Rainy Days on Miami Beach

Although Miami Beach is sunny and beautiful most of the time, there are rainy days every now and then, which mean that a typical beach-bathing afternoon is not always an option. After hearing some EC Miami students express disappointment about the last few rainy, overcast, or windy days we thought we would give you some rainy day activity ideas. The beach is great, but there are plenty of indoor things to do on South Beach too! Go to the movies or go bowling: They are both literally across the street from EC Miami. Watching a movie gives you a great opportunity to practice your listening skills because the films don’t have any subtitles. Also, you can try some yummy American snacks, like extra-butter popcorn from the concession stand. Bowling is at a place called Lucky Strike on Michigan Avenue. If you go during the day, it is much less crowded and you and a group of friends can rent a bowling lane or play pool or other bar games. Go to the library or a museum: It’s always a good idea to improve your reading skills in English regardless of your level. The closest library is at 227 22nd street and it has books for all reading abilities as well as movies, dictionaries and more. If you have an address in South Beach, it is easy for you to get a library card and check out materials. Ask at the EC Miami front desk for more information. South Beach also has two fantastic museums – the Wolfsonian and the Bass Museum. They are both art museums and they have special discounts on certain dates. We know some of you are here to party, but you could always squeeze in a little culture too, right? Study or Skype your family and … Read more

Floridians Fun at the Miami HEAT game

Our last EC Miami trip to a Miami HEAT game last month was a huge success and the students kept asking for more tickets, so last night a group of students went with Reese to the American Airlines Arena to watch the Miami HEAT play the Atlanta Hawks. Although many fans thought the game would be an easy game for Miami to win, the score was actually very close (89-86) and the HEAT only won by 3 points! The students were able to have many firsts during the adventure at last night’s game. We took the bus to the game together and this was some students’ first time on Miami public transportation. For other students, it was their first time leaving “the Beach” and going to downtown Miami. Students also got to see many new firsts such as 50-floor apartment buildings downtown and the enormous arena, which can hold a little less than 20,000 people. In addition to getting to see a close game, this group of students was also able to learn about the history of basketball in Florida. The game was a 70s theme night to honor the original Miami basketball team – the Floridians. During the game, there were silly videos of the players wearing afros and dancing to disco music. There were also challenges for fans to guess information about songs from the 70s. The HEAT players even wore special Floridians jerseys with orange and pink stripes. All in all, it was yet another successful HEAT game and EC Miami students will probably be cheering for Miami in the upcoming playoffs!

It’s the end of an era

It’s the end of an era (well, 2 months actually). This week EC Miami has had to say good-bye to its first round of FCE and CPE students.  They started classes on opening day and now, after months of sleepless nights from studying and essay writing (that’s why you guys didn’t get enough sleep, right?), our exam students are finally geared up to sit their oral and written exams on Friday and Saturday mornings.  In an effort to wish them the best of luck, we sent them off with a musical slideshow as a warm farewell!    EC Miami will also see many more of its General English students off tomorrow at graduation.  This will be our largest certificate ceremony yet and we are so sad to see so many people go, but we are excited to see new faces soon. We have valued all of our leaving students’ time here, their contributions to the school and most importantly, the strides they have made in English! You should all be very proud of yourselves. We will miss all of you! Keep in touch with us on Facebook and you are always welcome back to study more at EC Miami or any of our other EC schools around the world!

It’s Testing Time!

Many of our students will be studying harder and not going out as late this week because they are preparing to take their Cambridge examinations on Friday and Saturday. The students who have been studying in the First Certificate in English and the Certificate of Proficiency in English courses will see just how much they have learned while at EC Miami. The Certificate of Advanced English students will be taking their test March 16-17. Almost all of these exam students have been at EC Miami since it first opened and we will be very sad to see them leave. Since they will be taking their exam on Friday, we will be holding a special certificate ceremony for the exam students in Reese and Michelle’s classes on Thursday. These students have worked especially hard since they have been here by taking practice tests, writing long essays, and reading multiple books during their time in Miami. All of their work has been helping them get ready for their exams, which consist of five sections: Reading, Writing, Use of English, Listening, and Speaking. This week, to make sure that students feel confident and not stressed before the exam, the classes have been doing some light-hearted work to practice last-minute vocabulary and speaking skills. Teachers don’t want to stress students out with new grammar points and intense practice tests, so this week has been fun for these students as they were able to learn in more “fun” ways. One class played “speed Scrabble” to test their knowledge of vocabulary (see picture), while another class video-recorded themselves doing the speaking section of the test. We hope the exam goes well for all of our exam students and we are confident that their English has improved immensely during their time in Miami. If you are not … Read more

We will miss you Nicoletta!

Last Friday we said goodbye to one of the very important, amazing members of our original EC Miami staff – Nicoletta. We always knew that Nicoletta’s temporary stay in Miami would end and she would need to return to EC Cape Town, but everyone was very sad to see her go. After our regular Friday certificate ceremony, we held a special presentation for Nicoletta to thank her for all of her hard work here. Elisa presented Nicoletta with an EC Miami certificate, similar to the ones given to students on their last day. Amanda thanked Nicoletta for everything she has done academically for the center and presented her with a gift from the EC Miami staff. The present was a ticket for a tour of New York City because Nicoletta was planning to go there last weekend before returning to South Africa. We also embarrassed Nicoletta with a slideshow of pictures of her fun and serious moments in Miami. Nicoletta said she was honored and she even started to cry a bit during the speech and slideshow. Finally, Nicoletta said her goodbye  to the EC Miami staff and presented each of us with a chocolate bar based on our personalities. She also thanked everyone at EC Miami for an amazing time here and said she will never forget us. If you want to read more about Nicoletta’s time in her own words, check out the EC Cape Town blog here. To see more pictures Nicoletta’s goodbye ceremony, go to our Facebook page here and look for the graduation ceremonies photo album. We already miss you Nicoletta. Thanks for all the great times and memories!