Recipe of the Week!

It’s the first week of February and it is the most romantic month of the year! The entire month’s theme is love is all around us. We thought it would be fitting to share our favourite valentine’s day recipes. On valentine’s day every year, EC Montreal hosts a chocolate festival and the “piece de resistance” at the festival is our chocolate fountain. The fountain is placed in the center of the student lounge and we have a variety of foods for students to dip in the luscious chocolate. We prepare skewers of strawberries, bananas, marshmallows, pound cake and grapes. Every single table in the lounge is filled with the most delicious chocolate treats including cakes, cookies, brownies, cupcakes, candy and drinks. So, in honour of EC Montreal’s annual chocolate festival, I am happy to share three of the most popular chocolate festival sweets. The first are chocolate covered strawberries. They are so easy to make and look so fancy. They look so beautiful on any dessert table and make such a lovely gift when placed in a decorative box. For my version of chocolate covered strawberries, you will need the following ingredients and supplies: • a pint of large strawberries • 1 package of milk chocolate chips • 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil • wax paper • wooden skewers • sprinkles Place the chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl. Pour the vegetable oil in with the chocolate. Stir the chips until they are all coated in the oil. Place in the microwave until melted. Stir the mixture until it is smooth and lump free. Make sure the strawberries are dry. Put a strawberry on the skewer and dip it in the chocolate until it is covered leaving the stem uncovered. Place the strawberry on wax paper to dry. Before … Read more

Throwback Thursday!

This week’s Throwback Thursday images are of EC Montreal’s annual Traffic Light Party!  Every month, EC Montreal prepares a schedule of events and all the activities are part of a theme.  In February, because of St. Valentine’s Day, the entire month is dedicated to love.  Finding it, celebrating it, embracing it and spreading it!  The first of the activities we launch in February is the Traffic Light Party, which is sometimes referred to as a single’s party.  It is a wonderful ice breaker activity that allows our EC Montreal students to mingle with one another.  The object of the activity is to reveal your relationship status.  We set up a “mocktail” bar serving drinks of three different colours; green, red and yellow.  We then ask the students to order a drink in the colour that symbolizes their status.  For example; red indicates “stop, I’m in a relationship”, green signifies “I’m available and looking” and yellow means “it’s complicated”.  I may be in a relationship but not happy or I am single but not looking.  Based on our past experiences, the yellow drinkers are the most interesting.  They usually love to share their experiences and complications.  The EC staff serving the drinks play out the role of the “bartender” listening to everyone’s story. This activity has always been a huge success!  Students have a wonderful time interacting with one another, making friends and having a blast in the process.  We have even had quite a few love connections by the end of the activity.  EC Montreal loves to play cupid!  There have been so many EC romances over the years.  Students have kept in touch with us sharing their experiences, wedding pictures and even baby pictures!  We have even had former students come back to Montreal to visit us with their … Read more

January Teachers of the Month!

We are excited to announce the winning teachers of the month in January!  Katrina and Djamel are our first winning teachers in 2021!  What a wonderful way to start off the new year at EC Montreal! Every month we create a poll on Facebook to give our students an opportunity to vote for their favourite teacher.  We ask them to select a teacher and to write a comment about their instructors.  It is so nice to see our students taking the time to share their feedback and cast their vote. We surprised the winning teachers our English and French classes yesterday.  We brought them a small gift and a certificate of recognition.  The students all cheered for the winning teacher and posed proudly with them. All our EC Montreal teachers received votes and there were so many great comments written that we are delighted to share with all of you: She makes me so happy. She cares so much about our learning and is helpful when we need it. She prepares so much the lessons and takes time after class to answer questions. He motivates us to learn and improve. I don’t feel shy anymore to speak English. He is the best teacher I ever had. She is so patient and kind. He is so professional and hard working.  I am lucky to be in his class. I will miss her when I finish this month. She is a great teacher! He loves his job, you can tell! She gives us homework every day and helps us to correct our mistakes so we learn more and keep working. She is great! She is so funny and dynamic! He is the best! Congratulations once again to Katrina and Djamel!  Thank you to all our EC Montreal teachers for your incredible passion … Read more

TEFAQ Preparation Course!

EC Montreal is thrilled to announce that we will be launching a TEFAQ preparation class starting March 1. The virtual lessons will take place on Saturdays from 9 to 11 a.m. The course will be sold in blocks of 4 or 8 weeks. The first block will cover the Conversation and Oral Expressions component of the exam. The second block will cover Listening. The lessons will be delivered on Microsoft Teams by EC Montreal’s skilled and experienced French instructors. This course is ideal for students who are looking to immigrate to Quebec or who want to improve their French conversation and listening skills. After completing the course, students should be prepared to score a minimum of B2 French language proficiency which is a citizenship requirement. Students interested in the preparation class must have a minimum Pre-Intermediate level of French. Students who have not yet reached this level can participate in EC Montreal’s General Virtual French lessons until they reach the required proficiency. Block 1: March 1 to March 26: TEFAQ Conversation (8 hours) $195 CAD $20 Registration Fee Block 1 & 2: March 1 to April 23: TEFAQ Conversation & Listening (16 hours) $320 CAD $20 Registration Fee Block 2: TEFAQ Listening (8 hours) $195 CAD $20 Registration Fee We require a minimum of three students to run this programme. We are proud to offer the TEFAQ preparation course to our portfolio of other Virtual French programmes delivered on Microsoft Teams.

Throwback Thursday!

This week’s Throwback Thursday are images of EC Montreal’s Student Academic Lecture Series. Our EC Montreal students always impress us with their stellar presentations! Students have a chance to deliver a presentation to the entire school on a subject they are most passionate about. At EC Montreal, we strive to encourage our students to speak English or French with confidence. We teach presentation skills and develop our students’ public speaking through these lecture series. Public speaking is one of the most feared occasions for many. Studies have shown that many fears speaking in front of a crowd more than death. At EC Montreal, we strive to encourage our students to speak English or French with confidence. We teach presentation skills and develop our students’ public speaking through our student academic lecture series. We ask our students to deliver a presentation to the rest of the school about a subject they are most passionate about. We ask their instructor to coach them and prepare them to deliver the presentation. It always amazes us to see our students stand up in front of an audience and speak to a crowd in their second or even their third language. Our students continue to impress us at how quickly they learn and are able to speak with great confidence! We are starting a new year and will be developing our student academic lecture series even further. We thought it would be a great idea to give some helpful tips on public speaking. The most important lesson we can give you is to encourage you to be prepared. Don’t wing your presentations. Plan what you are going to say and use visuals to illustrate your topic. The visuals will keep the audience alert and will reinforce the message you are trying to deliver through your … Read more

Recipe of the Week!

It’s a beautiful sunny day in Montreal and the scenery that surrounds us is absolutely spectacular! We received so much snow over the past weeks that the entire city of Montreal looks like a magical winter wonderland. Although it is a pretty sight, it has been painfully cold this week with temperatures dropping way below zero. If you have the proper winter gear, these the cold weather is more than tolerable, however, when we do return home, we crave warm and comforting food. In our family, we do enjoy a lot more soups these days and the heartier the better. Some days we eat our soup as a meal. One of our favourites is potato soup. It tastes like a fully loaded baked potato! It is an easy recipe to create if you don’t have access to many ingredients. It is also very budget friendly as potatoes are one of the most economical foods to purchase at the grocery store or market. For my version of potato soup, you will need the following ingredients: – 6 large Yukon gold potatoes – 1 large white onion – 1 clove of garlic – 1 cup of diced pancetta – 2 litres of chicken broth – 1 cup of cooking cream – Minced scallions as garnish – Shredded cheddar cheese as garnish – Cubed bacon or pancetta as garnish – Salt and pepper to taste – 4 Tablespoons of olive oil Heat up olive oil in a large saucepan on medium to high heat. Add the onion, pancetta and garlic. Cook it down until softened and pancetta is slightly crisp. Add the diced potatoes and cook them until slightly brown. Add the chicken broth, salt and pepper. Cover the pot and bring it to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and continue to … Read more

City of Montreal’s Snowman Competition!

The city of Montreal has come up with a fun winter contest to get us through the pandemic blues and we are so excited about it! It is a snowman building contest! With all the snow we have been getting in Montreal, it will not be difficult to build incredible creations in this winter wonderland! You may have noticed so many snow sculptures on your way to school. All these impressive creations are part of the contest. We have until March 8, 2021 to enter into the contest. All you have to do is create a sculpture and submit it as an individual, a family or a school to the City of Montreal website entry here: https://concours-bonhommesdeneige.lndg.page/KQdnbM#/accueil. The winners will be judged based on how many votes each entry receives. The winner will also be announced on the City of Montreal Facebook page. There are age categories as well. You can win a $50 gift card as an individual and $350 as a school group. You need to use a Montreal residence address in your submission. You can build your creation in a public park setting or on private property. Wouldn’t it be great to enter a submission on behalf of EC Montreal? We can use the winning $350 towards a group prize. We are asking all EC Montreal students interested in participating in this contest to work on a creation and submit it to the EC Montreal team. We will choose the best one and submit it on behalf of the school. The more entries we have the better chance we have of winning the prize. Tell your homestay hosts about the contest and work on a sculpture together! You can send all your images to EC Montreal’s email address: montreal@ecenglish.com. Please remember when going outside to dress appropriately. … Read more

Yui Takagi From Japan: “This experience has been the highlight of my life…”

Yui Takagi is a lovely student from Japan participating in EC Montreal’s Academic Year Semi-Intensive programme. She began her studies with us at EC Montreal right when we were mandated to go on lock down last March. This did not stop Yui from learning and being extremely enthusiastic about her learning. I still remember our first communication with Yui after she arrived into Montreal. Her homestay host helped with the initial conversation. She did her placement test virtually and continued in her online lessons until EC Montreal reopened on August 31. She has successfully advanced from our elementary level to advanced during these months. Her Upper-Intermediate teacher, Olga, had this to say about Yui; “Yui is super sociable, has made English-speaking friends, is very much interested in photography and has shared some wonderful pictures of Montreal. She has moved to the advanced level at EC because of all her amazing progress!” Yui will continue to study in our advanced level until the end of February. We are so very proud of all the achievements she has realized with us at EC Montreal. Here is what Yui has to say about her EC experience: I am sure nobody feels uncomfortable or has any type of hesitation about “trying” in our class. This is a result of the teachers always making sure we feel relaxed in creating an affable atmosphere. What EC gave me is not only the ability to speak English fluently, but also the opportunity to practice how to break away from passive attitudes and incorporate this attitude to real life. You come to realize the skills you lack and do what is necessary to make up for it. I think this is the perfect place for anybody who needs that push to excel. During the last ten months, the … Read more

Recipe of the Week!

One of EC Montreal’s very popular activity during our January new year’s resolution themed month is our “healthy shake” activity!  It is so much fun and such an interactive activity!  EC Montreal sets up the breakfast bar in the student lounge with four or five blenders and a variety of ingredients.  We have frozen fruit, fresh fruit, bananas, almond milk, yogurt, spinach, carrots, avocados, honey and maple syrup.  All the ingredients are rich in vitamins, nutrients and anti-oxidants.  The students create their own healthy smoothie and get an instant burst of energy! So, in honour of our annual January Healthy Shake Day; I am delighted to share with you my favourite smoothie recipe!  It is a perfect breakfast when you are on the go, a great drink to enjoy on a cleanse day and also acts as a meal replacement when you are too lazy to make dinner! For my smoothie recipe, you will need the following ingredients: 1 cup of frozen mixed berries 1/2 an avocado 2 cups of almond milk 1/2 banana 1 teaspoon of honey 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla Place all the ingredients in a blender and mix until it becomes the consistency of a slushy drink. I hope you will give this recipe a try.  It is full of wonderful brain food that will not only give you a burst of energy but will also keep your brain young!  We will be posting the recipe on Microsoft Teams where you can access your English online lessons as well as all our EC virtual activities. Cheers to healthy and delicious living!

Throwback Thursday!

This week’s Throwback Thursday is from our annual self-defence lessons offered as part of our new year’s resolution themed activities. Many of our students indicated on their snowflake promises for the new year that they wanted to get fit and learn something new.  EC Montreal’s self-defence classes kill two birds with one stone! The self-defence instructor is a professional physical trainer, a black belt in karate, a nutritional consultant and a very animated person!  He and one of his colleagues lead a 45-minute session.  They demonstrate the different moves and carefully observe to make sure everybody is performing the moves accurately to avoid injury.  They make the session entertaining and physically challenging so we can get a very good workout from the experience. We invite them back during our health and fitness themed month in May and also to lead some of our staff team-building activities. These self-defence classes are one of our most popular activities!  We usually have a packed room and everyone really enjoys it!  Everybody comments on how powerful and confident they feel at the end of the class. These activities are a key part of our student experience at EC Montreal.  They give our students wonderful opportunities to interact with one another, practice their language skills, learn something new and have a marvellous time in the process. We cannot wait until we can resume our social gatherings and events at EC Montreal.  For now, we need to keep a safe distance and meet virtually for these type of activities.  Look out for upcoming virtual get-together activities on Microsoft Teams where you can access your English or French online lessons.