Teachers

Greta D’Amico -French & Italian

Greta is a native of San Francisco where she received an early bilingual education in French and English. While a resident of Italy for four years, she acquired her paternal language, Italian. Her additional language studies include Spanish, Old (medieval) French, and early vernacular Italian. Greta earned her MA and PhD in Comparative Literature at the University of Washington. She also holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of New Orleans and an advanced degree (DEA) in French Literature and Culture from the University of Geneva, Switzerland.

Greta taught French and Italian language and culture at the University of Washington for eight years and has published translations from Italian and French. At Antioch University Midwest, she has taught interdisciplinary studies and creative writing with a focus on environmental perspectives. She was awarded a nine-month literary fellowship at the University of Geneva, and residency scholarships at the Vermont Studio Center, the Santa Fe Art Institute, and the Anderson Ranch Arts Center, respectively. Her literary novel, set in southern Italy during WWI, earned finalist status in the Pacific Northwest Writer’s Association 2016 Literary Contest.

 

Connie La Brecque – Spanish

Connie is an enthusiast of language learning at a young age, and at every age! Of Italian background, she is fluent in several languages. She is a retired public school teacher with 35 years experience. She has MA in Spanish from Middlebury College in Vermont. Most of her teaching career was spent teaching Spanish (level 1-4) and Latin at the High School level. She also has experience teaching bilingual classes as well as English as a second language to adults. After retiring, she and her husband moved from the East Coast to Langley to be closer to their daughter and her family.

 

Roxane Mitchell — French

Roxane is originally from the South of France, where she met her husband while on deployment. She moved to Norfolk VA, where she began teaching Navy and Air Force Special Forces French language courses. As a result, Roxane received extensive training on the Communicative Approach, a revolutionary method of teaching languages that emphasizes interaction as both the means and the ultimate goal of study. She also created a learning group that encourages families to expose their children to the French language and culture, offering classes and fun activities all year long, in which her own three bilingual children take part in.

Roxane began traveling the world from a very young age, visiting countries such as Australia, South Africa, Indonesia, Scotland and many others. She found the best way to avoid homesickness was to share her love for France with locals. She is excited to adding the beautiful community of Whidbey Island to her passions.

 

Kathryn Rickert, Ph.D -Spanish

Beginning her studies of Spanish at the age of 12 in Seattle where she grew up, Spanish Language and Culture, especially that of Mexico, continues to be a life-long treasure. In addition to taking every opportunity to speak Spanish here in the US, as well as on trips to Mexico, Spain, and Ecuador,  Kathryn majored in Spanish and minored in German at Seattle Pacific University, and studied in Guadalajara, and Oaxaca. In her teaching of all ages, she seeks to help new speakers of Spanish to learn not only grammar and vocabulary, but to experience something of the heart of this rich, ancient/modern cultural and language tradition. That means studying with her usually involves some food, singing, movement, and imagination; anything that helps the non-native speaker begin to grasp some idea of how it feels to think in Spanish. She too is an adult student of a language new to her, Modern Hebrew, thus, she has a firsthand appreciation of the challenge of learning later in life.

 

Chan Ye “Yessi” -Chinese

Hi, my name is Chan Ye. I also go by Yessi. I was born in Xiamen, China. I moved to the US in 2013 and now happily live on this beautiful island with my husband who is from Whidbey. We love hiking, and met in New Zealand. Hiking was not my things when I was in China; however, after meeting my husband, we have hiked thousand miles all over the world. Gardening is my other passion.

I am teaching Chinese at NWLA CC to adults and children. It’s my pleasure to share my knowledge and love of China with people who are interested in Chinese language and culture. I am also part of the team at NWLA’s residential programs for participants from China. I enjoy welcoming them to this country which has become my home. I have a degree in Business English from China, and now I am also working on an accounting degree from Everett Community College.