Liz Thrush


Liz Thrush founded Be Bilingual Language School in 1989. Thrush studied Interpretation and Translation and served as the director for a language school in Mexico before returning to the United States. After re-locating to Houston, Thrush founded her own language school and began developing her own conversational method for teaching Spanish. Due to the high demand for individualized language instruction and Thrush’s extremely high standards for instructors, Be Bilingual has grown tremendously. Today, Be Bilingual continues to successfully teach language skills to students of all levels and walks of life.


Italian Instructor

Born in Italy, Paola lived and worked in Europe, Asia, Canada and (now) in the US. She is a Chartered Project Professional (ChPP) and a Chartered Civil and Environmental engineer. As an experienced Commercial and Project leader, in the last 20+ years Paola has held several international executive roles with some major Energy and Service companies.

Most recently, she has been working with individuals, communities and enterprises to understand and develop their potential in various areas including personal and professional growth, language and culture. Paola developed, managed and successfully delivered several internationally accredited learning courses and workshops, in collaboration with academic partners from various universities. She is passionate about her Italian heritage and successfully worked with individuals and businesses to prepare/improve their strategy either to operate in the Italian market or to brand/position Italian products.

Pat Walz

English and Accent Reduction instructor

Pat Walz has been an English and Accent Reduction instructor at Be Bilingual for 4 years.  She has a Bachelor of Arts from St. John’s University and a Masters from S.U.N.Y. New Paltz both in English and Education.  Her teaching experience spans over forty years teaching not only privately, but also in secondary schools and at the college level.  She is a published author and was a Contributing Editor for Bird Talk Magazine for twelve years.

Pat has been active in the Houston Read Program, the Amnesty Program and has taught for Harris County, and for the Chinese Cultural Center.


Born in New York City, she has resided in the Houston area for thirty-two years with her husband and her pet cats and dog.


Spanish Instructor

Cristina Salazar was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina; she graduated from the College of Business Management Administration in the University of La Plata. She has a degree in Communication and Spanish Literature. She then traveled to The United States where she has been teaching Spanish for 9 years.

In Buenos Aires she graduated from Big-Ben British School in English Communication. She also studied Italian and French
In the states she has worked with beginners, intermediate and advanced student from Shell, Chevron, Apache, and other oil corporations. She enjoys teaching individuals and groups.

Cristina`s hobbies are writing stories and being informed about European news, reading stories about Scotland Yard; her favorite hero is Sherlock Holmes. She likes to study about Castilian culture, The Cid Campeador and Spanish literature.


Spanish Instructor

Gaby was born and raised in Mexico City where she began teaching English as a Second Language in 1994.  She earned her ESL certification at Universidad Autonoma de Mexico. Gaby, then, worked for one year at the university’s Dentistry Faculty teaching Reading Comprehension. Additionally, she worked in the Language Center of Accounting and Administration Faculty at Instituto Politecnico Nacional.

After moving to Houston and before joining Be Bilingual in 2003, Gaby earned additional training as a volunteer at Second Baptist Church teaching ESL.

Gaby loves teaching and sharing her experiences with her students concerning the importance of learning a second language.

Hannah McCauley

Japanese/English Instructor

Hannah McCauley is a Houston native who grew up in many countries
overseas in a family of international educators. She holds a Bachelor
of Arts in English Language and Linguistics from one of Japan’s top
universities and following graduation, spent five years teaching
English in various high schools and higher education institutions
(including many private high schools and Kanagawa University in
Yokohama). She is also fluent in Japanese.

Hannah considers herself a textbook TCK (Third Culture Kid) and uses
her knowledge and experience with many cultures and languages in her
approach to teaching her students. She is passionate about teaching
and aiding students to improve their language skills to lead to
greater opportunities in the USA. Drawing from her past experience as
a beginner Japanese learner living in Japan, she is able to relate to
students seeking to improve their English in the US. Past employers
have noted her talent in creating innovative lessons and instilling
confidence in the student’s growing language ability. In a lesson,
Hannah focuses on grammar and vocabulary while aiding in
pronunciation, and using realistic scenarios where the student might
use the lesson content.

Hannah enjoys travel, learning about different cultures and the arts,
especially dance, her other passion. Besides English, she has taught
and performed middle eastern folk dances, mostly dances from her
mother’s birthplace of Iran.


Spanish Instructor

Sandra was born in Mexico City but grew up in Houston Texas. She went back to Mexico City for high school and university, where she studied Classical Studies at Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, French and Photography. She taught English for seven years before moving back to Houston; she was a supervisor and instructor for TOEFL examinations, created level exams as well as mid-terms and finals and also evaluated and interviewed potential teaching candidates. Sandra worked with Mexico City´s TURIBUS, instructing and perfecting their tour guides in the English language and Mexican culture.

Sandra imparts her classes adjusting to her student´s needs and is more than happy to share her knowledge on Mexican history and culture.

Vera Pereira

Portuguese Instructor

Vera was born in Brazil, Rio de Janeiro and has been living in the U.S. since January 2001 in the city of Houston.  She came with her two daughters Viviane (Bilingual Teacher) and Gabriela (She got a 100% scholarship to HBU, a talented runner).  Vera’s extended family has lived in Houston for many years.

Vera is a Psychologist who has a Specialization in Human Resources and Education.  She is a certified professional who took an Alternative Certification Program in 2006 (Texas Teachers).  She took Intensive English Classes at HCC for 4 years.

Vera has been teaching Portuguese classes since 2001 to individuals and groups.

Vera develops materials and teaching strategies to make sure that all students are achieving their goals of learning the language. She prepares, arranges and modifies the lessons as needed for her students. She also develops materials for Portuguese Immersion Classes.

Vera has successfully organized and involved in the “Houston Expat Brazilian and Portuguese Speaking Meetup” since November 2004. Today the group has more than 1200 members that meet several times in the month at various Brazilian events and restaurants. The philosophy of this group is to join people that want to improve their Portuguese by practicing it, learning a little about the Brazilian culture, and also to give Brazilians a chance to meet with people who speak their language, Portuguese.


English Instructor

Patty is a veteran teacher whose experience spans nine years of teaching domestically, in Boston and Houston, and internationally, as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Eastern Europe.

Patty teaches all levels of English, including Business English and Conversational English. She specializes in guiding the student to construct a functional, personalized vocabulary and, working alongside the student, instills confidence when working in English. She offers activities designed to boost vocabulary acquisition and clarify pronunciation. Each lesson is grounded in grammar and fresh, relevant materials. Focus is placed on the student’s goals.

Professional membership includes the TESOL International Association. Degrees include Social Work, Commercial Art and Advertising and recent graduate work in Conflict Transformation. Reading newly-released mysteries and painting occupy her free time.


Spanish Instructor

Giannella was born in Lima, Peru, where she graduated as an architect at Universidad Nacional Federico Villarreal. Upon graduating, she taught Architectural Design subjects as an assistant teacher.

After moving to California, she practiced architecture for several years while teaching Spanish to her colleagues from the A&E industry. In Houston since 2005, she decided to continue sharing her beautiful language and culture in the classroom, guiding many students through the journey of learning Spanish ever since.

She takes special care of her students by providing a relaxing atmosphere and considering their learning styles. Starting the first day, either in person or virtually, she encourages them to speak, incorporating real life dialogues and conversation while teaching relevant content. She relates to her students as a learner herself, having experienced  the process of learning  a second ( English) and third language (Italian).

Rebecca Pistiner

Spanish Instructor

Born in Cuba and raised in New York City, Rebecca is a cosmopolitan mix of academic qualifications and life experiences – she studied piano at New York University, completed her undergraduate work in Microbiology at the University of Louisiana, Lafayette and earned an MBA in Business Management at the University of Houston, Bauer College of Business.  Fluent in English and Spanish, Rebecca has thrilled audiences at Carnegie Hall and held positions in Biochemistry and Virology at clinical and research laboratories. She has taught Negotiations and Conflict Resolution at the University of Houston and owned several small businesses and has lived and taught English in Cape Town, South Africa and Villahermosa, Mexico. Rebecca has provided English and Spanish language services to the international community since 2011, training, teaching and coaching adults and children from South and Central America, Asia, India, Africa and naturalized citizens living in the United States.

Languages are coded sounds which, by social agreement, develop into a system for communication. Rebecca’s experience in a multi-lingual community and her training in music/voice, provides her with unique abilities. The proper use of grammar and the expansion of vocabulary allows her students to express themselves accurately and with intent. Her students are also trained in the use of breath, pitch, tone, projection and the proper use of musculature and oral structure to produce the appropriate sounds for articulation, clarity and intelligibility.

Houston has been “home” for the past 30 years where she enjoys the diversity in art, culture and landscapes that lend vibrancy to the city. The single thread which has remained consistent throughout her life is her love for international communication in all forms.


German Instructor

Julie is a professional educator and contemporary artist born in Germany, where she was the principal of Preschool and Kindergarten educational institutions for many years. She has vast experience teaching German and Art to students of all ages.
As an experienced private and online instructor, Julie has the knowledge and technical skills needed to engage students in remote lessons as if they were in person. She is a state-approved teacher.
Julie lived 5 years in Shanghai and is living in Houston since 2015, where she continues to share her passion for Art and the German language with her students , helping them succeed in their learning goals.