About the English Language Center

Learning English at The University of Texas at San Antonio is not simply going to class. It’s an experience.

The welcoming environment at our university is one-of-a-kind. Our campus is located on the north side of San Antonio, a South Texas city that celebrates multiculturalism and diversity.

We think you’ll like it here.

Coming from more than 90 countries, UTSA students are some of the friendliest and brightest. When you make UTSA your home, you won’t just be a student, you’ll be family.

Enjoy a virtual tour and learn more with the UTSA Virtual Experience!

A Welcome From The Vice Provost For Global Initiatives:

As Vice Provost for Global Initiatives, this is what I want for you:

  • I want you to feel welcome and safe as you make lifelong friends.
  • I want you to learn all you can from our amazing faculty.
  • I want you to be successful in whatever career path you choose.

Our faculty and the staff are committed to your success and well-being.  From the moment you apply until you graduate, we are here to guide and assist you.  We hope you like what you see here and apply.  We look forward to meeting you!


Lisa J. Montoya, Ph.D.
Vice Provost for Global Initiatives

Dr. Lisa J. Montoya has been at UTSA since 2005, serving in various roles, most recently as Vice Provost for Global Initiatives. Previously, she served as the COB Associate Dean for undergraduate programs, for professional development, and for international initiatives. She earned her Ph.D. from Washington University in St. Louis, MPA from Arizona State University, and BA from the University of Denver.

Location: Main Building, Room 1.209
Email: lisa.montoya@utsa.edu
Phone: 210-458-7370


Blanca Pokorney

Blanca Pokorney has been in the field of International Education for over a decade. Performing in different roles, Blanca has served as a cultural liaison to the international student population in the San Antonio Metropolitan area. As Director, she leads a team of dedicated professionals who support lifelong learning. Her expertise among many involves program development and management in Higher Education. Blanca received her Masters of Education in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from the University of Texas at San Antonio. Her areas of interest include Diversity and Inclusion, Institutional Management, and Immigration Policy and Law.

Location: Main Building, Room 1.210
Email: blanca.pokorney@utsa.edu
Phone: 210-458-6136


Luz Torres Leon
Project Specialist

Luz is originally from Durango, Mexico, and speaks English and Spanish. She has been with the English Language Center since October 2017 and completed her B.S. in Environmental Science from UTSA in 2021.

Location: Main Building, Room 1.210
Email: luz.torresleon@utsa.edu
Phone: 210-458-7677


Minako Shibazaki
Master Instructor and Lead Curriculum Specialist

Minako has been an instructor for the Academic English Program at UTSA for 20 years. She is also a consultant for UTSA’s English Language Center and volunteers her time with Japanese and multicultural student organizations. Minako earned her master’s degree in Bicultural-Bilingual Studies at UTSA. Originally from Japan, Minako also lived in Montreal before moving to San Antonio as a teenager.

Location: McKinney Humanities Building, Room 4.02.20
Email: minako.shibazaki@utsa.edu
Phone: 210-458-8177


John Kostovich
Lead English Pronunciation Specialist and Course Designer

Over the span of his career, John Kostovich has taught over a thousand students, and almost as many classes in the field of English Pronunciation.

His teaching methodology has advanced the educational and professional goals of a wide variety of students including university students and professionals in every field. His extensive experience includes teaching in Iran, Colombia, Mexico, Egypt, and the U.S., working with prestigious institutions such as the Defense Language Institute (DLI) and the Centro Colombo Americano.

Location: McKinney Humanities Building, Room 4.02.20
Email: john.kostovich@utsa.edu
Phone: 210-458-8177


Laila Aghai, Ph.D.
ESL Specialist

Laila earned her Ph.D. in Culture, Literacy, and Language and her master’s degree in Teaching English as a Second Language from the University of Texas at San Antonio. She joined the Academic English Program in 2013. Laila has taught English in the U.S. and overseas. Laila has worked with international students and student-teachers who are interested in becoming ESL teachers in the future. Laila enjoys learning about her students’ language and culture.

Location: McKinney Humanities Building, Room 4.02.20
Email: laila.aghai@utsa.edu
Phone: 210-458-8177


Monique Adams
ESL Specialist

Monique joined the Intensive English Program at UTSA in 2020.  Previously, she was a General and Specialized English instructor for international military at the Defense Language Institute English Language Center (DLIEC) at Lackland AFB.  She also was an instructor at Houston Community College. Monique earned her master's degree in Applied English Linguistics from the University of Houston. Originally from Massachusetts, Monique has lived in Texas for many years and considers San Antonio home. 

Location: McKinney Humanities Building, Room 4.02.20
Phone: 210-458-8177


Sarah Munsell
Curriculum Designer

Sarah joined the Academic English Program at UTSA in 2021. Previously, she taught EFL and served as the Director of Languages at Universidad Del Mar in Oaxaca, Mexico. She has also taught in the English Language Institute and BUSCA program at La Salle University, and in the PEDAL program within the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education. Sarah earned her master’s degree in TESOL at the University of Pennsylvania in 2018.

Location: McKinney Humanities Building, Room 4.02.20
Email: sarah.munsell@utsa.edu 
Phone: 210-458-8177


Lara Ghali
Student Associate

Lara is originally from Palestine, but has lived in Jordan for 18 years and recently moved to San Antonio. She is also bilingual, speaking Arabic and English. She’s been studying Electrical Engineering since Fall 2019.

Location: Main Building, Room 1.210
Email: lara.ghali@utsa.edu
Phone: 210-458-7677


Jacqueline Avila
Student Associate

Jacqueline is originally from Austin and recently moved to San Antonio. She's bilingual, speaking Spanish and English. She's been studying Biomedical Engineering at UTSA since Fall 2020. She is thrilled to be helping students as they begin their journey at UTSA.

Location: Main Building, Room 1.210
Email: jacqueline.avila@utsa.edu 
Phone: 210-458-7677


Visit our Virtual Office

Office Location

Main Building 1.210
One UTSA Circle
San Antonio, TX 78249

Office Hours: Monday to Friday, 8:00am-5:00pm

Click to visit our Virtual Office in Zoom.
Click to schedule a virtual appointment.

The University of Texas at San Antonio Academic English Program is accredited by the Commission on English Language Program Accreditation for the period April 2022 through April 2032 and agrees to uphold the CEA Standards for English Language Programs and Institutions. CEA is recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education as a nationally recognized accrediting agency for English language programs and institutions in the U.S. For further information about this accreditation, please contact the CEA, 1001 N. Fairfax Street, Suite 630, Alexandria, VA 22314, (703) 665-3400, www.cea-accredit.org.

Additional information can be found below:
CEA Standard
Complaints Against an Accredited Program

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