Studying an ESL program? Learn 4 ways Canadians celebrate Valentine’s Day

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In Canada, Valentine’s Day falls on February 14 and it is a day to celebrate love and romance. While most Canadians don’t get Valentine’s Day off from work, it is still considered an important holiday, especially for those in romantic relationships. If you study English in Canada, you’ll have the opportunity to learn more about Canadian culture, including the many holidays it celebrates. Here are just a few things Canadians like to do on February 14.

1. Students in an ESL program in Canada will see many full restaurants on Valentine’s Day

About a third of Canadian couples celebrates Valentine’s Day by going out for dinner at a restaurant. So if you plan on going to a restaurant in February, you better make a reservation far in advance! Many couples also stay at home and cook a romantic meal. Certain types of food are definitely considered more romantic than others in Canada. French, Italian, Spanish, and sushi restaurants, for example, tend to be really popular for a romantic night out. Hamburgers, fried chicken, and fast food, however, are considered a lot less romantic!

2. Both children and adults exchange Valentine’s Day cards in Canada

Valentine’s Day isn’t just for adults. In elementary schools, young children often make valentines and give them to their classmates. A valentine is a small card decorated with hearts and flowers. It is usually sent anonymously, so that the person getting the valentine won’t know who sent it. Even adults sometimes exchange cards on Valentine’s Day, although usually they are for their romantic partners and not for friends and acquaintances! When you study in an ESL program in Canada, you will often find entire aisles of department stores and pharmacies filled with Valentine’s Day cards for sale in February.

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Young children often make their own valentines and share them with their classmates

3. Couples will often give gifts to one another on Valentine’s Day

Many couples exchange gifts, like chocolate or flowers, on Valentine’s Day. Red roses are definitely the most popular flower to exchange on Valentine’s Day. If you are from a country that celebrates White Day, you may be used to women giving men gifts on Valentine’s Day. Canada does not celebrate White Day, therefore on Valentine’s Day there is no expectation that only women give gifts. Instead, couples are free to exchange gifts however they want. In fact, many couples don’t exchange gifts at all and prefer to just spend the day together.

English as a second language
Roses and chocolates are some of the most popular gifts to exchange on Valentine’s Day

4. Many Canadians prefer memorable experiences on Valentine’s Day

When you learn English as a second language in Canada, you will encounter many people saying they dislike exchanging gifts on Valentine’s Day because they find it too commercial. Instead of exchanging gifts, a lot of couples prefer doing fun and romantic activities together on Valentine’s Day, such as going to the spa, taking dance lessons, or going ice skating together. For many people, these experiences tend to be far more meaningful and memorable than flowers or chocolates.

Do you want to learn English in Canada?

Contact CultureWorks to learn about our English as a second language program!

Enrolled in ESL school in Canada? Here’s why you definitely want to visit a sugar shack this spring

English as a second language

There’s more than one reason to be happy at the end of winter. When the days get warm but the nights are still cold, maple trees start producing a lot of sap. Collect enough sap and boil it for a while and you get delicious maple syrup!

In Ontario and Quebec especially, but also across the rest of Canada, “sugar shacks” are some of the best places to go at this time of year. And not just because they’re the places where maple goodies are made!

If you pick the right ESL school, you’ll get to enjoy a springtime trip to a sugar shack yourself. Here are some of the reasons why this is so exciting.

There are delicious treats to enjoy at a sugar shack

The biggest reason to go to a sugar shack is that there is so much delicious food to enjoy. There might be pancakes, sausages, eggs, baked beans, and many other kinds of traditional foods offered. There is also maple syrup, of course, which many visitors to sugar shacks pour over almost everything on their plate. It’s delicious!

The most delicious food served at sugar shacks, though, is maple taffy. This taffy is made of maple syrup that’s been cooked a little longer, and then poured over snow. The result is chewy, sugary, and very delicious. It’s something you definitely want to try if you do an intensive ESL program in Canada.

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Eating maple taffy is one of the best parts of going to a sugar shack

Sugar shacks often have petting zoos to visit, too!

Sugar shacks tend to be found in rural areas, which is why many owners have farm animals and even a little petting zoo. This means that when you visit a sugar shack, you might be able to see goats, horses, cows, or other animals.

Even better, there are some sugar shacks that offer rides in carriages pulled by horses. This is a great, authentic bit of Canadian culture that you don’t want to miss!

ESL school in Canada
A ride in a horse-drawn carriage is a fun activity students can enjoy at many sugar shacks

Going to a sugar shack is a Canadian tradition with a long history

Making maple syrup and maple sugar is a tradition first started by First Nations peoples long before European settlers ever arrived to Canada. When settlers did arrive, they adopted the art of boiling sap for syrup and sugar themselves.

Because of this, maple syrup is more than just a tasty treat. It’s a food with a long history and real importance in Canadian culture. By going to a sugar shack while at ESL school in Canada, you can get a little taste of this culture for yourself.

ESL school in Canada
Going to a sugar shack can help you learn about the important history of maple syrup in Canada

Going to a sugar shack is a great way to celebrate spring’s arrival

Canadian winters are long, cold, and snowy. It will probably still be a little chilly by the time you go to a sugar shack, and there will probably be snow on the ground, but the weather should still be much nicer.

A trip to a sugar shack can be a great way to celebrate the warmer weather outside, and spend some time outdoors. There might be a walking path in the nearby woods, or other activities that allow you to enjoy the fresh air. It’s a wonderful way to get ready for the lovely spring weather that you’ve probably been looking forward to for weeks!

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Don’t be fooled by the snow! Sugar shack season is usually a nice first taste of spring

Are you looking for a Canadian English as a second language school that offers fun activities?

Choose CultureWorks and enjoy trips to sugar shacks and many more fun places!

Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day when you study English in Canada

study English in Canada

St. Patrick’s Day, also called the Feast of St. Patrick, is an Irish holiday that takes place every year on March 17th. It celebrates Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland. Because hundreds of thousands of Irish people moved to Canada in the 1800s, St. Patrick’s Day is still celebrated by many Canadians to this day. More than four million Canadians are of Irish descent!

You don’t have to be of Irish descent to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, though. In fact, while four million Canadians are of Irish descent, more than 30 million Canadians aren’t, and they also love enjoying this fun celebration. Here are some of the ways to celebrate while you’re learning English in Canada.

The easiest way to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day is to wear green

Green is one of the national colours of Ireland, which is why many people will wear it on St. Patrick’s Day. If you want to participate in St. Patrick’s Day, the easiest way to start is to wear a bit of green yourself!

Green t-shirts, green pants, green shoes, and even green face paint are all common on St. Patrick’s Day. You have plenty of options for how you can dress up, so why not give it a try?

Go see a St. Patrick’s Day Parade with friends from your intensive English program

One of the most common ways St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated is with a big parade. Organizations, businesses, and regular people put on green clothes and walk and dance as part of a big parade through the city. There is usually music as well as Irish-themed activities to enjoy.

Many Canadian cities such as Toronto, Montreal, and Ottawa will have a big St. Patrick’s Day Parade. For students completing an intensive English program, it can be a wonderful way to spend an afternoon with new friends and enjoy Canadian (and Irish!) culture.

Here’s a look at Ottawa’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade:


Have a meal at an Irish pub to enjoy a taste of Irish-Canadian culture

Irish pubs have cozy decor, delicious food like Irish stew, and a fun Irish-inspired atmosphere. You can often see European soccer games playing on the TVs in an Irish pub, and some of the most popular drinks are Irish beers such as Guinness and Kilkenny, as well as delicious apple cider. On St. Patrick’s Day, there’s also a good chance that there will be live music to listen to.

Irish pubs are a great place to go to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, so consider giving it a try! Just make sure you and your friends get there early so that you can get a table! Pubs are especially popular on St. Patrick’s Day.

Read a book of Irish myths and legends while at ESL school

The Irish are famous for their storytelling and have many interesting myths and legends. If you want a fun way to enjoy St. Patrick’s Day, reading some of these stories is a great idea!
Irish stories are full of daring heroes and all kinds of wonderful adventures, so they can be quite exciting to read. They’re also a great way to get a little extra practice during your free time while at ESL school! For the full Irish experience, have some Irish breakfast tea while you read.

Do you want to learn English and enjoy local culture in a new country?

Contact CultureWorks to learn what it’s like to study English in Canada!

Four must-try winter activities for anyone at English-as-a-second-language school in Canada

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Winter in Canada is a very special time. Temperatures get cold, the ground becomes covered in snow, and Canadians get to enjoy their favourite winter activities. There are many fun things to try in the winter that you can’t do at any other time of year, such as making a snowman or having a snowball fight. If you’re not used to winters like the ones in Canada, you should make sure to try these and many other unforgettable activities while at ESL school.

Curious about which winter activities you should try? Here are some that Canadians look forward to each year!

Have a snowball fight when you study English in Canada

One winter activity Canadians love to do is have a snowball fight. It involves taking a handful of snow, making it into the shape of a ball, and throwing it at friends nearby. Sometimes you might start a snowball fight by surprising a friend, but most of the time it’s a good idea to ask first if they want to participate.

You might want to have a snowball fight with just one or two friends at ESL school, or you could see if many more of your classmates would be interested too. In fact, the largest snowball fight in the world had as many as 8,200 people participating!

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Snowball fights are a great way to have fun in Canada during the winter

Make a snowman with classmates while at ESL school

No winter is complete without making a snowman, so you’ll definitely want to try this activity while you study English in Canada! Making a snowman is a lot of fun—especially when it’s time to decorate it. Give it eyes, a carrot for a nose, and whatever other features you like. You can be as creative and silly as you want when decorating your snowman. In fact, the sillier, the better! To make it even more fun, invite friends from your intensive English program to make a snowman with you. The results can be great!

In Canada, wintertime is sledding time

A big hill covered in snow is the perfect place to go sledding. There are many kinds of sleds you can use. Some are simple plastic discs or sheets, while others can be more elaborate. The most traditional type of sled is called a toboggan. This type of sled was invented by First Nations peoples, and is usually long and made of wood. Try one of these for a double dose of Canadian winter culture!

Try going for a walk in snowshoes during your intensive English program

During the winter, snow can become very deep. In fact, it can sometimes become so deep that if you step into a big pile of it, your foot will sink very far down. This can make it difficult to walk. Put snowshoes on first, though, and you can walk right on top of deep piles of snow. This is called snowshoeing, and is a fun winter activity for everyone to enjoy!

Like the toboggan, snowshoes were also invented by First Nations peoples and used to move around during the cold winter months. It’s a very cool experience to go for a walk in the woods in places where you would normally sink up to your knees in snow. Find some time to try snowshoeing if you want to explore snow-covered forests and other beautiful winter landscapes when you study English in Canada!

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Walking in snowshoes is a fun Canadian wintertime experience you can try

Do you want to experience Canadian winter for yourself?

Contact CultureWorks to sign up for English as a second language school in Canada!

Canada Turns 150! 4 Ways to Celebrate When You Study English in Canada

study english in Canada2017 is a big year for Canada. In fact, it’s been named the top travel destination in the world by both The New York Times and Lonely Planet. Canada’s breathtaking natural beauty, fascinating historic sites, and busy cities have all helped to make it the top country to visit this year. However, there’s also another important reason why 2017 is the perfect time to visit: it’s Canada’s 150th birthday!

There are events planned all across the country to celebrate this special year. If you study English as a second language in Canada, there are many ways you can join in on the 150th anniversary celebration!

Here are a few fun things you can do while you study English in Canada.

While You Study English In Canada, You Can Attend Canada Day Celebrations!

Every year on July 1st, Canadians celebrate Canada Day. Many cities and towns have parades and fireworks shows, or host games, carnivals, and other celebrations.

When you come to Canada to study English, you can go to a Canada day celebration in your city! Because 2017 is the 150th anniversary, the celebrations will be extra special this year. You can meet many new people, and participate in fun activities all day long. Canada Day will be the biggest, most fun party of this year. You don’t want to miss it! 

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Enjoy Canada Day celebrations in 2017!

Visit the Improved Canadian History Hall While You Study English in Canada

If you are studying English as a second language for Carleton University, you will get to live in Canada’s capital city of Ottawa. This is a great place to study during Canada’s 150th anniversary year!

One of the big attractions in Ottawa in 2017 will be the Canadian Museum of History’s Canadian History Hall, which reopens on July 1st. For the first time, it will have exhibits showing all of Canada’s history. By visiting, you can learn about everything from the arrival of First Nations people thousands of years ago, to modern Canadian culture.

The new hall took years of work to design, and you can gain a great understanding of Canadian culture by visiting. It’s also a wonderful way to practise English during your studies.

Take a Trip Into Nature While You Study English in Canada

Canada’s wilderness is famous around the world, and in 2017, ESL students will have even more reason to visit the many parks across the country. That’s because in honour of Canada’s 150th birthday, access to all federal parks is free!

Take advantage of this when you study English in Canada by taking a trip into the outdoors! You can take a canoe trip in the Thousand Islands National Park near Ottawa, hike along the shoreline of the Georgian Bay Islands National Park near Toronto, or go visit a different national park somewhere else in the country. If you want to explore Canada’s natural beauty, 2017 is the year to do it!

english as a second language for Carleton University
Canada’s wilderness is beautiful. Consider exploring it this year!

Go To a Canadian Film Festival to See Creative Canadian Work

Watching movies is a great way to practise your English. It can also be a lot of fun! To celebrate Canada’s 150th anniversary, there are many special film events going on in Canada.

The “Canada on Screen” event will take place across Canada in 2017, and will show many different Canadian movies. There is also the Hot Docs festival in Toronto, which will have a “Canada 150” collection of documentaries made by local filmmakers. Expose yourself to new ideas and improve your English by visiting one of these events during your studies!

Do you want to study in an English for academic purposes school program?

Visit CultureWorks for more information about our programs!

4 Fun Ways to Stay in Touch With Your Family While You Study English in Canada

Video Calls Are a Great Tool for Students Who Study English in Canada

There’s lots to see and do when you study English in Canada, but you’ll probably want to check in with your family sometimes, too. However, for many ESL students distance and different time zones can make that tricky.

Fortunately, from computer applications to special gifts you can send, there are plenty of fun things you can try when reaching out to your loved ones. Here are a few ideas that are worth checking out while you study English in Canada.

1. Video Calls Are a Great Tool for Students Who Study English in Canada

There’s nothing like chatting with the ones you love, so try to get some video chats in. Skype, and other apps like it, allow you to have conversations over the internet for free. All you need is an internet connection and a device with a screen and camera. You can use a smartphone, tablet, or even a laptop or desktop computer to video chat with your loved ones.

This can be a fun time to show off some of the conversational skills you’re learning in school. Or, if you’d rather, you can just enjoy sharing your adventures with friends and family back home.

2. ESL Students Can Use Emails & IM Programs to Beat the Time Difference

When you study English in Canada, time zone differences might make it hard to have live conversations with friends and family back home. Luckily, there are tons of messaging options that can help you out.

If you can’t find much time to do live chats, send emails or instant messages (IMs) to the ones you love. And don’t be afraid to send long messages! Adding lots of detail in your messages will help make sure your family stays in the loop and knows all about the fun trips, activities, and adventures you’re having during your studies.

Time differences don't matter as much with emails and messaging apps
Time differences don’t matter as much with emails and messaging apps

3. Play Online Games With Your Family When You Go Study English in Canada

Want to do something besides just chat with your family? Why not play an online game!

One good option is “Words With Friends,” which you can play on Facebook. This game is a lot like “Scrabble,” and involves using random letters to create different words. Different words get different amounts of points, and the player with the most points at the end wins.

You can play in English to practice (and show off!) some of the vocabulary skills you develop in your English as a second language program. Or, if you want, you can play in Spanish, Russian, or one of the many other languages the game offers.

4. Send Custom Postcards to Share Favourite Moments With Your Family

If you want to send your family something they’ll really cherish, you could try out an app like Touchnote. Available on the web, or as an app for iOS and Android, you can use it to make real postcards from your own photos. Just choose what you want on the front, pick a message, and send it back home. It’s a neat, original way to share favourite moments with your family and friends.

There are all kinds of ways to stay in touch with family, from video calls, to chatting, to games, and even your own custom-made postcards. Try some of them out while you’re studying in Canada to keep your family up-to-date on all the adventures you’re having!

Are you looking for a great English for academic purposes school program?

Visit CultureWorks to learn more about our ESL courses.

4 Unusual Ottawa Attractions to Visit When You Study ESL for Carleton University

Canada’s capital city, Ottawa, has many fun unique things to do while you study English!
Canada’s capital city, Ottawa, has many fun unique things to do while you study English!

If you’re taking ESL courses because you want to attend Carleton University, you will have plenty of chances to explore Canada’s fun capital city of Ottawa. After you’ve seen all the usual attractions like the Parliament Buildings and Rideau Canal, you might be looking for something even more unique to do with your new international friends.

So gather your new classmates and discover these four unusual attractions in Ottawa. What’s the best part? You can practice your English while you visit them!

1. Visit the Diefenbunker During Your ESL for Carleton University Studies

The Diefenbunker is a safety bunker that was built from 1959 to 1961 during the Cold War. Canada’s Prime Minister at the time, John Diefenbaker, built the bunker in order to protect the government in case Canada came under attack. The bunker is 75 feet underground with four floors. It could have held over 500 people for 30 days in case something bad happened to Canada’s capital city.

Fortunately, the bunker never had to be put to the test and Canada is very safe. The underground building was declared a National Heritage Site in 1994 and is now an interesting museum you can visit. You can practice your English listening skills by taking a tour of the bunker and learning about its interesting history. The Deifenbunker even has special events like zombie adventures and escape room challenges for advanced ESL students to try while they study in Ottawa!

Tour the Diefenbunker and learn about history while you’re studying in Canada
Tour the Diefenbunker and learn about history while you’re studying in Canada

2. See Horses and Mounties at the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Stable

Canada’s Royal Canadian Mounted Police—also called Mounties—are famous for their red jackets, yellow striped pants, and wide-brimmed hats. They are most known for riding horses. You can discover the RCMP and their horses for yourself by visiting the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Stable when you take English for academic purposes courses. Guided tours are available all year long, and (if you’re lucky!) you may even catch the Canadian Mounties during their Musical Ride practices.

Visit the Royal Canadian Mounted Police’s Horse Stable with your friends
Visit the Royal Canadian Mounted Police’s Horse Stable with your friends

3. Take a Tour of the Old County Jail When You Study ESL for Carleton University

Join The Haunted Walk’s Crime and Punishment Jail Tour to walk the hallways of one of Ottawa’s first jails. Your tour guide will tell you about what life was like for prisoners. You will even get to see their cells!

You will have plenty of opportunity to practice the English skills you’ve gained during your ESL for Carleton university studies. For example, you may practice your listening skills as your tour guide talks about the history of the Old Carleton County Jail. You can even read brochures about the jail while you’re there to practice your reading skills.

4. Explore the Beautiful Victorian Central Experimental Farm that Surrounds Ottawa

Not far from Ottawa’s Parliament Hill and the Supreme Court is a beautiful working farm. The Central Experimental Farm is a research station for Canada’s Department of Agriculture. The government uses the land to conduct research on gene expression and biodiversity in crops.

You can visit the farm with your friends to see what beautiful Canadian farms have to offer. During your visit you can see attractions such as the Ornamental Gardens, Fletcher Wildlife Garden, and the heritage buildings. Practice speaking English with your friends by naming the plants and animals you encounter!

Are you interested in studying English as a second language for Carleton University?

Contact CultureWorks today to learn how you can get started!

3 Canadian Winter-Inspired Foods You Can Try at ESL School in Canada

CultureWorks students love to try cooking new Canadian foods
CultureWorks students love to try cooking new Canadian foods

Canada, the country of the great white north, welcomes diversity. We are a friendly multicultural country that appreciates all different cultures and traditions. In fact, Canada’s food selections are often inspired by the cuisines of other countries. We might even have recipes inspired by the cuisine from your home country!

There are still a few foods that originated in Canada that you can try eating and cooking with your new friends at ESL school. Whether you want to enjoy a sweet treat while skating outside or enjoy a warm meal after spending time out in the snow, there are plenty of Canadian recipes perfect for wintertime.

Keep reading to discover three delicious Canadian foods that are enjoyed across the country during the winter season.

1. Enjoy a Nanaimo Bar at ESL School!

On the beautiful West coast of Canada is an island city called Nanaimo, which is where the Nanaimo Bar dessert was first made. You don’t have to go all the way to Nanaimo to enjoy this dessert, though. Nanaimo bars are popular all across Canada. In fact, you can easily make some with your classmates at ESL school.

The bottom of the dessert is made of wafer crumbs and coconut, the middle is a creamy custard butter filling, and the top is made of melted chocolate. For the ultimate Canadian treat, enjoy a Nanaimo bar while sipping a warm cup of cocoa!

2. Try Poutine at English as a Second Language School

Truthfully, poutine can be enjoyed anytime of the year in Canada. However, this warm and gooey meal is perfect for cold Canadian winters. It’s a great way to warm up after a walk outside, snowball fight, or other wintertime activity you might enjoy at ESL school.

Poutine is made by melting cheese curds onto French fries and pouring gravy on top. Some restaurants offer speciality poutine with bacon, vegetables, smoked meat, and other toppings. Whatever you prefer, you can find the perfect poutine to try this winter while you attend an ESL program in Canada.

3. Try Maple Taffy When You Attend an ESL Program in Canada

Have you seen the Canadian flag? It’s red and white with a giant maple leaf right in the center. Canadians are proud of our maple trees, and maple syrup is one of our most prized food items! We even supply most of the world with maple products. It’s no secret this deliciously sweet syrup is a delightful treat, and included in many Canadian recipes.

While you study English in Canada, make sure you try maple taffy, also known by its French name, tire sur la neige. Maple taffy is a sweet and gooey candy that is made by heating up maple syrup and pouring it onto snow. You lift up the cooled taffy using a wooden stick and it becomes a delicious sweet wintery treat!

CultureWorks students try maple taffy during a class trip
CultureWorks students try maple taffy during a class trip

Do you want to experience Canadian culture and cuisine at English as a second language school?

Contact CultureWorks today to learn more about studying English in Canada.

5 Reasons to Volunteer While Attending English as a Second Language School

Students at CultureWorks like to get involved
Students at CultureWorks like to get involved

Coming to Canada to start your English as a second language education is very exciting! There are many ways you can get involved with your school. You can join the student club, participate in sports, and even volunteer. The Student Services Coordinators at CultureWorks will even help you find volunteering opportunities to try!

Here are five reasons why you should volunteer while you study English in Canada.

1. Students at English as a Second Language School Can Practice English When Volunteering

ESL students should always be looking for new ways to try out their English language skills outside of the classroom. If you volunteer during your studies in Canada, you can interact with native English speakers.

Whether you volunteer at a soup kitchen helping to feed the less fortunate or volunteer to clean up a park, you are sure to improve your English. Not only is it great for your English practice, it’s very fun to help the community too!

2. Students in an English as a Second Language Program Feel Good Helping Other Students

At our English as a second language school, you can either volunteer in the community or with CultureWorks through the Buddy program. This program is for students who have been in ESL studies longer and want to help out new students.

As a Buddy you will help during student events. You may help by translating for students who have your same culture and language. You may even give advice and share knowledge of your experience. You can feel good about helping fellow students, and make many new friends at the same time.

CultureWorks students can share friendly advice and smiles
CultureWorks students can share friendly advice and smiles

3. Volunteering at ESL School Can Help Students Determine Their Career Path

When you study English as a second language in Canada through a program like CultureWorks, you can apply for conditional acceptance at one of our partner universities. There are many program types to choose from like business, finance, and health sciences. When you start at CultureWorks you may not know which career you want to study for. However, volunteering could let you explore your options and determine which career you will enjoy the most.

4. Students at English as a Second Language School Can Get Experience for their Resumes

After you complete your ESL program at CultureWorks or graduate from one of our partner universities, you may want to start your career. By volunteering during your studies in Canada, you will have new experiences to add to your resume. Having volunteering experience on your resume will show employers that you are a hardworking and caring individual, and could help your application stand out when you apply for work after graduation.

5. Students in an English as a Second Language Program Will Learn More About Canada

Volunteering during your ESL studies can be a great way to learn more about Canada. By volunteering, you can interact with different Canadians and learn more about their life and culture. Whether you help cook your first Thanksgiving dinner for the less fortunate, or participate in the Terry Fox Run (a famous Canadian fundraiser for cancer research), you will learn more about Canada.

CultureWorks students love Canadian culture!
CultureWorks students love Canadian culture!

Are you interested in an English as a second language program?

Visit CultureWorks to get started with us.

4 Board Games That Can Help You Practise English at ESL School

Playing board games can help you reach your English goals!
Playing board games can help you reach your English goals!

Do you love board games? We do! We love to roll the dice, pick a card, and move around a game board, because board games are a great way to have fun with friends. With some board games, whether you win or lose, you are even practising English while you play.

That’s why we host board game nights at CultureWorks, a top school for English as a second language (ESL) in Canada. Here you can study hard in classes and have fun in after-class activities like board game parties that keep you practising English day and night!

Here are four fun board games that can help you improve your English at an ESL school like CultureWorks.

1. Play Scrabble in ESL School

Have you heard of Scrabble? In Scrabble, you are given seven tiles with letters on them, which you use to build words. Each letter is worth a number of points based on how much that letter is used in the English language.

You win points when you connect your words to other words on a Scrabble board, or add letters to a word and make it longer. For example, you could win many points for putting T, I, N, and G onto the end of ‘STAR’ to make ‘STARTING,’ a whole different word.

Scrabble is excellent practise for English because you can make very simple words with your letters, increase your English vocabulary, and learn how often different letters are used in everyday English conversation.

2. Play Apples to Apples at ESL School in Canada

In the game Apples to Apples, you have two sorts of cards: Things, which have objects on them, and Descriptions, which describe different objects. On your turn, you put down a Thing card, and everyone else secretly puts down a Description card they think matches that Thing.

Usually, the Descriptions do not match the Things perfectly, and that is part of the fun! The player who put down the best match wins a point. You and your friends in ESL school will have fun comparing the descriptions each player gives to the Thing, because sometimes they are very unusual!

We know Apples to Apples will make you laugh
We know Apples to Apples will make you laugh

3. Play Bananagrams in ESL School

Bananagrams is a lot like Scrabble, except that you do not get points for letters. Instead, the purpose of the game is to make words as quickly as possible!

Each person starts with 21 tiles with letters on them, which they use to make words that are connected together. Whoever uses all their tiles first, wins. This game is very good for practising spelling and using your English vocabulary, because you need to think of words quickly, like you would in a conversation with a native English speaker. It’s like an English spelling race!

4. Play Cranium After Your ESL Program Classes

Classmates you meet in your ESL program will have many different talents. Cranium is a game that tests lots of kinds of skills: sculpting, acting, knowledge, spelling, and more. It is also great for a big number of players!

In Cranium, you roll dice to see what kind of skill you need to use, and then work with your team to complete the challenge on the card. For example, if you pick a drawing card, your team will need to guess what you are drawing.

Cranium is fun because it helps you get to know other people you are playing with, and even if you do not know how to sing or draw something, people will help you learn. This is one of the best parts of ESL school! While you learn English, you also learn about the culture you are in and the people you are with.

A student plays with friends at a CultureWorks game event
A student plays with friends at a CultureWorks game event

Interested in coming to ESL school in Canada?

Visit CultureWorks to get started with us.