Queen's School of English


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Winter/Summer Review 2015

Published on June 26, 2015

Greetings from Queen's School of English.
As the summer days warm up, QSoE continues to welcome more international students to the Queen's campus. In this newsletter, we are excited to provide you with an update on the hiring of our new Director and share with you stories about what our students and staff have been doing in the past few months.
Winter is always an exciting time of year in Kingston, especially for those students who are experiencing winter for the first time. Our adventurous students in the Canadian English Experience(CEE) Program took full advantage of the activities and trips that are included in the program: cross-country skiing, skating on the Rideau Canal and trying the Beaver's Tale for the first time in Ottawa. While the CEE students stay with us for four weeks in the winter, most of our English for Academic Purposes (EAP) students continue on to the Summer Session, which started in May with students from 13 different countries. Next week, our QBridge Accelerated begins, followed by the CEE Program in August.
This year our winter and summer programs share something unique in common. More and more often students are engaged with the local Kingston community. Continue reading to find out how!
We encourage you to keep reading our newsletter to learn more about our spring recruitment activities in Japan and Brazil, to read our popular "Meet Our Instructor" section, featuring Monte Biggar, and to get a glimpse of what's been posted on our blog recently.




QSoE Team


Announcement: New Director at QSoE

I am pleased to announce the appointment of Robin Cox as Director, School of English, effective August 1, 2015.


Robin is coming from Fleming College where she held the role of Manager, English Language Studies in the School of Arts and Science.


She has a Masters of Arts in Applied Linguistics from Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand, a post-graduate diploma in TESOL from Trinity College, London, a TESL certificate from OCLCC in Toronto, and an undergraduate specialist Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology from the University of Toronto.


Robin is an experienced ESL / EAP professional and an administrator with over twenty years of broad international and Canadian experience in administration, leadership, program and material design, teacher training, teaching, testing and assessment, research and academic student support.


Please join me in welcoming Robin.


Dr. Stephen Elliott
Dean, Faculty of Education


QSoE's Spring Recruitment Update


Our Interim Senior Program Coordinator, Karen Burkett, traveled to Japan in April to visit many of our valued university partners, including Kwansei Gakuin University, Kansai Gaidai University, Aichi University, Tokai University, and Seitoku University. During her trip, she met with some of our alumni and many prospective students.




In May, our Marketing and Communications Coordinator, Nadya Maskurova, together with colleagues from the School of Graduate Studies, the CALDO  Roadshow in Brazil. During the visits to Sao Paulo, Brasilia, Salvador, Belo Horizonte, and Rio de Janeiro, QSoE participated in a number of student fairs held by the top public university of Brazil, met with many prospective students, and visited our agent representatives. 


Stay tuned to our social media and follow our #qsoetravels on Twitter and Facebook for the photos and updates on where we have travelled in the past and where we will be going next!


Meet Our Instructor


Coming from the small town of Hagersville, Ontario, Monte Biggar began his academic career with an Honours Bachelor of Arts Degree from Carleton University, in Ottawa. Following that, he attained a Bachelor of Education degree from Dalhousie University before starting off his teaching career and world adventures in a small town in South Korea, where he spent a very enjoyable year. However, it was his vacation that began in Guatemala that influenced Monte's life the most, both professionally and personally. During a visit to Costa Rica, he was offered a position teaching grade 6 at the Centro de Educacion Creativa, located in the cloud forest of Monteverde. It was there that he met his future wife.


Monte left Costa Rica to live with his future wife in Brooklyn, New York. Next, he attained a Master of Education degree while working at an American institution in Poland. After studying and working in Poland, and exploring Eastern Europe, Monte returned to Costa Rica, where he taught high school history and literature for three years at the Monteverde Friends School. Here, Monte explain, "I taught bilingual students the value of environmentalism in a historical context in order to help them take better control over their own futures and that of the greater community."


After traveling and teaching in different countries, Monte joined Queen's School of English (QSoE) in 2005. Since then, Monte has taught every level of our English for Academic Purposes (EAP) Program, from the Beginner to the Advanced and University Preparation levels. He has also assisted with the curriculum development of the program. He initiated the use of Nicenet as a collaborative, online community space at QSoE and he created a series of online e-courses in Moodle which he successfully piloted. He is currently focused on the task of implementing a systematic approach to vocabulary acquisition for the students in his classroom utilizing the latest in SLA research and online resources.


Since moving to Kingston and starting to teach English language at Queen's University, Monte hasn't traveled as much, but he continues to enjoy learning about other cultures through teaching international students. "I like solving language problems and helping people achieve their goals. I like people and everything I learn from them."


The limited time that Monte has with his students in the 12-week EAP Program is a challenge when preparing them for their future, but Monte says that "students need to remain active in their language acquisition. They have to continuously practice applying what they learn in every skill area in every language encounter."


His advice to QSoE students: "Stay strong and work hard. Ask questions and take risks. Don't be afraid to make mistakes."


Tailored offering: Volunteering in Kingston


This session, QSoE was pleased to add a volunteering component to the tailored 15-week program for Kwansei Gakuin University (KGU), a long-standing partner institution. Partnerships were created with three non-profit organizations in Kingston and it was arranged for each student in the program to complete a minimum of ten hours of volunteering, with the option to complete more hours on their own time.


Part one of the program involved each student spending a total of six hours volunteering at the Good Times Diner, a student-run soup kitchen at Queen's. For the second part of the program, students were able to choose from among 3 options: volunteer at restaurant-style community centre (Martha's Table); volunteer at public market to collect produce from farmers and pack for delivery to those less fortunate (Loving Spoonful); or prepare and present a display to introduce Japan and KGU and discuss the education system in Japan (Queen's Faculty of Education).


The 25 students found this opportunity very rewarding. They were able to integrate into the Queen's and Kingston communities in a meaningful, but also to contribute to serve Kingstonians who are in need.


QSoE extends sincere gratitude to our partners: Good Times Diner, Martha's Table, and Loving Spoonful as well as to our colleagues at the Faculty of Education for their contributions to the success of the volunteering component. We look forward to offering this opportunity to the next cohort of KGU students. 



Posted on March 6, 2015


Students in our Canadian English Experience (CEE) Program this past winter visited the Central Public School to share their international experiences with the young students in Kingston. We thank the Central Public School for helping our students to get more involved with the local community. It was an exciting opportunity for our students to teach about their cultures and to learn about the Canadian culture.


Read our blog to see more photos and to read stories from a few students. 


Socio-Cultural Fun with Alicia


Posted on  19, 2015


Hi, everyone! My name is Alicia and I am a fourth year Psychology student at Queen`s University. I have been a socio-cultural monitor at Queen's School of English for almost one year. I am part of QSoE's socio-cultural team. Our job is to create opportunities for students to have fun together outside of the classroom.


As a monitor, I have a lot of different responsibilities. One of them is facilitating discussion classes. During discussion class, students discuss different topics. I like facilitating discussion classes because it helps students to practice their spoken English in a more casual setting. We even play games sometimes! I also lead activities with the students, such as sports or card games. Cooking and baking activities are my favourite because we all eat, dance and talk - almost like a party! Continue reading...