An Ocean Adventure

There is nothing like sharing an interest that you have with your partners at our EC English school in Miami. Likewise, we appreciate any written work our students want to post on our blog. This time and inspired by the ocean view through the airplane window seat upon his arrival, Lukas Anrig (coming from Switzerland) was willing to share his dream come true of sailing across the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. So there we go! Here is his testimonial:     “I bought a sail yacht in 2012 and started a big adventure with my family. With my wife we have two children, Nick and Laurelle, and my dog, Nina. We set off from Venice, Italy because in Switzerland we don’t have the sea. So in the summer of 2012 the adventure got started. We crossed the Adriatic Sea from Greece back to Italy. After many days, we were on the Balearic Islands. We learned a lot about handling the boat. Sometimes we had bad weather, big waves and strong winds. Our kids helped us direct the sail yacht and the dog was a nice company. After six months we arrived in Gibraltar, the door to the Atlantic. We had to wait for three weeks until the weather was fine. Then, it was possible to start heading towards Canary Islands. Five days later our anchor goes down in Lanzarote-a very nice bay. We visited different islands of the Canary Islands chain. We bought a lot of food, water, beer, and wine to be on board for such a long time. La Gomera was our last point in Europe. After eight days we arrived in Mindelo, Cape Verde. For five days the weather was really bad with storms and big waves up to 25 feet and 35 to 50-knot … Read more

Boat Safety Field Trip

Learn English with the Miami Beach Police Department

  Why should you learn English with EC Miami? At EC Miami, students could learn English the fun way! The teachers work together to create an enriching and unique study plan to learn English. In addition to that, EC Miami is located at the heart of South Beach! Last week, Kathy’s Upper Intermediate class, visited the Miami Beach Police Department to learn about boat safety. One of her students, Emiliano, wrote about their EC Miami experiences and their field trip to the Sunset Harbor Yacht Club. Read what he has to say about his unique EC Miami experience.     Miami is my first destination in the United States! I choose this residence to improve my English and meeting new friends from all over the world. My favorite EC Miami activity was Kathy’s field trip to Sunset Harbor Yacht Club. We went to the Marina Police Station. There were two police officers welcome us and talked about water safety and the guidance or rules of action on water. After, we went of a boat trip with the police officers. It was AWESOME! I definitely recommend everyone to learn English at EC Miami! The ambiance is GREAT and it feels like we’re family. I’ll remember everyone and every experience I had here in Miami. Thank you EC Miami for an AMAZING time!   Emiliano Sticca, Switzerland

Academic Lecture – Eric Talks SCUBA!

  Another month, another Academic Lecture for our students taking an English course in the US.  Today, Eric (who has come back to South Florida after spending a few months working in Alaska!) spoke about one of his personal passions:  SCUBA diving. SCUBA (short for Self-Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus), is very popular here in Florida.  No matter where you are in the state, you are never more than one hour away from the ocean!  Eric spoke to the students about the different equipment that is needed to safely go diving, what you can expect while underwater, and brought in some of the equipment for the students to examine.  The underwater pictures were particularly stunning, showing moray eels, sharks, rays, turtles, and dolphins. Check back in a few days to see some of the student essays from today’s activity!

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

Student Writing (And Winning!) — Martin Luther King, Jr. by Myriam!

  Two weeks ago, Elisa gave a lecture about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to students taking English classes in Miami here at EC  in advance of the holiday celebrating him.  As always, the students that attend write an essay on the topic, and then a winner is chosen from the entries. This month, we have a Repeat Winner!  You may remember Myriam from last October, when she wrote about Football in the United States.  Well, Myriam is back with another winning essay: January 21st is a holiday in the USA but it is also mainly a commemorative date of the birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr. First of all, let’s talk about why he is so famous in the USA. MLK was a pastor and he’s particularly known for fighting against the segregation but in a non-violent way. He became an important figure for civil rights and in addition to this he was the youngest person to receive a Nobel Peace Prize. By the way, MLK was born in Atlanta on the 18th of January of 1929.  He was a brilliant man.  The proof of what I’m saying is that Martin Luther King, Jr. finished college at 15.  Then, he became a clergyman who raised four children. It’s important to explain the context in which he evolved.  In the USA, at this time, black and white people were separated in public spaces.  This situation was supported by the Jim Crow Laws “Separate but Equal”.  To illustrate what I’m talking about, I’ll give you an example which made a woman famous.  On the bus, white people sat in the front and the black people in the back.  As well, there were priorities, and when there were no more seats for them, black people had to leave one. This segregation took place mainly … Read more

Academic Lecture — Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

  As all of our students taking English classes in Miami know, next Monday (January 20) EC Miami will be closed in observance of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.  Dr. King is well-known in the United States for being at the head of the civil rights movement in the 1960’s, and his “I Have A Dream” speech is taught in classrooms from elementary schools to universities.   Every month, we give our students the opportunity to attend a university-style lecture, where they can learn about local culture, celebrations, and other “outside the classroom” activities.  In honor of Dr. King, our Academic Director, Elisa, presented two lectures (for students studying in the morning and afternoon) talking about the life and accomplishments of Dr. King.  Next week, these students will turn in essays detailing what they learned in the lecture.  Check back here at the end of the month to see who our winners are!

New Year’s Resolutions — by Pinar!

  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.  Pinar, one of our newer Elementary students from Turkey, wrote this:   People enter the new year with their new expectations.  I have expectations for the new year.  I want to improve my English.  In the new year, I want to see myself at the top level.  I want to stop smoking.  I want to start dieting and doing sports.  I want a reason to laugh, a new love, and new business.  I’m staying here for a long time because I want to get used to life here.  I want to build good friendships here.  I want to do postgraduate next year, find a good job in the future, and I want to be successful.  I have lots of wishes, as many other people.   But most importantly, I want a happy life and love.   2014 looks to be a busy year full of promise for Pinar!

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 — “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.

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!