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Our Instructors

Tina Hargaden

Tina just transitioned to high school English Language Development, teaching Emerging Bilingual Students at Madison High School, in Portland Public Schools in Oregon.  She has taught in the K-12 and university setting for 16 years as a French, Spanish, Language Arts, Reading, and Social Studies teacher.  She has pursued extensive training in literacy education through Teachers College Reading and Writing Project and extensive training in teaching languages using Comprehensible Input.  Tina is on a mission to spread the literacy education mojo throughout the land!  She founded Literacy Education Services in 2012 to do just that.  CI Liftoff is the language acquisition-focused branch of that enterprise.

Diane Neubauer

Diane, 杜雁子, taught Mandarin Chinese at elementary through high school levels for ten years. Making Chinese language and literacy more enjoyable and accessible to all learners is a strong goal in her instruction. Language teacher development and coaching are other strong interests. In 2017, she started a PhD program at the University of Iowa (Foreign Language and ESL Education) to get to delve into those topics more deeply. Diane aims to work in language teacher education and research in K-12 world language classrooms, keeping an eye on Second Language Acquisition and Chinese language specifics. She blogs and shares videos related to teaching and learning Chinese. Find her on Twitter @DuYanzi

Diego Ojeda

Diego is a passionate Spanish teacher and an accomplished world language presenter. He has been recognized and awarded for his outstanding teaching style that he brings to the class and enjoys sharing with his colleagues.A native of Bogotá, Colombia, with many years of experience teaching in his native country and in the United States, Diego brings a refreshing, cultural awareness and innovative perspective to the teaching of the Spanish language. Diego's instructional strategies can be easily adapted to any Spanish language proficiency level. Diego is co-founder of #langchat, a Twitter chat that has supported many world language educators in the US since 2011. He also is co-founder of #CharlaELE1 a Twitter chat where Spanish teachers around the world share and collaborate.  Diego is currently the World Languages department chair at Louisville Collegiate School in Louisville, KY.

Mike Peto

Mike was Department Chair of World Languages at Temescal Canyon High School in Lake Elsinore, CA until June 2017. He has been a Spanish teacher since 2000 and ran the heritage speakers program at his high school since 2007. He is a dedicated CI teacher (that is, a teacher who designs classroom instruction following the research of linguist Stephen Krashen) and writes about his teaching on the education blog My Generation of Polyglots. He presents frequently at regional and national conferences, including NTPRS and ACTFL (2018). Among his publications is an essay in the seminal guide to the TPRS method, Fluency through TPR Storytelling (Ray & Seely, 7th edition, 2016) and an essay in A Natural Approach to the Year(Hargaden & Slavic, 2018). He has also published his own succinct guide to teaching, My Perfect Year, as well as several limited vocabulary novels for language learners of Spanish, French and Portuguese. If you meet him in person, ask him about Japanese, the latest of five languages he has been acquiring.

Craig Klein Dexemple

Craig is a native Spanish speaker from Colombia, South America. He was born and raised in Cúcuta, a city near the Venezuelan border. Craig has a Bachelor’s and a Master’s in Spanish Literature, and currently teaches Spanish in the state of Iowa.  He is passionate about teaching the Spanish language through comprehensible input and has created unique approaches to instruction that include current events, culture, storytelling, music, literature, games, art, and more. He is a frequent presenter at many world language conferences and his presentations have been voted as best of the state. In 2018 Craig was also recognized as Iowa Educator of the year. He is the founder of and author of popular Spanish readers such as El ratón Pablito, La familia de Federico Rico, La piñata de Renata, ¡Papacito!, El silbón de Venezuela, Peter va a Colombia, as well as posters, maps, animated videos and other educational materials.  

Justin Slocum Bailey

Justin is a longtime language teacher raised in Vienna, Austria.  He trains teachers and designs programs for schools, districts, universities, publishers, and non-profits worldwide, with characteristic kindness, humor, and outside-the-box thinking. His experience in the United States ranges from top private schools to the poorest districts in the country. You can find Justin’s bio on his website, Indwelling Language, and read rave reviews from folks he has worked with. A simple sample: “If everyone taught language like Justin Slocum Bailey, we would have a world of self-directed polyglots.

Jason Bond

Jason discovered a love of languages while studying medieval Gaelic literature in Nova Scotia, Canada. This new love led to five years teaching Scottish Gaelic in a high school on the Isle of Islay in Scotland. Jason has been teaching Gaelic through comprehensible input for five years, both in the classroom and online, and offers an intensive course through the University of Dundee.  Meditation and mindfulness is the foundation for Jason’s everyday life. Over the years, he deepened his practice on retreats at Samye Ling temple in Scotland and at Plum Village in France. He has trained as a meditation teacher under the guidance of Julian ‘Daizan’ Skinner, the first Englishman to become a Rinzai Zen master in Japan. Jason is one of Daizan’s Zen students. Jason is dedicated to helping others develop calm, stability, and focus – three invaluable qualities for any stage of the teaching journey.

Sarah Breckley

Sarah currently teaches high school Spanish language and culture via comprehensible input, facilitates the UW-Green Bay College Credit in High School program, organizes travel immersion experiences, produces a vlog to share classroom videos with teachers around the world, and presents her strategies at workshops and conferences. Prior to her present placement she taught at the elementary level, at the Concordia Language Villages, and as a Global Discovery Leader for CIEE in Sevilla, España. Her favorite teaching methods include providing CI using TPRS while riding a unicycle, target language karaoke, TPR selfies, and drawing sweet dry-erase cartoons to increase comprehension. Sarah was selected as a Generation Study Abroad Fellow in 2015, as a Kohl Fellow in 2016, and as a Wisconsin State Teacher of the Year in 2017. Stop by her vlog, ‘Spanish Class Diaries’ at, and prepare for some learning and laughter.

John Bracey

John has been a Latin teacher in Massachusetts since 2010. He holds a B.A. in Classics from UMass Amherst and an MA from Boston College. He has taught Latin exclusively using Comprehensible Input for the past several years. He leads workshops around the country for language teachers of all kinds. John is also the 2016 Massachusetts Latin teacher of the year!

Ci Liftoff

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