George Lucas Educational Foundation

Elena Spathis

High School Spanish Teacher

Elena Spathis is a high school teacher of Spanish in New Jersey. She is dually certified to teach Spanish and English as a second language. Elena earned her bachelor of arts degree in Spanish and modern Greek studies, as well as a master’s of education degree in language education from Rutgers University. Currently, she is pursuing a second master’s degree in teacher leadership, with a concentration in English as a second language.

In particular, Elena is passionate about lesson design, and her goal is to create culturally focused lessons that incorporate technology effectively. She aims to promote the use of authentic materials, particularly in novice-level courses. As a world language teacher, Elena is determined to open her students’ eyes to the power a new language holds.


  • World Languages

    Station Rotation in World Language Classes

    Setting up activities around the classroom is a popular way to get students collaborating—and it can be used to promote use of a target language.
  • Student Engagement

    More Talking in World Language Classes

    Fostering an environment where it’s OK to make mistakes is step one in getting students to speak a new language.
  • Student Engagement

    Engaging Novice World Language Learners

    Using target language videos, news articles, music, and more can spark engagement even with students who are just getting started.