Why Learn French with EC?

We get this question asked quite a bit. English is the obvious language to learn. It is spoken worldwide. It is the international language of business. It is the common language spoken among tourists all over the world. EC Montreal teaches English as a foreign language and has helped thousands of students accomplish their language goals!! But, why would someone need to learn French? EC Montreal proudly teaches French too! It is Canada’s second official language. More and more students were seen signing up for French classes or those who had registered in our English programmes later decided to add a French classes to their programme as well. We have been polling our students to find out more about why they are learning French. Here are some of the most common replies: – I’ve always wanted to learn French. It is such a beautiful language. – I already speak English and Spanish and now with French, I feel I can travel anywhere in the world. – French is the international language of diplomacy. – There are over 300 million people in the world who speak French. – I want to immigrate to Quebec and want to get a good job. – I am from Switzerland and need French for my job. – My company has an office in Paris. I preferred to come to Montreal because I never visited North America. – I want to surprise my wife with a trip to Paris for our anniversary. I want to impress her. – I just moved to Montreal and need to learn the language. – I need French for my work and preferred to come to Montreal than to go to France. – I am studying to be a chef and need to learn French. – English is not enough. Learning … Read more

Virtual Learning at EC!

I am so happy and proud to work for such a forward thinking organization like EC!  Even during these difficult times, we are committed to providing a very important service to our students and clients around the globe!  We can’t get to our classrooms right now, so we have come up with a wonderful solution.  it is called EC Virtual!  It is an online learning platform and will be available on six different time zones!  If you want to study English, French or both, EC is here for you!  Now that most of us are social distancing at home, why not use this time to improve your skills.  A lot of people are taking advantage of this time to become healthier, to improve their lives in different areas.  If you have always wanted to learn a language but have not had the time or the money to travel, this is the programme for you!  You will be placed in the level that is most suitable for you and you will learn in a group setting too!  A lot of us are feeling a little lonely and isolated these days so it will be very healing and therapeutic to see other smiling faces working on their language skills too! Our online learning platform is available on Microsoft Teams, giving students access to the Microsoft suite free of charge as well as continued access to all EC Online material. Our focus is on better learning outcomes through our experienced teachers who are all qualified English speakers as well as through a combination of: i) virtual learning ii) online collaboration with other students iii) self-study What’s more? Our online curriculum has been developed in collaboration with our key academic partner, National Geographic Learning, and their eBooks will be available to all our students. … Read more

Chanhee Yang From Korea: “The online class was really good…”

I miss my friends. Due to the current situation, our classes have been replaced and online classes have been offered. At first, I was worried. How can so many students take proper classes? However, the worries were also temporary. Personally, some things were an improvement thanks to online classes.First of all, I had a rest. My homestay is a little far from school. I have to get up at 6 or 6:30 every morning. But these days, I wake up at 7 or 7:30 p.m. Sometimes I get up at eight. Second, there are more materials that teachers make. During school class, I received the contents of the class on paper or I wrote it in my notebook, but these days, I like that I can study with my laptop because I receive data through Powerpoint or Microsoft Word. Thirdly, I liked the fact that the number of students in a lecture was limited to six. The online class was really good because there were only a few people and I had more opportunities to speak. Lastly, I think it is really good that class hours are shorter than before, and that daily assignments are given, and that I can use the things I learned on that day through my homework. I feel like I’m getting the best efficiency with the least amount of lessons. Without online classes with EC Montreal, I would have been isolated from home every day and feel lonely, but I feel less lonely because of the online classes. I miss my friends so much. But when can I make these memories again? These online lectures are good, but I hope the situation will be over soon and the time when I take classes again at EC Montreal with my friends will come.

Our First Virtual Graduation Ceremony!

We have been mandated to stay home and close the school by the Quebec government for the past two weeks.  We have moved all our classes online and are getting used to this new virtual world!  Today, EC Montreal held its first virtual graduation ceremony.  We had eleven students leaving this week and wanted to make their departure as special as we could given the circumstances. We invited them to our virtual graduation ceremony with the following message: Hello dear EC Montreal students!   We want to invite you to our first virtual graduation ceremony!  We want to thank you from the bottom of our hearts for choosing EC Montreal and being such exceptional students!  We wish we were presenting you with your certificates in person.  We want to thank you for your patience and understanding as we transitioned to online lessons so suddenly. We want to say “Congratulations” and “Farewell” to you virtually and hope our paths will cross again one day! EC has now launched an EC virtual programme so you can continue to study with us at EC! Please take good care of yourselves and stay safe. Renee and I look forward to chatting with you tomorrow! A demain!  Felicitations!  Merci beaucoup d’avoir choisi EC Montreal!  A la prochaine! Your EC Montreal family  During the ceremony, we had a slideshow ready with all the names of the students graduating as well as information on how our students can continue learning with EC virtual a new platform generated during this covid-19 crisis. Only a few students showed up to our first ceremony but we will keep promoting it and hope we can re-build our EC community online. One of our students, Ryuta, could not join because he was flying back home today but sent us a lovely message below: … Read more

Virtual Activities Starting Next Week!

It has been exactly two weeks since we have been mandated to close the school by the Quebec government to help stop the spread of the covid-19 virus.  The mandated closure has now been extended until May 1, 2020.  EC Montreal is still providing our students with virtual lessons during this time.  As of next week, the virtual lessons will be 90 minutes and the academic team is looking into more virtual tools that will make the online experience more engaging and rewarding for our students. A sense of an EC community has always been one of our priorities at EC Montreal.  We create opportunities for our students to interact with one another, to make friends and practice their language skills.  We looked forward to weekly events with our students, especially the Wednesday complimentary activities and the Friday graduation ceremony. We have the technology at our fingertips to keep these events going!  We will turn the activities into virtual ones!  Starting next Tuesday, our activity leader; Nanys, will be back to organize wonderful activities with all our students!  Our first week of activities will include a virtual lunch on Tuesday at 1 p.m.  You can eat while you chat with your EC friends.  Let’s see who has the most delicious looking lunch!  On Wednesday evening, we will hold a Netflix party.  You will all watch the same movie together and laugh, joke and make remarks throughout!  On Thursday afternoon, Nanys will lead a virtual workout.  You can join the class to keep fit during our isolation.  It is good for our body, mind and soul!  On Friday there will two events; a graduation ceremony for our departing students as well as a happy hour event in the late afternoon.  You can choose the drink of your choice and toast your … Read more

Our English Teacher, Olga, Shares her EC Virtual Experience!

EC Montreal has been offering our students virtual lessons since last Wednesday!  It has been exactly one week and although there have been some bumpy spots, the overall process has been a successful one! I have been asking our EC virtual teachers to give us an update and here is what our outstanding English teacher, Olga, had to report: My students are very motivated students, they are sending me a lot of homework: essays, recordings, writings, notes taken after TED talks and audios. We work in a very individualized way. They shared their personal preferences and areas for improvement, and we are able to attend to all these issues now in a very thorough way. I send them my feedback individually, in everyone’s emails just replying to them. We work longer than 45 min, but I am happy to. They need some support, you know–just from us as humans. We laugh a lot and I give them compulsory + optional homework for them to keep themselves busy so that everyone stays mentally healthy. We keep using EConline concurrently. I make sure all the aspects are covered: during the class we discuss things, exchange opinions and they ask questions about whatever they need to know more about. I also explain grammar. I provide them with the links, books, whatever material is needed. Speaking activities to be recorded are given as homework as well as writing, reading, listening, vocabulary and grammar practice to be discussed the next day.  So, everyone is given a chance to produce in speaking and writing.  Some students ask for more tasks! My students are very responsive, and I am so happy their brains are thirsty for work. A world of thanks to our incredible team of teachers keeping our students motivated and engaged!  We never stop learning … Read more

It’s Going to Be Ok!

You may have noticed pictures and images of rainbows in windows recently.  It is an initiative created among this terrible covid-19 pandemic to help keep people optimistic and to help share cheer.  The global consequences of this pandemic are worrisome and creating a lot of anxiety among people.  We are self-isolating, staying indoors and practising social distancing but we are also filled with feelings of panic, worry and stress.  We worry about getting sick, we worry about our loved ones and have yet to see a light at the end of this tunnel. We need to make an effort to keep each other optimistic and find ways to cope with this stress.  The rainbow initiative began in Italy where the virus has hit very hard.  Despite all the loss Italy is facing, they are finding ways to remain cheerful and positive.  We have seen them take to their balconies and singing as a community, a neighborhood, a country!  We have also seen images of the rainbow pictures on display with messages of hope “It’s going to be ok”.  This initiative has spread around the globe and we too, in Montreal, can see these rainbow images in our neighborhoods. EC Montreal wants to keep this initiative going strong.  We want to see our students colour their rainbows and post them on social media with the hashtag it’s going to be ok!  The entire EC team is working around the clock to get our students placed in our virtual classrooms so our students can keep on learning English and French uninterrupted.  We are also trying to keep the sense of an EC family or community going through our social media and the EC Montreal remote team we have created online.  This is a platform our students can use to post messages, images … Read more

Temporary School Closure

In an attempt to contain the spread of the covid-19, also known as the coronavirus, the Quebec government has mandated all educational institutions, including private schools to close for a 14-day period from Monday, March 16 to Friday, March 27, 2020.  The Quebec government has also banned any indoor gatherings that exceed 250 participants.  They have closed all public libraries, museums, tourist attractions, the Montreal Casino and all festivals, parades, musical performances and sporting events until further notice. Iko tours has also taken the decision to postpone all of their upcoming excursions until further notice. These are unprecedented times and circumstances that we have never had to deal with at EC.  There have been trying times but never to this magnitude. We want to assure all our EC Montreal students that we are all in this together.  We are doing everything possible to keep our EC community safe and engaged during this difficult time. During this temporary school closure, we ask all our students to stay indoors, to avoid public venues and to adhere to the recommended social distancing of 6 feet away from other individuals.  We urge you to not go outside, but if you absolutely must because you need to see a doctor or you need to buy an essential item, we ask that you not use the metro and bus system during peak hours, that is during the morning and evening rush.  It is also recommended that you keep washing your hands with soap for a period of  20 seconds or longer and to cough or sneeze into a tissue or your elbow.  You must throw away the tissue immediately in a waste basket and wash your hands.  You should keep all surfaces clean and disinfected at all times.  Think of it as cleaning up after yourself … Read more

Study Travel Magazine Publishes EC Montreal Blurb!

During these uncertain times in the travel industry, it is important to focus on all things positive and look for small things to celebrate!  Although the threat of being infected with the covid-19 virus in Canada, particularly in Quebec, is still described as very low, people are still worried and feeling a little stressed.  EC Montreal is still running its classes and trying to keep our students as happy and engaged as possible.  We overheard some students speaking in the school on their mobiles the other day describing EC Montreal as a very happy place!  They feel welcomed and love our orange walls.  It really warmed our hearts to hear this. Another thing that happened this week that lifted our spirits was seeing that EC Montreal was mentioned in the latest issue of the Study Travel magazine.  Our center director Elisa submitted a description of Montreal’s food scene in a city focus article they were publishing.  The focus was on Montreal.  The article describes Montreal’s wonderful festivals, tourist attractions, the impressive underground city and of course, its fabulous food scene! Elisa’s two-paragraph blurb reads the following: Elisa Gazzola from EC Montreal recommends that students visit different neighborhoods in the city such as Little Italy, Chinatown and Little Portugal in order to “get a real taste of Montreal”.  She adds “A visit to Montreal would not be complete without getting a taste of three local foods: poutine, bagels and smoked meat sandwiches”.  Elisa goes on to reveal “Montreal was named as the gastronomy capital of North America by Town & Country magazine because of the number of restaurants, the diversity in our cuisine and the number of celebrity chefs in our city.  Second to New York in the USA, we have the most restaurants per capita”. We are so proud to … Read more

A Sweet Taste of Montreal!

Every Wednesday, EC Montreal organizes something special for its students.  We have something fun to look forward to every week.  Creating these opportunities for our students to get together and bond is one of our most important initiatives at EC.  We strongly believe that what happens outside the classroom is just as important as what happens inside. The entire month of March is dedicated to maple syrup as it is maple season in the province of Quebec.  It is that time of year that the trees start to thaw and the tree sap starts to pour out.  We have many maple farms in this province.  In fact, 90% of the world’s maple syrup is produced right here in Quebec. Last week, EC Montreal celebrated International Women’s Day with a pancake breakfast served with berries and delicious Quebec maple syrup.  This week, the activity was maple tea and conversation.  We served maple tea that was produced right here in Quebec.  We purchased it directly from the maple farm in the laurentian mountains. We served the tea with delicious maple cookies.  The entire student lounge smelled like the sweetness of maple syrup.  The students served themselves and really enjoyed the tea flavor.  Students served themselves seconds and thirds before heading out to the cold afternoon air.  Temperatures are rising, however, it is still a little cold.  A hot cup of tea really hits the spot. All these maple tastings will encourage our students to join our Sugar Shack activity taking place on Saturday, March 28.  We will visit a maple farm where students will learn how maple syrup is produced.  We will also get a taste of the traditional sugar shack meal.  The sugar shack has a large shop on site where students can purchase maple products to take home with them.  … Read more