Watcha Up To?…Ayşenur Ünal

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. For this post, we chatted to Ayşenur from Ankara, Turkey. She’s currently at university and studying very hard! She shares her experience not only about studying English with us, but about her time spent in Cape Town and South Africa. ~Sheetal Makhan / AYC Watcha Up To? Hi guys, My name is Ayşenur Ünal. I am from Ankara, Turkey. Before I started at this English Language School, I heard many good things about EC Cape Town. One of my friends strongly recommended this school and said so many good things to me. After I went there, I noticed very quickly that I made a right decision for my career.  The city and the EC Cape Town were fantastic. I remembered my first day in Cape Town, the city was so nice. There were so many things I could do. After I came to Cape Town, my family were worried about the city. But I really liked Cape Town. There were really nice people there. I think EC Cape Town was really good choice for me. I started at EC Cape Town in June 2012 at Elementary level. Before this time, I could not speak, write or understand English. Also I hadn’t had a confidence for speaking foreign language.  But the teachers in EC Cape Town were really nice and they supported and encouraged … Read more

“Mystery Restaurant” Class Outing

Last Thursday the Beginner and Elementary class went on a joint class outing. The objective was to practice the target language covered in the lessons earlier that week. The Elementary students were charged with the task of leading the group to the ‘mystery restaurant‘. They had to follow the directions on their worksheet. The teachers rang a bell if they took a wrong turn. They successfully led everyone to the restaurant with little help from the teachers. Then everyone had to order something from the menu, make a new friend and pay for their own food. They had to express their opinion about the restaurant and say if they would go there again. Some of the students had this to say… “I like to eat the food because I miss the food in my country.” Moaz from Libya “I don’t like spicy.” Jordano from Spain “I like spicy.” Omar from Italy Pedro from Brazil and Midi from Angola wrote, “Mariam’s Kitchen is a restaurant at Cape Town at St Georges Mall street. The owner’s and the employee’s run the restaurant so they take special care of their customers.  The food is fresh and delicious and everything is homemade – even the peppermint tarts are homemade! Try the peppermint tarts with a soft drink.” by Nurjan Sonday / Teacher   ===== EC offers various courses, including business English in South Africa.

Theatre on Thursday: Sleeping Beauty on Ice

by Sheetal Makhan / AYC “…!” “Wow!” “Teacher, amazing!” “Incredible” “The people who didn’t come, they made a big mistake,” said Mohamed Algantri from Libya. This was Mohamed’s second theatre outing with me this month and I have a feeling he’s been bitten by the “Theatre Bug”. Last night students were dazzled with awesome sights and effects in the form of “Sleeping Beauty on Ice” at the Artscape Theatre. The classic fairytale includes 26 skaters of Olympic, World, European and National Championship levels. The award-winning troupe boasts a worldwide following and has amazed audiences with over 2000 shows in more than 23 countries. Their previous world tours, like Cinderella on Ice, Swank Lake on Ice and The Nutcracker on Ice) have all received raving reviews and standing ovations. Like our recent outing to see Scrooge, there were some students for whom this was their first visit to a theatre or to enjoy a live performance. I’m thrilled that we are able to spread the culture of the Arts to our students, who, ultimately are here to get the full experience of living in a foreign country – not only learning a new language (English) but being exposed to so much more than what they are used to. A big thank you to all who joined me last night!  

With thanks, from Rafael of Brazil

Rafael, who ended his course with us last week wrote this and shared it with his teacher, Hardie: This is my last week in Cape Town and I’m already sure that I’ll miss this place and the people that I met here. I had the chance to get to the top of Table Mountain and see the sunset. It was amazing! I also could know beautiful beaches like Clifton and Camps Bay. The Garden Route was a nice experience and my friends and I visited other cities and different places. During this trip, I had some exciting moments, like bungy jumping. Actually, the most exciting feeling, I think. I also improved my English, appreciated beautiful views, tasted different kinds of food, but I think that nothing pays the chance that I had to know many people from different countries. I’m sure that I’m going back to my country a better person: more responsible, more tolerant, more flexible, more intelligent and more friendly. I just have to say to EC School and my new friends, “Thank you”. ==== EC offers different English Language courses, including business English in South Africa.

Watcha Up To?…Lucas Arcanjo

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. I agree with Lucas when he says, “So my advice is never stop studying. Knowledge is the only thing that no one can take out of you.” Read more to enjoy his story! ~Sheetal Makhan / AYC Watcha Up To? Hi, my name is Lucas Arcanjo. I’m 26 years old from Resende, Brazil and I started at EC Cape Town in January 2012 at Pre-intermediate. I finished in February 2012 at Intermediate level. It was the first time that I traveled by plane, more than 10 hours travelling. I made friends very quickly because I knew some Brazilians and they help me to make new friends there. And I lived in EC house, so I made friends from other nations there. There were 5 years that I stopped study English, so when I arrived in Cape Town I had some difficulties to remember the words and I was scared because I thought that people would not understand what I was saying, but after few days I lost this fear. And in my free time I visited very nice places in Cape Town: Lion’s Head and Table Mountain, Robben Island, Cape of Good Hope, Camps Bay Beach, etc. When I started to study in EC Cape Town, I remembered many words and I could speak and write more, but I thought that I … Read more

Discovering the World of…Pigeons!

by Sheetal Makhan / AYC Whenever I have to describe the meaning of “passionate” to my students, I use my own example of my job. I don’t use this word lightly, yet I can say that I love what I do. I’m passionate about the work I do and service I provide to my students. It’s like a fire that burns in your heart – one that gets you out of bed in the morning! A couple of months ago, I learned that one of our AY students, Mohamed Elafshouk of Libya has a passion that may come as a surprise to many people, as it was to me. In Libya, Mohamed’s life revolves around…pigeons! I found it so endearing how he spoke about his love for these animals and regards them as his friends. When I got to talk to him about this, I invited him to give a lecture to share not only his love, but knowledge of these birds which we actually know little of. We got to know of their diet, living conditions and the fact that there are actually so many different kinds of pigeons and are used for various purposes, like racing or being carrier pigeons. Halfway through Mohamed’s lecture, something incredible happened. Two pigeons suddenly flew into the classroom (Room 3.5). Afterwards, some people asked if perhaps Mohamed made a certain sound to attract them, but he didn’t. He was merely speaking! “Maybe they came from Libya to support me!” quirked Mohamed. Whatever the case may be, we’ve now given him the special title of “The Pigeon Whisperer” 🙂 Well done on your presentation, Mohamed. Thank you for enlightening us all about these little creatures. I know that I now no longer see them in the same light as before!

Theatre on Thursday: Scrooge

by Sheetal Makhan / AYC Last Thursday, a whopping number of students joined me to see Scrooge. The show boasts a star-studded South African cast with names like Marc Lottering, Shaleen Surtie-Richards, Andrew Buckland and Christo Davids. It tells the story of Ebenezer Scrooge (Lottering) – a grumpy, money-hungry miser, who learns a lesson on Christmas eve about the true meaning of charity. Jacob Marley (Buckland) is Scrooge’s deceased business partner and he is the first to haunt Scrooge on Christmas Eve. He warns Scrooge that three ghosts are coming to “visit” him! They are: The ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future. The themes that run through the story include reconciliation, change in thinking and the spirit of giving. It is a story about an evil person who changes for the better. This particular outing was extra special because almost everyone who joined me said that it was their first time to go to a theatre. The acting, singing and awesome set had the students literally sitting on the edge of their seats. The cherry on the top, however, was when the students got to meet and take a photo with some of the cast after the show. Said Tawfik from Libya, “Teacher, I’m so happy in this moment!” as he described his sentiments of experiencing something new and wanting to savour the moment. A very big Thank You to each and every person who joined me last week. Keep your eyes peeled…there’s another theatre outing just around the corner!  

Pizza & Karaoke Night

On Tuesday 7 January some of the budding stars of EC Cape Town went to exercise their vocal cords in karaoke and enjoy the amazing pizza at Dizzy’s in Camps Bay Check out some pictures below and also on the EC Cape Town Facebook page

The Pursuit of Happiness

A few weeks ago my Advanced class did a reading and discussion activity on the definition(s) of happiness and the human tendency to seek it out. The students followed up with a written piece and Matthias Wolf, from Germany, produced a very interesting and insightful article. – Samia, teacher The Pursuit of Happiness by Matthias Wolf What were your dreams when you were an eighteen-year-old student that had just finished school? Living in a flat with a wife you don´t really love anymore? Working in a job you hate? Going (for two weeks a year) to the same holiday destination you’ve been visiting for the last twenty years? I don´t think so. When you are young you feel like you have all the possibilities in the world about how to spend your life. You want a job you like. You want a happy family. And, the most important thing for me, you want to try something new. So why do most of the people spend their lives like this instead of taking their chances to get lucky? I am one of these eighteen-year-olds and I want to do better. I think it´s not going to be easy to live a life that makes you happy every day, because you have to put in a lot of work to get what you want. Sometimes you also need a lot of luck to find the perfect soul mate or an interesting job offer. But if you aren´t afraid to take every chance you get, it´s possible. You need a strong will to keep on searching for the things that make you happy. The biggest reason people don´t want to change any of their problems is that they are afraid of leaving their comfort zones. It´s easier to stay at your unlucky job … Read more