About Us
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About Us

Founded in 2000 by teachers and parents, Ruth & Terry Coffey; English Language Ireland (ELI) is a world class language learning facility complemented by 300 hundred local host families dedicated to helping each student reach their full potential through immersive learning and a guiding pathway to higher education institutions.
ELI University graduate instructors create a personalised learning experience that engages students in active methods of learning that enhance their self-esteem, self-confidence, capacity to think critically and express themselves creatively.
Our passion is to deliver a better learning and cultural experience for a lifetime with a sense of Irish warmth, friendliness and fun.


All teachers are university graduates qualified to teach English as a foreign language. Many have taught abroad and bring a wide range of academic and life experiences to the classroom. Their focus is on quality learning in a personal, relaxed and friendly atmosphere


ELI training is focused on learner needs and specific courses are custom built. Classes are designed to develop good communication skills through a
combination of interactive and structural approaches. We pride ourselves on our communicative method of teaching.


Ruth Coffey

Managing Director

“I started my career as a Montessori teacher when my own three sons were very young. I then retrained as a teacher of English as a foreign language which led to the creation of this school in 2000. Since then I’ve met so many wonderful agents, parents and students from around the world and I’ve also been very fortunate to work with many equally wonderful host families and businesses here in my local community in Carlow. I share the management of ELI with my incredible husband Terry and I think we make a great team! This school, and education in general, is my passion but I also find time to enjoy singing in a choir and painting with a local group of artists”.

Terry Coffey

Operations Director

“A lifelong Dublin football supporter and rugby fan, I love sport but I’m also really into music (any and all types) and love going to concerts as often as I can. I was an industrial chemist, then a HR manager, then a Management consultant, then a University Lecturer and now I work for my wife! I believe that every day is a school day – you should never stop learning and this is something that we try to transmit through our work here at ELI. I think that seeing people young and old enjoying their learning experience is something that we do very well and I’m very proud of the quality and inspiration that we give all of our students.”

Mike Stanley

Director of Studies

“As Director of Studies, it’s been my privilege to work with fantastic teachers and of course, many wonderful international students here at English Language Ireland. I’m a Carlow native, though I received my BA (Media & Politics) at Wolverhampton University in the UK. I did an MA in Politics and Communication at Dublin City University and then started in the world of teaching English. I’m a Rugby fan (Leinster, and Carlow too!), I’m a bit of a history and politics nut, and I love travelling in Ireland and abroad! It is also my life’s mission to get as many people as I can to read Moby Dick, which might be my favourite book.”

Elaine Condell

Head of Development & Standards

“I would describe myself as the wanderer who has returned. I’m a Carlow woman but I’ve lived in California, Paris, Budapest, and most recently Cordoba, in Spain, so you could say I’ve been bitten by the travel bug. But I’ve always returned to Carlow to spend my summers working with ELI and now I’m back permanently. I love the outdoors, whatever the weather. I also like to read, draw, meditate and I am an avid gardener. I received my BA in French and Spanish at NUI Maynooth and went on to study for a Postgraduate Diploma in Teaching Modern Foreign Languages at Trinity College Dublin. I speak Spanish, French, a little German, a little Portuguese and of course, a little Irish. My next project is Arabic”.

Maura McVeigh

Bookings & Accommodation Officer

“I’m a Waterford native but marriage and family brought me to Carlow. I have three fantastic children who are almost all grown-up. I absolutely love all types of music and singing, but especially Irish traditional music. I take a big interest in local arts events and I enjoy reading and history. I’m also passionate about the Irish language and the GAA (Irish football and hurling). I became a host mother for Ruth many years ago and I’m delighted to now work here at ELI as a co-ordinator and administrator for our international students and local host families. It’s my pleasure to offer local advice and help our students to get the most out of their time here in Carlow, academically, culturally and socially.”


Grainne - About Us

Hi, I’m Gráinne. Don’t worry- you’ll learn how to pronounce my name on your first day. I’ve been teaching English for fifteen years, and I love it. My classes are always fun as laughter is after all, the best medicine and it has been proven that if you enjoy yourself in class you will remember more. Get ready to play games, chat and debate with your classmates. You’ll make friends and learn at the same time. My students succeed and your goals are important to me. I listen to my students and plan my classes for them. I’m well-qualified too. I am proud of my DipTESOL, Drama Teaching Diploma, Postgraduate Diploma in Education and, most of all, my Master’s Degree in Music Performance. So, if you’re lucky I will sing in class. Check out my linkedin profile.

Hi, I’m Rachel. Meeting students where they are and accompanying them a while on their quest to master English, helping to navigate uncharted territory, pointing out signposts and keeping learners on the right track.
This is how I perceive my role of English language teacher. Having been lucky enough to work with students from all over the world, I’ve experienced the magic that happens when people of different cultures and backgrounds are united in a common goal – communicating in a language that is not their own. I feel privileged to be able to use my training, skills and experience to contribute to these “journeys to English”.

Rachel - Teacher - English Language

Hello! My name is Jenny Matuschka and I come from a small village called Moone about 15km from Carlow.  I have been working for ELI for three years, having done my CELTA course under three of the extraordinary teachers who still work here – Rachel, Christine and Mike – so I know EXACTLY what it’s like to sit in their classrooms!


I have a Diploma in French with Spanish and Business, and worked in advertising with Granada Television before marrying into a German family.  Oops, wrong language!  Sitting at table, not understanding the jokes they were laughing at made me learn German very quickly through a combination of evening classes and home immersion; so I understand completely what my students are going through when they come to Carlow to live with host families; and I’ve been hosting foreign students for years.


I like my classes to be entertaining and unpredictable, so I use video, music, games, role plays … anything to get my students talking and laughing.  I also love Grammar .. especially when I see a ‘Eureka’ moment in my students faces.


In the other part of my life, I’m a farmer’s wife, have five children of my own, enjoy reading, walking, music, tennis, theatre, rugby ..  and I look forward to meeting you!

Hi my name is Christine. I love teaching and meeting people of all ages from all over the world. I focus on building a rapport with all my students because I find that that fun and learning in a relaxed environment are key elements of success. You’ll hear discussion, laughter, role play and you might even hear some music and singing. I can assure you the singing won’t be from me though, it’ll be either Utube the CD player! Here’s a few adjectives to describe the action in my classroom; authentic, engaging, motivating, interesting, flexible, supportive and academic with a few challenges thrown in. You’ll be glad to hear that I have my teaching degree and have been teaching English as a second language for over eight years. I have also had the pleasure of training English Language teachers. So I can safely say that students leave my class with a lot more English and new friends than when they started on a course with ELI.a

Christine- Teacher - English Language-1
Lynda Bolger

“Hi, I’m Lynda and I am a qualified TEFL Teacher. I also have a Bachelor of Science in Exercise Physiology and a Bachelor of Business in Business Management. I have a wealth of cultural
experience as I have travelled to remote areas of Israel and Turkey on behalf of Curves International
teaching business to the local businesses there. My specialist areas are business, sales, marketing, science, exercise and nutrition. I thoroughly enjoy facilitating young peoples’ learning and thrive on seeing individual progress.”


Bachelor of Science in Exercise Physiology
Bachelor of Business in Business Management
NLP Practitioner
Certificate in English Language Teaching (ACELS)

I’m Billy, I’m a Carlow man living in Spain and enjoying the best of both worlds as I teach over there from September to June and then escape the heat of my adopted home in Andalucia to return to ELI to teach on the summer Junior Programme during July and August. I have a BA in Humanities from Carlow College and I’m a graduate of the CELT teacher training programme here at ELI which I completed before I moved to sunny Spain. I’m a Playstation addict and I love music, especially of the electronic variety. I’m a Liverpool supporter and cycling is my sport of choice. I really enjoy finding new ways of engaging my students in the learning process and helping them with pronunciation, intonation, phrasal verbs and idioms so that they can try to use English as naturally as possible.