The Game of Life: Six Calgarians chose to reinvent themselves after losing their jobs | Calgary Herald

Many people start to study Engish when they are making a big change in their lives. Maybe a partner is taking more education, a parent has remarried and moved, home feels too dangerous, or your marital status has changed.  This is a great article about 6 people from Calgary who had to make job changes.  Your identity changes a lot, along with your employment status and where you live.  Read for some good ideas about how to “reinvent” your life.

We talked to six Calgarians up to their necks in the messy, but necessary, business of professional transformation.

Source: The Game of Life: Six Calgarians chose to reinvent themselves after losing their jobs | Calgary Herald

Foreign students to Canada will require new travel authorization | University Affairs

Canada Flag

Canada Flag

There is new paperwork that visitors to Canada will need to complete.  The government is hoping that people will apply online, in advance for the document which only costs $7 for 5 years.  If people don’t have the document, after the deadline in 2016, they may need to leave Canada very suddenly.

Move affects all students, faculty and visitors from formerly visa-exempt countries, except the U.S., starting next spring.

Source: Foreign students to Canada will require new travel authorization | University Affairs

Can You Canoe? Try it out in Edmonton

All summer in Edmonton, there are many interesting events, and a lot of them are free!  Many students know that I’m crazy about canoeing, and it looks interesting to them.  They wanted to know where they can find out more about this activity.  An excellent opportunity is at Edmonton’s “River Day”, when many clubs and businesses that use the river meet together to show Edmontonians how they can enjoy the river.  One of the activities is lessons for boats, including kayaks, canoes, and stand-up paddleboards.  The classes are low-cost, so they’re very popular.  Go sign up soon after the event begins at 10 am.  There will be 4 canoeing classes and 2 kayak classes, and possibly 2 standup-paddleboard classes.  Instructors will make sure you have the correct equipment, and they’ll give you the main idea for these activities.  You can also enjoy a free pancake breakfast, and you can try fishing and other activities.

River Day :: City of Edmonton.

Another time and place when you can learn about paddling is at MEC Paddlefest, which will be held on Sunday, June 28, at Astotin Lake, Elk Island National Park this year.

Astotin Lake, Paddlefest

Astotin Lake, Paddlefest

You can buy some delicious food to eat, during your visit to Edmonton Paddlefest.

You can buy some delicious food to eat, during your visit to Edmonton Paddlefest.

Edmonton Paddlefest, Astotin Lake, Elk Island National Park is another great place to try out paddling sports.  Many vendors and clubs provide instruction and the chance to try out their equipment for free.  You can also register to take quite a few different classes for free.

If you want to try out paddling, and you can’t attend these special events, you can also rent equipment from MEC or Totem Outfitters to try at any river or lake, or you can rent at Astotin Lake from Haskin Canoe, for $25/hour. I recommend that you search YouTube first for a video about how to canoe.  It’s not so difficult, but if you have no idea how to steer the boat, it’s really frustrating!

If you want to get more involved in paddling, and have regular practice, you can also join a paddling club.  There are several in Edmonton, but I’m a member of one of the more active clubs:

Ceyana has weekly practice evenings at Rundle Park Paddling Centre (Tuesdays), instruction for many kinds of paddling, trips, and practice sessions in the big (voyageur) canoes.  Members enjoy a wide range of paddling, from whitewater river paddling, to practice on a pond.  For me, my favourite activity is going on canoe trips, spending at least one night away from home.  A canoe club is a great place to meet other paddlers, to learn new ideas, and to share gear and knowledge.

10 Signs You Are Enjoying Your Work

I have been very lucky in my life.  There have been brief periods when I had do a job, just to make money that I needed.  A lot of people are happy with this situation, especially if they work with people they like, or if they earn a really good salary.  However, I would be really unhappy about living this way for a long time, since I really see my work as a very important part of who I am.  My work as a social worker was much more stressful than my work as an ESL teacher, but I still had many joyful times in that job, and I always felt that what I was doing was valuable and important.  I was proud to do the job.  If you are still looking for your dream job, I think that this list will give you a good idea about how work should make you feel, when things are going well.

10 Signs You Are Enjoying Your Work.

Visit to NAIT: Northern Alberta Institute of Technology- written by an Intermediate A student

I went to NAIT with my teacher Ellen. It was very interesting for me. I got more information about my education. After I had an excursion, we had free massages. I saw a sports court (swimming pool, basketball court, and gym). I saw an arm wrestling simulator. Next, we tasted tea and coffee, and it was delicious))). I was impressed with the food court. It’s a very large area because there’s a bakery, a meat store and a café. There was very fresh food. I bought sausage, bacon and salad. It was an excellent excursion.

Most university students’ English skills at rudimentary levels – News VietNamNet

Most university students’ English skills at rudimentary levels – News VietNamNet.

When I taught English in Viet Nam, I saw that most students had very weak communication skills.  Often, I could hear their other classes through the walls of my classroom.  I noticed that most Vietnamese English teachers taught “English class” entirely in Vietnamese!!  Students were very familiar with English grammar rules, because they spent most of their class time focussing on grammar.  However, it was nearly impossible for them to focus and understand the simplest questions or answers.  Because there is so much international business, there is a strong awareness that communication skills need to improve.


The Age At Which Learning a New Language Stops Strengthening The Brain — PsyBlog

The Age At Which Learning a New Language Stops Strengthening The Brain — PsyBlog.

The good news is that learning another language is always good for your brain!  Go to a coffee shop, store or restaurant where you can hear another language.  Change your browser settings on your computer to another language.  Listen to radio ads in a new language: it’s like vitamins for your brain!!

Process essays: write about the steps to do something (student writing)


Often, my students write very well about a wide range of interesting subjects, and readers of this blog are usually quite interested in what they have to say.  These are recent essays that students wrote about how to do something:


Canada is considered the land of opportunity for many people around the world. If your destination is Canada, there are many things that you must know about their regulations in order to obtain legal status in the country. There are three main statuses to be in this amazing country for a determined period of time: a study permit, a work permit, or a visitor visa.

First, if a foreigner wants to stay in Canada as a student, the candidate must apply for a program of study in an official institute. In Alberta, for example, University of Alberta, NAIT College and MacEwan University have designation as official institutions. After that, the candidate must show proof of financial support to stay in the country during her studies. Finally, the candidate can apply for a student visa, using an online application or in the Canadian Embassy in her country of origin.

The second option to be in Canada is as a worker. In this case, the candidate must apply for a work permit. First, the candidate must show a job offer with a Canadian Employer. Then, the candidate must show links with her country of origin. In other words, the candidate has to prove that she has strong reasons to return to her country after finishing her status in Canada. Finally, the candidate can apply for a work permit.

The last option is stay in Canada is as a visitor. This is the easiest way to come to Canada. This country is always willing to receive tourists from many countries around the world. For this reason, if you want to enjoy landscapes, beautiful cities and enjoyable people, you can apply easily for a visa as a visitor.

In conclusion, Canada has many options for foreigners to stay for a determinate time in order to enjoy, study or work in the country.

A lot of students want to take courses in colleges or universities but some do not know how they should start. Based on my experience, I am going to explain how you can register for a program at Norquest College.

First, go to the website and look through all the courses and program details like requirements for admission to decide which programs to take.

After you choose a program, you need to download an application form from the website and fill it out completely.

Then, mail the form with all the documents, such as your high school transcript, which are required for admission to the registrar of Norquest, or you can submit it in person during weekdays from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. I would recommend you visit the office rather than mailing because you need to pay a $60 application fee and they do not accept cheques.

The next step is waiting for the mail that includes your student ID and temporary password. It usually takes 1 to 2 weeks.

Finally, after you get a Norquest student ID and password, you must make your account and email address because that will be the only way that the school contacts you. If you have some questions about your program or anything else, you can ask them through email. Besides, by sending an email, they will let you know if your application is accepted or not.

So, these are steps you need to take for registering a program in Norquest. It is very easy to follow, so now take your time and just do it.


As you know, here in Canada people celebrate Thanksgiving Day. I moved here three months ago and last week was my first Thanksgiving Day. The landlady invited my husband and me to have dinner with her and some other friends. We had a really good time and also we ate a lot that day.

The next day, she asked me for help because she wanted to make a soup with the turkey bones. That was weird for me because I thought she had thrown the bones in the garbage. However, I decided to help her and she explained the steps to cook the soup to me. Trust me, it was really delicious! Now I know how to make it and I will give you the steps:

First of all, you have to peel off very well the bones, which means take off all the meat. After that, you put the bones into the oven to toast them. This process is very useful if you want to have more flavour in the soup.

While you are toasting the bones, you can put in the stove a pot full of water, and then you can add carrots, onions and salt.

After that, when the bones are done, you mix them with all the ingredients and let them boil for at least two hours.

Finally, when they have cooked, you can add whatever vegetables you want. Also you can add some pieces of turkey and spices.

It’s optional if you want to add rice.

As you could see is not a hard recipe, and also you are using every single part of the turkey. Try it!




7 Tips for Hanging on to That Hard-Learned Second Language | Language News


This blog has a lot of useful information about how to KEEP the language skills that you’ve worked so hard to gain.  I have learned several languages, but I’ve lost much more than I’ve kept, because I’m not using those languages regularly.

7 Tips for Hanging on to That Hard-Learned Second Language | Language News.

Learn new languages quickly and “easily”

This is a long, but useful article about how to learn anew language quickly.  Tim Ferriss is a “life hacker”.  He spends his time looking at the most effective ways to do do things, using the least amount of effort.  He’s been using this method to learn basics of many different languages.  You don’t need to read the complete article to get some great ideas and information.


Summer studying fun

This gallery contains 14 photos.

Our school is located in downtown Edmonton, and there are many festivals and activities in the area, during the summer months.  Many times, it’s useful to get out in the community, in order to practice vocabulary and phrases, as well as … Continue reading

Boosting Vocabulary Learning During Sleep – NeuroNet Learning


Boosting Vocabulary Learning During Sleep – NeuroNet Learning.

I saw on Twitter and at that researchers played vocabulary to students after they went to sleep.  It included words that they had just studied before going to sleep, but they remembered those words better than others who stayed awake to study longer.  It’s worth a try, if you can sleep while you play your English lessons!