Thompson Rivers University
Thompson Rivers University

Emma Bourassa

Emma Bourassa

Emma Bourassa

Name: Emma Bourassa
Position: Faculty
Phone: 371-5895


Homepage URL:


To me, learning English includes rules, vocabulary and pronunciation, but ultimately it is about communicating, so I encourage students to connect the ideas and skills they learn from the different courses. I believe that to be strong communicators, students need to have opportunities to use the language in real, creative situations. The foundation of my courses is built on intercultural communication theory. My classes include many different kinds of activities including drama. I try to encourage students to take chances with the language, because that is what will be necessary when they are in the real world. Whenever possible, students have opportunities to interact with native English speakers. I've been lucky to travel to many different countries and try to talk to the locals. I hope to give my students the same rich experience while they are here.

As a teacher trainer, it is important to model reflective teaching, student centred curriculum and ongoing professional and personal development.

Research Interests

Intercultural communication
Efficacy of professional development programs


1997 Bachelor of Education, With Distinction: Elementary UVic
2004 Certificate of English Language Teaching of Adults, Cambridge
2006 Masters of Education, Curriculum Studies UVic
2012 Certificate of Intercultural Studies, UBC
2013 E/Online Learning Certificate, VCC


Bourassa, Emma (2014) A Handbook for Aboriginal Students. Thompson Rivers University (revision)

Bourassa, Emma; Ruiz, Patricia; Johnson, Kerry; McLeod, Morna (2014). ESL Pathways Experiential Learning 1 and 2 Curriculum and Instructor Guide. Ministry of Technology, Innovation and Citizens' Services

Michel, Katherine; Walton, Patrick;Bourassa, Emma; Miller, Jack (eds) (2014) Our Living Languages. Conference papers 19th Annual Stabilizing Indigenous Languages Symposium. Linus Books. New York

Wihak, Christine and Bourassa, Emma. (2013)Examining the cultural component of PLAR: Prior learning assessment & recognition for distanced education students in Myanmar in The Joy of Learning Enhancing Learning Experience Improving Learning Quality. Proceedings of the European Distance and E-Learning Network 2013 Annual Conference
Oslo, 12-15 June, 2013
ISBN 978-963-89559-3-7The Joy of Learning

Bourassa, Emma (2012). The Mobius Intercultural Communication Model in Deardorff, D., Berardo, K. Building Cultural Competence: Innovative Strategies. Stylus Inc.

Bourassa, Emma (2012) Visuals to Explore Communication Style in Deardorff, D., Berardo, K. Building Cultural Competence: Innovative Strategies. Stylus Inc., Sterling VA

Levy, Carolyn; Bourassa, Emma. (2011) BC English Language Settlers Assistance Program ESL Volunteer Coordinator Handbook , and Volunteer ESL Tutor Handbook. Queens Press, Victoria.

Heaslip, Penny; Garson, Kyra; Bourassa, Emma; Eccleston, Wesley (2009) BC Campus Open Educational Resource: Culturally Diverse Learners film project at:

Bourassa, Emma 1997 Port Study Instructor's Guide (SD 48)

Employment History

1992-1994 ESL in Japan
1997-2001 Coquitlam, Squamish school districts: Kindergarten to Grade 10 drama, P.E., French, Visual and Dramatic Arts, English,Personal Planning
2001- ESAL at TRU
2007- TESL at TRU
2013 secondment: VCC ESL Pathways Experiential Learning Lead researcher and curriculum developer, Materials Developer and Field Test Instructor

Courses Taught

I have had the pleasure to teach ESAL 0250, 0230, 0240, 0270, 0280, 0350,0370, 0380, 0420, 0450,0480, 0530, 0540, 0570, 0580, 0820 and 0920 in the ESAL Program and TESL 3030 Intercultural Communication Studies and TESL3050 Practicum

Professional Affiliations

Society of International Education, Teaching and Reasearch (SIETAR) B.C.
Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education (STLHE)
Professional and Organizational Development (POD)
Educational Developers Caucus (EDC)