Upcoming Student Events at ILAC – Summer 2014

The weather is getting hotter, the mood is getting better, and outdoor patios are getting busier. Do you know what that means? Yep, summer is here!

Make the most of it and join ILAC’s hottest events of the year!

Luau Celebration, Vancouver, All Ages Event

Wednesday July 16th, 2014
Luau_Dancer_-_Maui_Hawaii-4006:30 – 11:00 PM

Aloha! We are having a Luau Hawaiian party. That’s for sure to be fun! Put on the your wildest tropical outfit and don’t forget your “lei” (garland of flowers). Shake it to the drumbeats with unforgettable Hawaiian dancers.

Dress Code: Hawaiian
Where: @ Science World, 1455 Quebec St  Invitation is mandatory at the entrance. Get one at the Activities Department.

17th Anniversary Party “Paint the Night Bright,” Toronto, 19+

Sunday July 20th, 2014
5:00– 12:00 PM


ILAC is also celebrating its 17th anniversary with a Bright & White Party at EFS Lounge. We’ll paint your night bright with a brilliant body-painting artist Natasha Kudashkina. Free drinks, food and entertainment will be provided for all students and employees. Have fun this weekend and come out to the rooftop patio to celebrate one of the greatest events of the year. See how much fun we had last time – watch our this awesome video

Dress Code: wear something bright or something white
Where: @EFS Lounge, 647 King Street West
Invitation is mandatory at the entrance. Get one at the Activities Department.

ILAC Radio Star Talent Call, Toronto, All Ages

Tuesday July 29th, 2014
Calling All Performers
3:00 PM – 6:00 PM

performers_400Do you rap, sing, dance or maybe do it all at the same time? If your answer is “Yes,” than all we need is YOU! Win a $250 cash prize and get a chance to perform live onstage on August 8th at World Student Day, hosted by Canada’s premiere language organization, Languages Canada. The winner will also appear on the ILAC Radio show “Ham & Eggs” and will get to manage ILAC’s Instagram account for one day. Soda and snacks will be served.

No Dress Code
Where: @Breakout Studios, 1541 Bayview Ave. Transportation will be provided.
Sign up at any Activities Desk & invite your friends!

Show Us What You’ve Got!

Alena Khabibullina

Mayoral Candidate Olivia Chow Visits ILAC

directors_chow_350Toronto mayoral candidate Olivia Chow visited ILAC on July 9th to speak about the need to promote Canada as an education destination.

“We are pleased that Olivia Chow would care enough to meet individual voters and businesses like ILAC,” said ILAC Director Jonathan Kolber. “ILAC is a great corporate citizen that cares deeply about Toronto. This shows how important the language industry is and how much we add to the community, including all stakeholders. These are thousands of local Canadian homestay families, teachers, and ILAC’s graduates, who have become new immigrants and chosen Toronto as their home.”

It was a great opportunity for ILAC’s employees, who hail from many different countries, to speak personally with Chow who expressed her understanding about the challenges that newcomers to Canada often face.

“I came from Hong-Kong when I was 13 and I had a British accent,” Chow stated. “I didn’t speak a lot of English; I spoke some, because I went to a Catholic school. Learning a new language and learning how to fit in were a struggle, but I managed.”


She spoke passionately with the students of ILAC College’s School of Customer Service about the need for service excellence at the municipal level.

“I have a lot to learn from all of you,” added Chow. “The job of a new mayor is to provide the best service for the residents of Toronto, and we are here to talk about customer service. So our goal is not that different, it is how to provide that service in any way, so we can deliver a world-class city that we can be proud of.”

Chow closed the event by raising a glass to toast the success of ILAC, its employees and students.

Alena Khabibullina


How to Use the “Used To” Form in English

Do you want to improve your grammar immediately, understand native English speakers and hone your speaking and listening skills? Here is a solution: every week we create exclusive educational material only for you! It’s a grammar lesson combined with an ILAC radio podcast.

How to Use the “Used To” Form

Listen to the podcast:

We use “used to do” form when we are talking about something that happened regularly in the past but doesn’t happen any more.

Positive Sentence I used to drink five cups of coffee every day but I stopped a year ago.
When I was a teenager I used to love Lily.
There used to be a supermarket but now it’s a restaurant.
Negative Sentence He didn’t (did not) use to workout regularly.
We didn’t use to go out together.
 Question Did you use to watch a lot of TV?
Did she use to exercise every day?

The expression I am used to doing looks quite similar but has a different meaning. We use it when we talk about something we are accustomed to doing, when it has become a habit or something typical for us.

My mother is used to the rainy weather in Vancouver because she has always lived there.
I’m used to playing hockey because I grew up in Canada!

We use the form “get used to doing” when we are becoming accustomed to doing something.

Tony is getting used to speaking Portuguese because he is practicing every day.
I am getting used to listening to the Grammar Kitchen radio program because I love it!

Bonus English Tip

We also use “would” to express something habitual for us in the past but not to talk about past states.

When she was a teenager she used to help her mom with cooking – Correct
When she was a teenager she would help her mom with cooking – Correct


We used to have a cottage in the country – Correct
We would have a cottage in the country – Incorrect

English starts with Grammar! Follow us on Facebook for more English tips.

Alena Khabibullina

Customer Service Student Profile – Santiago Uzal

santyfire1Growing up, Santiago Uzal (Santy to his friends) from Silleda, Spain, always wanted to be a firefighter. He wanted to help others and have a job that allowed him to be active and physical. After receiving his engineering certificate, he applied to become a firefighter. He passed the tests and became a forest firefighter who worked on helicopters.

Santy worked as a firefighter for six years before deciding that he needed a change. He planned to study English and discover another country. After a lot of Internet research, he discovered ILAC through their Youtube videos. He enjoyed the videos so much that he decided that it was the school for him. He received a one-year leave of absence from his job and was off to Toronto to begin his new adventure.

When he arrived, his English level was Introduction, the very first level at ILAC. Over the next six and a half months he progressed through the levels until he reached Pre-Advanced. Santy completed ILAC’s internship program and started work as a waiter at a Brazilian restaurant, improving his English and Portuguese at the same time.

santyfire2Then ILAC offered him a job as a tour guide in their Social Events Department. Santy was responsible for taking students on trips around the city and making sure students had a great time on their activities. He enjoyed meeting new people and making friends from all around the world.

He enjoyed his job very much but also wanted to keep improving his English. When he heard about ILAC’s brand-new program, the School of Customer Service, he was very interested. The program is a one-year course that allows students to study and work at the same time. Its goal is to train future leaders and provide necessary skills to be successful in business and in life.

“Through this program I have met amazing guest speakers and leaders from different organizations and companies, such as Mathew Rosenblatt from the Distillery District. Mr. Rosenblatt taught us that good customer service is the key to successful business,” says Santy.

santyfire3“The program is teaching me so much, it’s great to have the opportunity to learn English in this kind of environment and to be able to use that English in the working world.”

Santy is a great example of how a student can come to Canada to study English, take ILAC’s Customer Service Program and gain valuable work experience. If you would like to learn more about his story, feel free to contact him at .

By Alisha Sevigny

Spotlight on Civil Engineering in Canada: Professional Area in Demand

The current need for skilled engineers is the highest it has ever been in Canada.engineers-500closer

As Roger Cheng, chair of the civil engineering and environmental and engineering department at the University of Alberta reported to the Canadian National Post last March, “They all (civil engineering graduates) get hired. It is one of the most in-demand disciplines and there is certainly a shortage right now.”

The need is so high that even recent civil engineering graduates with limited professional experience are in demand.

ILAC’s Pathway Department can help you to choose a program in engineering. Students can get real internship and co-op opportunities; many of them are paid.

ILAC’s partner schools (Seneca, Humber, George Brown, Centennial, Algonquin, Conestoga, Sheridan, Niagara, Mohawk, Fleming, Cambrian, Confederation, Fanshawe, Camosun, TRU, VCC, SAIT, NAIT, Saint Mary’s University and more) offer excellent undergraduate and postgraduate programs.

These applied learning programs prepare students to start their professional career in Canada. Instructors are experts in their field and curriculum is designed by industry leaders to meet the changing needs.

For more information, contact your ILAC Pathways Specialist or carolyn@ilac.com

Hat-small 1Programs:

  • Civil Engineering Technology
  • Green Architecture
  • Project Management: Environment
  • Project Management
  • Construction Management
  • Geographic Information Systems
  • Urban Land Regeneration
  • Urban and Regional Planning
  • Green Business Management
  • Environmental Monitoring and Impact Assessment
  • Environmental Control
  • Environmental Management & Assessment
  • Environmental Engineering Applications
  • Environmental Technology
  • Energy Management -Built Environment


Winnipeg, Manitoba: Canada’s Newest Destination Trend for University Pathways

Winnipeg 700With more and more ILAC students inquiring about higher education in Winnipeg, ILAC puts the spotlight on this popular Pathway destination.

Winnipeg, the capital of Manitoba, is one of the most diverse and friendly cities in North America. It offers fun and entertaining events and is an easy place to make new friends from Canada and around the world.

Here are a few reasons why Winnipeg is quickly becoming a popular destination for international students wanting to study at a Canadian College or University:

• It has the lowest cost of living for one of Canada’s biggest cities (population over 700,000)
• It has the lowest tuition fees in the country (from $9,000 per year for college and up to $13,000 for university)
• Manitoba offers an attractive immigration incentive program.

ILAC’s Four Pathway Partners in Winnipeg Have A Program For Everyone:

UniversityOfManitoba- small 400

University of Manitoba—a well-ranked research university.
Popular programs: engineering, architecture, biotechnology, agriculture, food sciences, agribusiness, kinesiology, nutrition, business.

Winnipeg Technical College
Popular programs: Culinary Arts, Hotel and Hospitality Management, Network Security and Systems, Early Childhood Education, Pharmacy Technician, Rehabilitation Assistant

University of Winnipeg—a smaller teaching university.
Popular programs: Bachelor Degrees in health sciences, biochemistry, international relations, psychology, film, acting, theatre, arts, business.
1-year Post-degrees in Public Relations, Marketing, IT, Network Security, Project Management.

Uni of Winnipeg-small

Red River College
Popular programs: diplomas in aircraft maintenance, aerospace manufacturing, automotive, hotel management, health information management, environmental technology, construction management, computer networking, pharmaceutical manufacturing, creative communications, graphic design, business, engineering and more.

For more information, contact your ILAC Pathways Specialist or carolyn@ilac.com

Reading Lesson:girl reading-200

Here are some interesting facts about Winnipeg!

1. The character JAMES BOND was based on a real person from Winnipeg!
He was a pilot in the First and Second World Wars and a master spy for Britain.

2. Winnie The Pooh got his name from Winnipeg:
During WW1, a Canadian soldier on his way to Europe bought a baby bear from a hunter and named her ‘Winnipeg’ (Winnie’ for short). When the troops were sent to France, Winnie was moved to the London Zoo, where the British author A.A. Milne often took his son Christopher Robin. When Milne wrote his children’s books, he called the loveable character Winnie the Pooh, who had become his son’s favorite animal.

3. Winnipeg is internationally renowned for its arts and culture. Along with the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, and The Winnipeg Art Gallery, it is also a popular location where some of your favorite Hollywood movies are filmed. Winnipeg Fringe Theatre Festival and Gimli International Film Festivals are also popular summer cultural activities.

4. Winnipeg is at the intersection of two rivers, the Red River and Assiniboine River. The Forks, a cultural and events centre, is located downtown where the two meet. Corydon Avenue is a very popular place to hang out during the summer for live music shows and many other free events. In the winter, the river becomes an 8.5 KM skating rink.

5. Winnipeg has a vibrant downtown (Red River College and the University of Winnipeg are located downtown), and a fun and trendy shopping and eating district.

Reading Comprehension Questions:

  1. Who was the character JAMES BOND based on?
  2. What was the name of A.A. Milne’s son?
  3. What is the name of one of Winnipeg’s Film Festivals?
  4. Where is The Forks located?
  5. Where is the University of Winnipeg located?

Summer University and College Tours with ILAC Pathways

Summer tours are a great way to see all the wonderful colleges and universities Canada has to offer. Students can get a sense of campus life, both the academic and social environments and see what a day in the life of a Canadian college or university student is really like.

Tours are free, fun and informational. If you’re thinking about doing post-secondary education or would just like to have a good time exploring Canadian campuses then contact your Pathway Department in Toronto or Vancouver to sign up today!

Toronto Schedule

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Vancouver Schedule

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Top 10 Sports Idioms

In honour of World Cup 2014, we have collected some sports idioms that you can use in your everyday speech. Try them out on a friend today!

blogpost4R1) Give it your best shot – Try your hardest.

I’m not sure how I did on my test, but I gave it my best shot.

2) No sweat – No problem.

It’s no sweat to drive you to the concert.

blogpost2R3) Make the cut – To be chosen to be part of a team or group.

I didn’t get a second interview so I’m pretty sure I won’t make the cut.

4) Level playing field – Everyone has an equal chance.

All the job candidates have a degree so it’s a pretty level playing field.

blogpost3R5) Shot in the dark – A guess.

I can’t believe I passed the test, most of my answers were shots in the dark.

6) Out of someone’s league – Not as good as someone.

Selena Gomez is totally out of my league.

blogpost5R7) Get the ball rolling – Begin something.

Everyone take a seat so we can get the ball rolling.

8) Blind-sided – To not see something coming.

Jack was blind-sided when Jill broke up with him.

blogpost6R9) Take sides – Choose a person or group to support.

“I don’t want to take sides, but Maria was waiting in line before you.”

10) Time out – Break.

“I need a time out from studying.”

Have fun using these idioms and sound like a native speaker!

By Alisha Sevigny



ILAC Sponsors 3rd Annual Daughters for Life Gala: Promoting Education for Girls in the Middle East

Dr.Abuelaish and Jon- small

From left to right: Dr. Abuelaish, Lisa LaFlamme and Jonathan Kolber at the 3rd DFL Gala. Photo: DFL

More than three years ago ILAC and the Daughters for Life Foundation (DFL) found common ground in supporting disadvantaged Middle Eastern women, regardless of nationality or religious heritage, through education and leadership training. In 2012, ILAC donated $200,000 to DFL scholarships and awards as a part of its commitment to promoting change through education.

“ILAC was the main and first contributor,” DFL Founder Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish said. “We created this momentum and I am satisfied and proud of our collaboration with ILAC, their leaders: Ilan, Jon and Bernardo and the staff. It’s a good example of partnership. We encourage students to come to us and study at ILAC because education gives you a light, but travel gives you knowledge about others.”


Captain Al Hamili receives Luminary Award from Dr. Abuelaish. Photo: DFL

This year’s Annual Gala honoured the achievements of three remarkable women: Dr. Roberta Bondar, Canada’s first female astronaut and neurologist; Aysha Al-Hamili, the first UAE female pilot; and Lisa LaFlamme, Chief Anchor and Senior Editor at CTV National News. These Luminary Awards recipients confirmed that every big community initiative starts with a small personal story.

The DFL was established in memory of Dr. Abuelaish’s three daughters who were killed by Israeli shelling in 2009. Earlier that year he also lost his wife to leukemia. His personal tragedies appear on the pages of his award-winning book I Shall Not Hate: A Gaza Doctor’s Journey, which describes his philosophy of forgiveness. Creating educational opportunities for women through DFL, he has been called the Nelson Mandela of the Middle East and nominated three times for the Nobel Peace Prize.

“I have known Dr. Abuelaish and his family quite well, as well as his vision, which I fully understand as it’s clear that the more educated women are the greater the society is,” ILAC Director Jonathan Kolber said at the 3rd DFL Gala. “I’m here with my wife Geraldine and this year he saved her life. He also mentored me through a very, very challenging time. We are so thankful for you as a human being, for all the hope you’ve given us and we will be forever grateful for all things you’ve done for me and my family.”

This collaborative vision brought two women from Israel, Amany Khater and Nawal Khalily, to study at ILAC. Both received scholarships and financial aid to learn English and pursue their education in Canada.

“We supported these girls and would love to attract more women who would like to be educated future leaders,” Dr. Abuelaish said. “We encourage these women to apply for Daughters for Life scholarships: girls with potential and talent but who lack opportunity. We would like to give them this opportunity, to strengthen and arm them with this education.”

Alena Khabibullina

ILAC Signs Direct-Entry Agreement with Douglas College

douglaslogoILAC is proud to announce that Douglas College in Vancouver is now accepting ILAC’s Pre-Degree course for direct entry to all diplomas, degrees and post-graduate programs.

In our six-year history of working together, hundreds of students have gone to Douglas College after studying at ILAC. Several of them have won scholarships and prizes.


Director Ilan Cohen meets with former ILAC Pathway Student now studying at Douglas College.

Christiaan Bernard, Manager of International Marketing and Recruitment, says “ILAC is one of the few educational institutions which has met the high standards required for their students to directly enter into academic credit programs without further testing of their English ability.”

Bernard explains, “To achieve a direct entry pathway, a committee made up of Douglas College ESL instructors evaluated the ILAC curriculum, tested countless students and then presented the findings to three separate committees for approval. This rigorous evaluation process provides assurance to students who complete the ILAC program, that they have the ability to be successful once they begin their program at Douglas College.”


Why study at Douglas College?

Douglas is well known for being one of the top university transfer institutions in North America, with several top 50 ranked schools accepting students directly, credit for credit into their degrees.

A few notable institutions are the University of British Columbia (UBC), the University of Toronto (U of T), and Mc Gill University. Students can choose to take the 1+3 transfer program (one year at Douglas and three years at the receiving university) or the more popular 2+2 (two years Douglas and two years at the receiving university).

DouglasoutsideLooking for something shorter? Douglas College offers 16 two-year associate degrees, 32 two-year diplomas and 7 one-year Post-Degree Diplomas, which are very popular with ILAC students. Douglas College is a designated institution, and students who complete an academic credential are eligible to apply for a Post Graduate Work Permit.

We are excited to share this fantastic news, and we look forward to sending many more successful students to our longest-running partner school in Vancouver. For more information about our Pathway program, please contact Carolyn at .