Group of international students around a laptop

Our Mission

The mission of the Embry-Riddle Language Institute is to provide high-quality English language instruction that prepares speakers of other languages to enter and succeed in Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University or another U.S. university.

Our Resources

The Embry-Riddle Language Institute is a dynamic program located in beautiful Daytona Beach, FL, a wonderful, warm place to live:

  • ERLI is an intensive, English for academic purposes program with an experienced core faculty, a strong social/cultural education program, and an academically strong curriculum, including aviation-related topics.
  • ERLI faculty and administrative staff are very experienced and highly trained; all full-time faculty have master's degrees in TESOL or Linguistics.
  • ERLI is an academic unit within International Programs and has access to the full range of university resources.  ERLI students are Embry-Riddle students.

Our Faculty and Staff

Hannaliisa Savolainen, ERLI Director

Hannaliisa Savolainen earned her M.A. in Linguistics from Northeastern University in Chicago, Illinois. Prior to working as an administrator in international education, Hannaliisa taught ESL in Chicago, Santa Monica, and Flagstaff in both intensive English and credit programs. Her professional areas of interests include student support, faculty development, and reading research. Hannaliisa first arrived to the United States as a flight student, and she is a private pilot. In her free time, she enjoys exploring Florida with her family and reading murder mysteries.

Douglas Adams, Assistant Director

Douglas has an M.A. in Applied Linguistics with a specialization in TESL from the University of Florida and has taught English as a second language at the university level both in the U.S. and overseas for more than 25 years, and is currently on faculty at the Embry-Riddle Language Institute at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Florida. In addition to teaching at the institute, he has also served as an academic advisor for first year students at the university and taught Embry-Riddle's developmental English classes for international students for more than ten years.

  Danica Li

Danica Li, Administrative Assistant & Student Support Specialist

Danica earned a Master of Science in Cell Biology from Beijing Normal University, China. She also has dual bachelor’s degrees in Biology Technology and English from Qingdao University, China. Before joining the ERLI team in 2023, Danica was a middle school teacher for 8 years. From 2015 to 2018, she taught Biology in China. After she moved to the U.S. in 2018, she joined an IB (International Baccalaureate) school located in New Jersey and taught Mandarin, science, math and design in the middle-school-program for 4 years. Her goal is to be an effective central point of communication between students, faculty and staff and facilitate a seamless learning experience for all students. When not at work, she enjoys painting, playing Pipa (a Chinese instrument), calligraphy, and sports.

Aliona Buresh, Senior Instructor

Aliona has her M.A. in Educational Leadership/Teaching English as a Second Language from University of Central Florida. She started her teaching career as a University EFL Professor at the Institute of Parliamentarism and Enterprise in Minsk, Belarus. She worked from 2012-2014 at Daytona State College teaching ESOL to students from various educational and cultural backgrounds. She started to work at ERLI as a TESL Instructor in 2013. In ERLI, she teaches academic English classes and Human Factors in Aviation. She is fluent in Russian and Italian. Aliona enjoys travelling, experiencing new foods and cultures, and meeting people from different countries.


Andy Mattingly, Instructor

Andy has a Master of Arts in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) from Wright State University. While there they also earned a Bachelors in Arts in TESOL. They started teaching English in 2019 and have been teaching ESOL students ever since. They have experience teaching ESOL students in a variety of different settings, from university programs to community classes. Andy moved from Ohio to Florida and joined ERLI in 2022. Andy enjoys trying new recipes, reading horror novels and going to the beach. 


Thomas Cawley, Aviation English Specialist

Tom Cawley is an instructor at the Embry-Riddle Language Institute and also teaches Aviation English within Embry-Riddle’s Flight Department. Tom is retired from the U.S. Navy and served as a Naval Flight Officer and Mission Commander with over 2,600 flight hours in the E-2C Hawkeye. While serving in the Navy, he earned an M.A.S. in Aviation Management/Operations at Embry-Riddle’s Worldwide Campus. After retiring from the U.S. Navy, Tom earned his TESL certificate and volunteered to teach English in Costa Rica. Tom then earned his M.A. in TESOL at California State University, Los Angeles, where he completed his practicum at East Los Angeles College. Tom is currently working on an M.B.A. His teaching philosophy is centered on providing students with the tools they need to succeed so that they can take the necessary steps to achieve their language goals. Tom understands the complexities of learning a language as an adult having learned Persian-Farsi and Spanish at the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, CA.


Kenneth Tanemura, Adjunct Faculty

Kenny Tanemura has a PhD in Second Language Studies/ESL from Purdue University. He has taught speaking and listening at the Oral English Proficiency Program at Purdue, and ten sections of multilingual writing to international students. Kenny currently teaches Reading at The Embry Riddle Language Institute. He is a fourth-generation Japanese American from California.