Peer Reviews of Teaching

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The Department of Asian Studies is committed to providing students an exemplary learning experience. A key aspect of our success lies in ensuring that all teaching faculty strive consistently to upgrade their content knowledge and pedagogical skills. In order to help institutionalize collaborative support for enriching teaching we have implemented a Peer Review of Teaching Program, consisting of Formative Teaching Consultations and Summative Peer Reviews of Teaching.

Formative Teaching Consultations


Checklist for reviewees (Word)

Checklist for reviewers (Word)

Two reviewers (same appointment level or higher and/or a discipline specific expert): one internal to the Department and one external to the Department.

Pre-observation meeting

  • The peer reviewers and reviewee meet to set goals for the formative teaching consultation process and to discuss the course, the reviewee’s development goals, and his/her plans for the class to be observed.
  • Discuss “Formative Teaching Consultation Report”. Download here (Word).


  • External and internal reviewers visit a class and observe instructor.  

Post-observation (reviewers only)

  • Reviewers meet to discuss the classroom observation and the report.


  • The peer reviewers will have prepared a written report based on the observation and the reviewee’s particular goals, using the Formative Teaching Consultation Report.
  • The reviewee and peer reviewer meet to discuss the classroom observation and the peer reviewers’ report.
  • The peer reviewer team may revise the report and send it to the reviewee. The reviewee may then choose to use the report to guide future curriculum or professional development or, in some cases, as evidence in a teaching portfolio, tenure and promotion request.

Summative Peer Review of Teaching

(For evaluation purposes)


Checklist for reviewees (Word)

Checklist for reviewers (Word)

There are two reviewers involved in the process:

    1. External language instructor (from another department)
    2. Program director from the Department of Asian Studies (who speaks the language that the reviewee is teaching)

Pre-observation meeting:


  • Observation. The reviewers will use the above forms (Summative peer review of teaching report) as a review instrument.

Post-observation meeting (reviewers only)

External and internal reviewers meet to discuss the review and begin to craft the report.

Post-observation meeting

  • Reviewers meet with the candidate and all debrief the observation. They share the report with the reviewee.
  • See checklist for details.

More about the Process

  • The process involves a cycle of two formative teaching reviews leading up to one summative review within a 1.5 year period.
  • Reviewees are selected and receive an invitation email from the CTLT peer review of teaching (PRT) coordinator.  They are connected with the reviewers.
  • Details of the peer review process will be worked out between the reviewer and the reviewee. Please consult the checklists for details, and the “Peer review of teaching report – lecturer” (summative or formative, as appropriate).
  • The formative teaching consultations are open to anyone interested in improving their teaching practice. All lecturers in the Asian Studies department who are interested in participating in the peer review of teaching for professional growth may contact the peer review of teaching coordinator at CTLT (
  • Specific faculty/department processes may differ. The overview above is specific to the Department of Asian Studies.


Luisa Canuto
Maorong Cheng
Belen Fan
Florian Gassner
Nick Hall
Thomas Hunter
Suzanne James
Misuzu Kazama
Ihhwa Kim
Keiko Koizumi
Chienju Lin
Monica Liscio Gordon
Juliet O’Brien
Brianne Orr-Alvarez
Tiffany Potter
Raymond Pai
Stéphanie Palisse
Eurie Shin
Angelika Struch
Michiko Suzuki
Hsiang-ning Sunnie Wang
Xiaowen Xu

Luisa Canuto, PhD, Lecturer,
French, Hispanic and Italian Studies Department
luisa.canuto[at] the last twenty years, I have been teaching and coordinating first and second year Italian language and culture courses; I have funded and coordinated the Italian program for UBC Continuing Studies and trained its instructors; developed new courses and programs and successfully obtained TLEF grants. Apart from teaching I also have more than 10-year¹s experience as manager of professional development programs for faculty members and of educational leadership initiatives (i. e., UBC Academic Leadership Development Program; Teaching and Learning Institutes, PRT for Asian Studies, New Faculty Programs, etc.). I have developed and facilitated more than 100 teaching and learning workshops and seminars and peer reviewed and mentored several fellow colleagues.
I am available to participate in peer review activities related to syllabus/course design, classroom teaching and evaluation methods and use of innovative strategies and techniques.

Maorong Cheng, PhD. Lecturer Chinese language and literature
Department of Asian Studies

Before I came to UBC, I taught tertiary-level language and literature courses in China and the United States for many years.   In my teaching practice, I developed a great interest in language pedagogy.   I experimented with the situational approach and the communicative approach and achieved satisfactory results.  Since 1998, I have been teaching a variety of Chinese language and literature courses here at UBC.    I believe that language teaching is a dynamic interplay between teaching and learning, and the language instructor’s role is to ensure that teaching can bring about learning, and students’ learning can result in their acquisition of the abilities in listening, speaking, reading and writing.

Belen Fan, Lecturer of Japanese Language
Department of Asian Studies[at]

I have taught over the last two decades a variety of courses to students with different backgrounds. I began my teaching career after I received my formal training in Teaching of Japanese as a Foreign Language and specializing in Japanese Language and Education. When I was teaching at a college in North America, I developed new courses and learning outcomes designed to meet the language needs of international students.

I utilize the communicative approach in my courses. I plan my lessons with realistic objectives and include several inter-related, student-centered activities that allow students to develop their language skills.

I look forward to learning new ideas from my colleagues — both reviewers and reviewees.

Florian Gassner, PhD. Instructor
Department of Central, Eastern and Northern European Studies

My teaching duties in the Department of Central, Eastern and Northern European Studies include all levels of German language instruction as well as courses on the cultures and literatures of Central and Eastern Europe. My current portfolio features lectures on German Cinema, the cultural history of Ukraine, and ‘Words and Music in German Literature.’ I serve as a peer reviewer for both the Department of Asian Studies and the Department of French, Hispanic and Italian Studies. As an educational leader, I am particularly interested in effective ways to engage ever larger groups of students in our classrooms.

Nick Hall, Ph.D., Lecturer
Department of Asian Studies

I have been teaching Japanese at UBC since 2013, both on campus and online.  Before that, I also taught ASIA courses focusing on Japanese literature and film, and I have experience teaching English conversation and English as a foreign language from elementary school level to adult.  I particularly enjoy teaching beginners and seeing their increasing confidence as they gain more and more skills.  I’m very interested in the use of technology as part of the learning experience, and I’m always striving to improve my teaching.

Thomas Hunter, Ph.D.
 Lecturer in Sanskrit and South-Southeast Asian Studies
Department of Asian Studies
I have had a long and varied career in undergraduate teaching and design of coursework. I began my teaching career as the director of Study Abroad programs in Indonesia and India, developing courses on the history, anthropology and languages of South and Southeast Asia and specializing in the teaching of the Indonesian, Sanskrit and Old Javanese languages. I have taught these languages at universities and study abroad programs in Australia, Indonesia, Germany the United States and Canada. I emphasize contextual learning in my language courses and seek ways to increase communicational competence, which can be valuable even for languages like Sanskrit that are only recently being taught again as languages with a spoken variety. In my survey courses on the cultural history, languages and literatures of South and Southeast Asia I seek to provide students with larger perspectives that they can use to understand the historical and cultural contexts that inform today’s world.

Suzanne James, Ph.D., Lecturer
Department of English Language & Literatures

I am currently First-Year Coordinator in the Department of English, and Chair of the African Studies Minor Program. In 2011, I was awarded an Ian Fairclough Prize for Excellence in Teaching. I am a dynamic teacher who believes in actively engaging students in learning and in constructing meaning for themselves. My pedagogical interests focus on active learning, interdisciplinarity, and assessment practices.

Misuzu Kazama, Lecturer of Japanese Language,
Department of Asian Studies

I have been teaching Japanese at UBC since 2011 in class and online.  I believe that my teaching approach of seeking authenticity of language, connecting students across their culture beyond the language, and advantage of use of technology in and outside of classroom enables students to acquire language skills in a manner that keeps them interested and motivated. Through this peer reviews of teaching, I would like to learn and share ideas of creating productive learning environment and increasing student motivation.

Ihhwa Kim, Lecturer of Japanese language,
Department of Asian Studies[at]
I have taught all Japanese language courses including the distance education courses.  Before I joined UBC as a Japanese language teacher, I received a formal teacher training in Japan and studied at the Department of Educational Studies, UBC. My current interest is in the productive use of the technology that helps build an interactive classroom community for better learning. I look forward to the opportunity to learn from my colleague’s teaching.

Keiko Koizumi, Lecturer of Japanese Language
Department of Asian Studies

I have been teaching different levels of Japanese language courses for 17 years at UBC.  Currently, I am teaching an advanced speaking and writing course and beginners’ Japanese courses. My interest is to raise my students’ awareness of pragmatic competence in both verbal and non verbal communications in real life situations. With my background of sociology, I incorporate sociological perspective in my teaching. I believe that creating a friendly community of learning enhances my students’ learning.  I encourage my students to teach and help each other and learn from their peers.  Participating in The Peer Review Program is a great opportunity for me to meet with and learn from great instructors.

Chienju Lin, Lecturer of Chinese
Department of Asian Studies

I have a masters degree in Teaching Chinese as a Second Language and have over ten years of experience teaching students with different backgrounds and within different institutions. Having experienced various types of teaching environment has enhanced my ability to adjust my teaching method to fulfill different needs. I have taught beginners’ courses at UBC for two years to heritage and non-heritage students. As a result, I am familiar with the teaching methodology at the introductory level, especially with the complexity of a heritage classroom. I look forward to sharing my experience and learning new and effective ways of teaching methods from my colleagues.

Monica Liscio Gordon, M.Ed. Sessional Lecturer.
Department of French, Hispanic, and Italian Studies

In the last twenty years I have had the privilege of teaching school children, university students and adults in a variety of settings and different levels of proficiency. At UBC, my first and second year Italian language courses have two common macro goals: I want to nurture and expand students’ interest in Italian language and culture, and help them to feel part of the community of Italian speakers. It is very important for me to receive continuous feedback from my students and to have opportunities to discuss pedagogy and instructional choices with colleagues. I strive to create an in-class experience of stimulating, active and co-operative learning.

Juliet O’Brien, Ph.D., Lecturer (French)
Department of French, Hispanic, and Italian Studies

I teach French language, literature, and culture; and also Medieval Studies. My teaching includes smaller classes, lectures, larger language classes, and fluid mixtures hybridising these different types in response to and in collective cooperation with specific audiences and group dynamics.

I have been teaching here at UBC since 2009. Before then, I tutored peers informally (from primary school onwards), and—more seriously and formally—taught a similar range of courses at Princeton University (as a graduate student TA then as a lecturer, 2000-2007), Trinity College Dublin (Centre for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, 2007-2009), and University College Dublin (2008-2009). I use a mixture of approaches, holistically integrated, flexibly and pragmatically, hoping to act as a catalyst to student engagement and enjoyment: the Medieval sentence and solaas.

Aside from my teaching duties, I also co-ordinate FREN 101 and 102, and work as one of two Advisers for First- and Second-Year French.

I love learning, and I love doing so with and from students and colleagues. That is why I teach and why I volunteered to take part in Peer Reviewing.

Brianne Orr-Álvarez, PhD Hispanic Studies, Lecturer,
Department of French, Hispanic, and Italian Studies

I have a strong background in foreign language pedagogy and practices and have taught variety of courses, reflective of the different phases of a Spanish language curriculum (language, literature, culture, graduate seminars) in English and in Spanish in multiple university settings in Canada, Mexico, and the United States.  The courses that I have taught typically range from 20-40 students, though I do have experience teaching larger seminars (150 students).  My teaching is student-centered, communicative, and integrative and I thoroughly enjoy observing and learning from others’ teaching styles and practices.  Apart from my role as a teacher here at UBC, I am also the Director of the FHIS Writing Centre, a multilingual writing centre created in 2010, and serve as faculty advisor to the UBC tandem language exchange program.

Tiffany Potter, PhD. Senior Instructor and Associate Head Curriculum,
Department of English

For some 15 years now, I have been teaching English literature and writing courses at all levels, including 200 to 400-level courses to classes of 45; seminar courses to classes of 12-15; introductory writing courses to classes of 35; and large-format “lectures” to classes of 150, in collaborative teaching with Graduate Teaching Assistants. I am available to participate in peer review activities related to syllabi/course design, classroom teaching, and collaborative learning methodologies in larger groups.

Raymond Pai, Lecturer of Cantonese
Department of Asian Studies

I initiated the Cantonese program at UBC in 2015 and have been teaching all of the Cantonese courses at different levels. Along with the courses I collaborate with the local community and organizations on various projects related to the Cantonese language and its culture. I am also the Chair of the 4th Workshop on Innovations in Cantonese Linguistics (WICL-4) to be held at UBC in June 2018. I received my MA in Linguistics and TESOL Graduate Certificate from Brigham Young University and taught Cantonese, English, and Mandarin Chinese during my tenancy in Utah, USA. I taught Mandarin Chinese at the Defense Language Institute and the Middlebury Institute of International Studies in Monterey, California, for 8 years. I am a certified Chinese translator and also currently serve as the Cantonese examiner for the University of Arizona. My academic interest include language learning motivation, language technology and testing, and psycholinguistics. The use of media, music, and theatre in language classrooms has been a focus of my pedagogical research in recent years. I look forward to the opportunity to work with and learn from my peers in the Peer Reviews of Teaching program.

Stéphanie Palisse, Ph. D. Instructor of French
Department of French, Hispanic, and Italian Studies
Stephanie.Palisse@ubc.caI joined UBC Continuing Studies in 2009, before joining FHIS in 2014.
My academic research focused on the discourse in interaction, especially language at work: linguistic politeness, gender studies, cultural differences in linguistic politeness. For the last fifteen years, I’ve focused more on French as a Second Language and have been both teaching and training teachers of French as a second language. I have worked on teaching syllabi, student assessment, developing online courses (with Alliance Française and UBC) and have an extensive knowledge of the CEFR (Common European Framework of Reference). As an instructor now in the Educational Leadership stream, I work on reviewing our first year language program that French language courses can follow the CEFR, focus on a more communicative approach, be task-based oriented, where grammar is inductive and taught in context. I love learning, especially from others’ teaching styles and practices.

Eurie Shin, Lecturer of Korean
Department of Asian Studies

I have been teaching Korean at UBC since 2008. I started my teaching career as an English instructor in Korea after I received an MA in Linguistics. After I moved to the USA to pursue further study, I began teaching Korean as a graduate instructor, and found it fascinating. I try to continually reflect on my teaching and improve it to be a better teacher, and look forward to learning more from participating in the peer review process.

Angelika Struch, Ph.D., Instructor I
Department of Central, Eastern and Northern European Studies

Over the last two decades at UBC, I have taught German from beginner to advanced levels. After years of outstanding teaching evaluations from both students and colleagues, I was awarded a Killam Teaching Prize in 2012. As the Supervisor of the Teaching Assistants in the German Language Program, I developed the criteria for their classroom observations and the formal protocol by which their pedagogical performance is reviewed. It is my goal as a teacher of language to have every learner experience success in their endeavour to learn another language. I strive to achieve this goal by continuing to develop my pedagogical expertise, and by remaining current on the scholarly innovations of my discipline. Above all I remember that, as the teacher in the classroom, I have the most to learn.

Michiko Suzuki, Lecturer of Japanese Language
Department of Asian Studies[at]

I started teaching Japanese language in 2000 after studying Japanese linguistics and pedagogy in Japan and at UBC.  I have taught up to advanced level at UBC and superior level at Nagoya University of Foreign Studies (NUFS) in Japan.  I was also a member of a supervising team for undergraduate students doing their practicums in Japanese language classes at NUFS.  I enjoy searching for more effective ways of teaching and am looking forward to learning from my colleagues.

Hsiang-ning Sunnie Wang, Coordinator of the Chinese Language Program, Instructor in Chinese Applied Linguistics
Department of Asian Studies[at]

I have been teaching Chinese courses at all levels in the non-heritage track and also advanced-level LSP (Language for Specific Purposes) courses in the heritage track. My teaching and leadership experience also includes intensive summer programs in Canada, the United States and China. Aside from language learning, my class aims at helping students build up a positive and collaborative learning community, develop their intercultural competence and further become autonomous and independent lifelong learners. I am currently working on a project integrating service learning and language learning in order to bring in local knowledge and expertise into my advanced Business Chinese courses, and also empower students to learn about key issues facing by local business and also global communities. My teaching and research interests are grounded in the intersection of international education, socio-cultural anthropology and Chinese pedagogical studies, particularly Chinese language acquisition, curriculum development and teacher’s training. The use of pedagogical technology, authentic materials and contextualized learning have been the emphases in my classrooms. I love to collaborate with other instructors and look forward to learning from my colleagues.

Xiaowen Xu, Ph.D.
Department of Asian Studies

I have designed and taught undergraduate courses in Asian and North American universities for two decades. My dedication to undergraduate teaching started in China in 1997 when I taught English and English/Chinese translation courses in Beijing Foreign Studies University. After that I have taught diverse undergraduate student populations in Singapore, Canada and the U.S.A. My teaching career at North American universities centers on Chinese language at various levels and Chinese literature and culture courses in English translation. In the academic year 2014-15 I was the Acting Chinese Language Coordinator at the University of Toronto. I joined the University of British Columbia in 2017 and have worked with my colleagues in the Department of Asian Studies to enrich the existent advanced content-based Chinese language courses and develop new courses in Chinese language and literature as well as English/Chinese translation. I have two doctoral degrees (English, 1997 and East Asian Studies, 2014), and I have applied an effectively comparative approach to my course designing and teaching. I am also interested in engaging new pedagogical techniques and skills in my teaching.  I believe that teaching language and literature must be situated in context and thus connected to our actual world, and that our students’ individual needs must be considered when a teacher designs and delivers the contents of a course.