Faculty & Staff
Christos Theodoropulos is the Director of the Community Language Programs and the TESOL Certificate Program at Teachers College, Columbia University. Chris has an M.S.Ed. in TESOL from the University of Pennsylvania and is currently a doctoral student in Applied Linguistics at Teachers College (TC). Prior to TC, he served as the Associate Director of Curriculum and Staff Development in the English Language Programs at the University of Pennsylvania, where, among other duties, he was responsible for overseeing recruitment, hiring, supervising, and organizing the professional development of all language specialists and adjunct lecturers.
He has experience managing and teaching in several ESP programs and has taught general and academic ESL and EFL in the US and abroad. Chris also has considerable experience in online education, having led project teams in the development, implementation, and evaluation of several online courses and programs. Finally, he has worked with ETS in examining the criterion relatedness of the TOEFL iBT Speaking section, and has held leadership positions for TESOL International. His research interests include formative assessment, computer assisted language testing, and curriculum evaluation.
Program ManagerRoy Mateus is the Program Manager of the Community Language Programs (CLP) and the TESOL Certificate Program. Prior to Teachers College, Roy worked for Columbia University's Business School for 13 years as an officer in the Marketing Division, as Coordinator in Human Resources, and as assistant Coordinator for the Adjunct Faculty Center. At Teachers College, Roy was the Program Assistant for the TESOL and Applied Linguistics Programs. Roy speaks several languages and is currently a part-time student pursuing his B.A. in Italian.
Program AssistantElizabeth Reddington is a doctoral student in Applied Linguistics at Teachers College, Columbia University, where she also earned her M.A. She has taught English language learners at the community college level in the U.S. and the university level in Poland, as well as teachers-in-training through the Teachers College TESOL Certificate Program. A former Fulbright fellow, her research interests include classroom discourse and L2 writing.
TESOL Graduate Faculty LiaisonJames Purpura is an Associate Professor of Linguistics and Education in the TESOL and Applied Linguistic graduate programs at Teachers College,Columbia University and past President of the International Language Testing Association (ILTA). Dr. Purpura has taught ESL in the U.S. and EFL in France, Spain, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia; conducted professional development seminars in Belgium, Brazil, Greece, Japan, Jordan, Spain, Taiwan, Turkey, Russia, and the U.K..
Dr. Purpura co-authored the popular ESL/EFL series On Target (Scott Foresman), and was consulting author on the In Charge series (Pearson ESL). His scholarly works include Strategy Use and Second Language Test Performance(Cambridge University Press), Assessing Grammar (Cambridge University Press), articles in Language Learning, Language Testing, and Issues in Applied Linguistics, and chapters in edited books.
Farah S. Akbar has been a Teaching Fellow at the CLP since Fall 2011. She has taught EFL in Pakistan for 4 years and ESL in the U.S. for 5 years. In addition to teaching at the CLP, she teaches Introduction to Second Language Acquisition in the TESOL/AL Programs at Teachers College and has served as a peer-coach at the TESOL Summer Certificate Program.
She has also taught at the M.A. Program in the City University of New York (CUNY). Her research interests include computer-mediated communication (CMC) in second language acquisition, especially error correction via CMC, and technology-assisted language teaching and learning. Farah is currently pursuing her doctorate in Applied Linguistics at Teachers College.
Nancy Boblett is the Assistant Director of the Community Language Programs at Teachers College (TC), Columbia University. She has taught ESL/EFL and Spanish for over 35 years in the U.S. and Spain, including General and Business English at ESADE –Spain’s foremost Graduate School of Business.
In terms of teacher training, she has taught Classroom Practices and the Integrated Skills Practicum in both the TESOL M.A. program at TC and the TESOL Summer Certificate Program. Nancy’s research interests include teacher education and classroom discourse. She is currently pursuing her Doctorate in Applied Linguistics at Teachers College.
Charles Combs is a doctoral student writing his dissertation at Teachers College (TC), Columbia University. His research interests include input enhancement and instructed second language acquisition (SLA). He has published articles in Applied Linguistics and TC's Working Papers in TESOL & Applied Linguistics. He was also a member of the editorial board of TC's Working Papers in TESOL & Applied Linguistics and served as a co-chair of the Second Language Research Forum.
He has taught graduate courses at Teachers College and Hunter College. Charles has been active in the field of ESL/EFL instruction for over 25 years. In addition to teaching in New York City, he has also had extensive experience teaching abroad in Japan and Jordan and has travelled to over 30 countries.
Saerhim Oh is currently pursuing her Ed.D. in Applied Linguistics at Teachers College (TC), Columbia University with a focus on language assessment. She has taught Second Language Assessment at the TESOL Certificate Program at TC and has worked as a teaching assistant for the Second Language Assessment course offered by the Program of Applied Linguistics and TESOL at TC. She develops test items for the Oxford Online Placement Test, and she is currently working as a Doctoral Research Fellow for the Educational Testing Service (ETS). She has taught English as Second Language (ESL) for the English Language Institute, University of Hawaii at Manoa, and the Language Education Institute, Seoul National University. She currently teaches ESL in the Intensive English program at the American Language Program of Columbia University.
Michael Perrone is Director of the Northern Manhattan Improvement Corporation, a community-based literacy program, where he provides pedagogical support to 30 ESOL teachers. He has over 15 years of experience in the field of ESL and has taught in a variety of educational contexts including university-level classes, community-based organizations, and for-profit language institutes. Michael's research interests include student assessment, motivation, and language pedagogy. Michael received his Doctorate in Applied Linguistics from Teachers College.
Howard Williams' background is in theoretical linguistics and in TESOL. He received his Ph.D. from UCLA in Applied Linguistics in 1996. His major research interests are in linguistic theory and its applications to discourse analysis and to language teaching. He is currently researching reported discourse within the framework of current pragmatic theory. He has recently been involved in a project to reintroduce the formal study of grammar in a secondary-school curriculum in a NYC public school.