4 Reasons Aspiring Engineers Take ESL for the University of Ontario

ESL students interested in engineering often choose the University of Ontario Institute of Technology
ESL students interested in engineering often choose the University of Ontario Institute of Technology

Want to study engineering in Canada? You’re not alone! Engineering is one of the top program choices for international students. Many ESL students choose to study English at CultureWorks in order to start their Engineering degree at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT).

At UOIT, students can choose from Bachelor of Engineering (BEng) programs in:

  • Software Engineering
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Manufacturing Engineering
  • Automotive Engineering

What makes UOIT’s engineering programs so appealing? Read on to find out!

1. Internship and Co-op Placements Offer Students Hands-on Experience

When it comes to combining classroom theory with practical hands-on experience, UOIT’s engineering program stands out as a top choice for students pursuing an ESL program in Canada. That’s because UOIT is partnered with over 300 employers and organizations, including:

  • IBM
  • Honda
  • General Motors Canada
  • Volkswagen
  • Ubisoft

As many as 96% of UOIT programs include internship, practicum, or co-op placements, and more than four out of five graduating students participated in work-integrated learning through opportunities at UOIT.

Equipped with valuable “real world” experience, engineering grads enter the workforce ready to apply their knowledge and skills – with a competitive edge in a growing industry.

2. UOIT Places Engineering Students on the Cutting Edge of Research

It’s important for engineering students to study at a university that invests in research and is dedicated to innovation. That’s why research is such an important part of the engineering department at UOIT. Since 2006, UOIT has:

  • had more than 80 invention disclosures
  • submitted more than 35 patent applications, four of which have been issued
  • entered into five licence agreements
  • supported two spinoff companies

The University of Ontario Institute of Technology is a place where brilliant ideas come to life, and where students feel inspired to achieve their academic and professional goals.

3. World-Class Facilities Make Research and Product Testing Easier Than Ever

To help students and faculty complete their cutting edge research, UOIT offers more than 70 specialized research laboratories and facilities.

Among those facilities is the world-class, one-of-a-kind Automotive Centre of Excellence, which has the power to recreate almost every weather condition found on the planet.

Here’s a look at this top research facility in action:

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nhmokhRpeq0]

4. ESL for University of Ontario Teaches Students Engineering Vocabulary

Getting accepted into a UOIT Engineering program isn’t easy when English is your second language. In order to succeed in their classes, international students must first understand and be able to use specific engineering terminology – specialized vocabulary that isn’t usually covered at a traditional English as a second language school.

CultureWorks is dedicated to helping prospective Engineering students build the particular English skills they need to succeed at UOIT. The “Engineering and Technology” elective helps students learn and apply the academic English knowledge suited for Engineering, Technology, and Applied Sciences programs at university.

A CultureWorks student completes their ESL education and gets ready to study at university in Canada
A CultureWorks student completes their ESL education and gets ready to study at university in Canada

Once they have completed the CultureWorks program, prospective engineering students automatically gain entrance to the University of Ontario Institute of Technology. Not only do they have the academic English needed for success at university, CultureWorks students understand the technical vocabulary specific to the area of Engineering they will pursue. It’s the perfect foundation for success in their degree program – and beyond!

Thinking about taking ESL for university of Ontario?

Visit CultureWorks to learn more about our English language program, and discover how you can apply to top Canadian universities.

Listen up! Tips to Practise Comprehension at English as a Second Language School

CultureWorks students develop their comprehension skills for university success
CultureWorks students develop their comprehension skills for university success

Listening skills are important – especially when you’re studying at university. You’ll need to follow class lectures, participate in class discussions, and understand instructions for project and tests – all in English!

That might sound intimidating now, but after completing your ESL courses, you’ll be able to follow along like a pro.

How can you strengthen your comprehension skills at ESL school to prepare for university? Here are some tips to get you started!

Ask Questions in Your English for Academic Purposes Courses

It’s normal for ESL students to feel a bit nervous about asking questions in class. Many students worry about making mistakes while speaking in English, or don’t want to admit they need extra help.

But speaking up in class is absolutely essential for understanding and practising the English language. Questions can help you clarify the meaning of a new vocabulary word, complicated grammar rule, or other important concept – helping you build new skills and confidence along the way.

That’s why ESL schools like CultureWorks create a friendly and supportive learning environment, so that every student feels comfortable asking the questions they need to comprehend, learn, and grow.

Take Notes & Then Revise Them in Your Own Words After Class

Taking notes helps you focus your attention and listen more closely in class. Notes also help you remember lessons, and give you extra material to study with before a test.

A CultureWorks student listens closely while taking notes in class
A CultureWorks student listens closely while taking notes in class

If you want to get even more from your notes, you should try revising them after class. Revising means re-writing the notes in your own words (rather than the explanations your teacher used in class).

This process will ensure that you truly understood the lesson, and will help the new material stick in your long term memory.

Elective Courses Help Boost Comprehension in a Specific Subject Area

Taking elective courses in your ESL program gives students the chance to spend extra time on the subjects they’re planning to pursue at university.

At CultureWorks, you can choose from electives in business, engineering, and Canadian culture. You’ll get extra practice understanding and applying the terminology specific to your degree program, which will help you keep up with lectures and coursework once you start university.

Talk About What You’ve Learned With Friends at ESL School

At your English as a second language school, you’ll become friends with other ESL students from all over the world.

Two CultureWorks students talk together on the London, Ontario campus
Two CultureWorks students talk together on the London, Ontario campus

As you all learn English together, try talking about a recent lesson after class with a few friends. You could practice examples using a new grammar rule, try out new vocabulary words and colloquialisms, and quiz each other before tests.

Regular practice helps students understand new English language concepts more deeply – plus, it’s a great way to make new friends!

Listen to TV shows, Podcasts, and Videos for Extra Practise

Regular practise is an important part of boosting your English comprehension. Outside of class, try practising your listening skills by watching an English TV show, listening to a podcast, or tuning in to your favourite English pop songs.

If you’re not sure which English TV shows to watch, you can always check our recent blog post TV Shows That Can Help You Study English & Learn About Canada! for a few ideas!

Do you want to take English for academic purposes courses?

Visit the CultureWorks website to find out how we help you make a smooth transition to university.

Enrolled in a Winter ESL Program? 5 Surprising Facts About Winter in Canada

Experience the famous Canadian winter when you study English in Canada
Experience the famous Canadian winter when you study English in Canada

Is this your first winter in Canada? You’re in for a unique experience! From snowy blizzards to cold-weather carnivals, winter in Canada is a one-of-a-kind season.

Here are five surprising (and fun) things to discover and do while you’re studying English in Canada this winter.

1. Canada Has the Only Ice Hotel in North America

Students who take a trip to Quebec City this winter won’t be disappointed. We suggest planning your getaway sometime between January 29 and February 14, so you can participate in Carnival – one of Canada’s biggest winter festivals.

And while you’re in Quebec City, why not stop by and tour the world-famous Hotel de Glace. This magical hotel is made entirely from giant blocks of ice!

Here’s a closer look at the “ice hotel”:

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oe5FgFOkxkI&w=560&h=315]

2. Students at ESL School in Ottawa Can Skate on the World’s Biggest Ice Rink

If you enroll in an ESL program in Ottawa, then you’ll get to see the city’s famous Rideau Canal. During the summer, students can bike and walk along many paths beside the water. But, during the winter months, they can skate right on it!

CultureWorks students prepare to go skating along the Rideau Canal
CultureWorks students prepare to go skating along the Rideau Canal

Every winter, the Rideau Canal freezes over and turns into a giant skating rink. In fact, it’s the biggest in the world, measuring over 7 kilometres!

3. “Chinook” Winds Can Change Canadian Winter Temperatures Quickly

One new vocabulary word you might learn at ESL school this winter is “chinook”. A chinook is a warm wind that can quickly heat up temperatures. In fact, in Pincher Creek, Alberta, temperatures once went from −19°C all the way up to 22°C in just one hour!

Chinook winds usually happen in Canada’s prairie provinces (Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba), although they’ve been known to warm up other parts of the world too.

Alberta is known for getting chinook winds in the winter
Alberta is known for getting chinook winds in the winter

4. Canada Has One of the Coldest Places on the Planet

The research base, Eureka, in Canada’s territory of Nunavut is considered to be the coldest inhabited place on the planet. Average temperatures in Eureka usually hover at −18.8 °C, and can descend to a chilly -40°C in the winter.

Don’t worry though. If you’re studying in Ontario, it’s unlikely you’ll ever experience temperatures as cold as that!

5. It’s Getting Warmer in Canada

As the planet heats up, Canada’s winters are getting warmer all the time. Since 1972, the amount of snow that falls each winter has dropped by about 5.1%. Temperatures are climbing too. In 1998, Canada’s average temperatures were 2.5°C warmer than normal, and the winter of 2009-2010 broke even more records when temperatures climbed 4.1°C above average.

So far, this year’s winter has already broken a few records for warmth. But hopefully, by cutting greenhouse gas emissions, we can help keep Canadian winters cold, our longest canal frozen, and our ice hotel open for business!

Do you want to enroll in an English as a second language program in Canada?

Visit CultureWorks to find out more about our ESL programs and the benefits of studying English in Canada!

TV Shows That Can Help You Study English & Learn About Canada!

Intensive english program

One fun way to strengthen your listening skills while you study English in Canada is to watch English TV shows. Canadian television exposes students to English vocabulary, colloquialisms, and syntax while helping communicate some of the nuances of Canadian culture.

Here are some of our favourite shows to tune into, and how they can help you practice your English AND learn about Canada.

The Red Green Show: A Comedy Classic That Helps You Learn Vocabulary

If you want to study English while watching funny “do it yourself” home engineering, then the Red Green Show is your perfect match.

The Red Green Show offers “helpful” advice on how to fix everything from a flat tire to a fishing boat. But, as you’ll soon discover, most of the advice is more comical than it is practical! Here’s a great example from the show:

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h4OcW4NPW78]

While you might not learn a lot about home improvement, The Red Green Show will teach you some handy new vocabulary – especially during its “Possum Lodge Word Game” segment where characters try and guess a word with the help of funny clues.

22 Minutes: Add a Little Satire to your English Program in Canada

Want to catch up on current events, but find traditional news a little too boring? You might want to try 22 Minutes.

22 Minutes is a comedy TV show that analyzes events happening in Canada and around the world. This show is well known for its razor sharp satire, and interviews with top Canadian politicians, celebrities, and activists, including David Suzuki:

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9PlteB_VL-Q?list=PL5D3435420313F499]

While it might be a little challenging for ESL beginners, 22 Minutes can help students familiarize themselves with everyday English expressions and jokes, while staying on top of international politics.

Little Mosque on the Prairie: A Fun Take on Multiculturalism in Canada

Canada is known for being a multicultural country. In fact, Canada was the first country in the world to make multiculturalism an official policy!

It comes as no surprise, then, that Canada is the home of the hit TV show Little Mosque on the Prairie. Little Mosque on the Prairie takes a funny look at how people from different backgrounds co-exist in small-town Saskatchewan.

Through comedy and lovable characters, this Canadian TV show promotes religious tolerance and understanding between cultures.

Here’s a quick clip of this Canadian favourite’s final episode (you can still catch old episodes online):

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oxtbfyzl-14]

The Book of Negroes: A Top Drama to Watch While You Study English in Canada

The Book of Negroes is an award-winning historical miniseries. It’s based on the book by Canadian author Lawrence Hill, and follows the story of Aminata Diallo as she is captured in Africa, sold into slavery, and eventually wins back her freedom.

Here’s a quick behind the scenes look:

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hhGNjHVbBBM?list=PLJyG4btas2dmq1Zk9URdKLNxuXMVCl8xB]

Although this series contains violent subject-matter and may not be appropriate for all viewers, it’s an ideal TV show for students who want to learn a little more about Canadian history while enrolled in an intensive English program in Canada.

Want to discover other popular TV shows while you study abroad in Canada?

Why not ask your intensive English program instructors which shows they like best, and organize a TV-night with a friend from class!


4 Ways to Celebrate a Canadian Christmas While you Study English in Canada

ESL School Canada
Students pose with Santa Claus at the CultureWorks Christmas Party

Canadians love Christmas. The day after Halloween, stores across the country rush to put up their holiday decorations. Local radio stations start playing Christmas carols, and Canadians begin preparing for the holiday season by baking cookies, buying presents, and throwing Christmas parties.

How can you get in on the fun while you study English in Canada? Read on to find out!

1. Go Christmas Shopping While You Study English in Canada

The month leading up to Christmas is when Canadian stores are at their busiest. Lineups can get long, but it’s well worth the effort if you like shopping and want to see some beautiful decorations.

If you’re studying study English in Canada, then you might enjoy going to Toronto’s famous Christmas Market. Here’s a sneak peak at what this year’s market offers:

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CcuUWnUCXC0]Toronto’s Christmas market is one of the top markets in the world. But, even if you can’t make a trip to Toronto this holiday season, you’ll still be able to enjoy the holiday cheer. Malls in every Canadian city put up decorations and special displays for the holidays, and many communities organise local craft fairs.

2. Bake Cookies with Your Friends from ESL School

Baking cookies is an important – and delicious! – part of the holiday season in Canada.

While you study English as a second language in Canada, ask some friends if they want to get together and bake Christmas cookies after class or over a weekend. You can make traditional Christmas cookies like gingerbread, or try a Canadian favourite called Nanaimo bars (named after the Canadian city of Nanaimo in British Columbia).

And, if you really want to get creative, you can even try making an entire gingerbread house, complete with candy and icing decorations! Canadians often display these at Christmas parties.

Study English in Canada

3. Host an “Ugly Sweater” Party While You Study English in Canada

Ugly sweater parties are one of the newest Canadian Christmas traditions to hit the holiday scene. What is an ugly sweater party? It’s a party where everyone has to come wearing the brightest, most over-the-top Christmas sweater they can find.

English as a second language in Canada
Classic examples of an “ugly” Christmas sweaters

The Christmas sweater party tradition started in 2001, when younger Canadians wore them to be ironic and funny. Since then, ugly Christmas sweater parties have been getting more and more popular.

To throw your own ugly sweater party, all you have to do is find an ugly sweater at a local second hand shop. Invite your friends (and ask them to wear an ugly sweater too!). You can serve the Christmas cookies you baked, as well as traditional drinks like egg nog or warm mulled wine.

4. Organize a Secret Santa with Your Friends from ESL School

Want to share presents this Christmas? Consider organizing a “Secret Santa” with your friends.

ESL Student
An ESL student shows off a Christmas gift he got at the CultureWorks Christmas party.

There are several different ways to do a Secret Santa. You can put all your friends’ names in a hat, and have each person pick a name and then buy a present for that person. Or, you can have everyone buy a present, wrap it, and put them in a pile. Then, pull names out of a hat to see who gets to choose and open a present first. Either way, everyone has fun and walks away with a new Christmas gift!

What other holiday traditions would you like to celebrate at ESL school in Canada?