Journey into a Black Hole!

The EC Boston TOEFL class jumped into black holes by reading about astronomy, watching and discussing a short documentary, and writing about an experience inside one of the most mind boggling theories in the universe. Have fun reading their accounts, and visit the Planetarium to learn more about space! #1: Yesterday, I went to my bed after I saw a documentary about the black hole. I had an awful nightmare, I saw myself in space traveling out of our solar system. I was so happy and excited until I felt a strong power pull me down. I glanced around me then I could not believe my eyes. It was like an enormous horizon storm with many circular paths, which orbited around a dark center: this center looked like a huge magnet for the mass. At the same time, I noticed an astronaut was moving in decreasing speeds around the center of the black hole. His body was stretching to form many smudges around the center, then these smudges were collecting once again to form one body. In addition to that, when the astronaut was approaching from the end of the black hole, his image was warped; his shape looked to me as if it was reflected in mirror. Furthermore, his image became darker and darker. In this moment, I discovered the mechanism that makes the objects look in different shapes inside the black hole. It warps the shape and time for all the molecular particles that approach from it. Even if these molecules are parts of a big star, there is no chance to escape or survive, and their fate will be the disappearance behind the black hole and forever. #2: For many years people have been fascinated with the idea of traveling around the universe. However, scientists have found that could be not … Read more

Up at 2 am: Student study culture and ESL schools

Have you ever pulled an ‘all nighter’ (a night where you stay up till the morning doing homework, and then go right back to class)? Many students in American universities are known to use this technique to accomplish large amounts of (varying quality) work in a short time frame. This practice has been shown to be less effective than managing to work on homework for a few hours each day, but as perpetual procrastinators, American students wind up relying on ‘all nighters’ all too often. Luckily, English classes at EC Boston require only 1-2 hours of homework per day, along with maybe one project. Studying should be a piece of cake! However, many students do struggle to manage their time well and get their homework done on time. Here is a website with studying tips for anyone struggling to get back on track with homework…check out the audio report by NPR on studying tips at the bottom of the page for some listening practice too!

Got water?

Melody’s Global Citizenship class was given an assignment to discuss the differences between bottled and tap water. They didn’t just talk about the project among EC students; they went out on the street and gave people a taste test! If you’d like to see a video of the project, just check out EC Boston’s Facebook page or watch the video here. The main point of this project was that bottled water is bad for the environment because of the wasteful use of plastic to make the bottles. It is not healthier to drink bottled water as it is often of the same quality as tap water, and in some cases bottling and purification eliminates natural minerals that are healthy for your body! The pollution from plastic bottles affects our city streets and makes an impact on the world’s oceans and wildlife, endangering the lives of many sea creatures. The video shows footage of the Pacific Garbage Patch, an area of the Pacific Ocean with much larger concentrations of plastic refuse than normal seawater. For all these reasons, bottled water is not the best! Another reason to not drink bottled water is that spending more money on water that we can drink for free is not very wise. Instead, why not put that dollar you would spend on a bottle of water into a donation to help provide clean water for those who have none? Over 2.5 billion people struggle to find access to any clean water, and experience dehydration and disease as a result. Andrea, our finance coordinator, is embarking on a project in the next few months to improve drinking water access around the world. Stay tuned for details on how you can join the movement while studying at a Boston English School!  

Class Field Trip!

Haidy took her class out on a field trip to explore historical sites around Boston! As an English school in Boston, our students have great access to many major historical attractions such as Faneuil Hall, Quincy Market, Old State House and Park Street Church. Students worked in pairs or groups of three to prepare presentations about these sites. They practiced talking about historical places using the Passive Voice. They enjoyed seeing these new places and felt more confident about talking in English on the street and in public. It was a fun and great learning experience!

Breaking Barriers: A Cultural Guide to EC Boston by the Culture and Communication Elective Class

   EC Boston students interviewed each other about common misconceptions from their countries. They share their opinions and stories from their own cultures and explore those of others.   Abdullah interviewed Alberto and Satoko: Q: I heard a lot of corruption in Italy, is it true? A. There are in the south of Italy because of the mafia, but nowadays there isn’t a lot.   Q. I think Japanese are very smart, and the education in Japan is very high, what do you think about that? A. I don’t think Japanese are as smart as what people think, and the education is normal. I can say that just around 70% of students go to university.   Q. What about the saying that there are a lot of beautiful girls in Italy? A. That’s right, especially in Melano and the south.  Photo from Satoko in Japan Satoko asked Abdullah these questions: Q: How often do you wear traditional Arabic clothes in your country? — I wear them all the time when I’m out of my house except when I do physical exercise.   Q: Is it common among the people in your country? — It’s very common. However, young generations are changing this custom and some of them wear western clothes.   Q: What was your favorite activity or sports when you were a child? — My favorite sport was playing football, which is the most popular sport in my country.   Q: What custom of the US do you like the most? — I like their custom that people shake hands and introduce themselves when they meet people for the first time because it’s close to our tradition. Yongseob Byun asked 3 questions to his Colombian classmate, Helena. The first one was about education. In Colombia, there are elementary schools, secondary schools, … Read more

Digital Storytelling Showtime at EC Boston

A special thanks to Mayara, Valerie, Min Jung, and Natalia who shared their digital storytelling videos with us on Friday. These were the first students to complete the Digital Storytelling Elective class. Thank you to all who shared videos and all the students, teachers, and staff who came to watch and show their support! In this class students told their personal stories and goals using narration, images, videos, and music. The first step was discovering a goal or interest to write about. Students brainstormed and worked on creating a story “script.” Next, students had to work on editing their drafts, paying special attention to their word choice. After writing their drafts, students practiced and perfected their pronunciation.  Inputting narration and choosing images happened next. Students carefully selected images and videos to match their narrations and, lastly, added music. Their hard work paid off! We can’t wait to see what our new students create in Digital Storytelling next month! Come study ESL abroad at EC Boston join our new electives!

EC Boston’s New Elective – Boston History & Culture!!

The Freedom Trail, the Boston Tea Party, the Boston Massacre, the Battle of Bunker Hill, the Old North Church, the Constitution, Paul Revere, Samuel Adams- these are only a few things that come to mind when thinking of Boston History.  The Boston Red Sox, Boston Chowdah, the wicked awesome Boston accent and so much more make up the culture of this city. EC Boston has opened a new intensive elective for Intermediate, High Intermediate, and Upper Intermediate students titled “Boston History & Culture”.  This week, I had the opportunity to interview Jenna who will be teaching this exciting new elective! Jenna explained that it was her love of history combined with students’ interest in Boston history that inspired her to teach this elective.  I am excited about “getting other people as interested in history and museums as I am” explained Jenna.  She proposed the elective as a trial to gauge student interest, with the long term vision of a free class focused on Boston History and Culture. Jenna’s course outline includes material on Colonial Boston, the Revolutionary War where students will have the chance to visit the Old North Church and the Old South Meeting House, 19th Century and Victorian Boston where students will learn about Quincy Market and Faneuil Hall, 20th Century Boston where students will learn about the Big Dig and do a Rose Kennedy Greenway walking tour, and lastly Boston Today where students will visit the West End and Downtown Crossing while speaking about the music, food and famous Boston slang! Whether students are here for 4 weeks or 24 weeks, this elective will teach them about the city in which they have chosen to do their English Language Study.  Why not learn English at EC, the language school in Boston, located in Faneuil Hall and surrounded … Read more

Travel Blogs by EC Boston Students

Reading the travel blogs below will take you on a journey to some of the most memorable places EC Boston students have traveled or want to go, including Sri Lanka, Brazil, Cuba, Italy and more…  These blog postings were written by students in teacher Christi’s Upper Intermediate 1A class! Photo by Christi Lacerda The Secrets of Brazil by Mayara from Brazil A tropical paradise! That’s how we can describe Natal, the capital of Rio Grande do Norte, in the Northeast of Brazil. Astonishing beaches with blue sea and white sand attracts thousands of tourists every year, foreigners and Brazilian people who come from other states and look for an unforgettable vacation and a lot of stories to tell. Natal is also a place for those who enjoy a huge adventure. You can go to the different points of the most famous beaches, Pipa and Genipabu, on a buggy or on a dromedary back, have a privileged view and feel like you are in the desert for a while. If you are not interested in adventure, you can sun bathe and order a mangaba ice cream, a caja juice or some siriguelas, a typical fruit from the northeast of Brazil. You cannot miss the opportunity to go to the centre of the town and try the local food: tapioca, batata doce (“sweet potato”), cuscus, and have for lunch some, “macaxeira” and some “baiao de dois”, a delicious dish prepared with beans, rice and a special meat called charque. For dessert enjoy a little of everything: pacoca, potato, banana and guava sweet! If you wanna do some shopping you can buy a lot a lot of Brazilian craftworks to give to your friends when you come back come home. They are cheap and everybody loves them. When I went to Natal I … Read more

EC Boston Students Practice their Article-Writing Skills!

EC Boston’s Intermediate Write Now Elective class with Teacher Yen practiced their writing skills yesterday by writing news articles.  Take a look at a couple examples! My Experience at EC By Amro, from Saudi Arabia “The first day I came here to Boston, I felt like I was lost.  I didn’t know where I should go, but I decided to ask the people how I could get to my host family’s home and they told me what to do.  I have liked being here.  The next day, I decided to go to EC Boston so I could find out where it is and get some information about it.  Actually, I used my mobile’s maps to find the place and when I got there I met Lucy at the front desk and asked her what I should do because my course would start on November 12th (two days later) and she was so helpful and gave me a lot of information about Boston and when I should come to begin my course.  The next day, I came and I took my placement test and went to class.  I met very nice people.  Some of them were from my country, but the thing I liked is meeting people from another country and learning about other cultures.  Finally, I hope everybody finds it a great experience too.”   EC Staff News By Kendy from Taiwan and Yohei from Japan “Do you know that an EC staff member named Rebecca is pregnant?  She’s been pregnant for 7 months.  This is her first baby, who is a girl.  Let’s name her ‘Rebecca Jr!’  ‘Rebecca Jr’ is going to come to this world on April 11th at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital.  ‘My ideal situation is to have 2 babies in the future,’ she told us.  She said … Read more

An EC Boston Student Shares his Experience

When students decide that they want to study English in the United States, they have many options to consider.  There are so many study abroad courses in the United States, and especially in Boston.  We’re honored to welcome many great students here at EC Boston and are proud that these students choose EC Boston as their study abroad destination. We’re sorry to have to say goodbye to Mr. Edgar Camilo Cuadros, from Colombia.  Edgar has spent 6 months studying and living in Boston with us, and today is his last day.  Edgar started in the Low-Intermediate level and has worked his way up through various levels, just completing several weeks in the TOEFL preparation course.  He also acted as one of EC Boston’s peer Ambassadors for other students.  Good luck to you, Edgar! Please enjoy a special Goodbye Message from Edgar, below: “At this time I have to say good-bye to EC Boston, but that is something that really makes me feel weird because for the last 6 months this used to be my life.  I want to share this experience which changed the way I see life and what I want to do. When I just came to Boston it seemed to be like the most difficult thing I had ever done in my entire life, but it was not for a long time. Even though the first month was difficult, it was really surprising how my English skills were improving as quickly as I was making a lot of friends.  Most of them were from all over the world which means that each one has a different culture to learn about. By that time, old friends were leaving as new ones were coming, and it has been repeating again and again; that’s cool, it is not a big deal to meet new … Read more