Portuguese Language Teachers’ Bios

Meet Our Teachers

You will be taught by certified Portuguese language instructors with years of teaching experience who are from Continental Portugal. For more information, please read their mini-bios provided below.

Aurelia Silva Aurélia Silva 

Aurélia Silva has been in the field of education for over 20 years. Aurélia was born in France where she spent her early years and moved to Portugal with her family when she was 12 years old. She grew up speaking two languages fluently: Portuguese and French as her parents would only speak Portuguese at home.

In Portugal, she taught children and adults of all ages and levels from beginners to intermediate. Aurélia has studied at the University of Coimbra (Portugal), International House in Lisbon (Portugal), Langara College (Vancouver), and Vancouver Community College.

Here in Vancouver, Aurélia works as an Early Childhood Educator, as the Head Teacher of a Preschool, and on Saturdays, she teaches Portuguese at Our Lady of Fatima Portuguese School where she has been teaching for the past 10 years. Aurélia is also involved in community events. She is an active volunteer at Our Lady of Fatima Portuguese Parish.

Portugal is her home and her passion. Aurélia spends every single summer in Portugal. Her time there is precious, and she makes every second count by enjoying family and friends, the culture, beaches, beautiful scenery, weather, Fado music, delicious food and travelling the country from North to South.

Sandy Gualdino

Sandy Gualdino is a motivated and dedicated teacher with over 15 years of extensive experience in teaching children and adults in Portuguese. She was born in Vancouver but left as a child and lived in Portugal for 30 years. In 2013 she returned to Vancouver and has lived here ever since.

She has an outstanding background in education with two bachelor degrees, one of which is in Education as well as completing a Graduate Studies Program in Special Education and earning her Professional Certificate of Education from the BC Ministry of Education.

Currently, Sandy works as a teacher at a private high school, as a Portuguese Tutor, and on Saturdays, she teaches Portuguese at Our Lady of Fatima Portuguese School where she has been teaching for the past eight years.

She has taught all age groups: from children to adolescents to adults and has a successful track record in helping her students reach their full potential. Sandy has the exceptional ability to bring lessons to life and engage a room of students to become an interested and eager audience.

Manuela MowlaviManuela Mowlavi

Manuela Mowlavi has worked in the education sector for over 20 years.  She was born and raised in Portugal and lived there for most of her life.  Manuela acquired a degree in Education from the University of Porto, Portugal and taught in the Portuguese school system before moving to Canada.  She then lived in Calgary for several years before moving to Vancouver in 2013.

Manuela has had extensive experience in her field; teaching in both English schools and Portuguese schools. She has been the curriculum leader at the Escola Portuguesa de Língua e Cultura de Calgary, and through eight years, taught grades 1 through 8. She also contributed greatly to the Portuguese community in Calgary, by planning and coordinating major events such as the Portuguese school’s year-end celebrations, and holiday events that promoted the school and its activities

All of her life, Manuela has been invested in the field of education, from elementary school to the high-school level, and currently works as an instructor at a university. She also has been teaching Portuguese for grades 3 to 6 at Our Lady of Fatima Portuguese School in Burnaby on Saturdays for the past five years.

Throughout her career, Manuela has strived to improve her students’ performance and develop innovative approaches to enhance the learning experience. She always puts her students’ needs at the forefront. Her empowering teaching methods have allowed her to guide a diverse range of students towards success and a fruitful education.

Lisandra SousaLisandra Sousa

Lisandra Dora Silva e Sousa holds a PhD in Iberian-Hispanics Studies (Queen Mary, University of London, 2016). She also has a MLitt in Modernities from the University of Glasgow and a BA in English.  For the past 15 years she has been lecturing English, Portuguese, and Spanish in the UK and in Canada, which includes lecturing posts at the The King’s University (Canada), Grant MacEwan University (Canada), and the University of Glasgow (UK).

Lisandra is a collaborator for the Centre for English, Translation, and Anglo-Portuguese Studies (CETAPS) which is a dynamic research centre that brings together 50 integrated members and 94 collaborators from 11 Portuguese institutions of higher education, promoting research and activities with high national and international reach.

Currently, Lisandra is working for a local private school as an ELL (English Language Learning) instructor and as an Educational Assistant for children with special needs. For the past 5 years, Lisandra has been teaching Portuguese to children on Saturdays at Our Lady of Fatima Portuguese School. She is also a professional interpreter and translator with teaching experience in public and private schools.

Lisandra participates in several national and international conferences and publishes in refereed journals. To learn more about Lisandra’s teaching accomplishments, please view her profile on the CETAPS website.

In her free time, Lisandra likes to read and write, and go on nature walks with her husband, their two daughters, and the two international students that they host in their home.