Who is the LEAP team?
The LEAP team is made up of instructors and staff experienced and interested in working with people from varied language and cultural backgrounds.
LEAP instructors are committed to enhancing the learning experience of their students. All LEAP instructors are university graduates, specializing in teaching English to speakers of other languages. The majority of LEAP instructors have graduate degrees in TESL (Teaching English as a Second Language).
Paul Abbott, BA, MA, TESL Instructor+
Marlene Allard-Lutynski, BA, BEd in TESL Instructor+
Carmita Bartel, MEd in TESL/TEFL, BSc Instructor+
Carmita has an MEd in TESL/TEFL and a BSc from the University of Manitoba. She has developed and taught classes in ESL, EAP, exam preparation, and teaching training programs for almost 20 years. Her teaching experiences have been in private institutes and universities in Taiwan, Japan, Thailand, the USA, and Vancouver.
"For me, an energetic, engaging, and interactive classroom environment is the key to creating an effective learning experience for my students."
Kiri Batzakas, BA, TESL Instructor+
Gillian Berson, BA, MA, ESL Teaching Certificate Instructor+
Michele Bridge, MA, BA, TESL Instructor+
Michele has a BA in Linguistics, a TESL certificate from SFU, and an MA in Linguistics from UBC. She brings over 12 years of ESL teaching experience to Langara College as well as 10 years of curriculum development and editing experience.
"My passion is creating current, local and relevant materials for students in Vancouver and inspiring students to fall in love with learning."
Christine Brown, BSc, SME, TESL Instructor+
Christin has a BSc from SFU, SME Diploma from UBC and a TESL Certificate from VCC. She has been teaching English to new Canadian immigrants and international students in the Vancouver Lower Mainland since 1993.
"It's great to see students improve their confidence in English both inside and outside of the classroom over such a short period of time. The new skills they learn in class are further developed out in the community, where they can explore new places, participate in fun and interesting activities and meet people from different cultures in Vancouver."
Patricia Chan, BA, BEd, TESL Instructor+
Patricia has a BA, a BEd (UBC), and a TESL Certificate (VCC). She has been teaching ESL since 1996. Patricia has taught in Taiwan and Vancouver.
"I enjoy teaching English in LEAP because I can witness students building their confidence and accomplishing their goals."
Kate Chang, BA, TESL Instructor+
Kate has been teaching English for more than 15 years. She has a BA in Lingustics and TESL certificate from UBC. Kate has also done coursework and research in Speech pathology and Audiology.
Kate has been teaching ESL since 1996. She has taught in Vancouver and Taipei.
Magdalena Dachtera-Wrobel, MA, B.Ed, TESL Instructor+
BEd, MA in Applied Linguistics (Adam Mickiewicz University, Poland)
TESL Diploma (Vancouver Community College)
Magda has a BEd, an MA in Applied Linguistics (A. Mickiewicz University, Poland) and a TESL Diploma (VCC). She has been teaching ESL since 2002. She has taught in Poland and Canada, and has experience in working with both international students and newcomers to Canada. Magda loves helping students on their journey to learn a new language and enjoys seeing the progress they make. As a LEAP instructor, she likes the variety of themes, activities and projects that the program offers.
Baljit Dhillon, BA, CELTA Instructor+
Baljit has a BA and a Diploma in Education (UBC), and a Cambridge Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults (Kwantlen). She has taught English for Academic Purposes in Vancouver since 2001.
"I am passionate about engaging students in the learning process so that they can realize their strengths."
Liz Faulkner, BA, CELTA Instructor+
Liz has a BA in Psychology from McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario and a Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults (CELTA) from RSA- Cambridge.
Liz has been teaching English as a Second Language since 2001. She has taught in Thailand and Vancouver.
"I've really enjoyed working with students from around the world, and I think the LEAP program offers our students the best opportunity to study English, learn the local culture and pursue their academic goals."
Nora Ferera, BA Instructor+
Alan Girling, BA, CERTESL Instructor+
Keith Hughes, BA, CELTA Instructor+
Mary Hynek, BA, TESOL Instructor+
Mary has a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Simon Fraser University (English Major, History Minor) and a TESOL Certificate from Vancouver Community College. She has 9 years of teaching and tutoring experience in the Lower Mainland with international students and new Canadian immigrants.
"It is fascinating to work with students from different backgrounds and cultures. They bring such unique life experiences that add to the class dynamics. I also really enjoy helping students communicate their ideas in English. It's such a challenge in the beginning, and I love watching them improve and gain confidence as they learn to express themselves. It's a very rewarding job."
Valerie Idiens, BA, MA, TESOL, PG Instructor+
Valerie has an MA in Applied Linguistics - TESOL, a PG Diploma (U. of Surrey, England), and a BA in Communications and Philosophy (Concordia University, Montreal). Since 1996, she has taught English and French as second and foreign languages in Mexico and Canada.
"The team-teaching model of LEAP has created a program that is flexible to adapt and build upon changes that are generated from practice and dialogue. This constant renewal improves our teaching materials so we can best respond to what the ESL students in our program need. It's great to be a part of such an energetic program."
Christine Inouye, MA, BEd Instructor+
Christine has an MA in ESL (U. of Hawaii), a BEd in Secondary English Education, and has been teaching ESL since 1975. She has taught in Hawaii, Japan, and Vancouver.
"I enjoy teaching in LEAP because of the highly motivated students, the quality of the curriculum and materials, and the support network offered by Langara."
Marie Irving, BA, TESOL Instructor+
Marie has a BA in English Literature and a TESOL diploma from VCC. She has been teaching ESL since 1999. She has experience teaching in Japan and Venezuela.
"I love building students' confidence and seeing how LEAP helps them to improve their English over such a short period of time."
Sophie Janota, BA , BEd Instructor+
Sophie has a BA (UVic), a BEd (U. of Western Ontario), and is currently working on her M.Ed (UBC). Sophie has been teaching ESL and EAP since 1992, and has taught in colleges and universities in France, Hungary, and Canada.
"I am happy to share my passion for languages and curiosity about life with my students. I aim to help students understand, shape, and enjoy their own learning."
JoAnn Kadooka, BA, MA, TESL Instructor+
Ashley Low, BA, TESOL Instructor+
Ashley has a BA in Psychology (UBC) and a TESOL Diploma (VCC). She has taught ESL and EAP in Langley and Vancouver since 2000.
"Being able to teach students from around the world and empowering them to succeed in their settlement and academic goals make my job a very rewarding one."
Leslie-Anne McGugan, BA, BEd Instructor+
Leslie-Anne has a BA in English, and BEd in TESL (Brock U.). She has been teaching ESL since 1992. Leslie-Anne has taught in Japan and the Czech Republic.
"My goal as a teacher in the LEAP program is to help students reach their academic goals by improving their academic English skills. When a former student tells me they have been accepted to UT or other university programs, then I know I have helped them reach that goal."
Brenda Marson, BA, BEd, MA Instructor+
Becky Matz, BA, TESOL Instructor+
Becky has a BA from Trinity Western University and a TESOL Diploma from VCC. She has been teaching ESL since 1999. Becky has taught in Japan, Australia, and Vancouver.
"I enjoy teaching English in LEAP because I can see students progress in English and move one step closer to their goals."
Farid Mirhady, BA, MA, TESL Instructor+
Branca Mirnic, BA, MEd Instructor+
Lisa Moore, MA, BA, TESL Instructor+
Kim Nowitsky, BA, DELTA, CELTA Instructor+
Kim has a BA in Applied Communications, a Diploma in English Language Teaching to Adults (DELTA), and a Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults (CELTA). She has been teaching since 1999. She has taught exam preparation and young learners in Spain for 6 years and 3 years of Cambridge exam preparation in Vancouver.
"Teaching in LEAP, I am motivated everyday because I feel so fortunate to work with such a dynamic group of instructors and because I love helping our dedicated students achieve their academic goals."
Kristina Porter, BA, CELTA, M.Ed. TEAL Instructor+
Kristina has a B.A. in Anthropology and French from McGill University, a Cambridge CELTA from Beruffoerderungsinstitut Vienna, and a M.Ed. TEAL from Simon Fraser University.
Kristina started teaching English language in Angola, Africa, and then continued in Vienna, Austria where she taught in community colleges and the University of Vienna. She came to Vancouver in 2004 and taught in a number of different schools including Pacific Gateway International College, Columbia College and Simon Fraser University, before I started at Langara in 2012.
"I enjoy second language teaching because it's so rewarding to give people from different backgrounds the tools to communicate with each other and come to understand each other. I enjoy teaching in the LEAP program because it's rewarding to see students make so much progress in their language skills in such a short time."
Britta Poschenrieder, MEd, BA, TESL Instructor+
Britta has a BA in English from Vancouver Island University, a TESL certificate and an MEd in Adult Education from UBC. She has developed and taught courses in business English, exam preparation and EAP.
"I love teaching because it gives me a chance to share my passion for English. It's also extremely rewarding to be able to help my students achieve their goals."
Dave Radolla, BA, B.Ed., TESOL Instructor+
Dave has a BA in Psychology with a Specialization in English, a B.Ed, and a TESOL certificate.
Dave started his teaching career here in Vancouver with an international school then spent 1.5 years teaching in Japan. After teaching in Japan he came back to Vancouver and taught University Prep at the same international school, then began his B.Ed at UBC. During his B.Ed he did a practicum exchange in Singapore. He's been teaching ESL for over 10 years.
"I enjoy teaching ESL because I like helping people learn new things that might open doors for them in the future. I like teaching in LEAP because the intensive nature in the program allows students to see real progress in their learning in a short time and I have wonderful co-workers that I learn from every day."
Amanda Robbins, BA, BEd, CELTA Instructor+
Amanda has a BA in Education Studies and English (U. of Wolverhampton), a CELTA Certificate (RSA - Cambridge), and a BEd in TESL (U. of Amsterdam). She has taught English in the Netherlands, China, and South Korea and has been teaching English as a Second Language since 2001.
"The LEAP Program allows me to make the learning experience rewarding for students as well as for myself. I learn new things from my students every time I enter the classroom, and my aim is to make sure my students experience the same thing - they learn to be more capable and comfortable with academic English."
Andrea Stevenson, BA, TESL Instructor+
Sylvia Symons, BA, TESOL Instructor+
Sylvia has a BA in English Literature from UBC and a TESOL Diploma from Vancouver Community College.
Sylvia has been teaching English since 1994 and has taught both in Vancouver and in South Korea.
"I love watching each student grow in confidence and ability. I am also very interested in students' lives and all the stories they bring with them to Canada!"