicing it, learning a little about the Brazilian culture, and also to give Brazilians a chance to meet with people who speak their language, Portuguese.

Patty

English Instructor

Patty is a veteran teacher whose experience spans nine years of teaching domestically, in Boston and Houston, and internationally, as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Eastern Europe.

Patty teaches all levels of English, including Business English and Conversational English. She specializes in guiding the student to construct a functional, personalized vocabulary and, working alongside the student, instills confidence when working in English. She offers activities designed to boost vocabulary acquisition and clarify pronunciation. Each lesson is grounded in grammar and fresh, relevant materials. Focus is placed on the student’s goals.

Professional membership includes the TESOL International Association. Degrees include Social Work, Commercial Art and Advertising and recent graduate work in Conflict Transformation. Reading newly-released mysteries and painting occupy her free time.