The key to getting a high score on the CELPIP is practice, practice, & practice.
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
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.