My Decision, by Mohamed Abogila

From Sheetal Makhan / AYC When I wrote the prompt on the board this morning, I had no idea that I would get back something like this: Writing prompt: She took a deep breath and said to her boss… My Decision by Mohamed Abogila …I fell in love with you! Her name’s Lara. She’s from Spain, 25 years old. She’s a teacher. Teach English Language. One day she fell in love with her boss. Her boss is Ian, from Cape Town. He works at a big school. He’s assertive, ambitious and serious. Also Lara is ambitious and hardworking. She has been this school 4 years. From the first day, Lara fell in love with Ian. He was strict with all the teachers and she’s a teacher. Ian is a single person. Handsome and decisive and the same time Lara is pretty, energetic and sociable. Anyway she was love him and couldn’t tell him because he was her boss and he was serious. Four years. Year by year. Month by month. Week by week. Second by second. She’s sensitive, but she could be patient…until this day. Lara was thinking, “What can I do? and how?” One month was thinking and asking herself. She was afraid from her emotions and maybe she fell in love with a wrong person. One day at the school Lara was wearing a perfect dress with a wonderful new look and she said, “I will. Life goes on and he’s my heart. If I get him or don’t.” This day Ian was looking for his princess and he decided to get married, but he didn’t think of Lara because he thought, “She might refuse me.” He was looking for another woman. Lara heard that from another teacher. After two months, Ian get married with another woman. Lara was in … Read more

True Love, by EC English student “Abo Korkmaz”

From Sheetal Makhan / Academic Year Coordinator Every now and then I come across a true gem. When Turkish student, Abdurrahim Korkmaz suddenly appeared back in Cape Town six months ago, I was so delighted to see him. I got to know him last year when he was learning English at EC Cape Town. He can be described as an all-rounder – friendly, hard-working, sincere and dedicated. This is his last week studying with us and he shared a piece with me which he wrote recently. Of course, I can’t keep it to myself…so here it is! True Love by Abdurrahim “Abo” Korkmaz Surfing is everything for me. You don’t need anything. Without words, without language. Straight into your heart. You do not have to think. You just feel colour. Emotion. This is friendship with wind, waves, sail and a board. This is true love…life. Life is windsurfing for me. Wind gives me life. Abdurrahim was an Academic Year 20 student at EC South Africa __________________________________ Remember to follow us on Facebook or Twitter RELATED BLOG POSTS Travel Writing: Cuba by Zayra Alexandra Serpa A short story…by Mariana Alves (Brazil)

My Sun & My Moon by English student “Mohamed Abogila”

By Sheetal Makhan / Academic Year Coordinator Mohamed reveals that his inspiration for this story came from the windy morning that Cape Town had today. His imagination has taken his writing to new heights and I’m really proud to share his latest piece with you! Well done, Mohamed 🙂 NOTE: This was a timed writing activity (20 minutes) Prompt: Write about the first time that your father saw your mother My Sun & My Moon by Mohamed Abogila, EC English Language Student My Sun is my father. He’s strong and powerful and he shines like the stars. He’s like a candle at night – always shining, kind, helpful and lively. Also, he’s like a fire and will hurt you if you touch him when he’s angry. The sun is a different type of light. It could be useful to see and at the same time it could be unuseful. Actually, I can’t live without him. The sun is also important for the life, plants, animals and humans. He makes me like fresh air…free. He helps me and he’s energetic. One day the sun felt alone and decided to find something to change his life. Suddenly, it was a raining day and the Sun escaped from the sky. After two hours, the Moon started shining with a massive, strong, attractive light. The Sun (my father) decided to fall in love with my mother. My mother is the Moon. However, the Sun was looking forward to seeing the Moon every night and he chased her. Like the Moon, my mother is strong, simple and optimistic. She’s open-minded, self-confident and strong-willed. One day, my Sun (father) decided to shine at night to talk to the Moon. “I want you in my life, but it’s dangerous.” (because he could die at night). Remember, the life of the Sun … Read more

A Tribute to My Friend, by Yahya Zwita

by Sheetal Makhan / AYC I pride myself on the fact that I share very special relationships with my students that go far beyond textbooks and Grammar. When Yahya Zwita, from Libya, opened his heart and told me that his friend, Mohamed (aged 20) committed suicide at the beginning of the month, I knew that I had to be there for this young gentleman. Far from home for the first time in a foreign country with family and friends far away, I instinctively took on the role of his big sister. During one of our conversations, he told me that he wanted to give a presentation / tribute about his friend. I immediately agreed and said I would help him in any way I could. For his tribute yesterday (Thursday, 27 March) Yahya spoke to a group of about 25 students – all his peers. Voluntarily, he put himself in the spotlight…and spoke. I have always maintained that “Words that come from the heart, enter the heart.” This was exactly what happened yesterday afternoon. Here is Yahya’s presentation: Good afternoon everyone. Thank you for coming. This is my first presentation that I’m giving and I would like to tell you about my friend. His name was Mohamed. He was 20 years old and he had 1 brother and 2 sisters. His father died when he was young.  As friends, we had a magnificent time together and enjoyed life. Two weeks ago, my brother called me and told me, “Your friend, Mohamed died.” I was shocked. I couldn’t believe it. He died at home at 11 o’clock. Mohamed lived this life feeling depressed. He had diabetes since he was 4 years old. His family wasn’t very rich. He stopped school when he was young, because he didn’t have money and his mother … Read more

The Wonder of Words!

by Sheetal Makhan / AYC As a writer myself, it gives me an absolute thrill to be able to unleash a creative spark in the students I meet. I have recently been working with a few students on creative pieces. They are encouraged to: 1) “Think out of the box” 2) Write against the clock (15 minutes) 3) Spend 5 minutes reviewing their work – checking grammar, spelling etc… 4) Making their stories come to life with endless possibilities of twists, turns and magical words This morning I was blown away by two of my AY student’s writing. It is vital to note that these pieces were timed (20 minutes) and they didn’t use a dictionary. When I come across such gems, I want to share it with the world – which is the purpose of this post. As their AY tutor and recent writing mentor, my heart is simply beaming with pride. Enjoy 🙂

“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.

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

From the Book Nook

by Sheetal Makhan / AYC It’s lovely to see that on any given day, our Listening Centre is packed with students. One of our Advance students, Pierrick Dupuy is a regular in the Listening Centre and recently read a captivating book titled, The Enemy. This is what he had to say about it: ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~  “The Enemy” – Thumbs up from Pierrick! The Enemy is a detective novel which combines genetics, spying, mathematics, and politics: it shows the skills of an ingenious author perfectly. The action takes place in England but quickly, protagonists will carry the reader to foreign countries, perfectly described by the writer’s hand. Thanks to the complex personality of the actors, suspicion is permanent: who’s who, and why are they behaving like that? The Enemy is immersed and fascinating, with a perfectly structured (but totally accessible!) plot. I strongly advise it for “High-intermediate“, “Upper-intermediate” and “Advanced” students: Nine times out of ten, readers will love it! ~Pierrick Dupuy, Advance

“Eid” from Taiwanese eyes

Yesterday, I shared Murat Koç’s piece, A Taiwanese guy…from a Muslim eye where he wrote about his friend, Yank Lai from Taiwan. Murat was touched by his friend’s gesture of taking time off school to celebrate this auspicious day with his Muslim friends. Today, I present Yank’s story! Also an AY student, he has proven to be quite the popular one with both staff and students at EC Cape Town. Always respectful and polite, Yank is a shining example of an EC student – yet another young gentleman who is succeeding in a global community. Enjoy his piece and as always, please feel free to leave your thoughts and comments. Enjoy! ~Sheetal Makhan / AYC “Eid” from Taiwanese eyes by Yank Lai Muslim people have two Eids in a year, one was named Eid Al-Fitr, another one was named Eid Al-Adha. They are two of the most important celebrations in Islam. I would like to share my experience of joining Eid Al-Adha. In Eid Al-Adha, all the Muslim people of around the world traveled to Makkah, that is holy place for Muslims in Saudi Arabia. Muslims have to pilgrimage to Allah once in their life . This kind of worship to Allah is for six days. They sacrifice sheep, cows or camels for Allah and slaughter them. After slaughtering, they divide their meat to eat, to give neighborhood or friends, and also donate to poor people . I haven’t had any Muslim friends before I came to South Africa . So, I didn’t know anything about Muslim celebration. My friends of EC are from different countries like Turkey, Libya, Palestine and Saudi Arabia and they are all Muslim. On the day of Eid, I got up so early. I knew Muslims were used to wear white dress for specific days. So I … Read more

A Taiwanese guy…from a Muslim eye

At EC Cape Town, we encourage our students that the bulk of their English learning will actually happen outside the classroom. While teachers merely provide the “tools” to students, it is ultimately up to them to use it correctly. Traveling to a foreign country to study English comes with unlimited possibilities and opportunities. Choosing to study at EC Cape Town gives students a taste of what it really means to live in a “rainbow nation”. Last week, our Muslim students celebrated Eid-ul-Adha (Festival of Sacrifice). A few teachers and students took the day off to observe this auspicious day which is celebrated by millions around the world. It was wonderful seeing everyone in such joyous spirits! For some, it was the first time having to celebrate away from their family. It always warms my heart to see students gravitate towards each other and create their own “home away from home.” AY student, Murat Koç from Turkey voluntarily gave me this piece of writing, where he shares his experience not only of celebrating Eid, but doing so with a friend of a different faith. I was so touched by it, because it truly captures what we at EC Cape Town strive for – encouraging our students to open their minds and evolve. This is a wonderful example of EC students succeeding in a global community! Enjoy and please feel free to share your thoughts/comments. ~Sheetal Makhan / AYC A Taiwanese guy…from a Muslim eye by Murat Koç Seeing and experiencing something for the first time always teaches us how people have different cultures and sometimes there is no distance. I was born in Turkey which has a 90% Muslim population. Coming to South Africa was the first time I left Turkey. To live within a mostly Muslim community has made me … Read more