John Neyenesch was born and raised in San Diego. After graduating from Stanford he went into the Peace Corps and was assigned to Colombia where he taught English for two years. This experience is where his lifelong passion for teaching started. After serving in the Peace Corps he moved to New York where he taught and studied Spanish literature. He earned a Ph.D. in Spanish literature from NYU in 1975.
Neyenesch currently teaches American Culture, Reading 106, and advanced oral communication classes in the Intensive English for Communication program. He says that his favorite part of teaching is “when students are in smaller groups, talking and really enjoying themselves.” He adds, “I love the point when the class almost descends into chaos, but not quite. I’m reluctant to bring them back because they’re having fun and speaking freely, without the traditional inhibitions of the classroom.”
Along with his passion for teaching, Neyenesch has another reason for continuing to teach English – his colleagues. “We have a wonderful group of people here, I’ve always liked the administrators, support staff, and of course my colleagues. There is a mutual regard, consideration, and affection that make the ALI a great place to teach.”
He also provides advice for students, “Take the opportunities that are here – join clubs, go to the ARC, and take swimming and surfing classes with American students. That is how you’re going to maximize your learning and your enjoyment of life, by being out there.”