“Food, Glorious Food!!” EC San Diego Students Cook Up A Storm For ESL Class

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ECSD ESL Class Feasting With Fun, Food, and Friends!

EC San Diego isn’t just a place to learn English – it’s a place to experience different cultures, traditions, and people. Last week an ECSD Low Intermediate ESL Class decided to really dig in to their subject – with FOOD!

Following a lesson on food vocabulary, restaurant etiquette, and countable and uncountable nouns, teachers Nick and Reina decided to add a little spice to the mix. For Thursday’s meeting each student was asked to bring some kind of dish or snack to present to their peers using the day’s lesson. When Thursday rolled around, Nick and Reina’s classroom wasn’t filled with the easy-to-buy options of chips, candy, or finger food – instead, students brought elaborate dishes from their home countries including Kabsa (see recipe below), chicken and potatoes, cheesecake, Japanese chocolate, hummus and pita bread, and – in the grand American tradition – Krispy Kreme donuts!

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The class meeting allowed for students to practice the various English language concepts from Tuesday in front of their teachers and peers. “Rice”, they learned, is an uncountable noun – it is always referred to in the singular form unless made countable with an additional expression of container or quantity. This applies to the expression “a grain of rice”, which is countable. The same concept applies to garlic (“a bulb of garlic”), butter (“a stick of butter”), and water (“a glass of water”). The concept of a “potluck” was also introduced: a potluck is a dinner where each member or guest brings a dish to share.

EC San Diego teacher Nick says of this experience, “[My students] went above and beyond” to enhance their own learning at EC San Diego!!

Saudi Arabian Kabsa Recipe (Courtesy of ECSD student Manae):


  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 large tomato, chopped
  • 1 large green pepper, chopped
  • 1 pound chicken, uncooked and cut into small pieces
  • 2 cups rice, uncooked
  • 2+ tbsp olive oil
  • Kabsa spice (or spice mixture of choice, to taste)
  • Water as needed
  • 1 large pot
  • 1-2 Bay leaves
  • salt and pepper to taste


Begin by washing rice three times with hot water, then placing aside in hot water to soak for ten minutes.

Take onion, pepper, and tomato and place with oil into heated pot, stir for a few minutes and add in chicken. Continue to fry mixture on low heat for 20 min (or until tender), adding salt, pepper, and spice to taste. Next, add one glass of already-hot water to the pot, the bay leaves, continuing to cook at low heat, for 30 min. Then add the rice (drained) to the pot and fill it with enough hot water to barely cover contents. Cover, and simmer kabsa at lowest heat for about 30 min or until rice is tender and mixture cooked through.

Serve and enjoy!!