Larisa Karkafi received her PhD from UCLA. For 10 years she taught Academic English and English as a Second Language in Russia and Ukraine. She started teaching foreign languages at UCLA in 2005, and in 2010 she joined the department of English and Writing Programs as an ESL instructor, where she teaches courses dedicated to developing academic speaking and writing skills for ESL students. In addition to UCLA, Larisa teaches Academic English at UC Irvine. In the classroom she focuses her instruction on developing specific skills that allow students to gain insight into how to speak and write in more productive and efficient ways. As both a classroom practitioner and researcher, her teaching experience as well as her strong background in pedagogy and methodology have given her a solid foundation and have prepared her to teach Academic English at the university level. Larisa’s goal is to challenge all students to achieve maximum linguistic growth without causing them to feel overwhelmed. To address the broad variety of interests, learning styles, and abilities within the classroom, she uses multiple approaches to instruction and assessment. Larisa’s ongoing research agenda is shaped by a strong orientation toward interdisciplinary and comparative approaches to language, literature and culture. Outside of the classroom Larisa is an avid tennis player and an accomplished equestrian.