Not talking about Covid-19

From our teacher - Pandora Hobby

When my son, at the age of 5, asked me if the Zombie apocalypse would happen (he had participated in the zombie walk that year) I said I thought it would be more like an illness, a pandemic. Little did I know. I have always been very open with my kids, no sugar coating, pragmatic explanations, and further inquiry together if I haven’t got an answer.

This is my stance in the classroom too. I like to play the devil’s advocate, flip the script, ask students to consider all sides, offer alternative versions. In my classrooms we play scruples (what would you do if...), we talk about crazy historical and scientific facts (some cats are allergic to people), I try to keep it as open as possible. If a student brings up a difficult topic, in a class I try to run a diplomatic line. Unfortunately, when historically dire events are occurring it is impossible to avoid mention. We, as teachers must stay informed and be knowledgeable enough about news events to tread a tightrope of acceptable public vs private opinions. It is what makes for good conversations and we are in a historical moment when conversing is becoming a lost art.

And yet, and yet... with only one all encompassing story running through the media and on everyone’s lips for weeks at a time, with only one story that is both dramatic and bleak, heartbreaking and isolating, I, as a teacher spent hours finding the one, lone ‘other’ story to share in my classes. Covid ‘once removed’ stories of bike sales going up, of how different people were successfully coping. The sudden rise in drive-in theaters’ popularity, would you go see a live band while sitting in your car? If students insist on talking about the present elephant in the room, I might revert to analogizing the 1918 ‘Spanish flu’ a way to both create distance and include some elements of fact rather than speculation.

I see my role here as directing the conversation to a place of reassurance. I know it is still a similar topic broadly, but I would rather debate a student’s favorite food delivery service than talk about recent statistics and policies.

The Communicative Approach - Why it works so well for our learners?

As a former language teacher, and now Manager of Training and Development with Prolang, I have a unique perspective of how trainings are delivered from both inside the classroom and behind the scenes. I’ve worked hands-on with learners helping them achieve their language goals and have also established company-wide programs that enrich the language learning for all involved. I’ve spoken with many learners about their specific language needs and have heard time and time again about the importance of practicing the target language.

Many language learners that come to Prolang have the language skills and knowledge but don’t have the practical implication of the language. They are interested in improving their communication related to their work to help them become more functional and comfortable in a foreign language but are not given the opportunity to speak and have difficulty developing their language skills. One of the strengths of language courses at Prolang is the flexibility and adaptability that we can provide our clients; we rely on our instructors to provide personalized, communicative lessons that will help learners to improve their language skills through dynamic, interesting activities that may be applied to their personal and professional lives.

The communicative approach is an ideal teaching method used to deliver the type of lessons described above. It is based on teaching language implicitly through structured lessons based on real life communication where learners can explore the language and learn how to use vocabulary and various grammar forms through context. The instructors act as facilitators and guide the learners to accurately use target language and help to solidify their knowledge of grammar.

The aim of the communicative approach is to promote interaction in the target language and to motivate learners to speak as much as possible. The instructor removes themselves from the discussion and allows the learners to speak without reservation or hesitation – first, developing spontaneous and natural speech and then working on accuracy. Developing oral fluency is not the only goal; learners may also use listening, reading, and writing activities in the communicative approach – so long as the comprehension and production activities also have an oral production component. The possibilities for activities are endless and so is the room to grow!
I encourage Prolang language instructors to use the communicative approach in their language courses and support them on appropriate usage and provide ideas of how to implement this approach for all levels. I do it because it works – I’ve seen it first-hand and from the testimonials of our learners and satisfied clients.

By Matthew King

Is e-learning right for you?

Are you planning to go back to school or to take a class to boost your professional career? If yes, know that there are different options for you to acquire the knowledge you need. You have the traditional option of physically attending a class or participate virtually.

Some people choose e-learning because they think that it will be easier. In fact, it it may be easier depending of your personality and ability to use technology easily. Online courses requires a lot of reading, which means you have to understand what you read and be able to summarize it on paper. In other words, if you are a good writer and like to read, an online course is for you.
You may have to ask yourself two questions and answer honestly :
Do I like to read online?
Do I like to write?
Taking online courses is not easier than attending a live class, but it definitely
requires discipline. It is known that a student should spend, to a minimum, the exact number of course credits in hours per week. For example, for a 3 credit course, a minimum of 3 hours per week should be dedicated to the course material. Keep in mind that for online courses, the hours can be doubled as you need to listen or to watch course material, read and study the content and do your homework. Make sure to plan your study time, write it in your agenda and follow your schedule. This will help you stay on track and respect deadlines.

Questions to think about :
Do I have a quiet place where I can work on my online course?
Am I a disciplined person or a procrastinator?

E-learning means using a computer all the time. The teachers may expect you to read online articles, download documents, do online research, create documents and to participate in online chats. Online learning is mediated by technology, so it’s important to be fully comfortable using a computer, Internet and software. Make sure to read the course calendar to ensure that you have the tools needed prior to starting the class.
Ask yourself :
Do I have high-speed and a reliable Internet access?
Am I comfortable troubleshooting basic technology problems?
The question is often asked whether e-learning is easier than traditional classes. But it really depends on you. Online courses offer a flexible alternative to professionals who have a full time job or have a family. This option is right for those who can’t fit face-to-face classes into their busy lives.

25 Key French and English Phrases to Learn While Traveling this Summer

Summer is upon us once again and traveling during this time can be both exciting and rewarding especially when learning a new language! So, whether you’re fluent in English or French, below are some key phrases to add to your vocabulary to make your travels savvier.

English Phrases

1. Thanks so much. ( Merci beaucoup )
2. I really appreciate it. ( J’apprécie beaucoup )
3. Excuse me. ( Excusez-moi )
4. I’m sorry. ( je suis désolé (ée ) )
5. I’m learning English. ( j’apprends l’anglais )
6. I don’t understand. ( je ne comprends pas )
7. Could you repeat that, please? ( pouvez-vous répéter s’il vous plaît )
8. Could you please talk slower? ( pouvez-vous parler lentement )
9. Thank you. That helps a lot. ( merci. Cela m’aide beaucoup. )
10. Hi! I’m [Name]. (And you?) ( bonjour, je suis [Nom]. Et vous ? )
11. Nice to meet you. ( Heureux ( se ) de faire votre connaissance )
12. Where are you from? ( d’où êtes-vous ? )

French Phrases

13. Bonjour ( Hello )
14. S’il vous plait… ( please)
15. Oui / Non / Dˈaccord (Yes / No / OK)
16. Parlez-vous anglais? - (Do you speak English?)
17. Je m'appelle… - (My name is…)
18. Quel est votre nom ? - (What is your name? - informal)
19. Je ne comprends pas. - (I don’t understand.)
20. Merci – (Thank you.)
21. De rien – (You’re welcome)
22. Excusez-moi - (Excuse me.)
23. Quˈavez vous avez dit ? – (What did you say?)
24. Où sont les toilettes ? – (Where are the bathrooms?)
25. Salut ! – (Hi! / Bye! – informal)

Now that you’ve learned a few common French phrases, the next thing to do is learn how to refer individuals in a polite way. For example, a man would be referred to as Monsieur (same as Mr. or Sir in English). An older woman (or married women) would be referred to as Madame and a younger lady would be referred to as Mademoiselle.

Are you planning to travel to a new country this summer? If yes, we would love to know where. Please share below!

Mastering The Corporate Email



With all the emails that we are receiving daily, it’s no wonder we don't have time to read them all. As such, when sending a corporate email you have to be as concise as possible.

Below you will find 3 tips for mastering the corporate email in order to communicate professionally.


Know what you’re writing about

When writing an email message, it’s important to know what it is you’re trying to convey. For example, “Why am I sending this email message?” When you know the purpose of the email, it makes it that much easier to stick to the point.


Outline to maintain structure

When you use a template, your emails have a better structure. Also, you never know who will read your messages, thus, it is better to keep the message clear and professional.

  • Greetings
  • Give a Compliment or Pleasant Remark
  • State the Purpose for Your Email
  • CTA (Call-To-Action)
  • Final Words (Conclusion)
  • Signature


Use professional expressions

Whether you write to your co-worker or to your boss, use one of the phrases below to keep your e-mail in the image of the company you are working for.


Greetings :

To Whom it May Concern: À qui de droit

Hi: Bonjour

Dear Mark: Cher Mark



I hope that you are well : J’espère que vous allez bien



Kind regards : Bien cordialement

Sincerely : Sincères salutations





English: the language that crosses borders and generations


Nowadays, new technologies facilitate the learning of a new language. Using a Smartphone allows you to download apps that translate words with a single click. You may also find the most popular acronyms used around the world. For example, a term we all know,"LOL", stands for ‘Laugh out Loud.

English is one of the universal languages and has a great influence on the whole world. This language is used across all disciplines; technology, science, economics, management, literature, entertainment, and so on. Spoken in more than 60 countries, the day-to-day English is constantly evolving, giving rise to new vocabularies, grammatical forms and new ways of speaking and writing.

English also evolves through cultures: “A recent study has suggested that among students in the United Arab Emirates, Arabic is associated with tradition, home, religion, culture, school, arts and social sciences,” whereas English “is symbolic of modernity, work, higher education, commerce, economics, science and technology.” The English language is becoming more infused with the culture or group of people who speak it. In other words, the use of a language is determined or defined by the ones who are using that language.

In many industrialized countries, English is used in politics, business, and hospitality, facilitating communication with other nations. We are seeing more and more organizations that promote the hiring of bilingual employees because they can serve a larger market and create relationships. Some people also prefer traveling to countries that use English as a second language to facilitate their stays.

Do not wait anymore, learn English and cross borders!


Visit our website to learn more about our language programs.

3 Benefits of Being Bilingual



The benefits of speaking two languages have been proven to have many social and psychological advantages. Being bilingual makes you smarter. It has an effect on your brain; it improves cognitive skills and can delay dementia in elderly people. If you’re not convinced yet, in this article, we will discuss 3 benefits of bilingualism in your personal life.

More Job Opportunities

People who can speak another language are able to communicate with people of other cultures. Montreal is a multicultural city; employers look to hire individuals who can communicate with customers in English and French. Imagine the advantage you have over someone who doesn’t speak English. Mentioning on your resume that you’re bilingual is highly appealing to employers who are serving both markets. You may also have the opportunity to work and travel in other countries, which will enhance your overall professional skill.

Improves Your Brain

Learning another language requires a lot of memorizing involving memorizing grammatical rules and vocabulary, which strengthens the brain muscles. Moreover, a 2012 study conducted by the University of California found that elderly participants who could speak more than one language were less likely to have early onset of dementia.

Increases Your Circle of Friends

Being bilingual is a great way to connect with new people in your city. We build relationships with people with whom we can communicate easily. Speaking English and French will make you more attractive to a variety of individuals who speak either one or both languages. You never know who you can meet, it may be someone who helps you in your career.

Are you convinced yet?


We understand that learning a new language may seem frightening, but Prolang offers many training opportunities to help you speak English, French or even Mandarin quickly.


3 tips to Successfully Learn a New Language on a Busy Schedule


Learning a new skill doesn’t happen overnight: it takes training, time, and discipline. It can be overwhelming if you’re working or going to school full time. To help you, we’ve outlined 3 tips to successfully combine language training and a busy work schedule.

Having a Schedule

The best way to find time to study a new language is to schedule it in your agenda. You should try to dedicate as much time as possible to learning the language: aim for 3-4 hours per week (30 minutes per day). It doesn’t really matter how long you study at one time, the important thing is to be consistent with your routine. As you once heard, “practice makes perfect” and the most efficient way for you to do so is by scheduling it in advance in your agenda.


Translate everything around you

Have fun translating every word you encounter. There are signs and billboards everywhere.
Pay attention on your way to work, at the grocery store, or while shopping. That way you can adapt to things around you more quickly since these are words you’ll most likely encounter on a daily basis. For instance,
if you’re in a meeting at work, try to translate some of what’s being said.


Listen to the radio or music

Make good use of your time by listening to a radio station in the language you’re learning. Get familiar with popular words to describe local or international news. Don’t worry if you don’t understand every word, the more often you hear a word, the more you’ll memorize it and pronounce it the right way. 

It’s understandable that language learning may be hard at the beginning, especially when you have a busy schedule.  We’re here to help! Contact us to discover our online programs. [email protected] 





7 Styles of Learning - Which One Fits You?


By: Prolang

What’s your learning style? - Whether it’s at school, at work or in your own time, if you’re acquiring a new skill, you will use one of the 7 styles of learning. For instance, when learning a new language, some people prefer study in groups instead of listening to audio Knowing your learning style will help you accelerate your learning acquisition. Especially if you’re in a workplace environment; most of the time, the new skill you’re acquiring may help you get the position you’ve always wanted.


1- Physical - You use your sense of touch.

You prefer learn English by role-playing with your colleagues. Using your body helps you process the new skill faster. You also like to use physical objects to memorize new words.


2- Solitary- You learn alone. 

You like to get your hands on anything that will help you learn English, and you study alone. You learn quicker by not being interrupted. You’re more likely to review the material at your own pace after work.


3- Social - You learn better in groups.

You enjoy the company of others. You need to be surrounded by people who are learning English as well or who are more advanced than you.


4- Logical -You like to connect the dots.

You need to understand the meaning and the origin of a word in a sentence for you to process it.


5- Visual You use images, pictures or mapping.

You need something to write or draw on. You’re more likely to visualize the

meaning of words to understand it better.


6- Aural You like sound and music.

You prefer listening to audio where you hear a tutor talk and explain the use of

words in English.


7- Verbal You use words.

You like to write and read out loud in English to process the new language.

Your learning style has a huge influence on the way you learn. You can be a mix  of 2 or more of these 7 styles of learning. It’s actually better to use a combination of techniques as it helps remember more of what you learn. For instance, learning English in the workplace can be fun when you practice your next sales presentation in a group setting. In the case, you would use at least 3 styles of learning.



3 Advantages of having bilingual employees


The ability to speak in another language is a significant advantage in the workplace.

Nowadays, most companies are trying to reach out to international prospects or customers for business expansion.

It has been proven that employees who speak more than one language give the organization an additional advantage

over the competition.

 In this article, we’ve outlined 3 main reasons why bilingual employees enhance the work environment.


 Work fast and can multitask

A study conducted by Northwestern University shows that speaking more than one

language helps you move quicker and multitask. The benefits occur because the

bilingual brain is constantly activating both languages and choosing which one to

use and which to ignore, said a researcher. The ability to multitask is favorable in a

corporate environment where things move fast and need to be done quickly.


Help in international affairs

With today’s global economy, more companies expand their services internationally,

and having employees who speak another language can be beneficial. Whether it is

French, English or Spanish, having bilingual speakers open doors to a larger pool of

clients and customers. Moreover, they will have a better understanding of the

culture, which is very important when dealing with international clients. The

bilingual employee can help bridge the gap.


Can replace a translator or an interpreter

A skilled bilingual employee can help with proofreading and translating to ensure

that the materials are coherent and understandable in multiple languages. It avoids

the effort of creating a job description and hiring someone to translate documents

or interpret a conversation.

As an added value to the employee, it can be beneficial to the employer to pay for

the training of employees who decide to pursue learning other languages.


 A Prolang, we offer a variety of options to help your employees reach their goal of becoming bilingual. 


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