Cambridge Speaking Test on Sunday!!

  Here we see Sarah and Giulia, two of our academic English students that are currently preparing for their CAE exam.  (You may remember them!) Here we see them taking their final practice test for the speaking section, which will be in two short days on Sunday! Good luck to all our Cambridge students on the first part of their exams this weekend!!

Idiom of the Week — “Take a break”

After a long week of academic English, students can certainly be tired.  Exhausted, even.  It’s the perfect opportunity for them to take a break!  Students take short breaks during the day between classes, as well.  But, considering this is a long weekend, they may be taking a break by leaving town for the weekend.  Perhaps they will take a break on the beach (Memorial Day weekend is considered to be the start of the summer vacation season!). Of course, to take a break is to rest and relax by stopping work.  Go ahead, take a break.  You’ve earned it.

Memorial Day — EC Miami is Closed

  The fourth Monday of May is traditionally observed in the United States as Memorial Day.  It is a day of remembrance of the men and women that died in service of the country.  On Memorial Day, the flag of the United States is raised briskly to the top of the flagpole, then slowly lowered to the half-staff position, where it remains until noon.  This is done in observance of the holiday, and remembers over one million people that lost their lives.  It is then raised to full-staff for the rest of the day. Memorial Day is a federal holiday, and EC Miami is closed in observance, so staff and students all have the day off.  We will resume our full classes including our academic English courses on Tuesday.

Baseball — by Djodie Leo

  Every month at EC Miami, our students taking academic English courses attend a lecture given by a speaker at the school.  Often, there are speakers that come from outside the school to share their expertise on a variety of cultural subjects.  This month, the lecture’s topic was Baseball in the United States.  The students write an essay based on their notes from the lecture, and then two people are selected as that month’s winners.  First we saw Melissa’s essay.  Now, we have Djodie from our Upper Intermediate course: The first thing to know about baseball is that it is a more strategic sport than an action.  It is really unique because it’s the only sport that when the team has the ball, they are on defense. The baseball field is never called like this by people; they say “Baseball Diamond” because the field looks like a diamond. There are different positions: the pitcher has to throw the ball to the catcher from a distance of 60 feet (20 meters).  He usually does that really fast (0.6 seconds).  One playher was even killed because the ball hit his head.  There are also two boxes (one on the left and one on the right) with three basemen in the field.  Also, there is a shortstop who manages a lot of things.  The home plate or “home” looks like a house.  The ball goes to the first, second, and third baseman and goes home. The equipment is pretty simple:  only a glove a ball and a bat.  However, the professional players have more protection. In this sport there is not a referee but one umpire who decides.  He has a mask because he is standing behind the catcher and it could be really dangerous.  There is no clock.  After three “outs”, the team changes … Read more

Baseball — by Melissa Stam

  Every month at EC Miami, our students taking academic English courses attend a lecture given by a speaker at the school.  Often, there are speakers that come from outside the school to share their expertise on a variety of cultural subjects.  This month, the lecture’s topic was Baseball in the United States.  The students write an essay based on their notes from the lecture, and then two people are selected as that month’s winners.  Our first winner comes from Melissa Stam, one of our advanced students: I was introduced to Baseball for the first time at Mark Little’s lecture last Thursday.  I had no idea it was a game of strategy and didn’t know it was the oldest professional sport in the US, either. When Mark was younger he hated baseball until he realized it was more a game of strategy than a game of action, and it’s also a more casual sport if you compare it to basketball or football.  Baseball is the only sport in which the players who have the ball in their possession are playing defense.  The baseball field is known as the diamond, because of the similarity of their shapes.  There are different parts to a field and different positions on the teams.  You have the pitcher, who throws the ball.  The word ‘pitch’is another word for throw.  The pitcher throws the ball to a catcher at a 60 foot distance.  The ball takes .6 seconds to arrive from the pitcher to the catcher, so we can imagine the kind of speed the ball is traveling at.  They say the most difficult thing to do in sports is hitting a baseball. The equipment used while playing Baseball is pretty simple:  a glove, a ball, a bat, protection for the umpire’s face as he is standing … Read more

Idiom of the Week — “See Off”

Saying goodbye is never easy.  It’s something we have to do here at EC Miami with our academic English students every week.  Every Friday we see off students that have been here for various lengths of time.  After we see our students off at school on Fridays, they will typically get together on their own for parties in order to see each other off, as well.  Sometimes people will go to the airport to see their friends off. If you see someone off, you are saying goodbye to them.  Seeing someone off can be very difficult, but not when you know they are coming back!!

Idiom of the Week — “Take In”

  Students that come to EC Miami for academic English courses certainly have a lot to take in on their first day.  Not only are they in a new place with a new language, but they have to learn about the school and the different policies and expectations.  It can be a lot to take in, especially after you’ve traveled so far!  Above we see Rafael, one of our teachers, giving the new students an introduction to Miami and Miami Beach.  Hopefully, after they take in this introduction, they won’t feel so overwhelmed by so many new things. To take in is to experience, or to enjoy by viewing.  You can take in a movie, a TV show, or even take in a book!

Baseball Lecture Next Week!

As you may know, we hold lectures every month for students that are in our academic English program (they are open to other students as well, as long as space is permitting).  Next Thursday, on May 16, I will be giving a lecture about the history and rules of baseball!  There will be a morning (10:30) and afternoon (2:15) session to accommodate students on both the ‘A’ and ‘B’ schedules.  I’ll see you there!! — Mark

Idiom of the Week — “Have Off”

A lot of the students that come to EC Miami to learn academic English are here because they have off in their own countries.  Maybe there is some time where they are on vacation or don’t have to go to work, and they have time off to do other things.  Instead of staying in their home countries when they have time off, they decide to come to Miami Beach and practice their English (while making new friends and enjoying our beautiful weather!).  There are far worse places you could be when you have some time off than in South Florida! When you have off, you have time that you don’t have to work at your job or attend school.  Ironic that when some people have time off from school at home, they come here to attend school!  We hope you do, too!