Meet the Team

The English Language Centre (ELC) Team are friendly and welcoming.  We are here to help you improve your English language and academic study skills and to help you to adjust to life in the UK.  The team are experienced in working with students in higher education.

We look forward to meeting you.

Dr Malgorzata (Gosia) Drewniok – Head of International College

I was born in Poland and people call me ‘Gosia’. I first came to the UK as an international student (BA, MA, PhD) so I draw on my own experience in my work. I’m passionate about working with international students. My team and I work very hard to support international students at Lincoln, offering courses, workshops and one-to-one appointments tailored to your needs.

I have a PhD in Linguistics and am interested in anything to do with language. I have been teaching English for Academic Purposes (EAP), research and study skills at UK universities since 2008. I have also taught modules in linguistics in the past. I joined the University of Lincoln in January 2019.

When I’m not working, I like to learn about languages and cultures, therefore I travel a lot. I also love to read and to watch good quality TV dramas.

Dr Chokri Ghezal – In-sessional Programme Manager

I was born and educated in Tunisia where I achieved a BA in English and Literature. After teaching EFL, ESOL and EAP in three different countries, I decided to go back to university in the UK in 2012. I studied for an MA in Translation Studies and then a PhD in the same discipline at the University of Leicester. I have always been interested in languages and translation. I am particularly interested in style and how, through translation, one could either preserve the style of the original text or manipulate it in order to produce a text in another language that is more accessible to a non-specialist readership.

When I am not reading or translating, I like to cycle in the countryside if the weather is nice. If not, I stay in and bake cakes and biscuits inspired by ancient recipes. In my present role, I work with a dedicated team that are all enthusiastic about supporting international students and helping them improve their academic English and study skills. I look forward to meeting all the students who take advantage of the courses we provide throughout the academic year.

Andy (Andrew) Barker – Pre-sessional Programme Manager

I was born in Cambridgeshire and have been living in Lincolnshire for 2 years since returning to the UK, following a period of 10 years overseas. My time abroad was spent in international education living and working in Vietnam, Malaysia (Sabah and Penang) and New Zealand.

Whilst overseas I learnt many things about different cultures, languages, food and people. I was lucky enough to have a very rewarding time while collecting many fond memories of my experience in international education. I have seen first-hand the process of learning in a range of international settings and I always seek to further understand and learn more myself. Having lived in several countries I can also emphasise with students and the difficulties faced that being away from home can present.

Separate from my work in education I love being outdoors, photography, film and reading. When not working I can often be found chasing my young son around the garden, or is he chasing me?!

Carl Christopher – Senior English for Academic Purposes Tutor

Welcome to the UK, to Lincoln, to the university and – last but certainly not least – to the English Language Centre.

I’m looking forward to supporting our international students as they get stuck into their academic careers. I’ve lived and worked abroad for most of my married life, and so I know how it feels to be far from home, friends and family. For most of my time abroad, I taught English at a university, and also took the opportunity to learn Arabic too. I love continuing to learn Arabic through the songs, films and – most of all – the people of the Middle East. I’m also a keen reader (of nearly anything!), and I love to walk and explore. Most of all though, my time and energy are invested into the greatest blessing in my life; my family.

Finally, you should probably know that although I’m passionate about education, I could just as easily be a farmer.

Matthew Bayly – Senior English for Academic Purposes Tutor

I was born and raised in Lincolnshire and have been a member of the English Language Centre since 2016. I have over seven years of experience working in education internationally as well as in the UK and lived and taught in Japan, Russia and China. I was trained in educational practice at the Institute of Education, University College London and have a BA from the University of Leeds in English and History.

As Lincoln is my hometown, I am enthusiastic about helping students explore the city’s lively social life, its rich history and heritage. Lincoln has existed for over two thousand years, so you are joining a community with deep roots but also an exciting future! When not teaching, I am interested in pursuing my PhD in History, buying too many books and exploring Lincolnshire’s vast number of historic churches.


Karen Priestley – Senior English for Academic Purposes Tutor

I was born and grew up just over the River Trent in Nottinghamshire, the home of Robin Hood. After living and teaching English in Portugal for 22 years, I have recently returned to the same area. My love for Portugal, the Portuguese language and the Portuguese people evolved as an Erasmus student at the University of Porto, Portugal, as part of my BA Joint Honours French and Portuguese at the University of Leeds.

I joined the English Language Centre in October 2019 and am passionate about teaching English together with meeting and supporting international students. Fortunately, I am able to draw on my own experience of studying, working and living abroad, and remember exactly how it all feels! I also have an MA in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages and a Diploma in Translation.

In my free time, I enjoy reading and handicrafts such as baking and embroidery. I am also exploring and practising a newfound interest in gardening and vegetable growing.

Wendy Whatmough – International College Administration Manager

I am originally from Lancashire and first moved to Lincoln in 2001.  I have enjoyed being a part of the team since June 2019.  Prior to this, I worked in secondary education for several years.  I support international students before they arrive in Lincoln, whilst on their Pre-sessional English and Academic Study Skills (PEASS) courses (both online and face to face), and those on their main course who would like to benefit from in-sessional English language support.

Having lived overseas in Ukraine, Cyprus and Germany, I can empathise with students moving to a new country, away from family, with a different culture and language.  Having completed postgraduate study in 2021 (MSc Human Resource Management), I understand the pressures and deadlines involved but I can only imagine what it must be like not to study in your native language.

My home life revolves around my husband and two teenage daughters who keep me busy.  Much of my spare time is spent planning home improvements and DIY projects, and I love to travel when I can.

Gemma Spink – International College Senior Officer (Conversion)

I am originally from South London and moved to Lincoln in 2006 having been tempted up here by the property prices, which were considerably lower than London!


I have worked for the University since 2014 and previously worked in the Lincoln International Business School administrating programmes such as the Postgraduate Masters programmes.  Before joining the university I worked for Lincolnshire Police, largely recruiting staff for the Force and the London Metropolitan (MET) Police in a Criminal Justice Unit and I have also worked for the Ministry of Defence (MOD). 


In my spare time, I like to play tennis at a local club.  I love History and enjoy exploring other countries and cultures, especially on foot.  I love Italy, especially the food, the culture and the history. 

Ricky Botham – International College Administrator

Ricky Botham -ELC Administrator

I was born in Lincoln and have lived here my whole life so I know the city well!

I joined the University of Lincoln in August 2015 and previously worked at the Lincoln International Business School, where I supported international students throughout their studies. I worked closely with international students, especially those who were only with us for one year, and so gained a valuable insight into the support they need at an early stage, and how to improve our processes to assist them.

My personal interests and tastes are massively varied, I love music, films and TV, food and cooking, animals (I have 3 cats, 3 dogs and 3 fish tanks), gardening, the outdoors, walking, swimming and exercise.

The most interesting fact about myself is that I partake in Viking style training and battles that are held around the world, these involve wearing protective armour and holding a shield and using blunt armaments to score points against the other team.