Recipe of the Week!

Restaurants in Montreal have officially reopened!  Montreal is known for his incredible restaurant scene!  Second to New York City, Montreal has the most restaurants per capita.  There are over six thousand restaurants on the island of Montreal!  Montreal is also one of the most multicultural cities in the world and this diversity can also be found in the restaurants we have.  Whatever you are in the mood for and whatever your budget, you will find the perfect restaurant to suit your taste.  Unfortunately, not all the restaurants that we have come to love in Montreal survived the pandemic.  They simply could not afford to stay closed for so many months.  The restaurants that did manage to reopen must enforce physical distancing in their establishments so they can only accommodate a certain number of guests at one time.  The good news is that patios are very popular in Montreal!  Most restaurants have a terrace with seating outside.  During this crisis, most Montrealers have said that they feel more comfortable dining outside.  They feel the virus does not spread as easily outdoors. One of my favourite type of restaurant is tapas style.  I love getting many different sharing dishes served in small portions.  It makes the dining experience so much more fun and entertaining.  Getting a taste of a variety of beautifully prepared dishes is what I look forward to.  So in celebration of Montreal’s tapas restaurants, I am happy to share with you my version of Gambas Bravas.  This dish was inspired by my favourite tapas restaurant found in the Gay Village. For this recipe you will need: 1 pound of large shrimp, peeled with the tail left on 1/2 cup of panko bread crumbs 1/2 cup of flour 2 eggs, beaten 1 tablespoon of paprika the juice of 2 limes … Read more

And Now a Word From Our Teachers…

Every week, EC Montreal has been introducing you to our team of teachers. Our teachers have transitioned to an online teaching platform beautifully during this pandemic. EC Montreal is now working on our reopening plans. We are scheduled to reopen our school on August 31. We are devising a plan to offer our students a blended learning experience in order to limit our physical time at the center. We felt it was very important to hear from our teachers and how they foresee our return and the future of our EFL industry. This week, we are proud to introduce you to our English teacher, Shayan Kurd. Shayan is an excellent teacher and is used to teaching our more advanced level students. He teaches our IELTS preparation classes and helps our students reach their language learning goals. Shayan also teaches for the Canadian Refugee Center. He helps those students get the necessary language ability to enter college or university. We are very proud to have him on our team. Here is what he wanted to share with all of you: I have been an English teacher at EC Montreal for the past three years. I enjoy seeing so many positive changes in our students’ learning experience. I have been teaching our students online since we transitioned in March. I believe the most important benefits of EC Virtual is the flexibility, mobility and self-motivation. When we go back at the end of August, I foresee social distancing will be a little bit of a challenge at first if the problem persists. It will affect the teacher-student interaction including class activities, the teacher’s class monitoring and in general class management. I am really excited about the blended learning model. It will be a great option for both teachers and students with both learning … Read more

Pathway Partner Presentation: Vancouver Film School!

This evening, EC Montreal welcomed a guest speaker from the Vancouver Film School, to present their different programmes.  Sergio, EC’s university pathway counsellor, introduced the participants to EC’s programme and all the support we are able to provide to our students.  He then introduced Christine from the Vancouver Film School. She began with some really cool and interesting facts about the school.  She informed us that the school was founded in 1987 in response to movies that were currently begin filmed in the city of Vancouver with no Canadian representation working on the films.  She gave the example of Rambo and 21 Jump Street.  Their entire production teams were from outside of Canada.  She showed the very first newspaper advertisement from 1987 and how basic it was.  They began small with only thirty or so students and now the school has over one thousand students and over three hundred instructors.  She explained that the ratio of teacher to student is very attractive as it guarantees more personalized attention and care to the students.  Throughout the student’s journey from their first day of school to their first day on the job in the film industry, they have the support of the Vancouver Film School. Christine talked a lot about the impressive school alumni and how successful their graduates become in their field.  She explained that even during this current pandemic, their gaming students are still finding employment.  This industry is categorized as the creative economy and it is booming. She spoke about the three main fields you can study at the school.  They offer Film, Animation and Games.  Under the film category, students can choose acting, production, sound, make up or writing.  They offer 2D and 3D animation and students can focus on characters, animated films, cartoons or concept design.  They … Read more

Throwback Thursday!

This week’s Throwback Thursday image is our annual ice cream days at EC Montreal!  I still remember the first ice cream day we organized as our Wednesday complimentary activity!  We were experiencing a heat wave in the city, similar to the one we are living this week in Montreal. It was hot and humid!  Students were surprised to see that Montreal has tropical weather!  They were not expecting it.  There were some grumblings from the students and we wanted to do something to cool them off and make them happy! We set up the student lounge with a variety of ice cream flavours, different types of cones and toppings such as whipped cream, chocolate sauce, caramel, strawberry, as well as colourful sprinkles!  Every student that entered the student lounge was smiling from ear to ear!  They served themselves to different flavoured scoops and took so many pictures of themselves enjoying the treats and of the colourful display we had set up!  It was such a successful activity that we decided to repeat it several times throughout the summer and made it an annual event on our activity calendars.  We also held frozen treat days and every July 25, we celebrate Christmas in July when Santa comes to visit wearing his summer shades bringing ice cream for all the students to enjoy! This week’s throwback image is one of our absolute favourites!  We love to make our students happy and to surprise them week after week with our complimentary activities.  Every week our students look forward to the “fun Wednesdays” making friends, sharing jokes, practicing their language skills and having a wonderful time!  When the time is right, we look forward to resuming these social gatherings. It is a hot week in Montreal!  Enjoy a cone or two to help you … Read more

Montreal’s Live Digital Jazz Fest!

If the world was not dealing with this pandemic, we would be getting ready to celebrate Montreal’s biggest festival this week; the International Jazz Fest! The city really comes to life during this festival at the Quartier des Spectacles. It is like the entire city is having a party and the world is invited to it! We usually have tourists and performing artists from all over the world participating! There are free outdoor concerts every night and more intimate private venues as well. In addition to the incredible music, there are food vendors, souvenir stands, DJs, games, and street performers to enjoy.  We always looked forward to taking our students in both our adult and Young Learners programmes to the festival as an afternoon or evening activity.  The students were always captivated by the music, the performances and the festive atmosphere. We were sad to learn that all outdoor festivals were cancelled this year because of the virus. The city of Montreal is known for hosting over 120 festivals a year and the Jazz Festival is by far the biggest! We were delighted to hear this week that Montreal’s Jazz Festival will still take place with a special online edition using a digital platform. From June 27 to June 20 between 6 p.m. and 11 p.m., jazz lovers can still enjoy live music! The Festival’s General Manager commented “Despite the challenging circumstances this year, we are thrilled to be able to offer an innovative solution to get the music out to the fans”. You simply need to go to montrealjazzfest.com to enjoy live music all weekend long!  The performances will include images from our beloved past Jazz Festival performances.  We will be promoting Montreal’s magical Jazz Festival to our EC Montreal students who are currently taking English and French online … Read more

French For Beginners Workshop!

Yesterday, our French programme was given a spotlight to shine!  EC Montreal’s French teacher, Shahrzad prepared a workshop for beginners.  With the help of EC’s West Coast ambassador, Arielle, Shahrzad presented to any EC virtual student studying in North America. The workshop included basics in French like presenting yourself, greeting someone, how to say hello, how to ask how how the other person is, asking someone’s age, where they are from, what their likes and dislikes are and many other questions.  Shahrzad also introduced the students to simple verb conjugation and new vocabulary. Many of Arielle’s friends participated which made the session even more special and personal. We wanted to give our EC English students a taste of French as EC Montreal offers Virtual French, General French and Bilingual programmes. At the moment, we are only teaching online but are currently accepting enrolments for our onsite classes which are expected to resume on August 31.  When we return, in order to comply with social distancing practices, we will be returning with a blended learning approach.  Students will have classes onsite three days a week; Monday, Wednesday and Friday.  On Tuesday and Thursday, students will be learning French online with other EC Virtual French students.  Special Focus classes are expected to also be online in order to limit the staff and student’s physical time at the center. EC Montreal offers free French trial classes every Tuesday at 11 a.m.  If you are interested, you simply need to contact us at montreal@ecenglish.com and we will send you a short French placement test and set up temporary credentials for you on Microsoft Teams.  We can then determine which French level is the best for you to observe.  If you like our teaching method and how we teach at EC, you can sign up … Read more

Recipe of the Week!

EC Montreal’s recipe of the week is pesto pasta!  It is officially summer and a lot of Montrealers grow their own vegetable and herb garden.  There is something really special about going into your own backyard and picking from nature’s garden in preparation for your next meal!  Many Montreal restaurants have their own gardens and can serve their ingredients from their garden to the table.  Joe Beef is one of these restaurants.  They have been named one of the best restaurants in the world!  The last time I dined there, it was so nice to see the cooks going to the back garden with their scissors and baskets in hand and coming back into the restaurant with fresh herbs and lettuce.  You can’t get more fresh than that!  Joe Beef’s menu is all local, including the meat and dairy from local farms in Quebec. In my garden at home I have a grape vine, tomatoes, radishes, lettuce, a plum tree, a lime tree, green onion, mint, parsley and basil.  This weekend was Father’s Day and it was lovely preparing the meal with items from my own garden.  I used the tomatoes, lettuce, green onion and limes for the salad and used the basil and parsley for my pesto pasta.  The radishes need more time to grow, but I soon will have sliced radishes to add to my salads. So, in honour of Montreal gardens, this week’s recipe is Pesto Pasta.  For my version of pesto, you will need the following ingredients: 3 cups of basil 1 cup of parsley 3 cloves of garlic 1/2 cup of olive oil 1/2 cup of pine nuts 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese salt and pepper to taste past of your choice (Cheese tortellini or tagliatelle is my favourite to use) In a large pot, … Read more

And Now a Word From Our Teachers…

Every week, EC Montreal is sharing feedback from our team of teachers.  It is important to hear what they have to say about teaching online, about blended learning and what the future holds for the EFL industry. This week, we are hearing from our English teacher, Pooria Tayaran, who has been teaching our English classes, IELTS preparation classes, as well as English in the City.  He is a very popular teacher and loved by his students.  He has won our month Teacher of the Month contest many times! Here is what Pooria had to share with everyone about his experience teaching EC Virtual: I have been teaching at EC Montreal for the past three years.  I enjoy working in this EFL industry.  I like making a difference and seeing our students improve.  I also love coming into contact with people from all walks of life.  What I have noticed regarding online lessons is that we have greater flexibility and more customized lessons giving a lot more attention to individual students and their learning needs. When we return to our onsite classes, I foresee following physical distancing.  Verifying homework, pair work and moving around the class will be a little more challenging. I think blended learning is a fantastic idea!  Since students’ mobility is affected by the pandemic, we can expand our reach by mixing online and onsite classes. Throughout this pandemic, I have tried to focus on positive news and in helping our students deal with stress.  It has been vital to set clear objectives and giving constructive feedback in order to help our students do the tasks and to stay motivated. I think the pandemic has sped up the transition of the entire education industry as a whole to online platforms, which is a positive thing. I would expect … Read more

Yaro Affoua Soraya Fatim From Cote d’Ivoire: “I promise to recommend EC…”

Yaro Affoua Soraya Fatim is a lovely young lady from the Cote d’Ivoire.  She has been studying English with us since March 2, 2020.  Shortly after her arrival the school was mandated to move our onsite classes to English online lessons.  Despite that, Yaro continued to take her English studies seriously and has progressed beautifully.  She even moved up a level during her stay!  Sadly, this is her last week at EC Montreal.  She was presented with her EC English certificate today and we absolutely love the pictures she took to celebrate all her wonderful achievements at EC Montreal. Here is what she wanted to share with everyone about her EC experience and EC virtual: I loved learning speaking, reading and listening.  I enjoyed my class atmosphere and my teachers. I learned to don’t be afraid to speak with others and don’t be annoyed when it’s difficult to speak and I have really improved my listening. I will continue to practice English with my friends and family, learn new words and practice my listening. I will always remember about my teachers and my classmates. I promise to recommend the EC Montreal school to all people who want to learn a language and I promise to keep in touch with my friends. Meet wonderful students like Yaro by joining our English or French online lessons with EC Virtual!

Donny Kim From Korea: “I Love EC Montreal…”

EC Montreal received the most beautiful testimonial today from one of our wonderful student ambassadors, Donny.  He has been an exceptional student and we will miss him dearly.  We hope to welcome him back to EC Montreal one day. Here is what Donny had to share with all of you: I LOVE EC MONTREAL – Donny (Donghyun Kim) I have studied English at EC Montreal for 6 months. If I look back on my Montreal life, I would definitely say it has been a wonderful time. Now I’m going to tell you what made me fall in love with EC Montreal. I have met a lot of friends who are from many countries. We often visited many sightseeing spots which are Old Montreal, Mont-royal and so on and hang out together. They gave me good memories in Montreal. I think I will never be able to forget them. And I became one of the school’s ambassadors. I used to help many students who started studying at EC and they got lots of information and good tips for studying from me, they always said thank you to me. I was really proud of myself at that time. I’d like to say thank you to teachers. I thought it would be better to go back to Korea when COVID-19 started spreading out quickly in Montreal, because it seemed hard to continue studying here. However, EC Montreal virtually replaced the classes. Even though the pandemic got worse, all teachers tried to offer good qualities of classes and encouraged students to study. Thanks to them, I never gave up and was able to keep studying English online. I think I have learned not only English but also how to make good friends. If you are thinking about choosing EC Montreal, Do not hesitate! Just … Read more