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Humber OSLT Instructor - Irene

Irene C. C. Russell

Irene C. C. Russell has been at Humber College for close to 8 years and over the years has taught Business Writing; Business Communications; Humber OSLT Technology; Humber OSLT Project Management and Humber OSLT Entrepreneurship, Sales & Marketing. She has earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in the sociology and psychology of workplace behavior; a TESOL (an international teaching Diploma); and in 2011 a Master’s Degree in Applied Linguistics from York University in Toronto.

Irene hails from the business world and has 20+ years of experience in predominately the manufacturing industry sector of consumer-packaged goods. Several of her roles include Director of Customer and Marketing Support OperationsSupervisor of SalesManager of Human Resources and concurrently Manager of Total Quality Management where she instituted a Total Quality Management process throughout the organization preparing for ISO 9000.

To put it simply, Irene has the linguistic background and the business savvy to prepare OSLT students to not only secure a great job in their fields, but puts her knowledge and experience together to ensure they keep their jobs too!

“I have first- hand knowledge of the plight of the new immigrant in getting work in Canada. In my most recent business endeavour, we had as many as 80 countries represented in our plant in manufacturing jobs, some with advanced degrees, even PhD’s! We readily recognized the gap between the language and promotion and began lunch-and-learn English language programs, mentorships, guest speakers, conferences, and the result was phenomenal. Within a year we had promoted at least 20% of these former labourers into Sales, Marketing, Engineering, Distribution, Logistics and Finance - it was a win-win situation I am so very proud of. The language initiative was a bridge to getting to know the value of the employees we already had. We didn’t have to go outside for our talent - we already had it but didn’t know it!

Irene loves her position as an instructor of OSLT and continuously makes a difference in the dreams, the hopes and the lives of our newcomers through language, confidence building and knowledge of the Canadian workplace


Humber OSLT Instructor - Joan

Joan Bartel

Joan Bartel is a professional in all aspects of ESL instruction, specializing in intercultural workplace communication. In addition to a Master’s degree in Language Teaching and an Ontario TESL Certificate, Joan brings management experience and a background in Career Counselling to the classroom. She is the author of Office Soft Skills, a textbook on North American business etiquette and language for job seekers who have education and experience from outside Canada.

Joan has lived in four countries and worked as a manager and teacher in three, so she has a lot in common with our OSLT participants: international credentials, experience in job searching and working in a foreign language, and personally living the ups and downs of cultural adjustment with her family.

She has been teaching OSLT at Humber College since the first classes began in 2009: Technology and Business. (Her interest in technology and science may come partly from living with a physicist husband!) Since then, more than 300 of her OSLT participants have graduated and found good jobs or chosen to continue studies.

Through a variety of highly communicative class activities, Joan brings out the best in each participant. They have responded with comments like these: 

“She is very professionalconstantly challenging the students to make improvements. She took an in-depth interest in our progress, an exceptional instructorShe gave me confidence to get hired in my field.”

Joan looks forward to assisting the next group of students along their paths to successful careers and full lives in Canada!

Will you be one of them?