Headteacher's Welcome

Edward Zhang was trained first as an anthropologist and later as a sociologist. He obtained his B.A. from Sun Yat-sen University, his M.A. at Hong Kong Baptist University, and Ph.D. at the University of British Columbia (UBC). He has conducted Post-doctoral research in UBC and the University of Manitoba. In his more than two decades’ academic career, Dr .Zhang has involved in research and teaching in language training, sociology, anthropology, archaeology, ethnography and statistics, and published a variety of papers. Having studied in China, Hong Kong, and Canada with a cross-cultural perspective, he is familiar with both the Chinese and Western education systems and understands the educational needs and expectations of people from different ethnic and cultural backgrounds. He has helped many parents and their children make educational choices and career plans. As the founder of Berton College, he also teaches IELTS, ELS, SSAT and TOEFL with his insights and experiences from a lengthy experience with English-language teaching. His innovative teaching, care for student needs, humour, and open communication with students have led them to achieve their goals in a short time. He has both inspired students and is popular with them. Dr. Zhang is regarded by his students as not only an educator and a teacher, but also as a good friend. Under his leadership, Berton College provides a better education to more people for a better life.

Dr. Edward Zhang

Meet Our Teachers

Prof. Graham E. Johnson

Berton College Advisor, UBC Professor of Sociology Emeritus

Graham Johnson was born in the north of England. He studied economics and sociology at the University of Southampton and received his M.A., and Ph.D. degrees from Cornell University. He taught at UBC for thirty-six years and is one of most prominent Canadian scholars of China Studies. Dr. Johnson started his research on China in the 1960s and visited China for the first time in 1971. Over his academic career, Professor Johnson has visited and conducted research work in many parts in China, from Hong Kong and the Pearl River delta to villages in the Yellow River valley, from Shanghai to Lanzhou and Xining, and published intensively on Chinese society, culture, economy, and internal and external migration. He has been the chief investigator of a number of research and international aid projects, and supervised dozens of master and doctoral students. He was the Director of the Centre for Chinese Studies in UBC, President of the Canadian Asian Studies Association, President of the Guangdong-BC Business Council, and the long-term Director of the Guangzhou-Vancouver Sister Cities Association. Dr. Johnson speaks Mandarin, Cantonese, French, and knows some Spanish, German, and Latin. As an international educational institution, Berton College benefits greatly from Professor Johnson’s expertise and his passion to Canada and China.

Alan Hopkins

B.Ed, MA, BA, BC Teacher”s Certificate, CELTA

Early on in his academic career, Alan attended Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, to pursue a double major degree in Music and Philosophy, graduating with distinction in 1997. Over the next two and a half years, Alan taught ESL to children, teenagers, and adults in Taiwan Upon returning to Canada, he completed a Masters degree in Religion and Culture at Wilfrid Laurier University, in Waterloo, Ontario. While he has continued to enjoy scholarly interests since this experience in further studies, he decided at that time his passion lay in teaching, and completed the Cambridge University certificate to teach English to adults(CELTA) by 2001 to then resume his ESL teaching career in Vancouver, British Columbia. Since that time, he has been teaching not only ESL, but also various standardized tests (IELTS, TOEFL, BC Provincial Exams, SSAT, LPI, and others) and both academic and creative writing to children, teenagers, and adults. From 2011 to 2012, Alan finished the Professional Development Program(PDP) at Simon Fraser University, Music, English, and ESL, to become certified to teach in the K-12 system, graduating, with distinction, with a Bachelor of Education and a minor in English, as well as in Curriculum and Instruction. For attaining academic standing within the top 15% of his colleagues, he was granted life long member of the Golden Key International Honour Society, and, at graduation in July, 2013,awarded one of only two Carol & Gary Chapman Memorial Scholarships in Education by Simon Fraser University for also outstanding academic and in-practicum performance.

Bahareh Bahrami


Bahareh Bahrami (known as Bea among colleagues and students) is our IELTS instructor at Berton College. She feels truly blessed that she found her passion for teaching when she had a chance to tutor her younger cousin at a very young age, and has been teaching EFL, ESL, Translation courses, Study Skills, Phonology, TOEFL, SATs, and IELTS in different institutes, colleges and universities around the world (such as HIT in Shenzhen and Mosaic in Vancouver) for 19 years. As for her educational background, she has a B.A. in Translation and Interpretation, an M.A. in TEFL, and a Permanent TESL Certificate form TESL Canada.

She is committed to the social and academic growth and development of every student, as well as creating a classroom atmosphere that is stimulating and encouraging to them. She always strives to remain flexible, ensuring that every student”s learning styles and abilities are addressed, and therefore, she makes every effort to consistently individualize instruction, based on student”s needs and interests. She is also highly enthusiastic, easy to approach, and an easygoing individual with innate ability to understand and motivate people and especially her students due to her studies in Life Coaching, as well as her teaching background. All these factors have collectively played a significant role in helping her develop a special aptitude and skill for establishing successful relationships with staff, students and parents, which she strongly believes have assisted her invaluably in being the kind of teacher and individual she is today.

Natalie Hyde


I have BA in history and a BEd from Simon Fraser University. I am a high school English and social studies teacher, having both taught in public and private schools. I also have extensively worked one-on-one with students, allowing me to create lessons that tailor to the individual needs of the student. I believe in giving students more ownership of their learning by incorporating student-centred activities into my lessons.

Caoimhe Cray


My name is Caoimhe Cray. I am 24 years old and I am from Ireland. I went University College Dublin and obtained a degree in English and Irish. I enjoyed my course as I have always had a passion for languages. To become a teacher has always been a dream of mine and so I took a TEFL (teaching English as a foreign language) from the University of Cambidge, England. I have spent many years teaching in a Montessori school and tutoring students of all ages. My main objective in my class is to make sure my students have fun while they are learning. I like to maintain a relaxed atmosphere as well as insuring that the students are reaching their full potential. I believe that teacher – student relationships are extremely important and should include mutual respect and trust. I like my lessons to be creative as well as informative, letting students have fun while being educated is beneficial for both pupils and teachers alike. I have always had good feedback from students, parents and fellow teachers, this is something I pride myself on and aim to maintain..

Halmat Palani


Halmat Palani is an ESL teacher who has been teaching at Berton College since September 2015. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in Political science from Simon Fraser University and a Standard Level Two Interim Professional Certificate from TESL Canada. His volunteer experiences ignited his passion for teaching and helped him decide to obtain his teaching certificate and start his carrier as a teacher. He finds teaching to be quite enriching and a tremendous opportunity for growth both professionally and personally. He currently teaches ESL 2, ESL 3 and a conversational speaking class at Berton College.

Lydia Fan


Lydia completed combined major in Mathematics, Chemistry, and Life Science and also minor in Commerce in UBC Vancouver campus. Early in university, she decided to dedicate herself into effective and efficient communication of science to audience with or without science background. She started teaching at third year in UBC, mostly focusing on university level of linear algebra and calculus. As she personally experienced Canadian education, she is fairly familiar with the course curriculums, objectives and exams in Canadian highschools and universities. She teaches with empathy and is always willing to adjust teaching approaches according to students’ preferences, acceptance, and attitude. Science could be fun and practical, and it is far beyond the theories in textbooks. In addition, she is interested in applying mathematic theories and models into explaining practical social phenomena. She was involved in a mathematical modeling study, focusing on comparing performances of graduates from public highschools versus those from private highschools in their first year in universities. Moreover, she studied living and growing requirements ofTetrahymena thermophila under supervising from Prof. Carol Pollock in UBC, and also published a scientific journal about it.​

Emily Gao

M.A. Administrator

Emily Gao is the administrator and a student councillor of Berton College. She finished her MA in Comparative Literature in Zhengzhou University and is now a Master student in the Faculty of Education of UBC. Emily is experienced in office settings in education industry. She has organized several summer camps in China for secondary school teachers from China and USA. She is an expert in cross-cultural communication and familiar with education systems in North America. She provides unique career advice to students and supporting service to teachers in Berton College. Emily is also a certified teacher to teach Chinese as a second language and has taught students at different levels. Emily is energetic and friendly, and everyone in Berton community loves her smile and is grateful for her excellent service.

Gareth Jones

Gareth Jones was born in England, raised in the Yukon, and worked in British Columbia. He finished his BA in UBC and is a certified teacher.  He was the founder of the Open Mind Academy and the Principal of Jones House School. He has been tutoring and teaching in high schools for over twenty years. He makes the subjects of English, Social Studies, LPI, IELTS, and SAT both understandable and interesting. He is eager to help students acquire not only facts but depth, breadth, and context, not only marks and test scores but curiosity and love of learning. He uses a combination of teaching experience and personal enthusiasm to inspire lifelong learning. He has helped many students enter top universities including Princeton, Waterloo, New York University, and University College London. He is also the author of two books, The Complete LPI Guide and Workbook and The Complete Poetry Guide and Workbook.

Faye Findlay

A native Canadian, Faye has taught for nearly 20 years. She holds a Bachelor degree and a Master’s Degree in Creative Writing from the University of British Columbia. Faye brings a wealth of experience to her teaching as she has travelled the world for more than 30 years. She has lived in London, England and in Seoul, South Korea where she also taught at Korea University for 10 years. Her teaching areas include creating writing, business English, adult continuing education, curriculum management, public speaking, and fun English for kids. She establishes a comfortable, engaging, fun atmosphere in her classroom to encourage growth and learning in her young students.

Jim Wang

Jim Wang earned a Bachelor of Science degree from University of Alberta with a specialization in mathematics - computational science. Early in university, he started tutoring mathematics to high school and college students. His passion for teaching encourages him to explore various  ways to make mathematics fun and clear to students by describing different topics in more detail and revealing relevant facts and ideas. He focuses on improving academic standard of every student. Jim believes that a flexible and yet challenging classroom atmosphere encourages students to explore and study, and therefore he builds different teaching styles according to their unique learning styles and abilities. Beyond what was taught at school, he also takes time to discuss where to put topics covered in textbook to use in real life or in future academic education. His extensive tutoring experiences both in school and after graduation enable him to effectively address his knowledge to students‘ needs.

Clara Shih

A student counselor in Berton College now, Clara completed her Bachelor of Science degree at UBC majoring in Chemistry with a minor in Economics. While studying at UBC, she devoted her time, not only to achieving high academic performance, but also to tutoring high school students in math and chemistry for almost four years. Through her experience of teaching, she has come to be able to adapt her teaching style to a wide variety of students with different needs, especially for students who had been struggling with math or science for a long time.  Her experience studying in Canada has given her the opportunity to develop familiarity with the BC curriculum and has enabled her to develop a strong appreciation of course objectives and of what it takes to be successful on exams in Canadian high schools and universities, which has provided her with the foundation of experience necessary to give solid academic advice to students and parents. In addition, she used to be a Resource Center volunteer for the medical research organization, International Collaboration On Repair Discoveries (ICORD), over the past two years, where she did public advocacy for and gave assistance to this center dedicated to interdisciplinary research center focused on spinal cord injury.

Olivia Mo

Olivia Mo is a secondary school course planner and a university application counselor for Berton College. She graduated from Simon Fraser University with a bachelor’s degree of business, concentrating on both marketing and human resource management. Olivia worked as an educational coordinator for an education service company which gave a rich experience in education industry. Olivia brings proficiency, care, and insight into her work with all students. To support students in achieving their academic goals, for the students who are committed to the Berton College University Application Program, Olivia is personally committed to keeping track of students’ academic progress and reporting to parents on a regular basis. With splendid professionalism and a strong sense of responsibility, Olivia has been helping more and more students to receive offers from top Canadian universities in competitive programs as students find and pursue worthwhile majors.  Time and time again, through her efforts she continues to justify the trust students and parents place in her. 

Doris Lu


Doris completed her high school in Singapore and graduated from the University of British Columbia (UBC), with major in Electrical Engineering and minor in Commerce. With great passion and strong academic background in mathematics and science, she is experienced in tutoring elementary and secondary school students in various subjects. She is good at communicating with students and adapting her teaching style to each student’s interest and learning behaviour. Based on her personal experience, Doris is familiar with Chinese, British and Canadian education systems. She is happy and willing to give students advices on course selection, university application and career planning. 

Tom Li

Tom Li completed his Bachelor degree of Mathematics and Labor Studies at Simon Fraser University. The professional education background of Tom gives him solid understanding of logic and management. He used to participate in establishing some European university preparation courses in China. He also worked as a project administration officer of education for an oversea company in China which helped him gaining a rich experience of university application, visa /study permit extension and course planning. Now, with his extensive work experience in administration, he is proficient in providing efficient and effective administrative supports and serving customers in a friendly and respectful manner.

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Tel: 604-620-1022

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Berton College
102-1727 West Broadway,
Vancouver, BC, Canada,

V6J 4W6