New Year’s Eve Tips

  by Sheetal Makhan / AYC For many of our students, we assume that this will be the first time to celebrate New Years eve in the Mother City of South Africa.  There are a host of parties which are taking place around the city tonight, from the Grand Parade to Clifton Beach to Camps Bay to the V&A Waterfront. Whether you’ll be out with friends or at a house party (which you may be the guest or host?) here are a few friendly reminders to enjoy the celebrations in a fun, but safe way: If you’re planning on driving, drink responsibly! Appoint a designated driver (a trusted friend or taxi service) to drive you When driving, be very alert behind the wheel and keep to the speed limit (remember to keep your driver’s licence on you) Pace yourself with your alcohol assumption & keep hydrated with plenty of water. Eat enough! This is the most important point: If you’re going to be in a crowd (which is highly likely!) PLEASE keep your belongings very close to you. Don’t flash your money around and keep your cellphones very close. This is an ideal time for things to go missing, so please take care. …and last, but not least – from all the staff at EC Cape Town, I’d like to wish you all a very HAPPY NEW YEAR. May 2014 be one filled with good health, love & laughter. See you all on Thursday 🙂  

The smile behind the veil…

  by Sheetal Makhan / AYC  A few weeks ago, on Thursday 5 December, instead of having a regular “lecture” on our Thursday afternoon slot, I thought it would be interesting to incorporate some kind of forum discussion. Nawal, who is currently back in Saudi Arabia, agreed to address a group of students to share her experience of being a young, Saudi Arabian lady studying English in South Africa. She spoke about her own perceptions of the country before she arrived here as well as perceptions of how others may view her. It’s very easy to note that when one first meets Nawal, she is anything but shy and quiet! She has demonstrated to her peers and teachers that she is the epitome of a “go-getter”! The presentation, titled “The smile behind the veil” was aimed at bridging any cultural gaps among students. For many, it is the first time that they would be meeting people of other countries, cultures and religions. Questions are bound to arise, like “Why don’t you eat pork?” to “Why do ladies cover their entire bodies, revealing only their eyes?” All these questions create a sense of curiosity, which some may be hesitant to ask another directly. Thank you, Nawal, for sharing your story and tidbits about life in Saudi Arabia. It was definitely interesting and educational for all present.

Christmas at Barcelona Orphanage

The generous students and staff at EC Cape Town collected small gifts for the children of Barcelona Child Care Centre in Gugulethu. On the 19th December the students handed out the gifts. Pictures below and also on the EC Cape Town Facebook page Thank you to all the EC students and teachers!

Watcha Up To?…Fabio Pacheco

What happens to our students once they’ve left our doors for the last time and fly off into the horizon? Many of our students have gone on to do some pretty interesting things with their lives, and studying English as well as the overall experience of living in a foreign country, has a great deal to do with their success. “Watcha Up To?” showcases past students and have them share with us what they’re doing at the moment. Today we welcome back Fabio from Brazil whose story proves that we have no idea what the near future may hold for us. Like many of us, he had plans to do one thing, but upon his return from South Africa, other opportunities presented itself. Let’s see what he’s up to these days… ~Sheetal Makhan / AYC Watcha Up To? My name is Fabio Pacheco, from Ribeirão Pires, Brazil. This year I spent a month studying at EC Cape Town, preparing myself for the IELTS exam. I arrived in Upper Intermediate and I left in Advanced level. I must say this was a wonderful experience! EC Cape Town is an amazing school and it has a great vibe and smiling and happy people! The school facilities are also good and well located! The teachers I had were far beyond expectations, always ready to help and very competent in their activities. The main reason that I studied English and to seek international certification was being able to study abroad in the future, but immediately after my return from South Africa I had a job opportunity! Before traveling I was a technology specialist in the company where I worked. After my study trip, noting improvement in my language skills, I was promoted to Strategic Alliances Manager and I use English every day! In terms … Read more

From the Book Nook

by Sheetal Makhan / AYC One of our newer additions to the Listening Centre collection has been the magnetic force causing Murat Koç to spend his afternoons reading. It really is a wonderful sight to see our students so engaged in books on a daily basis, whether it’s at 8am or 4pm. Read on to find out more about this enthralling book that Murat has been addicted to for the past few days. If you’ve read a book that you also “can’t put down”, let me know about it so we can share it with others! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~  “Solo Saxophone” by Jeremy Harmer  ‘She began to run again, away from the smoke of the explosion. Another bullet whizzed past her head. And another. Without thinking she turned down a side street, running away from the danger.’ The story is about a new war reporter’s experiences in the middle of a direful war in the early 1990’s. The book includes love, desire and hatred. Katy, the young reporter, is cheated on by her boyfriend – on her bed! Then, she makes her mind subconsciously to get to Sarajavo to report what is going on there as a war reporter. When she arrives in the city, incidents start increasing day by day. She sees the beauty of the devil during the war, mercilessly killing innocent children, women and men. Being objective in the war is getting harder for her because she gets involved. “This is not my war or your war. Don’t get involved,” a journalist says at the beginning of her work. Be warned! If you start reading this book, you will be addicted to the Listening Centre and won’t want to put it down! The story could be recommended to those who want to improve their vocabulary and listening skills. ~Murat … Read more

Pirate Boat Party

Last week Thursday 5 December many English Language students joined me to the waterfront for a Language Schools Pirate Party boat trip to see the sunset. Most people were dressed up as pirates as there was a competition for the best dressed pirate where winners would receive a free bottle of champagne and a restaurant voucher. Unfortunately due to rough seas the Captain announced that we wouldn’t be able to go out to see and therefore had to stay in the harbor. That didn’t stop the party with  music pumping from the speakers and there were also free refreshments available at the bar. After the sun went down the boat returned to its docking place. It was a nice evening with lots of fun! – Marvin, Intern

December Activity Calendar

Here is our schedule for this December with great activities every week! *Please remember that the school will be closed for one week during Christmas – from 23 December until 27 December – and we will reopen on Monday 30th December. If you would like to book activities for the holiday period please see Claudia by Friday 20 December

Mandela Memorial Events

It was with great sadness that we learned about the passing of Nelson Mandela last week Thursday 5 December. Pay tribute to Madiba’s life and legacy with South Africans and the world at the following events taking place in the city: Today, Tuesday, 10 December 2013, the City will screen the official national memorial service for Nelson Mandela at the Grand Parade from 11am. EC will also show the memorial service in the student lounge On Wednesday, 11 December 2013 the City of Cape Town pays homage to the great anti-Apartheid leader with a free concert at the Cape Town Stadium. The events runs from 4pm until 11pm (doors open at 2pm), and those who’d like to attend will need to pick up complimentary coupons from Computicket outlets with presentation of a valid ID, passport or driver’s license. Coupons also entitle holders to free transport via MyCiti, Golden Arrow and Metrorail services in and out of the city from/to all stations from 12pm on the day.  

Watcha Up To?…Mohammed Bingarban

What happens to our students once they’ve left our doors for the last time and fly off into the horizon? Many of our students have gone on to do some pretty interesting things with their lives, and studying English as well as the overall experience of living in a foreign country, has a great deal to do with their success. “Watcha Up To?” showcases past students and have them share with us what they’re doing at the moment. Today’s post puts Yemeni student, Mohammed Bingarban in the hot seat! This student just so happens to have started in my elementary class with teacher Hardie and I distinctly remember him having a never-ending smile. Dedicated to his studies, he also made time to enjoy and explore Cape Town with the many friends he made here. Enjoy his story! ~Sheetal Makhan / AYC Watcha Up To? I’m Mohammed Bingarban from Yemen.  I started at EC Cape Town in September 2012 at Elementary and I finished in May 2013 at Upper Intermediate. Also, I got two months IELTS preparation . My time there was such great and unforgettable time. I met a lot of people from different countries and cultures. My studies at EC helped me to improve my English and my life as well. It gave to me a chance to do many things I couldn’t do it before. What I’m doing these days? I’m currently working at  tourist agency for a few months and after that I’ll start my university in English country. English has improve my skill  to communicate with the people at my work and made my job better and more exciting. Now I’m looking forward to travel to another country because English dose not scared me anymore. I’m ready to start a new adventure and meet a lot of people around … Read more

HOW TO: Be an autonomous learner

by Sheetal Makhan / AYC According to Oxford Dictionaries, “autonomous” means “having the freedom to act independently.” or “to act in accordance to one’s moral duty rather that one’s desires.” When we talk about “Learn Autonomy“, what exactly are we referring to? As Murat (in Upper Intermediate) said, it’s a student “[who] takes responsibility for their own learning.” It is someone who does something for themselves without force. At our “How To” Workshop last week Thursday, 28 November, we agreed that a student who is an autonomous learner, is someone who: – is willing to take responsibility for their results – knows their learning style – is motivated to learn – chooses the correct methods & tasks to help their learning process Ideally, it means that the focus of learning moves from ‘teaching’ to ‘learning’. Remember the famous saying, “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink.” As teachers, we merely provide the tools for student’s language acquisition. It is then the responsibility of you, the learner, to take charge and use these skills accordingly. For example, if you know that your writing could do with a bit more practice, why not visit the library and take out a book? This is guaranteed to help you, but it will only prove to be beneficial once you take the first step. This is what Aiman Babalghoom had to say about his experience about this topic: “When I came to CT, two of my cousins were already here  and I spent all my time with them. Soon, I realized the REAL secret of learning English. For me, it was to stop spending time with my cousins, because – they only ever spoke Arabic with each other and with me. Then, I started meeting new people. What I … Read more