The TESL Ontario Blog is filled with great information from TESL Ontario members who are passionate about sharing information and their experiences with the community. Technology is wonderful and allows us to access information from all over the world, but sometimes creating a connection beyond the text can be difficult. In order to strengthen a community connection between readers and bloggers, each blogger has written a little bio as well as provided a picture of themselves.

Guest Contributor

116 Articles


54 Articles

John Allan @mrpottz

Hi—I'm John Allan. I am an educator who delves into technologies to seek their potential for language instructors. I create online learning opportunities and mentor instructors on the Avenue project. I have experience teaching ESL and EFL as well as a B. Ed. in TESL and a variety of certifications from TESL Canada, TESL Ontario and the Ontario Ministry of Education.

46 Articles

Cecilia Aponte-de-Hanna @capontedehanna

Hi, my name is Cecilia. I love taking part in good brain awakening discussions. Blogging, I find, lends itself for that. I also believe in sharing my skills through scholarly practice, which is why I write regularly and have presented at several conferences, including TESL Ontario, TESL Toronto, CALL, and at Seneca College. My M.A. in applied linguistics along with my skills and experience have led me to my current position at Centennial College, where I teach English and ESL in the School of Advancement. I'm truly passionate about what I do: teaching, writing, creative expression, and helping my students (both L1 and L2) gain agency and take control of their own learning. Thank you for your readership and I look forward to reading and answering your comments.

25 Articles

Laila Al-Sbeinati @lailasbeinati

Hi! I’m Laila and I’m a mom to two little ones who keep me very busy throughout the day (and night)! I earned a double major in Philosophy and Psychology from Western University, which basically means I can talk a lot and analyze anything! I earned my TESL accreditation and have taught in both school and workplace settings; but I especially enjoy teaching at different work places. I have a passion for cooking, baking vegan desserts, and DIY projects. I enjoy reading and learning about new things, but mostly, I’m excited to be sharing my thoughts and any information I may learn about with all of you. Happy reading!

23 Articles

Gwen Zeldenrust @gwenzeldenrust

Hi, I’m Gwen Zeldenrust. After a brief absence from the profession, I realized that teaching is my passion and the path that my career should follow. Most of my practice has been focused on teaching ESL to adults in Ontario. In addition to that, I’ve been a trainer for an insurance company, a teaching assistant for several professors at university, taught English in Japan and Core-French at the local school board. While I’ve been teaching ESL I’ve also been working on a project which has developed organically among a group of teachers. Under the name of Language Foundations, we’ve produced a video that teaches strategies for interacting successfully in Canada. The video project has inspired in me a true passion for writing. I love being able to reach out with my thoughts, share ideas and discuss different perspectives. I think writing and teaching are very complementary!

17 Articles

Tamsin Cobb

17 Articles

Svjetlana Vrbanic @lanavrb

My name is Svjetlana Vrbanic—Lana—and I am a newly certified adult ESL teacher. I completed a degree in English and worked as a teacher and newspaper reporter/editor. Work has allowed me to travel from Labrador to Alberta and enjoy many great experiences. I was born in the former-Yugoslavia, but lived in Toronto most of my life. I can speak Serbo-Croatian, but primarily use English and love sharing what I know with students from all over the world. I like to have a good time and enjoy pursuing interests like cooking, running, volunteering, learning about health and psychology, and spending time with my niece, two rambunctious Jack Russell terriers, and a shy, but loveable cat. I am excited to blog about my experiences which will hopefully inform and entertain, as well as help support a vibrant teaching community. Wishing my colleagues many happy adventures in teaching.

13 Articles

Greg De Luca

Greetings to all my TESL colleagues at large! My name is Greg De Luca: ESL instructor extraordinaire, education advisor, program developer, innovative researcher in SLA, progressive rock drummer, amateur novelist, decent critic of fine whiskey – and last but not least, a somewhat dejected father of two princess-obsessed toddlers. Self-glorification and whining aside, my goal as guest blogger will be, first and foremost, to promote discussion about the best practices involved in teaching and learning as well as to provide succinct instructional strategies for your teaching practice. My TESL-ing began in Japan in 2004 after graduating from Concordia University’s Creative Writing program. Upon my return to Canada in 2006, I was promptly hired as an ESL instructor for several government-funded, full-time ESL programs at Champlain College Saint-Lambert in Quebec. I recently took on a new role as Education Advisor after obtaining my M.Ed., where I am helping our teachers cope with the challenges of adult instruction.

11 Articles

Sherry Hejazi

Hi everyone! My name is Sherry, and I have been teaching adult learners for the past 18 years. I am an OCT certified teacher with a master’s degree in Education. I teach English, ESL, OSLT, research and report writing courses at a post-secondary level of education. As an educator, I am passionate about incorporating diverse instructional strategies that would benefit students with various learning abilities. I am also passionate about research and implementing various ED-Tech tools in developing and instructing various courses. I am very glad to be a part of the TESL Blog team.

10 Articles

Beth Beardall

Hello fellow TESL Blog enthusiasts, my name is Beth Beardall, and I am the Blog Administrator for Guest Bloggers. I'm really excited to be a part of the TESL Ontario Blog Administrator Team and look forward to a great year. This opportunity brings together 3 of my passions: learning and getting great ideas from others, teaching or tutoring ESL and getting to know people from around the world, and, of course, copy editing and proofreading. I've been doing all three both on a volunteer basis and professionally for more than 15 years. In case you were wondering, my other passion is Salsa dancing. Now if only there was a way to incorporate that!

9 Articles

Andrew Shedden @Andrew_Shedden

Hi! I’m Andrew Shedden. Like most people, I fell into ESL by accident. I was preparing to apply for my Master’s in history and decided I wanted to teach in Japan beforehand as a vacation. I got a CELTA degree so I would know what this teaching thing is all about, but one thing led to another and although I never actually made it to Japan as a teacher (or applied for a Master’s program), I’ve been teaching ESL ever since! For the past 5 years, I’ve been in charge of KGIC’s EAP program. I love the focus on academic writing and English, since I can vicariously go back to university through my students. (I do miss it!) My other professional love is computers. I’ve been obsessed with them since I was 3, and I’m always trying to learn more about how to incorporate them into my program and classes.

8 Articles

John Stevens

Hi, I’m John Stevens. After adventures working in radio and television, teaching computer courses in Canada and internationally, managing the Canadian Association of Journalists, and acting as the technical director of Softball Canada, I have settled into teaching ESL. As well as experiences teaching in Ottawa and London, I have had stints in Harbin, Jeddah and Istanbul. Since I am currently trying to find a full-time teaching position in Ontario, I help my wife with our bed and breakfast business in St. Marys, Ontario.

8 Articles

Daniela Greco-Giancola

8 Articles

Martina Finnegan

Martina Finnegan, being a former ESL learner from Bosnia, truly enjoys teaching ESL students! She has been teaching at Niagara College for 9 years and when she isn't in the classroom, she enjoys spending time with her family, going for walks, watching movies, and reading a good book!

8 Articles

Eve Mazereeuw

If you are reading this blog, then you’re probably familiar with my world, a world that spins around teaching, grammar, pronunciation, sentence structure, Canadian culture, and all things English. I’m fascinated by the places where cultures intersect: when Asia meets America, South touches North, and desert dwellers converse with snow shovellers. I see these things every day in my class, and they are the things I want to post about. After teaching EFL in China, and computer skills in LINC, I started teaching EAP at the University of Guelph, and sixteen years later, I’m still at it. I earned a BA in English literature from the University of Waterloo, and a B.Ed from Western Ontario University. I also have my ESL Part 2 and TESL Certification.

6 Articles

Michael Karas

Hello, my name is Michael, and I am the Blog Administrator for Guest Bloggers. I am currently working on my PhD in the Faculty of Education at Western University. My thesis is focused on language teacher education and teacher preparedness, but I take a general interest in many topics related to TESL, including teacher efficacy, learner silence, and others! I live and teach in Toronto, but I also make the journey to London on a weekly basis to teach at Western while I complete my degree. Before coming home to Canada in 2014, I taught EAP in China for two years. Prior to China, I worked on my Master of Education in TESOL at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia. I have also taught in Korea and lived in France. I miss living and teaching abroad, but it’s great to be back home! I enjoy my two roles as a novice researcher and an English teacher and I hope to add my unique perspective to the TESL Ontario Blog.

6 Articles

Mandeep Somal

Hello, I’m Mandeep Somal! I’m a working mom of two little cuties. They keep me on my toes as I go through the joys and challenges of parenting. I am graduate of Brock University with B.A. in Business Communications and M.Ed in Teaching, Learning, and Development. I started my ESL adventure in 2005 in Osaka, Japan where I taught EFL for 5 years at a foreign language institute, Mukogawa Women’s University, and the corporate level. During this time, I also backpacked to 12 amazing countries including Thailand, Cambodia, China, Germany, Spain, Ghana, Colombia, and Costa Rica. In Canada, I have taught post-secondary academic and workplace reading/writing courses at Humber College, and LINC and EAP at Mohawk College. Currently, I team teach in LINC for Youth Video Project at Mohawk. This program is designed for newcomer youth to help them develop their English skills with the creation of collaborative video projects.

6 Articles

Misha Gingerich

Hi, readers! My name is Misha Gingerich. I am delighted to be involved in this idea sharing space, and hope that I can provide a useful perspective. In Ontario, I have taught English for Academic Purposes to adults, focusing mainly on grammar and writing skills, and I would gladly be labelled a grammar nerd. I have also lived and worked overseas, in India and Laos. In Laos, I taught English to adults and children while also playing the role of language learner. In addition to teaching, I have spent many years working in community building. Recently, I started a new project with a fellow teacher called Extra English Practice (EEP – We create online learning materials for students and teachers, including videos, with the goal of helping students learn while having fun.

6 Articles

Setareh Dabbagh

Greetings from the bottom of the heart of an educator. I’m Setareh and I have tried to be an agent for change through being an EFL/ESL instructor for over ten years now: change from uncertainty to assurance. I studied English Literature and went on to continue my studies in TEFL. As a learning facilitator, trying to empower learners and helping them get control over their learning pursuit is what I feel passionate about. I like sharing my teaching and learning experiences with my passionate fellows through writing as well. My area of professional interest is writing- be it blogging, short story, translation, or content writing. I see writing as a blue bird of some sci-fi movies with many wings. My writing wings are amazing books, moving movies, great company, healthy food, and physical and mental exercise.

6 Articles

Jennifer Hutchison

Hi everyone. I’m Jennifer Hutchison and I teach EAP and communications at George Brown College in Toronto. I also teach a sociolinguistic course in the English Foundation Program at Ryerson University. In my spare time, I write short stories, read, exercise, and bake (the last two are codependent). Teaching English is my passion. I am curious about the world around me and feel fortunate to have that world brought to me every day in the classroom. Nevertheless, I took a circuitous route to discover this passion. After my undergraduate degree in French and translation, I worked as a translator and then veered off into writing and editing, which I did from home while I raised my children (four of them!). In none of these positions (except, possibly, childrearing) was I helping anybody, so I returned to school, launched my ESL career, and have never looked back. I look forward to working with you and sharing experiences and strategies on the Blog!

6 Articles

Stacey Vandenberg

I was born in Scarborough General Hospital, so working in Scarborough is perfect for me because my students think I am 100% Canadian if there is such a thing. I have worked as a LINC teacher since 2008. First, as a supply teacher then later I found a job at Polycultural Immigrant Community Services. I like working with newcomers, and I love the English language so its been a pleasant journey. I hope it continues for many years to come.

5 Articles

Azi Pordel

Greetings to all colleagues and readers! I’m Azi. I teach EAP and Business Bridging Course at ICEAP Toronto, King’s College Campus. I’m also an ESL Instructor at London District Catholic School Board. After about 10 years of overseas teaching experience and degrees in Linguistics, my second master’s in TESOL from Western University brushed up my skills and knowledge in the field. Later I became a TESL Trainer both in Theory and Methodology and thrive to see new techniques and strategies to help learners. I believe in fun as the core incentive in learning a second language. I am a mom to a little princess and I mostly spend my spare time with her. I’ve moved to a fully online delivery method during the COVID-19 pandemic in both of the courses I teach, so I have a lot to share!! I am so delighted to be a part of the TESL Blog team

5 Articles

Keith Hunt

Hello! My name is Keith Hunt. I have been teaching ESL on various contracts for about four years now. I still consider myself somewhat of a rookie, but hope to one day become a veteran ESL teacher. Over the course of these past four years, I have had the pleasure of having the world come to me; I have worked with amazing international students from Mexico, China, Brazil, South Korea, India, Saudi Arabia, Panama, and Yemen. Sometimes I am a rockstar teacher, and other times I fall flat on my face. I try to learn from both experiences by writing reflections on my successes and failures as an ESL Teacher. I have decided to turn these reflections into blogs, in hopes that my insights may also prove useful to the TESL Ontario community at large. I look forward to starting a virtual dialogue with all of you: my fellow TESL Ontario colleagues!

4 Articles

Manpal Sahota

Hi everyone! I'm Manpal Sahota. In spring 2015 I returned to Toronto after spending nearly 13 years in South Korea, where I worked as a teacher, editor, academic coordinator, and teacher trainer. During my time in Korea I was extremely fortunate to meet many dedicated and enthusiastic teachers. Being able to learn and share with these teachers has elevated my passion for teaching and teacher development. I believe teacher growth is greatly accelerated when you are part of a motivated and supportive group of professionals. This why I'm looking forward to learning and sharing with the TESL Ontario community. I hope you enjoy my blog posts and I welcome your thoughts and feedback!

4 Articles

Bei Zhang

Hello, my name is Bei Zhang. I am delighted to be part of the team to share my ideas and experience. I am currently working at Huron University College as an English Language Learning specialist. My job there is to help international students with their academic English language skills. I also teach ESL and LINC at Thames Valley District School Board, and ESL at London Language Institute, a private language school in London. I graduated in 2018 with a master’s degree in Education Studies from Western University, focused on applied linguistics and teacher education. I also have a background in human resources management. I hope that my unique perspective of teaching ESL in different educational systems can benefit the TESL Ontario Blog and our members.

4 Articles

Paula Ogg

Hello. My name is Paula Ogg and I’ve been teaching English for over 20 years - everything from beginner conversational English to postdoctoral fellow grant research writing to mentoring teachers, seasoned and new, in innovative approaches to education. I hold a Master of Education (MEd) in Curriculum Instruction Technology, a Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL) Theory, Methodology, and Language Instruction designation, and a Bachelor of Arts in English. My interests include instructional design, curriculum development, distance education, health education, travel and tourism, technology, eportfolios, and, of course, English language arts. In my teaching practice, I use a constructivist approach that focuses on what the students are doing and what they can produce in a publishable artifact for an eportfolio.

4 Articles

James Corcoran @jn_corcoran

Hey now! My name is James and I have been involved in teaching ELT/ESL/EAL/EFL/EAP (enough acronyms yet?) for the past 15 years. My teaching and teacher education experiences have taken me across the Americas (from Brazil to Mexico to various parts of Canada). I have a PhD and MA from OISE/University of Toronto and research/teaching experience in a wide variety of classroom contexts. Recently, while teaching graduate and undergraduate students at universities across southern Ontario, I have been experimenting with different modalities in delivering English for academic purposes and TESL theory & methodology courses/workshops. I am excited to share my experiences in educational research and pedagogy with the TESL Ontario faithful as we co-construct knowledge together.

4 Articles

Nadeen Sullivan

3 Articles

Katina Deichsel

3 Articles

Maria Margaritis

2 Articles

Anna Bartosik

2 Articles

Gonul Turkdogan

2 Articles

Kevin O'Brien

1 Article

Milica Radisic

Hello, I am Milica Radisic. As long as I can remember, I have always been involved in languages in some way or another: as a language learner, instructor, researcher, translator and interpreter. The fascination about the complexity of languages prompted me complete Ph.D. studies in Linguistics (University of Toronto), where I enjoyed doing research on a variety of topics. Currently, in one of my roles, I do online teaching with LINC Home Study (TCET). E-learning is my passion; it offers endless possibilities and makes English accessible to students who otherwise would be left out. For me, learning is a journey and no two paths are the same, so teaching one-on-one is highly satisfying: I can design instruction to maximally accommodate learners’ needs/differences. I am also an avid reader and writer. On a more personal note, I adore all animals (especially my three cats) and I am passionate about cars.

1 Article

Nancy Van Dorp

1 Article

Sarah Martinez

1 Article

Sarah Langridge

Hi! I'm Sarah Langridge Bitar. Passionately obsessed with teaching, it is a part of everything I do. I work full-time as an EdTech Development Coordinator at Carleton University and work part-time as an ELT instructor in an IT program. I've taught everything from literacy to EAP and anything in between. I've worked all over Kingston and Ottawa in ESL and for Global Affairs and NAV Canada as a Pedagogical Advisor and Learning Quality Specialist. I enjoy writing and sharing my research with others, so I am excited to have a platform to encourage all of you, and challenge you to think about your teaching and learning methodologies. I'm on my way to work in the photo here, and I just think, if you aren't having fun, you aren't doing it right. Feel free to connect on LinkedIn to learn about my other publications.

1 Article

Dave Fraser

1 Article

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