Meet your personal team of native speaker teachers
•trained in the Virtual Immersion™ Method
•graduates of prestigious U.S. universities
•working together to help you achieve success in English


To speak English as we do in North America, you need conversation practice with native speakers. That’s why all NEI teachers and coaches speak English as our first language.

Frith Ann Maier
Founding Director

Frith’s immersion language learning experiences inspired the NEI method, using web technology to create a program proven to help learners of English achieve their goals faster. She studied French in high school, then learned to speak Japanese during two years living in Japan, before becoming fluent in Russian as a college student. A successful serial entrepreneur, Frith created the Russia & Central Asia travel program for REI Adventures, and subsequently founded and built a software company, Sesame Communications. Master’s in International Studies (University of Washington), TESL-certified, Internet innovator. 

Kristina Curtis Ekiz
Education Director

 Kristina's interest in language learning has translated into being both a lifelong student of languages and an ESL teacher. After graduating with a B.A. in Russian Studies, she decided that using language to connect people and bridge cultures was her passion. She graduated with a Master's in TESL, and has taught English to learners of all ages from Moscow to Seattle, at public schools, private schools, and colleges and universities, including the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Washington. She is currently challenging herself with the study of Turkish.

TESL-certified Teachers


Nancy graduated from Stanford University with a degree in human biology and went on to complete a Master’s degree in city planning at the University of California, Berkeley in 1981.  She worked in the field of city planning for 10 years before raising her family.   She has been teaching English in the Spanish-speaking community in Seattle since 2009.


Karen earned a B.A. in Social Science Teaching and subsequently taught World Literature and English to teenagers at a public school in Boulder, Colorado. Her TESL certification was motivated by Karen’s desire to work with English language learners of all ages in diverse educational settings.


Richard graduated from Grinnell College in Cognitive Science with a focus on Linguistics. He taught English in Thailand, then earned his Master's degree in Applied Linguistics and TESOL at Ohio University. He especially likes teaching speaking skills, business English, pronunciation, and academic preparation. 


Philip has been teaching English since 2008, after he finished an advanced English teaching certificate at Seattle University. Since then, he has taught in Turkey, Lithuania, and his home city of Seattle, USA.  His other educational credentials include degrees in journalism and biomedical electronics from Penn State University and North Seattle College. 


Sarah graduated from Oklahoma State University with a B.A. in Psychology. She went on to complete her TESL certification in London, UK in 2009. She was inspired to teach English after spending extensive time in Italy and enjoys the cultural connections it builds. She has been teaching English for over seven years and loves listening to the stories from the community of learners in Seattle and abroad. 


Alex discovered her passion for learning culture and language and helping others learn English while studying abroad in Siena, Italy as part of her BA in European Studies and Linguistics from the University of Washington. She then served a year in Literacy Americorps managing a conversational English program and fell in love with working with non-native English speakers. She received her MA in TESOL from Seattle University and went on to teach for ELS Language Centers and then spent 11 years teaching English and ESL at Bellevue College in Bellevue, Washington.