When learning a new language, it is best to live among native speakers. Learning English is no exception. Find the perfect place to learn English in our ESL Series: Where to Improve Your English - Canada.
There are so many countries around the world that speak English, reflecting Great Britain’s influences throughout past generations. The need for a lingua franca in a globalized world is very important. English is used for business purposes, in international organizations, diplomacy, banking and finance, trade and commerce, hospitality and tourism, higher education and more! This essential tool puts learning the English language in high demand, making internationals eager to learn it.
But where is the best place to learn? That’s up to you! Though the dialects are different from country to country, the language is ultimately the same! There are a few cultural differences between each nation that you should be aware of, but that won’t keep you from learning one of the most spoken languages in the world!
Lying in the northern part of the North American continent, Canada was colonized by both France and Britain, making French and English the two official languages of the country. Canada is an independent nation and is a part of the Commonwealth of Nations, so it remains in close ties with the United Kingdom. Like most English-speaking countries, there are many regions and cultures that have affected the language over the years. The mixture of indigenous languages, French and English, give the Canadian language a unique dialect. The method of spelling is a mix of British and American spelling.
“Canadian raising” is a reference to the pronunciation of vowels in the English language. One example is the word “about”. While in the U.S. the vowels are pronounced as they would be in “loud”, it sounds more like “oot” when spoken by Canadians. Though the Canadian and American dialects are similar in a lot of ways, some words or phrases have completely different meanings, and some do not exist in the other’s language. In Canada “writing a test” refers to someone taking a test, while in the United States it refers to someone who makes the test. Some phrases like “toonie,” a $2 coin, do not exist in the United States. Canadians are loyal to Great Britain, but do not wish to sound British. They only seek to sound different from the U.S, hence the mix of both dialects.
If you want to learn a more accent-free English, avoid certain regional dialects such as Cape Breton, Lunenburg, and Quebec English, as they tend to mix English with other European languages. This can make learning English difficult for novices.
The best place to learn English in Canada? Toronto and Vancouver are the two most cosmopolitan cities in Canada. Many schools offer English courses at universities, letting you choose a course length that fits your lifestyle. The school year begins in September and ends in June. Breaks are taken throughout the year to give students and teachers time to relax and celebrate holidays such as Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, and a few others, like Victoria Day and Canada day.