Francesca has been living and working in the UAE for the past 12 years. She is originally from Scotland, but was also raised in Brussels, Belgium. Francesca is a language and literacy specialist and has direct, personal experience being educated as an additional language-learner, similar to many of the bilingual/multilingual children she works with today.
Francesca speaks English, French, Spanish, Chinese Mandarin, German and Italian as well as also studying the Arabic language. She holds an M.A. in Chinese and M.A. in T.E.S.O.L. She initially taught at the International School of Brussels as well as having taught in Brunei, Abu Dhabi and Dubai prior to starting IngeniousEd. Francesca's passion is bilingual and multilingual education, and she enjoys sharing her knowledge with professionals and parents alike.
Francesca is also an accomplished singer and pianist and has previously owned a successful art gallery with her father in Brussels, The McGeary Gallery.
Alison is originally from Ontario, Canada, but she has lived in the UAE for the last 12 years. She previously worked in the Rainbow District School Board and the York Region District Board of Education before turning her sights to international teaching in both Abu Dhabi and Dubai. Alison has her Master of Teaching BEd along with a BA in Psychology as well as holding a diploma in Disability Studies and Special Education.
Prior to teaching, Alison worked extensively as a youth counselor and behavioural therapist with some of the most hard-to-serve and marginalised populations in Canada. She was a Supervisor in a behavioural treatment programme for individuals with autism and psychiatric disabilities. She served as a Counselor in a children's Secure Treatment Unit treating children with mental illness, addictions as well as children traumatised from abuse and war. During this time, Alison worked extensively with immigrant populations, including First Nations (indigenous) people.
Alison later became a special education teacher and literacy expert, after having worked with many outstanding mentors. She has been trained in Reading Recovery methods and various approaches for children with learning challenges.
Alison also does private consulting work for organisations and schools. She is an avid researcher and enjoys sharing her knowledge with others. In her free time, she enjoys writing, traveling and practising her Arabic language skills.