Meet the Team

Team Members

Sadia Bruce Sadia Bruce Sadia Bruce is a writer, performer, and teacher with nearly a decade of experience teaching the finer points of the English language to students at all levels of study. A first-generation American born to a Filipino mother and Liberian father, Sadia has a knack for effective intercultural communication. She lived in Osaka, Japan for one year as a high school exchange student– the experience that sparked her enduring love of travel– and again in 2008 as an English teacher to adult learners. She attended Howard University in Washington, DC and Parsons the New School for Design in New York, NY.
Keith Kim Keith Kim Keith Kim was born and raised in New York City to two first-generation Korean parents. He attended Stuyvesant High School, and then went on to SUNY Buffalo and SUNY Binghamton. After his graduation, he taught English in Korea. Thereafter, he traveled to Japan to teach English in the public school system. Now back in his hometown New York, he is working to teach English to people of all levels, all over the world.
Jonathan Seiden Jonathan Seiden Jonathan is from The United States and was raised in the Washington DC suburbs. His first experience teaching came as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Kyrgyzstan and he has continued this passion in his current home of Tokyo by working at Teikyo University. Jonathan has written English and Russian podcast and video series and serves as the native English speaking host on a wide variety of other series. In his free time he enjoys learning, city cycling, playing and listening to weird music, and following American politics.
Alisha Ivelich Alisha Ivelich Alisha was born in California in the United States and raised in Oregon. She’s a native English speaker. Following graduation and after obtaining her BA in Japanese with a secondary concentration in business, she worked as an English teacher for two years in Japan before transferring to her current positions. She currently works at both Tokyo University and a beer/spirits import company. She enjoys cooking, knitting, exploring Tokyo, and sampling craft beer from all around the world! She is very glad to be working with the team, and hopes that the listeners will enjoy her work as well.
Braden Chase Braden Chase Braden Chase is a long-time teacher and student of linguistics, and has lived in and traveled to many parts of the world. He began teaching English nearly 10 years ago while on an exchange program in Brazil. He has since worked as a translator, interpreter, and business consultant to many companies throughout the world. He has extensive experience in English morphology and pragmatics but specializes in pronunciation and phonology.
Barbara Keene Barbara Keene Barbara Keene has lived in Brazil for the past 9 years teaching English at schools, corporations, and privately. She holds a degree in psychology and has extensive experience in alternative medicine, and worked for many years as a massage therapist. She is an avid reader and enjoys helping others learn.
Kellie Lacey Kellie Lacey Kellie was born in Wolverhampton, England and graduated with a degree in Psychology before deciding to move to Japan to teach English. She now resides in Chiba, Japan. She has been a teacher in Japanese high schools for over three years and also fills her time by writing reviews and live reports for an English language magazine that specializes in Japanese rock music. She is learning Japanese and loves to promote her Britishness at every opportunity with
John Amari John Amari John is a Ugandan-born freelance writer from the United Kingdom. He has also lived in Kenya and Japan. John speaks English and Luo, and conversational Swahilli and Japanese. Graduating with a degree in history from the University of London, he worked in the civil service in London before teaching English in Japan. He currently researches and writes on a number of topics including intellectual property, branding, business and international development.
Gabriella White Gabriella White Gabriella is a linguist and multilingual broadcaster from the UK. Born to English-Dutch parents, Gabriella has a BA (Honors) degree in Linguistics, French, German and History of Art from the University of Durham. An accredited international journalist, Gabriella has worked with the BBC and is published in international newspapers and magazines including the Tokyo Daily. Gabriella is now learning her fifth language, Japanese, in Tokyo.
Gina Heslington Gina Heslington Gina was born in North Shields and speaks English, Spanish and Hindi. A philosophy graduate of York University, Gina went on to get a CELTA and an NCTJ diploma in her pursuit of teaching English abroad. She taught English at Nichidai Junior High in Hiyoshi and at Natural English in Yokohama, Japan. Gina’s interests include art, travel, reading, writing and meditation.
Ryan Beck Ryan Beck Ryan is from the United States of America. He was born and raised in the state of Ohio. He first started teaching business English as a part-time job while attending college during a study abroad program in Tokyo. He hosts several series on and also works full time for Innovative Language. In his free time, he likes to travel and explore new locations in Japan. He also enjoys cycling, snowboarding, and an array of other activities.
Becky Gillespie Becky Gillespie Becky Gillespie was born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio. She’s a native English speaker who has now been living in Tokyo for almost ten years. She has used both her B.A. in English Literature and B.S. in Finance from Miami University while working for more than five years as an English teacher and four years preparing Japanese and U.S. tax returns for expatriates. She is currently working towards her Master’s Degree in Education, with a concentration in teaching English as a Second Language. She enjoys traveling the world, singing, watching movies, hiking, going to pub quizzes, and spending time in her favorite Tokyo neighborhood, Shimokitazawa.
Eric Hora Eric Hora Eric was born in Michigan, and moved to Ohio at the age of 8. He speaks English and Japanese, and his interests include Ultimate Frisbee, hanging out with friends, cooking, rock climbing, and backpacking.
Eric graduated from Ohio State University with a B.A. in history and a minor in Japanese, and has been teaching English since he arrived in Japan in 2012. Currently, he is mainly teaching kindergarten and business English.
Davey Young Davey Young Davey Young is an educator and writer who has lived in Tokyo since 2012. He studied Literature and Art History at the University of Puget Sound before receiving an MA in TESOL from Seattle Pacific University in 2010. Davey worked with immigrant and refugee ESL students in Seattle public schools and taught at universities in the U.S. and China before joining Rikkyo University’s Center for English Discussion, where he currently works as a Program Manager. Davey also writes about travel & culture and food & drink in Japan for a variety of outlets including Japan Times, Atlas Obscura, and BeerAdvocate.
Patricia Vane Patricia Vane Patricia Vane was born in Berlin, Germany but she has lived most of her life in America. She also lived in southern Germany for three years; visiting France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Poland, Austria, England, Luxembourg, and Liechtenstein while she was in Germany. She loves to travel, but she also loves tutoring. After college, she started her own professional tutoring/editing business. She has two Bachelors of Science degrees, so she tutors Math and Science, but she really loves tutoring English. She understands how fun and challenging it can be to learn a language.
Jun Kuromiya Jun Kuromiya Jun Kuromiya grew up in Massachusetts, speaking English and Japanese. He attended Princeton University, where he studied philosophy and literature and developed an interest in teaching. After graduating, Jun spent time traveling in Europe and Japan, exploring the arts in New York City, and developing a film production company. He started teaching English at the same time and has continued to teach ever since. Jun is a filmmaker, musician, and writer when he is not teaching, and currently lives in the Bay Area in California.
Dana Macalanda Dana Macalanda Dana Macalanda was born in a small town in the United States just outside of Portland, Oregon. Childhood trips to visit family in the Philippines inspired an ongoing desire to learn more about her heritage and other cultures. This interest led to her obtaining a BA in journalism and also prompted a move to Japan where she has taught English and worked as a freelance writer for nearly three years. Silly conversations with students and finding new songs to sing at karaoke motivate her to keep studying Japanese and step outside her comfort zone to continue growing.
James Collins James Collins James Collins was born and raised in Virginia in the United States. After graduating Summa Cum Laude with a bachelor’s degree in Sociology in 2013, James decided to learn Japanese and get his masters degree in all Japanese classes. Following intensive studying and passing the highest level of the Japanese Language Proficiency Test, James realized his dream and is currently studying at Waseda University towards a degree in Journalism. Outside of the University, James also works at a small publishing company doing research and translations and is the creator/producer of Japan’s first all foreign male idol group, COLORFUUUL. In his free time he is an avid skateboarder, enjoys interesting conversation over a few drinks, and has begun learning Taiwanese Mandarin.
Maryssa Maryssa Maryssa is a California native who’s lived in Japan since 2012. She completed a degree in Asian Studies at Temple University, Japan Campus. She’s been teaching English for about six years. Currently residing in Tokyo, she enjoys studying Japanese, performing music, and kickboxing.
Tabitha Sanders Tabitha Sanders Tabitha Sanders is a full-time freelance writer and content editor based in the United States. She was born in the state of California but has also lived in Colorado, Arizona, Washington, and Georgia, where she currently resides. She loves learning and writing about other cultures and hopes to visit many countries in the future. In addition to studying Spanish and Korean, when not working, Tabitha enjoys hiking, watching Star Trek, playing chess, cooking new dishes, and sipping on a glass (or two) of Cabernet.