ESL Faculty and Staff

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Mary Elizabeth Wilson-Patton

Mary Elizabeth Wilson-Patton

Associate Professor ~ Office 1334, Southeast Campus
615-916-5873 ~

I first experienced the joy of working with students from different languages and cultures as a member of the international student organization at my undergraduate university. My interests led me to a teaching job in Japan where I had the opportunity to teach English at a two-year college. At first, it was difficult to live in a country where I did not speak or read the language. However, I immediately began to study Japanese and learn about the culture. I fell in love with my new home, and I discovered my true passion—teaching English to non-native speakers. After I returned to the U.S., I continued to work with English language learners and their teachers. I completed a Master’s Degree in Community Education and a Ph.D. in Multilingual/Multicultural Education (Teaching English as a Second Language). For more than 25 years, I’ve taught ESL to children and adults of all ages. I’ve also taught classes for ESL teachers at several colleges and universities. I have been a full-time faculty member at Nashville State Community College since 2012. NSCC is definitely my favorite college. We have a great educational environment and terrific students. Let’s work together to improve your knowledge of English and find your path to the future.

Knowledge of languages is the doorway to wisdom. —Roger Bacon

Devora Mainer

Devora Mainer

Assistant Professor ~ Office K-108L, Nashville Campus
615-353-3295 ~

My parents taught me a deep appreciation of languages, cultures, and community service. As a result, I spent a year in Germany in high school and then another year in college. I spent some time teaching high school German, but I knew I wanted to be teaching ESL. After I got my Master’s in Applied Linguistics and Teaching English as a Second Language, I moved back to Nashville and started teaching ESL.

I love helping my students master English. It is the most satisfying job I have ever had. That’s why I’ve been doing it for over 20 years. I also love working at Nashville State because I really believe in the community college system. It gives students of all ages a second chance to follow their dreams. I look forward to helping you reach your dreams, too.

Communication leads to community, that is, to understanding, intimacy and mutual valuing. —Rollo May

Connie Mathews

Connie Mathews

Associate Professor ~ Office 1328, Southeast Campus
615-916-5868 ~

After I got my undergraduate degree, I joined the Peace Corps and traveled to Uzbekistan, where I spent two years teaching English to students of all ages. I learned two important lessons there. First, I discovered that I love teaching English. And second, I realized that it is really difficult to live and work in a language and culture that are not one’s own. When I came back to the United States, I completed my master’s degree with a concentration in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages and began teaching adult students who had moved to the U.S. to work or study.

I have been at Nashville State since 2005. The students I teach here are the hardest-working, most dedicated students I have ever had. Because of my past experiences, I know how hard it is to live, work, and study in a different language and culture, and I love helping my students overcome language obstacles so they can reach their goals. I can’t wait to see what you can achieve at NSCC.

To learn a language is to have one more window from which to look at the world. —Chinese proverb

Diane Eagle

Diane Eagle-Tunceren

Associate Professor ~ Office 1523, Southeast Campus
615-916-5894 ~

I. Love. Languages. I love everything about them: how they look, how they sound, how they are put together, and how they change. My love began the moment I heard my high school French teacher say “Bonjour.” That love led me to get my bachelor’s degree in French. Those four years studying French in college were the beginning of my second love: all things international. I wanted to experience different countries in person, so I spent seven years living in four different countries: Morocco, Spain, Turkey, and Costa Rica. While in those countries, learning about different people, different cultures, and different languages, I taught English, which led me to my third love: teaching English to international students. I got a Master’s degree in Teaching English as a Second Language, and have been in the profession since 1983. It makes me so very happy to help my students learn enough English to get a better job, help their children with their schoolwork, or get a college degree. I know I can help you, too.

One language sets you in a corridor for life. Two languages open every door along the way. —Frank Smith

Elizabeth Stein

Elizabeth Stein

Assistant Professor ~ Office 1329, Southeast Campus
615-916-5869 ~

I know how hard it can be to go to college in another country and to do college work in another language. While working toward my Master’s degree in Italian from Middlebury College, I attended the University of Florence in Italy. Although I taught Italian briefly at MTSU and Vanderbilt, I found that my true calling is teaching English as a Second Language. To best prepare myself for this career, I completed my MA and PhD in English/Applied Linguistics at the University of Memphis. I love languages and linguistics, and I hope that I spark a passion for learning in my students.

I joined the ESL program at Nashville State as an adjunct instructor in 2006 before serving as ESL Testing Specialist and Program Coordinator. Now I am a full-time ESL faculty member at Nashville State’s Southeast Campus. I love my job, and I look forward to guiding you on your way to meeting your academic and career goals.

A different language is a different vision of life. —Federico Fellini

Leda Longwood

Leda Longwood

Associate Professor ~ Office K-108K, Nashville Campus
615-353-3696 ~

My love for languages and cultures started in my high school French and German classes and continued into college, where I majored in German. In college, I spent an eye-opening semester abroad in Germany and Austria, where I learned how classroom learning was totally different from living in the country and using the language. After college, I traveled extensively throughout Western and Eastern Europe and really loved that experience. This interest in international populations led me to get my Master’s degree in Teaching English as a Second Language from Northern Arizona University. While I am not able to do much traveling out of the country these days, I feel like I can travel every time I walk into an ESL classroom at Nashville State because our students come from all over the world. I have taught ESL classes at Nashville State since 2005 and love assisting ESL students in the beginning of their college journey. I feel so proud and honored to see my former ESL students graduate and achieve their academic and career goals. I can’t wait to see you walk across the stage with your degree from Nashville State.

Learning is a treasure that will follow its owner everywhere. —Chinese proverb