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.

intensive ESL program
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!

4 easy ways to make progress every day in an intensive ESL program

studying English in Canada

Enrolling in an intensive English program is an important step to perfecting your English. Courses will help you learn important vocabulary and grammar, as well as help you improve your reading, writing, speaking, and comprehension.

English classes and fun activities will also give you plenty of opportunity to practice your English, allowing you to improve quickly. However, taking the time to study and practice English outside of class will also be an important part of your progress, and will help you improve even faster.

What are some of the best ways to make progress every day? Here are some tips we hope you find useful!

Use techniques that work with your learning style

It’s no secret that everyone is unique, and that every student will have different study techniques that work better for them. For example, one of your friends might learn best by writing down lessons, while you might prefer making rhymes and hearing lessons spoken out loud.

For this reason, it can be helpful to determine your learning style. There are many different types of learning styles, including the following:

  • Visual: Uses diagrams and other visual aids.
  • Physical: Uses movement and touch to learn.
  • Auditory: Uses song, rhymes, and music.
  • Verbal: Uses writing and reading.
  • Logical: Uses logic to understand lessons.
  • Social: Interacting with others helps with learning.
  • Solitary: Quiet study alone works best.

It’s also possible that you might have more than one learning style. For example, you might be a social learner, a visual learner, and an auditory learner all at the same time. By knowing your learning style or learning styles, and studying in ways that make the best use of them, you’ll be able to make the most of your intensive ESL program.

Set aside time each day for studying

Learning English takes time and plenty of practice. It can’t all be done in one day! Cramming all of your studying into one night each week isn’t the best way to practice your English, or learn lessons effectively. Instead of studying for several hours in one day, it’s better to practice for 20 to 30 minutes every day.

Studying a little bit each day will help you progress quickly
Studying a little bit each day will help you progress quickly

You could choose to wake up early and do your studying in the morning before your classes, or during a break in between activities. Some students even study best at night. The important thing is to choose a time that is easy to fit into your schedule at English as a second language school.

Incorporate English into your hobbies

Practicing each day can be a lot of fun when it’s something you enjoy. That’s why including English practice into your hobbies and interests can be a wonderful idea. For example, if you love playing video games, playing a favourite game in English can help you practice your language skills and have fun at the same time. If you enjoy cooking, try using a recipe written in English. Love sports? Try watching a game in English, or taking a fitness class in English. Even listening to English songs can be a wonderful way to practice your English each day while having fun at the same time.

Don’t worry if you miss a day of practice when studying English in Canada

It’s okay to spend a day relaxing every once in a while. Maybe you really wanted to spend an afternoon shopping with friends, or Skyping with family back home. Missing a day of study can happen from time to time.

When you do forget to study, it’s important to not be too disappointed. You also don’t want to punish yourself by studying extra hard the next day. By doing so, you could begin to associate these negative feelings with learning English, which can lead to even more days spent not studying.

Instead, if you miss a day of study, don’t worry. Remember that nobody is perfect and that it’s okay to make mistakes. You might also want to remind yourself of all the progress you’ve already made. Even just enrolling in an ESL program is a big step towards improving your language skills.

Studying English in Canada can be a wonderful way to improve your English.

Find out how CultureWorks can help you reach your goals!