Meet our Instructors

Our highly trained instructors use a variety of teaching methods. They will support your success and development as you advance to higher levels, build your confidence in using English and help you explore Canadian culture. Our instructors are here to help you reach your goals.

Suzan Altintas

Suzan has been teaching English as a second language since 2002. She started teaching in the English Language and Culture Program (ELC) in 2006. Her passion for teaching stems from the desire to help others as much as she can.

Suzan holds two degrees from the University of British Columbia: a bachelor of arts with a major in French, and a bachelor of education specializing in English and French as second languages. She also completed a master's degree in education at Simon Fraser University.

Suzan has experience teaching adults and children of all ages in both Canada and Turkey. She enjoys teaching at ELC and always looks forward to meeting new students and learning about their cultures.

Natalie Anderson

Natalie has been teaching English as a second language as well as academic writing since 2008, and she started teaching at ELC in 2017. She has bachelor's and master's degrees in music history from Western University, in addition to a Diploma in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) from Vancouver Community College. She loves meeting people from all over the world as a way of travelling without ever getting on a plane.

At ELC, she makes her classes meaningful through content that is personalized to student needs, a variety of interactive activities, a focus on real-world language, and continuous feedback.

Jeff Behrner

Jeff has been an instructor at ELC since 2005. After working as a high school and elementary school teacher, he spent two years teaching English to corporate executives in Japan. Through this experience, he found that working with foreign students is the type of teaching he enjoys the most. He is a firm believer in lifelong learning, and he is committed to meeting the needs of each of his students.

Watch our video with Jeff

Richard Haines

Richard completed a Bachelor of Arts with honours in history and English in Ottawa at Carleton University, then went on to graduate from Algonquin College with a TESOL diploma. Afterward, he taught overseas in central Europe and Asia.

Richard's love of travel and immersion in foreign cultures has contributed to his understanding of students' concerns about learning and coping in a foreign culture. Recently, he completed a Bachelor of Education at Simon Fraser University and tries to never forget that learning is a reciprocal process.

Tim Hull

Tim began his teaching career with ELC in 2004 and has developed courses in news media analysis, business and composition. He's a graduate of the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, and he completed additional teacher training in Auckland, New Zealand, in 2001.

Tim has worked in a variety of occupations, including communications consulting, fishing guidance, writing, and sales and administration. He has travelled extensively throughout Asia and Australia and loves to meet people from around the world who share his passion for language, culture, sports, travel and adventure.

Alma Krilic

Alma says she truly enjoys working at ELC for several reasons: "I get to work with motivated and intelligent students, I have wonderful and supportive colleagues and I love teaching foreign languages," she says.

"I have been working as a language instructor at ELC since January 2004. I have a master's degree in second language education from SFU, a TESOL diploma from VCC, and the Provincial Instructor Diploma from VCC. I am fluent in three languages: Serbian, English and German. I studied German language and literature in Belgrade, Serbia, and I am a German language teacher at Westside German School, where I teach young students aged nine to 11. Other than working, I also enjoy running, kayaking, cycling, reading, eating good food and hanging out with friends and family."

Beth Maschmann

Beth has had the privilege of being a part of the English Language and Culture program since 2002. She is committed to an interactive, experiential and student-centered classroom and has experience teaching both locally and internationally.

Through her work, Beth aims to foster institutional and community connections. She holds a BA in international studies from York University, an MA in educational studies from the University of British Columbia and a TESL certificate from Simon Fraser University. She has presented at several conferences and has helped organize professional development opportunities. Beth's professional interests include critical pedagogy, curriculum development and internationalization of higher education. Outside of the classroom, Beth enjoys Vancouver's natural beauty and many bakeries.

Diana Montes de Oca Tello

Diana joined SFU ELC in 2018 and has 15 years of language teaching experience. Her classroom provides a respectful and supportive environment where you'll be challenged to examine new ideas, be curious about world issues, explore your creativity, and become more comfortable with your bilingual or multilingual identity. She has a Cambridge Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults (CELTA), a UBC Certificate in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, and a master’s degree in Hispanic Studies.

Angelina Van Dyke

With a focus on integrating face-to-face classroom interactions and online learning platforms, Angelina uses SFU Canvas to prepare students for SFU credit programs and enhance teacher- student feedback, course tracking, assignment submission and assessment. She enjoys teaching ELC students and specializes in oral communication, composition, test prep and business communication.

When Angelina is not teaching at SFU she enjoys training singers and pianists of all ages in her private music studio. She believes learning music is a universal language that unites people with a common understanding, and teaching English for international communication is an extension of that.

Veronica Vukusic

Veronica has been teaching in the ELC program since 2000. Her classes are interactive and student-centred as they emphasize communication, cultural sensitivity and self-awareness. In bridging students from different places through the common thread of English, she promotes community-building, friendships and understanding. She is dedicated to teaching with enthusiasm and compassion while fostering a positive and safe environment for students of all backgrounds to discover their voices in English.

Watch our video with Veronica

Hilda Williams

Hilda holds a degree in East Asian languages and literatures, a second degree in education, with a major in English, and a master's degree in second language teaching. Passionate about languages and teaching, she considers herself as much a student of language and culture as an instructor. She brings over 30 years of teaching experience in Canada, China and Taiwan.

Venecia Williams

Venecia has over 16 years of experience teaching English in Vancouver and abroad. She has a master's degree in comparative cultural studies and a TESL certification from CELTA. Her academic background in cultural studies makes her comfortable teaching in the multicultural environment at ELC. Her student-centered classes encourage students to take responsibility for their own learning and provide a space for self-discovery. She is always excited to meet new students and she looks forward to not only teaching them, but learning from them as well.

Karen Wonneberger

Karen joined the ELC program in 2012 and has loved it ever since. She loves teaching in a multicultural environment and uses a content-based approach to make it interesting and fun. Karen holds a master's degree in English philology and sinology from Göttingen University, Germany, and a TESL Certificate from UBC. In her spare time she enjoys hiking, taking pictures, playing music and learning about other languages, cultures and history.

Scott Yano

Scott has been with SFU ELC since 2004 and assists students preparing for academic study, including content-based teaching of English. Preparation includes critical reading and writing with attention to argument and topic.

Sara Zadehdabbagh

Sara joined the fantastic ELC team in 2017 with 17 years of prior teaching experience. She has an MA in TESOL and a BA in English language and literature. Sara feels her firsthand experience as an English language learner who has achieved expert proficiency can be an inspiration for her ESL students. She aims to create a supportive community in class where students are acknowledged as people who share a valuable part of their life journey together. Sara teaches by hoping to inspire and be inspired.