Our teacher trainers at the UCT English Language Centre are all highly qualified and experienced in the field of EFL (English as a Foreign Language).  Each on has their specific areas of expertise or interest which contributes to the development of our team and ensures that ELC delivers on its promise of developing critical, creative English Language teachers who are equipped to thrive anywhere in the world.

When not providing teacher training, the TEFL trainers form an integral part of our English teaching team and are involved with curriculum and materials development for all ELC’s English as a foreign language and and teacher training programmes.  They also run our internal Continuing Professional Development (CPD) to ensure all English teachers at ELC continue to develop their teaching practice and maintain high standards.  The trainers also host regular external Continuing  Professional Development sessions which are attended by teaching professionals from across South Africa.  

Together with our administrative and student support staff, our teacher trainers are committed to ensuring your experience, from the moment you enquire with us, to the day you graduate from our Centre, is a positive one.

Between them, teachers and staff have worked and taught all over the world, and most speak at least one additional foreign language to English.  This means that not only do we understand the challenges of learning a foreign language first hand, but we have also shared the dream of living and working in another country and being immersed in a new and exciting culture.

  • Simon Harrison

    Simon has worked in ELT for 20 years in the UK, Spain and Brazil, before joining UCT in 2014. Simon's areas of academic interest are systems of collocation, prosodic features of speech, IELTS training, and business development in ELT.

  • Alex Abdellah

    Alex has worked in a range of teaching, teacher-training and academic management positions in South Africa and the UK. His areas of academic interest include metacognitive learning strategies, lexical retention and recall, English for academic purposes, and curriculum development.

  • Christelle van Niekerk

    Christelle moved from a career in chartered insurance into ELT in 2012, and has taught in London, Manchester and Cape Town, joining ELC in 2015. Her areas of academic interest include discourse in written production, lexical teaching approaches, and developing learner autonomy.

  • Nicoletta di Gia

    Nicoletta Di Gia is a the TEFL Coordinator and EFL teacher at UCT ELC. Her work focusses mainly on teacher development, with particular interest in developing teachers in South Africa. She has had a vibrant TEFL career spanning 20 years in several countries, including Italy, Malta, and the U.S.A, and various positions, igniting an intense passion for second language acquisition which she uses to guide new teachers to be knowledgeable and thoughtful educators, while propelling good teachers to greater heights. Between TEFL, she wastes no time and gets straight back in classes to continue teaching and inspiring foreign students. She loves teaching Academic English and English for Specific Purposes, her favourite course ever, being English for Yoga! In fact, in her free time she enjoys practicing yoga, but also scouring her favourite beach for fossilised shark teeth, researching her family's next holiday, reading about new and curious topics...anything that answers to her inquisitive and reflective nature. In her words: "I teach in a way that students WANT to be in class and ask themselves what is coming next. An inquisitive and excited mind, is primed for learning for absorbing."