Thanksgiving Holiday

This weekend, many QSoE students will have their first experience of celebrating Thanksgiving Day. When Thanksgiving was mentioned to some students, their first thoughts were of excitement for Black Friday, and the spectacular deals shoppers may find. However, Black Friday is a distinctly American phenomenon which coincides with Thanksgiving weekend in the United States. Although they celebrate the holiday in a very similar way, Americans celebrate Thanksgiving Day on the third Thursday in November. In Canada, we celebrate Thanksgiving on the second Monday in October.


Cornucopia or ‘Horn of Plenty’ – a symbol of abundance and nourishment associated with Thanksgiving Day

Canadians have been officially celebrating Thanksgiving Day since 1879, when Parliament proclaimed it as “a day of General Thanksgiving to Almighty God for the bountiful harvest with which Canada has been blessed”. The practice of having a special feast in thanks and celebration of the harvest at this time of the year has been a tradition of First Nations and Native American tribes, and of peasant societies in Europe for long before any records of Europeans holding formal harvest celebrations. One of the earliest recorded dates of such an organized celebration by European members of society dates to 1578 when explorers in the Arctic wrote of their harvest celebration during this time of the year!

In the United States, much of the origin of Thanksgiving Day as a holiday is attributed to the Pilgrims (early European settlers in Massachusetts) who celebrated their first harvest with a feast of freshly harvested North American foods. These foods likely included wild fowl (such as turkey, grouse, duck, or goose), indigenous berries and nuts, seafood, and foods which Native Americans were cultivating such as corn, potatoes, beans, peas, squash, and onions.


Wild Turkeys

Today, both Canadians and Americans typically celebrate Thanksgiving Day with a day off of work/school, travelling to be with family and close friends, and honoring the blessings of their lives by sharing a feast including dishes such as a whole roasted turkey, squash, potatoes, cranberries, and pumpkin or apple pie. Roasting a turkey is something that is usually only done on Thanksgiving Day, though sometimes at Christmas or Easter as well. Although there are wild turkeys living in Ontario (which can be hunted and eaten), generally people buy domestically-raised turkeys from the grocery store, or from a local farmer.

We would love to hear about your experiences and see your photos of Thanksgiving Day celebrations! Email to share.

Fall ’16 Marion Edith Dubin Memorial Scholarship in English Recipient

Queen’s School of English (QSoE) announced that Daniel Carvalho (Brazil) is the recipient of the Fall 2016 Marion Edith Dubin Memorial Scholarship in English!


Daniel is entering his third session in the QSoE English for Academic Purposes (EAP) Program, though his hometown is Porto Alegre, in the south of Brazil. He has a PhD in Geology, and has worked for South African and Canadian mining companies in Brazil. In Brazil, Daniel has his own company for which he designed a specialized product that is used on mining and potential mining sites. This large, tray-like product is specially designed to hold and display physical geological samples taken from potential mining sites, and is used in conjunction with other tools to evaluate natural resources underground.

Because of the international nature of his field of work, Daniel has come to QSoE to improve his English language skills, to learn about Canadian culture, and to connect with people in Canada who are also involved in the mining industry. Since being at Queen’s University, Daniel has discovered an inspiration to pursue studies in business for the mining, oil, and gas industries.

When asked what he has enjoyed about QSoE, Daniel mentioned that the format of the classes at QSoE is different than what he experienced during his studies in Brazil – a refreshing and engaging change. He says that the EAP Program at QSoE has allowed him to learn about the culture in Canada, and “how people here think,” which is very valuable to him.


Class Designs English-Only T-shirts!

DSC_0962Here at the School of English in the Faculty of Education at Queen’s you may notice some students wearing t-shirts that read “English-Only Zone!” There is a competition taking place for  Best English-Only Class, and the students in one class got very inspired!

“As a class, we wanted to come up with an idea to promote the English Only Policy,” says Queen’s School of English teacher Rasha Fahim. “I told them this was a competition between the Q-Bridge classes and that is when they started to get motivated!  We brainstormed ideas on what to write on the t-shirts, and when it came to actually printing them it was better to have a sign like the one we chose.

“We also decided that every Friday we will come up with something as a class to promote this even more for the following week.”

We look forward to hearing what else they come up with. Great job students!

English Only at Queen’s School of English

There is a competition going on among our QBridge classes, to see which class is the best each week for participating in our “English- Only” rule and inspiring others to do so. Last week, two classes tied for first place: 160 RF and 160 JM, pictured here with their icy prizes. Way to go, students!

Poutine: A Canadian Dish!

One of the activities outside of class at the School of English is to make poutine! Poutine is a Canadian dish originating in the province of Quebec, and is made with French fries and cheese curds, topped with a light-brown gravy. Students enjoyed making (and eating) it last week. Thanks to Social Media Club members Honami and Airi for submitting these photos!