Introducing you to our very own professional clown!

We would like to introduce you to one of our very well known students (and well liked!) Chisato Yoshikawa who is in Low Intermediate. Chisato came to EC Toronto on November 19, 2012 and has been studying for 16 weeks. Chisato is known for her energy, bubbly personality and big smile. We recently learned that Chisato is a professional clown and today we had the opportunity to ask her about her career as a clown. How did you become a clown? My major in university was fashion design and when I finished school I got a job in fashion design. The job was very stressful and I wasn’t very happy. While I was working I became sick and had to have treatment for 6 months. During the treatment I met a clown and it was very inspiring.  Instead of returning to my job I decided to join a circus team!!! That was about 3 years ago now. Does a clown have to go to college or receive special training? It’s not necessary to go to school to learn Most clowns learn on the job from professional clowns with many years of experience. My clown team had more than 30 clowns! Each had different skills – balloon making, plate spinning, pantomiming. One of my clown colleagues was even 73 years old! It was a very diverse group and I learned a lot.           I was really lucky with my circus team. My teacher was friends with Patch Adams and I had the opportunity to meet him. It was a really great experience. What is your most memorable experience? I met a four-year-old girl while I was volunteering at a hospital. She was very sick and very sad. She was scared of the hospital. I was able to make her smile and bring … Read more

Why is Augusto smiling?

Augusto is smiling because according to him, he’s in one of the best classes ever! Augusto began at EC Toronto on January 7th and has been taking TOEFL ever since, but unfortunately, his last day is Friday March 1st! He describes his experience in TOEFL as “exceeding his expectations”. “Even when I was confused about an answer to a question, my teacher, Andrew, knew exactly the way to get around that question and figure out the right answer. He always had a way and a strategy. I loved this class.” It doesn’t hurt that his teacher Andrew describes Augusto as the “ideal student”, because Augusto always had great energy and a positive attitude. I’m sure Augusto’s hard work will pay off once he takes that TOEFL test. From all of us at EC Toronto, we wish Augusto all the best in everything he does, and good luck on that TOEFL test, your travels, and your dreams. EC Toronto Staff

Family Day – Time for Your Family and Yourself

The original idea of Family Day was to give people a day that they can spend time with their families and have a day off between New Year’s Day and Good Friday. Common activities on Family Day are skating, skiing/snowboarding, playing hockey and going to winter festivals and of course eating a lot of pancakes with too much maple syrup! Family Day is celebrated in only some provinces in Canada – Alberta, Manitoba, Prince Edward Island, Saskatchewan and of course here in Ontario. Our province started to have Family Day in 2007 when Dalton McGuinty promised to establish a provincial holiday in February if he was re-elected. So the whole EC Toronto family enjoyed its spare time on Family Day last Monday. Also our EC Toronto mascot, Günther, celebrated Family Day and took a day off! What did you do on last Monday when EC Toronto was closed due Family Day? Did you spend time with your homestay family and friends? Your EC Toronto Team

Happy Valentine’s Day from EC Toronto

Today is Saint Valentine’s Day! Maybe you just know this day as Valentine’s Day (or the Feast of Saint Valentine). This special, romantic day is celebrated annually on February 14. Valentine’s Day is known in many countries around the world. If you study the history of Valentine’s Day you will learn that this day started with a liturgical celebration of one or more early Christian saints named ‘Valentinus’. This day has been always associated with romantic love. Lovers and couples express their love by presenting flowers and sending lovely handwritten greeting cards (known as “valentines“). Also our EC Toronto team was prepared for Valentine’s Day! We decorated our office with many hearts and other decorations and of course everybody is in a happy and cheerful mood. We also prepared a fun game for our EC Toronto students for this special day. We hid 50 hearts around the school. Our student had to find these hearts and come to the office. Candies and chocolate hearts were waiting for them and brought a smile to everybody’s face. Some of our students were really ambitious and came with 5 or more hearts to the office. Great job guys! And one student was so surprised that she replied ‘Happy Birthday!’ to us. Funny girl..! Check out our EC Toronto Facebook page to see more photos and a video of our Valentine’s Day activity! Happy Valentine’s Day everybody! Your EC Toronto Team

Welcome to CELTA at EC Toronto!

We’re one of the best known CELTA centres in Canada, and we have a great team of tutors that will help you succeed! Our Toronto CELTA course: Is a full-time, 4 week programme Involves a minimum of 120 hours with additional time required for preparation and assignments Follows the Cambridge CELTA syllabus and provides practical and professional awareness of learners, language, methodology and materials Develops practical ability in classroom management, lesson planning, introduction and practice of new language, and the development of listening, speaking, reading and writing skills Is intended for native speakers of English and those whose English is of native-speaker level Provides pre-service training to those with no teaching experience Is also suited to those who are already in the profession, but who have no formal teaching qualification Contact us if you have any questions – we’d be glad to help you on your way to an exciting ESL career! One final sentence from a CELTA student explains everything: ‘I highly recommend EC Toronto. As a CELTA student, I find that EC is teaching me all the ropes of a quality English language teacher. I’m so glad I chose EC Toronto because the students are great to work with, and the trainers are dedicated to giving us the best preparation possible. Thanks EC Toronto, I’m ready to teach!’ Your EC Toronto Team    

EC Toronto said goodbye to Yuko Nishida

EC Toronto said goodbye to one of our special students, Yuko Nishida. She has been an AY student with us since March 2012 and has taken High Intermediate, TOEFL, Upper Intermediate and finally …. ADVANCED! Amazing! Soon she will be entering the world of work through our co-op program. We enjoyed having Yuko and her bright smile in our school, and everyone at EC Toronto will miss her! Your EC Toronto Team

Have you been considering post-secondary education in Canada?

Have you been considering post-secondary education in Canada? Unsure of what to expect? University students (native and non-native English speaking students alike) face many challenges at school. EC Toronto offers ‘study skills’ courses, which are designed to help with some of these difficulties and help you hit the ground running. The courses aim to improve general skills found in different disciplines: note-taking, how to follow key themes in lectures, contributing in group seminars, and of course, academic writing. In most university or college courses, almost all of your grades are based on written work. Thus, the ability to plan, brainstorm, synthesize information, edit, and re-edit your work is essential. By the end of your course, at EC Toronto you will have a better grasp of, and better ability to do, what is expected of students at this level of education in Canada. So don’t forget, study abroad courses are more than just about learning English – they can also be part of your goal of getting the university education that will open doors for the rest of your life!

Luis de los Santos from Dominican Republic said about EC Toronto…

‘Being at EC Toronto has been a rewarding experience for me; it starts with the quality of the services and willingness of the staff to help me. I would like to say thank you to each teacher who gave me special attention during my stay. Before coming here I just had one goal in mind– learn English; however, in addition to feeling that my English had improved significantly, I made new friends from worldwide. Throughout my study time, the interaction with people from different cultures played a pivotal role in my learning process. Without good teachers, good infrastructure and very good friends, learning would not have been possible. For these reasons, I truly recommend EC Toronto as an English school.’

New Year’s Resolutions from our EC Toronto Students

The new year has started already, so we thought it would be a good time to ask our lovely EC Toronto students about their New Year’s resolutions. WOW – we got responses from 25 of our students! We were happy to see that most of them want to study more. That’s great! Good for them that they are studying at one of the best language schools in Toronto, right? At this point we want to mention that we are offering free workshops for different English levels for our EC Toronto students! The next workshop topics and dates are: Resume Building I on January 16, 2013 Job Interview Skills on January 23, 2013 Resumes & Cover Letters II on January 30, 2013 Pronunciation Practice for Korean Speakers on February 6, 2013 Pronunciation Practice for Arabic Speakers on February 13, 2013 For more information or to sign up please see our student counsellors on the 4th floor at EC Toronto. We are waiting for you! 🙂 And almost all of the students who responded are willing to change to a healthier lifestyle. This is a great decision! Our EC Toronto students also had the chance to add their own personal resolutions. Some of their wonderful answers are: Chisato: Not too much clowning around (But we like you just the way you are Chisato!) Yurie: ‘Keep smiling 🙂 Make many Canadian friends’ (You have many Canadian friends Yurie. Everybody in the EC Toronto office is your friend. :-)) Dario: ‘Be nicer to my parents.’ (That’s always a good and desirable resolution!) Elisa: ‘Stop procrastinating.’ (Oh yes! We think almost everybody has this as her/his New Year’s resolution.) Guilherme: ‘Start to read another book.’ (Yes, you can improve your reading and speaking skills if you read the book aloud.) Yasushi: ‘Find new English skills.’ (Good luck … Read more

Are you an AY student? If not, why not?

Being an Academic Year student is so much more than getting your marks recorded on a weekly basis.  Academic Year students get their own counsellor, or as one AY student translated to another AY student “Your own academic angel”. Your personal counsellor meets with you a minimum of once a month, but if you need them more often or have questions or want to hand in homework, you can visit your Academic Counsellor anytime. You can even send them an email message!  These “Academic Angels” follow your progress and push you and support you to get the most out of your experience at EC Toronto. What’s been even more interesting that I’ve discovered this past year, is that there’s a closer relationship and bond that builds with the AY students.  Everyone in the office knows them, and I begin to memorize their first and last names too!  They are kind of like student celebrities in my eyes. My personal students write me emails just to even tell me what they did on the weekend or on holidays. Your Academic Counsellors also start to get to know the real personalities of their AY students and can help them not only with academics, but also give advice on their adjustment in Toronto and special activities or programs to join. It’s a personal touch and added connection that is priceless. Now I ask you again – If you’re not an AY student, why not? Become an AY student by extending your studies, and you’ll also be extending your EC Toronto experience. If you want to see more pictures of our Acedemic Year students visit our EC Toronto Facebook page. Your EC Toronto Team