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iTDi Mentors



View iTDi Mentors in a larger map

Where in the world are our Mentors?


Mentors are special members of our iTDi community. We're very lucky to have such incredible teachers willing to volunteer to share their time and expertise with our community. They are lifelong language learners who are constantly working to become better teachers. You'll find our Mentors interacting with teachers in our lesson forums, meeting with small groups of teachers in chats, and presenting at conferences -- basically, doing whatever they can to help iTDi member teachers become the best teachers they can be. Mentors are teachers helping teachers!


Click on the photos for bios and links.



Sevim Açıkgöz


Esther Ariesta


Arzu Baloglu


Rose Bard


Divya Madhavan


Phil Brown


Barbara Bujtas


Alexandra Chistyakova


Dina Dobrou


Maryam Fazeli


Michael Griffin


Barry Jameson


Josette Leblanc


Tülay Önder


Victoria A. Ostankova


Erika Osváth


Marisa Pavan


Ratnavathy Ragunathan


Victor Hugo Rojas B.


Joanne Sato


Nina Septina


Wawan Setiawan


Adam Simpson


Matt Shannon


Geoffrey Sinha


Kevin Stein


James Taylor


Débora Tebovich


Annie Tsai


Gerannaz Zahedian

Sevim Açıkgöz

iTDi Mentor

Sevim Açıkgöz teaches in the English Language Teaching Department at İstanbul Bilgi University, in Istanbul, Turkey. She is the organizer of The Third International ELT Students Conference and Istanbul Bilgi University ELT Students Conference. She has given workshops at international and national conferences, and is interested in Learning Technologies. She blogs to reflect about teaching and to broaden her personal learning network.

Blog: sevimacikgozblog.wordpress.com

Esther Ariesta

iTDi Mentor

Esther has been an English teacher for children and teachers in her hometown Surabaya, Java. Even though she is currently working in business, Esther is committed to supporting the education field, and maintaining her involvement. Esther believes that education is an essential base for every aspect of life. With learning and sharing knowledge and ideas, she is convinced that we can improve education for now and into the future.

Facebook: Esther Ariesta
Twitter: @EstherAriesta

Arzu Baloglu

iTDi Mentor

Arzu is an EFL teacher in a secondary school in Turkey. She's been a teacher for nearly 15 years and has always worked with teenagers. She's interested in applying web technologies into classes and her students and herself share their work on their class wiki. Arzu's enthusiastic, motivated and always eager to share. She likes reading, travelling, learning about other cultures, taking photos and riding her bike.

Rose Bard

iTDi Mentor

Rose has been teaching English in private language schools since 1998. A passion for teaching and learning led her to pursue a major in Pedagogy with emphasis on Early Childhood education. She has been working as an English educator for the past 5 years for SATC School, a great Educational Institute. She works in the language center department with all levels and ages. She loves learning from and with other teachers. She is also very interested in online professional development and the role of technology in order to enhance authorship and language learning through a process of dialog.

Blog: rosebardeltdiary.wordpress.com
Twitter: @rosemerebard
Facebook: rose.bard

Divya Madhavan

iTDi Mentor

I work in higher education and am interested in language, culture, education and society. I head a training program for implementing English as a Medium of Instruction (EMI) at Ecole Centrale Paris, so I work a lot with academics and in education management. I mentor the teaching assistants at Centrale as well. I also teach courses at Ecole Polytechnique every autumn term on societal challenges. I would love to connect with colleagues from around the world.

Blog: A little diary of language learning
Twitter: @_divyamadhavan

Phil Brown

iTDi Mentor

Phil loves teaching and learning, reflecting and growing with others. Exploring the learning process from many perspectives, he enjoys connecting meaningfully with a wide range of people. Since 2001, he has taught EFL in various contexts in Japan, from kindergarten, junior and senior high school, and university, to 'juku' (cram school), private corporations, and government ministries, as well as volunteered on Peace Boat. He is currently a lecturer and learning advisor at Konan Women's University, a tutor on the University of Birmingham Distance MA TEFL/TESL program, and founding member of MASH Collaboration.

His main pedagogical and research interests include learner and teacher autonomy and development (especially vocabulary learning strategies, self-access and negotiated learning), as well as critical and creative thinking, global issues, content-based learning and content and language integrated learning (CLIL). Together with Theron Muller, Steven Herder and John Adamson, Phil is coeditor of Innovating EFL Teaching in Asia (Palgrave Macmillan, 2012), and currently working with the same team on Exploring EFL Fluency in Asia.

Barbara Bujtas

iTDi Mentor

Barbara Bujtas is a freelance EFL teacher and materials writer in Hungary. She is involved in one-to-one and teaching small groups of all ages and purposes. She also works with groups of very young learners and teaches secondary conversation classes. She has been a teacher for 15 years, holding a BA in EFL she is very passionate, rather than academic. Her fields of interest are dogme, young and very young learners, ICT, online professional development, using social media, community building, learner autonomy, 21th century learning and skills, project pedagogy.

Twitter: @barbarabujtas
Facebook: Barbara Bujtas

Alexandra Chistyakova

iTDi Mentor

Alexandra Chistyakova is an English teacher at the Physics faculty of Moscow State University, Russia. She also works as a freelance teacher giving one-to-one English lessons to the large range of learners: from preschoolers to senior adults. She's always been engaged in the continuing professional development, taking various teacher-training courses, reading specialized literature and participating in ELT conferences and seminars. She received her CELTA at BKC-in, Moscow, in 2011. Her professional interests include: professional development, classroom management techniques, motivating the non-developers, teaching English to young and very young learners, integrating web 2.0 tools in the classroom. She believes that no success can be achieved without motivation and that there is no better source of motivation for teachers as being part of the vibrant international ELT community. Apart from her job, Alexandra has a fascination for astronomy, nature, travelling and meeting new people.

Blog: ELT Diary
Twitter: @AlyaAlexandra

Dina Dobrou

iTDi Mentor

Dina Dobrou is an EFL teacher and freelance translator from Athens, Greece. She has been working for over 16 years in language institutes in Athens, both as a teacher and a Director of Studies. She currently works for an educational organisation in Athens, Greece and spends her summer teaching multicultural classes in the UK.

She's passionate about change, development and taking things to the next level. She enjoys being part of an online community of teachers and sharing ideas with them as it leaves you feeling that you are actually, literally helping shape the world of ELT which you're a part of.

Blog: On Air
Twitter: @DinaDobrou

Maryam Fazeli

iTDi Mentor

Maryam Fazeli is an MA student of TEFL at Guilan University in Iran. She's an English teacher and lives in Rasht, Iran. She's currently conducting research on Demotivation and teaches English in language institutes. She believes that a successful teacher primarily should be a motivator of students to desire learning. She's passionate about motivating others and psycholinguistic issues. She's a music lover and an avid gardener. Furthermore, she agrees with this statement that a person who dares to teach must never cease to learn.

Michael Griffin

iTDi Mentor

Mike has been teaching for more than 12 years. His current "day job" is teaching graduate students at Chung-Ang University in Seoul, South Korea. He also does teacher-training and trainer-training both on and offline. Though Mike prefers low tech and materials-light approaches in his day-to-day teaching he is a believer in teacher development online. Mike spends quite a lot of time on the internet and is actively involved in #KELTchat.

Blog: ELT Rants, Reviews, and Reflections

Barry Jameson

iTDi Mentor

Barry is a teacher of both adults and young learners. He has taught in China, Korea, and Ireland. He is an active member of the online community, and regularly takes part in reflective practice, which helps him connect with other teachers to reflect on and improve their teaching. His passion is sharing ideas with teachers around the world and being part of a strong community.

If you ever want to contact Barry, you can send him a message or friend request on iTDi.pro, and he would be happy to connect. You can also contact him on twitter. He is currently studying for his Masters in TESOL.

Blog: barryjameson.wordpress.com
Twitter: @BarryJamesonELT

Josette Leblanc

iTDi Mentor

Josette LeBlanc is an English language teacher and teacher trainer who currently teaches in Daegu, South Korea. She's curious about reflective practice, compassionate communication, and teacher development done both online and offline. She believes learning, whether it happens in or out of the classroom, is a process of discovery and transformation.

Blog: Throwing Back Tokens
Twitter & Instagram: @JosetteLB

Tülay Önder

iTDi Mentor

Tulay is a teacher in a primary school in the capital city of Turkey, Ankara .She's been working as a teacher for more than 15 years. In her opinion, working with children has created a child inside her, and she loves the inborn child within her.

She teaches English to children who are between 10-13 years old. She's interested in Projects and Students' Exchanges, and has been doing projects for 4 years. She also travels to other countries with her students and notice that it is really a good chance for them to share cultures, learn traditions, get more self-confidence and improve their English. During these visits they are hosted by foreign families. When they return to Turkey after these visits, they feel that they have gained much and it makes her extremely satisfied with the work that she does. She loves learning when she teaches.

In her opinion, teaching also means exchanging knowledge and she believes that she'd never stop doing it.

Twitter: @tulaying

Victoria A. Ostankova

iTDi Mentor

Victoria teaches English at the Educational Centre for Gifted and Talented Children. She is an alumna of the programs as E-Teacher Scholarship and Access Scholarship Program run by the Department of State, USA. She is also a teacher trainer on behalf of the British Council in the Kamchatka region. She believes that a teacher plays an important role in students' lives. Every child has an inborn potential and it is up to a teacher to recognize it and make it grow or develop further. In addition, teachers themselves should master and prefect their professional skills every day, that is, attending conferences, workshops, keeping diaries or blogs, writing articles and sharing classroom experience, etc. The more we learn, the more we enrich not just our own lives but also the lives of our students.

Erika Osváth

iTDi Mentor

Erika Osvath, MEd in Maths, DTEFLA, is a freelance teacher, teacher trainer, materials writer and co-author of the European Language Award-winning 6-week eLearning programme for language exam preparation. Before becoming a freelance trainer in 2009, she worked for International House schools for 16 years in Eastern and Central Europe, where she worked as a YL co-ordinator, trainer on CELTA, LCCI, 1-1, Business English, YL and VYL courses, and Director of Studies.

She has extensive experience in teaching very young learners, young learners and teenagers. Her main interests lie in these areas as well as using technology in ELT. She regularly travels to different parts of Hungary to teach demonstration lessons with local children and do workshops for teachers, and this is something she particularly enjoys doing as it gives her the opportunity to delve into the human aspects of these experiences.

Blog: www.erikaosvath.com/
Twitter: @erikaosvath

Marisa Pavan

iTDi Mentor

Marisa has been teaching ESL/EFL in a variety of contexts for over 20 years. She's a translator, an interpreter and an assistant to the supervisor of an educational consultancy firm that takes Argentinean students to London on cultural trips. She is a life-long learner who's passionate about sharing with educators from all over the world. Her favourite tools are wikis, which she creates and shares with her students so as to develop learners' autonomy. She has a personal wiki called Linguistic Consultancy.

Facebook: Marisa Pavan
Twitter: @Mtranslator
LinkedIn: marisapavan

Ratnavathy Ragunathan

iTDi Mentor

Ratnavathy Ragunathan (or Ratna for short) is a freelance teacher from Malaysia, currently teaching both ESP and General English at a private university. She considers herself truly fortunate for getting the opportunity to work with young learners, teenagers, young adults and adults of varying proficiency levels from different parts of the world. She's been teaching for the past 7 years, including an 8 month stint in South Korea. She's also conducted several teacher training workshops, both online and offline. Ratna believes that teaching and learning is a journey where the teacher and learner walks hand in hand. She loves designing lessons that promotes creative and critical thinking, collaborative learning and leaner autonomy. She strives to continuously develop as a teacher by growing together with like-minded passionate educators from around the globe.

Blog: Ratna's ELT Journey
Twitter: @ratnavathy

Victor Hugo Rojas B.

iTDi Mentor

Victor Hugo Rojas B. is associate professor of Didactics of Teaching EFL in the Department of Foreign Languages at Universidad Nacional de Educación in Lima, Peru. He is a teacher trainer and educator with more than 27 years of experience. He is passionate about language teacher training and development, and learning technologies. He believes, fervently so, that teachers must be trained through teaching practice, facing challenges, and creating new methodologies. He is the founder of PETsNet.

Blog: Issues Concerning Language Teacher Education
Twitter: @victorhugor
Website: Peruvian English Teachers Network

Joanne Sato

iTDi Mentor

Joanne Sato is a British woman who has been living and teaching in Japan for thirteen years. She has lived in Fukushima (yes, THAT Fukushima) city for the last ten of those and works at a women's college. She has an MA in TEFL from the University of Birmingham, England.

Twitter: @sugarjo

Nina Septina

iTDi Mentor

Nina Septina feels very lucky to be able to teach a wide range of levels from young learners to adults at LBPP-LIA Semarang Candi, Indonesia. She believes in the power of connection building and collaboration as they allow the opportunities to make the most out of one's individual ability to evolve and make positive changes happen. One of her main concerns in teaching is to foster a passion for learning by incorporating the use of technology and music in and outside the classroom to help students achieve their learning goals.

Facebook: Nina Septina

Wawan Setiawan

iTDi Mentor

Besides being a teacher, Wawan Setiawan has been functioning for over 13 years as a mentor and coach at one of the biggest English courses in Indonesia. Amidst his job at the institution, he also has started his own Life Skills Coach Center in the city where he lives, Bandung, West Java Indonesia. His career has taught him that teaching is a profession that enables someone to evolve and transfer his teaching skills to another area that needs a special touch that only a teacher can do. He also believes that a teacher owes much to on-going teaching reflection processes for his or her development to take place. His fashion in approaching his function as a coach and a mentor is very much practical rather than academic.

Facebook: English.Stew

Adam Simpson

iTDi Mentor

Adam has been fortunate enough to spend the last twelve years of his journey as a life long learner working with others in what some call the 'language classroom'. He is currently privileged to have the opportunity to help young adults meet their educational goals at Sabanci University in Istanbul. His professional interests include flexibility within the curriculum and the considered use of technology in the classroom. He occasionally finds time to blog about his life.

Blog: Teach Them English

Matt Shannon

iTDi Mentor

Matt Shannon is an educator, cultivator and curriculum developer who works with elementary and junior high school students in Saitama, Japan. His goal is to provide real-world opportunities for EFL learners, specifically in the areas of debate, journalism, and science. Some of his students will have an experiment launched into space soon. He enjoys cooking, gardening, and the life sciences. He likes to build things.

Geoffrey Sinha

iTDi Mentor

Geoffrey was born and raised in New Zealand and he's lived and worked in Japan since 2000. He loves living and working in Japan! He's a full-time lecturer, member of the International Affairs Team, Tour organiser, and coordinator for academic speaking at Tama University, School of Global Studies. He loves his job! In his spare time he loves hiking and travel. He's fortunate enough to be able to take his students to NZ on tours each year. He's a firm believer that 'travel keeps you young'!

Kevin Stein

iTDi Mentor

Kevin's an English teacher working at a small private high school in Osaka, Japan. He's been working as an English teacher for 14 years, all of them in Japan. He's worked with students at the kindergarten, junior high school, high school, and university level in both private and classroom settings. So he has a little bit of experience working with all kinds of students. His area of special interest is stories/literature in the classroom. He thinks it is important to give his students interesting and moving stories to help transport them out of the classroom and explore language in fresh and natural ways. He blogs regularly about what's happening in his classroom or what he's reading and sharing with other teachers.

Blog: The Other Things Matter
Twitter: @kevchanwow

James Taylor

iTDi Mentor

Originally from Brighton, UK, James has taught English as a foreign language to adults in Brazil, South Korea and Belgium. He teaches business and general EFL to adults. You can find him blogging at theteacherjames.com, moderating #ELTchat and presenting the #ELTchat podcast. He is also the co-founder of BELTA, the Belgian English Language Teachers Association. He believes that all educators have a responsibility to their students and to their profession, and to fulfil this they must attempt to grow and help each other.

Débora Tebovich

iTDi Mentor

Débora Tebovich is a freelance EFL teacher based in Buenos Aires, Argentina. She teaches one-to-one and face-to-face and also online. She has been teaching English for over 20 years. She has worked with kids, teenagers, young learners and adults both at private language schools and also in-company. Absolutely passionate about teaching and learning, she is enthusiastic about using technology to create memorable learning moments.

Above all, Débora strongly believes in the power of education to transform people's lives, and to help and encourage freedom of thought and develop bonds to make our world a better place for all of us and for future generations.

Blog: Datenglish

Annie Tsai

iTDi Mentor

Annie Tsai is an EFL teacher from Taiwan. Her main interests are project-based learning and bringing technology into the classroom. She enjoys teaching elementary school children as they often are natural-born explorers. In her class, she seeks to exploit songs and games that reflect real-life scenario to facilitate language learning. Her students enjoy routine correspondences with various international partner classes.

She's also a passionate backpacker and it has been a ritual to mail a postcard to each student in her class from somewhere exotic during summer and winter breaks. Her class always enjoys receiving words from these far away lands and the tales she shares after the trip really help to motivate them in learning a foreign language!

Blog: Annie's Corner
Facebook page: Annie Tsai

Gerannaz Zahedian

iTDi Mentor

Gerannaz Zahedian is originally from Ishfahan, Iran where she grew up in a family with a father who read to her in English and was a great source of motivation. Not only did her father read famous stories to her in English over and over, but he also bought her all the Disney cartoons he could find. Gerannaz loved the characters, their language and their beautiful accents and strongly wanted to understand what they were saying. With this base, she went on to study English with an interest in teaching, graduated from the Payam E Noor University of Khansar, and has been teaching both adults and young learners off and on for nine years. In addition to this teaching, Gerannaz set up an NGO focused on AIDS and addiction prevention which she was involved in for several years. She's got a background in gymnastics as both an athlete and a trainer, and loves doing pottery, for which she has a license. Currently, she's furthering her studies in a teacher training program at Bahcesehir University in Istanbul Turkey, with the goal of becoming the best teacher and teacher trainer she can be.