“I’m Not a Bot!” Get to Know Bridge TEFL/TESOL Course Tutors

By Krzl Light Nunes
September 7, 2020

Behind the success of every Bridge course graduate is a personal tutor who was there to offer guidance. However, you may wonder if these tutors – who greet students when they log in, answer questions, and provide homework feedback and grades – are just “bots,” or if they’re actual humans. Rest assured, the Bridge team of TEFL/TESOL course tutors is made up of real, live teacher-trainers in locations worldwide, with diverse backgrounds and experience. Get to know a few of the tutors.

Cheryl Madrid

Tutor for Bridge online TEFL/TESOL courses


How would you describe your tutoring style?


I like to be encouraging and helpful giving some resource tips and teaching tips along the way.

What advice do you have for Bridge course trainees and new English teachers?


Make sure to have good resource materials at hand. There may or may not be training, so you might want to take time to watch teachers in action to know what to expect.

What’s your favorite travel memory?


We were in Colombia trying to find the airport, which I guess must be a secret place. A nice taxi driver got us straightened out and had us follow him to within a mile.

What do you do when you’re not tutoring?


I work as an adult ESL instructor for Denver Public Schools four days and eves. I enjoy reading and working out in my spare time. I love watching sports: football, soccer, bike racing, and horse racing, and am thrilled they are back. I am also quite addicted to Caribbean, Mexico, and Bahamas Life shows.

Katie Henley

Tutor for Bridge online TEFL/TESOL courses


How would you describe your tutoring style?


I provide a lot of intensive feedback. I feel that my feedback is a type of instruction as well as encouragement, so I invest a lot of time there. I tell my students this in advance because some students become very anxious about the amount of response I give, and I have to tell them my feedback is meant to be encouraging, reinforcing, and educational — even more than corrective.

What advice do you have for Bridge course trainees and new English teachers?


Be patient with yourself. Teaching is a trial by fire, and you’ll learn as you go.  By the time you’re an experienced teacher, you’ll wish you could go back and get a “do-over” for those first years, providing a better teacher for your students.

What’s your favorite travel memory?


I’ve been lost and bewildered so many times while abroad, and there’s almost always some kind person willing to step out of their comfort zone, and even go out of their way, to help. It gives me hope in our shared humanity to see that sort of kindness and it inspires me to be a better, more giving person.

What do you do when you’re not tutoring?


When I’m not tutoring, I’m working as a speech-language pathologist, spending time with my family, or reading a good book.

Gabriela (“Gabby”) Torregiani

Tutor for Bridge online TEFL/TESOL courses, Specialized Certificates in Teaching Young Learners, Teens, and Adults, Teaching English Online as a Freelancer, and Bridge Micro-credentials


What do you like the most about tutoring?


I love sharing what I know. Helping teachers become the best teachers they can be is what I love the most.

How would you describe your tutoring style?


Inspiring. I have a generous, happy style. I share what I know, who I am. I am honest, friendly, and fun. I am a good motivator, like a coach, and I want my students, teachers, and trainees to enjoy and create.

What advice do you have for Bridge course trainees and new English teachers?


Be confident; find your style but stay open. We learn from trying things out. During these times, we need to try to adapt and learn about different ways to teach and different technologies.

What’s your favorite travel memory?


I have so many memories. Each moment was more than special – studying abroad, making new friends, trying new foods, adapting to new cultures, visiting old friends, reuniting with cousins after a very long time, bringing my daughter with me, visiting my dream beach, and many others.

What do you do when you’re not tutoring?


Before this crisis, in a normal context, I would walk, meditate, listen to music, go out to dinner, try out different places, host different theme parties, with friends, and hold reiki sessions.

During the COVID-19, I cook, create Tik-Tok and YouTube videos for fun and professional growth, play with my daughter and my dog, and watch movies when I am not tutoring.

I also like celebrating different holidays and special events, like birthdays, anniversaries, Chinese year, New Year’s Eve, Halloween, and Easter. I love learning about different cultures and customs and I like trying different foods and experiencing different traditions.

Read Gabby’s advice on how to succeed as a TEFL/TESOL teacherpreneur!

Karina Zew

Tutor for Bridge online TEFL/TESOL courses, Micro-credentials


How would you describe your tutoring style?


I would say I like to point students in the right direction, but at the same time, leave room for each one to search for their own style. I usually provide concrete examples and tips and highlight the main difficulties I may find, based on my teaching experience and my knowledge in languages.

Can you tell us a memorable moment as a trainer?


I used to train the onsite Buenos Aires Bridge IDELT course, and with each new group, we had this ESL ice-breaking activity that included introducing yourself to others. But the key to the “Two Truths and a Lie” ice-breaker game was to tell some things that were true and one lie so that the others would have to guess which part of the story was not true. Once, when it was my turn to introduce myself, I made up this story about how I became a trainer: I used to work for a rare company that considered dog and human behavior to be very similar and they hired me as a psychologist, to train dogs.  Now, the way I told this story must have been really interesting, because some of my students were really fascinated and actually thought it was one of the true facts!

What advice do you have for Bridge course trainees and new English teachers?


I think the most important quality a good teacher should have is a passion for learning. If you enjoy learning, then one of the happiest moments is when you can help others do the same!

What’s your favorite travel memory?


I haven’t done much traveling, but one of my best trips involved a lot of music. I love playing the saxophone, and on one of my trips I started hanging out in live music bars and ended up playing in some of the gigs they had there!

What do you do when you’re not tutoring?


I play the saxophone in rock bands, and I also play some tango on the piano. I also love cooking and spending time with my friends and family. I have two teenage kids, so that keeps me quite busy!

Get to know another member of the Bridge team: Program Advisor, Kevin Mermel, shares the 5 questions he asks people to help them choose the right TEFL/TESOL course.