Phone: 206.239.4780

English Language Program Faculty

Message from the Academic Director of English Language Programs

Welcome to the Washington Academy of Languages (WAL) at City University of Seattle and thank you for considering our program! We understand the time and effort it takes to reach fluency and we are committed to helping you succeed. I have a personal appreciation for cultural diversity and understand the challenges that come with learning a new language.  I grew up speaking French and English and studied German extensively.  But I am not unique!  The majority of our staff has studied another language and has lived abroad.

Our faculty holds advanced degrees in English Language instruction and they are ready to help you succeed. I hope you will get to know them by reading their biographies below, and by meeting them in class!

Christine Knorr
Academic Director of English Language Programs, Washington Academy of Languages

Christine Knorr, MA TESOL and French
Academic Director, English Language Programs Division

As a bi-national and native speaker of French and English, Christine Knorr was exposed to both US and French culture and has a deep appreciation for both. For over 20 years, Christine has taught both French and English to a broad range of students: business professionals, refugees and immigrants, international students, and children. Christine has developed curriculum and has managed and directed several language schools: American Cultural Exchange, French-American School of Puget Sound, and more recently, the School of Management’s English Language Programs at City University.

Hideki Aikoh, MA TESOL

Hideki specializes in working with beginning English language learners in the Intensive English Program.  He completed his graduate work in TESOL at the School for International Training in Brattleboro, Vermont where he also taught.  He has been teaching since 1991.

Elinora (Jane) Cater, MA

Having lived many years as a foreigner herself, Jane is acutely interested in helping others fill in the gaps that often affect those who have finished formal language training and are beginning to study, work, and live in their second language. She is pleased to be working at WAL and with City University’s MBA program where her business, teaching, and performing backgrounds can contribute to that purpose.

Hongying Douglas, MA, MBA

Hongying’s MA in Education focused on language and literacy. She taught English for several years at the University of Arizona before returning to school to earn her MBA at the University of Colorado. She resettled in Seattle where she returned to teaching English. Her English teaching career spans more than 20 years. She has taught in the Intensive English Program, Graduate Teacher Education Program, and Language Assisted MBA. Hongying loves animals and enjoys reading biographies.

Harvey Duncan II, M.S TESOL

Harvey has been teaching English language since 2008 after earning his TEFL certificate from UCSD. After teaching abroad in Taiwan and Turkey for 8 years, Harvey returned to the U.S to continue his education, earning a M.S in TESOL. Harvey also holds a B.A in History, with minors in the German language and aviation. At WAL, Harvey teaches ELP and AMBA courses, and also contributes as an associate faculty member for the School of Arts and Sciences. In his free time, Harvey enjoys exploring the Pacific Northwest with his wife, and SCUBA diving around the world

Brenda Howald


Dorothy Orme


Rachel Peterson, MS TOM

Rachel’s first experience in teaching was in 1989, when she received certification to be a teaching assistant for San Diego City Schools, where she worked with ESL students and mentally/physically disabled students. After moving to Seattle in 2003, she has worked with English learners of all ages, focusing on verbal/writing skills and English language test preparation. However, she also enjoy teaching public speaking techniques and creative writing. Her education includes English literature, creative writing, film, and alternative medicine. She has a Master’s Degree in Traditional Oriental Medicine from Pacific College in San Diego. Her experiences in the business world, the health industry and the classroom have given her a toolbox with which to assist students in their language and move towards success in their own career paths. In her free time, she studies traditional Chinese martial arts, takes part in creative writing projects and continues her education in night/weekend classes.

Krista Schert, M.Ed. in TESOL

Krista began first began teaching as a German language tutor during her undergraduate studies at Seattle University.  After receiving her Bachelor’s degree, she went to Germany on a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant grant.  After returning to Seattle, she received her TESOL certificate and worked as a volunteer in English classes provided by Shoreline Community College and Literacy Source.

Sterling Smucker, MBA, TESOL Certificate

Sterling has many years of experience teaching English in the U.S., Mexico, and Spain. He has taught at several schools, including The American Institute in Barcelona, Brandon College in San Francisco, Harvard University in Cambridge, and The Mexican/North-American Institute in Guadalajara.  He earned an MBA from Thunderbird School of Global Management which led to his international work at Motorola and Nokia in their Latin American departments, so he brings a great deal of professional work experience to the classroom.