Frank Bonkowski is an educational writer, English language teacher, and web publisher. Most importantly, he’s a lifestyle athlete who trains constantly to keep up with younger players on the basketball court. But that’s another story.
Teacher trainer and online course creator
He loves writing, but that wasn’t always the case. His wife, Jackie, finds him writing in his journal every morning and night, which drives her crazy. On a serious note, he loves creating innovative online learning materials.
Previously, he consulted on nine textbook projects, both as course writer and project manager in some cases. He designed, managed and co-authored a two-level series of adult-level ESL textbooks, entitled Canadian Snapshots, published by Pearson Longman ESL.
One of the highlights of his life was co-writing a five-level high-school English-second language Take series, published by ERPi of Montreal…
..It exceeded everyone’s expectations by earning over $27 million in revenues. With the spare change that project gave him, he decided to retire and tour the world. Not really! He went to the UK to do a doctorate in English language teaching. Crazy idea – but a lot of fun.
In earlier days, he taught at several universities: McGill, Concordia, and TELUQ, a centre of distance education. At McGill, he directed the teacher-training program at the Faculty of Education. At TELUQ, he created a series of four university-level distance education courses in English language teaching for teacher training. He now teaches young adults at Cégep Saint-Laurent – a junior college in Montréal, and swears it’s the secret to staying young.
As a business consultant, he was director of an ESL division of Pearson ESL in Montreal. Another highlight of his life was getting fired from that job. When you don’t see eye-to-eye with devious and self-serving bosses, it’s best to move on. A very happy moment indeed, which led to many other opportunities.
In another adventurous move way out of his element, he served as representative of a firm specializing in mergers & acquisitions for small businesses. He was also president of a chapter of Business Network International in Montreal for one year.
His motto is “Be the best you can be”—in big things as well as small.
He has been teaching English second language learners all his professional teaching career— which spans more than 30 years. He is a big fan of the hybrid or flipped classroom in which he mixes classroom teaching with online teaching. So he teaches language as well as digital literacy, using tools like Moodle with ESL learners.
He has taught ESL at the high school, college and university levels. He has been a teacher trainer.
He is also a lifelong learner with a passion for learning and sharing new teaching ideas.
He received a BA in English and History from Boston College. Later, he earned a MA in Applied Linguistics at Concordia University in Montréal. As a mature learner, he received a PhD in English language teaching at Lancaster University in the UK. Great experience! Three degrees from three different countries —an achievement he is very proud of.
In addition, he has been an ESL teacher trainer at McGill University’s Faculty of Education, Concordia University’s TESL Centre, and TELUQ, a distance education university in Montréal.
He presently teaches at Cégep de Saint-Laurent in Montréal. He has been an English language materials writer for over 30 years and co-author of nine ESL textbooks.
His biggest success was co-authoring a five-level high school ESL series—the “Take” series —for grades 7 to 11.
The passion to teach and write—to help learners succeed—is stronger than ever!