Usually the first person students encounter both online and in person is our friendly director – Felix. A translator by profession, Felix is fluent in English, German, and Spanish and has a university degree in International Communication.
Building on the strenghts of BLC (student-centred, fun, friendly, etc.), Felix modernized and transformed BLC into English Encounters. “I wanted to keep the intimate approach of the Bronte school”, says Felix, “but provide higher quality, accredited ESL training in a more modern and student-friendly location”. To that end, in 2010 Felix moved the school to a new, custom-designed facility in downtown Burlington (near malls, pubs, lake, beach, train, etc.), and improved the ESL program, now fully accredited by Languages Canada.
Randy has been with our school since 1998 – almost since it was founded as the Bronte Language Centre (1996). As well as teaching, Randy often takes students on class trips and special events.
Randy has always been internationally focused and his background includes a Master’s degree in International Relations and a history of world travel (he has visited over 40 countries). “Teaching English keeps me in touch with the world”, explains Randy, “so my students mean the world to me!” He has taught courses at college and immigration centres besides his years at English Encounters and Bronte Language Centre.
We are pleased to welcome our new teacher Saba. Saba is a native-born Canadian, certified ESL teacher with a background in the financial industry. Her degree in Business Administration in addition to her TESL (Teaching English as a Second Language) Certificate plus her extensive experience in the Canadian workplace enables her to provide a dynamic classroom. Saba says, “I truly enjoy teaching the English language and I look forward to meeting and helping the students at English Encounters!”
Being a dedicated teaching professional, Zoryana has extensive experience in teaching English as a Second Language both in Canada and overseas. Her academic background in linguistics, TESL Ontario Certification as well as a PhD in education, recognized by the University of Toronto, enable her to create and maintain an open, dynamic, supportive classroom environment in which each student feels his or her individual needs are adequately met. e
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Debra Silver is our teacher with a gypsy soul. Her strong sense of wanderlust has led her to travel the world and become a lover of other cultures and languages. She developed fluency in Spanish through her years travelling, living, and volunteering/teaching in the Dominican Republic, and she made use of her French, with a touch of Arabic and Moroccan Darija, while living/teaching in Morocco.
Through her travels, she discovered a true passion for teaching ESL and thus pursued her TESL Diploma and OCELT/ICTEAL accreditation. She has always loved teaching/tutoring and mentoring and truly enjoys the classroom dynamics between teacher and learner and how they progress together. She greatly enjoys fostering a fun, exciting, and creative learning environment
for her students.
Debra says: “Through my immersion in other cultures and languages, I know how overwhelming, limiting, and frustrating it can be when you can’t communicate or express yourself at all, or the way you could in your native tongue. I want to help enable our students to feel confident, competent, and communicative in their English skills.”
Ingrid first came to English Encounters as a placement student-teacher fulfilling her TESL certification through The Canadian College of Educators in 2020. Academically trained in social work, community development, professionally writing and semiotics, Ingrid has worked as a technical and professional writer, English tutor, caseworker, counsellor and group facilitator. She brings a unique blend of experience in technical/professional writing, group communication, previous ESL teaching experience and a passion to see her students succeed.
Wendy is a TESL-certified language instructor with an OCELT/ICTEAL professional designation. She is a dedicated and supportive ESL teaching professional who enjoys providing her students a fun and inclusive learner-centered environment. She has a degree in Applied Economics from Queen’s University (Kingston, Ontario), and has worked in internet marketing, business development, and web development. As a global citizen, Wendy has always been passionate about different cultures, languages and world travel. She is fluent in Mandarin and Taiwanese, and has dedicated herself over the years to learning Japanese, Spanish and Russian.