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The creators of this podcast, Anna Ciriani-Dean and Shélynn (Shey) Riel, met in New York City in 2018. This podcast was born of their shared passion for continuing professional development (and wine), and of a desire to expand the discussion about TESL/TEFL, international education, adult learning, and intercultural communication to a broader community of like-minded teachers. 


The aim of this podcast is to create a reflective listening experience for teachers of the English language and to build a community of educators around the world who unite behind a shared fervor for teaching and learning. From each episode, listeners will glean ideas, resources, anecdotes, and perspectives from other educators on teaching strategies they can apply in their own classroom---all packaged in a fun, conversational format. 


Fellow educators are invited to participate in a true community of practice that facilitates their growth professionally and personally. Listeners can submit anecdotes, questions, or areas of interest for the podcast on a rolling basis via email and on our various social media channels. Ultimately, this podcast is for listeners, by listeners!


We believe that community is what creates effective and empowered educators… join us in our mission to better serve our students, and our own intellectual curiosity!


Anna holds an M.A. in Applied Linguistics and has worked in language education since 2009. She is currently a Learning & Development Coordinator for English Language Programs, where she creates online learning experiences on a wide variety of TESOL topics for English language education professionals participating in U.S. State Department exchange programs.

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Prior to this position, Anna served as an English Language Fellow to Armenia and Ukraine and worked as an ESL instructor, assessment specialist, writing-center consultant, and program manager at various universities and educational companies around the Seattle and Greater New York City Area.

Her goal as an educator is to empower learners by giving them agency in their learning process and providing them with the tools they need to excel in their academic, professional, and personal lives. Her research interests include teacher development, second language writing, antiracist pedagogy, and educational technology. 


She is a native bilingual speaker of English and Italian and an avid language learner, with proficiency in French, German, and Hindi. To start a conversation, talk to her about ballet, sea kayaking, books, travel, tea, grammar, and cats!


Follow her on Instagram, Twitter and/or LinkedIn


Shélynn (Shey) Riel holds an M.Ed. in TESOL, and has been working with English learners for over fifteen years, specializing in adult education. In 2017, Shélynn served in Argentina as an English Language Fellow with the U.S. Department of State, facilitating teacher training and professional development of pre-service and in-service teachers in universities and language institutions across the country.

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Prior to her fellowship, Shélynn held positions of leadership, specifically in curriculum development and program administration, at universities and non-profits in her home state of Rhode Island. 

Currently, alongside her work as co-host of The Teacher Think-Aloud Podcast, Shey works with Bridge Education as the Expert Series Webinar Moderator, facilitating live monthly webinars that bring together ELT experts to share insights and perspectives on the latest English language learning techniques and technologies. She just returned from teaching advanced composition at a university in Bangladesh, where, in addition to her teaching, she supported a group of over 50 passionate instructors within the university’s pre-undergraduate program. 

As an educator, Shey believes in a holistic approach, striving to create balanced environments conducive to learning and reflection that are both challenging and nurturing of the whole being. Presently, her instruction is centered around augmenting student engagement in the digital classroom through the use of action-oriented research and student-led discussion; her current research interests include decolonial ethics in the language classroom, global citizenship education, intercultural communication, and reflective professional learning. 

In her spare time, Shey enjoys slow travel, practicing yoga, and studying languages.


Follow her adventures on Instagram @shey_teaches and connect on LinkedIn at

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