Cultural Connections Institute - The Learning Exchange.
Study English as a Second Language (ESL) classes in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada!

CCI-LEX - Instructors

Meet our CCI teachers!

CCI-LEX is pleased to introduce our CCI instructors, a diverse group of professionals dedicated to excellence.

Each of our teachers brings a unique mix of professional experience, knowledge and passion to his or her role. Our instructors’ teaching methods are tailored to all different types of learning styles, so students of any age and with any level of English ability will feel at home. At CCI-LEX the learning environment is exciting and collaborative. Get to know the instructors who help make it that way!

General ESL Morning Classes

John M.

Beginner teacher John M. blends his international work-travel experience and interest in world cultures to create a unique and supportive classroom environment—one where students help one other learn and provide input into the curriculum.

John has a Diploma in Teaching English as a Second Language and has been teaching since 2009 at CCI-LEX.  He enjoys teaching because of his interest in people and cultures different than his own. Having lived and worked internationally in the oil industry as well as having travelled to many countries, he brings to the classroom experiences that help him relate to students. Also, his interest in cycling and fitness help him connect with students that are also interested in active pursuits.

The Beginner class builds a solid foundation of English which enables students to be successful and confident in higher levels.  John creates balanced lessons where students practice all language skills thoroughly, using a variety of authentic resources and making use of technology in the classroom. To support classroom learning, students participate in a number of activities outside the classroom, such as eating at restaurants, visiting the Alberta Legislature or Fort Edmonton Park, all the while emphasizing language recently learned in the classroom. 

John believes that adults learn best in a relaxed and supportive atmosphere. His classes are energetic, fun, and flexible with a focus on student participation.   You can often hear the laughter and excitement from John’s class on the other side of the school!

Ellen C.

With a love of travel and learning about cultures of the world, Ellen C. has been sharing her unique, passionate teaching style at CCI-LEX since August 2011.

Ellen has 25 years of experience as a social worker in addition to a number of years experience teaching English abroad, including three years in Vietnam teaching university students and business people. She has strong English as a Second Language teaching credentials, including a TESOL diploma from Calgary’s Mount Royal University, and several supplementary certificates.

Ellen loves the practicality of the CCI curriculum – it allows students to begin immediately practicing their new skills and vocabulary, while living in Canada. Ellen’s love of world travel and learning about diverse cultures makes her a natural fit for an English as a Second Language position. She also incorporates her other hobbies, like scrapbooking and a love of music, into her lessons. For example, she will help students expand their vocabulary and understanding of idioms by learning more about the lyrics of a song. Students have fun, improve skills, and build confidence!

Alex B

Ever wanted to feel like a part of a shared community, full of encouragement, cooperation and new experiences? Welcome to Alex B’s class. This intermediate B teacher brings with her international teaching experience; she has taught English as a Second Language and English as a First Language to adults in Chile, the United States and Canada. She has a Bachelor of Education and has taught at CCI-LEX for nearly five years.

Through games and group work that encourage students to practice skills like grammar and vocabulary, Alex helps students learn together to build lasting skills. Students also enjoy field trips, visits to parks or restaurants and classroom potlucks, all while learning English in a fun and friendly atmosphere.

Teaching is her passion, and it shows! Not only does she share her knowledge of English with students, but with her co-workers as well. Alex is known as the CCI Grammar Guru, and her colleagues often call on her to answer tricky grammar questions, and in addition, she has lead several training workshops for teachers.

“I am very fortunate to have the opportunity to meet and teach so many wonderful people,” she says. “I have learned a great deal about different cultures and I enjoy learning from my students and colleagues whenever I get the opportunity.”

Linda L.

With her impressive educational background, including university degrees in education and science and advanced English as a Second Language credentials, Linda L. has been helping students learn English at CCI-LEX for more than 11 years.

As she has taught at different levels, from beginner to advanced classes, Linda is often able to watch her students grow and improve over time. Watching a student transform from a silent participant who knows no English, to a conversational English-speaker inspires her. “Results such as these are what make teaching worthwhile,” she says.

Currently teaching the Intermediate C morning class, Linda uses stimulating lessons and interactive activities to help students learn. She encourages students to be passionate about the English language, and makes sure to give each one plenty of opportunity to speak and practice by giving presentations in English, as well as doing research to complete assignments. Her classroom is comfortable and safe, so students aren’t intimidated by learning a new language.

Linda is a self-directed, enthusiastic and result-oriented ESL teacher who likes to instil a passion for learning English while creating a multi-cultural classroom environment.

Harry P.

Harry P. is a highly qualified English as a Second Language teacher that focuses his lessons on not only language skills but also on learning Canadian culture and customs. He’s guided by the belief that “to teach is to change a life.”

An accountant by trade, with extensive management experience, Harry has been teaching adults English for more than 11 years. He has an Honours Certificate in Adult Education from Toronto’s Seneca College. Also, as a member of the professional public speaking club Toastmasters, he is able to pass on relevant skills for making presentations and conducting job interviews to his students in the classroom.

Students in Harry’s Advanced class study grammar, pronunciation, writing, and vocabulary with an emphasis on conversation. Students then put their skills to use by relating thoughts and ideas through discussion, weekly writing assignments, and formal debates with fellow classmates. Students are encouraged to talk about current affairs and real-life situations to bring relevance to the skills they learn. Harry says there is also plenty of opportunity for fun and a few laughs. He believes that every student should see positive change by taking part in his class.

General ESL Evening Classes

Ava G. (Beginner A)

Ava G.’s experiences as a teenager helped her become the passionate and giving ESL teacher she is today. In fact, after moving to Canada as a teenager, she experienced first-hand what it was like to be a newcomer learning another language. This experience shaped Ava greatly.

Later in her adult life, Ava started volunteering as an English teacher for newcomers to Canada, inspired by her early days when others helped her adjust to her new life in a new country.  Now years later, she has gained experience teaching students at all different levels of language proficiency, from Literacy to Advanced learner levels. This has helped her become an expert at adjusting her lessons for students at different stages of English learning.

Ava’s classes focus on interactive learning. Rather than just telling students what they should know, she convinces them to participate and take risks as they learn, a key step that helps Beginner level students improve. Equally important is that everyone has fun and makes new friends to be comfortable in the class, she says. Finally, Ava always tries to incorporate practical language learning activities so students will find them helpful and useful in their day-to-day lives. 

Currently taking TESOL courses at the University of Alberta, Ava will soon be entering the Master’s TESOL program.  She is excited about continuing down the path of education. “I'm convinced that nothing else I do would give me so much pleasure and satisfaction in life than teaching,” she says.  This is definitely is reflected in her classroom, where you can always hear excited conversations and lots of laughter!

Artem M. (Beginner B)

Artem M., PhD, is a professional linguist, researcher and language instructor with a range of experience teaching elementary, intermediate, advanced and academic ESL courses.Artem has been teaching a variety of courses at CCI-LEX since 2012, and has also taught at the University of Alberta in their Intensive Daytime English Language and English for Academic Purposes Programs.

When not teaching, Artem operates a small marketing business, writes poetry and enjoys stargazing. Learning about other cultures and languages, sharing his knowledge and experience, and doing his part for international peace are Artem’s lifelong passions which influence his teaching in a meaningful and positive way.

Having experienced moving to Canada himself, Artem is always happy and eager to help newcomers and international students find out more about the Canadian way of life, culture and society.  Because of his linguistics background, students appreciate his ability to explain complicated concepts and nuances of the language.  Artem focuses on open communication and excels at fostering a positive, friendly environment in the classroom, ensuring that every student is appreciated and heard.  Classes full of good humor, vivid discussions, and cultural exchange leave his students energized and motivated to learn!

Albert M.

Highly experienced Intermediate A teacher Albert has credentials that would impress any employer. But it’s his focus on democracy and student input in the classroom that his students appreciate most.

This long-time teacher has a PhD in Adult Education and taught communications and English as Second Language to university students in the Philippines for 12 years. During this time he perfected his philosophy of putting students first. Albert believes in the importance of talking to students one-on-one to see how they are finding the class, and of assessing them individually to see if a different or unique approach is needed for a particular learner.

Albert applies his student-centered approach in class by using comparisons and examples from the students’ experiences to bring lessons to life. He also asks students to think how their learning can be applied to everyday life. Students love learning this way, he says, and it really helps them hone their English reading, speaking, comprehension and writing skills.

Albert encourages curiosity among students. When students question and inquire about the subject matter, they gain a sense of ownership over the lessons, he says. This stimulates them and giving them an even greater enthusiasm for learning. Above all, Albert wants everyone to feel comfortable and safe while they learn together. “I want my students to have freedom and have fun while learning in a welcoming classroom environment.”

Cydney P.

Cydney P

Intermediate B instructor Cydney P brings a unique perspective to the classroom as she has continued to learn new languages in her adult life. These lessons help remind her of the challenges faced by her own students learning English.

With an English teacher mother and a father who loves the English language, Cydney was pretty much born to teach! But she has worked hard to earn her stripes and become the great instructor she is today. First of all there’s her education, a graduate from McGill University, TESOL and Cambridge DELTA certifications, and courses in Adult Education. If that’s not enough, then there’s her extensive teaching experience both in Canada (Vancouver, BC) and Japan. Cydney has taught a variety of ages and skills, from academic preparation, reading skills, speaking for beginners, TOEFL, and pronunciation. Impressed yet? We should also mention she has been a TESOL teacher trainer. All of this has helped shape Cydney to be the great instructor she is today.

So, what is Cydney’s Intermediate B class like? She is all about communication. Her students do most of the talking, while she provides corrections and guides them as they go. There are a lot of discussions in pairs or small groups, followed by a feedback session as a class. Even the shy students end up chatting with their classmates! Students are also drawn to her enthusiasm and love of reading. She encourages her students to read widely, and has even launched book clubs to further encourage the habit! Students often comment on the great energy Cydney creates in the classroom, and she has quickly become a student favourite!

Ellen C.

With a love of travel and learning about cultures of the world, Ellen C. has been sharing her unique, passionate teaching style at CCI-LEX since August 2011.

Ellen has 25 years of experience as a social worker in addition to a number of years experience teaching English abroad, including three years in Vietnam teaching university students and business people. She has strong English as a Second Language teaching credentials, including a TESOL diploma from Calgary’s Mount Royal University, and several supplementary certificates.

Ellen loves the practicality of the CCI curriculum – it allows students to begin immediately practicing their new skills and vocabulary, while living in Canada. Ellen’s love of world travel and learning about diverse cultures makes her a natural fit for an English as a Second Language position. She also incorporates her other hobbies, like scrapbooking and a love of music, into her lessons. For example, she will help students expand their vocabulary and understanding of idioms by learning more about the lyrics of a song. Students have fun, improve skills, and build confidence!

Artem M.

Artem M., PhD, is a professional linguist, researcher and language instructor with a range of experience teaching elementary, intermediate, advanced and academic ESL courses.Artem has been teaching a variety of courses at CCI-LEX since 2012, and has also taught at the University of Alberta in their Intensive Daytime English Language and English for Academic Purposes Programs.

When not teaching, Artem operates a small marketing business, writes poetry and enjoys stargazing. Learning about other cultures and languages, sharing his knowledge and experience, and doing his part for international peace are Artem’s lifelong passions which influence his teaching in a meaningful and positive way.

Having experienced moving to Canada himself, Artem is always happy and eager to help newcomers and international students find out more about the Canadian way of life, culture and society.  Because of his linguistics background, students appreciate his ability to explain complicated concepts and nuances of the language.  Artem focuses on open communication and excels at fostering a positive, friendly environment in the classroom, ensuring that every student is appreciated and heard.  Classes full of good humor, vivid discussions, and cultural exchange leave his students energized and motivated to learn!

Special ESL Classes – Speaking Skills

Ellen C.

With a love of travel and learning about cultures of the world, Ellen C has been sharing her unique, passionate teaching style at CCI-LEX since August 2011.

Ellen has 25 years of experience as a social worker in addition to a number of years experience teaching English abroad, including three years in Vietnam teaching university students and businesspeople. She has strong English as a Second Language teaching credentials, including a TESOL diploma from Calgary’s Mount Royal University, and several supplementary certificates.

Ellen teaches Beginner Communication Skills, a speaking class for students just starting out in their language journey!  Essential vocabulary and expressions for everyday conversation are the focus here, and Ellen creates an exciting and relaxed atmosphere where students feel safe practicing their English.  Field trips in the community for hands-on language practice are a key component that make this class a success and a hit amongst students.

Ellen loves the practicality of the CCI curriculum – it allows students to begin immediately practicing their new skills and vocabulary, while living in Canada.  Ellen’s love of world travel and learning about diverse cultures makes her a natural fit for an English as a Second Language position. She also incorporates her other hobbies, like scrapbooking and a love of music, into her lessons. For example, she will help students expand their vocabulary and understanding of idioms by learning more about the lyrics of a song.  Students have fun, improve skills, and build confidence!

Jan P.

Jan P.considers herself a global citizen with a passion for education that eventually led her to focus on ESL instruction.  With over 30 years of experience teaching at the university level and involvement in a number of international educational projects, CCI-LEX was thrilled when Jan joined their team of instructors!

After two years of teaching intermediate levels at CCI-LEX, Jan was a natural fit to take on the Intermediate Communication Skills class! Jan creates an interactive, collaborative and supportive learning environment with real life examples and active student participation.

Jan’s students benefit from her theme-based lessons.  She crafts her classes usinga combination of vocabulary building, dynamic speaking activities and practical communication strategies.  Students are introduced to local resources and events first-hand.  Trips to festivals, the public library, or nutrition tours provide her students with invaluable,real language practice- that is key for improving one’s English.  Students find that Jan teaches with enthusiasm and empathy.  She finds it rewarding to see her students’ language skills grow and she wants to inspire her students to keep learning!

Harry P.

Harry P. is a highly qualified English as a Second Language teacher that focuses his lessons on not only language skills but also on learning Canadian culture and customs. He’s guided by the belief that “to teach is to change a life.”

An accountant by trade, with extensive management experience, Harry has been teaching adults English for over 12 years. He has an Honours Certificate in Adult Education from Toronto’s Seneca College.  Also, as a member of the professional public speaking club Toastmasters, he is able to pass on relevant skills for making presentations and conducting job interviews to his students in the classroom.

Harry’s Advanced Communication Skills Class discusses a variety of subjects including current news items, cultures and controversial issues.  Debates help students to improve their ability to persuade others to accept their ideas.  Students in this class will gain confidence in speaking through meaningful conversations, discussions and presentations.

Field trips outside the class have included visits to the Alberta Legislature, the Court House, Art Gallery, and searching out geographical points of interest while touring the neighbourhood.  These trips are designed to help students explore their surroundings and discover new and interesting sites in Edmonton. The trips are enjoyable and help the student to realize that communicating in public is easier than they might think.

Harry says, “If we can laugh, we can learn, so in this class we learn a lot!  Come join us!"

Kelsey L.

Precise Pronunciation teacher Kelsey L.’s background in linguistics and love of ESL teaching make for a winning combination that helps her students speak their best.

Kelsey is finishing her BA in linguistics at the University of Alberta and plans on completing a Masters in TESL next.  She had been volunteering with CCI-LEX for over three years and loves that she is now working with them.  Her interest in teaching ESL began after time spent travelling overseas, as she wanted to continue meeting people with different ideas and cultures.  She also works for NorQuest College in their online classes, learning how to bring technology into the classroom and into students’ homes.

In Precise Pronunciation, Kelsey helps students understand the workings of English stress, rhythm, intonation, and sounds. The class works on all areas of pronunciation, focusing on the issues that are the biggest causes of misunderstanding for students.  Kelsey meets with each of her students one-on-one to offer advice and pointers on their speech, as well as provides opportunities for students to send in recordings for additional feedback. This class helps students learn all the rules of spoken English and how to start using that knowledge in their own speech.

Kelsey likes to keep her classes engaging and upbeat. It’s hard to learn when people are tired or stressed, so keeping the classroom relaxed and students actively involved helps them perform their best.  And since the class is about pronunciation, her students do a lot of talking!

Special ESL Classes – Academic Skills and Test Preparation

Ellen C.

With a love of travel and learning about cultures of the world, Ellen C has been sharing her unique, passionate teaching style at CCI-LEX since August 2011.

Ellen has 25 years of experience as a social worker in addition to a number of years experience teaching English abroad, including three years in Vietnam teaching university students and businesspeople. She has strong English as a Second Language teaching credentials, including a TESOL diploma from Calgary’s Mount Royal University, and several supplementary certificates.

Ellen teaches ‘Write for Success’ a specialized ESL class focused on academic and professional language.  Students are exposed to a variety of resources and activities that will enrich their vocabulary, polish their writing skills, and also develop presentation and soft skills.  She excels at helping students identify and achieve their individual learning and professional goals.

Ellen loves the practicality of the CCI curriculum – it allows students to begin immediately practicing their new skills and vocabulary, while living in Canada.  Ellen’s love of world travel and learning about diverse cultures makes her a natural fit for an English as a Second Language position. She also incorporates her other hobbies, like scrapbooking and a love of music, into her lessons. For example, she will help students expand their vocabulary and understanding of idioms by learning more about the lyrics of a song.  Students have fun, improve skills, and build confidence!

Ellen teaches Beginner Communication Skills, a speaking class for students just starting out in their language journey!  Essential vocabulary and expressions for everyday conversation are the focus here, and Ellen creates an exciting and relaxed atmosphere where students feel safe practicing their English.  Field trips for hands-on language practice in the community are a key component making this class a success.

Alex B

Ever wanted to feel like a part of a shared community, full of encouragement, cooperation and new experiences? Welcome to Alex B’s class. This IELTS teacher brings with her international teaching experience; she has taught English as a Second Language and English as a First Language to adults in Chile, the United States and Canada. She has a Bachelor of Education and has taught at CCI-LEX for nearly five years.

Through games and group work that encourage students to practice skills like grammar and vocabulary, Alex helps students learn together to build lasting skills. Students also enjoy field trips, visits to parks or restaurants and classroom potlucks, all while learning English in a fun and friendly atmosphere.

Teaching is her passion, and it shows! Not only does she share her knowledge of English with students, but with her co-workers as well. Alex is known as the CCI Grammar Guru, and her colleagues often call on her to answer tricky grammar questions, and in addition, she has lead several training workshops for teachers.

“I am very fortunate to have the opportunity to meet and teach so many wonderful people,” she says. “I have learned a great deal about different cultures and I enjoy learning from my students and colleagues whenever I get the opportunity.”

 



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