Who We Are

When you aspire to learn a language to expand your horizons, immersion in its culture and a vocabulary to give it a shape makes it a fun-filled experience.

At the Academy of Culture and Language (ACAL) we do just that. We strive to combine the power of culture and language in a flexible and encouraging environment so that you take home more than what you came for.

ACAL supports your lifelong journey by empowering you through comprehensive language immersion programs. At the end of each session students find themselves armed with confidence, freedom, and more opportunities.

So come, transform your dreams into a fulfilling reality with ACAL.

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The Founder’s Vision

Ms. Marissa Burres

The Academy of Culture and Language is a brainchild of its creator and founder Marissa Burres. Native Panamanian with over 15 years of experience in language education and a strong foundation in Business Administration.

As part of her journey, in 2003, she moved to Houston, got certified, and started teaching Spanish to Middle and High School students from Level I to Advanced. She headed an afterschool ESL program and worked as a Spanish Instructor for an online High School.

Along with her fluency in Spanish and English, she is also proficient in German, language that she learned while she spent one year in Germany as an exchange student and  worked for a German bank back in Panama.

In her spare time Marissa serves as a liaison between families who want to host or send their kids to other countries for cultural exchange, and volunteer in several charities including Big Brother Big Sister and The Houston livestock Show and Rodeo.

As a globetrotter, she has embraced every opportunity to be a part of multicultural events and has visited various countries like India, Mexico, Colombia, Costa Rica, Puerto Rico, Aruba, Germany, England, Honduras, Canada, Autria, France and Russia Her ability to say a  phrase or two in over fifteen languages inevitably sets her apart!

Through these years Marissa envisioned an Academy that paints her passion for culture and language and leverages her expertise as a teacher and a business owner. Now she counts with the tools, the methodology and the Team to help more people to accomplish their language and cultural goals. She believed that anyone can learn a new language at any age if they chose to do so.

“Learning a new Language can be a fun experience, and even better while learning all the cultural aspects”, says Marissa.

Our Instructors

Our instructors are fluent native speakers or certified instructors in their subject. They come from a diverse professional background like legal, engineering, medicine, finance, and more. Not to mention, we regularly conduct trainings for our staff in both group and individual settings to ensure alignment.

At ACAL, we can customize courses as per the schedule, goals, and learning styles of our students. Gain a wealth of experience by building vast vocabulary and exceptional grammar skills.

Some of our top-rated instructors include:

Maria Elena

A native from Argentina, she teaches all levels of Spanish along with Medical Spanish, backed by her experience in healthcare.


Spanish and English Instructor originally from Panama, with a BA in Spanish and a Master in Education. She has been teaching She has been teaching kids of all ages for more than 10 years.


Native Russian Speaker with a Bachelor of Science in the Librarian-Bibliographer and Master of Education in the Russian Language and Russian Literature, work experience in Education and in sales.


She specializes in medical and corporate Spanish. As a native from Panama, she has earned her Master’s degree in business administration and has over 5 years of experience in teaching professionals.


With over 20 years of experience in teaching all age-groups, Seth excels in all levels of French and basic to intermediate Portuguese. He has earned his Masters in Language Education.


A Master of Arts in French and Spanish Language and Literature, he has over 20 years of experience in education. At ACAL, Christian teaches all levels of French and Spanish.


A native from Venezuela, Martha has a Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering and teaches all levels of Spanish.


He teaches Sign Language and has over 5 years of experience and skills to master ASL.


With a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Systems, Diana is a native of Colombia. She has 5 years of experience in education and teaches all levels of Spanish and ESL.


A native of Venezuela, Carla has 2 years of experience in special ED. She teaches all levels of Spanish.


A native of Venezuela, Carolina has a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, with 3 years of experience teaching ESL to kids. She also teaches Spanish.


He is a 1 st generation Greek, born in Houston and teaches all levels of Greek to our students.


Here’s what our happy students had to say about our services

Growing up multilingual, I know what it takes to become comfortable in and with a language. Marissa is uniquely qualified to enhance your current skill set or if you are just starting a with new language, she can create a custom learning path for you. I found my lessons both extremely useful and entertaining. I highly recommend Marissa and her team to anyone trying to learn a new language.

Carlo van der Burg – Publisher

I took Spanish Classes with Marissa. She used her unique style to teach and tailored the lessons to my needs, allowing me to apply the learning right away in my industry.

Thomas Brooks – Marketing Executive

Marissa is a one-of-a-kind teacher. The one you´ll remember ’til the rest of your life. She changes the paradigm; she makes you jump and do things; she is upbeat and always has a positive attitude. Above all she’s a good listener. Thanks.

Shahid K – Engineer

Mrs. Burres is one of those teachers that you will remember for the rest of your life. Always welcomed you into her class with a smile, handshake, Good morning/ Afternoon, and the occasional compliment. She’s very energetic and always ready to teach and has unique was of doing so.

Haylee M. McNutt – Student

Mrs. Burres was honestly one of my favorite teachers. She made the class more exciting by doing fun art projects related to the Spanish culture, as well as fun games we would play in class to keep the class more alive. Mrs. Burres was honestly one of the best teachers I had in High School who took her time to teach the students patiently and one by one, ensuring we were all learning and not left behind.

Vera Pineda – Student

I have been attending Marissa’s Spanish group activities since 2012, and I have found her method of teaching fun and easy to follow. I also have had private lessons for 2 years with Marissa and one year with one of her instructors. The increase in my Spanish proficiency has been a valuable asset in my law practice and very useful in my trips to Latin American and Spain.

Dan Downey – Lawyer

Ms. Burres is a very knowledgeable teacher and loves her students. Her passion to teach Spanish is noticeable because she cares about her students. I didn’t know how to write Spanish until I took her courses and learned it and how apply it to the real World. I really recommend her Language School because she has the skills to help her students to succeed, speak and write Spanish.

Luis Pardo – Student