Elizabeth Coelho

About me

I was born in the U.K., where I did my B.A. and teacher training, and started teaching English. After a couple of years I went to Bulgaria to teach English, where I learned what it is like to be immersed in another language and culture. This helped me later when I immigrated to Toronto and began working with adolescent and adult immigrants who were learning English for study or for work.

In Toronto I trained as a specialist teacher of English as a Second Language (ESL), and I completed a Master's degree in second language education at the University of Toronto.

For the past 20 years most of my work has been with teachers. In the Toronto District School Board I co-ordinated the work of more than 300 ESL teachers in elementary and secondary schools. At the University of Toronto I taught in the teacher-training program with a focus on linguistic and cultural diversity in the classroom. I also taught courses for specialist language teachers. My publications include classroom materials as well as professional books and articles for teachers. I spent two years at the Ontario Ministry of Education where I developed resources for teachers, including language assessment tools and procedures for students learning English as a second or additional language.

I gave up full-time teaching some time ago but continued to give workshops and conference presentations as well as doing project and consulting work. In addition to engagements in Canada and the United States, I have given numerous seminars and training sessions for teachers in Spain on the education of immigrant children, second-language acquisition, and language teaching. I now live in Spain.

I have recently revised and updated my book Adding English: A guide to Multilingual Classrooms (University of Toronto Press, 2016) and have collaborated with colleagues at the University of Girona on a Spanish adaptation of my book Language and Learning in Multilingual Classrooms (Multilingual Matters, 2012). 

See my Curriculum Vitae in PDF,  to learn more about my work.

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