ecla teacher, shauna bloom

A sweet goodbye from celebrated EC Teacher, Shauna Bloom!

On December 31st, New Years Eve, I took an interview to meet with Max Eugene and I have since spent seven months teaching at EC Los Angeles. July 15th was my last day as I will be relocating to New York to pursue stage work and other creative opportunities. Adapting to different cultures merging into the same classroom can be challenging. Not only are there unique personalities but there are also unique language challenges. My particular passion lies in the pronunciation and speaking classes. As an actress, I tried to bring a spirit of creativity and play. I learned much from my team teacher Robert, who has terrific focus and discipline. Charlene Jones, a wonderful teacher and woman taught me to trust myself. her spirit and strength always fed me during lunchtime in the break rooms. There are so many students who touched me. Genki, Tomoko and Gai from Japan. Erica from Sweden. Marissa from France. Josef and Abdul from Saudi Arabia. Brazil. China. Turkey. Colombia. Brilliant writers and musicians and engineers and lawyers and on and on. They have such gifts and come here to bridge the gap between their culture and ours by bravely learning the most complex and crazy language- English. I am a believer in leaping without a net. I also believe that mistakes are gifts in disguise. So i say to all teachers entering EC… embrace the mistakes and allow yourself to fall. listen to your students. Remain flexible and look them in the eye. It is through falling and getting back up that you will find the portal to help your students fly.   xo   Want to take English classes in Los Angeles with great teachers like Shauna? Enroll at ECLA today!

ESL student, volunteer

Meet “Cosmopolitan” Takahiro: EC Student Volunteer!

Curious to see what students do once they finish at EC Los Angeles? Takahiro is one of our former students, but that does not mean he has left us. He now volunteers at ECLA’s front desk, assisting other students. See what he has to say about his experience! What is your name, age, and occupation? I’m Takahiro from Japan, 19 years old, and going to SMC (Santa Monica College). Why did you decide to study English in Los Angeles? One day, I want to be a UCLA or USC student. And both of schools are located in LA. This is the reason why I came to here to study. What will be your best memory of your time here in Los Angeles and/or Santa Monica? 1. To graduate from UCLA or USC. 2. To meet a lot of foreigner. Do you think your English has improved? Why? Thanks to EC Los Angeles, I do think I have improved my English. Because, when I came to here for the first time, I couldn’t even ask people for directions. However, currently, I volunteer at ECLA’s front desk and am able to answer in English whenever students have questions. Describe one or two of ECLA’s strengths. 1. Many kind of activities. 2. High quality English education. What advice do you have to give to students who are thinking about studying in Los Angeles? All you have to do to learn English is talk to a lot of people! Speak a lot in English. But if you ever need a break from English, don’t worry. LA is cosmopolitan. There are people from all over the world! Find out how you can take English classes in Los Angeles!

beach volley ball in santa monica

EC Los Angeles Beach Volleyball Day!

On July 22, EC Los Angeles held its popular Beach Volleyball Day! The sky was blue, the air a warm 77 degrees (25c) – students from all over the world headed to the famous Santa Monica Beach to soak up some sun and play an intense game of Volleyball! Summer is a fantastic season to come take English classes in Los Angeles. After studying hard, students can walk down to the beach where the sand is hot and the water is cool. Los Angeles is famous for beautiful, warm weather all-year-round, but we shine brightest in summer! EC offer many activities that let you take advantage of the beautiful location and weather. In addition to Beach Volleyball, EC Los Angeles offers Beach Soccer, bike riding from Santa Monica to Venice Beach, trips to the Getty Villa Museum, hiking in Griffith Park and so much more! The possibilities for fun are endless when you study at EC Los Angeles – come enjoy a fantastic ESL school activity in LA!

Learn tips on English grammar!

A Grain of Grammar: “When is the perfect time to use the perfect tense?” Part II

Last week we explained how to use the PRESENT PERFECT TENSE. To refresh your memory, here are two examples: “My Hollywood tour has started.” This means, “The tour has started and it is still going!” “The San Francisco bus has left.” This means, “The bus left just a moment ago.” The PRESENT PERFECT is an event that began in the past and is still continuing. It is usually an unfinished action. Or, it could mean an action that just happened. Are you now ready to use the PAST PERFECT TENSE?  We use the PAST PERFECT TENSE to describe an event that happened before another event. It is always a completed action. For example: “My Hollywood tour had already started when I began to feel sick.” This means that my tour started before I began to feel sick. “The San Francisco bus had left when I arrived at the bus stop.” This means that the bus left before I arrived. Therefore, you missed it! You might ask, why can’t I just say: “The San Francisco bus left when I arrived at the bus stop.” If you say “The San Francisco bus left when I arrived at the bus stop,” you are saying that the bus left or started leaving at the same time you arrived. If it helps you remember, you can use the word “already” to clarify what you mean. For example: A crowd of people had already gathered when my friends arrived at the Disneyland entrance.  A crowd of people had gathered when my friends arrived at the Disneyland entrance. Both are correct uses of PAST PERFECT and they mean the same thing. Here are a few more examples: “By the time Cyril took his vacation trip, he had studied English in the USA for 3 months.” This means, “Cyril completed 3 months before he took his trip.” “Olga had already married when her youngest sister turned 10.” This … Read more

esl, student, writing

EC Writing Workshop Students Create Newspaper!

  Students taking Writing Workshop at EC Los Angeles have put together a quality newspaper with opinion pieces, news reports, creative fiction, and reviews. One student wrote a sensitive article on the problem of racism in the United States. “I think we should place importance on discussing racism now more than we had done in the past. Skin color should not play an important role,” he says. Other articles are more funny and light-hearted. Two students gave film reviews on “Mad Max” and “Tomorrowland.” Other students gave recommendations of places to visit in Los Angeles. For example, one student reviewed a Los Angeles hotel called “The Standard.” The student described it a “trendy remodeled hotel and rooftop bar in the middle of Downtown, surrounded by very tall office buildings.” According to the student, “The Rooftop offers the feeling of standing in the mountains.There is a heated swimming pool, dance floor, DJ booth, ect. In fact the ticket is free when no special events or during the day.” It is such a pleasure to read student perspectives of the United States and of their home countries. And it’s such a pleasure to watch these international students write their thoughts beautifully in English! Interested in improving your writing? Choose the best English course for you at EC Los Angeles!

ECLA, game, board game, english

July Activity – EC Los Angeles Game Night

On July 15, 2015, students from France, Belgium and Italy came together to play the popular English game, Apples to Apples. In this game, the leader of the round pulls an adjective (word that describes a noun) card from a pile, and reads it to the group. Each player has stack of 7 noun (person, place or thing) cards and chooses the one he or she thinks best matches the adjective card. The group leader then chooses the noun card he or she likes best. The leader changes every round. Apples to Apples is just one of many games that helps make learning English fun! What games do you like to play? Have you seen EC Los Angeles’ monthly activities calendar? In addition to English classes, EC LA offers a chance every day for students to have fun and relax! This July, students can enjoy volleyball on the beach, roller coaster rides at Pacific Park on the Santa Monica pier, and even Sushi and Sake night at a local restaurant! An important part of learning a new language is also learning and living the culture of that language! So come sign-up for an activity, have a new experience and make some new friends!

esl, ecla, center director, paul suhr

Let’s welcome ECLA’s newest Center Director, Paul Suhr!

Summer is a time of many changes. This July, EC Los Angeles welcomed our new Center Director, Paul Suhr. Let’s learn a little more about him! Why did you choose to work at EC? “I chose to work at EC because I like that the company allows for the Center Directors to act more like entrepreneurs, rather than robots. I also like that student population is so diverse.” What do you do at EC? “The simplest way to put is that I make sure that everyone is happy – the students, the staff and the teachers. If this is accomplished, then I know I am doing my job well.” What do you most like about Los Angeles? “I love the outdoors- hiking, rock climbing, surfing, etc; and since LA has good weather all year round, I can do thinks I love more often.” Where in the world would you most like to visit? “I would like to go to Iceland. My sister just got back from there and she showed me incredible photos. Who wants to come with me?!” Do you have a message for future students? “I have candy in my office. Come say ‘hi!’”   Find out more about taking English classes in Los Angeles!

student services coordinator, travel,

Meet Karissa, ECLA’s New Student Services Coordinator

Hi everyone! My name is Karissa and I work at the front desk as ECLA’s Student Services Coordinator. I’m proud to call Los Angeles my native city. However, I spent nine years of my childhood growing up in Tajikistan. For this reason, my heart will always be in Central Asia. As a college student, I studied Russian for one semester at Saint Petersburg State Polytechnic University. I also lived with a host family. After graduation, I moved to China to teach English for two years. During that time, I was able to travel to other countries like Cambodia, Philippines, and Japan. Needless to say, I love working at EC Los Angeles because I feel connected to the world again. I understand how challenging it can be to live in a new city. I know what it is like to learn a new language and feel like a little kid when speaking. I know what it’s like to worry about getting lost using public transportation. That is why I am here to help! If you have any questions about student life at ECLA, or if you have any questions about Los Angeles, come see me or any other staff member at the front desk!

Learn tips on English grammar!

A Grain of Grammar: “When is the perfect time to use the perfect tense?”

When is the perfect time to use the perfect tense? We use the PRESENT PERFECT TENSE for two reasons: to describe an action that is not complete (unfinished action), or to describe an action that is complete (finished action). The PERFECT TENSE uses the verbs “have” and “had”.   When we use the PRESENT PERFECT TENSE for an unfinished action, we are usually talking about time, or “how long” something is: For Example:  “I have been studying English EC Los Angeles for 6 months!” This means, “I am studying English  at EC Los Angeles for 6 months, and I will continue to study here longer.” “I have been wanting to learn English in USA since I was 12 years old.” This means, “I wanted to learn English in the USA from age 12, and I still want to learn English.”   When we use the PRESENT PERFECT TENSE for a finished action, we are usually talking about a life experience, a time of day or week that is not over yet, or a result for something that just happened. We use a past-tense verb after “have” or “had” For Example:  “I have lived in Japan.” This means, “I used to live in Japan, but I don’t live there now.”  “I have lost my car keys.” This means, “I cannot find my car keys (so I cannot drive to the store.”  “I haven’t visited my grandma, this month.” This means, “I didn’t visit my grandmother this month, but the month is not over so, I might still visit her.”   There are also some special words we can use with the PRESENT PERFECT TENSE: “been” and “gone”. We use “been” when we talk about a life experience. For Example:  “I have been to Morocco!” This means “I went to Morocco before, but I am not there now.”  “I … Read more

student ambassador Los Angeles

Los Angeles Travel Tips from Beril, Student Ambassador

Hi everyone! My name is Beril and I’m from Turkey. I want to talk about my Los Angeles experience with you. In my opinion, what I’m writing is very important if you are new to this city and country. Sometimes getting around can be complicated! I’ll share with you useful tools and phone applications in LA, which might save your life. So listen and learn, I hope my experience will help you in this strange new city. TRANSIT or GOOGLE MAPS LA is a very big city. If you have a car, you are a lucky person. For driving, Google Maps is useful. You can go anywhere with it. But if you don’t have a car, or if you don’t drive, I think public transportation is a little bit complicated. If you want to go anywhere you don’t know, you can use Google Maps. If you need to travel by bus or train, Google Maps will show you where the bus station is, how many minutes you need to walk, and when the bus is coming. It’s very useful, and that’s the amazing thing about this applicationl it always shows the truth! In my opinion, Transit can sometimes be more useful. Google Maps does not show every bus stop. Transit will always show you where you should get off the bus. TAP CARD When you ride the bus, you can pay cash, but don’t forget that you need to have the exact amount of money. If you try to pay with a $20 bill, the bus driver will not give you change. If you want, you can buy a Tap card at a grocery store (Vons or Ralphs). A Tap card is convenient because you can store money on it and you don’t have to worry about carrying change. Each … Read more