Hi there and welcome to Toronto, Canada. My name is Patrick Talty, and I have been living and teaching in this fine city for almost five years. I grew up in the picturesque west of Ireland where I went to high school and university, and where I worked before taking the leap and moving here in 2005. It was a Canadian friend of mine from Saskatchewan (who I worked with in Ireland) who planted the seed about living here. I was quite naive back then, and told her that if I ever moved to Canada, we could meet up regularly. She found this hilarious, which leads me to the first thing I want to tell you about Canada.
It’s big. Very big!
On arriving here, I had to wait for about three months before my papers were processed. During this ‘enforced time out, I decided to do some travelling, and see some of this beautiful country. Vancouver, I thought. Why not? Well, it turns out that Vancouver is a five-and-a-half-hour flight from Toronto.
So what do I do in Toronto? Well, firstly, I work for ILSC Toronto, a really welcoming school in the heart of the city. We have about 35 teachers on staff, and offer a huge array of programs. It’s great for the students to have such a choice, and each program runs for one month, after which the students can change. It’s also beneficial for the teachers, as we get to change our classes after one month and teach a different program.
I teach IELTS, (International English Language Testing System) where I work with students who wish to pursue an MA or PhD in Canada, or who hope to immigrate here. We also get students who wish to get their qualifications recognised here. My students mainly come from Saudi Arabia, Brazil and Korea, and I teach them for fifteen hours a week. They are a really great bunch, and it’s very rewarding to be able to help them achieve their dreams. They are an amazingly diverse group, and just recently I worked with a Korean plastic surgeon who told me that if he got the required score in his IELTS exam, he would be glad to offer me a very generous discount if I needed any work done. Very thoughtful!
Toronto is a great city to work in, and live in. Over the coming weeks, I hope to get you out and about with the locals, and share a few esl anecdotes along the way. Bye for now. I’m in the mood for a beaver-tail! No, it’s not actually a beaver’s tail. I’ll let you know next time.