We (heart) South Africa

Another Public Holiday?

Every year South Africans celebrate a few Public Holidays that commemorate our new democracy and particular days which are significant to our history. This month on the 24 September we celebrate Heritage Day. Initially this day was called Shaka Day in remembrance of the great Zulu warrior Shaka. However, since 1994, this day was amended to celebrate the cultures and traditions of the entire South African nation. On this day all 11 official languages are celebrated and recognised as an important part of our country.   This year we are celebrating 21 years of democracy and Heritage Day has become one of the days that all South Africans are given a public platform to express their cultural identity. Many events are organised throughout the country and people are encouraged to wear their traditional dress proudly while at the same time respecting all the diverse cultures of this country. Former President Nelson Mandela was a strong supporter of equality of all people and respecting all humanity, not only the people of South Africa. He played an important role in finalising our new public holidays.     When our first democratically-elected government decided to make Heritage Day one of our national days, we did so because we knew that our rich and varied cultural heritage has a profound power to help build our new nation. (Former President Nelson Mandela)   In 2005, a media campaign added another element to the day by celebrating our joint heritage of cooking on fire (“braai”); and so National Braai Day was started. At first, many people were insulted by the new idea and thought it would water down the importance of the actual day. However, when Archbishop Desmond Tutu became a patron for the day, the name was changed to Braai4Heritage and South Africans were encouraged to get … Read more

No trip to Cape Town is complete without taking a hike on this majestic mountain. EC language hikes are a muc=st!

Take a walk on the wild side – a hike up Platteklip Gorge

On a fine Wednesday afternoon this week teacher Matthew from EC language school in Cape Town and ten students (from Switzerland, Turkey, Germany, France and Angola) hiked up the steep, but beautiful Platteklip Gorge to the summit of Table Mountain.   After a bit of a taxi delay we set off on the trail through warm air at the base of the valley. Conditions were perfect, the sun washing the rock and fynbos with light. After just a short while we treated ourselves to a gulp of cool mountain stream water and took a break to soak up the scenery. We’d started our ascent at about 3pm so we were in no rush.     The view of Lion’s Head disappeared as we rounded a sharp corner to begin hiking up the neck of climb. True to its namesake, the climb up Platteklip (‘flat stone’ in Afrikaans) gorge is paved with hundreds of giant granite blocks, the route ever narrowing as a majestic V silhouette unfolds in front of you.     After some hefty puffing and panting, at our next break we spotted a couple of Dassies catching some rays on a big rock. Some of the girls thought they were cute, the guys reckoned they were more like fluffy rats, and everyone was surprised when I told them that Dassies are amazingly, the closest living relative to the Elephant.     The view had stretched out to a stunning sweep of the city, Table bay and the Stellenbosch mountains. The final push took us in between some impressive cliffs and sheer walls of rock and before we knew it, we had reached the top!       We had drinks and snacks at the café, laughed and enjoyed the amazing panorama wrapping around us. We snapped a few … Read more

Abdalla on an excursion with his teacher. at EC Cape Town

A little story of my life…

The most beautiful days of my life was when I graduated and the day I got married. I am a very simple man. I come from a poor family and I have six brothers and four sisters. However, I started studying at University in 2006, specialising in Mechanical Engineering. I relied on my God and myself.   I graduated from the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering in 2010 and I became an Engineer in a company. I had this experience for one year and then I started working as a teacher in 2011, teaching Mechanics from level 1 to level 3. I always put integrity in front of me and I enjoy working with other people.     I got married in 2014 and left my job at the University to start my Masters. I decided to travel to South Africa in August 2014. When I arrived in Cape Town I couldn’t speak English very well. I then started studying at EC language school in Cape Town.   I had an amazing time and I enjoyed studying with them. Now I can speak English and fix all my problems. I can’t explain what I have in my mind. I like Cape Town and I don’t want to say goodbye, especially to my friends.   Abdalla is one of our long term Libyan students and started as a Beginner and left at Pre-Intermediate. He has worked hard to get here and we hope he will continue to master the language. 🙂

The academic, administrative team at EC Cape Town

Who helped You learn the most this month

Last month all EC schools started a project where we asked students to vote for the person that helped them learn the most that month. We are happy to announce that Brian Kelly won the first vote at EC language school in Cape Town. Well done Brian, you deserve it! 🙂     The project is meant to acknowledge (and reward the staff) who students feel have made the biggest contribution to their learning experience. It will hopefully also encourage students to reflect on their learning and consider those that have contributed to it.     The criteria is simple, think about who assisted you the most in your learning. It does not have to be your class teacher. You could also vote for a classmate or friend who helps you with your homework. It could be the administrative team as well as teachers in the free classes or library. As we recognise that learning can take place in all areas of the school – including on activities.     The procedure is simple: Get a voting slip from reception Fill out the person’s name and your students number (one vote per person) Drop your voting slip in the box Every Friday, the person will be announced and given a sweet treat. So, get voting and show the person who has helped you how much you appreciate them. Watch this space for this month’s winner! Are you interested in learning English in Cape Town? Contact us today and change your life!  

Tetsuto with the EC Cape Town soccer 'dream team'

EC Cape Town (heart) soccer!!!

The weekly soccer game at EC Cape Town is an important event. It is a time for our students to play their favourite game and defeat the other team; but it also gives students a chance to socialise with students from other language schools in the city. These weekly games have been popular throughout the year, even during winter, which shows you how seriously we take our soccer. This is Tetsuto Inagaki and this is what he had to say about the game.   EC football was a super, marvelous event!! I play football with Mark once a week. He always invites me and makes a plan. It is one of the most wonderful experiences in Cape Town. It is such an exciting game against the other language schools. Our school usually wins.  As far as possible, I want to play football more. Thanks a lot for everything Mark.     I really miss EC football event. I’m hoping that EC school will defeat the other schools forever. Be enthusiastic! Victory! Victory! Victory!   Tetsuto started at EC English school in Cape Town in April this year and was very shy at first but as he got more involved in the school activities and especially soccer, he gained confidence. On his graduation day, the school erupted as students chanted his name. He was humbled and we were very happy that we were part of his growth. EC Cape Town football team will always miss you “Tetstu!!!”