Best way to learn a different language!

Here at ECLA, we try our best to bring you fun, interactive ways to learn English. But did you know that along with school, making friends can help you learn English faster? Studies show that making friends with people who are fluent in the language you are trying to learn actually improves your English capabilities! Why? Simple, when interacting with English speakers, especially those who aren’t familiar your language, you’re forced to talk in the common language, in this case, English! Although it may seem difficult, it actually helps you in the long run. When talking to a native speaker, you learn new words that you are more likely to use because of your similar interests. A book can only teach you so much, luckily, there’s plenty of friends at ECLA that can help you become an English pro in no time!

Momma, why do we carve pumpkins?

With our recent pumpkin carving contest, it would only be appropriate to explain how pumpkin carving came to be. We all know that October is mostly defined by the spooky Halloween season. This is the time where we eat candy, make costumes and trick-or-treat. But haven’t you ever wondered how pumpkin carving came to be a staple for Halloween? Well, way back when, there was something a called a Celtic Festival of Samhain. This was celebrated on the sunset of October 31st and lasted through the sunset of November 1st. The festival celebrated and honored the deceased relatives of friends and family. It was believed that this time of year was the most magical. In order to welcome the spirits and lead them to their homes, they would carve turnips, pears and veggies and put lighted coals. It was also believed that displaying these lanterns would ward off evil spirits from entering the home. Now though, we just carve pumpkins for fun, yay!

EC Los Angeles Student Wins Contest!

The winner of the EC worldwide “Share Your EC Story” sweepstakes is EC Los Angeles student Marina Renner! She shared her story about what it is like to study English at EC Los Angeles and won a $50 Amazon gift card.  We are very proud of Marina and want to share her story with you as well: “EC is one of several schools in Santa Monica, Los Angeles, in which it is possible to learn languages. Most EC schools are modern and have a stylish appearance. They convey very professional from the start . I opted for the EC schools in Los Angeles. On my first day I recieved of a flood of information and I was shocked about the wide range of it . After that, a lot of nice teachers and staff were presented , who we got to know a little bit closer during a lunch with strawberries and coffee. I met many shy Japanese, a few other Swiss people and many other beautiful faces from around the world. At the EC school, you can make friends with more than 300 students from all over the world. For me it is a new, exciting challenge to see other cultures and to learn from other people every day. EC is a school where you don’t only learn English, it is much more special. Nonetheless they offer lessons with exceptional teachers, wich are a great asset to improve ones individual level of English. Everyone is involved and respected in exciting, vibrant activities. The minutes are not spent with boring exercises on stupid topics. No! Current issues such as the Israel – Iran conflict, fashion, movies, actors, music and arts are explained and demonstrated by teachers in different ways. The results are always exciting discussions where you do not even … Read more

Menu Etiquette—or lack thereof

Have you ever gone out with friends, chatted up the table and realized that the waiter is taking their sweet time to get to you? You must be thinking, “Man, this server stinks!” Little do you know, that just like bad breath wards out potential suitors, your menu etiquette, or lack thereof may be to blame. It’s funny, even as an American, I too have to learn certain acceptable behaviors. I remember being at a restaurant with one of my best friends. We sat there, took our time randomly glancing at the menu and kept swapping stories about the horrors of high school. As I kept yapping about a cute guy named Conor May, I saw my friend giving me the stink eye. I quickly quipped, “Oh my gosh, this waiter is taking forever, right?” As I was looking for a signal of approval, she asks, “Are you ready?” I quickly responded, “yeah?!” then she annoyingly says, “then close your menu!” Baffled by her odd request I asked, “why?” Well, with that question I opened the door for a very unwelcome lecture on how for the most part, waiters will not approach a table until all menus are closed. Apparently, this is the universal signal in the food world for “Hey, I’m hungry and I’m sooo ready to order.” Much to my dismay—but proving her point—the waiter rushed to our table and said, “Well, it looks like you’re ready to order!” See? We can all learn something about this little anecdote, are you hungry and want to be waited on? Then close your menu and stop hating on the poor server! Your friends and tummy will thank you!

Halloween is when?

    You know what this Thursday is? It’s Halloween! Many people may have a costume others may not. Hey, maybe you got invited to a get together and are thinking of not going because you don’t have a costume. Don’t be that guy! You know what Halloween is about? You might be thinking candy, well, yes, it’s candy, but also creativity! Many people maul over the idea of a sexy costume or a clever costume. Clever always trumps sexy. You know why? Because everyone is always going to be a “sexy nurse” or a “sexy cop” or a “sexy” whatever, but being a mutilated nurse is much more fun, not to mention memorable. In my experience, I’ve realized that the best costumes are the under rated ones. You don’t have to waste a fortune to have a good costume. The key to a great get-up is improvising. Use the tools you have available to you. Have a bag of balloons and tape? Be a grape with crazy, static hair! Remember, in the end, it doesn’t matter what you dress up as, but when in doubt, be a zombie!