Wednesday, December 05, 2018 / Published in Community, Learning English

Brrrr…. Do you feel cold? I do! Victoria is currently having a cold snap. This means a sudden drop in temperature. The weather forecast says that it is going to be clear and cold until Friday. After that, we will return to our usual cloudy and rainy winter weather. https://weather.gc.ca/city/pages/bc-85_metric_e.html

Have you noticed that the school is a little chilly? How about other public buildings? There is a reason for that. Many buildings in Victoria are heated using natural gas. In October, there was an explosion in a natural gas pipeline in BC. The pipeline is fixed now, but the company can’t provide as much gas as usual. As a result, they have asked businesses and homes in BC to turn down their thermostats (reduce the temperature inside) to save gas. You can read more about this story here: https://www.timescolonist.com/news/local/natural-gas-shortage-could-last-all-winter-households-urged-to-conserve-1.23497101

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Wednesday, October 10, 2018 / Published in Holidays, Learning English

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.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, September 20, 2018 / Published in Learning English

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!

Monday, September 10, 2018 / Published in Learning English, Special Programs

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)