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
I hope everyone had a lovely weekend. I know I did. I have some family time, some turkey, and some rest. I also enjoyed the orange leaves and grey skies – a typical Victoria fall.
When I first taught overseas (in Mexico), my coworkers often asked me why Canadians celebrate Thanksgiving on a different day than Americans. (Canadians celebrate it on the second Monday of October, whereas the American date is the fourth Thursday of November). I realized I didn’t know, so I did a lot of research, but I was unable to find a clear answer.
Some websites suggested it was because Canada is further north, so we harvest (pick vegetables) earlier. Some said it is connected with the arrival of explorer Martin Frobisher in 1578, who gave thanks for his safe journey. Another website I read said that it is simply because the Canadian and American governments chose different dates when they made Thanksgiving an official holiday! So the truth is, we don’t really know.
The American Thanksgiving story of “the Pilgrims and the Indians [First Nations peoples]” is well-known, but Americans did not “invent” Thanksgiving; harvest festivals are celebrated in many different cultures. Thanksgiving is essentially a time to celebrate the harvest and be grateful for the good gifts that we have in our lives – food, family, friends.
It’s that time of year again… the leaves are falling, the nights are cooler, and people all over Victoria start drinking pumpkin spice lattes. Fall has arrived!
Do you like this season? Victoria normally has a very nice fall. Especially in the first few weeks, the weather is often dry and clear; this means blue skies, golden sunshine, and orangey-red leaves. I love it! Soon after, the rains will start to come. The fallen leaves will become slippery, and the sidewalks will be full of puddles – so watch your step!
What do we eat in fall? This is when Canadians start to cook more winter dishes. These include soups, stews, and anything with squash in it. We also like to drink pumpkin spice lattes, gingerbread lattes, and peppermint mochas. Some people complain when coffee shops start offering these drinks at the end of August!
What about fall activities? Well, some people will go camping on the weekend. It is a little colder than in August, but September is our last chance to get out into the forest, so some die-hard (crazy, committed) camping fans will still do it! Most farmers markets run until the middle or end of the month as well, so don’t miss this chance to stock up on (buy lots of) local vegetables.
Orange leaves, hot drinks, and cool weather… have a great fall!
I have decided to start an intensive course at our school for those who want to take the CELPIP* test at Real English Victoria. So many people want to know how to prepare properly and what things they can do to increase their score on the test. But there is so little information and books available, there are few options in Victoria.
Intensive Preparation Course for CELPIP*
9 Weeks: October 1st – November 30th, 2018
Time: 4:30PM – 6:30PM (90 hours)
Cost: $1740 + tax
This is the BEST preparation course in Victoria and it will cover every section of the test multiple times. I am very serious about student results, so the course has been designed to give you the confidence to take the CELPIP* test and help you to move up from 5~6, 6~7, 7~8, or 8~9.
If you follow the exclusive REV system, you will improve quickly. Each week you will practice reading and writing in the first hour and listening and speaking in the second hour of the class. Outside of class, you will be able to plan activities or homework, depending on how you enjoy learning. Some people might prefer to work on writing, while others prefer listening, speaking, or reading at home.
In my next post, I will talk about the different sections of the test, occasionally providing you with videos and websites that I think will help you master the CELPIP* test! But if you really want a good chance of getting the score you need, or if your only goal is to improve your English skills, coming to my class in Victoria will be the best way for you to ace the CELPIP*.
Visit our website (https://realenglishvictoria.com) for more information and check back here in a couple of days for the first post to help you with CELPIP*.
*CELPIP is a registered trademark of Paragon Testing Enterprises. Real English Victoria Language Co-op is not a licensed provider of CELPIP services or testing. It solely provides test preparation for the CELPIP test.
Download: Intensive CELPIP Program (PDF)
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.
Wow! It’s smoky out there!
A lot of students tell us that one of their favourite things about Victoria is the clean air. Unfortunately, that is not true this week! As you can see, the air is thick and smoky. I even saw small pieces of ash floating down from the sky yesterday morning.
Why? The smoke is from the hundreds of forest fires burning across BC. You can a map of the fires on this BC government website: https://governmentofbc.maps.arcgis.com/apps/MapSeries/index.html?appid=ef6f11c8c36b42c29e103f65dbcd7538
Scary! As you can see, although the smoke is bad in Victoria, it is even worse in the interior (centre) of BC. News reports are saying that BC’s air quality this week is among the worst in the world. This BC government website is the Air Quality Health Index: http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/epd/bcairquality/readings/find-stations-map.html . It shows the health risk in different parts of the province. You can click on “low,” “moderate,” “high,” or “very high” (at the top right of the page) to see an explanation of each category. It will also tell you if you should consider reducing (doing less) or avoiding (stopping) physical activity.
Should you wear a mask? Maybe. Some masks will help, but some won’t. You have to get the right kind. This factsheet, from the Washington State Department of Health, gives more information about masks: https://www.doh.wa.gov/Portals/1/Documents/Pubs/334-353.pdf .
Here is a picture of Patti’s dog Jinju. She’s hiding because she has a heart murmur and has extra difficulty breathing because of the smoke.
Hopefully the air will clear up soon. I heard on the radio this morning that rain is expected this weekend! Until then, I hope everybody stays healthy and safe.
“I like your class, but it’s hard.”
I hear that a lot in Power Speaking. I always find it interesting because when I started my career as a teacher, I never imagined myself teaching a high-pressure class. For sure, we laugh a lot in Power Speaking. But we also have high expectations of ourselves, and we move quickly through the activities.
Reading is hard. Even in our own language, it takes children years to learn. And even in our own language, some people love it and some hate it.
Why do people like reading? Most of my Power Speaking students emphasize that reading can develop creativity and imagination. It is also a good way to learn about new places, people, and time periods. For myself, I like to read before I go to bed because I find it relaxing.
Why is it so hard to read in your second language?
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!