English Now! was founded in 1991 by two English teachers, Jan Rea and Anda Sztankay, and has served Washington, D.C.'s international community from its location in Bethesda for 25 years.
English Now! was inspired by Jan Rea’s experience as a student studying Italian language in a small town outside Siena, Italy. Jan had a wonderful experience studying in a small, Italian town. The atmosphere at the school was welcoming, class sizes were small, and the cultural experience was rich.
Upon Jan’s return to the United States, Jan and Anda created English Now! to provide the same sort of experience to the Washington, D.C., international community. They created a very distinctive sort of language school. Classes are small, with a maximum of six students in group classes, and the school itself is small, still with only nine classrooms. Jan and Anda developed a uniquely personalized school culture that exudes warm and welcoming approach to learning.
The school location itself has also always been distinctive. Originally operated from Jan’s and Anda’s homes, English Now! does not have a typical "institutional" atmosphere. The school moved twice in its early years, first into a small house on Montgomery Lane in Bethesda, Maryland, then in 1995 to another house at 4903 Montgomery Lane that would be its home for 20 years.
We are no longer located in a house, but the school's culture is warm and will make you feel "at home." Though Jan and Anda have retired, the atmosphere they created remains. We are honored that Anda, in the middle in the photo above, serves on our Advisory Board, and we consider her a friend and appreciate the spirit that she developed at the school.
English Now! Today
English Now! is doing more than ever to engage our community! We are delighted to be deepening our effort to serve Washington, D.C.'s international community and its families with great English classes, more and more activities, and even some programs outside and away from the school.
We are partnering to serve Washington, D.C.’s international community with innovative programs.
English Now! partners with the Washington Center for International Education (WCIE), a Washington, D.C. based non-profit organization, to engage international teens and their families in American life. Middle school and high school students can earn Student Service Learning (SSL) hours by participating in WCIE activities, which they can find online at the Montgomery County Volunteer Network. Our collaborative projects have included community service projects with Sunrise Senior Living, Bethesda Cares, and The Children's Inn in Bethesda, as well as special programs such as Understanding U.S. Schools, and Understanding U.S. Colleges and Universities. WCIE and English Now! also partnered with MCAEL Coalition for a Connected Community to recognize Welcoming Week in 2019 and 2020. For the 2020-2021 school year, WCIE has launched a Student Service Learning program called Youth Facing Racism: A Four-week Program for High School Students Engaging American Experiences of Race, Ethnicity, and Identity. This dynamic program starts with online discussions regarding race and ethnicity and culminates with a service learning field trip to Corhaven Graveyard, a historical burial ground for African-Americans who were enslaved in Shenandoah County, Virginia. Together with WCIE, our goal is to connect the Washington, D.C. area international community to the local community--and in so doing to build a better shared life together.
Foundation for Advanced Education in the Sciences at the NIH. English Now! is proud to partner with the Foundation for Advanced Education in the Sciences (FAES) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). FAES was created by the NIH in 1959 as a provider of graduate-level training and development programs as well as professional services, at NIH’s main campus in Bethesda, Maryland. Today, FAES offers many graduate courses and non-credit workshops in Bethesda and online. Through FAES, English Now! is able to offer classes on the NIH campus to support visiting scientists and others in the NIH community whose first language is not English. FAES courses offered by English Now! since 2017 include English for Workplace Communication and Advanced English Conversation: Language, Culture and Medicine. Students in these courses have also participated in our community service activities with The Children's Inn at NIH. Through FAES, English Now! is able to offer classes on the NIH campus to support visiting scientists and others in the NIH community whose first language is not English. FAES courses offered by English Now! since 2017 include English for Workplace Communication and Advanced English Conversation: Language, Culture and Medicine. Students in these courses have also participated in our community service activities with The Children's Inn at NIH.
The Japan-America Society of Washington DC. The Japan-America Society of Washington DC (JASWDC) is a 501(c)(3) educational and cultural non-profit organization dedicated to strengthening the relationship between Japan and the U.S. at the grassroots public diplomacy level. Our programming aims to bring Japanese and American people closer together in the Nation’s Capital area. JASWDC operates the oldest Japanese language school in the region and also offers culture classes and workshops, public affairs programs, cultural festivals and events, and resources for those who have found a home in the U.S.-Japan community.
September House MAJ. English Now! is also delighted to partner with September House MAJ (Mid-Atlantic Japanese). September House MAJ is a non-profit organization that provides support for everyday life for Japanese people living in the Mid-Atlantic region. September house asks that you let them know if you know any Japanese residents of the area who are currently going through some tough times physically, emotionally, and/or financially. The organization helps families overcome hardship by providing them with consultations in Japanese, including assistance accessing appropriate public resources. English Now! host September House MAJ meetings, and several of our students are involved in September House MAJ activities as board members and volunteers. You may learn more about September House MAJ at their website here, or ask us for an introduction to this organization and its great work in the community.
Washington Accueil Association. Washington Accueil Association (WAA) is a Washington, D.C.-area non-profit organization whose purpose is to welcome French-speaking individuals and families in D.C. and to help them get settled in their new environment. WAA is affiliated with FIAFE (International Federation of French and Francophone Hostels Abroad), a federation of similar associations in the world. Members are volunteers who serve newly-arrived residents of the area and share their experiences and passions. WAA organizes meetings, events, visits, social, and sports activities, and newcomers to meet compatriots and find information about United States and the D.C. region. For more information about WAA, please visit their website here, or ask us for an introduction to the organization and its membership team.
Peace Corps. Over 220,000 Americans have served in the Peace Corps in 141 countries since it was founded in 1961. English Now! is delighted to have been named an Employer of National Service by the Peace Corps because of its employment of Returned Peace Corps Volunteers as faculty and in administrative roles.
The Interchange Institute. The Interchange Institute is a Boston-based non-profit research organization established by Dr. Anne P. Copeland, in the right in the photo above. The Interchange Institute’s mission is smoothing intercultural transitions by helping others understand us and coming to understand others better. It conducts research on the process of intercultural transition, produces publications to assist newcomers to the U.S., designs and delivers specialized cross-cultural training workshops, and trains and consults to professionals in the field. English Now! is delighted to partner with the Interchange Institute to provide our students many of its publications and has hosted its Crossing Cultures with Competence training of trainers workshop each fall since 2016. Ask us for more information about the workshop, a fantastic, hands-on study of cross-cultural topics for educators and trainers who work with those in intercultural transition.
Green Apple College Guidance. Finally, English Now! is delighted to partner with Green Apple College Guidance, a Bethesda-based organization that in our opinion is the best Washington, D.C.-area college counseling and education consulting firm. International families have specific needs when their children consider college education in the U.S. We are pleased to co-sponsor programs about U.S. university-level education with Green Apple and to refer families to Kelly and Don Fraser, Green Apple’s Founders. Ask us for more information about Green Apple and what they do, and we would be delighted to introduce you to Kelly and Don.
Just Like Home is the largest homestay organization in Washington, D.C. As a vehicle for cultural exchange and awareness, Just Like Home operates according to the principle that cross-cultural experiences broaden the understanding among people around the world. Through Just Like Home's international program, its team strives to build bridges of understanding among different cultures with the anticipation of a better and peaceful world. This is primarily achieved by providing the opportunity for international visitors to live with American host families. Just Like Home provides the support to help make the experience enjoyable for both host family and participants. English Now! has been happy to partner with Just Like Home to serve international students since 2008. For more information about Just Like Home and how to arrange a homestay, see here.
Washington D.C. Family, founded by Alison W. McDowell, is a Bethesda-based enterprise that offers relocation support services and networking opportunities to international expat families who are new to the Washington D.C. area. The mission of Washington D.C. Family is to help families transition smoothly to life in the USA and make meaningful local connections.
For More Information & Partnerships
English Now! has been serving Washington, D.C.’s international community since 1991. Please contact English Now! Managing Director Paul Boesen, on the left in the photo above, if you would like more information about our purpose, to inspire our students to engage, enjoy, and thrive, in their studies and in their lives in the United States; or about partnering.