Student Writing – New Year’s Resolutions by Songyi

  A few weeks ago, one of our teachers gave a lecture to our students taking English classes in Miami about making New Year’s Resolutions.  Audrey spoke to two different groups of students, and then the students wrote an essay about the lecture.  Songyi, one of our Intermediate students from South Korea, wrote this:   In the United States, people set New Year’s resolutions at the end of December.  47% of people set resolutions related to losing weight.  34% of peole set resolutions related to money.  31% of people set resoltuions related to making relationships with someone.  Only 45% of Americans make New Year’s resolutions, and most of them don’t keep their promises.  Whene3ver I have New Year’s Day, it’s very hard to keep promises to myself.  At first, I can keep my promises but later it’s very hard to keep them.   Next year, my first resolution is to speak English more fluently.  So I will watch English movies every day and read a book a week.  Second, I will not watch TV more than one hour a day.  Third, I will not take a nap.  Instead of taking a nap, I will study more.   In today’s lecture, I really liked Steve Jobs‘ saying “The only way to do great work is to love what you do.  If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking”.  I have only one year in my university so I am a little bit nervous.  Sometimes I can not imagine my future.  But I will do my best by thinking about this sentence.   Songyi certainly has a lot of goals for 2014!

Academic Lecture — New Year’s Resolutions

Every month at the EC Miami English School, we give an Academic-style lecture to our students, giving them more opportunities to use English in a realistic setting.  This week, Audrey, one of our newest teachers, gave two lectures (to different level groups) about making New Year’s Resolutions. A New Year’s Resolution is simply a promise that a person makes at the beginning of the New Year.  It’s frequently some sort of self-improvement promise like “I resolve to quit smoking” or “I resolve to go to the gym three times a week”. What about you?  Do you resolve to make any changes for the New Year?

Academic Lecture — “Thanksgiving” — by Evgeniy Evseev

Every month students are given an opportunity to attend a college-style lecture given either by one of our teachers, or by an invited member of the community.  Over the time since the EC Miami English School has been open, we have had many students learn about varied subjects.  One constant, however, is in November when Thanksgiving is discussed.  This year, two lectures were given to students in different academic levels.  Students wrote about the lecture they attended, and then one winner from each group was chosen. From the Pre-Intermediate class, we have Evgeniy Evseev from Russia: Thanksgiving is a national holiday. This holiday means that all people give thanks for God . In 1620, the Mayflower sailed up to the “New World” — America, where there lived Native Americans whose were “Indians”.  When pilgrims were exploring the new world, Indians helped them with food, clothes, and medicine.  The first Thanksgiving was celebrated by the pilgrims and Indians together.  But later, the pilgrims decided that this territory belong to them.  Certainly the Indians didn’t agree and the war began.  As a result pilgrims won the war.  In 1863, Lincoln made Thanksgiving official.  This holiday is celebrated every fourth Thursday. In our days, Thanksgiving is usually celebrated with family at home.  A lot of people cook special holiday dishes like green beans, turkey, sweet potatoes, pumpkin pie, and turducken. The next day after Thanksgiving is “Black Friday”.  Then day when sales start and people buy everything that they want.

Academic Lecture — “Thanksgiving” — by Minji Kang

  Every month students are given an opportunity to attend a college-style lecture given either by one of our teachers, or by an invited member of the community.  Over the time since the EC Miami English School has been open, we have had many students learn about varied subjects.  One constant, however, is in November when Thanksgiving is discussed.  This year, two lectures were given to students in different academic levels.  Students wrote about the lecture they attended, and then one winner from each group was chosen. This month’s winner was Minji Kang, also one of our student ambassadors and one of our CAE students: Thanksgiving is one of the biggest national holiday sin America.  Literally, it means giving thanks, and celebrating with family or close friends while eating a lot of food. However, some people say Thanksgiving should be more like mourning rather than celebration.  Because it is based on American history which has a tragic part.  The pilgrims moved to America from England for religious freedom.  Because of their rough journey, they had to learn how to cultivate and hunt from Native Americans.  Although most Native Americans were killed by the pilgrims in a battle, after that.  These days, people usually focus on “giving thanks” for the harvest. Turkey is the representative food of this day, but there are also other foods such as potatoes, cranberries, green beans, and pumpkin pie as dessert. In addition, it’s not just sharing food.  The meal is followed by some interesting things like Black Friday and watching sports games. People watch NFL games at home, and many stores provide huge discounts on their product on Black Friday.  Also, Macy’s Thanksgiving parade in New York is so famous that it is televised in all the states every year. Lastly, there’s one wawy to … Read more

Next Academic Lecture: THANKSGIVING!

It’s that time of year! The time that Americans get together with family and friends and eat. And eat. And Eat. AND EAT!! It’s Thanksgiving!!! Of course, there is more to Thanksgiving than just food — but for some of us the food is what makes it one of the favorite holidays in the United States. Families will prepare for days in advance for the feast that comes up, and the Thanksgiving holiday is one of the busiest travel days of the year! Tomorrow, November 21, Reese and Sheila will be giving lectures to the students about Thanksgiving. Higher-level students and those that are getting ready for their Cambridge ESOL Exams will meet with Sheila, while lower-level students will get all their Thanksgiving information from Reese. All students are encouraged to go — and then prepare a Thanksgiving dinner of their own! Check back here after the holiday to see which students turn in the best essays about Thanksgiving. There will be two winners chosen!

NFL Football — by Myriam Hocquel

Here at our Miami English School, teachers and/or guests are invited to give an academic-style lecture on cultural interests outside of class.  Last week, two of our EC Miami teachers, Mark and Eric, spoke with two groups of students about Football.  Students wrote about the lecture, and a winner was chosen from each group.   The winner for the High-Intermediate/Advanced group was Myriam Hocquel from France:   American Football is different than soccer.  The difference begins with the field.  A football field is longer than a soccer one, but on the contrary a soccer field is wider.  The second big change is “the rules.”  Inspired by Rugby, football was created by Walter Camp in 1879.  It mostly consists of controlling the distance and the clock.   In the USA, the NFL (Football’s league) consists of 32 professional teams.  A team is divided in two:  the offense (team which has the ball), the defense (without the ball).  Defense and offense don’t play at the same time.   The offense team must progress on the field until the endzone.  The defense must top them and tackled the offense’s players in the aim of preventing them from scoring.   An entire football team is composed of 53 players.  During the game there are 11 on offense, and 11 on defense.   So what are the principal rules?  The game begins with four downs for the offense to move the ball ten yards.  It can do this by using running plays or passing plays.  If the ten yards are reached, the team has four more downs.  If it is unable to do this, it can on the fourth down punt the ball the farthest away so the other team should begin its four downs with more distance to reach the endzone.   By reaching … Read more

Student Writing – Community Service (by Leah Park)

Every month, we invite a guest to come to our school and give an academic-style lecture to the students.  Students write essays on the lecture, and a winner is chosen.  This month we have TWO winners!   Tolmage Thornhill works for Miami city regarding community service.  She gave us a lecture about what community service is, and what they do for the city.  Generally, community service is a kind of safety net.  For their city, they provide a wide variety of services both hard and soft.  Community service is provided by federal, state, and local programs.  Federal community service is done by the United States government, like SNAP, Social Security, medicare, and TANF.  State programs are done by various departments like the Department of Children and Families.  State programs also work together with local programs.  For local programs sources of funding are important.  About community service, I think the system is too complicated.  Usually people who need help are not able to find information and prepare for eligibility.  So I thought that people who are working for community services need to find actively find people who need their help.  She also introduced an interesting volunteering program that I can participate in.  Besides, she talked about the seven habits.  The seven habits are to be proactive, with the end in mind, put first things First, first think win-win, seek first to understand, then the understanding, synergize and sharpen the saw.   –Lean Park is a High Intermediate student from South Korea.

Student Writing – Community Service (by Diego Chico)

Every month, we invite a guest to come to our school and give an academic-style lecture to the students.  Students write essays on the lecture, and a winner is chosen.  This month we have TWO winners!   All systems in all coutnries have their bad parts.  This is why there are a lot of people in all communities around the world having bad moments and living with difficulties for example economical, health, housing problems and even old people who do not even have relatives to talk to.  But the good part is that there are people and organizations (non profit organizations) that are there to help all these people with their issues.   Here in the Miami Beach Community there is one of these organizations supported by the government and the private sector.  Its mission is to help people to make their problems easier to overcome with different kinds of programs.   For example there is one that is in charge of assisting people with their needs, such as helping people with food stamps, employment services for those people who do not have jobs or have difficulties finding one.  There are even a lot of federal programs operated by the government of the USA that give people SNAP, social security, medicare, Medicaid and TANF.   Also because of all the medical issues in this country these organizations are trying to fight in order to change something to make it easier for common people to go to a doctor.   There are also state programs that protect children from child abuse and neglect.  (These are founded by the US Government but operated by the states).  These organizations also have programs for people who want to help in order for them to be able to volunteer by helping to clean common areas, … Read more

Academic Lecture — “Meeting with Officer Lamoca”

Ester Pechiai is one of our Intermediate students from Brazil.  She recently attended a lecture with the Miami Beach Police Department (MBPD).  This was Ester’s winning essay!  — Mark   First of all, I have to say that I was surprised with this opportunity.  Sometimes foreign people like us commit a “crime” because we don’t know very well the laws of the new country , such as drinking beer on the street for example.   When Officer Lamoca was talking about his job, I was thinking about education in my country.  We never had this opportunity to talk with an officer at school when we were children.  If we had gotten this, maybe Brazil would have spent less money on jails.   I was shocked that the most popular crimes here in Miami are related to alcohol, and it is important to emphasize that only people under 21 can consume or buy alcohol in Miami.  The most common tourist’s mistake is to leave their stuff alone on the beach.  There are a lot of robbers just waitng for the opportunity to take your things.  Take care of your things!   The other important tip is always keep your eyes on your drink.  They put drugs in there and you can imagine what can happen after.   Ocean Drive is known too for the prostitution street.  Students can drive with an ID (if they are under 21 years old), but remember if you drink don’t drive.  If you get caught maybe you’ll pay $10,000.   The police station is located on 11th and Washington Avenue and in an emergency case you can call 911.

Thanksgiving Lecture

Students in a few of the afternoon classes at EC Miami had the opportunity yesterday to find out more details about the Thanksgiving holiday. All of the students knew that the holiday had something to do with turkey and eating a lot of food, but during Reese’s lecture they found out more about the history of Thanksgiving and how it is celebrated today. Reese gave information about the traditional story of the Pilgrims and the Native Americans sharing a meal together after the Pilgrims arrived in the New World, but she also explained that some people are not as happy about Thanksgiving because it began the conflicts between settlers and Native Americans, which would continue for many years. She went on to discuss the typical foods and many students were surprised to find out just how much food Americans tend to eat on this food-filled holiday. Later in the lecture she also gave information about the traditions on the fourth Thursday in November, such as watching football, joining together with family, and possibly watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade. In addition, students found out about the day after Thanksgiving, Black Friday and the good and bad parts of this day. To find out more about Black Friday, read our other blog post. She also warned students about travelling during the Thanksgiving holiday because more than 40 million people will most likely travel during these days and the airports and roads become very busy. Lastly, she discussed way to spend Thanksgiving in Miami. Don’t forget that if you attended the lecture, you have the opportunity to turn in a summary of the lecture and you can win a prize. The winner will also have their writing published on the blog, so make sure you give yours to Elisa soon!