Founder, The Language Link
Barbara Ford graduated in Foreign Languages and Literature from Washington State University and earned an MBA in International Business from Middlebury Institute of International Studies. She also attended the University of Seville and the University of Madrid as part of her undergraduate and graduate studies. Barbara spent over 15 years in international business. She first worked as Marketing Manager for Hasegawa International Ltd, a Japanese trading company, and later joined Expeditors International, Inc. In her last position with Expeditors as Route Development Director for the Middle/Near East and Indian Subcontinent, she was based in Cairo, Egypt and travelled in the region for sales and new business development. In 1997, Barbara left the corporate world to stay home with her children. When her son entered kindergarten, Barbara was asked to start an extra-curricular Spanish program at his school. She did, and built a culturally rich program based on her belief in the importance of second language learning at an early age for all children. That program quickly expanded to become The Language Link, LLC, which now provides hundreds of Seattle area school children the unique opportunity to learn language through immersion in Spanish, Chinese and French. Barbara is a life-long language learner and speaks fluent Spanish along with some French, Japanese and Arabic. She loves spending time with her family, travelling internationally, working in her garden, and walking Discovery Park with good friends. She has been practicing Tai Chi since 1988 and regularly participates in exhibitions and tournaments. She believes this helps her keep up with the energetic preschoolers at La Casita Feliz!
Program Coordinator, Teacher, Global Youth Garden Lead
Jessica holds everything together at The Language Link offices, and in the field training and supporting our many language teachers. If anyone wants to know where something is, Jessica is the one to ask, whether it is a Chinese calendar, colored paper clips, or TiNi garden supplies. With her playful nature, she is sought out frequently by La Casita preschool students for big hugs or funny jokes. She has taught in our public school programs, summer camps, preschool, and led our global youth garden program. Jessica is bicultural and bilingual, having spent formative years in both Colombia and Seattle. She earned her BA degree in Spanish and Romance Linguistics at the University of Washington and is also an American Sign Language interpreter. In her free time Jessica enjoys gardening, cooking, a great deal of reading, and travelling.
Maestro Sebastián Grynberg
Teacher – La Casita Feliz and School Programs
Sebastián is a native of Argentina and grew up in both Buenos Aires and Mar del Plata. He studied psychology and Yiddish theater before moving to Seattle in 2002. Since arriving in Seattle, he has been teaching Spanish to both adults and children while also caring for his four sons (ages 3, 7, 11 and 13). He teaches Los Pollitos and Los Conejitos classes at La Casita and has been teaching in our before school programs since 2007. Sebastián’s lively manner and warm sense of humor brings great joy to our classrooms. He enjoys dancing (tango and salsa), cooking for friends and family, going to live theater productions, designing and making ceramics.
Maestra Estela Soto
Lead Teacher – La casita feliz, Teacher – School Programs and Summer Camps
Maestra Estela was born and raised in México and earned her certificate in Early Childhood Development here in Seattle. She brings years of experience as a Spanish immersion preschool teacher, and has been teaching at La Casita Feliz since we opened in 2011. Estela’s insight and caring nature adds an extra sense of peace and happiness to our classroom. In her free time, Estela is almost always taking one class or another to satisfy her thirst for knowledge about early childhood development. She also loves to cook, design and make her own jewelry, as well as participate in cultural activities locally.
Our School Program Teachers
The Language Link teachers are either native speakers or have native fluency because they spent some years living in another country. Our teachers are dynamic, compassionate, creative, and well-spoken. Coming from Argentina, China, Colombia, Cuba, France, Japan, Mexico, Peru, Taiwan, Venezuela as well as the U.S., each teacher brings a different view of the world. Our teachers have degrees from their native countries, some with degrees from the US. They are gifted and natural teachers and all have either taught in The Language Link’s elementary school programs already or have other solid teaching experience with young children. All are fully trained in the curricula we use and love sharing their native languages and cultures with children.