Carl. Michelle.

Two more presenters agreed to be featured on our website:

Carl bio pic

Carl Heaman-Warne is the Director of Therapy at the Aurora Family Therapy Centre and Faculty in the Masters of Marriage & Family Therapy Program at the University of Winnipeg.  He has worked in the counselling field for 25 years, working in a variety of agencies and in private practice, and has spent five years travelling across Canada to large and small communities presenting workshops on issues of trauma, mental health and addictions.

Carl has worked with many communities and families to address issues of trauma.  He helps people look at their own choices in how they engage which can either escalate or de-escalate traumatic reactions.  He believes that understanding why people respond the way they do is key to us making more informed choices about how we engage and assist others.

As an educator and clinician, he is focused on the why we do what we do along with the how we do it, and looks at the impact on the helper as well as on the affected person.

Michelle Strain

Michelle Strain is the Refugee Response Coordinator at the Manitoba Association of Newcomer Serving Organizations (MANSO). Michelle has worked with refugees for over a decade and as a result he has developed a strong understanding of the various needs and challenges that newcomers face in their daily lives. Prior to her position at MANSO Michelle managed a pre-employment training program for refugees, thus she has gained an understanding of the challenges and successes of refugees seeking employment as well as the vital role employers play in integration and acceptance of newcomers.


Thank you Carl and Michelle. We look forward to your presentations!



a photo of a conference presentation

Tracey. Heather. Barbara.

The presenters’ series continues with the next three speakers:


Tracey's photoTracey Giesbrecht began her teaching career in Taiwan, where she taught English Conversation and Total Physical Response to students of all ages. While there, she also studied Mandarin. After completing her M.Ed., at the University of Manitoba, Tracey began teaching at the English Language Centre. Over the years, she has moved into administration, and is currently the Program Director. Tracey is interested in the adjustment and success of international students, and the influence of culture, in teaching and learning. She has been the TEAM secretary for the past 2 years. Outside of work, Tracey enjoys travelling and camping with her family and supporting her daughters in their activities. On May 19 join Tracey and her co-presenter Morgan Klachefsky to explore the research on mentoring and induction programs for ESL teachers.


Heather Donnelly's photo

Heather Donnelly is a Professor of ESL at Fanshawe College in London, Ontario. She has also taught EAP/ESP/IELTS courses for Lambton College, the University of Winnipeg, the University of Guelph, the University of Windsor, and Lakehead University. She is the head ESL curriculum developer for Oxford Learning Centres. In Heather’s presentation, you will learn about the factors that influence the professional identity development of novice ESL teachers.



Barbara's photo

Barbara Coombs has worked for Mosaic since starting her career as an ESL Instructor. Currently, she teaches CLB 4/5 at Mosaic’s Fort Garry site. Barbara has also worked at Taking Charge! and EESE. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, gardening, and walking. In her presentation, Barbara will discuss PBLA planning  strategies, simplifying artefact collection, and creating assessment tools.

an image of a female conference speaker

Diane.Margarita. Jill.

This is the first post of the presenters’ series, in which we will feature inspiring speakers who readily agreed to share their expertise with us – the ESL community in Manitoba – on May 19 at our upcoming conference.

As part of our conference theme of Changing Focus, we would like to spotlight the individuals behind the presentations, rather than just the presentations themselves. After all, without the speakers there would be no conference!

On May 19, when we all converge at Winnipeg’s Canadian Mennonite University, feel free to connect and shake hands with the presenters. Their photos will be included in our posts, so it should be easy to spot them in the crowd!

Without further ado, allow us to introduce three of the presenters:


Diane R, a speaker from ON

Diane Ramanathan is one of two community coordinators for Tutela. She is a part-time professor for the TESL Program at Algonquin College in Ottawa and teaches LINC online with LINC Home Study. She is a strong believer in teachers supporting teachers and is responsible for coordinating Tutela webinars as well as TESL Ottawa events locally. In her presentation, Diane will tell us about the latest Tutela upgrade.



Margarita Berezyanskaya is the Lead eFacilitator at English Online, where she focuses on growing the unique brand of quality online services for newcomers and oversees the delivery of the LINC Home Study program in Manitoba. Margarita and the passionatti team from English Online will talk about self-directed learning as a strategy for coping with changing times.



Jill colour smallJill Hart has been teaching ESL to adult immigrants for 10 years at the University of Manitoba, the University of Winnipeg, Manitoba Institute of Trades and Technology, and currently Red River College’s Language Training Centre. She also taught EFL in Spain. Jill teaches a CLB 6/7 blended-learning class (1 class online each week + 2 classes face-to-face). Jill and her co-presenter Darlene Thiessen will demonstrate the benefits of implementing blended learning.


Stay tuned for more!

Yours truly,