While Eli grew up in the Pacific Northwest of the US, he began learning Spanish at 19 and later abroad in Mexico, where he taught English and immersed himself in Mexican culture and Spanish. After moving back to the US, he finished his B.A. in Spanish at Portland State University while starting a family. He continued at Portland State, completing his M.A. in Spanish with a focus on applied linguistics and cognitive approaches to Spanish film, literature, and grammar.
Eli has taught beginning to advanced Spanish courses for Portland State University and Portland Community College. He has also taught and helped design two courses for Pacific University: Healthcare Spanish, and Spanish for Dental Professionals, all while continuing to research and present his work at conferences throughout the country and abroad. While Eli has gained significant familiarity with the Spanish and culture of Mexico, his current interest and obsession is Argentina. He faithfully drinks traditional Yerba Mate every day and can make a mean empanada in the kitchen! Eli is excited to transition from teaching in academia to teaching in Freestyle’s environment of authentic language use with their community-oriented approach.