Planning to travel to a natively English country when you are learning the English language is one of the best things that you can do to get some real-world English skills practice. It is also a significant motivating factor for English language learners because all of your senses with be stimulated with the language and culture.
Canada is one of the most fascinating countries in the world, and it is no secret as the country welcomes millions of visitors every year from all over the world. There are national parks with trekking glore, skiing and snow sports in the winter, the famous Niagara Falls, and it is a wildlife mecca with animals like bears and moose.
Canada's culture is unique and although the cities are modern and bustling as in many other parts of the world. Only a small proportion of the country is actually inhabited, the majority of the Canadian population live in the far south of Canada which is close to the US border.
Although English is Canada's official language, it may not be quite so well known that French is also the official the joint language of Canada. Yes, indeed it is a dual language country, part of the country do speak French as their native language and mother tongue.
Although there are native French-Canadian speakers all over Canada, the provinces of Quebec and New Brunswick actively use both languages in the everyday workings of the areas. Wikipedia states that up to 85% of bilingual Canadians live in or around the province of Quebec.
As an English learner preparing your trip to Canada, you will be happy to know that the trip will support your language learning through full immersion into Canadian culture. If you plan the trip wisely, this will be a wonderful opportunity to improve your English. It is important to make sure that you stay in the right area of the country. Let's take a look at the benefits of travel learning and how you can make the most of a trip to Canada.
Benefits Of Learning English While Travelling In Canada
If you speak English as a Second Language, you will find many benefits in travelling to native English speaking countries. Your language proficiency, communicative skills your confidence and your Listening skills could improve faster and better while travelling than in any language program.
Bear in mind that the English accent in the UK is very different to Canada's English, and it is also somewhat different to the English accent in the USA. So if you like to hear different accents Canada's English will be excellent for you.
Top Benefits To Travel Learning
- Intercultural exposure is one of the most powerful ways to gain connections to the new language that you are learning or improving.
- Problem-solving and being forced to communicate even if you have limited English. Helps you to create your own strategies to speak English.
- For the same reason as above travel, learning is very intensive, but it is this intensiveness that helps to push your proficiency to the next level.
- Cultural enrichment. When we are in a new environment, we are often curious and excited. When you are excited and open to learning new things you learn faster and remember the information you have learned much longer.
- Language and culture: Your will be exposed to diverse culturally international vocabulary, grammar and customs that will be uniquely Canadian.
- You will have to learn all of your English skills, Reading and writing, speaking and listening.
- You can use your English to create a cross cultural Where you also get to share your culture and information about your country with Canadians.
- For students with higher fluency, You will get to have a real conversation with English speakers. This with give ESL students an insight into what they have left to learn in English.
- If you are learning business English, you will have opportunities to practice if you are visiting cities in Canada. You could set up some meetings with an instructor so that even though you are travelling, you are continuing your professional development.
Other Options For ESL English Learners To Visit Canada
If you want to stay a bit longer or have a more structured instructional trip with coursework, writing skills practice, exams or qualifications. You could sign up to become a full time international student, organise an English learning placement or do an exchange program with your school for a semester.
This way gives you some focused language training during the school year, teaching strategies from an English teacher to make sure that you are proficient and the school teacher will also use teaching techniques with different teaching skills to help you with your comprehension.
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Preparation For Which Part Of Canada To Visit?
Canada is a huge country, and one of the first things that you should do when you are planning your trip is deciding on an area to travel to. Canada is very diverse in its geography, and it is split into 10 provinces Newfoundland, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia.
As mentioned above Quebec (Including parts of Newfoundland & New Brunswick) is mostly French-speaking so you won’t want to visit here if practising English is at the top of your list although they could make a great side trip. The rest of Canada is more or less English speaking, and so this gives you lots of wonderful options.
The English Speaking Provinces Of Canada:
- Ontario is the province where you will find the capital of Canada; Ottawa. It is a host to big cities like Toronto which are metropolitan and modern. Much of Canada's population in live in this province due to its economic stability and great education.
- Manitoba is a quiet province with grasslands and prairies which gives any visitor a unique experience.
- Saskatchewan is similar to Manitoba, and it is home to many indigenous Canadians. A visit here may allow you to hear one of the many indigenous languages of Canada.
- Alberta hosts the capital of Calgary, it is home to mountains, farmland, oil production and lots of snow in the winter
- British Columbia hosts the popular Vancouver and Victoria island, it is breathtaking with the Rockies and natural parks in close location to the cities.
- Nova Scotia borders the Atlantic coast and has a thriving fishing industry. The capital is Halifax, with Dartmouth, which is an even bigger city very nearby.
- Prince Edward Island is a small island with beaches and a tiny population
This is not meant to serve as a travel guide, but hopefully, this overview gives you an idea about where you might want to travel to in Canada to develop your English language skills.
Canadian Essentials To Know For The English Language Learner
Before you leave home to visit Canada, you must realise that Canada has some very extreme weather conditions. You must make sure that you understand the weather for the location in Canada that you plan to travel to and plan and prepare accordingly.
The weather follows extremes with sweltering summers in many places and cold arctic winters. For Example in the winter months planning a trip to see the Niagra falls maybe a waste of time. Likewise, it is essential to prepare your wardrobe as in the coldest months in some of the coldest provinces you may find it unbearable to go out o explore.
Indeed it is a universal reaction that when the sun comes out life is just that bit brighter. To see Canada in all of its glory at the lease for the first time it would be wise to visit outside of the winter months and enjoy all that Spring, Summer and autumn have to offer. Unless you have a very defined reason for visiting Canada during the winter, the best months would most certainly be between April and October.
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Depending on your passport you may have to get a visa or entry document to visit Canada. For most tourists, you are welcomed to stay for up to 6 months in Canada, but this varies depending on many things. If you which to study in Canada you will need a student visa, ensure you know the purpose of your trip and get the right visa.
You must research the entry requirements for your particular passport before leaving your country of origin. I would even advise that you understand your status and secure your visa before booking your flight as if your permit is not approved you could lose the money for your flight.
Fast Facts: Essential Information
- Canada's currency is the Dollar (CAD)
- Expect to spend around $100 per day for hostel/backpacker level travel.
- Canada has plug style as the USA, 2 long flat prongs.
- Best time to go is March to November
- Heat exhaustion or dehydration in the summer and cold exposure in the arctic winters can cause health concerns. Make sure you understand how to best take care of yourself and seek medical advice should you need it.
Travelling to the country of the language that you are learning gives you the advantage of improving your basic skills and guides you toward academic achievement. The learning environment has a significant influence on the English language development of the language learner. When you are studying English in your ESOL classroom, you will be in a passive form of learning. When you are travelling you have access to English all around you, you will be immersed in the language.
If you are working to improve your English, you will have a great time on your trip to Canada. If you found this useful, why not check out our blog on Student Travel in Australia!