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ESL teacher is a role model for YPLS international students

   

By Dahlia Liwsze

The Young People’s Language School (YPLS) helps international students learn English before they enter Ontario high schools.

A former ESL student herself, Jenny Lee never thought she would be an ESL teacher. That became a reality in January 2018 when she began teaching part-time at YPLS: “I am a role model to the students. They can see themselves in me because I personally know that it can be a very long process to learn a new language and adapt to and settle in a new culture…. I learned that my position could be meaningful to other students.”

Lee came to Canada from South Korea as a Grade 11 student in 2007. After high school, she completed teachers’ college at Queen’s University followed by supply teaching at local school boards.

Some of her favourite things about teaching at YPLS include lesson planning and getting to know the students: "You get to see the same students again and again and get to know them.... I get to see students from other countries, and they're happy to talk about their cultures. Comparing cultures is fun. I'm from Korea, and I get to compare and share my culture too."
She also appreciates how there is never a shortage of teaching materials and art supplies at YPLS and says the Smartboard is "a really great teaching resource and fun to make lessons (with)."

In addition to teaching, Lee sometimes helps supervise YPLS activities on Friday afternoons: "I'm new to Ottawa too and have only been here for a year and a half. So I'm exploring with the students, and it's also my first time going to Tag Zone, bowling, and a tour of Parliament Hill."

Outside of the classroom, Lee enjoys creative pursuits. "I love art and drawing. I really like reading children's books, and one day I want to create one."

 As a former international student and now a teacher, Jenny Lee is an inspiration and role model to her ESL students at OCENET’s Young People’s Language School

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