About the instructors

Instructor bios:

Our highly-skilled and experienced staff are available from Monday to Friday to help with your assignments at any stage in their development. You can learn a little more about each instructor here!

Elvira new bio
Elvira Perrella

Elvira Perrella (Instructor & Developer)

Elvira has been providing quality ESL instruction to international students locally and overseas for over 15 years. She graduated from Trent University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Native Studies and Comparative Development Studies and has a Master’s degree in Education specializing in Global Transformational Studies and Adult Education from the University of Toronto. She began teaching international students in the late 1990’s at which time she taught all level classes as well as specialized courses like IELTS, TOEIC, TOEFL and Cambridge certificate preparatory classes.

She also wrote and designed a TESL Diploma course, which she taught at Stewart College and GEOS Language Academy. She has been teaching EAP at the International Study Centre since its inception in 2011 specializing in academic writing, English grammar and academic reading. Elvira currently teaches the pre-master’s course and coordinates the English Language Centre.

Wendy Thomas

Wendy Thomas (Instructor)

A Bachelor of Arts in English from Carleton University gave Wendy a love of English literature and the English language.  Her path to adult education began immediately after a Bachelor of Education degree at the University of Ottawa.  Working as an adult high school English teacher, Wendy could see the inherent difficulties in energizing returning adult students with a curriculum geared to teenagers.  Seeking to revolutionize adult education, Wendy completed a Master’s degree in Adult Education at the University of British Columbia with a literature review of the journal The Futurist, analysing trends and predictions in the field of adult education.

For the next three decades, Wendy worked as an English upgrading, English as a Second Language, and writing centre instructor in universities and colleges across Canada: Okanagan University-College, University of Alberta, Douglas College, University of New Brunswick, University of Moncton, Sault College, Algoma University, and Vancouver Island University.  She began teaching at Royal Roads in September 2015 and plans to continue preparing international students for their university studies for three more decades.

Ryan Forbes (Instructor & Website Administrator)

Ryan has a strong love for working alongside students of any level and helping them achieve success. He completed his bachelor’s degree at the University of Victoria in 1996 and the Post-Degree Professional Program in 2000.  Ryan taught in both middle and high schools in the Cowichan Valley for several years before settling in Victoria permanently. His experience with teaching international students began in 2000, first as Director of the youth campus of Pan-Pacific International College, where he also worked as a TESL instructor.  He later worked as a teacher, activities coordinator and administrator at Embassy English (formerly PGIC).  Over the last 16 years he has participated in many aspects of the business, from developing curricula to organizing activities, designing websites and working in admissions.  He has been an instructor with the ISC at Royal Roads University since July, 2014, and has taught at all levels, from EAP 1 to First Year and Pre-Master’s courses. He is also responsible for the design and maintenance of this website.

Jolanta Pyra (Instructor)

Jolanta completed her Master’s Degree in Teaching Foreign Languages in 2010, and taught at various language schools and universities in Canada and abroad. Alongside English for Academic Purposes, Jolanta taught Curriculum Design, Theatre in Second Language Classroom, Theatre History and Applied Theatre courses. While working at Busan Foreign Studies University, South Korea, Jolanta provided instruction in Western Teaching Methodologies to groups of secondary school educators, and Teaching English through Theatre component of Pre-school ESL Teacher’s Certificate. At Nizwa University, Oman, she contributed to the writing of culturally and religiously sensitive EAP textbook. Jolanta has been instructing various levels of English for Academic Purposes at Royal Roads University since January 2019.

Marianne Kettlewell

Marianne Kettlewell (Instructor)

Marianne Kettlewell completed her Master’s Degree in Rhetoric and Professional Writing with an Intensive Minor in Speech Writing at the University of Waterloo in Ontario. While there, she taught first year essay writing courses, tutored Master’s students, and worked with the Language Instruction for New Canadians (LINC) program. She also worked as a technical writer for a variety of government groups, IT companies and banks across Canada. Marianne taught at a private English school in Hiroshima, Japan, and at a private English college in Shijiazhuang, China. After living overseas for a number of years, she settled in Vancouver, BC, where she co-owned a TESL Training School and taught in local ESL colleges. Marianne currently teaches grammar and Year 1 academic preparation courses.

David Balchin

David Balchin (Instructor)

David graduated from the University of Victoria with a Master’s degree in education and a School Administration Diploma from UBC. David’s graduate work specializes in educational learning psychology and teaching methodologies to teach academic reading skills.  He was a teacher and a principal in the Victoria area for 34 years.  David also taught and supervised foreign ESL teachers in a large private school in Jiaxing, China for two years.   Over the years, David has given several workshops to teachers on how to teach effective reading strategies to improve students’ comprehension skills.  David currently teaches academic reading at the ISC, and does curriculum development for all ISC reading courses.

John bio
John Goranson

John Goranson (Instructor)

John Goranson enjoys helping people find their voice in English, which has led countless students, professors, business executives and politicians to ask for his help in crafting their messages and selecting appropriate supporting evidence for their arguments. He has been an editor and a teacher of English as a foreign language in Canada, the U.S., Japan and Korea.

John started teaching English to university students in Toronto in 2001, and has been teaching at Royal Roads University since 2015. Throughout his career he has worked in several environments: universities, corporate training centres, government offices, and public and private schools. His textbooks, English Central: Academic and English Central: Professional, were published in Japan and Korea in 2011. Another series of textbooks he edits is published annually in Korea by Educational Broadcasting Systems, a leading test-preparation materials publisher.

Maureen Jones (Instructor)

Maureen Jones

Maureen Jones is a language instructor and curriculum developer for the Royal Roads UBP Program, and an ASSC instructor. Maureen has been teaching English as a second language to students for 8 years, in both Victoria and Ottawa. She has worked for the University of Victoria, Carleton University, Canadian Language Learning College, and the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT). She also instructed the TESL program at GEOS Languages Plus and has a TESL Permanent Standard Three accreditation. In 2007, she graduated from the University of Victoria with a B.A. in applied linguistics, with a focus on English phonetics, intonation, and phonology. She completed an M.A. in applied linguistics and discourse studies at Carleton University in 2013, focusing on curricular development and assessment in language teaching. Her specializations include teaching pronunciation, writing, and English grammar.