Virtual French Options at EC Montreal!

EC Montreal offers virtual French lessons to meet students’ academic needs as well as their availability.  Students who join our virtual French lessons are placed in classes with students who are currently participating in their full-immersion programme at EC Montreal.  Students will therefore not only get a taste of the language but also get a taste of the destination. Students who choose the Virtual 4 Lessons programme will have their classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.  These lessons have a Grammar in Context focus. Students who choose the Virtual 6 Lessons programme will have their classes on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.  These lessons have a Conversation and Listening focus. Students can also choose the Virtual 10 Lessons programme and can work on both Grammar and Conversation and Listening. EC Montreal also offers a Virtual 8 Lesson programme where students are placed in one of our French levels.  This option is ideal for students who want to work on their four language skills; speaking, listening, reading and writing.  This is especially important for students who have academic goals to achieve and need to measure their French language proficiency. Students can also bundle up the different options and be enrolled in an 18 Lessons per week programme.  This combo is ideal for students who are in the French University Pathway programme.  Students can achieve their desired level of French to move on to college or university within a specific number of weeks or hours. Students in the university pathway programme can also benefit from our TEFaQ preparation class.  This class is offered on Saturday mornings from 9 to 11 a.m.  The Oral Comprehension block will begin the first week of April. TEFaQ stands for Test d’Evaluation de Français Adapté au Québec … Read more

Recipe of the Week!

As it is maple season in Quebec, as promised, we will be sharing a new maple recipe every week!  There are so many delicious and easy recipes to make with maple syrup!  This week’s recipe is for maple, walnut blondies.  I am sure you have had brownies before, made with chocolate.  Blondies are just like brownies except they don’t have chocolate.  They are cut into squares and make a wonderful dessert or indulgent snack. With EC Montreal’s past maple syrup festivals, maple blondies were always a part of the maple treats on display.  You can make them with or without the walnuts or can even replace the walnuts with pecans or sliced almonds. For my version of maple and walnut blondies, you will need the following ingredients: • 11 tablespoons butter, half melted • 1 cup brown sugar • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons maple syrup, divided • 1 egg • 2 teaspoons vanilla • 2 cups flour • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda • 1 3/4 cups chopped walnuts Adjust oven rack to upper middle position and preheat oven to 375°F. Line a baking pan with wax paper or foil, allowing edges to hang over the sides like a sling. Grease the baking pan.  Stir butter with brown sugar in large bowl. Stir in 1/2 cup maple syrup and egg until combined. Add flour and baking soda to bowl and stir until completely combined. Stir in 1 1/2 cups walnuts. Spread into prepared pan and smooth the top. Drizzle remaining 2 tablespoons maple syrup over top and swirl into batter. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup walnuts.  Bake until golden and just set in center, about 25 minutes. Avoid over baking. Transfer pan to wire rack to cool, about an hour. Grab sling and lift blondies out of pan to cut. … Read more

Kunsoo Han From Montreal: “EC Montreal, Je t’adore!…”

Kunsoo is a student from Montreal participating in EC Montreal’s General French programme.  He began his lessons with EC when we reopened our center in September.  Kunsoo is a university professor and is using his sabbatical to improve his French skills.  Kunsoo is making incredible progress and has already moved up several levels during his time.  He plans to continue his lessons with EC until he further develops his accuracy and fluency of the French language. Here is what Kunsoo wanted to share with everyone about his EC experience: Hello everyone, my name is Kunsoo Han and I live in Montreal. I have been learning French 20 hours/week at EC Montreal since September 2020. I chose EC because of its reputation for being rigorous, and my experience so far has been nothing less than amazing. The staff are very friendly, professional and thorough, and the teachers are outstanding. They really care about each and every student and they work together to make sure you succeed and achieve your goals. Thanks to their great care and support, I feel that I am improving every day! Merci beaucoup EC Montréal. Je t’adore!  We look forward to welcoming you to EC Montreal’s French programme soon!  A bientot!

Throwback Thursday!

This week’s Throwback Thursday images are that of our wonderful St. Patrick’s day celebrations throughout the years at EC Montreal!  We always made sure to include these festivities in our March calendar of events.  I am sure everyone who studied at EC Montreal remembers that Wednesdays were fun days at EC!  We would hold our complimentary activities that day!  Students would have something new and exciting to look forward to on Wednesdays after class. Most of the activities were centered around our monthly themes; the month of March was dedicated to maple season in Quebec, however, we always made sure to also celebrate St. Patrick’s Day the week of March 17. We would ask our students to come to school wearing green and would decorate the student lounge with banners, balloons, shamrocks and center pieces.  We would serve green non-alcoholic beer and hot dogs right off the grill.  Sometimes we would even find special St. Patrick’s Day cakes to serve to our students.  The students would have such a marvelous time and we would invite them to participate in Montreal’s annual St. Patrick’s Day parade that runs along Ste-Catherine street right outside the EC Montreal school.  Montreal’s parade is the second largest in North America, second to New York’s. This year, we still managed to celebrate this special day by distributing green cupcakes to our students in their classroom. Many of our students and staff members wore green to add to the celebration!  Social gatherings are still not allowed in the province of Quebec.  Once we are given the green light, we cannot wait to start planning outings and activities with our EC Montreal students again! We look back at these Throwback Thursday images nostalgically, but also with hope that these happy days and wonderful moments will be back one … Read more

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Today is St. Patrick’s Day and we made sure to celebrate it at EC Montreal!  There is a very large Irish community in Montreal and there is usually a very large and impressive parade to celebrate this special day!  The parade usually runs right along Ste-Catherine Street with floats from so many organizaitons and associations across the city.  Everyone wears green and have fun drinking Irish specialties like Bailey’s Irish cream, Guinness beer and Irish Whiskey.  One of our traditions at EC Montreal is to serve green beer.  We add a little food colouring to the beer and it really adds to the spirit of the celebration!  We usually serve the beer with hot dogs right off the grill. This year, we wanted to make sure that we marked the day in a festive way despite the social gathering restrictions.  We went to all the classes and served mini cupcakes with green frosting!  What made it extra special today, is that we had our colleagues from EC Toronto join the festivities via Microsoft Teams.  We had them on a group call and carried our cell phone while we went to all the different classrooms.  Everyone cheered and were very happy to meet the EC Toronto team! Most of the students and staff had some green articles of clothing on!  We had a great time serving our students special treats and wishing everyone a wonderful St. Paddy’s Day! We cannot wait to see how the other EC destinations around the world, especially EC Dublin celebrated this very festive day! Join us at EC Montreal and be a part of all the fun!  Until then, hope to see you on Microsoft Teams while study French online with EC Virtual!  See you soon!    

Recipe of the Week!

In keeping with our maple syrup themed month, we are happy to share another recipe with all of you.  It is maple season in Quebec.  Spring has sprung, the weather is getting a lot milder and it is the ideal time for the maple farmers to tap their trees to extract its sap.  There are many maple farms in the province of Quebec, and they export their sweet and delicious maple syrup all over the world.  Giving our students a sample of maple syrup is like giving them a taste of Montreal.  It is a big part of our local flavours.  Maple syrup is not only delicious it also has many nutritional benefits.  It is filled with antioxidants and minerals such as zinc. This week’s maple syrup recipe is for my maple syrup cake.  It is very easy to make and turns out best when you use local Quebec made maple syrup. For my version of maple syrup cake, you will need the following ingredients: ½ cup of butter ¼ cup of brown sugar 2 eggs 2 cups of flour 1 tbsp of baking powder ½ tsp of cinnamon ¼ cup of milk 1 cup of Quebec maple syrup For the icing: ¼ cup of maple syrup 2 tbsp of butter 1 cup of powdered sugar To make cake, cream butter and brown sugar. Add eggs, one at a time. Beat well. Combine flour, baking powder, and cinnamon. Combine maple syrup and milk. Add dry liquid and ingredients to the creamed mixture alternately. Beat well after each addition. Pour batter into greased and floured pan. Bake at 350°F for 35 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in centre of cake comes out clean.  Let cake cool completely before icing. For the icing, combine maple syrup and butter in small saucepan over … Read more

Throwback Thursday!

This week’s Throwback Thursday are images of EC Montreal’s annual maple syrup festival, also known as the “Sugar Shack” Festival!  It is maple season in Quebec and one of the most important events we offer our students is a Taste of Montreal!  Introducing them to traditional dishes and local foods.  We are proud of the fact that 90% of the world’s maple syrup is produced right here in Quebec.  Maple syrup is not only delicious, but it also is filled with many vitamins, minerals, nutrients and antioxidants. At EC Montreal, we completely transform the student lounge to look like a traditional Sugar Shack or Cabane a Sucre as it is called in Quebec.  These shacks are located on maple farms and serve traditional Quebecois meals and yes, there are pitchers and pitchers of maple syrup intended to be poured over everything.  The tables all have red and white checkered table cloths and there are piles of fire wood and maple containers that are used to collect the sap from the trees.  There is Quebecois folk music playing in the background and every single table is covered in different kinds of local maple syrup treats.  There are cakes, pies, cupcakes, donuts, candies, muffins, fudge, popcorn, cotton candy, cookies and so much more! Every table also has fun facts about maple syrup as well as nutritional information.  The festival is only one of many maple syrup activities we plan for our students. We also give them information about the different maple farms that are located very close to Montreal’s city center.  Our tour operator also plans a special trip to the Sugar Shack several times a year so students can experience the real deal and get a tour of the maple farm and learn how the syrup is extracted from the trees … Read more

Montreal en Lumiere Festival is Back!

One of Montreal’s most beloved winter festivals is back this year and we couldn’t be more excited!  It is by far one of the best festivals of the year and we are so ready to enjoy a Montreal festival after such an incredibly difficult year.  The festival celebrates so many of our senses; with the lights, music and gastronomical delights!  The festival will take place from March 4 to March 28 at the Quartier des Spectacles located outside Place des Arts. Again this year, one of the main attractions is the enormous Ferris Wheel all lit up to enjoy!  This year because of the pandemic, there will be safety measures implemented like social distancing, face coverings and disinfecting the seats between participants.  The giant lit up slide is also back this year!  You can get a thrill by sliding down from impressive heights. The festival will include music as well as culinary creations.  The participating restaurants will take online orders for pick up.  This is to ensure safety measures are maintained. With the return of this festival it feels like Montreal is returning to being a fun playground for all to enjoy!  The city is coming back to life after being asleep for far too long! The museums are open as are shopping malls, indoor swimming pools and libraries.  We are waiting for restaurant dining rooms to reopen.  Montreal is a food lover’s paradise and we can’t wait to start enjoying Montreal nightlife and food scene. Make your travel plans to magical Montreal and discover this incredible city with EC!  Until then, head a head start on your learning with our Virtual French lessons.

Recipe of the Week!

It is maple season in the province of Quebec so for the entire month of March, we will be sharing our favourite maple recipes.  Every March at EC Montreal, the social calendar is filled with maple and sugar shack activities to celebrate one of Quebec’s most local products.  The events would include maple festivals, maple tea and conversation, pancake breakfast and a visit to a local “Cabane a Sucre” maple farm. During our maple festival, we make sure to display information on every table in the student lounge with fun and interesting facts about maple syrup. Did you know that… A tree takes about 40 years to produce sap. 90% of the world’s maple syrup is produced in Quebec. Maple syrup is filled with minerals; zinc, calcium, potassium and magnesium to name a few. Maple syrup has the same amount of antioxidants as a banana or a serving of broccoli. We are delighted to share another wonderful and easy maple recipe for you to try.  This one is for a simple maple pie.  You can buy your pie shells from the frozen food section of the grocery store for this recipe. You will need the following ingredients: • 1 cup maple syrup • 1 cup brown sugar • 1/3 cup melted butter • 2/3 cup whipping cream • 2 tsp vanilla extract • 1 1/2 tbsp flour • 3 eggs In a small saucepan, combine the maple syrup, brown sugar and butter. Bring to a boil over medium low heat for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the whipping cream and vanilla extract. Allow to cool to room temperature for about an hour. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  When the boiled mixture is cool, whisk in the eggs and 1 1/2 tbsp flour into the filling until … Read more

Throwback Thursday!

This week’s Throwback Thursday images are those of EC Montreal’s annual International Women’s Day breakfast.  The UN named March 8, International Women’s Day to honour women past, present and future!  We are still fighting for equality and strive to live in a world that recognizes women’s efforts as much as men.  There are still too many inconsistencies that should not be tolerated.  The word feminist is still considered an ugly word by way too many when in fact all it means is someone who believes women should have the same rights as men.  We must all label ourselves as feminists! At EC Montreal, corporate social responsibility is very important to us.  We like to bring up these type of discussions to raise awareness to causes that hold a special place in our hearts.  These topics inspire wonderful discussions and debates. We always encourage our students to dress up in the International Women’s Day trademark colour; purple and dress up the school with purple balloons and flowers to create a cheerful atmosphere.  The breakfast includes pancakes right off the grill, berries, cupcakes and muffins.  Each table has literature on International Women’s Day as well as examples of strong women throughout history.  We usually bring our daughters in to work on that day to show real girl power! This year, Women’s Day falls on Monday.  We are asking all our students and staff to dress up in the colour purple in support and recognition of this very special and important day.  We will be serving purple treats in the classrooms. Happy International Women’s Day to everyone and here’s to strong women around the world!  May we know them.  May we be them and may we raise them!