When I arrived in Vancouver I thought the classes would be like in the schools where I had studied, as soon as the class ends, everyone goes back home and only sees each other during the day. But at Tamwood this was not the case. Every weekday of the month there are extra class activities where you can practice English and make friends! Activities include sightseeing, trying new sports, going to some typical attraction of the station (such as a market or fair), visiting parks, going to bars (if you are over 19 years old), eating at restaurants with typical food and going to the cinema.
Many of the activities are paid, but going through the school we pay a cheaper price than if we were going on our own. Since other activities are free, the only thing we need is our time and willingness. I can guarantee that it is the best investment we can make in our free time, as we are practicing English all the time by talking to students from all over the world with different pronunciation. Our speaking and listening skills are constantly improving.
Another interesting fact is the amount of friends that we make in these activities, because during the classes we do not have much contact with students from other classrooms, but these activities make us meet new people all the time. Keeping in touch with our new friends across social media is not only good to help us deal with the family distance, but also helps improve our writing and reading.
I really enjoyed the extra class activities, made lots of friends and practiced my English. I will never forget all those good moments that I lived in Tamwood. Even with each friend returning to his home country, I have never felt so comfortable with so many people from so many places, because everyone is there for the same purpose as mine, to learn English and have fun, and that’s for sure what Tamwood provided us.
Words & Photos by: Breno Muniz de Castro Fonseca, Level 6
Filed under: ESL
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Learning English as a Second Language can be difficult especially when you are learning it later in life. This should not discourage you though as millions of people have been in your path and can now speak English fluently!
Here are some ways to practice your English:
1 – Participate in activities with fellow classmates from all over the world
Tamwood has an amazing after school activity calendar at all of its campuses. Students are able to go on adventures and excursions together, getting to know the city and each other. You will be able to see beautiful places, eat in great restaurants, learn about your fellow classmates, their countries and cultures. Most importantly, you will make connections and friends from all over the world whilst conversing in a common language: English!
You can also take on a more active role as a Student Leader for activities!
Volunteer work is a fulfilling use of time and this will allow you to speak to people from all kinds of backgrounds. Not only will you get to know yourself better but you will also be helping an organization or event. You can make connections and network by starting a conversation with those you come across. The key is to practice the English you’ve learned inside the classroom and take it with you wherever you go.
3 – Films and TV shows
Watching movies and TV shows is a great form of entertainment that will enhance your listening skills, vocabulary and grammar. You can mimic words and phrases, and use context clues. You will be amazed at how much you understand from watching films and shows!
4 – Reading books and newspapers
Start by reading headlines and go one paragraph at a time, sentence by sentence. When you don’t understand a word, grab your dictionary to look it up! You’ll be reading faster and understanding words better in no time. Make it a point to read something everyday and make it a habit.
5 – Music
Listen to English music and sing along to your favorite tunes. This is a fun way of practicing English, memorizing and saying words or phrases better.
If you practice your English skills everyday with these tips, we are certain you will be speaking fluently soon!
Filed under: ESL
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