Election for the 3 available Member-at-Large positions on the TESL Ontario Board of Directors will be open from September 20th 8:00 a.m. to October 4th 5:00 p.m. TESL Ontario members will receive an email to cast their votes online.
View the videos of the candidates running for
TESL Ontario Board positions
I have been a proud member of TESL Ontario since 2011, certified as theory trainer, methodology trainer, practicum supervisor, and academic coordinator. I hold an MA in TEFL from the University of Tehran, Iran, and a PhD in education from King’s College London, UK. In my professional life, I have worked in Canada, the UK, and Iran, and I have taught at various levels, ranging from ESL and foundation courses to PhD and MA modules. When I immigrated to Canada, I started to teach various ESL courses at the York Catholic District Board, and currently, I teach at the University of Toronto’s International Foundation Program.
My research is closely relevant to my understanding of the social nature of language and applied linguistics, including socio-political aspects of writing for scholarly publication, discourse analysis, informal learning in Higher Education, globalization and TESOL. My most recent academic outputs include a peer-reviewed research paper, an academic article to be published in January 2022, an academic blog, and a few workshops and conference presentations in 2020 and 2021. I am also on the advisory board of an academic book series.
Jenny has been a LINC teacher for the past 12 years in college, a nonprofit, and school board settings. She has also been a PBLA lead instructor since 2017 and was interim program coordinator 2019-2021.
She and the instructors transitioned a 125-student LINC and ELT program to emergency online instruction. She has experience communicating with funders, administrators, peers and learners and has been successful in gaining consensus and support.
In a host of different capacities, I have been involved in all aspects of the ESL/ELT industry for more than 30 years. I have thousands of hours of teaching a variety of levels and programs both internationally and in Canada, most recently at Seneca College. In addition to teaching, I have spent most of my career managing language programs and instructors in private schools, both as the Director of Studies and the School Director. I used to co-chair the Quality Assurance committee at Languages Canada and currently chair the Interpretation sub-committee there. For the last 7 years, I have been the director of ILSC and Greystone College Toronto. My LinkedIn profile is here.
I hold a B.A. in Translation Studies, and M.A. in English Literature, and most recently an M.Ed in Second Language Teaching from OISE. I am a strong believer of learner autonomy and has always practiced and advocated for a departure from a traditional “sage-on-the-stage” model of teaching and learning to a more humanistic “guide-on-the-side” approach.
I hold a PhD degree in Applied Linguistics (TEFL/TESL) with 28 years of teaching experience at the post-secondary level. I am TESL Canada and TESL Ontario certified English instructor and TESL trainer and mentor. I am currently working as an English Instructor in YUELI at York University and SELS at Seneca College in Toronto, Canada. My key responsibilities are teaching and assessing EAP at various levels & Specialized Programs including University Pathway/Bridging programs at YU and Communications & Interpersonal/Presentation Skills courses in SELS at Seneca.
I was an Assistant Professor in Azad University, Isfahan/Iran and worked for 20 years (1992-2012) by taking a leadership role in teaching and researching in BA and MA English programs. I also acted as the Head of English Department for 2 years and conducted bi-monthly theme-based roundtable discussions led by other experienced colleagues accompanied by guest speaker(s) addressing students’ questions and challenges that gained good feedback from University President and R&D Department. Some of my other achievements are: 10 published articles in accredited ELT Journals, 25 successful presentations in National and International Seminars and Conferences, 2 completed applied Research Projects at University level, and 10 supervised MA theses.
In addition to being a full-time faculty, I was also the Chief Administrative Officer in SADR (Private Institute of Higher Education/2002-2012) executing multiple roles from Program Director and Academic Advisor and TESL TTC (Teacher Training Programs) to expanding Education-training ties with stakeholders in various fields. I think, my solid experience and knowledge makes me a good fit to serve as a TESL Ontario board member.
Lilyana Variyska holds a Master of Arts degree in English and Ethnology from the University of Plovdiv, Bulgaria, a Master of Education degree in Curriculum Development from the University of New Brunswick, Canada, OCELT from TESL Ontario. Lilyana has served on the Board of Directors of the Halton Region Homestay Association for 1 year and has Identified and trained overseas education agents collaboratively and in a team; nurtured relationships and monitored performance related to international students` housing arrangements, problem solved education agent issues and assisted them in choosing the appropriate ESL/SLT and LINC/ELT programs in all of Ontario in the span of 7 years.
Lilyana has worked in a variety of teaching positions in the field of Second Language Education for the past twenty-nine years. Lilyana discovered her passion for English and teaching at the age of 7 while playing outdoors where she met a newcomer child who was drawing English letters on the pavement with chalk. Since then, teaching ESL has been her life.
Lilyana started her career when she was 18 years old and was just in her first year at the University of Plovdiv, Bulgaria. Since then, Lilyana`s teaching experience ranges from Grade 1 to 12 English, ESL/SLT classes, LINC/ELT classes, TOEFL, IELTS, CELPIP and CAN Test preparation classes, ELT for Food Handlers and Personal Support Workers.
As a member of the TESL Ontario Board, Lilyana will advocate for English Language Learners success and strive to assist Ontario Certified English Language Teachers professional development, participate in each board meeting, contribute to committees, and board positions. Success is about active listening, networking, and envisioning a mutual cause.
David Wood has been involved in TESL in many capacities since 1981, and he has seen and experienced TESL from all angles, and is always eager to share knowledge and experience and to keep learning from others. He has taught ESL/EFL/EAP extensively in Canada and abroad, in community programs, specialized programs for settlement, university and college intensive and credit programs, in the private sector, and more. He has been involved in teacher education and development in university and college contexts in Canada and in Japan, and has been an academic working as a faculty member in applied linguistics and TESL at Carleton University. He has considerable experience in the field and in TESL Ontario, having been editor of Contact, co-coordinator of the Research Symposium on the Annual Conference Committee, a member of the Standards Committee, and a Board member since 2018, including a term as Vice Chair. He has experience coordinating ESL and TESL programs as well as academic units in universities. David’s professional mission in life is to growing our field and to bettering the lives of teachers and students. He firmly believe that a strong TESL Ontario is key to a strong and vibrant TESL profession.