Mike Simpson - ESL Teacher, Graphic Designer, Digital Storyteller

Mike Simpson has found a way to combine his skills as an ESL teacher and graphic designer. Mike believes that everyone can cultivate original ideas and learn how to express themselves creatively. It may be dormant from childhood but it’s still there. His advice?  Get creative and experiment – try some new things and try to offer a unique service or product.

 Mike, can you start off by telling us where you teach?

I am not currently teaching in the classroom, but I’m an ESL teacher with LINC (Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada) and EAP experience. In spring of 2017, I supply taught for Centennial College and CCLCS, a provider of LINC classes and TESL training (both schools are in Toronto, Canada). Earlier this year, I designed an online course on my website Ancestry Project called Introduction to Digital Storytelling. I’m the official instructor and I invite everyone to register for the site and take this free course.

How long have you been...

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Marlene Paglia - ESL teacher, Writer

canada writer Feb 06, 2017

Marlene Paglia is a perfect example of a teacherpreneur with grit and determination despite receiving many rejection letters. Find out why she thinks that ‘being in the zone’ is a good barometer for knowing you’re on the right track.

Can you start off by telling us where you teach and how long you’ve been teaching?

Hi! I’m Marlene Paglia and I’ve been teaching English as a Second Language with the Toronto District School Board for over 20 years.

Can you describe a typical teaching day?

I have taught all levels from Literacy to Toefl, but at present, I teach two (2) 2½ hour multilevel classes. My teaching day begins with my first Benchmark level 3-4 class from 9:00 to 11:30. The second Benchmark level 4-5-6 class begins at noon and ends at 2:30.

What do you do in your spare time to relax?

I enjoy travelling, watching engaging movies, cooking and spending time with my family and friends.

You took the tremendous task of writing two books....

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Joan Bartel - ESL Teacher, Writer

canada writer Dec 27, 2016

Joan Bartel has published three books.  Joan candidly talks about both the "success and failure" and how she has applied what she has learned to become a successful teacherpreneur.

Can you start off by telling us where you teach?

I’ve been at Humber College, Toronto, Canada, for several years now. I teach Occupation-specific Language Training (OSLT) courses on contract (usually three per year) and give guest workshops in the TESL Training Program. OSLT is a free program for job-seeking professionals who have immigrated into Canada.

By the way, I haven’t always been a teacher. I’ve spent a significant part of my career in ESL/EFL program management, most happily when I was able to creatively influence the program. But I chose to go back to teaching in 2005.

How long have you been involved in ESL education?

A long time! Over 30 years. And I’ve never regretted my career choice.

Can you describe a typical teaching day?

I think my day is pretty similar to...

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Joseph Ng - ESL Teacher and Author of Dictation Triptychs

canada writer Dec 25, 2016

Joseph Ng has used his skills and expertise as an ESL teacher to develop a resource called Dictation Triptychs. He is looking for partners.  Find out what Joseph had to do outside his comfort zone as a teacherpreneur.  

Can you start off by telling us where you teach?

I teach in both a LINC (Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada) classroom in North York, Ontario, Canada and a LINC distance-learning program. LINC is a federally-funded language program for immigrants and refugees.

How long have you been teaching?

I’ve been teaching ESL for about 10 years, spanning EAP in a college and university in Asia and several LINC centres in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Can you describe a typical teaching day?

It’s a flipped classroom of sorts as my LINC classroom meets in an Internet-ready lab in 3 time segments from 9 to 2:30.

We start off with a skill-building CALL lesson that takes us to a morning break. During this first segment, learners are guided from the...

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Nancy Callan - ESL Teacher, Writer (ESL Jigsaws)

canada writer Dec 24, 2016

Nancy Callan turned her love of jigsaw readings into a series of successful books.  Read Nancy`s views on the importance of testing your materials before publishing, and how criticism of one`s materials is an opportunity for improvement.  

Can you start off by telling us where you teach?

In Vancouver, BC, Canada, but no longer full time as I have another job. Contrary to popular belief, I have not retired off the profit from my books!

How long have you been teaching?

Since 1992.

What do you do in your spare time to relax?  

I run a dining group and I garden.

You took on the tremendous task of writing several books: Callan’s Thematic Jigsaws 1 and 2, Callan’s Contemporary Jigsaws 1 &2, Callan’s New Canada Jigsaws, Callan’s Beginner Canada Jigsaws, Callan’s Holiday Jigsaws 1 & 2, Callan’s Canadian Holidays for Low Beginner ESL, Callan’s ABCs, and Callan’s Conversation Surveys.  Can you talk a bit about...

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Carolyn Flores - ESL Teacher, Writer, Business Owner

Carolyn Flores feels that becoming a teacherpreneur was a natural evolution for her. Read her personal advice on juggling everything and transitioning from teacher to teacherpreneur.

How long have you been teaching?  

Combined, teaching in the classroom and privately one to one, I’ve been teaching for over twenty years. 

Where do you teach now?  

I teach at the Centre for Skills Development and Training which is located in Burlington, Ontario, Canada.  

Can you describe a typical teaching day?  

I teach about 15-20 higher level students in the morning. The group is a mix of students with various backgrounds and experiences. In the afternoons. I have a lower level class of about 15 students. I am also a lead PBLA (Portfolio-Based Language Assessment) teacher so I also help other teachers with this methodology and with implementation in their classrooms. 

You successfully transitioned from teacher to teacherpreneur. Can you talk...

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James Rice - ESL Teacher, Language School Owner and Textbook Writer

canada school owner writer Dec 15, 2016

James Rice has spent last past 20 years in the ELT field in Canada and abroad as an ESL teacher, language school owner, and writer. Find out how the iBooks Author software created the perfect opportunity for him to produce over 50 different digital textbooks with valuable feedback from students. 

Can you start off by telling us where you teach?

I teach at Connect School of Languages in Toronto, Canada.

How long have you been teaching?

I have been teaching English for over 20 years throughout the world before coming back to Toronto. I taught in Toronto for a number of years before opening my own school in 2003.

Can you describe a typical teaching day?

I only teach on a part-time basis now.

What do you do in your spare time to relax?  

I am a film buff. I take any chance I can get to watch movies.

You took on the tremendous task of writing the Study It ESL textbook series. Can you tell us about it?

The Study It ESL textbook series grew from a desire of getting rid...

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Nicholas Walker - ESL Teacher, Writer and Website Designer

app designer canada writer Dec 11, 2016

Nicholas Walker is a fellow Canadian who has successfully used his experience as an ESL teacher to write books and design and develop a website to help students improve their writing.  Find out how Nicholas reduced his marking time significantly by developing a website called the Virtual Writing Tutor. 

Could you start off by telling us where you teach?

I teach English as a Second Language at Ahuntsic College in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. It is the largest publically funded French language CEGEP in Montreal. We have a student population of about 10, 000 students in a range of pre-university and vocational programs.

Could explain a little about the CEGEP system for our readers?

Sure. Quebec does things a little differently from the other provinces in Canada. Students graduate high school at the end of grade eleven here. After that, they have a choice of going to either an English or French junior college, called CEGEPs. Most are publically funded and offer a range of...

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Todd Vercoe - ESL Teacher and Creator of www.tesolgames.com

canada website designer Dec 08, 2016

Todd Vercoe is the creative genius behind the website http://www.tesolgames.com.  He provides lots of great advice in his interview for teachers who are looking at teacherpreneurship.  Todd says "Start. You never know when or where you will finish, but starting is key".

Can you start off by telling us where you teach?

I am taking a break from teaching at the moment, though I started standing in front of classrooms back in ‘79. Then, I was just a young pup instructing Saturday morning classes, after 4 p.m. programs and summer school sessions. I taught games mostly such as Dungeons and Dragons before most had even heard of the game and also delved into historical simulation games, world games and other Role Playing Games (RPGs). I taught drama as well, especially after studying theatre as an undergraduate.

How long have you been teaching?

I worked with the then Toronto Board of Education until 1996 when I left to teach in South Korea. I planned on being...

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Gwen Zeldenrust and Lynn Schneider - ESL Teachers and Video Producers

canada video producer Dec 04, 2016

Gwen Zeldenrust and Lynn Schneider took up the challenge of producing a video and teaching materials to teach pragmatics. They are both talented and creative teacherpreneurs residing in Canada.

You and Lynn worked together on Impressions:  Making Positive Impressions in Conversation Video Program. How did the idea come about?

G:  The idea for Impressions first came about when I started teaching ELT (English Language Training – a program for internationally trained immigrants to Canada). In the beginning I wasn't quite sure what I needed to teach these students because they had high levels of English. I finally understood that they needed to learn about how we use English in this culture.

Did you find many materials to teach pragmatics?

G:  No, I had a lot of difficulty finding resources to support my lessons. I find that teaching pragmatics is very abstract when using text based resources. I really needed to show the students how to do it. Using video...

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