When I was in university, I took some Chinese classes. One of the biggest challenges I had was learning how to pronounce the sounds correctly.
As a native English speaker, I struggled to reproduce a lot of Chinese sounds. Not only were the sounds difficult for me to make, but Chinese is also a tonal language. Chinese has four tones: high, rising, dipping, and falling. It also has a neutral tone. The sounds and tones were hard enough on their own. Together? HAH! Even now, I sometimes still have difficulty having correct pronunciation for both sounds and tones.
What really helped me improve my pronunciation was music. Once a week, at my university, there was a Chinese singing class. Each class we would learn and practice one or two songs. It was always fun, and I have many fond memories of laughing with my classmates at our pronunciation. However, as time went on, we found that the songs we learned were actually helping a lot with our pronunciation. To this day, I still remember many of the songs we learned. I also like to practice new songs!
Using singing and music is a wonderful way to learn a language. Here are some of the songs I’ve used before in my classes.
What do you say when you want to scare somebody?
In English, we say “boo”! We think that this is the sound that ghosts make.
Ghosts, vampires, werewolves, and witches are just a few of the monsters that we think of on Halloween.
Halloween is a spooky (scary) holiday with a long history.
Many of our Halloween traditions come from Ireland, Scotland, and England.
Take a look at some of the many Halloween customs that we have in Canada!
Wearing a costume is one of the most popular Halloween traditions.
On Halloween, you’ll see both children and adults dressed up in costumes ranging from cute to frightening.
Some people like to plan their costume months in advance!
Children will often wear a costume to school and for trick-or-treating, and some adults will wear a costume to work or to a party.
Sorry, this activity is for children (and some teenagers) only!
On Halloween night, children go to their neighbour’s houses and knock on their doors.
When the door opens up, the children will say, “Trick or treat!”
The neighbour will then give some Halloween candy or another treat to the children.
After, the children will say thank you and continue to the next house.
Now, trick-or-treating in the neighbourhood is becoming less common.
Some parents are worried about their children’s safety.
Sometimes the houses are too far apart.
Because of this, going trick-or-treating at a shopping mall is becoming popular.
Regardless of where children go, they usually end up with a big bag of Halloween candy at the end of the night!
BOBBING FOR APPLES
Bobbing for apples is a very old tradition.
Many apples are placed in a container – usually a barrel.
The container is filled with water.
Participants try to grab the apples with their mouths, and they are not allowed to use their hands.
A long time ago, girls used to put the apples under their pillows.
They thought that if they did this, they would dream of their future husband.
Nowadays, we only bob for apples for fun.
Many people like to make jack-o’-lanterns for Halloween.
A jack-o’-lantern is a pumpkin with a face carved (cut with a knife) into it with a knife.
Originally, people made jack-o’-lanterns to protect themselves from evil (bad) ghosts and spirits on Halloween.
The first jack-o’-lanterns were carved from turnips in Ireland and Scotland, but in North America, we use pumpkins.
Halloween was originally a religious holiday to commemorate (remember and celebrate) the dead.
The modern celebration of Halloween in North America is often not religious.
Instead, we use Halloween as a day to have fun feeling scared.
People like to watch horror movies, listen to creepy (uncomfortable and scary) music, and tell scary stories.
One of the most famous ghost stories is about Bloody Mary, a female ghost.
Legend says that if you say the name “Bloody Mary” three times while standing in front of a mirror in a dark room, Bloody Mary will appear.
Children like to do this activity in a group.
Usually, one person will think they see something in the mirror and scream, causing the rest of the group to freak out (panic and be scared).
I still remember playing this game at my friend’s house on Halloween!
Check out three exciting events for international students in Victoria! Contact us if you need help buying a ticket.
DATE: Wednesday, October 24
TIME: Doors open at 6 PM; event at 6:30 PM
LOCATION: Victoria Event Centre, 1415 Broad Street
TICKETS: FREE for performers; $10 for everyone else
Real English Victoria is quiet this week.
I don’t mean totally; I mean relatively.
From July 31st to August 8th, 20 students from Musashino Joshi Gakuin, a high school near Tokyo, descended on Victoria to investigate the differences between education, environmental protection, and nutrition between Japan and Canada.
The spaces at REV were perfect for small collaborative groups where students practiced their English in discussions and project-related activities, while Canadian buddies and experienced teachers helped students use English in more powerful ways.
You asked, so we listened! We now have a Full-Time Intensive IELTS Program.
Prepare for all parts of the Academic and General IELTS exam in our intensive program. This program is from 1 to 6:30 PM, Monday to Friday. You will spend a full 5 hours everyday preparing for the IELTS exam. Get personalized help and get the score you want!
Ask us for more details.
Today is the day that we turn 2.
For most people, 2 is not a big number. “Why are you so excited about a second anniversary?” you might ask. “You’ve only been open for two years!”
But for us, it doesn’t feel like it’s been only two years. It’s been two years of learning new skills, bridging local and global communities, and constantly reaching for our best. We’ve laughed and made great friends and a wonderful family. When we’ve made mistakes, we’ve always gotten back up stronger than before. It’s been a lifetime of discovery, and we’re so honoured that you helped us get this far.
From all of us at REV, and from the best, warmest, and proudest part of our hearts, thank you so much. We’re looking forward to spending year 3 with you!
If you want to come and celebrate with us, we’ll be having a casual picnic at Beacon Hill Park on July 5, from 3:30 – 6 PM. Everybody is welcome! If you’d like, you can bring some snacks or drinks to share.
Hope to see you there!
Are you feeling worried about your next year at school? If you’re heading into university, congratulations! It’s another big step for you. I don’t have any secrets to share, but I’d like to tell you some study tips that helped me.