Earlier this year, ILAC received the prestigious Consumer Choice Award for Best English Language School in Toronto for 2012. The distinction is considered the “seal of excellence” for outstanding performance in service and reputation.
The Saudi Canadian Community Center has awarded ILAC and one of its employees, Saria Shaheen, for their contributions and efforts in providing excellent services and support for Saudi Students.
The award was based on a survey given to Saudi students in Toronto who were asked which institutions and cultural advisors were among the most helpful to them.
The Saudi students in Toronto have determined Ms. Saria to be the best cultural advisor among schools in Toronto. Ms. Saria and ILAC were awarded at a ceremony and thanked by Mr. Usama S. Alabdulwahhab, President of the Saudi Student Association President at Ryerson University.
The Canadian Ambassador to the United Nations has named Bernardo Riveros 1 of the 10 most influential Hispanics in Canada. Riveros is a director of ILAC, the most awarded English language school in the world. The International Language Academy of Canada provides training to more than 10,000 international students a year from over 70 different countries.
Three hundred executives, media and diplomats from various Spanish speaking countries, along with numerous community members, attended the national event organized by HispanicBusiness.ca.
Two years ago I taught Advanced Business English and had the pleasure of teaching a very hard-working student from the Czech Republic. This student was remarkable in many ways, but stood out in one way in particular; she was deaf.
On her first day, Eva came to me to explain her situation, expressing concern that her hearing impairment may affect her ability to participate fully in class. I asked her a few questions to assess her listening skills, which were actually quite strong. When I mentioned this, she told me she relied heavily on her ability to read lips. When I asked how comfortable she felt in telephone conversations, either in English or Czech, she replied that phone conversations were challenging, but not impossible as long as her hearing aid was working.
Negation is a strange beast in English. Have you ever met people who say “no” and those who say “not” in what seems to be the same sentences? Here are two examples:
Your drawing is no better than mine.
Your drawing is not better than mine.
Generally, we say that “no” is a quantifier, a “grammar adjective” we use when there isn’t any of a particular thing. We use it when we want to show absence: “There are no cookies left in this jar!” We also say, generally, that “not” is an adverb, and goes nicely with verbs when we want to negate a whole sentence: “This is not what I asked you to do.” But these do not explain the use of the two examples above. What’s going on here?
When I was a young boy, I decided I wanted an aquarium*. But when I went to buy the fish I was surprised that it wasn’t as easy as choosing any fish I liked and throwing them in the water together. For example, I learned I couldn’t put salt-water fish and fresh water fish in the same tank and expect them both to thrive*. Right away, I had to make a choice between salt-water or fresh water and the type of fish I bought would be limited by this choice. A person who doesn’t know much about aquariums might say “Why not just find a happy-medium by filling the tank with brackish* water?” However, an experienced aquarium keeper would understand that such a “happy medium” is not really happy at all. What’s more, by trying to accommodate* all the fish, you may end up accommodating none.
“Let us enjoy breathing together.”—Thich Nhat Hanh
- Bob Black (ILAC Teacher)
Author’s Note: this is the first in a series of three blogs that focus on the unique stories of ILAC-Toronto students currently attending the school. Their stories and lives serve as an example that there is no ‘typical’ language student. May their lives serve as an inspiration as well.
In Vietnamese, the name Trang means ‘page’. A musical name, it is often bestowed (meaning: to give) on a girl as a name for luck, prosperity and good fortune. I have met such a young woman with this name, for whom I wish all these things.
Trang is a 26 year-old woman from Vietnam studying English at ILAC-Toronto’s Night School. She came from Vietnam to Toronto, after graduating from university with a degree in Tourism, in March of 2011. Her Aunt and other extended members of her family emigrated earlier and had settled into a life of hard work and community sharing in Vaughn Mills, a suburb of the city. She spent her first months helping her family while looking for a college to study English. Upon her arrival, she could not speak nor understand English at all, except for a few popular songs. After a few months, she enrolled in a local college and spent about five months in their ESL course but grew frustrated as her English failed to improve and returned to helping her family after finishing the course. Yet her determination to learn English and to continue her education remained unbroken.
The Study & Work Program at ILAC is a popular choice for international students who want to combine learning English with practical work experience in Canada. The program consists of 50% English language classes and 50% on the job training, either in a work placement or professional internship.
In addition to regular ESL classes, students receive six modules of internship preparation on topics that include creating a resume, writing a cover letter and learning English interview skills.