AY Lecture: Emily Wang

On Friday, January 24th, our academics intern, Emily Wang, gave a wonderful lecture on her volunteering experiences in Mongolia and Cambodia. She begins the lecture by asking the audience, “What’s the happiest moment of your life?”, which is a very deep and complicated question to ask anyone. She continues by saying, “I’m young and I don’t have a lot of experience, but the happiest moments in my life were when I visited Mongolia and Cambodia.” She went to these two countries to volunteer to help kids with disabilities! How awesome is that?! She first visited Mongolia in July, 2012. Mongolia is the second largest landlock country in the world. The people there are nomadic, which means that they have no fixed home and move according to the seasons from place to place in search of food, water, and grazing land. They live in circular tents and have no bathrooms in the house. Emily said, whenever she needed to use the bathroom, she had to tell her host family, “I want to go see the horses!” Soon after, in February of 2013, Emily visited Cambodia. The older population in Cambodia lack education, and there are a lot of incidences where young girls were sold into slavery. Emily’s role was to promote education and teach young students about their rights. When she was in Cambodia, she could see that people were missing a lot of basic things that we take for granted, like shoes and especially water. There is a big water shortage in Cambodia, and a lot of the children looked very dirty because they didn’t have enough water to wash their hands and clothes. Many people get sick very easily because of that. Emily loves to travel and help other people. These volunteer programs allowed her to do both! She got to … Read more

EC Los Angeles English Teacher Feature: David Whatley

  He was born and raised in the Bay Area and came to Los Angeles to attend UCLA where he majored in Political Science. He is passionate about politics and public policy and actually hasworked on over half a dozen political campaigns. He is most proud of having served on the Obama for America presidential campaign and helping to make US History! He has always wanted to work in an international setting and feel blessed to be working in a place where he gets to meet and engage with people from all over the world. He began my teaching career in Mexico where he taught English to business executives and professionals. He subsequently taught for Tecnológico de Monterrey in Mexico City and the Princeton Review in Seoul. He currently teaches Pre-Intermediate and Survival English. It is both an honor and privilege to teach his students for him: He cares about his students and want for all to succeed. The greatest learning tip he can offer is to never be afraid to ask questions!!! In addition to being an ESL teacher, he is also a classically trained singer and for many years pursued a career as an opera singer. He still sing opera locally on occasion  although now his greatest passion is singing church music; he sings weekly at a couple of churches here in Santa Monica.  —he is fortunate to both live and work in Santa Monica and is passionate about our city. If you need any advice or recommendations on Santa Monica, please do not hesitate to ask him! His favorite spot in Los Angeles is Palisades Park: he can’t leave it without gazing over the beauty of Santa Monica beach and the Pacific Ocean. ============ You may view EC Los Angeles English teacher profiles here.

EC Los Angeles English Teacher Feature: Abdurahman Ali

Abdurrahman Ali was born and raised in Los Angeles, California. He studied Kinesiology at Cal State LA, but always had an interest in teaching; both of his parents worked in the field of education. When he began fourth grade, the first wave of students from Saudi Arabia joined his dad’s parochial school in Los Angeles. The parents of these children came to Los Angeles to study at USC under the scholarships of their Saudi company, Aramco. he found his Arab classmates very easy going which caused me to develop close friendships with many of them. After he graduated from Cal State University LA in 2008, he decided to go and reacquaint himself with my old Saudi pals in their hometown. His experience of living in the Arab Gulf was interesting, unique and very beneficial. He had the opportunity to develop and advance in a career which he finds to be enjoyable. He  further advanced his English teaching career by taking the CELTA course in 2011 at the British Council in Saudi Arabia. He returned to his beautiful hometown of Southern California in July 2013 and has been working at EC Los Angeles since August. he has worked at plenty of universities and language institutes over the years, but he could honestly say that EC Los Angeles is the place to be (this goes for teachers and students). He had never worked at a place where he actually looked forward to going in to work every single day. The variety of courses offered, from TOEFL to Cinema, from General English programs to Academic English programs really makes ECLA the place for everyone. He currently teach Pre-Intermediate, Low-Intermediate and a Vocabulary elective class. He often encourage his students to read as much English literature and articles as possible. This would help them develop … Read more

EC Los Angeles English Teacher Feature: John Boktor

  John Boktor was born and raised in the land of Cleopatra, and Alexander the Great! Yes, it is Cairo, Egypt, one of the most crowded yet rich cities in its rich cultural heritage and is considered a meeting place for so many cultures from around the world for so many years. So, Arabic is his first language. He came to the United States as an exchange student in 1997 and studied a master’s degree in teaching English. He went to Illinois State University and lived with a host family that opened his eyes to a fascinating world of new traditions, ideas, and ways of thinking. Ever since, He has fallen in love with world cultures: the languages, the food, the customs, the national celebrations, and ways of life and thinking. This passion for cultures led him to study a doctoral program in global education at Walden University. His teaching career started also in an international context where I taught English to international staff at a hotel. He enjoyed learning about their cultures as he taught them English skills to improve their communication with the guests. He has continued to teach English to international business professionals in language centers and to international students in universities. He loves travel and meeting new people. He has traveled through North Africa and the Middle East to Morocco and United Arab Emirates. In the United States, He has been to so many places that he lost count: Normal Bloomington, Chicago, New York, New Jersey,  Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Nebraska, Dallas, and lately Los Angeles. He enjoys sports specially jogging for long distances. He goes jogging for 10 miles on the weekends. His favorite food is steak and green salad! Of all the places in Los Angeles, he loves Santa Monica. On weekends, he enjoys his jogging routine … Read more

Meet EC Los Angeles’ new intern, David Kim!

I was born in Jumunjin which is small sea side town in Korea. When I was baby, my parents were busy so I had raised by my grandmother. My grandmother loved me so much than any other grandchildren and even her children so I loved her too. She passed out when I was 10 and it was the most heartbreaking memory for me. When I was a child, I used to hang out with children who lived in my neighborhood. We played together from the morning to the sunset and it was the happiest time in my life. Also, I was a really nice and smart boy. I used to be shy but I didn’t lose my confidence because I always got good grades in my schools. I spent a lot of my time in Seoul because I went to university there. Looking back my life in college, I always struggle not to be lonely. I was so lonely, frustrated and poor. However, after I took a trip to USA, I hoped that come to US again and learn American culture. So I studied hard and passed WEST program which is supported by Korean government. So now, I’m learning about America. My dream is having a good family. My dream changes from time to time and it’s my dream for now. I want to be a good husband, good father and good coworker. I want to be balanced in my life and help people around me without greed. -David   Come learn basic English classes in Los Angeles, and meet David!

Studying English in Los Angeles

When you’re traveling to a different country, you are most likely going to visit all the tourist attractions that you have heard about in movies, TVs, and on the Internet. Especially when you’re also spending a lot of your time studying a different language, you will not have a lot of time to look for other unique experiences in the city that you’re visiting. But here are 10 great things to do in L.A. that truly captures the greatness of this city. 1. Huntington Library One of the cool things about visiting a different city is its museums. I know that sounds really boring, but it’s a great cultural experience and it’s cheap! But why the Huntington Library? Because it has 120 acres of botanical gardens, like Japanese garden, Chinese garden, subtropical garden, and more! One of the best part about traveling is to take awesome pictures to make your friends and family jealous. Here at the Huntington Library, you can get at least 10 different scenery in one place. Also, if you call ahead to make a reservation, you can have tea in the fancy tea room. You can have scones with your tea and mini sandwiches, super fancy. 2. Runyon Canyon Park This is wear all the cool and hip young people in their twenties go to work out. You may even spot some celebrities here too AND get a work out! Because American diet is not the healthiest… and many people tend to gain weight during vacation anyways… 3. Griffith Observatory You could happily spend a few hours browsing around the Griffith Observatory, even though you can’t see much through the telescope because of the relentless smog that hovers over LA. There’s the popular Hall of the Sky and Hall of the Eye, a pair of complementary displays … Read more

EC Los Angeles English Teacher Feature: Max Eugene

Max was born in Haiti and grew up in Brooklyn, New York City. He studied Philosophy, Dance and Theater in upstate New York. He lived in Italy for some time before he moved to California and earned a Master’s Degree in Theater Arts at California Institute of the Arts. Currently, he is rehearsing a dance-theater show with Arianne McBean and the Big Show Co., to be performed in Los Angeles and in San Francisco this year. Also, he is co-producing a few film projects this summer. He fell in love with the English language when he was asked to play Duke Orsino in Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night in high school. He has been fascinated with words since then. He thinks that’s why he became a teacher. Also, he likes to teach in EC because EC students have sense of adventure and optimism. His favorite place in LA is St. Elmo Village where has been providing art workshops, festivals and numerous enhancement programs in the surrounding neighborhood and the Los Angeles community at large. His one piece of advice about learning English is “A mistake is an opportunity to learn. So don’t be afraid to make them!” ============ You may view EC Los Angeles English teacher profiles here.