Meet the teachers at our language school in Bethesda.
Marian Zapata – Owner, CEO
Marian is a native from Granada, Spain. Marian and her husband moved to Maryland in the year 2000 and have two wonderful bilingual boys. After living in Bethesda for 6 years, and searching for language education, she realized there was a lack of effective language programs in the area. With her studies and teaching experience, she decided to create a school that would provide students with the best language education. That is how International School of Languages was born. Marian loves seeing the progress of all the students at the school and learning about their trips and experiences. In her free time, Marian enjoys playing and reading with her kids, family bike rides, camping, outdoors, pilates, and traveling (specially to Spain to see her family).
Sarah Evans – Administrator
Sarah grew up speaking US English but learned Spanish, through school, to an advanced C1 level. (Yes, it can be done!) She has also studied Latin and a little Japanese. In her free time, she likes talking about fiction and storytelling with her friends. Working in a language school reinforces her interest in learning how to speak to (and thus exchange ideas with) people from other cultures. The diversity of opinion and backgrounds of both the school’s teachers and students surprises her every day.
Asel Villalva – Administrator
Asel is originally from Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan and grew up speaking Kyrgyz and Russian. Besides fluency in those languages and English, she has a basic knowledge of both Korean and Arabic.
María Angelia Guaqueta — Spanish Instructor
Maria is originally from Bogotá, Colombia and grew up speaking Spanish. Besides Spanish and English, she also speaks some French and German. When not teaching, María enjoys playing guitar, dancing, and playing basketball. She believes that learning languages opens your mind to different cultures, giving you new knowledge of other peoples’ lives. She says: “If my students learn a new language like Spanish, they are going to meet friends, get to know new places, and most importantly, they are going to have an advantage: they will be able to communicate with people in any Hispanic country by themselves. Isn’t it great?”
Jessica Espinosa — Spanish Instructor
Jessica is originally from Mexico City, Mexico and grew up speaking Spanish. Besides Spanish and English, she also speaks French. Jessica views teaching as a challenge. She likes to create new techniques to keep students interested in the process of learning. She is proud to work with students’ strengths and wekanesses to make each person’s learning experience dynamic and strong.
Zina Khalid – French and English Instructor
Zina Khalid grew up tri-lingual and had already lived on 3 continents by the time she was nine years old. Her love of languages and passion for teaching them was nurtured in grade school where she studied and simultaneously tutored other students in both French and Spanish. She went on to do her university studies in Paris, and is still trying to figure out why she came back. With 25 years experience tutoring and teaching ESOL and French in private schools, Zina continues to indulge her life-long enthusiasm for sharing the gift of language with her students.“Language is inherently expansive; it expands our minds, perspectives, interests and understanding,giving us the exciting opportunity to experience authentic engagement. It is a bridge that we cross to other people with their rich history, heritage and culture, thereby enriching us, exponentially.”
Suzel Ribiere – French Instructor