We are a linguist, a language teacher, a grammy winning music producer, engineers, artists and more! inspiring children to learn languages and culture using art, music and the very latest in paper electronic innovation.
We each offer unique linguistic and cultural backgrounds that we pridefully weave into the TA-DA! tapestry. None of us had stepped foot in the same room when we embarked on this journey, but we’ve become a united force, sharing hopes, dreams, fears - and the belief and passion for this first-of-its-kind endeavor.
The TA-DA! family makes it fun, and easy, for kids to learn languages and culture. When children learn a language, they earn a better understanding of the world.
That’s where the magic happens.
CEO & Founder
When not supporting and encouraging her lovely team members, Michelle enjoys culturally diverse, sunny living with her trilingual family (French, Dutch and English) in San Francisco Bay. She lives and breathes language and culture and has many sleepless nights from sheer idea invasion. She lives for children’s causes and calls herself lucky for having been able to do what she loves, teaching French and English around the globe, from kindergarten to university. (She just returned to the States after a near decade-long stint in her husband’s country Belgium.) Michelle has degrees in both language and radio/TV/film and was actually a journalist in another life. When she returns to her roots, she’s with family in Nashville sporting cowboy boots - and just maybe letting slip the occasional ‘y’all'. (That's her running the streets of Germany...in another of her former lives.)
In love with art from the start, Michelle is the illustrious, forever-smiling, forever-optimistic illustrator of the TA-DA! Talking Dictionary series. She was the first person to believe and join Michelle Glorieux in her dream, and the two have been together ever since. (In fact Michelle G. would go so far to say that this project would not have been possible if had not been for Michelle H.’s immeasurable contributions.) When not creating for TA-DA! Michelle draws for the Pete the Cat animated series at Amazon studios in Los Angeles. (She’s also hung her hat at Nickelodeon, Universal and Splash.) Michelle dumbfounds us, wielding her tools of choice pretty much around the clock (that would be watercolors, ink and Photoshop); and when not sipping tea, enjoys traveling with her twin sister. (Good things do come in 2s…) Michelle is from a Japanese-American household and graduated from CSUF in Los Angeles with a BFA in Animation and Entertainment Design.
Sound & Music Maestro
Jesse is our four-time Grammy Award winning music producer and recording engineer, accoladed for producing some of the most adventurous recordings in the world. (And that was before he embarked on this project!) Jesse is well known for his collaborations with Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble, the Los Angeles Philharmonic with Gustavo Dudamel, A Far Cry, Brooklyn Rider, Ethel, Jan Vogler, and many others. Every project he does has the uniqueness of something that only happens once. (But you have on your mind in constant loop!) Jesse grew up in Seattle, Washington playing trumpet and cello. When not producing music for others, he likes to jam with baroque and grunge cello in his stomping ground of Boston. When not walking the red carpet, he can be found on the floor building block houses and more with his daughter in their bilingual English-Japanese household.
You may think we are making this stuff up as we go along, but Kelsey just happens to be the second twin of our team. (See what we mean about good things?) She ‘too’, graduated with a BFA from CSUF in Los Angeles. Kelsey grew up with both Filipino and Mexican heritage in Los Angeles and says she remembers as a little girl dreaming about becoming a children’s book illustrator. She calls this project her ‘happy place’ (on most days). When not conjuring up enchanting characters on magical adventures as the star talent behind the Language Adventure series, she’s creating gorgeous backgrounds for the Los Angeles animation studio 6 Point Harness.
Part designer, part engineer, Manolis received dual master’s degrees in both Mechanical and Industrial Design Engineering in Athens and London. As a child he received Greek, German and American education. Manolis has worked in both biomedical engineering and aeronautics, but his real baby is paper technologies - physical and digital interfaces, printed electronics, emerging materials and manufacturing processes. Spending late nights in his lab concocting all sorts of lovely creations, we like to think of him as our mad scientist.
DR. CHARLES CHANG
A member of an international, multicultural family (dispersed across the Americas, Africa, Asia, and Europe), Charles grew up in New York with regular, trilingual exposure to Korean, Spanish, and English. He has long been fascinated by all aspects of human language, especially sound systems, language learning and bi-/multilingualism. Charles received his academic training in both theoretical and applied linguistics at Harvard, Cambridge, and UC Berkeley. After teaching gigs at Rice and SOAS (University of London), Charles joined the Linguistics faculty at Boston University in 2015. Apart from teaching and pondering questions on phonetics, language acquisition and more, Charles enjoys a classic, striped shirt and a good laugh.
Book Designer Extra-ordinaire
Andrew is our Englishman in…Spain! He recently traded in Big Ben and double decker buses in bustling London for sun and tapas in a quaint village of Andalusia. A man of many talents, Andrew has been designing children’s books for more than 15 years. We can’t enter a bookstore just about anywhere in the world without walking into one of his award winning projects: David Litchfield’s, ”The Bear and the Piano” and "Grandad’s Secret Giant"; Stephen Walton’s Counting Lions; Naomi Howarth’s “The Crow’s Tale”; Many Hoffman’s, "Amazing Grace, 25th Anniversary Edition"…the truly inspiring list just goes on and on. When Andrew is not drawing, painting, and designing - he’s juggling or brushing up on his Spanish (sometimes both...at once).
Catchy Tune Creator & Music-Man
While some of the kiddos think Kip sports black and white stripes and sits behind a grand piano singing “Zebra, Zebra”, he’s actually most commonly seen behind a violin or piano performing with the illustrious ensemble Ethel, the trail-blazing, NY based string quartet accoladed worldwide for redefining contemporary concert music as we know it. (Their debut album, ETHEL, was a Billboard Best Recording.) A master of improvisation and all over good vibrations, we are convinced there is no crowd Kip cannot enchant, be it cave dwellers two miles inside Chom Ong Tai in Laos, nomadic Mongolian herders, or a large room of screaming child fans! With a voracious curiosity for life, Kip has called many countries home, and has near as many languages under his belt, among them English, Korean and French. We join him and his wife Noelle in welcoming their newest addition, Soren.
Daydreaming since grade school - and then experiencing a pivotal creative plunge into black and white photography in high school, our Visual Warrior Chris Alford unites abstract reveries with striking visuals. After time in the Navy which allowed him to call Sicily home for 2 years, Chris earned a certificate in filmmaking from the UCLA Extension program. Today you can find him behind a lens bringing us breathtaking landscapes or working in post-production in L.A. assembling movies and TV shows into world languages. We call Chris our Visual Warrior as a life-filled combatant and recent survivor of cancer. Chris and Michelle’s families have been close for a whopping 35 years – and plan on doubling that and more. You can find some of Chris’ inspiration at https://chrismalford.com
Avid lover of books, music and dance (with photography rising in status), Christian is the reason this team got together. Mommy was in short supply of resources to adequately expose him to the 3 languages he needed to speak to family (two of which she did not speak natively, one barely at all)…
…so she got creative.
Student Intern, French & Spanish
Talk about industrious determination, Elsa-the-incredible reached out to us while studying abroad in Santiago, Chile and instantly hit the ground running for TA-DA! and our mission of supporting children and their families. (Yes, all whilst enjoying a semester abroad!) Otherwise a UC Berkeley majoring in both Political Science and Spanish, Elsa grew up in a bilingual, international family with a French father and American mother in Los Angeles. She embarked on her 3rd language, Spanish, at age 11. No stranger to the world, Elsa spent summers in France and has also studied abroad in both Madrid, Spain and Rome, Italy. She is active in Project SMILE, a volunteer organization which matches college mentors with middle school students - and lives for French, education, human rights, research & data methods, all things international…and now (lucky us) TA-DA! Language Productions.
Advisor & Translator, German
A source of brilliant sunshine to whomever she graces with her presence, we are humbled to have Lea as our first German intern. Although spending this year in the San Francisco Bay soaking in some California rays while working on her English, she typically calls a town near Stuttgart, Germany home. There you’ll find her teaching kindergarten (those lucky ducks!); sharing her love of life - and language.
Student Intern, Mandarin Chinese & Spanish
Pursuing a double major in Spanish Lit & Culture at the University of California at Berkeley, Vivian came to the United States only five short years ago. Before that she called Taiwan home, where she grew up learning traditional Chinese. A bonafide language nerd (a label we are proud to wear here at TA-DA!); Vivian is happiest when pursuing something related to her love of language and culture. In fact, she’d go so far as to say there’s nothing better than helping people with a desire to learn. A translator in the making, Vivian has been gleefully serving as the family’s translator since they arrived in the United States. When she’s not translating or pondering traditional, simplified or pinyin deep thoughts, you can find her enjoying a tasty meal (‘foodie’ being the other label she wears with pride).
Student Intern, Mandarin Chinese & Spanish
If Amy were an ice cream flavor, she'd be a mini pint of vanilla because she's always on the go! Having grown up in the sun-soaked city of LA, she discovered her love for art and language (fluent in both Chinese and Spanish) when she first began writing little stories to accompany her lonely drawings. Now she's chasing adventure at UC Berkeley while studying Spanish Literature and Interdisciplinary Research. When she's on a gas break, she DJs for Bar Mitzvahs, hangs out with her roommate's cat, and talks about words. In ten years from now, she hopes that she'll be telling her tall tales wherever the wind blows!
LILY HUANG CHEN
Student Intern, Mandarin Chinese & Spanish
In art, good things may come in 2s, but for pinch-me-I’m dreaming-these-girls-are-so-awesome Mandarin Chinese speaking interns, the magical dose is most definitely 3. The lovely Lily graces TA-DA! with her sunny disposition and hard working devotion as a native speaker of Spanish, Mandarin Chinese and Cantonese. Born in Venezuela to Chinese parents from Guangdong, Lily was exposed to linguistic and cultural diversity from the start. At age 14 she moved to San Francisco and added English to the mix. Today she is majoring in both Spanish and Psychology (with a minor in Linguistics) at UC Berkeley. Did we mention that this go-getter is also studying Japanese and French? Lily loves jigsaw puzzles and anything with the flavor matcha. In her free time she shares her love of language with TA-DA! and is learning guitar. (We promise to have her write a blog next sharing tips on work/life balance.) Fun fact: Lily learned Cantonese by watching Chinese telenovelas.
Advisor/All-rounder, German (and more)
Hands down putting the the term ‘language lover’ to a whole new level, Amy grew up in Eastern Germany, where cultural diversity was as uncommon as color photography. Her love for languages was ignited by her father and grandfather, resulting in studies in English and French literature and linguistics in college. Formerly having called various European countries home, Amy now enjoys raising her two kids in the sunny, multicultural San Francisco Bay, not far from TA-DA!’s Michelle Glorieux. In fact the love of language & culture is what brought these two together - although Amy far surpasses the languages Michelle has ever even dreamt of adding on to her belt. Amy just started learning Turkish, her 9th language, excluding Latin, Swiss German and Saxon (probably the most unpopular German dialect, and one that makes her daughter laugh whenever she speaks it). Amy teaches at a German, Saturday school where she loves to introduce her tiny students to her native German via songs, books, games, science experiments and puppet shows. You just might see (or hear her) out and about sharing TA-DA! flyers and shouting our praises from the rooftops.
Student Intern, English & German
Avid lover of language & writing, Hannah (pronounced like The Road to Hana in Hawaii) grew up in a bilingual household in San Diego, California. She thanks her mom for blessing her with her native German, and her Lola (her Filipino grandma) for the bit of Tagalog she feels fortunate to have acquired. Hannah has studied Spanish and travelled to 4 continents, although she currently claims the East Coast of the United States as home. There you’ll find her playing soccer and studying government and economics at Wesleyan University. While she is no longer flexible enough to fit her foot into her mouth, she can easily juggle balls, plates, pinecones - and languages. We’re so grateful to have her sharing these gifts with us here at TA-DA!
CARLA GOMEZ VICTOR
Student Intern, English & Spanish
Carla is from Sherman Oaks, California and is currently a student at UC Berkeley. She feels so lucky to have had parents who helped her develop her language skills in both English and Spanish; she doesn’t know how she would live life without it! Though originally focused on her major in Public Health, she decided to add her second major in Latin American Languages after studying abroad in Madrid in the Summer of 2018. While in Spain she was able to visit various Spanish cities as well as the capital of Portugal, which made her realize how much those languages had to offer. She fell in love with studying them (even the grammar!) and thought to make it official with a double major. Carla is very excited to have started the endeavor to learn Portuguese, and hopes to continue learning other languages the rest of her life. She serves as a literacy mentor and site director for BUILD (Berkeley United in Literacy Development) at MLK Elementary School in Oakland, where she tutors students to help improve their literacy skills, and leads a mentor team of other UC Berkeley students who serve as mentors as well. Carla loves all things Disney and stage musicals, as well as watching Netflix in her free time. She is also a competition team member of the Cal Figure Skating team (ranked 5th nationally) and a Party Captain at Oakland Ice Center, so if you’ve ever wanted to learn how to ice skate, she’s your gal!