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Happy Halloween!

By Admin Tamwood,

pumpkin, carving, jack, lantern, tamwood

Can you feel it?  The air is getting cooler and the leaves are starting to change colour.  Starbucks has their Fall drinks for sale (how many pumpkin spice lattes have you had this week?), and sweaters and boots are the clothes most people are wearing now.  It’s Autumn, and it’s the best time of year for many reasons!  Kim, our Campus Manager loves Autumn because her favourite holiday is coming up on October 31st – Halloween!!

Halloween is a fun day that is celebrated across Canada and the United States.  No, it’s not a day off from work or school!  Why would you want to stay home when the fun of Halloween is dressing up in a costume and seeing your co-workers/classmates/teachers/friends dressed up in their costumes?

Halloween is celebrated a little differently depending on if you’re a child or an adult.  For children, most of the fun of Halloween is in dressing up in a costume and doing something called ‘trick-or-treating’ when it starts to get dark.  This is an activity where you wear a costume and go with your friends (and a parent) to all your neighbour’s houses, knock on their doors, and say “trick-or-treat!” when someone opens the door.  The person will give you candy or chocolate, then you thank them and go to the next house.  It’s a great way to get lots and lots of candy!  If October 31st is a school day, children get to wear their costumes to school during the day and have a class party.  There may even be a costume parade or a costume contest!


Adults celebrate Halloween with costumes too.  A lot of jobs will let you wear your costume to work, and some companies will have Halloween parties to celebrate the day.  Most adults celebrate Halloween by having parties on the weekend before Halloween if October 31st is a weekday.  Costume parties are very popular, and people often spend a lot of time and effort planning their costumes so they can win contests, or just look awesome in party pictures!

IMG_3424  IMG_3367  IMG_3369

One of the best things about Halloween is that there are ways to celebrate it during the whole month!  You can buy fun Halloween decorations to put in windows to scare your neighbours.  Witches, ghosts, bats, and vampires are just some of the most common Halloween decorations, but there are a lot of others too!  Another fun way to celebrate, and decorate, is by carving something called a jack-o-lantern.  A jack-o-lantern is a hollow (empty of all insides) pumpkin that has had a face cut into it with a sharp knife.  People who practice a lot can carve really amazing designs and truly scary faces to create really impressive jack-o-lanterns!  When you have carved your jack-o-lantern, you can put a candle inside it and then, when it’s dark outside, put it next to your door so that people walking by your house can see it!

Capture  Capture4


Another fun way to celebrate Halloween is by going to Fright Nights at the PNE during the month of October.  They have people dressed up in costumes that walk around the park scaring people, you can go on some of the rides, and they have really scary haunted houses that you can walk through!

Of course, Tamwood celebrates Halloween too!  We like to decorate the student lounge and dress up in costumes!  We have had past students (photo below) wear some really fun, creative costumes, (teachers too!) and we look forward to seeing what your costume will be this year!


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Tsuyoshi’s Vancouver Experience

By Admin Tamwood,

hiking, students, tamwood

Hi, I’m Tsuyoshi. I’m from Japan. Before anything else, I want to tell that you can have a good time here if you are thinking about new experience. I’m going to tell you what I’ve experienced here.


Meet New Friends

At first, I have to talk about this topic. I’ve met many friends who came from all over the world in this school. Of course, I’ve talked to many students. What is more, Tamwood has an activity every day. I’ve played some sports, done sightseeing and been to local restaurants on activities. I mean you can go outside with your classmates without textbook, test and homework. And they could be good opportunities to speak English. And you can also learn about different cultures from other students. They are so friendly and respectful. Through these experiences, you can make lots of friends. And you would probably feel at home with some of them.



What I’ve Learned

Second, I’m going to tell you about my experience outside of school. You probably already know that Vancouver is a multicultural city. So I’ve met people who came from different countries besides Canada. I’ve been to many events such as Canada day, Pride Parade, Fire Works, Cultural Festival and more. People who join these events try to explain how proud of their cultures they are. In addition, they are very warm-hearted people. This is a good point. If your English is not good, they will try to understand what you say and think. I’ve had lots of experience the same way. I’ve volunteered for elderly Japanese people in Vancouver because I wanted to study social work abroad. It’s one of the purposes of this stay. I try to talk to them in English and Japanese while volunteering. Perhaps some people wonder why I talk to Japanese in English. The main reason is that some of them immigrated and some of them were born in here. It depends on the situation which language is more comfortable for them. Speaking English is important to communicate with people. But I think it’s not enough. I guess that trying to understand people is also necessary. This is what I’ve learned from my stay.

There are many kinds of opportunities here. I hope you can learn what you want. You don’t have to worry about starting something new. All Teachers and staff in Tamwood are very supportive. I’ve had great experience with their advice. And the time I’ve spent with my friends is precious. I’d like to say thank you to Tamwood and my friends.

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Top 4 Reasons to Keep a Journal

By Admin Tamwood,


A lot of people keep a private diary.  Why do people do it?  Writing a personal journal gives us a way to think about what we’re doing and keep amazing memories!  Writing daily or weekly helps us think through what we need to do and make decisions or changes.  A journal is usually about ourselves, but it doesn’t have to be!  You can write a personal journal about a pet, school, a new job, or where you live!  Keep reading for some of the top 4 reasons to keep a journal.

Number 1: To improve how we learn English!  Teachers may ask students to keep a journal as a way of learning English.  Why do teachers do this?  Because teachers know that journal-writing develops several different skills at the same time!  When you write in a journal, you naturally start to improve your grammar.  Over time, when you feel more comfortable with your grammar, your written fluency improves and you start to use more complex sentences.  You also need to use a wider variety of vocabulary to keep your journal writing interesting!  I encourage everyone who is reading this right now to try some daily journal writing so that you can improve your English learning!

Number 2: It’s a great way to express yourself and balance your emotions!  Are you feeling sad?  Write your feelings in your journal so you can think about why you feel sad and what you can do to feel better!  Are you feeling really happy?  Write down those happy feelings in your journal so you can look back at it on another day!  Are you feeling homesick?  Write about it in your journal!  It can inspire you to send messages to your family and friends back home and feel better!

Number 3: For entertainment and information!  With the technologies of today, a personal journal can be written for a webpage.  Blogging in a form of journal writing.  A blog can share news.  It can be so widely useful or interesting that a lot of blogs have been turned into books or movies.  A great example of this is the Meryl Streep movie Julie and Julia, which is based on the blog The Julie/Julia Project. If you want to start writing your own blog, there are free blogging websites that you can use like or WordPress.

Number 4: To reflect (think about) on ways of doing our jobs better.  Sometimes at work we have a problem doing something.  Writing about what is happening at our job can help us get a new perspective and change the way we do things.  It makes us pay more attention to what we do and how changes can help us improve.


So, what are you waiting for?  Try writing in a journal today and see how much you enjoy it!

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A Japanese Artist’s Testimonial

By Admin Tamwood,

student, artwork, tamwood

It was my first overseas trip to Canada. Unlike Japan, classes at Tamwood we were able to learn accurate pronunciation of English and I got a very good experience. I was anxious for being here the first time, but I was able to relax because everyone kindly told me to ask questions to help improve my poor English. The two weeks I spent in Vancouver was a lot of fun.

タムウッド  無題


Testimonial & Art by: Yuzune Kato

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Trivia on Canadian Thanksgiving!

By Admin Tamwood,

cranberry, tamwood

It’s that time of the year again! Thanksgiving is so special in that we not only get to feast on turkey with loved ones but also reflect on our blessings, appreciate what we have, and be grateful for everyone and everything in our lives. Let’s count our blessings and be grateful this weekend and everyday. Happy Thanksgiving!

To kick of the weekend, here are 5 trivia facts that you probably didn’t know! 

(1) Thanksgiving is celebrated on a Monday of every second week of October. In this case, we are celebrating on October 9, Monday. It is also a celebrated holiday in Canada except in P.E.I., Newfoundland and Labrador, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.


(2) Thanksgiving was first celebrated in Canada when English explorer Martin Frobisher held a feast in Newfoundland to mark his safe arrival to the New World in 1578


(3) At Thanksgiving 2016, 2.6 million whole turkeys were purchased by Canadians, equal to 40% of all turkeys that were sold over the year.


(4) Pumpkin pies are a staple in North American homes! It wasn’t popular until the early nineteenth century that the recipes appeared in cookbooks.


(5) Cranberry is widely used as a sauce during Thanksgiving. It’s also been used in the past for medicinal purposes and is valued for its ingredient pemmican, where the berries would be mixed in with animal meat and fat, then dried


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3 reasons why I’m loving Toronto

By Admin Tamwood,

toronto, language, tamwood

I have been in Toronto, Canada for four weeks and so far, my experience has been wonderful.  There are many things that I have really enjoyed such as:

  1. Toronto is a multicultural city. It is amazing to see people from all around the world sharing the same space in the subway for instance.  People in general are educated and it is common to find people reading.  In fact, the first time I went to the library I was shocked to see how many people were studying.  This is not common in my country.
  2. Toronto is very rich in green areas. There are many parks.  I usually run at the beach in he morning and believe me, it is the best experience that I have ever had to see the sun shining in the morning, to listen to the lake and take long breaths have allowed me to be at peace with myself.  Besides this, in Toronto, you can find museums, spectacular buildings and a lot of attractions.
  3. The life at school has been meaningful. There are people from many countries and it is easy to make friends.  The teachers are well trained and patient.  They are highly committed with their students and they help us in any question about our English learning performance or about our life here.  I am strongly believe that to study English in Toronto is an excellent way is an excellent way to improve your English skills.  Especially studying at Tamwood school has provided me with the tools to increase my security when it comes to speaking English.

I am fully convinced that you have to live this kind of experience.  It is not only to improve your English, but your life as well.  I am pretty sure that you will not regret it.


Words by: Leticia Castillo Vallejo


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