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We are team of volunteers made up of TESL Toronto members from diverse educational sectors with a wide range of skills and experience. Guided by TESL Toronto’s mandate, we serve our membership through various activities, including:
- organizing a local conference and special events throughout the year to provide members with excellent, affordable professional development opportunities, and
- keeping members informed of PD opportunities and relevant news and issues through our website, social media sites, and email bulletins.
If you’re interested in joining our Executive for the following season (beginning with our AGM in October), please scroll down to the bottom of this page for information.
The Executive (2016-2017)
Arlene Samlalsingh, President
Arlene’s experience in many ELT contexts has given her the opportunity to continue to teach, learn and grow. She says that teaching in Toronto has been a fantastic experience and she acknowledges that, for her, it has also been a humbling experience to teach adult newcomers to Canada, as well as professionals looking for the socio-cultural edge required for the Canadian workplace and currently pre-university EAP students. “Teachers of the English language, across the many sectors and in their various professional capacities are so important to the fabric of our multicultural city. Not only do we teach vital language skills, from survival to higher learning and all of the important items in-between, but we also support our students in a variety of valuable ways”, she says. She is proud to be working in this profession as doing so gives her the chance to make a difference in the lives of others.
Chris Smrke, President-Elect
Chris has experience teaching in both the private sector at English School of Canada and the public sector in the LINC Home Study Ontario program. Over the last few years, he has also taken on more administrative responsibilities but has never strayed far from the classroom. With these different experiences, he has had the opportunity to meet, work with, and learn from many teachers. This is fortunate since one of his passions is to practice new approaches and incorporate them into his classes. He is a strong advocate of professional development, believes that we all have things to teach each other, and never tires of learning new techniques.
Nicola Carozza, Treasurer
Nicola has taught English in the private and public sectors in both Canada and China. He has worked with core curriculum teachers to design remedial English courses for students preparing to study overseas. His most recent work includes teaching listening and speaking at the University of Toronto and advanced conversation, George Brown College. Nicola’s interests include authentic and meaningful assessment and the impact of culture on language acquisition.
Cecilia Aponte-de-Hanna, Communications Officer
Cecilia is a college professor, adult ESL instructor, language assessor, and TESL teacher trainer. Her passion is helping English learners (all learners actually) gain agency and take control of their success, while gaining intercultural competence – a passion that propelled her to designing an experiential course in language identity and diversity while teaching at Seneca College. Cecilia is also an avid writer, twitter user, and blogger – with published articles in College Quarterly and Seneca’s School of English and Liberal Studies Magazine, and blogs for LinkedIn and TESL Ontario.
Jennifer Freudenthal, Affiliate Representative
While working on her Master of Education degree specializing in TESOL, Jennifer jumped right into the classroom and can still be found there today. Prior to working in Canada, this career path has given her the opportunity to teach ESL to both children and university students in New York State, as well as EFL in the Czech Republic. She was the Director of Academic Programs at a private language school in Toronto before moving into her present position teaching ESL and FSL at the secondary level for the Toronto District School Board. She also holds a position of responsibility as Assistant Curriculum Leader for ESL/Literacy. In this role, she supports both colleagues and students to foster success of the English language learners in her school. Jennifer values connecting with and representing Toronto’s TESL community by volunteering on the TESL Toronto Executive.
Alice Kim, Membership Officer
Alice has taught EAP in universities as well as general English for refugees and adults while living in the Middle East. She has continued with EAP in reading and writing at the International Foundation Program at U of T and standardized testing in Toronto. She has participated in assessment and curriculum-building and is particularly interested in the spread and significance of “World Englishes” and how this impacts the EAP learning environment.
Jessica Webster, Administrative Officer
Jessica connects with people in both language and employment services and helps them communicate and put their best selves forward. With more than 10 years of experience teaching around the globe, Jessica has coached everyone from executives to community service providers and language teachers. Jessica has taught in private ELT, LINC and virtual classrooms, and has designed and facilitated job-search related workshops for the Centre for Education & Training. A founding member of the TESL Ontario Social Content Committee, Jessica believes in the importance of building and strengthening relationships for career building, life-long learning, and the enjoyment of life. While she currently works from home for LINC Home Study – Canada, you can always say hello online or at the next P.D. event.
Thura Al-jubury, Member at Large
Thura is a first-year student at the Adult Education and Community Development Master of Education Program at the University of Toronto- OISE. She has been teaching ESL and LINC for over 11 years and most recently has been working as a TESL Methodology Trainer and Practicum Supervisor and a LINC Instructor with the Peel Region District School Board. Throughout her teaching career, she has had the opportunity to teach diverse groups of students in the Middle East, South East Asia, and Canada. During this time, she has developed exceptional communication, interpersonal skills, organisational methods, and leadership abilities enabling her to interact with a broad range of individuals in the ESL field. Thura has presented and spoke at many local TESL and international ELT events. Thura has always time to mentor newcomer ESL teachers to Canada guiding them in their certification process and assisting them in understanding Canadian Culture.
Carolyn Bergshoeff, Member at Large
Carolyn has experience in a variety of ELT settings – both in Canada and overseas. Presently, Carolyn teaches in the LINC Home Study National program and is co-founder of Mellyn Education. She believes in building relationships and connections in the ELT community and always has time for her fellow educators.
Lynda Chubak, Member at Large
Being an active participant requires being competent in the particular language of a local community, whether it’s a sales meeting or a soccer game. Providing business professionals with strategies and tools to develop their English language skills and confidence when participating in the communities of their choice is Lynda’s primary teaching objective. From Twitter to podcasts, she is an enthusiastic advocate of bringing new technologies and authentic resources into business communication instruction. Her research examining social talk within Canadian workplaces (MA, 2012) and client-psychotherapist interactions, combined with two decades of private-sector management, marketing and communication experience, shape her distinctive approach to program development and delivery.
Katina Deichsel, Member at Large
Katina has had the great opportunity to work in the language and culture training field for the past 13 years, working in a variety of public and private institutions in Canada and abroad as an ESL, ELT, EAP and OSLT instructor. Of these past 13 years, 3 of them have been spent contributing to a variety of Business English courses at a busy employment agency in the GTA. In this role, Katina has facilitated over 2000 hours of language and cultural training with over 250 internationally-trained professionals from diverse professional and cultural backgrounds. Through this experience, Katina has developed a keen awareness of the issues faced by newcomers who are in the process of attempting to obtain meaningful, sustainable employment in their fields of expertise, which has translated into the development of an intensive 140-hour program geared at preparing new Canadians to successfully enter the Canadian workforce.
Tania Iveson, Member at Large
Tania Iveson started her ESL teaching career in Taiwan in 1990. She has also taught in Canada, Spain, England, Brazil and Myanmar. She has been a teacher trainer since 1998 and a CELTA Assessor since 2001. For the Penguin Readers series, she wrote an abridged ESL version of Jack London’s Call of the Wild, and she has contributed to course book series, such as World View. Tania is currently an ESL professor at Sheridan College, an IELTS examiner and a module one DELTA trainer. She has an MA in TESOL and is particularly interested in educational psycholinguistics.
Simon Leclerc, Member at Large
Simon Leclerc has been involved in the education field, both research and training, since 1997. He is currently head of teacher training at LSC International College (Toronto), instructing on CELTA and Delta courses, while also conducting CELTA assessments in North America. Simon holds an MA (Applied Linguistics), BEd, and BA (Psychology/Education). Recent research interests focus on scaffolding use (specifically mediation) in pre-service teacher training.
Melanie Watt, Member at Large
Melanie comes from the settlement sector. In her present role as Supervisor of English Language Services for a large community organization, she administers a small LINC site in St James Town where she supports the goals of ESL instructors, ECEs and their learners. Melanie was a peer mentor in the TDSB’s Professional Development Partners program and was a participant in the CLCF project of CASIP. Melanie’s BA focused on international trade economics. She was an export lumber trader and a community volunteer (teaching, fundraising and organizing teams of volunteers) before becoming an instructor. Melanie taught ESL, LINC and ELT for 10 years. She finds the field of English for Settlement very rewarding because there always is, in any given interaction with a client, a wonderful potential for cross-cultural connection as well a chance to assist them in their own personal advancement and community building.
Katherine Wawrzkowicz, Member at Large
While working in the speech and language field, Katherine started working in the LINC Home Study program. After completing her MEd through University of Calgary’s Distance Education Program, she embraced the ESL field and hasn’t looked back. Having worked with a variety of students in the public and private sector and currently teaching at George Brown College’s EAP program, Katherine believes that connecting to fellow educators in the field provides opportunities to share ideas, offer support, or give advice. Her particular interests are in pronunciation and writing.
The Executive terms run from September – June. Years listed below represent the beginning of the term.
|1976 – 1984||No data||2007||Karen Thomson|
|1985||Elizabeth Taborek||2008||Karen Thomson|
|1986||Banny Hynes||2009||Karen Thomson|
|1987||Janice Sellers||2010||Akua Joseph|
|1988||Eileen Allen||2011||Akua Joseph|
|1989||Phyllis Amber/Lynne Earls||2012||Tyson Seburn|
|1990||Sheila Applebaum||2013||Tyson Seburn|
|1991||John Longfield||2014||Tyson Seburn|
|1992||Angie Wong||2015||Arlene Samlalsingh|
|1993||Kathy Simo||2015||Arlene Samlalsingh|
Would you like to join us?
Collaborate on meaningful projects with passionate professionals like you. Contribute to worthwhile initiatives. Apply to join the Executive! We welcome applications from teachers and administrators including:
- Our 4 primary sectors: Settlement / Private Language Schools / Higher Ed / School Board
- Varied expertise: OSLT / Literacy / EAP / Technology / Intercultural studies
Terms are 3 years. New members begin in their first year as “Members at Large”, which provides opportunity to acclimatize with the organisation, its mandate and its procedures. Attendance at Executive meetings, held monthly from September through June, and events is expected.
The application process for the 2016-2017 season is now closed. Check back in April 2017!
Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.
Affiliate Chapter of
Founded in 1976, TESL Toronto is a volunteer-run, non-profit organization representing educators and specialists in the fields of English as a Second Language (ESL) and English as a Foreign Language (EFL).
Our Mandate is
• to support professional development for teachers of English as a Second Language in Toronto, and
• to work with other regional affiliates and TESL Ontario to enhance ESL learning environments, and
• to establish and promote standards in ESL education.
- The TESL Toronto Executive is made up of members in good standing of TESL Ontario who volunteer their time and energy. TESL Toronto always encourages applications for new members of our Executive. More...
We represent approximately 1,600 members. Our members are mainly ELT (ESL, EAP, ESP, OSLT) instructors, though anyone with an interest in the field can join. More...
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