INSTRUCTORS

Our Spanish, French, English and Italian teachers are fun, energetic, enthusiastic, personable, patient, and willing to adapt to make your learning experience enjoyable. SEF carefully selects instructors and professors with a passion for teaching and language education background and certification unlike other tutoring agencies that hire volunteers. We pride ourselves on developing lasting relationships built on respect and mutual understanding with students. 

 

David Minaya

Title: Spanish Communications Specialist
    Services Offered: Beginning, Intermediate and Advanced levels of Spanish lessons in groups and private lessons for adults and children
    Experience and Credentials:
    • Architect degree from Ricardo Palma
    • University
    • Spanish art and language studies in Lima, Peru
    • 4 years Spanish professor at the Longmont Free University.
    • 2 years after programs Spanish instructor at Burlington, Fall River and Montessori Elementary schools.
    • 5 years teaching Spanish to professional adults and companies providing onsite lesson.
    • 4 years creating and developing the Spanish is Easy & Fun program language

    Travel Experience: USA, South America, Mexico and Canada.

     

     

     

     

    Jay Minaya

    Title: Spanish and English Communications Specialist.
    Services Offered: Beginning, intermediate and advanced levels of Spanish lessons in groups and private lessons for professional adults, teens and kids.
    Read Biography
    Experience and Credentials:
    • Business Administration and Marketing degree from University of Colorado.
    • SEF Language School and Minaya Group Real Estate Investment owner.
    • Spanish and Linguistics studies at Museo de arte de Lima.
    • 4 years Spanish professor at the Longmont Free University.
    • 5 years teaching Spanish to professional adults and companies providing private lesson and group classes at SEF.
    • 4 years creating and developing the Spanish is Easy & Fun program language
    Travel Experience: Canada, Spain, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Peru, Chile, Dominican Republic and Costa Rica.

     

     

     

    Meg Burns

    Title: English and Spanish Communications Specialist
    Services offered: All levels of English and Spanish  Language for children in group classes and private lessons.

    Experience and credentials:

    • PhD in progress, CU Boulder, Bilingual Multicultural Education: Educational Equity and Cultural Diversity.
    • MA, Applied Linguistics: English as a Second Language, UMass Boston BA, Sociology, Vassar College, cum laude.
    • Grades 1-6 Teaching License, Massachusetts Department of Education
    • ESL Teaching License, Massachusetts Department of Education.
    • First Grade Two-Way Bilingual First Grade Teacher, 2007-2011, Framingham, Massachusetts public schools.

    Biography:

    Meg began studying Spanish in middle school and continued at the college level, eventually studying abroad in Buenos Aires, Argentina. After completing her teacher preparation in college, she was hired by a Two-Way bilingual school outside of Boston. She loved teaching first grade at this wonderful school, and misses it every day. While teaching, she completed her Master’s degree in Applied Linguistics. She also lived briefly in Antigua, Guatemala, where she helped train teachers in Spanish literacy development strategies at a local NGO-funded school. While she is currently being trained as an educational researcher, she continues to love working with children and adults learning new languages. Meg lives in Boulder and enjoys hiking with her dog, seeing live music, and spending time with friends and family.

    Travel experience: Argentina, Guatemala, Puerto Rico, Cuba, Uruguay, Chile, Italy, Ireland

     

    Jala Pfaff

    Title: Spanish and English Communications Specialist
    Services offered: Beginning, Intermediate and Advanced levels of Spanish and English language lessons in group classes and private lessons.
    Education:
    • Doctoral coursework, General and Hispanic Linguistics. OSU.  Honors.
    • M.A., Hispanic Linguistics.  University of Colorado at Boulder.  Honors.
    • B.A., Spanish.  Alma College.  Honors.
    • A.A., International Studies.  Lansing Community College.  Honors.
    • Medical Interpreter Certification Training. Bridging The Gap program.
    Experience:
    • Spanish instructor at Lifelong Learning Program
    • ESL instructor at SEF language School.
    • Front Range Community College
    • IBM
    • University of Colorado
    • Ohio State University
    Besides being an exceptional Spanish and English language teacher,  Jala is also a published writer and a professional artist who does abstract painting. She participates in Boulder Open Studios each October, and her work can be seen at the Osmosis Gallery in Niwot, and also at www.jalapfaff.com.
    Travel Experience: Mexico, Spain, Cuba, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Guatemala, Europe, Iceland,Japan, Korea, Israel, Jordan, Morocco, India, New Zealand.

     

    Olga Vasile

    Title: Italian and French Communications Specialist.

    Services Offered: All levels of Italian and French Language lessons in group classes and private lessons for adults and children

    Experience and Credentials:

    • M.A. in Italian Studies. University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN.
    • B.A. (laurea) in Foreign Languages & Literature Università di Roma “La Sapienza”- Rome, Italy.
    • Qualified teaching status for teaching languages (French) in High schools, Italy and UK.

    Olga was born in Rome and is a native language speaker of Italian. After her first degree in Foreign languages, she lived for a year in Grenoble, France teaching Italian in High school and attending classes in French literature and language teaching at the Université Stendhal.

    On her return to Italy she taught French in High school for 2 years, before pursuing further studies and teaching languages in the USA.

    During the course of her life she lived two years in Indiana, six years in California, eight years in England and three years in Quebec. She recently moved to Boulder where she is fascinated by people sportive and health conscious lifestyles.

    She taught primarily Italian in universities and adult education centers. She has been involved in several projects for the promotion of Italian language sponsored by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in California, England and Québec. In the UK she also taught Italian online for the Open University. She is keen in using technology and social media in language teaching. Olga’s international experience in different contexts made her develop a teaching style that focuses on learners’ needs and learning styles and draws from a variety of teaching approaches.

    In addition to teaching, Olga loves reading in French, Spanish, Italian and, of course, English.

     

    Laura Reinhold 

    Title: Spanish and English Communications Specialist.

    Services Offered: Beginning, intermediate and advanced levels of Spanish and Italian lessons in groups and private lessons for adults.

    Experience and Credentials:

    M.A. in Spanish Literature with Master’s Certificate in Gender Studies from the University of Wyoming

    ·         Dual B.S. in Journalism and Spanish from the University of Wyoming

    ·         Intensive Language Program at La Universidad Autónoma de Guadalajara, Mexico, summer of 2003

    ·         Study Abroad at La Universidad de Almería, Spain, from 2007-2008

    ·         Member of Sigma Delta Pi National Collegiate Honor Society

    ·         Taught one semester of English at La Universidad de Mayores, Almería, Spain

    ·         Taught two years of introductory Spanish at the University of Wyoming

    ·         Tutored UW students in all levels of Spanish and Intro to English all through college

     

    I recently graduated from the University of Wyoming’s Master’s Program in Spanish Literature and Gender Studies, and after two years of teaching Spanish to college students who may or may not have had much interest in the subject I was looking for a more fulfilling teaching experience. Language has been a passion of mine for as long as I can remember, and I strongly believe that language education should be accessible to anyone who has interest. It has been a rewarding experience teaching for SEF because the program’s approach to language learning aligns with my own personal pedagogical philosophy—there’s no speeding through a predetermined series of lessons, no strict adherence to just one method of teaching, and no arbitrary points of evaluation. With SEF the focus is on each student’s comprehension of new concepts and his or her ability to synthesize and spontaneously reproduce the material learned. I like having the flexibility to fit the lessons to the student rather than trying to force the student to comply with a particular approach. In addition to language, my other passions include riding and competing with my horses, spending time with my two dogs, and playing guitar.

     

    Jeremy McCann

    Title: Italian, French and Spanish Communications Specialist.
    Services Offered: All levels of French, Italian and Spanish languages in group classes and private lessons.

    Credentials:

    • Education:  Spanish, Italian, and French studies at Metropolitan State University of Denver
    • TESOL certificatio

    Biography:

    Jeremy was born in the San Luis Valley in Southern Colorado and grew up in a bilingual Spanish and English environment.  At a young age, he realized the importance of language and communication and went on to study Portuguese and Hawaiian.  When he was a teenager, he decided to start to study French and Italian in anticipation of a trip to Europe.  He studied Romance languages at university and also several other Polynesian languages independently.  He lived in Quito, Ecuador, on two separate occasions where he had the opportunity to translate between Spanish, French, English, and Italian.

     

    He believes that the ability to communicate with others in a different language gives a person a


    great advantage in understanding other cultures and to have a better sense of the global community we are all a part of.  It allows people to travel and interact with locals on a level that would otherwise be impossible.  He is passionate about helping others achieve their goals and learn to speak, read, and write a foreign language because it has so many undeniable advantages.