English Practice: Prefixes & Suffixes!

Inspired by our current FCE Cambridge English class, here is a “pre-weekend” lesson on English prefixes and suffixes. Why study English prefixes and suffixes? It helps you broaden your English vocabulary! A good knowledge of English prefixes and suffixes will help you learn & understand more English vocabulary without the need to always check your ESL dictionary. Our FCE class uses blocks to learn prefixes and suffixes! So, what is a prefix? A prefix is a letter or group of letters added to the beginning of a word to make a new word. In the word ‘UNPLEASANT’ (def: causing unhappiness, displeasure) ‘UN-‘ is a prefix added to the word “PLEASANT”.  Why? Because ‘UN’ is the a Latin word for NOT. What is a suffix? A suffix is a letter or group of letters added to the end of a word to make another word. The suffix ‘FUL’ added to the end of the word ‘WONDER’ creates another word ‘WONDERFUL’ (def: having great qualities, amazing). Why? Because ‘FUL’ is one of the many suffixes that change a noun into an adjective! Practice: Finding Combinations How many combinations can make find below, using the “foundation” words + a prefix and/or a suffix.

An Amazing Review of EC San Diego, from student Lavinia A.!

 Lavinia is a current student at EC San Diego. She is enrolled in our TOEFL exam prep course! Lavinia came to study English in the USA from her home in Italy, where she will return after completing her EC program. Read what she has to say about her experience at EC San Diego: “I would recommend EC to everyone! I’ve been at EC San Diego for three weeks only, but I feel so happy and thankful for this opportunity that I wish I could stay here for months. “I’ve never been in a school like this before, it’s awesome! [Students] have the opportunity to improve their English speaking with skilled, friendly teachers and other international students from all over the world. The full immersion English program has helped me so much – in three weeks only, too! “I think that English learning with someone from another country, who belongs to a totally different culture, is great. We have in common only the goal of learning English as much as possible. It’s something wonderful! And my teachers were amazing, so I really enjoyed my classes. “Last quality (but not least) – the school is located in a great spot in La Jolla, just a few steps from the oceanfront. I couldn’t have asked for a better experience.” Her plans after EC? Lavinia will begin her studies back home in Italy, to receive her degree in Nanotechnology & Engineering! She is also planning to return to the US for her Master’s degree. Thank you for this amazing review, Lavinia! We are so happy you enjoyed your time at EC San Diego!! Please come back and visit us anytime!      

Meet Lauren: EC San Diego’s newest Summer Intern!

Meet our newest Student Services Summer Intern, Lauren! A quote that Lauren lives by : “Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.” – Dr. Suess Lauren is a San Diego native and recently graduated high school this past semester. She is looking forward to going to California State University at Chico this coming fall. While at college Lauren plans to major in Nursing. When asked why she chose nursing as her major, she stated that “My family inspires me to become a nurse because many of my family members are nurses themselves. I want to help others and it seems like a rewarding job to me.” Lauren’s desire to help others is what drove her to intern at EC helping ESL students in San Diego this summer. When asked what interested her about working here, she said that she wanted to help make our international student’s experiences as fun as it could be for them. Some of Lauren’s hobbies include watching movies, running, hiking, and going on adventures. One of her favorite adventures was when she traveled through Europe. While abroad, she journeyed to Switzerland, Germany, and Italy. One of her favorite parts of the trip was hiking the Swiss Alps. She also had the pleasure of being in Germany during the World Cup in 2006. She enjoyed being around the excitement of the crowds and the hype that came along with the event. One of Lauren’s favorite things to do in San Diego is try out different restaurants. Out of all the places she’s dined, her two favorites are Stacked and Fogo Brazilian SteakHouse. Stacked is a burger joint where you are able to customize your order by the touch of an iPad. The Brazilian Steakhouse is an “all you can eat” restaurant where the servers come around with … Read more

Student Testimonial: Mariana S.!

Mariana S. (top left): “The [English] classes, the people, and the San Diego beaches. That is why I love EC San Diego!” Student Mariana S. has studied English in the US for over a year. She started on the East coast, and made her way over to the West, and San Diego! On her last day of school here at EC San Diego, Mariana tells us why she believes EC San Diego has the best English courses in America! “I took English courses at another school for [a longer period] of time, and did not make much progress with my English. “I have been at EC San Diego for three months, and my English has improved so much! I am really surprised about this because of my experience in other [non-EC] English programs. “I am in the EC TOEFL course now. I enrolled in EC San Diego General English course in April, and I have improved so much that my level is now Upper Intermediate. My next step is the Advanced level, the highest at EC! “I also like EC because I have met a lot of people and made a lot of friends. And I love San Diego! The weather is great – not too warm, not too cold. “Also I love the beaches, especially the ones in La Jolla next to EC, and the beach in PB [Pacific Beach]. No matter where you are in San Diego, you can always see the ocean. “My choice to learn English at EC Language Centers in San Diego was a great one. I am more confident in my English speaking and writing skills, and the friends I have made here will be [my] friends always. Thanks, EC!” And thank you, Mariana, for this incredible review of our school! Come back and visit us, soon!  

Words of Wisdom from Andrew Yossef

Most students of EC San Diego are unaware that our very own Academic Assistant, Andrew Yossef, was born and raised in Egypt! At the age of 18, he moved to the United States with his parents and younger sister. Upon arrival, Andrew was excited to immerse himself in American culture; however,  transitioning into this new life brought about many challenges.  Eight years later, Andrew has gained much insight from his journey thus far. Andrew offers encouraging words to EC students who may be having a difficult time adjusting to life in America: “With any new experience comes feelings of unease. You have one of two options: avoid the obstacle or face the obstacle. You can’t figure out everything on your own. Don’t be afraid to ask for help or be vulnerable. Accept the process rather than rushing to the finish line.” Andrew also gives advice for students on how to improve their English speaking abilities. Although his native language is Arabic, Andrew took English classes growing up. “Understanding grammar is one thing, but using it in conversation is another.” Andrew encourages students to first and foremost speak with locals. Learning the art of conversation is essential to enhancing your understanding of the English language. Andrew also encourages students to read lots of books. When coming across a word that you don’t understand, look it up in the dictionary or on the internet. Thank you for taking the time to share your experience with us, Andrew! EC loves having you as Academic Assistant!

EC San Diego Teacher Profile: Autumn Garrett!

“Hi! My name is Autumn Garrett and I am an ESL teacher at EC San Diego! A little about me: “I’m originally from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma (located in the center of the USA), but I have been living here in beautiful San Diego for almost a year. “On the weekends I love to explore San Diego and the surrounding areas, and venture up the coast for the incredible beaches and wine tasting at local vineyards. I’m also a big movie buff and love sitting in the theater with a big bucket of popcorn watching action movies and comedies. “My favorite spots in San Diego are…the beaches!!  Each beach on SD’s coast has a different type of energy, and they are all worth checking out. A little about my teaching background with ESL: “I became a teacher because ever since I was a child, I just knew it’s what I should be. I am a native English speaker and have been an ESL teacher for 4 years; I spent two years teaching English in South Korea. “I have an undergraduate degree in English and a Master’s degree in Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL). I love teaching ESL!” A little about my classes at EC San Diego: “How would I describe my General English classes at EC San Diego? Amazing, of course! Beyond making learning English fun and effective, I really like to emphasize class participation in the classroom. My style of teaching is very interactive! I try to make my classroom as comfortable as possible so that my students feel free to express their ideas. “I do not want them to ever feel afraid to make mistakes. Making mistakes is a part of learning! I like to use everything I have learned from all my teaching to create interesting, challenging and fun lessons … Read more

Meet ‘Ell’, EC San Diego’s New Student Services Intern!

Ell Alves is EC San Diego’s new summer intern. Her favorite color? Orange! ” Hello, my name is Elisa, EC San Diego’s new Student Services Support Counselor, but you can call me ‘Ell’!! I am 21 years young and recently graduated from San Diego State University where I received my Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. I am very excited to work as a Student Services Counselor here at EC because of my amazing experiences studying abroad! Last summer I had an opportunity to study abroad at Oxford University in the United Kingdom. While abroad I also traveled to Dublin, Ireland. Traveling abroad is one of the most enriching experiences I have ever had and it opened my eyes many different perspectives on life and learning. Even though I love traveling, San Diego is home wherever I go. I moved here four years ago for college and know that I will never leave. Two of my favorite things to do in ‘SD’ are going to the beach (of course) and exploring San Diego and its many up-and-coming neighborhoods! Stop to smell the roses in Balboa Park! I also love visiting  Balboa Park when I want to add more culture to my life – the Park has lots of museums, mutli-cultural events & shows, and really incredible architecture. Lastly, my greatest passion is serving others. I am currently volunteering during weekends with an organization known as ‘Chicktime’. Our main goal at Chicktime is to help younger girls find their passions and goals by learning & connecting through fun, creative activities. These are some things about me, and I hope to get to know some of you over the summer! Come say hi anytime – I’ll be at the front desk!”

Alvin Almerol: ESL Teacher & TOEFL Test Prep Master!!

“Hello, my name is Alvin Almerol. I am a local native of San Diego – born and raised, actually!  I graduated from San Diego State University with a degree in Electrical Engineering and worked for several esteemed tech companies in the mobile sector before becoming a teacher. My biggest passion is traveling (especially during New Year’s).  I love all kinds of music, and enjoy playing piano and drums. I also regularly play sports such as golf, soccer, and basketball.  And of course, I love to cook international dishes!” Teacher Alvin sailing off the coast of Chile. [Photo taken while teaching English in South America (Bolivian flag on his left)] Teaching History: I am a native speaker with 4 years of teaching experience.  Before coming to EC San Diego I received my TEFL certification in Buenos Aires, Argentina and taught Business English for many Argentine and International companies. Aside from General English courses, I have successfully prepared students in test prep courses at EC San Diego. These include Cambridge ESOL exam prep and TOEFL exam prep courses.  My students’ successes in these classes have allowed them to further their personal and/or professional goals in their jobs or placement with American Universities. My Learning Tips for ESL Students Everywhere:  Do your best.  Learn.  Activate. Be confident.  Don’t be afraid.   Do not just learn one skill (for example, speaking).  Acquire all skills and don’t rely on one method of learning.  If one method is not working, try another.  Use multiple methods and find what works for you. Why I Love EC San Diego: The classes are very engaging and the school student-centered.  You will be taught English in a variety of ways and at an appropriate pace for your level. The environment is energetic and most important…fun! I love what I do – learning English in San Diego … Read more

Meet Sophie, EC San Diego’s New Student Support Member!

Student Support Member Sophie loves the La Jolla tide pools – so many starfish! Meet Sophie, ECSD’s new (and awesome!) Student Support Member: “Hello! My name is Sophia Romeri, however I go by ‘Sophie’.  I am excited to join EC San Diego as a Student Services Counselor! I am 23 years old, and was born and raised in San Diego. I love meeting new people, spending time outdoors, visiting art museums, and eating good food! “I have a passion for different cultures, and I try to travel somewhere new every year. I recently received my undergraduate degree in Psychology & Art History from SDSU (San Diego State), and I am currently working on my Masters in School Counseling at PLNU (Point Loma Nazarine University). I am thrilled to have a job in beautiful La Jolla, and I already love the staff & students I have met at EC San Diego!” Welcome to ECSD, Sophie! We are so glad to have you as part of our team!

December Events in San Diego!

The holidays are officially here! While you may be tempted to stay home, wrap yourself in a blanket, and cozy up with a cup of hot cider, we encourage our EC San Diego English School Students to grab their coats and experience the holiday festivities the city has to offer! We are so excited for December events that we’ve done the homework for you already. Below is a list of different activities throughout San Diego this month…Hurry and go grab your calendars! Balboa Park December Nights December 6 – 7, 2013 Museums open their doors free of charge from 5:00 PM – 9:00 PM. Friday’s fun starts at 3:00 PM. Price: Free Balboa Park December Nights is taking place for its 35th consecutive year! Friends and families come together to enjoy San Diego’s largest free community festival, which includes amazing musical and dance performances, delicious and diverse food choices and a heavy helping of holiday cheer. The park’s museums open their doors, free of charge, from 5 PM – 9 PM both nights. This is an event you don’t want to miss! San Diego Bay Parade of Lights Two consecutive Sundays: December 8, December 15 Approximate times at different locations: Shelter Island (start of parade) – 5:30 PM; Harbor Island – 6:00 PM; The Embarcadero – 6:30 PM; Seaport Village – 7:00 PM; Ferry Landing on Coronado – 7:30 PM This parade is held on two consecutive Sundays, December 8 and 15. More than 80 boats are lavishly decorated to a certain theme; this year, the theme is “Big Bay Toy Parade.” The parade proceeds from Shelter Island past Harbor Island, the Embarcadero, Seaport Village, and the Ferry Landing in Coronado. Come and watch the bay light up! La Jolla Christmas Parade & Holiday Festival December 8, 2013 2:00 PM to 5:00 PM … Read more