Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

People celebrating st patricks day

Every year on March 17th, there are celebrations all over the world to celebrate Saint Patrick, the most prominent saint of Ireland. On this day, people drink beer and wear green, but do you know why?

Traditionally, the day is meant to celebrate the fact that St. Patrick brought Christianity to Ireland, however, nowadays people mostly use it as a way to celebrate Ireland and Irish culture.

People also use it as an excuse to go out and drink with friends. The symbols for St. Patrick’s Day are: leprechauns, a pot of gold, a rainbow, and shamrocks, also known as clovers. This is why you may see a lot of decorations around with these images and they are based on stereotypical Irish culture. Because many people drink a lot on St. Patrick’s Day, in recent years people have complained that St. Patrick’s Day creates negative stereotypes about Irish people. So, be careful if you go out of others who drink too much, and be careful yourself to not drink too much as well. It is important to remember that Ireland is more than just beer and shamrocks.

There are many pubs in Vancouver that will be holding celebrations for St. Patrick’s Day this year with the most popular being the Blarney Stone. Why not head over there after school on Friday?

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Located in the iconic Canada Place, Fly Over Canada is said to be the “Ultimate Flying Ride” in Canada. A virtual flight ride, Fly Over Canada provides participants with a breathtaking view of the majestic Canadian scenery from coast to coast. The impressive 4 –storey ride has you “taking off” into a massive domed screen as you sit suspended with your feet hanging with only the sight, from all sides, of the intense landscapes of each Canadian province.

I had the opportunity to go with members of my family this past summer. And for a person who doesn’t usually enjoy any type of amusement ride, I would have to say that it was a magnificent experience. The suspension, movement and special effects gave me the feeling that I was actually flying in the air. If you enjoy beautiful views of nature and the sensation of flying I would strongly recommend taking this flight. Fly Over Canada is open every day from 10am to 9pm and rides start every 15 to 20 minutes.

Currently, Inlingua students can pay a discounted admission price of fifteen dollars ($15) from the approximate twenty dollar ($20) admission. Fly Over Canada is a great way to experience Canada’s natural beauty without spending too much money or time. I hope you get a chance to experience it for yourself.

Photo source: Trip Adviser Nederland

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It’s As Easy As Pi! Pi Day Explained.

When you think of pie you may think of the tasty round baked good commonly made with fruits or meats. However there is another “Pi” that is quite significant to our world. Pi (π) is the name and symbol representing an irrational number which continues indefinitely, used in such mathematical equations as determining the area or circumference of a circle. This seemingly never-ending-number has been calculated to over one trillion digits (numbers) beyond the decimal point. People also challenge themselves to memorize as many digits as they can.

So what are the connections between the tasty treat and this irrational number? In the English language the words “pie” and “Pi” are homophones. Homophones are words that use the same pronunciation, but usually have different spellings and/or meanings. The words “pie” and “Pi” share the same pronunciation but differ in spelling and meaning. Other homophones include the words like “by” and “buy” or “sell” and “cell”. Plus, the pie we eat is usually made in the shape of circle, a shape very important in the application of Pi in mathematics.

The first three digits of “Pi” are made of 3, 1, and 4 which are also the digits used in the date of March 14th or 3/14. Because of this, people all over the world celebrate March 14th as “Pi Day”. The first Pi Day was celebrated on March 14th 1988 which was organized by a physicist named Larry Shaw at the Exploratiorium in San Francisco, California. During the first Pi Day, Shaw and his fellow participants walked around a large circular room eating different flavors of fruit pies and discussing the number of Pi. Another interesting coincidence is that March 14th is also the birthday of the well-known physicist and philosopher, Albert Einstein. In 2015, ten digits of Pi where represented in the date and time of 3/14/15, 9:26:53am.  So on this and future March 14th dates, bake and eat some pies with family and friends.

Photo Source: Pi Day Doodle by Google 2010.

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March 8th is International Women’s Day. On this day, there is a global initiative to recognise the value of women in the workforce.

International Womens’ Day is celebrated differently around the world. In Italy yellow mimosas are given to women on this day. In some other countries flowers and chocolate are gifts to recognize mothers, sisters and friends. It is an official holiday in some countries.
This year, 2017, women are being celebrated for their contributions to the workforce.

In the early 1900s, women were unhappy about their work conditions in the textile and garment factories they worked in. It started mainly in Russia, New York and parts of Europe and continued to expand to other countries as well. It was clear that women wanted a change in the workplace. They wanted to be treated equal to the men and be paid a decent salary.

In 1975 the United Nations declared March 8th the official “International Womens’ Day”. Throughout the past forty years International Womens’ Day in Canada has been celebrated by special events honouring women.

Some notable Canadian Women:

Jennie Trout- the first woman MD to practice medicine in Canada in 1875. She opened the Women’s Medical College in Kingston, Ontario in October 1883.

Nellie McClung- known as Canada’s suffragette, was an activist and public speaker. In 1914 she led a group petition to the Manitoba government for the right to vote for women. In 1929, as part of the “Famous Five” , she appealed to the British Privy Council to accept the legal definition of a “person” to include persons of female gender.

Agnes MacPhail- in 1921 she was the first woman elected to the federal government

Gabrielle Roy- in 1947 the winner of several prizes for literature was the first woman to become a member of the Royal Society of Canada.

Charlotte Whitton- in 1951, in Ottawa, became the first female mayor of a Canadian municipality

Rosemary Brown- in 1972 was the first Black woman elected to be a member of a Canadian parliamentary body. She served in the BC legislature until 1986. She then became professor of Womens’ Studies at Simon Fraser University (SFU)

Roberta Bondar- in 1992 became the first female astronaut launched into space aboard the shuttle “Discovery”

Kim Campbell- in 1993 became the 19th Prime Minister of Canada and the first female to hold this post.

Angela James- in 2010 she was the first Canadian woman to be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame for winning four gold medals in world championships in the 1990s.

These are just a few of the incredible women who have contributed to Canadian society and who have become mentors for future generations of women.

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Stanley Park is one of Vancouver’s most famous tourist attractions. Located past downtown on the tip of the West End, Stanley park is a gorgeous, sprawling oasis. Surrounded by amazing views of the mountains over the water, you can easily spend a day lying on one of the amazing beaches, walking around the seawall or wandering through the trees on one of the many hiking trails.

One popular activi1280px-P1030295_-_Vancouver_-_Stanley_Park_-_totemty is to rent bicycles and cycle around the gorgeous seawall, kilometers of smooth, easy riding or walking with stunning views and picture opportunities. Don’t forget your sunscreen on the sunny days!

As well as checking out the Totem Park, an area with beautiful Native art on display, don’t forget your swimsuits so you can take a cooling dip in the Pacific off one of the beaches. TherStanley_Park,_Vancouver_(7889964786)e are gardens, monuments (the most famous being Lost Lagoon, Siwash Rock, the Hollow Tree, Beaver Lake and Prospect Point.), artists at work and an even a waterpark!

Commemorate your visit by purchasing some local art from one of the Stanley Park artists, and consider taking the Stanley Park Train, take an organised tour.

Stanley Park is a must do for any Vancouver visitor, so make sure you leave yourself a day to explore it’s many offerings.

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Normally, when you want to cross the street, you go to the crosswalk and wait for the walk sign, right? This is the best idea, but what if where you want to go is right across the street from you, and a crosswalk is far away? What do you do?

crosswalk-signalIn Vancouver, have you ever seen people cross the street wherever they want? Even if there is no crosswalk there? Sometimes they have to dodge cars, or cars have to stop quickly to avoid hitting them. This is called jay walking and it’s a common thing in Vancouver. However, it is very dangerous and you should be very careful. Cars must stop and allow people to cross the street at crosswalks, but if someone is not crossing at the right spot, they could be hurt. Many people are hit by cars every year.

Jay walking is illegal in Canada, with fines varying from city to city. For example, in Vancouver, if you are caught jay walking, you will have to pay a $100 fine. In Toronto, you can expect to pay between $35-$90. Even though it’s illegal, many Canadians still jay walk and don’t think it’s wrong. If the street has no cars on it, a Canadian will cross even if there is no crosswalk. We do not think of it as illegal, but if the police catch you doing it, they will give you a ticket.

The most important thing is to be careful. Do not walk across the street when it is very busy because you might be hit by a car. Make sure it is safe to cross if you want to cross the street. It is always best to go to a crosswalk and wait for the light to say it’s safe to cross.

Be Careful! Always be cautious and use a crosswalk!

use-crosswalk-sign

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A good way to improve your English is to read English books, but sometimes you don’t have the time to sit and read. It can be really tiring to read so much in another language even though its fun. Listening to audio books can be a great alternative.

Audio books are books that have been read aloud for you, so its the perfect opportunity to listen to native speech while listening to a great story. The best part is that if you don’t understand, you can always rewind and repeat it as many times as you want! So it’s a great way to improve your listening. It’s especially great for your morning commute because it can be boring just to sit on the skytrain without listening to anything.

It can also be helpful to listen to books you already know the story of. If you’ve read it in your native language, you will already know the story and that makes it easier to understand! It’s also a good idea to read Teen or Children’s books, because the language is easier. Check out our reading recommendations!

Rather than going and buying audio books, you can always borrow them from a local library! Libraries have more than just books, so you can find a good selection of audio books and other things, including DVDs.

18223027523_a9e9633702_hVancouver Public Library has a visitor card for people staying in Canada for less than 6 months. There is a $30 fee, but you can take out library materials.

Burnaby Public Library and Surrey Libraries will also give out library cards, but for a fee as well. If you are staying in either place, I suggest going and checking a library out for more information! Be sure to bring ID to get a library card.

If you can’t access free audio books, podcasts are also a great way to listen to English speakers, but they will be more difficult because there is often no writing to go along with it.

Why not try something fun and new to improve your English? Listen to audio books!

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Here in Vancouver, we live close to the mountains and forests of British Columbia. This is what makes living in Vancouver so beautiful! But! This can come with problems.

Because we live so close to forests and the mountains, you are more likely to encounter wild animals and you must be careful. Even when you are walking around in Vancouver at night, you may see one of these animals and if you do, remember that you must never touch or feed them, especially the more dangerous animals.Raccoon,_female_after_washing_up_mirror_image

Here’s some of the animals you can encounter in Vancouver:

These animals may look cute, but do not approach them:

  • Skunks
  • Raccoons
  • Opossoms
  • Deer

If you encounter any of these animals, they will not hurt you unless you bother them, so remember to not touch or feed a wild animal. A skunk in particular is very defensive, so it may turn around and spray you with a very stinky liquid from its butt.

These animals are more dangerous:

  • Coyotes
  • Bears (black)

If a coyote approaches you, make yourself bigger and make lots of noise. The coyote will run away.

As for Bears, here is some advice for if you encounter a black bear. The best tip is that if the bear has not noticed you, be quiet and slowly back away. Never turn and run from a bear because it will chase you.

These animals are attracted by food or pets left outside at night. The best way to avoid an encounter is to make sure your garbage is secure and that your pet is inside. For more information, visit https://wildsafebc.com

Get out and enjoy all of the nature we have here in Vancouver, but be careful about the wildlife!

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There are many ways to practice your English skills; talking to your friends, reading the news in English, listening to English songs, and of course, watching English TV shows and movies. However, lots of people miss a few simple tricks that can make a huge difference to your language acquisition.

tv

  • Minimize your contact with your native language—as far as possible, make your brain only operate in English, this will increase your retention.
  • Watch live action, not animation. While animation is great, and I know many people who have learned English entirely from the Simpsons, watching real lip movements helps your brain process the shapes and sounds that go with them.
  • Put up English subtitles—reading will help you follow the plot but also help connect the sounds with the words, improving your fluency and accuracy.
  • Watch TV shows that aren’t heavily plotted but have a lot of dialogue. Comedies are usually best for this if you enjoy that sort of show. Because you’ll get used to the accents, unlike in a movie where you don’t have time to do so, your ears will start hearing the natural speech rhythms that help you sound like a native speaker.
  • Watch things you are familiar with—if you already know the plot, you’ll be able to spend more mental energy on the language.
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Looking for something fun to do that’s close to downtown Vancouver? Check out Granville Island!Granville_Island_Public_Market

There are a lot of little shops to check out that sell things like: jewelry, food, produce, jams, meat, breads and many more! There are also lots of different craft workshops in the island, so you could have the opportunity to watch some artists at work! Why not see if you can watch people make pottery or blow glass? You can also visit lots of art galleries and see art produced by local artists.

Granville Island also has it’s own brewery. You can go and taste their different beers, as well as buy some beer for yourself. If you have a growler, they can also fill it up for a small fee.

You can also watch plays and other shows. They have many different theatres that hold different shows. Vancouver Theatre Sports is a popular comedy show with inexpensive tickets. They often do improv comedy shows, which means every night is different, because they don’t have a script to follow. They get comedy ideas from the audience!

The Kids’ Market is also a fun place to check out. Its filled  with stores like, toy stores and others, and it also has an interesting building.

Granville Island is a great place to practice your English and has things for everyone to do, so why not check it out?

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