English language students offer up their potluck-style dishes to the class, and then present on the cultural significance of the dish.
International lunches

February 20, 2020

Internationally renowned chef and teacher James Beard once said: "Food is our common ground, a universal experience." OC Life caught up with Thomas Lampi, an English Language instructor to learn more about their food-driven approach to learning about culture. What do you teach at Okanagan College? I teach English language skill classes — reading, writing and discussion (listening and speaking).  How did the international lunches start? Beginner-level ESL courses (ELLS 010-030) are ...

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ESL student Katia Aguila takes a break from classes to enjoy flowers in the garden
Meet Katia Aguila

February 20, 2020

What's your name? Katia Maria Aguila de Marroquin. It's Latin, so it's very long! If you prefer, I go just by Katia Aguila. What is your home town? Usulután, El Salvador. How did you end up at Okanagan College? In the process of validating my doctorate in dental surgery here in Canada, I needed to first improve my English skills. My husband told me about the Okanagan College where I found that the college has an excellent program for international students who need to learn or impr...

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Madjid Mohammadzadeh teaches English language.
Meet Madjid Mohammadzadeh

February 20, 2020

What education do you have? What are your areas of interest? I have a Master of Education in teaching English as a second language (TESL) from UBC. Some of my areas of interest in my field are as follows: international standardized English language tests such as IELTS and TOEFL task-based language teaching and learning language assessment learner independence using technology in language education When did you know you had found your discipline? My interest and passion to know more...

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English Language Department

Okanagan College offers English as a Second Language (ESL) education that is internationally recognized. Students develop skills in listening, speaking, reading, and writing to Canadian Language Benchmarks Levels 8 and 9 and prepare to enter university-level courses.  

Meet an instructor

Instructor Madjid Mohammadzadeh's passion for other cultures and countries  was the inspiration behind taking education studies.

International lunches

Potluck-style lunches organized by the English Language Department could be the most diverse meal you've ever had.

Meet one of our students

Katia Aguila de Marroquin needed to validate her doctorate in dental surgery in Canada, and turned to OC for help with her English.

Which program is right for you?

English Language Certificate

English Language program is for students with an existing grasp of English, considered at the "High Beginner" level. New students are assessed through the English Language Assessment to determine placement in listening, speaking, reading and writing.

Students learn in class for 20 hours per week. Classes begin in January, May, July and September. This may be different depending on the campus closest to you.

Please note: applicants must be 18 years of age, or turn 18 during their first semester at Okanagan College. Students who have completed the equivalent of B.C. Grade 12 are also eligible for the program. 

English for Academic Purposes

English for Academic Purposes (EAP) is designed for students at intermediate or advanced levels of reading, writing, speaking and listening. When students successfully complete the program, they have met the English requirements for all academic programs at Okanagan College and English Language Admission requirement for partner institutions like UBC Okanagan.

There is an average of 20 hours per week of class instruction. In addition to EAP courses, Level 3 students may take one academic course. Once students reach EAP Level 4, they can take up to two academic courses providing students meet course prerequisites. The addition of academic courses must be approved by the academic course instructor and appropriate dean.

English for Special Purposes

Okanagan College works with institutions or groups to provide English Language training to help people in the workplace. Study is tailored to a given field, such as tourism, business or education.

English for Special Purposes (ESP) courses are for international institutions, businesses and government agencies, as well as Canadian and Canadian immigrant groups. The length of the course varies with the specific need of each group, in addition to schedule and field work. 

For details, please contact the English Language Department at ESLchair@okanagan.bc.ca

Part-Time English Development

Students will work with an instructor to set personal language-learning goals. Study plans will be prepared and materials will be provided for students to achieve their objectives. Studies may emphasize work in any or all of the areas of listening, speaking, reading and writing. Goals and programs of study may focus on:

  • general English for participation in the Canadian community;
  • English for employment and the workplace;
  • English for career development or advancement;
  • English language preparation for further training or education;
  • and other focuses that match the learner's goals and the program's resources.

Get started

The first step involves setting up an assessment of your skills. Submit your information below, and a member of the Okanagan College staff will contact you to schedule a free appointment.

Lampi, Thomas

Last Name
Lampi
First Name
Thomas
Department
Department of English Language
Building
Lab Building
Campus
Kelowna
Phone Number
250-762-5445
Unlisted
No
Email
tlampi@okanagan.bc.ca
Office
165
Employee Group
INS
Active
Yes
English Language instructor Thomas Lampi
Bio

I joined Okanagan College as an ESL instructor at the Kelowna campus in 2015 after teaching overseas for 17 years. During those 17 years, aside from teaching EFL classes, I instructed and mentored MA students in material development for EFL instruction, trained EFL teachers with a focus on technology in the classroom. Much of my interest has focused on young learners of English and the development of emersion type instruction in EFL environments.

Credentials
M.Ed, Computing Education (TESOL), University of South Africa
B.Ed, West Kootenay Teacher Education Program, University of British Columbia
BA, History, Okanagan University College
TESOL Diploma, Vancouver Community College

Vatkin, Ryan

Last Name
Vatkin
First Name
Ryan
Department
Department of English Language
Building
Lab Building
Campus
Kelowna
Phone Number
250-762-5445
Unlisted
No
Email
rvatkin@okanagan.bc.ca
Office
272C
Employee Group
INS
Active
Yes
English Language instructor Ryan Vatkin
Credentials
MA, ELT, University of Technology - Sydney
BA, Education, U of A
Search Exclude
No

Mohammadzadeh, Madjid

Last Name
Mohammadzadeh
First Name
Madjid
Department
Department of English Language
Building
Lab Building
Campus
Kelowna
Phone Number
250-762-5445
Unlisted
No
Email
mmohammadzadeh@okanagan.bc.ca
Office
165
Employee Group
AUX
Active
Yes
Headshot of Madjid Mohammadzadeh
Bio

I have been teaching English for about two decades. My interest and passion to know more about other cultures and countries pushed me towards learning other languages at an early age. Before I knew it, I graduated from university with a degree in English language and started teaching. I knows three languages and am still interested in both teaching and learning languages.

Credentials
M.Ed, TESL, University of British Columbia

Kiss, Zsuzsanna

Last Name
Kiss
First Name
Zsuzsanna
Department
Department of English Language
Building
Lab Building
Campus
Kelowna
Phone Number
250-762-5445
Extension
4743
Unlisted
No
Email
zkiss@okanagan.bc.ca
Office
269
Employee Group
INS
Active
Yes
Headshot of Suzie Kiss
Credentials
MA, English Language and Literature, University of Debrecen
Search Exclude
No

Schiller-Birch, Julie

Last Name
Schiller-Birch
First Name
Julie
Department
Department of English Language
Building
Lab Building
Campus
Kelowna
Phone Number
250-762-5445
Extension
4995
Unlisted
No
Email
jbirch@okanagan.bc.ca
Office
272C
Employee Group
INS
Active
Yes
Headshot of Julie Schiller-Birch
Bio

I first joined Okanagan College at the Kelowna campus in 2009, but was seconded to teach in Vernon English language program from 2010 to 2012 before returning to Kelowna. I currently teach English as an additional language for international and domestic students who need to improve their English language skills (both more general and academic English language skills) within Arts and Foundational programming. I additionally teach on the TESL certificate in Continuing Studies to those who want to teach English as an additional language. My work related interests include fostering cross-cultural communication, student engagement and creative thinking.

Credentials
M.Ed, TESOL and Educational Technology, Manchester, UK
Cert/Dip, TEFLA Cambridge, UK

Mackie, Ardiss

Last Name
Mackie
First Name
Ardiss
Department
Department of English Language
Building
Lab Building
Campus
Kelowna
Phone Number
250-762-5445
Extension
4381
Unlisted
No
Email
amackie@okanagan.bc.ca
Office
161
Employee Group
CHR
Active
Yes
English Language Instructor - Ardiss Stutters
Bio

How people express themselves in language is of interest to me. I understand language as being photographic, cinematic, poetic, and so on. I like to use those expressions in teaching English language at OC. I've also taught in Greece, China, and Japan. I am also concerned about language and identity. I've written about that in Canadian Women's Studies, TESOL Quarterly, Canadian Journal of Education, English Quarterly, Contemporary Verse 2, and Pedagogy, Culture, and Society. For this work, I was awarded the Joseph Katz Memorial Scholarship at UBC for substantial work in anti-oppressive education.

Credentials
PhD, Language and Literacy Education, University of British Columbia
Salutation
Dr.
Department Display
Department of English Language - Chair
Priority
1

Henderson, Christine

Last Name
Henderson
First Name
Christine
Department
Department of English Language
Building
Lab Building
Campus
Kelowna
Phone Number
250-762-5445
Extension
4548
Unlisted
No
Email
chenderson@okanagan.bc.ca
Office
269
Employee Group
INS
Active
Yes
Headshot of Christine Henderson

Albrecht, Vivian

Last Name
Albrecht
First Name
Vivian
Department
Department of English Language
Building
Lab Building
Campus
Kelowna
Phone Number
250-762-5445
Extension
4362
Unlisted
No
Email
valbrecht@okanagan.bc.ca
Office
233
Employee Group
CHR
Active
Yes
English Language instructor Vivian Albrecht
Bio

I was born and raised in Toronto and spent the first part of my career working with international students at the University of Western Ontario. I started teaching at OC in 2001 in the ESL Department. It has been a privilege working with students from such diverse backgrounds and life experiences. Outside of work, my family and I have enjoyed travelling to areas in South East Asia and West Africa volunteering in different capacities. In Kelowna, I enjoy the many things that the region has to offer such as hiking, camping, paddling boarding, and skiing.

Credentials
MA, Applied Linguistics, University in Springfield Central, Australia
English Language Certificate
English Language Certificate
Develop skills in listening, speaking, reading and writing to Canadian Language Benchmarks Levels 8 and 9 and prepare to enter the English for Academic Purposes Certificate.
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English for Academic Purposes Certificate
English for Academic Purposes Certificate
Develop skills in listening, speaking, reading, and writing to Canadian Language Benchmarks Levels 8 and 9 and prepare to enter university-level courses.
Read more
English for Specific Purposes
English for Specific Purposes
This program is specially tailored for tours and/or local employers seeking English language training for their staff. Students get the opportunity to learn skills in listening, speaking, reading...
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