Department of Modern Languages

Languages serve as the window to your world. The Department of Modern Languages offer courses in French, German, Japanese, Mandarin and Spanish, meeting the demand for global citizens who can readily navigate the needs of international employers, associates and clients around the world.

Associate of Arts, Modern Languages Emphasis

Diploma in General Studies

What languages you can study at OC

German

Associate of Arts German Emphasis studies include introductory and intermediate courses, along with oral expression.

French

Associate of Arts French Emphasis features language, literature and oral practice.

Spanish

Associate of Arts Spanish Emphasis includes four class levels and oral expression.

Courses

The study of language offers a unique blend of personal, professional and academic rewards. It broadens cultural horizons and helps to develop critical thinking and communication skills.

Faculty and instructors

Freeda Wilson

Modern Languages - Chair
Office: Business Building 230
Campus: Kelowna
Phone: 250-762-5445 ext. 4462
Wilson, Freeda

I joined the Department of Modern Languages in 2006. An avid traveller, I love learning new languages and experiencing new cultures. I speak French, Spanish and Portuguese, and am a Scuba Instructor. When I am not teaching, you can find me scuba-diving, kayaking and hiking. My research interests revolve around the teaching and learning of languages. 

Credentials:
MA Translation (Spanish-English), University of Portsmouth
MA Interdisciplinary Studies (French and English), University of British Columbia
BA French, Okanagan University College
Diplomado en Enseñanza de Español como Lengua Extranjera, Universidad Externado de Colombia
DELE Accredited Examiner (A1/A2, B1/B2, C1/C2)

Franziska Birker

Modern Languages
Office: Business Building 230
Campus: Kelowna
Phone: 250-762-5445 ext. 4611
Modern Languages instructor Franziska Birker

In 1996, I left the University of Alberta to join Okanagan University College and then transitioned to Okanagan College when it opened in 2005. I teach French and German and enjoy nothing more that seeing students learn and grow.

Credentials:
MA, Literary Translation, University of Alberta

Barbara Bertner

Modern Languages
Office: Business Building 211
Campus: Kelowna
Phone: 250-762-5445 ext. 4706
Modern Languages instructor Barbara Berner

I joined Okanagan College in 2001. I have taught French at all levels, including elementary, high school, continuing ed, and university. I am fascinated by languages and language learning and speak several languages myself. My research interests lie in translation and word-crafting. I also love to write creative fiction and am currently at work on a children's novel.

Credentials:
MA, French Literature, University of British Columbia
B.Ed, French Immersion, University of British Columbia
DVATI, Art Therapy, Vancouver Art Therapy Institute
BA, French Literature, York University
Diploma in Translation (French and English), University of Toronto

Deborah Boyd

Modern Languages
Office: Business Building 216K
Campus: Kelowna
Phone: 250-762-5445

I have worked as a professional translator Hebrew-German-English-Spanish and language instructor in the different countries in which I lived across four continents. Being a polyglot who acquired some languages in early childhood and others in early adulthood, I find it easy to step into my students’ shoes and work together with each learner toward acquiring communication skills and developing communicative abilities in the languages I teach. I can teach because I am an eternal learner, and nothing speaks success to me more than my students’ “aha-moments”, be those in initial understanding or in their application of the language. 

My teaching and research interests are as numerous as they are eclectic, and include the multidimensional impact of translation in historical texts; historic imagination; diachronic linguistics; contact linguistics (Hebrew, Portuñol, Alsatian dialects); language, culture and identity; language and foreign language acquisition; polyglotism; code-switching; teaching and learning methodology; language pedagogy with a focus on how the brain learns; course design and curriculum development; world migrations and culture; transgenerational trauma, and cultural memory and identity.  

Credentials:
PhD in Latin American Studies, University of British Columbia Okanagan
MA in Applied Linguistics, teaching strand, University of Southern Queensland
Bachelor in Translation German-English-Spanish, Schule für Angewandte Linguistik, Zurich-Switzerland, registered certified translator SAL

Jesus Toapanta

Modern Languages
Office: Centre For Learning 103
Campus: Kelowna
Phone: 250-762-5445

My academic and professional interests lie in the areas of language teaching, indigenous languages, and Spanish sociolinguistics. I completed an M.A. in Linguistics at Ohio University and a Ph.D. in Applied Linguistics at the University of Alberta. I love teaching, interacting with my students, and spending time with my family. They propel the sparkle of hope and passion in my heart. I also enjoy preparing desserts, watching movies with pizza, reading, and eating chocolate.  

To me, learning a language is to be able to see the world in colorful shades. It is a pleasant stimulus to the brain as new concepts, ideas, and perspectives widen our understanding of this fantastic world.

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