Free Stamped Postcards Courtesy of Canada Post!

Nobody can deny that the past year has been the most challenging year most of us have ever experienced in our lifetime.  Over the past  year we have had to live with ongoing stress, fear and anxiety.  We have been separated by loved ones and friends.  We have learned to smile with our eyes while our mouths have been constantly covered up by face masks.  We have missed hugs, kisses and handshakes.  We have been bombarded by messages of fear, uncertainty and grief.  It hasn’t been easy. At EC Montreal we have been doing our best to make sure we stay connected through our virtual platforms.  Maintaining a strong sense of community no matter the distance between each classmate, has been one of our priorities.  Students who are learning from the comfort of their homes are placed in EC Montreal classrooms learning with students who are already here studying English or French at our centers.  Walking past the classrooms, we can see laptops or tablets set up with the video images of students who are attending class but physically distant.  They have felt like they are a part of the classroom experience.  They laugh along to the jokes and get a view of the class lesson in action.  Technology has served us well during this pandemic.  It has allowed us to come together despite the distance. Canada Post recognized the difficult year we have had and how we are missing our friends and family, so they have announced this week that they will be sending each household pre-stamped postcards that we can use to stay connected with our loved ones.  They are encouraging everyone to put their pen to paper and send messages of love and hope around the globe. This idea reminds us of EC Montreal’s annual letter writing … Read more

Throwback Thursday!

This week’s Throwback Thursday are images of the EC Canadian team attending the annual Languages Canada conference.  Every year the conference is held in a different Canadian city so we can experience the many wonderful Canadian destinations available to international students. It is wonderful to get together with all the other Languages Canada members in both the private and public sector.  We share ideas, best practices, experiences and laughs!  We try to tackle challenges we face in the industry and also ways to improve the many different services we offer our students.  There are teacher training sessions, accommodation, student insurance, marketing, quality assurance, immigration and many other educational sessions. We always look forward to getting together with the rest of the EC team and take the opportunity to bond through different activities, team-building, dinner and drinks.  We always have an amazing time with the rest of our EC family based in Toronto and Vancouver. This year, the conference will be held virtually.  We look forward to it nonetheless and hope we can share some great ideas to get us through this very difficult and trying time for our industry. I hope we can meet in another great Canadian city in 2022!

Celebrating Pink Shirt Day!

Today is National Pink Shirt day and we made sure to honour this day at EC Montreal!  We asked our staff and students to come dressed up in pink to show they are taking a stand against bullying and choosing kindness instead.  Every year the EC Montreal team makes sure to get our students involved in celebrating Pink Shirt Day! Many of our classes discuss the topic of bullying as part of the lesson and students are also asked to deliver a presentation on the different types of bullying and what we can do to create a bully-free zone in school. It is such a beautiful thing to see so many wonderful messages of love, inclusiveness and support in the presentations and class projects. The EC Montreal team served pink glazed donuts from Krispy Kreme.  The students were so excited to get this special treat in class right before their break time.  We took the time to talk about the significance of the pink shirt and the importance of being a buddy and not a bully. We look forward to celebrating International Women’s Day next week and look forward to surprising our students with something special to mark this important day of the year!  A day when we celebrate important women throughout history and to address the unfortunate fact that we still have a long way to go to attain equal rights for women. Join us at EC Montreal and be part of this wonderful EC community, learning from each other and forming special bonds.

Recipe of the Week!

This week, EC Montreal will be celebrating National Pink Shirt day. On this day we raise awareness for bullying in all its ugly forms. We ask all our students to wear pink to show their support to our bully free philosophy at EC. We ask our students to choose kindness over bullying and to always strive to be a buddy not a bully. National Pink Shirt Day is a big deal here in Canada. All the schools do something special to honor the day and to get their students involved. In previous years, our EC Montreal teachers have lead student presentations and projects where students had to deliver a “talk” on different kinds of bullying and what we could do to prevent it. We also had a special guest speaker come to address our student population. He was a police officer who is specialized in training kids, teens, and young adults on how to deal with bullying. He delivered a powerful presentation and gave very helpful tips that we can all use in our daily lives to ensure we take a stand to bullies. On National Pink Shirt Day, the EC Montreal team always made sure to decorate the student lounge in pink. We had pink balloons and streamers and a variety of pink treats and refreshments. Every table in the student lounge also had special slogans and banners regarding this anti-bullying campaign. Slogans that read things like “Kindness is one size fits all” or “Be a buddy not a bully”. We also put up a chalk board wall and ask our students to write down their comments on what they can do, personally, to create a bully-free zone at the school. This year’s Pink Shirt Day will be a little different because of our social distancing measures and social … Read more

Throwback Thursday!

This week’s Throwback Thursday are images of EC Montreal’s movie day activities.  EC Montreal teachers in both our English and French programmes would choose a movie to be viewed as a group.  The movie would be followed by round table discussions.  The teacher would prepare worksheets in advance to get the conversations started.  It was always so great to see our students discussing, debating and expressing themselves on what they viewed.  The movies were always chosen with great care. The EC Montreal team would prepare refreshments for the teachers and students to enjoy.  We had popcorn, of course, and other fun concession stand snacks.  In February, in keeping with our Love theme, we served pink popcorn while viewing romantic comedies. These type of activities were ideal in getting students to interact with one another, practice their language skills through listening, note taking and discussions. This week’s memory aligns perfectly with the Quebec government’s recent announcement that movie theatres would be reopening on February 26.  If you have missed going to the cinema as much as we have, this is really happy news!  The movie theatres will have many safety measures in place including mask wearing and social distancing.  They will be limiting the number of people per viewing and unfortunately, the concession stands will be closed as they don’t want people to remove their masks while in the theatre. It has been so long since we have been to the movies, so even with these restrictions in place, it will be a pleasure to see a movie on a giant screen once again.  Montreal has many movie theatres around town; in the city center and in all the different neighborhoods. The government has also announced that indoor skating arenas as well as indoor swimming pools will be reopening on February … Read more

Jennifer Smitten From Canada: “I would definitely recommend this program”

Jennifer Smitten is a lovely woman from Aurora, Ontario taking our virtual French lessons. She has been studying French with us since September 2020. Here is what Jennifer wanted to share about her EC Virtual experience: I enrolled in this program to learn French from home and believed that its virtual classes would be more intensive than other online options. Each week I notice improvement, especially in my oral communication (which is what I struggle with the most). I liked that each class gives homework that helps students independently reflect on and practice the material they just learned. It is also great how every class incorporates multiple activities, which focus on different aspects of the language. This helped me recognize what my strengths and weaknesses were. Throughout each class, my instructor would only communicate through the language I was learning. While this can seem pretty daunting for newer learners, it proved to be a great way for me to challenge my own understanding of the language. My instructor was very kind and patient. I would definitely recommend this program. Join Jennifer in our EC Virtual French lessons offered Monday to Friday in levels beginner to advanced!    

How You Will Learn French at EC Montreal!

How you will Learn French at EC Montreal: Learning through speaking is called the communicative method and with EC, you will always follow a communicative method syllabus working on all your French language skills.  At EC Montreal, you will participate in classroom discussions, work in small groups, in pairs or individually.  You will practice your French pronunciation, intonation and accent.  Your French lessons at our Montreal school will be topic based focusing on various issues from current affairs to everyday issues.  Your professional and friendly teachers will expand on lesson topics helping you to increase our vocabulary, work on your grammar, improve your sentence construction and allow you to express yourself in the correct way.  EC Montreal offers levels from absolute beginner to advanced in French. Our advice to our students is to speak French as much as possible.  The more you practice and the more exposure you have to French, the faster your ability and confidence will improve.  We encourage our students to use French as much as possible outside the class.  We want you to be surrounded by French, and this is how: Montreal is a bilingual city where both French and English are spoken.  French is the first official language.  You will find it easy to practice your French in Montreal. We encourage you to choose French EC Montreal Homestay family.  You will have the opportunity to practice your French skills with your hosts.  The  most ideal time is supper time when you can talk about what you learned during the day and learn more about your homestay hosts and how it is to live and work in Canada.  You can also watch French television or movies together to really get the language exposure you need to learn and progress quickly! Our teachers also give regular homework … Read more

Recipe of the Week!

We just celebrated Valentine’s Day and as always, we have so much leftover chocolate that we received as gifts. At EC Montreal, we distributed chocolate gift bags to all our students and teachers to show them how much we love them. One thing I like to do with leftover chocolate is bake. A simple and easy recipe is chocolate chip cookies. They make a delicious snack or dessert any day of the week. They are also easy to pack up and give away as gifts to friends and classmates. I like to chop up all my leftover valentine chocolates and use them as chips in the batter. I like to use different kinds of chocolate to make the cookies extra special. For my version of chocolate chip cookies, you will need the following ingredients: – 2, ¼ cups of flour – 1 teaspoon of baking soda – 1 cup of softened butter – 1 cup of brown sugar – 1 egg – 1 teaspoon of vanilla – 2 cups of chocolate chunks, I like to mix white, dark and milk chocolate Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Place 2 sticks of butter in a microwave safe bowl and microwave for 30 seconds to soften the butter or if you have time, just leave the butter out at room temperature for about one hour. Add your sugar to the butter and mix until smooth. Add your egg and vanilla and mix well. Next add your flour and baking soda. Mix well until you can no longer see the white flour. Add your chocolate chunks and mix well. Use a teaspoon to scoop out your cookie dough and roll into 1-inch balls. Place the cookie batter on a lightly greased cookie sheet and bake for approximately 5 minutes. The trick is to … Read more

Valentine’s Day Fun!

Sunday, February 14 is Valentine’s Day and we wanted to make sure to celebrate with our students today!  We make little gift bags filled with different chocolate treats and tied them with a ribbon.  We went to all the different classrooms and distributed them to all the teachers and students.  Every class we visited were so excited!  They cheered and thanked us and wishes each other a Happy Valentine’s Day!  It really warmed our hearts to see this reaction. On February 12 we also celebrated the Lunar New Year.  All our Asian students came in wishing us a Happy New Year.  One student, Xuan, from Vietnam also brought us a special treat to celebrate!  The day was celebrated from start to end! Despite our current situation, wearing masks and being social distant, we are still finding ways to add life to the student experience.  We are celebrating holidays, birthdays, graduations, teacher of the month and other events.  There is still a very happy atmosphere at the school, so much so , that our students keep extending their studies at EC Montreal and we couldn’t be more grateful! We are doing more than just adapting to our “new normal” at EC Montreal.  We are still helping our students succeed in a global community and still giving our students a very personal and enriching experience in Montreal. Happy Valentine’s Day from all of us at EC Montreal!  

Throwback Thursday!

This week’s Throwback Thursday is of EC Montreal’s legendary chocolate festival to celebrate Valentine’s Day!  Every year during the week of Valentine’s Day, EC Montreal holds a chocolate festival as our “Taste of Montreal” complimentary activity. Every table in the student lounge was filled with platters and trays of the sweetest chocolate treats.  We had cupcakes, brownies, cookies, cakes, chocolate covered sweets, drinks and so much more!  In addition, we would place our chocolate fountain in the center of the room and have skewers of fruit, marshmallows and pound cake for students to dip in the flowing chocolate.  The entire school smelled absolutely heavenly!  It was so beautiful seeing all our students enjoying the treats while interacting with one another and making friends.  These opportunities help students to practice their language skills while having a marvelous time at the school. In addition to the chocolate festival, EC Montreal would offer other Valentine events to our students.  We sold candygrams that were delivered by a singing cupid, we held a love chase activity where students had to find the hidden hearts around the school to win a sweet prize. All these events communicated one clear message to our students that we love and appreciate them so much! At EC Montreal we love what we do and we go the extra mile every single day for our students.  We want them to know that they are in very caring and supportive hands at EC! These EC memories really keep us going these days and remind us that the good times we had in the past are not forgotten but something to aspire to and look forward to in the near future.  We will be back to creating these memorable experiences for our students through our wonderful school events. Until then, we will … Read more