Born and raised in the Netherlands, I have been fascinated with languages since I was very young. After studying translation and interpretation in Antwerp, Belgium, I came to the Université de Montréal for a M.A. in Linguistics. I settled with my family in Ontario in 2006 and started teaching Dutch at the University of Waterloo in 2011.
Onyeka Ezeh, the Russian instructor in the Germanic and Slavic Studies, has taught elementary language courses for 5 years in Nigeria and Russia before joining the department.
Onyeka completed his BA and MA degrees at Moscow State Linguistic University in Russia and earned his doctorate from the same university in 2018. He is a scholar of applied linguistics, specializing in conversational analysis in Russian and German languages. Often engaging interdisciplinary approaches, much of his research has centered on mitigation strategies in directive speech acts.
Brikena Kastrati joined the Germanic and Slavic Studies department in August 2019. Prior to moving to Canada, she completed her teacher education program at the University of Kassel, Germany, with English and History as her teaching subjects.
Her interest in languages originates from the migration of her parents from Kosovo to Germany leading to a bilingual background. Learning German as well as English, French and Spanish as further foreign languages herself, she now pursues a communicative and student-centered teaching approach in order to teach and coordinate the German 101 and 102 courses.