Miami Heat in the NBA All Star Weekend.

So far, this season has been incredible for the Miami Heat, which is a team that you can see if you come to the USA to learn English in Miami. Actually, ever since Lebron James left South Beach to go back to Cleveland and join the Cavaliers in 2015, the Miami Heat have not been able to out-stand. These days, though, the basketball team of Miami is making the difference as we are in the fourth position of the eastern conference. Thus, the team has a huge chance to make it to the playoffs! Also, three of our players participated in the NBA All Star Weekend hosted in Chicago from February 14th to 16th,  and they simply shined! They were: Bam Adebayo-number 13 making part of the Taco Bell Skills Challenge, Derrick Jones Junior-number 5 making part of the Slam Dunk Contest, and Jimmy Butler-number 22 making part of Team Giannis in the All Star game.   However, this time we want to make a special mention of Bam Adebayo. Wearing his Miami Heat jersey with the number 13, Bam participated in the Skills Challenge event last Saturday night. This competition is about testing ball handling while swerving through 5 posts up to the end of the court. It also includes making a really precise “pass” into a hole. As a final step, it tests three-point shooting ability. So, a player has to pull all of these off before his competitor, who is doing the same thing on the other side of the court in the mean time, to win a round. In the first round of the competition he beat Spencer Dinwiddie from the New Jersey Nets. Then in the semifinal round, he beat Paskal Siakam from the Toronto Raptors. In the final round, he beat Domantas Sabonis form … Read more

Student Writing — SCUBA by Laura Soto

A couple weeks ago, Eric gave a lecture about SCUBA.  Academic lectures are something that happen every month here at EC Miami, for all of our students taking English courses.  At the conclusion of each lecture, we ask the students to write a summary about it, and then two students from varying levels are chosen as that month’s winners. Laura Soto is from Venezuela and is a student in our Upper Intermediate class: There is no other place on the planet as full of life as the ocean.  In that vast space, humans can do and practice a million things like surfing, boating, snorkeling, fishing, SCUBA diving, and much more. Talking about SCUBA diving, SCUBA is the acronym of Self-Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus, and was developed and created by Jacques Yves-Cousteau around 1980 to 1990; this sport has become very famous for recreation.  It became so popular because when you practice, you can discover the beauty of the underwater.  Also, it is a relaxing sport and you can have the opportunity to interact with nature and the only condition around the world for doing it is a simple rule:  know how to swim. Miami is a renowned city for diving.  Here you can find a lot of sunken boats underwater, and see animals like dolphins, sea turtles, lobster, rays, and even some sharks.  Diving in South Florida can be cheaper because there are many stores that offer lessons. Ft. Lauderdale is also a very nice place to SCUBA, in fact it is one of the ten best cities in the world to practice diving because there is a coral reef where you can find all kinds of animals.  Another cool place to practice SCUBA in Florida can be the Florida Keys. To practice SCUBA, you will need special equipment which … Read more

Student Writing — SCUBA lecture by Pinar Aydin!

A couple weeks ago, Eric gave a lecture about SCUBA.  Academic lectures are something that happen every month here at EC Miami, for all of our students taking English courses.  At the conclusion of each lecture, we ask the students to write a summary about it, and then two students from varying levels are chosen as that month’s winners. Pinar Aydin comes from Turkey, and is one of our students in Low Intermediate: We had a fun topic for this lesson.  It was “SCUBA diving.”  We learned what SCUBA is, what we need for this sport, how we can do this, and we we need SCUBA equipment.  Florida has a lot of different watersports.  These are jetskiing, waterskiing, fishing, surfing, windsurfing, shark diving, parasailing, skimboarding, and SCUBA diving.  Also you can swim and sunbathe. SCUBA diving is a form of underwater diving in which a diver uses a “Self-contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus” to breathe underwater.  SCUBA diving is a fun watersport.  When you are diving in the ocean, you can see all of the underwater world, kinds of fish, and sunken ships.  Also, if you are lucky, you can find valuables.  So you have to do SCUBA diving for all of that.  How can you do it?  If you want to do this, you should learn some rules.  This sport has a course to learn diving.  You must go to the course before the dive.  Also, if you want, you can take a license for this sport.  After that, you need equipment for diving.  These are the wetsuit, mask, airtank, regulator, depth gauge, weight belt, fins, a dive computer, pressure gauge, and BC. If you apply the rules, SCUBA diving is a safe sport.  Also, we are so lucky because Florida is a great place for this sport, especially Ft. Lauderdale.  So … Read more

Staff Member of the Month — Mark Little!

The Staff Member of the Month is Mark Little, one of our Full-Time Instructors here at EC Miami.  Students looking at US language schools may see him around! Hometown: Washington, D.C. Mark’s Miami Recommendation: Get off of South Beach and experience the rest of Miami and South Florida!  Catch a Marlins game at Marlins Park and check out Little Havana.  Swim with dolphins in Key Largo.  Go snorkeling in the Keys!  There’s so much more in South Florida than the clubs. Mark’s English Advice: Step outside of your comfort zone and take a chance.  Learning a language is not easy, but it doesn’t happen just by looking at a book and writing answers.  Talk to people.  Read in English 30 minutes a day.  Put away your bilingual dictionary/translator.  The more you depend on translating to your native language, the more difficult it will be.  If I can learn another language, you can do twice as well!

Student of the Month — Inaha Hwang!

Taking her English course in the US since last December, our Student of the Month for June is Inaha Hwang from High-Intermediate! Hometown: Gangnam, Seoul, South Korea Student Thoughts: Miami has a log of wonderful places and EC Miami is located in one of the famous places in Miami.  There are good restaurants and shopping places.  Also, EC Miami is very close to Miami Beach, so after school, students are going to the beach together.  I’ve been in Miami for six months and I’ll stay two more months.  EC teachers are really nice, friendly, open-minded.  We can enjoy a lot of activities with them.  My English has been improving since I came here. Mark’s comments about Inaha: Ina has been wonderful ever since she arrived.  I have truly enjoyed watching her embrace her English studies and also her new appreciation for the Rolling Stones (courtesy of her teacher).  She is a great example for our students!

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

Sandro Completes the Miami Marathon!

  Sandro Huegli, one of our Intermediate students, arrived from Switzerland in January.  Last Sunday, he surprised students and teachers by completing the Miami Marathon!  Sandro writes: My name is Sandro, I’m from Switzerland and I’m staying with my brother Manuel in Miami for 7 weeks. We want to improve the English language, discover Florida, and have a good time with international friends. In my free time I do a lot of sports like soccer, skiing, tennis, cycling, orienteering and running. On the 2nd of February 2014, I participated in the Miami Marathon. I ran the 26.2 miles / 42.2 kilometres in 3h50min, so I finished on the 500th position of around 3’300 attendees. It’s hard to do without party for one week, train 5 days per week, just eat spaghetti for a long time and wake up before the sun on the race day, but all the hard work and dedication deserved great recognition from my schoolmates. The atmosphere was great and it was a good experience for me to finish the second marathon in my life. A big thank also to Manuel, who accompanied me. He ran the half marathon as a preparation for summer races. There is so much more to Miami than just the beach and Cambridge ESOL courses!  

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

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!