Friday, 2 December 2011

On Your Way!

We've almost come to the end of our EAP program and your ESL life. I hope you all have some good memories of your time here and have made friends too. As they say, "This is the first day of the rest of your life!" Tell us what your plans are now; what post-secondary programs you will be attending, or the job possibilities in your future. For the last time - you will have until Tuesday, December 6th midnight to post your comments!

Friday, 11 November 2011


You read in FOV Chapter 22 that music has been a powerful medium of communication worldwide, but that it really affects each person differently. Some composers have relied on musical instruments to convey their message, while others mix music and lyrics. In some instances the lyrics have been most important especially when they have spoken of people's patriotism or rallied people in times of crisis.

Music can make you sentimental for your homeland and can inspire and bring you joy. Talk about your relationship to music.Are you a musical person? Is there a piece of music that you especially enjoy? Can you share it with us (by link and/or by words)?
Please post your comments by midnight on Tuesday, November 15.

Friday, 4 November 2011

Awesome Things!

Awesome Things!

If you click on this link The 3 As of Awesome you'll find a 7 minute TEDxToronto video by a guy named Neil Pasricha who has millions of followers on his blog called During a difficult time in his life, he started this blog to discover wonderful things that make life worth living.

Listen to his presentation paying attention to the 3 awesome things.
Comment on how one or all three play a role in your life. You should refer to something he says in the video, and as well, take a look at your classmates responses and make one comment to them. Since you have 3 tasks to do you will be graded out of 3.You will have until Tuesday, November 8th to comment

Friday, 28 October 2011


Did you know there are three basic methods of growing food? Conventional farming, organic farming and growing genetically modified crops. How much of your food is genetically modified? Do you buy organic? Conventional farming is neither organic nor GM; it is farming the way it's been done in Canada for a long time - using chemicals to kill weeds and saving seeds to replant the next year's crop. Proponents of genetic modification of plants say manipulating the plant's genes can result in better tasting fruit and vegetables, reduce maturation time and increase yields. Proponents of organic farming say the same thing. What attracts us to food in the grocery store? Are we willing to buy organic if it's not as perfect-looking as conventional food? Are we willing to pay more for organic food?
Tell us what you think about these three methods of growing food. What is used in your native country? Which one do you prefer? Support your opinion with some examples from your own background. You will have until Tuesday, November 1st to submit your comments.

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Solving Problems

In class we looked at some of the steps we take to approach problem solving or critical analysis: observing, finding facts, inferring, assuming, forming opinions, developing arguments, and finally drawing conclusions. However, the steps listed on the handout may not be the process you actually follow when you are faced with a challenging issue. You may find that you skip or add some steps or rearrange them so they occur in a different order.
To analyze your critical thinking habits, identify a problem you have faced and walk through the steps you took to solve it. Make sure to explain in detail the order of the steps and  what actions you took if one of the steps didn't seem to work.
Now analyze your approach. Is this your usual way of dealing with problems? Do you tend to think deeply or decide quickly, without much searching? Do you turn to others for help, or do you tend to work through challenges alone? Is your way of dealing with problems
similar to the way others in your family or culture deal with them?

In addition to sharing your own experience, please comment on the experience of at least one other student. Your post is due by midnight on Tuesday, October 25.

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Half Way Reflections

We are almost at the half way point in the semester, and you have already accomplished much. You've written an occupational report, a group essay and paragraph, read two novels, produced six news summaries, and given three oral presentations. As we head into the eighth week, I'd like to know your feelings about your EAP experience so far. Your assignment is to write about your triumphs and frustrations--what you've learned, what you are struggling with, what you thought you couldn't do (but did) and even what you hope you never have to do again!  This isn't a checklist--feel free to just share whatever you feel is significant in your English study in EAP. This blog is to help you assess your own strengths and to analyze your progress so far.
Your grade, as usual, will be based on how thoroughly you respond to the question and whether you respond to the comments of at least one classmate in your post. Since we will be having interviews on Thursday, October 20, writing some of these ideas down may be a good preparation for verbalizing your ideas before you talk about them.
The assignment is due by midnight on Tuesday, October 18.

Thursday, 29 September 2011

Journey by Water

For the past few weeks, you have been looking at the issue of water from political, social, and environmental perspectives in preparation for the paper you are writing. Last week, we started reading the novel, Journey to the River Sea, which is set, for the most part, on the Amazon River and which provides a different outlook on the importance of water. Based on your reading from the first seven chapters, choose one of the following questions to answer for this week's blog assignment. It is due by midnght on Tuesday, October 4.
  1. When Maia, the main character, learns that she will be going to live in Manaus, Brazil, her perceptions of the Amazon are very different from those of her classmates. Before you started reading the novel, what were your impressions of the Amazon? Are they changing as you continue to read? Find at least 2 new facts about the Amazon today that you didn't already know and share them. Be sure to list your source.
  2. Unlike most of the reading you have already done about water, Journey to the River Sea is fiction, so its main purpose is to entertain rather than to inform or convince. However, novels can also provide readers with valuable knowledge about people and places. Give at least three examples from the novel of ways that Eva Ibbotson provides valuable geographic and cultural information in the course of the story. 
  3. In what ways do the people of the story--natives, plantation owners, and townspeople, rely on the river and its tributaries in their daily lives. Give examples from each group.