We use a wide variety of effective teaching strategies, including whole-class and small-group discussions, lectures, and audio-visual presentations, to accommodate the learning styles of all our students.
The mission of the Alexander College English Department is to teach students how to write expository and persuasive texts fluently and effectively and to read literature and academic texts actively and critically.
The AC Difference
The content, assignments, teaching styles, and assessment methods of our English courses reflect our commitment to and empathy for our demographic of mainly of international students.
Employers, in virtually every field, list excellent speaking and writing skills as prerequisites for hiring their applicants and promoting their employees.
Select a course below to see full descriptions. (#) Indicates amount of credits per course.
This course focuses on the study and application of academic discourse. Students will learn how to generate ideas, research a topic, compose a thesis, plan, draft, revise, and edit various genres of academic discourse, including the expository and persuasive essay, rhetorical analysis, literary analysis, scholarly research essay, review of previous research, and examination/in-class essay. The course also helps students improve the speaking, active reading, and critical thinking skills and abilities, necessary for success in college and university courses.
*All ENGL 100 course seats are reserved for full-time students of Alexander College, on a first-come-first-served basis.
ENGL 12 (B), ENGL 99 (C)
UBC WRDS 150 (3) for Bachelor of Arts, Fine Arts and Music students. UBC ENGL 112 (3) for students in other programs.
SFU ENGL 199 (3) W
UVic ENGL 135 (1.5)
TRU ENGL 1100 (3)
UNBC ENGL 170 (3)
The aim of English 101 is to help students understand and appreciate works of fiction, especially short stories, novels, and novellas. Students will learn the elements of fiction, including plot, theme, character, style, symbolism, point-of-view, and form. They will learn how the authors of the works they study were influenced by the historical and socio-cultural context within which the authors worked. Students will apply this knowledge to a range of stories and novels to deepen their understanding and determine how the works they study are relevant to their own life and time.
UBC ENGL 1ST (3)
SFU ENGL 101 (3) W/B-Hum
UVic ACWR 100 Lev (1.5)
UNBC ENGL 103 (3)
TRU ENGL 1110 (3)
ENGL 102 is a first-year college/university course, designed to help students understand and appreciate poetry. Students will learn, write about, and discuss the elements of poetry — form, theme, metaphor, imagery, symbolism — and will consider the enduring social and personal relevance of significant poetry.
UBC ENGL 1ST (3)
SFU ENGL 102 (3) B-Hum
UVic ACWR 100 Lev (1.5)
UNBC ENGL 102 (3)
TRU ENGL 1120 (3)
ENGL 103 is a first-year college/university course, designed to help students understand and appreciate plays, especially tragedy and comedy. Students will learn, write about and discuss the elements of drama — form, plot, theme, character, set design — and will consider the enduring social and personal relevance of dramatic literature.
UBC ENGL 1ST (3)
SFU ENGL 103 (3) B-Hum
UVic ACWR 100 Lev (1.5)
UNBC ENGL 104 (3)
TRU ENGL 1140 (3)
ENGL 220 is a second year college/university course, that is an examination of the works of major English writers of prose, poetry, and drama from the 14th century to the 18th century.
Six credits of first-year English
UBC ENGL 220 (3)
SFU ENGL 203 (3) B-Hum. Student may request credit for SFU ENGL 205 (3) B-Hum instead
UVic ENGL 200A (1.5)
UNBC ENGL 211 (3)
TRU ENGL 2110 (3)
ENGL 221 is a second year college/university course, that is a survey of poetry, drama, fiction and non-fiction prose from the 18th century to the present.
Six credits of first-year English
UBC ENGL 221 (3)
SFU ENGL 206 (3) B-Hum. Student may request credit for SFU ENGL 207 (3) B-Hum instead
UVic ENGL 200B (1.5)
UNBC ENGL 211 (3)
TRU ENGL 2210 (3)
ENGL 222 is a second year college/university course, that is a study of major genres of Canadian writing: fiction, poetry, non-fictional prose, and drama.
Six credits of first-year English
UBC ENGL 222 (3)
SFU ENGL 2XX (3)
UVic ENGL 202 (1.5)
UNBC ENGL 212 (3)
TRU ENGL 2270 (3)
Derek Soles has a PhD in English education, from the University of Victoria, and many years experience as an English professor, writing program director, and department head at several colleges and universities in Canada and the U.S., most recently at UBC.
He is the author of several textbooks, including The Essentials of Academic Writing. Derek’s teaching style is eclectic but based mainly upon his belief that learning should be fun.
Graeme Abernethy has more than ten years of university teaching experience in Britain, Canada, and Nigeria.
He has published numerous academic articles on the politics of literary and visual representation, as well as a book, The Iconography of Malcolm X (2013).
His teaching emphasizes diversity and interdisciplinarity, drawing from literary and cultural studies and encouraging the development of a broad range of communication and critical thinking skills.
He completed his PhD (English) in 2011 at University College London.
Thomas Andrews has an Honours Bachelor's degree in Social Sciences (Criminology) from the University of Ottawa. Upon completing that, he completed a Master's in Modern and Contemporary Literature and Culture from the University of St. Andrews in Scotland.
Since then, he has been teaching all over the world including 2 stretches in Vietnam. He recently spent a year teaching English at UBC in the Okanagan. He is passionate about academic writing, loves to read and write, and has published one novel and one novella since graduating from his Master's program in 2014. China Mieville and the 'new weird' as well as stream-of-consciousness literature are his areas of focus.
Tom moved to Vancouver in the Summer of 2018 and will be joining Alexander College in January of 2019 to teach English.
Martin Behr has been teaching Academic Writing and English Literature for over 20 years and has taught at Alexander College since 2010.
Throughout his career, he has taught at a number of post-secondary institutions in Canada and the United States.
He graduated with a MA in English from McGill University (1992) and a BA in English from Simon Fraser University (1990). He has authored a number of scholarly publications, including a book entitled Critical Moments in the Rhetoric of Kenneth Burke: Implications for Composition.
His teaching methods draw from scholarship in rhetoric and composition, genre theory, and literary studies, and focus primarily on approaching writing as a process, critical thinking, and collaborative learning. Martin’s passion for teaching makes him dedicated to the success of his students and to the rich learning environment at Alexander College.
Sarah Brown holds a Master’s Degree in English and Creative Writing from Concordia University and a B.A. in English from the University of the Fraser Valley.
She has taught tutorials on both English Literature and Technical Writing for Engineers at Concordia University.
Sarah’s fiction writing has been published in various literary magazines, and she has presented her academic research at conferences in Canada and America.
She aims to create a collaborative and creative learning environment while encouraging students to apply their English skills to all fields of study.
Christine Lai has a PhD in English Literature from University College London (UK), a Master's from the University of Cambridge, and a BA from UBC.
Christine has several years of teaching experience, first as a TA in England, then as an assistant professor at a university in Taiwan.
She joined Alexander College as an adjunct instructor in spring 2015. Christine has published academic articles and is currently working on two book projects. She is keen to share her passion for literature and encourages students to see reading and writing as enriching experiences.
Tomasz Michalak has been teaching university writing and literature at Alexander College since 2009. He has a PhD from the English Department at UBC where he taught as an instructor and was a TA in the English, Civil Engineering, and CENES departments.
Tomasz moved permanently to Canada in 1989. He started as an international student by taking 1st year college and university courses at Langara College and SFU where he completed a BA and an MA in English.
His teaching style promotes creativity, critical thinking, and cultural integration.
Garrett Peck has been teaching English for 15 years, first in Taiwan as an ESL instructor and for the past 10 years at several post-secondary institutions in Vancouver.
He has been an instructor at Alexander College since 2009 and formerly served as the English Department Coordinator.
Garrett has received both a BA and an MA in English from SFU and spent four years working on his PhD in English at UBC. Garrett is interested in Victorian literature, travel writing, and the rhetoric of science, and has published several academic articles in these research areas.
Kate O’Neill completed her undergraduate and Master’s degree at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario between 1999-2006, and her PhD. at the University of Calgary, 2007-2012. She has been teaching at Alexander College since 2013.
Her academic interests are politically and socially motivated; her teaching style is high-energy and creative. Kate’s students learn to express their original ideas with structure and confidence.
Bhuvinder Singh Vaid (aka Beev) is a PhD candidate at Simon Fraser University in the Faculty of Education focusing in Philosophy of Education.
His academic background is varied, having lectured at Simon Fraser University and Kwantlen Polytechnic University on educational philosophy and sociology, transitional skills and thinking for new post secondary students, as well as children’s literature, curriculum development, conceptual design thinking, and academic writing.
His research focuses upon spatial philosophies in educational policy, curriculum development, and instructional practices.
A passionate teacher, he draws deeply on his research to engage students in interactive thought experiments to further their own understanding as life long learners.
EAP Department Head
Elizabeth Stigger has taught English for over twenty years.
She has worked in the UK, France, the Netherlands, Thailand and Japan. Elizabeth graduated from Simon Fraser University and has a Masters in Linguistics, specializing in TOEFL, from the University of Surrey, UK.
She has extensively studied student motivation with a focus on understanding how past learning experience influence present learning styles.
Recently, her research has expanded to exploring power and inequality in language education, and how universities are using the social media to portray their commitment to internationalization.
Gerry Tillman received his undergraduate and graduate degrees from Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario.
He has been teaching ESL in the lower mainland since 1999. He joined Alexander College in 2008 as an instructor of 098 and 099 in the EAP program.
Since joining Alexander College Gerry has established himself as a direct and interactive instructor. He has a traditional yet innovative style in the classroom.
Angus Chan received his BA in Psychology and MEd in Educational Psychology at SFU, where he researched on the development of academic writing in ESL and EAP students while working as a TA for 5 years in Academic Writing.
He has also taught ESL, IELTs, TOEFL, SAT to international students of different backgrounds, ages, and levels in various colleges and test preparation centres.
Angus completed his TESOL II in Douglas College, and is completing his Provincial Instructor’s Diploma at VCC to continue crafting his instructional techniques in the classroom and online.
Born in Hong Kong; raised in the UK; and living in Vancouver, Angus also enjoys running, swimming, and spending time with his growing family.
Rachael Curtis has been teaching English as a Second Language since 2003.
She graduated from Kingswood College in New Brunswick with a Bachelor of Arts degree and later completed her TESL.certification at Greystone College in Vancouver.
Rachael has been teaching in the EAP program at Alexander College since 2011 and is known for challenging students while keeping an engaging and down to earth teaching style.
I have a Master’s Degree in TESL from the University of Calgary, and I am TESL Canada and TESOL Ontario certified.
With over a decade of local and international experience under my belt, I have taught English to diverse learners for varied purposes (e.g., EFL, ESL, EAP, CAE, IELTS, TOEFL, LINC, etc.) in the public and private sectors.
I embrace a student-centered approach that keeps the learners’ needs at the forefront and I focus on fostering autonomous L2 learners.
I am passionate about language and identity, digital literacies, and ESL curriculum design, to name a few. I blog occasionally and I have been published by academic journals and magazines.
In my free time I run, ride my bike, and take long walks with my rescue dog, Max.
Erika Scott completed her B.A. (Honours) in Political Studies at Queen’s University in Kingston, and her M.A. (Public Administration) at Carleton University in Ottawa.
She received her TESOL Certificate from Vancouver Community College after a volunteer commitment with a school-based literacy program sparked a passion for discovering the best ways to help students learn.
She has been teaching EAP at Alexander College since 2011, as well as helping students individually in the Writing and Learning Centre.
Evan Lloyd has been driving successful programs in English for Specific Purposes for twenty years.
His undergraduate work in Anthropology was completed at the University of Regina in 1995.
Soon having received that honour, the pursuit of learning the Japanese language lead him to Kyushu Kyoritsu University where he completed a year-long certificate and simultaneously kick-started his career in teaching ESL.
After receiving his Cambridge Celta in 2005 while living in Vancouver, he went back to Japan to engage students in corporate English training programs and at Universities in various areas around Tokyo, Japan.
At Alexander College, he is passionate in his work toward assisting students in exceeding their own expectations and enriching their ideas of accomplishment in academia and in other pursuits.
Greg Starr has been teaching English for more than twenty years, as a classroom and online teacher and as a tutor. He received his Master's degree in English Literature from York University, and his Bachelor of Education and TESL certificate from the University of Toronto.
Greg has been teaching EAP courses at Alexander College since 2015 and he uses an interactive and communicative teaching approach.
Alicia Fontaine has been teaching English as a Second Language since 2003.
Having grown up in several Asian countries, Alicia’s interest for engaging with the international community led her to pursue ESL teaching adventures in Asia and South America before completing her B.A. in English Literature, and B.Ed. in Secondary Teacher Education from the University of British Columbia.
Additionally, she holds a TEFL Certificate from Archer College, and recently earned her TESOL Diploma. She has taught in public high schools in Vancouver, as well as at various private colleges and language institutions in the Lower Mainland.
Her passion for teaching comes across in her interactive and innovative lessons, in which students are motivated and encouraged to develop their critical thinking skills in order to immerse themselves in their own learning process.
Irene was born in Vancouver and grew up in Burnaby. She did her BA and BEd at SFU. She also has an MA from the University of Sheffield and an MEd from UBC. She used to be a university instructor of EFL and Japanese Studies in Japan and is a published writer of academic articles, ESL textbooks and short stories.
When she is not in her EAP classroom, you can find her in the Writing Centre in Burnaby. And when she is not in either of those places, she is probably doing yoga or taking a philosophical walk.
Outside of her Alexander College life, Irene is also the mother of three boys, an aspiring graphic novelist and is semi-prepared for a zombie apocalypse.
Simon has been teaching English domestically and internationally for five years.
While living in Japan and South Korea, he taught all ages and levels of students His interests include drama and literature, stemming from his undergraduate studies in English Literature which he acquired at the University of the Fraser Valley in 2011.
Simon finished his Master's Degree in Adult Education at the University of British Columbia in 2014, having completed research into topics such as student motivation and engagement.
Kristina Berynets has taught English for 10 years at various schools in Vancouver and overseas. Her BA and MA are in International Relations and Translation.
After completing her studies, she worked as an interpreter for international conferences in Eastern Europe and wrote short stories that were published in 2006.
She has studied English for 20 years and uses her own learning experience to ensure the most student-centred teaching practices.
In 2015, she graduated from Simon Fraser University with a Master’s degree in TEAL (Teaching English as an Additional Language). Outside of teaching, Kristina is also an artist who really values creativity and imagination.
Ivan worked for several years in a corporate setting after receiving his bachelor's degree in Mathematics.
Looking for a change, he went to Korea to teach English and found his passion for English teaching. He taught English in Korea for 8 years and completed a CELTA and a MA in TESOL.
Since returning to Canada, Ivan has taught students from a variety of national backgrounds and a range of proficiency levels. He enjoys drawing on his experiences and diverse knowledge sets to aid student understanding. He tries to be creative with his lesson plans and involve as much authentic English as possible.
Bethany Koepke completed her B.A. (Honours) and M.A. in English at Simon Fraser University where she discovered her passion for teaching as a TA for several undergraduate courses.
A genuine desire to help students succeed with their academic goals motivated her to attain a TESL certificate from Douglas College and subsequently her M.Ed specializing in languages and diversity from the University of Calgary.
She has several years’ experience teaching English at a variety of levels in different contexts. In her free time Bethany is a dedicated volunteer with Girl Guides of Canada and loves movies, reading, and cats.
Matthew has been working in the English education field for over a decade.
As an instructor of English for Academic Purposes, he has taught at institutions including York University and Centennial College. Alongside teaching, Matthew writes test items for English language assessments in Japan, the United States, and Canada.
He holds a BA from UBC and an MA in Philosophy from K.U. Leuven in Belgium.
Having returned to Vancouver in the spring of 2017, Matthew’s goal is to prepare students for academic success while inspiring them to develop their own answers to life’s great philosophical questions.
Tutors in the AC Writing and Learning Centre will help you research, plan, draft, revise, and edit your writing assignments. They also offer workshops on citing sources thoroughly and accurately to avoid plagiarism.
The Purdue OWL houses writing resources and instructional material, and it provides these as a free service of the Writing Lab at Purdue. Students will find information to assist with most of the writing projects they will be assigned at Alexander College.
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