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

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.

ECLA Teacher Feature: Lisa Gonzales

  Meet a Teacher – Lisa Gonzales      Lisa grew up in Cerritos, California and graduated UC Davis, California as a double major in French and International Relations. She loves playing and watching ALL sports, especially softball and baseball. She loves mushrooms and cheese and sunflowers and sunsets. During her time at EC she tries to learn about different cultures. She said “You never know what class conversation will lead to, and you never know who you will meet next and what interesting fact you will learn about their culture.” She decided to do the presentation about the Philippines because she wanted to share her personal experience with what was going on over there and let the students know that it was closer to home and that it affected one of their teachers, and not just a random person they may have seen on the news. She also wanted to educate them about the actual events that transpired AND about the country itself, for those who knew little about the Philippines. On Friday, December 13, EC Los Angeles English students had a chance to learn more about the Philippines and the typhoon the hit the country. One of our teachers, Lisa Gonzales presented a impressive lecture about the typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines. Lisa gave a talk about life on the islands before the typhoon swept through as well as the aftermath of it. The Philippines, Lisa said, “look like an old man with a walking stick on the map”, consist of more than 7,000 islands. Typhoon Haiyan hit right through the islands about one month ago. To give you an idea of how devastating Typhoon Haiyan was, we can compare it to Hurricane Katrina: Katrina has been called the worst natural disaster in U.S. history, but Typhoon Haiyan … Read more

ECLA Teacher Feature: Claudia Aragon!

I was born 110 miles outside of Los Angeles in an almost country/almost desert city called Bakersfield. However, I was quick to leave it to start up a life in Los Angeles via UCLA. After graduating in 2009 with a BA in Psychology, I chose to celebrate with a two-month long vacation to Italy, one that ultimately ended up lasting two years. In my time there, I explored the Amalfi coast, a coastline that I had been traveling to and loving since I was a child, improved upon my Italian, and dabbled in teaching English to Italians.   Now back in LA, to which I have become practically a native, I am also back studying at UCLA, however business this time.  Alongside, I am fortunate to be here at EC teaching English to International students.   EC’s methodology is distinct from other competing schools. Here, the students are taught more than just the knowledge of grammar structures and vocabulary but also, American humor, colloquial expressions that cannot necessarily be translated, and the means by which to navigate across linguistic boundaries. The result is that EC students do not graduate simply feeling more confident in their English abilities; they graduate feeling more fluent in American culture. And in my opinion, what more could ESL students want from a traveling experience abroad in Los Angeles?