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

Songs about New York

Empire State of Mind New York City has occupied a central role in film, television, literature and art.  The City That Never Sleeps has also inspired some of the most memorable music ever recorded and continues to feature in hit songs today.  So, whether you are about to visit the city or you find yourself wandering around its incredible streets or reminiscing about priceless memories made here, be sure to have the following NYC-themed songs on repeat.  Did you know that music is also a great way to practice listening skills and expand your vocabulary and knowledge of idiomatic and slang expressions?  These songs will also provide an awesome soundtrack for improving your English while you study English in New York. Here are some famous songs about New York City: New York, New York – Frank Sinatra One of the most iconic songs about New York City is most often associated with “old blue eyes”, Frank Sinatra.  However, the song was first performed by Liza Minelli in the 1977 film, New York, New York.  The song features the classic lines, “If I can make it there, I’ll make it anywhere”. Welcome to New York – Taylor Swift You don’t have to be a TSwift fan to appreciate this modern NYC anthem, which appeared on her highly successful album, 1989.  The song offers a positive “welcome to New York” for anyone who is open to the opportunities that the city has to offer: “It’s a new soundtrack I could dance to this beat / The lights are so bright but they never blind me”. Empire State of Mind – Jay-Z featuring Alicia Keys It’s easy to see why The Times called this song a “loveletter to New York City”.  The hit song describes NYC as a “concrete jungle where dreams are made” , an inspiring city where you can do and be anything.  No … 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

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!