i try to talk to the canadian colleagues a little. and then i make some topics to talk with them,such as, news, chinese lifestyle ,cooking,etc. and then i can discuss with them for something and understand much more what they say. i also learn a lot of english from the local guys. it is a gradual term.btw, i have ciba.net in my computer that i can look up the word which i don't know while i am talking.i think learning language is a long term task ,as well as entering the local society .