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Lauren Wood

Instructor and Recruiter

What do you enjoy most about working at ELI?

I love that I get to meet and work with so many motivated and curious students. They are the heart of ELI, and I am honored that I get to witness their work, growth, and achievements. It’s also really wonderful to witness the friendships they develop with each other. I truly believe that international education is key to creating a more peaceful world.

What advice do you give to new ELI students?

  1. Be brave. You are already demonstrating courage by choosing to learn another language, so don’t let mistakes stop you. Learning anything requires mistakes, so do not expect yourself to say or do everything perfectly without making some mistakes along the way.
  2. Write down your goals so that you can remind yourself of them on hard days.
  3. ELI is full of people who want you to learn and succeed, so don’t hesitate to ask us for help if you need it. We are here for you!

What is your favorite spot on campus?

I love the courtyard at Melrose.

What is something you love about Knoxville?

I love that Knoxville provides so many opportunities to play in the outdoors and that it has a great music scene. I can hike or kayak in the morning and then go listen to great music in the evening!

What are a few of your favorite books?

This changes, but right now I would say Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann, and Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf.

Do you have a podcast recommendation?

This American Life. It was also a TV series for a while, and those episodes are good, too.


MA, Teaching English as a Second Language

BA, English & Sociology

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