Meet Prof. Erminia Bossio (ESL)

Erminia has been romping about the halls of learning since she was 6. She has a BA in English Literature, an MED in ESL Curriculum and an MA in Rhetoric and Communication Design. Erminia found her calling teaching ESL — circa 1980 — in a downtown high school in Edmonton, Alberta. What better way to satisfy her love of language, travel and food than to be teaching ESL to a group of Vietnamese and Polish immigrants? The journey has indeed been fun: 3 years at Alberta Vocational Centre (now Norquest College), 11+ years at the University of Toronto, 5 years at Dubai Men’s College, and the icing on the cake: 14 years at Sheridan College.

Erminia photo

Photo: Erminia Bossio

At Sheridan, Erminia has worked on test and curriculum development, she has been the coordinator for the ESL and interim coordinator for the GAS programs, and she has taught communications and ESL courses. She likes the classroom best though, something her students can certainly attest to. “Miss Erminia is an excellent teacher,” writes one former Emirati student, “I recommend that her salary be increased!” And, on a more ambiguous note, another writes, “This teacher loves teaching too much.” It’s true. The classroom is a special place when everyone there is engaged, on the same page and unreservedly happy about being where they are… and Erminia hopes she can continue to generate this kind of “nothing-like-it-energy” at least for a while longer.


Erminia Bossio answers Alchemy’s Proust Questionnaire:

Favourite virtue: Compassion.

Moment in my life I’d like to re-live: Afternoons playing hooky with Miss Sheila at City Centre, Dubai.

My idea of perfect happiness: A beach, swaying branches, hot sun in Calabria, Italy; Muscat, Oman; Salvador, Brazil; Santiago, Cuba, and someday, on the coasts of West Africa.

My favourite word: Insh’allah (“God willing,” or “If Allah wills it.”)

My least favourite word: “Mom! @*!,” as uttered by one of my children; or “Relax,” as spoken by my husband.

My favourite quotation, motto, or phrase: “We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.” — T.S. Eliot

If I weren’t a teacher I’d be: An award-winning journalist, or an accomplished actor (a maverick on the page, stage and silver screen!).

The talent or skill I wish I had: To sing in key.

Language I’d love to be able to speak: Absolutely flawless Spanish.

 My favourite historical, literary, or cinematic character(s): General Gertrudis in Laura Esquivel’s Like Water for Chocolate.

My favourite food/meal and drink: A garden tomato, a fresh baguette and a glass of red wine.

My favourite song: Aaron Neville’s version of “Like a Bird on a Wire.”

My guilty gaming pleasure: Spider Solitaire on the computer, Free Cell on my cell, blackjack in Vegas!