You’ve Got Mad Skills

Did you know that you can’t transfer knowledge?

Knowledge is unique to each individual person, and in order to gain knowledge, you need to actually have an experience for it to become part of you.

Unfortunately, we can’t download knowledge, like Keanu in the Matrix, although that would be super cool.

Information, on the other hand, boils down to facts and rules and memorizable, quantifiable statistics. This can be easily transferred.

So what is learning a language?  When you study English, are you gaining knowledge?  Or are you learning information?

Learning a language requires both processes, actually. The information such as vocabulary and grammar, is memorizable.  But that information only becomes knowledge after you use it, meaningfully.

Also, I think it’s easy to forget that we also gain skills in learning a language that are very, very powerful.  These skills include the ability to dialogue intelligently, to seek information efficiently, and conduct complex problem solving. These are invaluable life skills.


Life skills = mad skills, and in your journey through learning a language, remember that your knowledge, information, and skills will take you to great places. 🙂


CultureWorks is the original ESL school for higher education in Canada.  And London, Ontario is the school’s original location.  Our CW students have created so many great memories in London, all the way from our summer programs, through our school year, and beyond into the alumni chapter.  This Valentines Day, send some love to London, and enjoy these London memories caught on camera

Our King’s Summer students are cooking! Big smiles! (I see one male student and many female students…who says guys can’t cook?)
Behold!  Champions of English!
Behold! Champions of English! (The small guy is the teacher, btw.)
Banging the Drum at Opening Ceremonies in London!
Banging the Drum at Opening Ceremonies in London! The student on the left is really into the rhythm!
London Potluck, 2014
London Potluck, 2014
End of Term Party, London 2014
End of Term Party, London 2014
Janine, Elaine, and Liz enjoying time with London alumni, Peng Tu and Yuxiao
Janine, Elaine, and Liz enjoying time with London alumni, Peng Tu and Yuxiao

Do you have any CultureWorks pictures you’d like to share?  You can send them to us on our Facebook page!


Free Online Speaking Classes

We have launched exciting new online courses designed to compliment our students’ English-learning experience.

Every week there are FREE online speaking sessions based on current events to give you the extra time you need to practice your speaking.  Classes are led by native instructors and are offered at three convenient times, Monday to Thursday:

7:15 pm:
8:30 pm:
9:30 pm:

Sign up today and get connected to the most effective speaking practice online!


Click here to read more

Stan Rath ~ The Best of Both Worlds


Today we’re joined by the one and only, Mr. Stan Rath.  Stan is one of CultureWorks’ powerhouses.  He is a teacher, a curriculum developer, and a mentor to both teachers and students.  If you want to learn something, I suggest you hang around Stan. I recently asked him some questions so you can get to know him a little better.

Q. Stan, who is your favourite Canadian musician?

A. Oscar Peterson is a world class jazz pianist. I listen to his music every day.

Q. What idiomatic expression best describes you and why?

A. I think “the best of both worlds” describes me well. I love to travel and meet people from different cultures, but I also love to stay close to home.

At CultureWorks, I experience the best of both worlds because I have many interesting students from a variety of cultures in the classroom, and I get to live in my hometown of London, Ontario.



Q. When you’re not teaching, what are you doing? Do you have any hobbies, and why do you like doing them?

A. When I’m not teaching, I am usually hiking or planning my next vacation. One of the best feelings for me is being close to nature, and my favourite way to do this is hiking in Algonquin Park here in Ontario.

Stan Students Niagara

I find traveling, seeing new places, meeting new people, and experiencing different cultures very interesting. Two of my favourite countries that I have visited so far are India and Italy.

Q. You studied Biology before becoming a teacher. Do you think language is like science in any way? Do you draw from your scientific background in your approach to teaching?

A. I definitely think that language has scientific structure and rules, and I have found a scientific approach to teaching grammar and writing to be very effective. Many of my students have indicated that they benefit from using a formulaic approach when they practice using their vocabulary to build grammatically correct sentences.

Q. Lastly, for fun, if you could create a new word for the English language, what would it be and what would it mean?

A. gramtastic (adjective) definition: relating to the joy people feel when grammar unlocks doors to language learning

Gramtastic!  I love it!  Thanks so much for stopping by the Hotspot, I’ve really enjoyed learning more about you, and I know our CultureWorks students are lucky to have you as their teacher!

Stan Class Photo 2