Your Quality Academic Staff

A select team led by Director of Studies, Keith Burgess in Auckland and Acting Director of Studies, Kelly Davis in Christchurch.


keithKeith Burgess (based in Auckland)

Since the early nineties, Keith has been working as an ESOL teacher and a developer of intensive teaching techniques. He has used his many years of teaching experience to write Activating 1001 Academic Words for IELTS, which has been distributed around the world and used in a number of universities. His methods have been crafted over the years, and Keith aims to not only improve IELTS scores, but to increase overall fluency with the English language.


In Keith’s own words:

“I believe in creating an atmosphere of student and teacher working together for the success of the student. At the same time I acknowledge that many students want to learn as much as possible and achieve fluency. I therefore deliver a program that is high in content and helps students to make maximum use of their knowledge of the English language.”

As Director of Studies, Keith retains the same energy, passion and interest in teaching that he had when he started, many years ago.  He has imparted his enthusiasm and expertise to his select team of teachers, who work together with the students to achieve their common goal, i.e. excellence in English!


kellyKelly Davis (based in Christchurch)

Kelly is not only an English language teacher, but is also a barista trainer! With over 5 years of experience teaching, she has taught every level of General English – from Beginner to Upper Intermediate. Keith has trained Kelly in his unique technique, and Kelly is also teaching Canterbury College’s Academic IELTS preparation course, and strives to help students to improve their overall English as well as IELTS scores. With approximately 7 years of café and barista experience, Kelly also teaches the English + Barista course. Kelly is able to teach a wide variety of skill levels, and aims to make every student’s experience at Canterbury College memorable and worthwhile!


In Kelly’s own words:

“Before joining Canterbury College I trained as a primary school teacher at Christchurch College of Education, achieving a Bachelor of Teaching and Learning.  I later took a course for teaching ESOL.  In the 3 years I have taught at Canterbury College I have gained valuable experience, made lasting friendships and had a lot of fun teaching adult students in every level of General English – from Beginner through to Upper Intermediate.  I am also currently teaching our Academic IELTS preparation course.  Alongside teaching English, my passion for coffee and previous experience of approximately 7 years’ part-time cafe and barista work has allowed me to take charge of running and teaching our successful and very popular Coffee + English (Barista level 2) course.”

An education institution exists to teach students. However, students are not alone in reaping the benefits. Like the saying goes, ‘the best teachers learn from their students’. At Canterbury College, teachers are not only dedicated to the education of our students, but also believe in a teaching environment where both teacher and student grow together.

Our teaching staff have extensive industry experience and undertake ongoing professional development. It is this commitment that enables staff to keep up with and be industry leaders.


davidDavid Pepperle

David, formerly a professional electrical engineer, retired at age 52 years and retrained as an English teacher.  He loves the English language and has a general interest in other languages. After several very enjoyable years as a teacher of English to international students, and a time as school manager, he continues as Canterbury College’s director. He remains young at heart!