Each issue of Global Connections will include a feature interview with one of the OCENET team.
1. What are your roles at OCENET?
GD: I’m the Director of Studies at the Young People’s Language School. (YPLS). I oversee the delivery of curriculum, develop the educational programs, teach classes, coordinate teaching staff, and communicate with the various stakeholders in our students’ education.
2. What is YPLS?
GD: The Young People’s Language School is the division of OCENET that provides academic ESL programming for international students in Ottawa. YPLS operates year-round, and our regular programs accommodate anywhere from 80 to 120 students each year. We currently have students from China, Japan, South Korea, Chile, and Colombia.
3. What is the purpose of YPLS?
GD: Our primary objective is to prepare our students to make a successful transition to a Canadian high school. To do this, we focus on the development of each student’s English ability and learning skills.
4. How did you become interested in international education?
GD: I travelled to Japan upon completing my B.A. in English and discovered an interest in and aptitude for teaching and inter-cultural communication, important aspects of international education. I’ve been involved in teaching, particularly in the field of ESL, ever since.
5. Which of your accomplishments at OCENET gives you the most satisfaction?
GD: Whenever former YPLS students have success in their Canadian high school, I feel a great deal of satisfaction. Most of our students come to us with very little functional ability in English, so when they move on and do well, it tells us that we are doing something right at YPLS.
6. What are some of your personal interests and pastimes?
GD: I’m very involved in sports and physical fitness. I help coach my son’s hockey team and have recently discovered an enthusiasm for boxing.
7. What new projects are you working on with OCENET?
GD: Currently, I’m coordinating OCENET’s Teach Abroad program which helps qualified Canadian educators find rewarding teaching positions internationally. I'm also involved in planning two new programs which we aim to start offering during the summer of 2013.