Full Immersion - Mixed nationality classroom

What is Teacher Talking Time?

Ask yourself an important question. Why do you want to learn English? Over the years EC English language schools have interviewed thousands of students and usually the answer is that they want to focus on speaking English for university, their careers or just for fun. Is that how you feel? Whatever your reason, how do you know if your lessons are helping you get closer to your goal of speaking fluently? In English language teaching we talk about two opposing aspects to a lesson; Student Talking Time and Teacher Talking Time. At EC, teachers’ lessons are judged on how well a teacher balances these two important aspects. In this blog we are going to focus on Teacher Talking Time (TTT), explain what it is and give you some examples of effective TTT and some examples of ineffective TTT that doesn’t help students improve. So, what exactly is TTT? TTT refers to the amount of time a teacher talks in class. To put it simply, when a teacher is talking, the students are not! We know it is important teachers talk in class to explain the language but how can we be sure they are not robbing the students of opportunities to speak themselves? We can guarantee you have had lessons with many teachers over the years. Often the teachers we remember most are the ones we laughed with. But ask yourself if you learned a lot with these teachers. Having fun does not always translate into learning! Consider the six scenarios below. Which scenarios have the more effective teacher? Scenario 1 – On Monday morning your teacher arrives in class with a big smile. They stand and talk for 10 minutes about their weekend, where they went, a film they saw and a conversation they had. Their stories and dramatic … Read more

EC Virtual Voted Best Online English Course

We are delighted to announce that Ryugaku Journal has chosen EC Virtual as their no.1 school in the Japan Best School Awards Special Edition after students rated our online English programme and gave scores based upon lesson quality, speaking opportunities in class, lesson length and level. Founded in 2003 and based in Tokyo, Ryugaku Journal is a counseling and placement organisation concerning all aspects of overseas education to Japanese people who wish to study abroad. The Japan Best School Awards, published once a year by the Ryugaku Journal (‘Journal of Study Abroad’), are a ranking of 500 international students who rigorously evaluate the quality of their language schools. In normal times the awards are given to face-to-face study abroad schools; however, due to the impact of covid on the study abroad industry, this year Ryugaku Journal implemented a special edition focusing on online study abroad programmes. Speaking about the award, Group Academic Director, Gillian Davidson, stated,””We chose to create a new program that utilizes the latest educational technologies and teaching methods. We are really happy and proud of the recognition EC Virtual is receiving and the satisfaction of students participating in our online language programmes.” We are therefore very proud and honoured to be recognised, not for the first time, by Ryugaku Journal and we promise to continue working hard to offer our students the highest level of quality, they and agents have come to expect from EC. Receiving this award is a strong testament to the hard work and dedication of our partners and teams across the globe. EC Virtual brings the feeling of an international classroom into your home with our online language classes. Students learn and collaborate virtually with qualified, experienced teachers and students from around the world using course eBooks powered by National Geographic Learning. We have … Read more

Time to study English in the USA

Learning English in America Why Choose the US? ✓ Over 146 million people vaccinated and 2.8 million more every day ✓ The new presidency brings a new era of opportunity for international students ✓ American life is reopening and so are our schools. Why Choose EC Schools? ✓ Most EC teachers and EC staff have already received the COVID-19 vaccine ✓ EC New York, EC Los Angeles & EC San Diego open for face-to-face lessons ✓ EC Boston and EC San Francisco re-opening summer 2021   EC New York ✓ Open for face-to-face lessons ✓ Cycle over the Brooklyn Bridge ✓ Take yoga classes in Central Park ✓ Dine outdoors and soak up the Big Apple attitude EC San Diego ✓ Open for face-to-face lessons ✓ Perfect climate for open-air restaurants ✓ Laid-back easy culture ✓ Some of the best surf on the West coast EC Los Angeles ✓ Open for face-to-face lessons ✓ Live and study among Hollywood glamour ✓ A foodie’s paradise on the Californian coast ✓ Disneyland is open EC Boston ✓ Reopening 7th June ✓ Mingle with a thriving student population ✓ Explore large local parks and ponds ✓ Take in a ball game! EC San Francisco ✓ Reopening 12th July ✓ Popular sights like Alcatraz are now open ✓ The chicest city on the West coast ✓ Tech, history, art and culture galore!   Want to know more? Contact us!

English language day

Learning English – Your Role as a Student

There is a wise proverb in English that goes like this, ‘You get out of life what you put into it’. What this means is that the more effort you put into any activity, the happier you will be doing this and the greater your rewards will be. This sentence also applies to learning, and yes, that includes learning English! If you ask most students what ‘learning English’ means, they will reply that it means going to an English school in a class where a teacher teaches them something and then gives them homework. But as you will see shortly, your role as a student plays the biggest and most important part in helping you to improve your English skills. Ready to learn English To really understand what we mean, we need to talk about the difference between ‘teaching’ and ‘learning’. This may seem obvious but take a minute to think about this carefully. Your teacher stands in front of your class and teaches a grammar point, but are you sure you have learned it? How many times has a teacher taught you the present perfect and yet here you are months or years later making the same mistakes? ‘Learning’ finally happens when you have fully understood an idea or a grammar point and most importantly, can use this correctly. But learning only takes place when you are ready to learn what the teacher is teaching you! Wow! Isn’t that something to think about? Basically, our brains can only hold so much new information. For example, your teacher may teach you 10 new words, but you may only remember and use 2. You have therefore only learned 2 new words. While your teacher may be teaching you regularly, learning can feel like a slow process. Improving your English So, is … Read more

Learn English

Fitting Learning English into your Busy Agenda

Before you read any further, may we first congratulate you! If you are reading this, that can only mean one thing – you have already started or are thinking of starting to learn English! You are taking the first exciting steps towards a new life, a new future and a new you so well done! Let’s be honest, there are no disadvantages to learning a language. Certainly not any that we can think of. Learning a language opens up a whole new world to you! It opens up new cultures, new ways of thinking, new ideas, new ways to express yourself and above all, new careers that may take you around the world and introduce you to people you probably never would have met. Doesn’t that sound exciting? ‘But’ we hear you say, ‘learning a language is a lot of work’. On that point we have to agree with you. Right now, you are probably imagining a future where you will be sitting night after night at your desk completing exercises in a book. ‘Learning a language takes so much time. How will I fit learning English into my busy life?’ you ask. We know you are busy with university, or a full-time job and / or even a family but we have some ideas so please, keep reading! Did you know that learning can be anything you want it to be? There are so many fun ways you can continue learning AND best of all, you don’t have to spend 3 hours every evening sitting at your desk! ‘Sounds great’ you say, ‘But how can you learn without doing that? Well, here are some ideas for you. Online Why don’t you try ‘EC Virtual’? These are courses that have been specially designed by experts at EC with busy people … Read more

EC English Partners with Air Canada and Introduces Multi-destination Package

EC students now get 15% off their flights to Canada EC English is proud to announce we have partnered with Air Canada to give our students 15% off the cost of their plane tickets when they fly directly to Canada with Air Canada in 2021. We believe this partnership will create a better, cost-effective experience for students travelling from all over the world to Canada, Air Canada is Canada’s largest airline is among the 20 largest airlines globally. its corporate headquarters are located in Montreal. “EC has been working very hard to safely re-open our campuses since July 2020,” says Martine Mangion, Director of Operations for EC. “Students are eager to travel to Canada to achieve their dreams of studying, working and immigrating and we are excited that this partnership with Air Canada will make it more affordable for them to travel in these tough times,” says Mangion. The discount is easy to use: as soon as students book their English or French courses in Canada, we send them a unique code they can use when booking their flight on Air Canada’s website. Montreal and Toronto Multi-destination Package With students rightly looking for value and convenience more than ever when choosing to learn English, EC is introducing its Montreal and Toronto Multi-destination package, ideal for long-term students who want to learn English in Canada.  This package is perfect for students interested in studying at EC Toronto, but put off by the high cost of doing quarantine at the expensive Toronto accommodation How does it work? Our Multi-destination package is built around a 4-week stay in Montreal prior to a bus transfer to Toronto (bus ticket included in the package). To avoid the cost of quarantining in Toronto, a cheaper option is to start your Canadian adventure in beautiful Montreal. On … Read more

What’s it like taking a CELTA programme at EC Toronto?

Did you know that as well as teaching students, we teach teachers too? We offer CELTA courses in Toronto to people interested in having a career in teaching English as a foreign language. CELTA is the most widely recognised TEFL qualification and it enables holders to work as teachers anywhere around the world. So what’s it like taking a CELTA programme at EC Toronto? Read what the experience is like from Warda, one of our CELTA course students. Where better to obtain your CELTA qualification than in one of the most multicultural cities in the world? The CELTA certification with EC was absolutely a pleasant experience. I was enrolled in the part-time classes and I found the course quite engaging. I was delighted with the support I received throughout the course from the peers, trainers and the management. The trainers made sure to guide us in their best possible ways. They made the CELTA course journey easier than I had expected. During the course, I learned several techniques to overcome the challenges while teaching Upper and Lower level English learners. At first, it used to take significant time, effort and research to plan and execute lessons. However, with the trainers’ continuous guidance, I was able to prepare quality lesson plans efficiently. CELTA has equipped me with different teaching approaches and techniques, and I feel confident to employ them in future. The virtual CELTA course, during pandemic, designed by EC proved to be extremely effective. The close coordination with peers, frequent online classes and use of technology created a real engaging environment for all of us. The virtual course provided me a unique opportunity to enhance my technological skills which can be utilized in online teaching. Warda Our CELTA courses in Toronto are officially approved by Cambridge Assessment English and meet … Read more

Learn English in San Francisco

Spotlight On: Learning English in San Francisco

“San Francisco has only one drawback – ’tis hard to leave”, said Rudyard Kipling once upon a time. Luckily for you, when you study English at EC San Francisco you get to learn exactly what he means. The school is reopening on March 1st and more ready than ever to get students back to learning English. Your safety is in mind at every step and we will do everything we can to ensure you have an unforgettable experience. So, let’s jump to it. Let’s see what makes San Francisco so very moreish! Study on a Movie Set! Ok, so not literally on a movie set, but did you know that San Francisco has been the location for lots of movies throughout the decades? Those streets have been walked by countless stars, used to frame scenes, and provided an atmospheric backdrop for all sorts of films, from small independent productions to Oscar winners. Visually, San Francisco is such a treat that it’s hard for creatives to resist. Firm family favourite Mrs Doubtfire was shot here, as was the classic 1968 move Bullitt. Bullitt’s most memorable scene is a car chase up and down the hills of the city, all filmed without special effects. Rolling Hills and Street Cars… To continue from the previous point, those hills of San Francisco are world-famous. Due to the city’s positioning on two fault lines – San Andreas and Hayward – the seismic activity over many years helped to shaped them as you see them today. There are so many, in fact, that it’s the second hilliest city in the world! Cable cars were invented in the city to climb these hills and they’re still in use today. You can ride from Downtown to Fisherman’s Wharf and take in the sights at ease, while taking advantage … Read more

EC Miami

Spotlight On: Learning English in Miami

    How would you like some good news to start off the year? Well, look no further, as EC Miami is reopening in March 2021 and getting back to what it does best – teaching you English! Miami, Florida has long been a popular destination for travellers and language learners alike. The locals speak over 128 languages. Yes – 128 unique languages! This is all thanks to a long history of people from many countries and backgrounds settling here and it makes Miami an easy place to fit in. This diversity creates a welcoming and comfortable place not only for learning English, but to put the language into practice on a daily basis, with students and locals alike. Warm Spring Weather Let’s jump straight in here and imagine that sunny weather during your stay. The temperature in Miami during March averages 25°C, and around 18°C degrees at night, unlike the chilly climate in most of the northern hemisphere at that time of year. Easy to see why December to May are the most popular months to visit the city. It’s warm without being too hot, and the humidity hasn’t crept in yet either. Oh, and just to put the cherry on top, the water temperature is pretty nice then too so, swimming? Yes please. Surfing? You bet. How about a balmy evening walk on the famous South Beach? Go for it!   School Reopening March 2021 We are so excited for this. On the 1st March, our Miami English school is scheduled to reopen following all the COVID-19 guidelines required and right now, our teachers, and all our staff, are busy behind the scenes to make the return to teaching as safe and memorable as ever. Even with the constraints of social distancing, our academic and social programs have … Read more

EC Malta Student Sara

Learning English in Malta by Sara from Spain

What’s it like learning English in Malta at times like these? Sara from Spain talks us through her experience as an EC Malta student. I have been at EC English school for a month and a half and I could not have chosen a better place to improve my level of English. Every day we take our temperature before entering the building and the classes are perfectly equipped to feel safe against the spread of the virus. The teachers use a very effective methodology to teach English and I feel like I am learning faster than ever. Who said you have to stop in times of pandemic? By Sara, studying English at EC Malta Malta is a tiny island surrounded by the glimmering Mediterranean Sea, where you can find some of the oldest temples in the world and a great beach vibe surrounded by gorgeous architecture. EC Malta is located in Malta’s entertainment district, with bus routes going all around the island nearby. At EC English, you, our students, come first. We do not react, and we do not settle for the “easy fix”. We research. We reflect. We make decisions based on the best learning outcomes. We are continuously monitoring the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation in all of our schools. We will continue to comply with the national advice for each location and do everything possible to secure the safety of our students and staff. Want to know more about taking an English course in Malta? Contact us below, we’re happy to answer your questions