Film Review: Annie Hall (1977) – EC Malta

Annie Hall is arguably Woody Allen’s most successful film. Released in 1977, it is written and directed by Allen, who also stars in it. It tells a story about the ups and downs of relationships, told from the perspective of an unusual comedian. A story about a man constantly looking for the loopholes in perfection – who is capable of turning everything into a joke, yet wishes he couldn’t. It’s a story both sad and hysterically funny.   The film is built on dialogue, centering on conversation and monologue. It consists mostly of people simply talking, almost as though the audience is some invisible ghost observing and intruding on the oblivious characters during sometimes intimate conversations. Annie Hall is a very real film. There is almost a sense that the actors aren’t really actors, just random friendly people one would bump into on the street and strike up an interesting conversation with. The themes explored and the conversations throughout the film are personal, raw, honest and true. These attributes and more are probably why audiences find the film so relatable, and why it remains one of the most popular and loved films to date. Students who decide to watch this film (we highly recommend it!) would be able to practice narrative tenses and past tenses. They would obviously also be benefiting from listening practice; the conversations throughout the film, as stated earlier, are very real conversations and they almost seem completely unscripted. We recommend this film to students of higher levels: Intermediate, Upper-Intermediate, Pre-Advanced and Advanced. Try not to feel discouraged if you find it difficult to understand initially; if this happens, try to watch it with subtitles in your native language. We hope you enjoyed reading EC Malta’s very first film review! Expect more of these in the future, and let … Read more

Staff Picks: Books We Recommend And Love!

Reading is arguably one of life’s greatest pleasures, although some love it more than others. Given the current circumstances and lockdowns in various parts of the world, one would hope that people are reading new books or rereading their favourites to lift their spirits a little. We asked some of our EC Malta members of staff to give us some brief information on their favourite books and what they love about them. Below are the results!   Keith Borg – Director of Studies The Picture of Dorian Gray – Oscar Wilde “This is not only a thought-provoking book, eerily as relevant today as it was in Victorian times, but also one of the best examples of the written word used as a remarkable expression of art. In a book where the idea of beauty is akin to immortality, Oscar Wilde never defines the image for you; no matter how many times you read it, your Dorian Gray will always look different in your head – this is the power of words and the images they evoke at different times of your life.”   Therese Moore – Assistant Director of Studies His Bright Light – Daniele Steele “It gave me an insight into the importance of mental health support as well as the support of a mother, what she goes through and what she does to try and save her son. It’s food for thought.”   Ingmar Albig – Centre Director Shogun – James Clavell “It gives you really interesting insight into 17th century Japanese culture, which is so different to my personal European cultural background.”   Edward Caruana Galizia – Teacher The Prime of Ms. Jean Brodie – Muriel Spark “I love Muriel Spark’s style of prose; it’s just got a very romantic feel to it.”   Nick Dunkley – Teacher … Read more

An Insight Into The EC Malta Activity Programme

EC Malta offers a diverse activity programme filled with cultural tours and ventures. Given the current circumstances, we have obviously had to adjust our activities to reach the health guideline standards in place. However, this hasn’t stopped our students and staff from embarking on these activities and enjoying them! We’ve prepared a summarised list of all the activities presently offered at the school.   Guided Night Tours These tours are amongst the most popular activities we have on offer! Students have a choice of three places: Valletta, Mdina and the 3 Cities. The tours normally last approximately four hours. Here’s how it goes: Students meet the tour guide at the school. Students and tour guide get transported to the destination by van. The guided walking tour begins upon arrival. Students have some free time after the walking tour to grab something to eat or drink. Students and tour guide then get transported back to school by van. Given the current circumstances, the groups cannot exceed 6: 5 students and 1 tour guide.     Gozo Tour Our extremely popular guided Gozo tour takes students to the main attractions on the beautiful sister island. These attractions include: Dwejra Ċitadella Ta’ Pinu Church Xlendi Fontana Qala The tour runs every Saturday. It lasts approximately nine hours, and the price includes the tour guide, transport in Malta, the ferry boat to Gozo and back as well as transport in Gozo. Given the current circumstances, the groups cannot exceed 6: 5 students and 1 tour guide.     South of Malta Tour People who visit Malta tend to forget to explore the charming South. Our guided South of Malta tour allows students to go round the most popular attractions in the South and immerses them in Maltese culture. These attractions include: Marsaxlokk Marsaskala Blue … Read more

Improve your English quickly… take our Special Focus Classes

Throughout our General English Courses, students cover all the skills needed to improve their English as fast as possible. However, some students still feel that they could do with more practice on specific areas, which is why EC Malta also offers Special Focus Classes. Running for 7.5 hours per week, these classes are perfect for students who would like to focus on a specific skill or language area so as to make quicker progress!   Are you at the beginning of your English language journey and would like to improve your reading and writing skills? Basic Reading and Writing Skills During this special focus class, you will be able to focus purely on your reading and writing skills. You will be delving into each skill and sub-skill in detail and will practise reading and writing in different contexts. Students will go through various texts and learn how to read more effectively, learning not to focus on ‘words’ but on ‘context’. Additionally, working with the teacher, students will work on different writing models to learn how to approach a variety of different styles.   Are you looking to improve your English language skills for the workplace and potential job opportunities? English for Work During this special focus class, you will be able to focus on language for the workplace. You will be learning vocabulary related to the world of work as well as the necessary skills needed (such as email writing, pitching ideas, negotiation and listening for keywords) to communicate effectively and with more confidence. This should enable you to feel more and more confident when you return to your job and have to speak English.         3. Do you struggle to express yourself because your range of vocabulary is limited? Expand Your Vocabulary During this special focus class, you … Read more

A Maltese Sunset

Our Picks: 5 Of The Best Places To Visit In Malta

So you’ve just arrived at EC Malta, completed your registration process and finished your very first class. And now it’s time to explore the island! But where to visit first? Worry not – we carefully selected our favourite places to visit, just for you to have that local touch to your experience.   Disclaimer: If you run a quick Google search of the places mentioned in this blog post, you will find lists of popular tourist attractions. This blog post aims to highlight places that you might miss – places that are popular amongst locals and which you might like to visit after you’ve seen the sights.   1. Visit Mdina Mdina, also known as the glorious Silent City, is a beautiful place to visit. It goes without saying that it’s definitely one of the most picturesque places on the island – and did you know that it used to be the old capital city of Malta? Its streets have something magical about them, especially in the evening! Here you will also have some of the most stunning views of the island, so don’t forget to take a couple of shots to take back with you. If you go to Mdina and you have a sweet tooth, (well, even if you don’t!) we highly recommend paying a visit to one of the most popular cafes on the island – Fontanella. From delicious cakes to one of a kind milkshakes, you certainly shouldn’t give this gem a miss!     2. Visit Valletta Visiting Valletta is a no-brainer. Being the capital city of Malta, it’s surely not to be missed. It’s a hub for awesome local cafes, bars and restaurants. Here are our recommendations: Suq tal-Belt: a food market with various restaurants Pastaus: for fresh, incredible pasta Kapitali: for delicious drinks … Read more

Temperature check

EC Malta …small changes which make all the difference!

COVID-19 has forced a significant change of lifestyle upon most people. Whilst EC Malta has re-opened, it is crucial to ensure the safety of everyone within the organisation.   EC Malta believes in the importance of face-to-face learning and the benefits that such a method has on students, whichever course they may be following. The school offers full in-house courses, allowing students to network and get to know each other, naturally whilst sticking to the safety measures in place. So, how is EC Malta ensuring safety for everyone at school?   1. One-teacher system Contrary to our usual two-teacher learning approach, in order to keep a ‘bubble’ we chose to work with a one-teacher system. This means that students will have one teacher per class. According to the feedback we’ve received so far, students seem to appreciate and enjoy this system as it allows them to get to know and get used to their teachers whilst also feeling safe and secure in the classroom.   2. Temperature checks We carry out temperature checks before each before lessons and after each break. If someone results to have a high temperature, in our case 37.3 degrees and above, we ask them to go home and advise them to call the health authorities for guidance.   3. Mandatory mask/visor wearing It is mandatory to wear a mask or visor, both in the classroom and in the corridors of the school. This applies to both students and staff. The effectiveness of face covering is undeniable, and it’s safe to say that this is one of the most significant safety measures we have adopted. If a student or staff member forgets their face covering, the school will provide them with one to ensure a safe learning experience for everyone.   4. Desks replaced with flap … Read more

Learn English in Malta

Three tips on learning English in Malta

Find out more about learning English in Malta with EC. Our Director of Studies, Keith, explains how you can make the most of your time as a student at our English school in Malta. Watch the video or read what he has to say. Over to you, Keith!   Learning English at EC Malta Hello there, welcome to EC Malta. My name’s Keith and I’m the Director of Studies here. Well, I can assure you that everyone here wants you to have the best possible time whilst with us on this island. You know learning English, it goes beyond being in the classroom, which is, of course, fundamental, but language should be there to help you live, to experience things and be able to communicate. So I’m here to give you a couple of tips that will hopefully help you make use of the English you learn in the classroom. Make friends with international students First of all, I would say that you need to make friends with people of different nationalities. What normally happens is that students make friends with people that come from the same country and this does not allow them to speak the language, does not allow them to speak English, so make friends with as many people as possible and speak English. Use the verbs, the words that the teacher helps you learn in the classroom. Join our English school activities Secondly I would definitely recommend going out on activities. We organise a lot of activities here. We have a very, very vast programme and this will allow you to, first of all, make friends with other people so you won’t feel lonely and again practise your English because the only language you can use to communicate with our tour guides, with your friends, with … Read more

Cambridge Preparation Courses at EC Malta: The Students’ Experiences

The new Cambridge preparation courses in Malta, which started this week, will guide some of the EC students through this journey towards the FCE and CAE exams in June. A current CAE student, Alexandra, shared her expectations, and a past student, Lorena Giraldo, told us all about her impression of the course.     Alexandra, why did you decide to take the Cambridge course? “I think it is important for both my professional and personal life. In the future, I’d like to find a job in a foreign country and a certified level of English is often one of the requirements. A preparation course can help build confidence in the subject and give you tips that will come in handy. Moreover, I believe that in order to express your ideas and your feelings, it is necessary to have a good command of the language. Besides, my children speak better English than I do and this is an incentive for me to improve!” Do you think that preparing for the test in an English-speaking country will help you more? “Definitely! At the beginning, as you try to come to grips with your new reality; you have to face some difficulties and you might feel insecure. But here at EC Malta you have the chance to keep practising English with other students on a daily basis and this is very interesting. In my opinion, it is also important that we have the opportunity to listen to different accents and get used to them. At the end of the day, this is something that will help us during the test.”   Lorena, what did you enjoy most about the Cambridge course? “I had the chance to try both the general and the Cambridge course. During the latter, I really had the impression that … Read more

having fun in Malta

Living with a new language, the best experience in my life!

  I have been doing an English course in Malta for 7 months, my personal experience has been really phenomenal so far, I have met many people from around the world. Nowadays I have a lot of friends and activities to do every day, I can practice my English while living the experience of staying abroad. I had never lived by the sea before I arrived to Malta. so I have been discovering the island and the different water sports like kayaking, snorkelling, windsurfing and diving. This experience is something that I could never have imagined! However for me the most important thing is that I have been improving my English level. To speak proper English has been the challenge of my life since for a long time, this is why I quit my job and I decided to challenge myself. EC School has given me all the resources I need to achieve my goals. I had booked an English year course and when the course started, it had more benefits than a General English course, I have free lessons that help me improve different skills, like the pronunciation clinic and specialised grammar lessons which are taught by expert teachers. That is why I recommend you to challenge yourself and learn a new language while you learn as well about cultures around the world. You too can improve your English, if you simply take the decision and make the effort!    

Valletta Capital of Malta

Why Malta has become the must-go-to destination for learning English

    Malta is a tiny island right in the middle of the Mediterranean sea just south of Italy, in area it’s smaller than London with a population of just above 400,000. What is making this island hit headlines around the world is it’s uniqueness that can’t be found anywhere else. English English English The first thing many travelers find very attractive is that English is not only spoken in Malta but also an official language, making it ideal for English Language students to fully immerse themselves in the language, practise out of class and make very fast progress. Malta is Beautiful Malta may be small but by far makes up for it in stunning beauty which is not found anywhere else. Malta has it all, Blue Lagoons with crystal transparent waters, romantic beaches surrounded by nature, caves to explore, historic medieval walled cities to explore by night or by day, temples older than the pyramids, vibrant nightlife, beautiful architecture to photograph, events happening all year round, wide variety of food to taste and friendly people to meet. Malta is Special Being part of the EU (European Union), staying in Malta makes for a great base to take short trips to visit other European cities with ease, this has made even more accessible to young travellers thanks to a good variety of low-cost airlines. Speaking of costs, living in Malta is cheaper than many large cities elsewhere giving students that extra bang for their buck. Learn more about EC’s state of the art English Schools in Malta and start your adventure here.