Why Diversity Is So Important to Learning English – International Women’s Day 2020

In 1977, the United Nations’ General Assembly invited member states to proclaim 8 March as the UN Day for women’s rights and world peace. It’s an important day in the fight for equality and it recognizes the achievements of women around the world. At EC, we are proud of all the international students who come to improve their English. When students choose an English School in New York, they want to be sure that the school is going to be open to different perspectives and opinions, reflect the diversity in the world, and help students succeed in a global community. At EC New York, students have the opportunity to do all this and so much more! A recent study of Fortune 1000 companies shows that women make up 26% of Leadership Teams and 25% of Senior Management. At EC today, women make up 57% of all our employees, half of our Senior Management Team, and 45% of our Executive Team.EC also promotes a corporate social responsibility initiative in Cambodia, where we have built two schools. This initiative provides education to children that would otherwise not have one. But for girls in Cambodia, education means empowerment and reduced rates of child marriage and early motherhood. We are proud that we have very high attendance levels of female students in both of our schools in Cambodia. In our classes in our 24 destinations around the world, students have the ability to learn from and with women from all walks of life. By sharing life experiences, they learn about different cultures and have the opportunity to become better people with this knowledge. Additionally, we host different social activities. Recently, we were able to take our students on a tour of the United Nations here in New York. It was an opportunity for our … Read more

October in New York

New York is one of the most exciting and beautiful months of the year in New York City. There are several special events and festivals that take place during this month, and the weather is usually crisp. It’s the perfect month to learn English in New York! Two of the most famous events are the NYC Oyster Festival and Pickle Festival. Both events are on the first weekend in October and celebrate local favorite foods. Oysters have always played an important part of New York history. The New York Harbor is home to dozens of varieties of oysters, and the city loves consuming them. In fact, before the now ubiquitous hotdog carts, there used to be stands selling fresh oysters on the street! They were very cheap and fresh. Also, they literally helped build the city; some older streets in Financial District, like Pearl Street, were paved with piles of discarded oyster shells. Even today, empty oyster shells are throw into the harbor to be repurposed as oyster reefs, because oysters are excellent water cleaners! The pickle festival takes place on the same weekend as the oyster festival, but takes place on Orchard Street in the Lower East Side. This location is significant, as it used to be the hub of Jewish life in the city. Dill pickles were brought over the Atlantic Ocean by Jewish immigrants from Russia and Poland, and have become an important part of the New York deli experience. At the festival, visitors have the opportunity to try several types of pickles, from sweet to spicy to extra sour. October is Architecture Month in New York City, or “Archtober” for short. During this month only, regular civilians can get access to and take tours of buildings that are normally closed to the public. While most of … Read more

NYC activity- Indoor Rock Climbing

When you study English in New York you have so many choices when it comes to activities.  Activities are a great way to practice your English conversation skills and make new friends!   Let us introduce you to a sport’s activity we found just for you! What is it? The Cliffs location offer the best indoor climbing experience for every level from the beginner to the expert. You can choose your way to challenge yourself physically and mentally on multiple climbing walls.  It’s also an experience where you can forge friendships with local or school people. Whatever the weather is, you can choose this activity to share a good moment and in the same time have a fun workout. What do you need to bring? If you don’t have any climbing equipment, you can also rent the entire Gear (climbing shoes, harness + chalk bag) on the spot. The only thing you have to wear is some comfortable or sport clothes. What will happen when you arrive at the location? First you have to watch a short video that explains every particularity regarding the activity and the rules you have to respect there. After that, you will be able to sign the waiver asking by the staff. They will introduce you how to use the equipment and how to choose the difficult in line with level.  The facility is open every day from 6am-12am during the week and 6am-2am during the weekend. The location is 11-11 44th Dr, Long Island City, NY 11101. You can take subway lines E, M, 7, G subway lines to Court Square-23rd St.  For a day pass without equipment the cost is $32.  If you need to rent equipment the price goes up to $44.  If you show your student ID then you can get a discount. You must be 16 … Read more

Fun Upcoming NYC event: Oktoberfest

New York is home to many people from around the globe, so New Yorkers love cultural celebrations.  Now through the end of October, New Yorkers will be celebrating Oktoberfest.  Even though the festival originated in Germany, everyone likes to celebrate it. This festival started over 200 years ago in Munich and included a horse race.  The first celebration was when Bavaria’s Crown Prince Ludwig married Princess Therese of Saxony-Hildburghausen on Oct. 12, 1810. The biggest Oktoberfest events take place in Central Park in Rumsey Playfield and Waterfront-Watermark Bar on Pier 15. You can find Oktoberfest events in all five boroughs of New York City in many different public places.  There are various festivities and most of them are family friendly.  Festivities include wearing traditional German clothing, drinking beer, and eating traditional food (such as bratwurst and sauerkraut) and snacks, like pretzels.  There are also a lot of contests like stein holding.  Just remember that in the U.S. you must be at least 21 years old to enter a bar or biergarten.  Do you know what a biergarten is?  It’s an outdoor area where people enjoy drinking beer or other alcoholic beverages. When you study English in New York there are so many exciting activities to participate in.  When you go to these events you can not only have an enjoyable experience, but you can also meet other people and practice using English.  It’s important to challenge yourself to meet others while you are studying abroad so that you make friends from all over the world and also use English as much as possible while you’re here. Whether you attend Oktoberfest or not, make sure to find ways to practice your English every day! Other ways to practice your English speaking in NYC or any city are to attend language exchange groups in the city, … Read more

Student Ambassadors

Last week, we kicked off our Student Ambassador Program at EC New York. Student Ambassadors are students selected by teachers and staff members for their exemplary leadership, reliability, and team spirit. Many of these students are regularly nominated for Student of the Week at ECNY.  Students are nominated for Student of the Week when they have a high attendance rate, eagerly participate in class, and help other students when needed. As Ambassadors, students are expected to continue to contribute to the international team spirit, write blog posts, plan and lead activities, assist students from their countries, and help staff during school events. Sometimes new students come to EC and because they aren’t used to talking to native English speakers, they might be scared to talk directly to staff when they have questions.  Student Ambassadors can answer the new students’ questions and help them feel more comfortable when adjusting to their new environment. In exchange for their help, Student Ambassadors get access to free activities, experience working in English, published English writing, and a signed letter of recommendation from the Center Director to be used for school or job applications. Student Ambassadors receive extra opportunities to improve their English because they talk to native speakers (staff and teachers) and meet new students on orientation day. The recommendation letters they earn show potential employers and university admissions officers that they are willing to go above and beyond and they have the enthusiasm to help others. Our new Student Ambassadors are Momo Kirimichi from Japan, Steve Stoppa from Switzerland, Selim Mizouni from France, Laura Valentina Guacaneme Gallo from Colombia, and Minjung Ko from Korea. During our first meeting, we talked about next month’s activity calendar and started planning some school events. If you’re a current student and would like to become a Student … Read more

Brooklyn Bridge Walking Activity

Brooklyn Bridge Walking Tour On Wednesday, August 22nd, Student Services Coordinator Emily led a group of students for a walk across the Brooklyn Bridge and a walking tour of Dumbo. It is one of the many activities offered at our English school New York. The Brooklyn Bridge is one of New York’s most famous landmarks. It spans over 1.6 meters, connecting Manhattan and Brooklyn. Not only is the architecture impressive, the views from the bridge are breathtaking. From the Brooklyn Bridge, you can see the Statue of Liberty, New York Harbor, the glass skyscrapers in Financial District, and more. EC New York students especially liked taking photos with the bridge’s iconic towers in the background! After we crossed the bridge, we took a walking tour through Dumbo. Dumbo is a famous neighborhood under the Brooklyn Bridge in the borough of New York City called Brooklyn. The name Dumbo stands for Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass, and has become a very trendy neighborhood. It is famous for its charming cobblestone streets, boutiques, luxury condos, views, and renovated iconic brick buildings. There are some great photo opportunities there too as you can see the entire city skyline and bridges from the streets. Our tour concluded some with ice cream from the newly built Time Out Market and cocktails on the roof of the One Hotel. It was a great activity with lots of photos and fun! Joining activities is an important part of student life at EC New York. It’s the most fun way to improve your English outside of class! Students have opportunities to meet friends when they are in class, but when they join activities they can meet even more students, sometimes at higher levels of English ability.  It’s important to remember that students can always learn from each … Read more

March Madness Hits EC New York!

March Madness refers to one of the biggest, most exciting, basketball competitions. in college basketball in the United States, 68 teams compete each spring in seven rounds for the national championship. The second to last round is known as the Final Four, when there are only four teams left! most viewers of March Madness enjoy the competition because of all the “Cinderella stories”. This refers to teams who are not expected to win, or underdogs, who end up going quite far in the competition. There are also a lot of upsets, or unexpected losses by highly ranked teams. Unlike professional sports, March Madness is not so predictable and often stars are born right in front of your eyes. The competition is so unpredictable that Warren Buffet promises to give one million dollars to any person who has a perfect bracket! Sounds great, right? Brackets are a way for viewers to get in on the action and participate in March Madness. The bracket lists all the teams in the competition, and you decide who will win the games and rounds in advance. You also pick the final four competing teams and the overall winner. As you continue to watch the teams play, you will lose some brackets and win others. Once again, if all of the teams that you pick in advance win, then you can ask Mr. Buffet to pony up and pay! EC New York staff members are competing in March Madness. Even if you don’t follow American sports, this is a great way to introduce yourself to some new vocabulary and American culture. Bars everywhere will be filled with viewers watching the games and analyzing their brackets. Pick up your own March Madness bracket at EC New York ESL Center and join in on the fun!  

Learning American Culture, One Bite at a Time!

On March 14th, Americans celebrate a day known as “Pi Day”. Why do we call it “Pi Day”? Well, March 14th, is written as 3/14 or the first three digits of the mathematical symbol pi (the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter). How do people in the United States celebrate? Well, we eat pie! Pie is a sweet dessert that is usually made with a buttery flaky crust, and filled with a custard or fruit. Some popular pies include: fruit pies (apple pie, cherry pie, blueberry pie), pudding or custard pies (banana cream pie, Boston cream pie), while others have nuts or vegetables (pumpkin pie, pecan pie, sweet potato pie). This is a uniquely American tradition as most other countries around the world write the day, month, and then year. For them, March 14th is written 14/3. 14/3 means “I love you” in text language, and what better way to celebrate love than eating pie?! At EC New York, we aim to have students learn about American culture both in their ESL Courses at EC New York, but also in our activity programs. For many of our students, this was their first time trying pies. We served a lemon meringue pie and a fudge pecan pie. We also played some games about “pi”. Did you know that pi inspired its own language? “Pilish” is a language that combines both English and the digits of pi. When speaking or writing Pilish, you produce words the same number of letters as the next digit in pi. For example: “Now I live a tired existence.” matches the first six digits of “pi”: 3.14159. Instead of writing stories in Pilish, we decided to play some card games, enjoy each other’s company, speak English, and of course, eat some delicious pie!  

Sunday Walking Tours Help Students Learn about New York and Each Other

When you register for ESL Courses at EC New York, you will be welcomed to take part in a walking tour. The walking tour is held every Sunday at 14:30 in front of the school. This is a great opportunity for you to get to know the sights and attractions surrounding our school. Some of the landmarks you are going to see on your walking tour include Times Square, Rockefeller Center, and St. Patrick’s Cathedral. However, beyond learning about some great places in New York, the walking tour also helps students to learn some very practical things. You will learn where the nearest subway station is as well as how to determine which direction you are walking (i.e. North, South, East, or West).   The walking tour is also a great opportunity to meet other new students who will be starting their course on the same day as you. This is a great opportunity to build your connection with other students before you start. It can also help shy students to break out of their shells and practice English in a comfortable setting. All walking tours are guided by our activity leader, who is always there to help you navigate through New York and through the English language. So what are you waiting for? Why not sign up for an English class today!    

Top of the Rock: Another Great EC Experience

When many people think of the most important landmarks in New York, they often forget about Rockefeller Center. Perhaps that’s because Rockefeller Center is a complex of 19 high-rise buildings and not just one single landmark. But what makes this landmark so special? This uniquely New York landmark was built during the Great Depression. While most of the United States was suffering from one of the most tumultuous periods in United States’ economic history, Rockefeller gainfully employed over 40,000 people to work on this soon to be landmark. As a result of its construction, Rockefeller Center was a key part of helping New York City out of the Great Depression. Since then, Rockefeller Center has been home to many famous TV shows, Christmas holiday specials, and ice-skating events. You can even see a replica of Rockefeller Center when you enter the Lego Store in the complex. Rockefeller Center is adorned with Art Deco architecture and its grandiose style is mirrored in the sculpture of Atlas that adorns it on 5th Avenue. You also must see the statue of Prometheus that adorns the famous ice skating rink. If you go inside, be sure to take the elevators to the top and see the views from the Top of the Rock. This outdoor-indoor space gives you a great vantage point to see the Chrysler Building, Empire State Building, Freedom Tower, Central Park, and Times Square. If you plan your trip well, try to go 30 minutes before Sunset. This way you can get both the daytime and nighttime skyline views for one price! Rockefeller Center is also a much more preferable view than the Empire State Building because you can reserve your time in advance. This means no long lines and you can plan your day well! Take a look at some … Read more