Who we are


Our pedagogy specialists and instructors have decades of experience teaching English across the globe with diverse populations in corporate and academic settings. Their deep knowledge of world languages and cultures, as well as the ELI’s small class sizes, allows instructors to provide immediate, individualized feedback to improve students’ approach to speaking and writing English. In flexible programming throughout the calendar year, students build fluency and comfort with the English language and North American cultures as they gain experience speaking with welcoming peers and instructors in new, engaging settings.

Meet Us

Julie Matsubara


Julie Matsubara is the Director of the English Language Institute, where she manages a team of ESL/EAL Language Pedagogy Specialists and oversees program operations. She also maintains open communications with key administrative members of the twelve divisions and schools around campus and other partner offices such as UChicagoGRAD and the Writing Program. Julie has extensive experience teaching English as an additional language (EAL) in Japan and the U.S. and transitioned to a managerial role starting in 2009. In her free time, Julie likes to explore the Chicago neighborhoods and discover new restaurants.

Amanda Samawi

Senior Operations Manager | Language Pedagogy Jr. Associate

As the Operations Manager, Amanda Samawi’s responsibilities include overseeing logistical and operational support for the English Language Institute, including supervising class registration, overseeing the ESL/EAL Writing Tutor Program, and marketing and social media. Amanda earned a BA in English Literary and Arabic Studies from DePaul University and an MA in Applied Linguistics from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Before joining the ELI, she was teaching ESL at Harold Washington College and working at UChicago Medicine as a fellowship program administrator. Her interests include reading, cooking, and diving into a good podcast.

Shane Dunkle

Language Pedagogy Specialist

Shane Dunkle’s responsibilities include classroom instruction, coordinating the ELI speaking courses, individualized instruction, and ELI course and curriculum programming. Shane has been teaching English since 2001 and has spent half of his career in Japan and the other half in Chicago. He has taught all age groups from preschool to senior citizens and has participated in program development and teacher training for various institutions along with curriculum design in all 4 skill areas. He holds a master’s degree in applied linguistics from the University of Illinois at Chicago and a BA in English Literature and Film from UIUC. He likes to watch movies, play board games, and talk about the World’s Columbian Exposition in his off time.

Paul Quaintance

Language Pedagogy Specialist

Paul Quaintance’s passion for communication, language, and linguistics led him to teaching, and in 2009 he received an MA in linguistics from Northeastern Illinois University. As a graduate assistant there, he specialized in improving the academic writing of non-native and generation 1.5 writers. Before joining the staff at UChicago’s English Language Institute (ELI), Paul worked at number of universities and colleges in the Chicago area. Paul holds a BA in theatre arts from New Mexico State University and has worked professionally on stage and on camera. He enjoys offering his ESL students an actor’s perspective on expressive and comprehensible vocal production.

Joshua Ruddy

Language Pedagogy Specialist

Joshua Ruddy is fascinated by language’s ability to defy physics– the written word can travel through time and space in ways that nothing else can. He has a bachelor’s degree in Anthropology, Literature and Philosophy from Marquette University, an MFA in Poetry from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and an MA in Applied Linguistics from the University of Illinois at Chicago. As an instructor at the English Language Institute, he enjoys travelling the world every day without ever leaving Chicago.

Déja Motley

Language Pedagogy Specialist

Déja embarked on her ESL teaching journey in Japan in 2001, where her love for travel and language instruction began.  Following nine fulfilling years as an ESL instructor and professor in South Korea, Déja returned to Chicago. There, she transitioned into roles at esteemed institutions such as the University of Toronto in Canada and Portland State University, Nanjing University of Posts and Telecommunications. Déja holds a master’s degree in international relations, along with multiple ESL certifications. Her recent aspirations include leveraging her global teaching experience to benefit the University of Chicago’s ELI Department, strengthening her connection to her hometown as a fourth-generation Chicagoan. Déja’s interests include travel, urban gardening, a deep love for all things 80s, and a passion for horror films, all stemming from her Halloween birthday.


“The Teaching English as an Additional Language (TEAL) class not only helped me get a job I really enjoy, it also helps me to perform well at that job, and made me aware of the best next steps to take to become an even better English teacher. I absolutely love teaching English abroad and I’m super grateful to my instructor and the class for all of the support I received preparing for this journey and along the way. I wouldn’t have been ready without it!”


College student

“I took Written Communication: Standards and Conventions because I wanted to improve and standardize my writing skills. The most useful part of this course was writing summaries and paraphrasing, and knowing your purpose and audience. I recommend this course for everyone, especially for students who are going to write thesis or take a written prelim exam.”


PhD student

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