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.
“Weird and wonderful” is an English expression that means “strange and unusual, but in a lovable way.” It’s an affectionate way to describe friends who are unusual but still awesome.
…Sound familiar? That’s because our school is definitely a weird and wonderful place to study! If you need proof, just check out this photo of me in a banana costume.
At REV, we laugh. A lot. We cheat at board games – and then laugh about it. (Cheating is fine as long as you do it in English, right?!). We ask you to do strange projects, like taking apart a printer and using the pieces to build a model of a famous building. We get you to read children’s books to each other using expressive intonation (no robots at REV!). We let you decorate the entire school for Halloween. We give you advice like “stop studying.” And…we let you sit in Drew’s chair!
What a happy place to work and study! I’m so blessed to be a part of this team. If you haven’t met us yet… welcome! And if you have met us already, please come back to say “hi.” Welcome to weird and wonderful Real English Victoria!
Very often, students came into our school with a very vague idea, “I want to improve my English.”
Since at REV we know that a student’s motivation is a key factor to their success in language learning, the first thing we do is to take time to help students discover why they really want to learn English and what they truly want to achieve. These are definitely not easy questions to answer for some of them, as many of them are also just on their way to find out who they are and what they want in life.
REV teachers talk to students in depth before recommending a course for them because we know, unless the classes can be somewhat customized, they won’t truly suit and serve each student’s needs. At REV, you won’t find the conventional grammar, reading and writing, listening, and speaking classes. Instead, you’ll find an integrated program that is cut out for a student’s specific needs. I think it’s safe to say that no two students at REV are taking the exact same program because we tweak each class to help them achieve their different language learning goals.
I was 14 years old when I first really understood that French was a language.
…what?!? You didn’t know that?
Of course I did! I had studied French since elementary school, and my brain knew that it was a language. However, I only heard French in the classroom; it was just a school subject. Finally, when I was on holiday with my family in Mexico, I heard some other tourists speaking French. Suddenly, I understood: French is not just a school subject – it is real communication for real people. That was a real eye-opener for me [something surprising that taught me about life].
Language is much more than a school subject. Language is the way we interact with our world: we build relationships, solve problems, and express our emotions. Language is powerful, complex, and fascinating. If we only learn language in the classroom, we will not understand it completely. That’s why we must go outside and use our language with real people in real situations.
This is why we encourage REV students to practice English by doing real things. In Power Speaking, we visit art galleries during the Art & Décor unit and we interview a music teacher during the Books & Music unit. In Skill-Building, we go outside to grocery stores, restaurants, and cafes. In Project, we make phone calls, interview professionals, and organize events. It’s all real!
Did you know that writing a blog or recording video logs, can greatly increase the speed at which you improve your English? Letting other people see your mistakes and watch you fix them has a lot of benefits. I always encourage students to listen to and watch themselves speaking English. This will help you know what you sound like and what you look like when you are communicating with others in English.
“How ya gittin’ on, b’ys?”
Everywhere you go in the world people speak English just a little bit differently. Everyone knows that British folks sound different than those born in Canada and the United States. But did you know how differently English is spoken in various regions of Canada? Did you know that there are quite a number of Canadians who were born here, but they have never had to learn English? Of course, I am sure you are aware of the same phenomena in your own or other countries in the world.
Our students have plenty of chances to use English while playing games. We notice a lot of improvement because they get to practice a lot in front of teachers!