Thursday, December 9, 2010

Grupo de Estudo

Os professores do Colégio Anglo-Americano estão se preparando para uma viagem de estudos ao Canadá em dezembro de 2010 e janeiro de 2011. O grupo está fazendo aulas intensivas de inglês todos os finais de semana e feriados para se preparar para a viagem. Que grupo aplicadíssimo! Parabéns pessoal!
Tivemos nas aulas até convidado especial: Fernando Rocha, ex-gerente de marketing do Upper Madison College (instituição na qual o grupo estará fazendo um curso intensivo de inglês em Toronto), esteve num almoço com o grupo para tirar as dúvidas sobre a viagem. Foto de Roberta Raffaeli, Profa. de Ed. Física do Anglo e Fernando Rocha ao lado.

Da esquerda para direita estão Marcelo Perillier (ex-aluno do Anglo), Prof. de Ed. Física Cláudio Patriota, Profa. de inglês Fátima Lopes, Prof. de Ed. Física do Sports Education do Anglo Julio Anjos, e a Profa. de Ed. Física Roberta Raffaeli.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

My Way to the College in the Spring

Do you remember my way to the College in the Winter? What a difference it was in the Spring...

The Spring

After watching the snow all over the ground for months, I was astonished to observe the flowers blossoming in the Spring. How could they flourish beautifully just like that? How can their seeds survive those freezing temperatures? It seemed to me that "those seeds were sleeping in the Winter and they have just woken up in the Spring to flourish", and to greet people with their color and wonderful smell.

Mac Lab

Most of the time you could find a space at the Mac Lab to work on your projects. In April, I had to go back there to work on my internship project; I thought I would have the Mac Lab only for myself, but for my surprise: there were no space to sit. It looked to me that everybody was working at the same time on (end-of-year) projects. In April, the weather was getting better so students wanted to enjoy the outdoors. Because of that the Mac Lab was empty in the afternoons, but there I was on my own at the Mac Lab! It was a weird feeling being there by myself. I was sad to see that the year was over, no more classes, no more projects, no more meetings with my classmates at the College. However, it was a wonderful feeling to see that the weather was getting warmer, and the flowers were beautiful as usual.

Here I am again...

It has been for a while I don't write on my blog. It has been a very busy time since March...After College was over in March, I had to start my internship in April. Everything went well... I worked at the Multicultural Centre, helped immigrants there... It was a great experience! During my lunch break, I had extra time to check the immigrant's monument, and to take some pictures downtown Welland. Check them out:

Sunday, March 21, 2010

My Way to the College in the Winter

(Pictures taken by me)

Believe me, there were days I thought I was going to freeze. It was not an enjoyable walk in the winter having to be in the classroom at 8:30 a.m.

Winter is very beautiful, indeed! Even more beautiful when you are inside your living room by a fireplace (with your boyfriend), having a glass of ice wine, and looking the snow falling through the window. How beautiful it is! But have you tried long walks when it is minus 12 or more? It is not fun for me.

Just a few days before spring came to stay...I started to hear birds singing. The snow is gone now, and my way to the College has become an enjoyable walk. Actually, a bird watching adventure. I have stopped few times, in the middle of my way going to the College, to observe the different colourful birds on the trees' branches, singing a variety of tones. How beautiful it is the spring from inside or outside my living room now.

My Classmates

First row - Nicola. Second row - Danielle and Brett. Third row- Sharon.

To facilitate your learning experience, it is important to have a good environment in your classroom. Having classmates you can count on, in case you miss a class, or need any help, is fundamental to your academic experience and success.

Also, having a good sense of humour, it helps you to cope with your regular stress in getting many assignments done. My classmate Brett has such a good sense of humour. Thank you Brett, for making me laugh.

Second row- (left to right) Alanna, Ashley and Danielle.
Third row- (left to right) Ruby, Fátima and Sharon.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Power Writing - How to improve your writing skills?

Surfing the web this week, I found out a website that can help us (students and professionals) to improve our writing skills. The website written by Daphne Gray-Grant, the Publication Coach, has many interesting articles. You can also get free articles on how to improve your writing skills, and sign-up for a weekly free newsletter on that subject. I posted one of her newsletter's samples below about "wordiness", and that is a topic that I certainly have problems with. What about you?

 Here is a sample of Daphne Gray-Grant's free writing newsletter, Power Writing.

Super fast tips to help you write faster, better
TIP: Increase your writing speed with the find & replace key
There are some bad writing habits we all slip into from time to time. One is wordiness. If you tend to be wordy, here’s a fast way to fix the problem:

Use your “find & replace” key [hit Control + F in MS Word], then type in “tion” in the “find” box and search through your document. Each time you find a word that ends in “tion” (for example: observation, translation, allocation), try to eliminate it. Why?

There are three big problems with “tion” words:
1. They are usually long - three to four syllables. Readers tend to stumble on long words.
2. They usually don’t create a picture in the reader’s mind. (If I write “dog” you are likely to see a dog in your mind’s eye. If I write “allocation” you will see nothing). Good writing is all about pictures.
3. You usually form these words by taking a perfectly good verb (eg: observe) and adding “tion” to turn it into a noun (“observation.”) To make a sentence, you THEN have to add ANOTHER verb - usually a boring one like “is” or “made” (eg: “He made an observation.”) This makes your writing dull and wordy.

The best way to eliminate the “tion” word is to turn the noun back into its original verb: She observed the problem; he translated the document.
This week as you’re writing: watch for words ending in “tion” and try to eliminate them.

An advice by Daphne Gray-Grant. Check her site The Publication Coach

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Free Online Writing Courses

I was surprised to find out that there are at least 10 universities that offer free writing courses online, so I thought about sharing that article with you. I hope this hint helps you to improve your writing skills as well as mine. I am also suggesting you this website because it has videos on resume writing guidelines, tips for writing a cover letter, creative and technical writing. Check the link below about this great finding:

10 Universities Offering Free Writing Courses Online

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Mayor David Miller's speech at Niagara College

Picture: Mayor David Miller and Fátima Lopes, and Desk Publishing Teacher Paul Dayboll at the back.

I have to confess that I am a little bit skeptical about certain politicians' practices. There is a limited number of politicians that I would consider in "My Party of Trustworthy Human Beings". On March 11, 2010, on Thursday, the public relations graduate students were invited by the journalism students (who organized the event) to attend a speech with Toronto's Mayor David Miller. I had neither the idea how the Mayor looked like nor how his political views or practices were. When I entered the room (15 minutes before the scheduled time for the speech at 11:00 a.m), I did not know that the Mayor David Miller was already inside the room waiting for the students to come in. Mr. Miller was standing at the door talking to our Desk Publishing teacher Paul Dayboll.

I am usually a polite person, and I always say "hello" to people in the College (students, faculty, cleaning staff, security guards, etc). However, I was so concerned about not being late for the speech that I entered the room, and did not say "hello" to whomever was at the door. After I sat down, I realized that there was a man, at the door, dressed in a professional suit. He was following all the dress codes, my friends Mallory Peters and Danielle Purslow, fashion consultants, advise in their blogs. From far away, I noticed that the man was wearing a pink tie. I thought that man was the Mayor's security guard, but to my surprise that man was actually the Mayor David Miller, himself, standing at the door. How distracted can I be?

Anyway, the speech was very interesting; I learned many things about the Mayor's initiatives, political views, his family, and even his involvement with the C40 Cities - Climate Leadership Group (some Brazilian cities are also participating). After his speech, I had an informal lunch with him, my classmates and the journalism students.

Not only we do have many assignments to do every month at Niagara College, but also we have the chance to enjoy a good speech or a good lunch (once in a while). How busy a year it has been after all these VIP's visits: Prime Minister Stephen Harper, in October 2009; His Royal Highness, The Prince of Wales: Prince Charles, in November 2009, and now Mayor David Miller, in March 2010.

Mrs. Geddie (our English teacher) might have the pictures with the Prince of Wales and the Prime Minister, but I only have the pictures with Mayor David Miller that I posted here. I think after having learned about Mayor David Miller's political initiatives, I can say that I will allow him to join "My Party of Trustworthy Human Beings."   By the way, don't get me wrong: I liked the Major's pink tie a lot!

Toronto's Mayor David Miller and Public Relations' Students at Niagara College

There is no place like this: Ontario!

Our school year is almost finished. Have you thought where you are going for a vacation? Beautiful British Columbia, Newfoundland, Labrador or Ontario? Experience this wonderful country Canada. Have fun!

Find your Spirit in Newfoundland and Labrador!

Beautiful British Columbia

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

How confused can an international student be? What is a Canadian Television Show?

My first weeks of classes, I spent taking the time to know certain cultural details that I was not familiar with. For example, I had another assignment for the Mass Media class: watch a Canadian television show and list all the things that made the show uniquely Canadian. While my classmates already knew what show they were going to watch; I was still trying to figure out which show was Canadian.

When I turn on the T.V., everybody speaks English, so who is American? And who is Canadian? I know how unique Canadians are, but how confusing that was to turn on the T.V and to find out which show was Canadian and which one was made by "Canadians' neighbors". By now you might be curious to know if I completed my assignment. Yes, I did, after finding out that Rick Mercer was a Canadian show I could reaffirm "The Wonderful Canadian Way" of making shows and comedies. How hilarious Rick Mercer is when he explains "The Government of Canada." (Watch the clip in my blog). How great that was to watch when he made fun of a true fact: "Air Canada having pets in the craft."

After watching several Rick Mercer's programs, I realized that there is no way someone can mistake a Canadian show for an American show. Canadians shows talk about real facts, people, companies in a very funny and sarcastic way. They portray serious matters in a very relaxed ambience, and in an amusing manner. And, to make it even more a real Canadian show, Rick Mercer's Program has to make fun of Americans in all aspects. It seems to me that a Canadian show, particularly a Canadian comedy, will not be complete, or funny, without having the comedian picking on such "Famous Neighbors" as the Americans are.

How confused can an international student be? What is a journal?

My first weeks of classes, I spent taking the time to understand not only certain English vocabulary, but also to know certain cultural details that I was not accustomed to. For example, if a teacher asks you to do a journal. What do think that is? First thing came up to my mind was "The Edmonton Journal" and "The Wall Street Journal". Did the teacher want me to create a Journal? Wow! That was a hard assignment for my first week of classes, I thought.

I was taking a Mass Media class, and Linda Camus, my teacher, asked me to do a journal. First, before starting that "famous journal", I had to find out what exactly that was. To my surprise, the assignment was even easier than I thought because I did not need to write a real (Edmonton) Journal. According to , "a journal is a daily record, as of occurrences, experiences, or observations: She kept a journal during her European trip." So, when a teacher asks you to do a journal: don't panic! All he or she wants you to do is to write your observations, experiences or daily records about a topic.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Carnival in Rio de Janeiro

For the ones who need a break after a long week of studying, studying and studying. Have fun with this clip!

What Colour is your Brand?

What Color in your Brand? Blue, green, yellow, orange, red or purple? According to William Arruda, "Just as companies use colors to express their brand attributes, you can benefit from the power of colors too...The question is not what your favorite color is, but what color expresses your personal branding attributes."

So, what are you waiting for? Watch William Arruda's video clips which I posted here in my blog to help you understand how important personal branding is, and start building your brand today. I have also posted several other links for you to enjoy this interesting topic about personal branding, and how to succeed in your future endeavours.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

MLA Style

Sometimes it is unbelievable to notice how overloaded of work I have been while in the College. To make my life a little easier, I usually look up on the web for help. There are many video clips that can help students understand certain concepts. Here is a step by step video clip that will help you with the MLA's formatting. I hope that helps you as much it helped me. Good luck!
MLA Style Video

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Scholarships for International Students in Canada

Canadian Scholarship Information for
International Students

Dear International Student,
Please, check the link below for information on scholarships in Canada.
Good luck!
Canadian Scholarships

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Learn English Lesson 3: Phrasal Verbs - Get

I know that international students have a hard time with phrasal verbs. Here is a good explanation about the usage of "get" as a phrasal verb.

Learn English Lesson 2: Silent Letters in words

Here are some more tips for you to improve your English:

Learn English Lesson 1: Irregular Verbs

I also decided to post some English language lessons to my international friends (around the world and in Canada) who work so hard to learn English as a Second Language. I hope those lessons are useful.

Brazilian Carnival 2010

Life is more than just studying. International students need to have some fun to cope with many tasks and challenges they face every day. Make sure you take some time to yourself.
Even though international students do not have much time to have fun other than studying, studying, and studying. Watch a video, a movie, listen to some music, and you will feel better, relaxed. I posted some videos here to help you with your English assignments, but also to help you relax and have some fun. If you want to suggest any videos, let me know, I will post them for you.
Have fun watching a sample synopsis of 2010 Brazilian Carnival in Rio de Janeiro.

Time Management

Stress at school is usually tied to time management. The following hints are some strategies for time and stress management compiled by the instructional resource guide for teaching assistants (University of British Columbia, 2006). These strategies are also valuable to be used by international students in their daily lives:

1. Monitor how you use your time - You may be spending time on things that are not priority;

2. Plan your year - Remember that you have responsibilities. Try to complete some tasks earlier, so you won't feel the pressure all at once;

3. Plan the week - Write a "To Do" list and put your priorities first;

4. Plan some "free time" - Working too much can lower your productivity levels, so plan some time where you can do whatever you want;

5. Eliminate distractions - A place like the library can serve this purpose;

6. Improve your concentration - By setting short specific and realistic goals;

7. Overcome procrastination - By focusing on doing a good job versus a perfect job.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Classroom Atmosphere

My classmates' picture. Left: Amanda, Suzanne, Fátima, Sharon. Right: Ashley and Kristen.

In my point of view, a proper academic environment (where students can learn and take the most of their studies) has to have some specific characteristics. A creative, relaxed, non-judgmental and prejudiceless ambience will help students to succeed instead of an opposite classroom environment. 

An ideal classroom atmosphere, where students do not feel intimidated by teachers, but, on the other hand, students feel motivated by them, should be an every-day teachers' goal. Teachers should not only help students to learn their subjects, but also motivate them to keep learning after they leave the classroom. A stressful ambience is certainly not a good environment to help students learn and succeed in their endeavours.

Making friends (in your classroom) will also help you to improve your learning performance because you will feel more confident. Also, you will be able to ask your friends questions in case you have doubts, and you need a hand. Additionally, making friends will help you to cope with the insecurity feelings of speaking to your classmates (or teachers during a presentation).

Yes, teachers have a great amount of responsibility for creating the ideal atmosphere for students to learn. However, you (student) should try your best to facilitate teachers' efforts to give you the best classroom ambience. Thank you to my good teachers who facilitated my learning by creating an ideal atmosphere; free of stress or intimidation.

My winter is much warmer in Canada when I..

My winter is much warmer in Canada when I can count on my good Canadian friend Sharon Paris to help me with my Desk Publishing Course. Thank you, Sharon for all the help, all the rides home in winter days. You made my winter in Canada warmer.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

My Winter is much warmer in Canada when I...

My winter is much warmer in Canada when I think of friends like my good friend Josie Tremonte, from Niagara College Peer Tutoring office. Josie gave me so many good advices to make my life easier in the College. Thank you, my good Canadian friend Josie!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Winter in Canada

International students when they come from tropical countries to Canada, they usually have a hard time to adapt to the weather. And that is my case, coming from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Sometimes, in Rio, we can have +30 C during the winter season, and still go to the beach. It is difficult to get used to the cold weather. Some things you should watch during the winter in Canada:

1. A nice bright sunny day with blue skies is not a synonym for a warm day. On the contrary, most of the time, the sunnier the day the coldest it is. Also, that does not mean that you should pack your stuff to go to the beach or the lake. Back home the sunnier the day the warmest it is. It is not like that in Canada, so dress warm all times, and carry extra clothes with you in your backpack because the weather always surprises you!

2. Never leave home with your hair wet. It seems something obvious, but it is not when you come from a tropical country. Back home, after you have a shower, you leave the house with your hair wet because it will dry in the middle of the way. It will dry even faster if you open up the window of your car and use that "nature blow-drier" - the wind. It is not like that during the winter in Canada. Your hair will get frozen in the middle of the way if you leave the house with your hair wet;

3. Get up at least fifteen minutes earlier than you would do in your home-country because here, in Canada, you will have to put so many layers of clothing that would take you, at least, extra fifteen minutes to get ready to leave the house. On the top of that, you also have to have time to pack your backpack with extra clothing, shoes, food, etc.

4. If you have to go walking to school, buy warm winter boots. Those winter boots usually don't look very fancy (or sexy), so take an extra pair of shoes to use in school, so you don't look like you came from the North Pole.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

International Music Video - "Girl from Ipanema"

What is Culture Shock?

Culture Shock is the name given to a feeling of confusion or desorientation that usually occurs when a person leaves a familiar place and moves to an unfamiliar place.

Culture Shock Stages

Research has shown that culture shock often develops in different stages:

1. Honeymoon Stage (Arrival Stage) - Everything is wonderful and exciting;

2. Culture Shock Stage - You start to experience difficulties with every day things which are different from home, such as: language, food, climate, etc;

3. Adapting Stage - You feel an urge to belong and you start to understand the new culture;

4. Re-entry Shock Stage - This stage takes place when you return to your home country and you realize that you brought back with you new perspectives about life.

Why an International Students "I Love Canada" Blog?

I have created this International Students "I Love Canada" Blog to share my experiences with others as an international student in Canada, and also to provide useful information to all international students, and students in general.

Furthermore, not only I want to disseminate information about culture shock, learning techniques, English language tips, but also I want to provide a sample of international music and dance, workout, etc, to help the student to cope with his or her every-day life.

If you love studying in Canada, feel free to send English language tips, international video and music samples, learning techniques, and whatever information you think it will help international students in Canada and worldwide.

Have fun with this blog!

Study and Work

Taking a full-time Public Relations Certificate Program at Niagara College, and having to work at the same time are not easy tasks. Even though I had difficulty dealing with so many assignments and work schedules in the beginning of the year; those are not impossible tasks to complete because I always organize my daily agenda. My hint to you is try to keep your student life and agenda organized on a daily basis.

Welcome to Fátima Lopes' International Students "I Love Canada" Blog!

Welcome to Fátima Lopes' International Students
"I love Canada" Blog!

Here is an opportunity for you to share your thoughts, your education, your photos, your feelings and your experiences as an international student (or a student) in Canada.