EC San Diego Welcomes Jenn Sweeney!

Hi Everyone! My name is Jenn and I’m the new Home Stay Coordinator at EC San Diego. I am looking forward to working with EC students and staff, as well as our amazing host families! I grew up in the ‘Wine Country‘ area of Northern California and have traveled, worked and lived in various parts of the world including Ireland and Hong Kong. Fun Facts About Me: 1) I have lived in 3 countries and traveled throughout 20 different countries in the past 6 years. 2) I won a trip to Jamaica on the Ellen DeGeneres show. 3) I have dyed my hair black, blonde, red, purple, burgundy and brown. 4) I am the youngest of three girls. 5) I have an addiction to coffee. 6) I have gone sky diving. 7) I am terrified of clowns. 8) My favorite show is “How I met your Mother.” 9) One of my favorite bands is Dave Matthews Band and I have seen them in concert 11 times. 10) I have a tattoo of a world map on my arm. I love interacting with people from all around the world and am excited for this incredible opportunity to work at EC San Diego. I look forward to getting to know each and everyone of you! Find out more about learning English in San Diego.          

Be A Part of our San Diego Home Stay Program!!

Become a Home Stay provider with EC San Diego! We at EC San Diego love our students, and are always looking for local families to provide them with a “home away from home” here in San Diego!! Some basic information about EC & our Home Stay Program:  EC English Language Centers is committed to teaching English to international students – and to providing them with the type of full immersion English experience that is quintessential to ESL learning. A large part of our full immersion commitment is working with local Host Families, who provide our students with the experience of living with an American family, while they also partake in part or full-time English classes here at school. EC is committed to ensuring that our students’ stay here in San Diego is memorable. Alongside our high quality General English courses, we also provide a friendly Center atmosphere and impeccable student services. Our San Diego Home Stay Program is an integral part of this service.  We strive to ensure that our students will not only take home with them fond memories of a friendly school and improved use of the English language, but also fond memories of their “home away from home” and their new American friends. Students choose to stay in an American home stay while studying at EC San Diego in order to have the opportunity to practice English outside of class and to see first-hand how American families live. We hope that hosting an international student will prove to be an exciting and rewarding experience for you, your family, and your students! If you are interested in hosting an international student in your home, please contact our Home Stay Coordinator Brittany Goodwell at (858) 456-1212 ext. 208, or via email at We look forward to hearing from you!

EC San Diego Teacher Profile: John Kim!

Teacher John Kim (right) loves fishing off the San Diego coastline with his sons! A little about me: Hi! My name is John Kim. I’m originally from Honolulu, Hawaii, but I’ve been living here in San Diego, California since 2003. I am a retired veteran from a great American institution called the United States Army, and now, I am again actively involved in another great institution called EC San Diego English Language Center! I am proud and honored to have been involved with public service for over 20 years and I am now  just as proud and honored to be involved with the international group of students who come to EC to experience a full immersion English course in San Diego. Life for me is about leadership, being present, and having a balance of education, work, and good citizenship. I manage to do that and more as a Teacher at EC. John teaches EC San Diego’s FREE Conversation classes every Tuesday and Friday! My Classes at EC: I teach Business and Academic English courses at EC San Diego. I want my classes to be as fun and interactive as possible. I love creating a buzz in class with cool vocabulary activities and conversation exercises. I also teach the Free Conversation courses offered on Tuesdays and Fridays! I like to use everything I have learned from all my life experiences to create interesting, challenging, and fun lessons for my students. My Professional Experience: I am a native English speaker and have been working as an ESL teacher at EC’s San Diego English Language Center since March of last year. Before I started teaching, I worked in various military and diplomatic positions worldwide for over 24 years. During that time I studied and taught leadership, language, business, and management courses abroad. Because of this … Read more

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

Easter Egg Hunting at EC San Diego!

  These students found the Grand Prize eggs – and received gift certificates to local coffee shops as Easter presents from EC San Diego! To celebrate the Easter holiday, EC San Diego staff set up a fun Easter Egg Hunt around school! Great egg-hunting today! Most students are familiar with this tradition, so we added some excitement to the mix with special eggs containing gift certificates to local coffee shops!   Our students come to learn English in San Diego because of the amazing beaches, the great staff & teachers, and – of course –  the relaxed, fun atmosphere here at EC San Diego! Happy Easter, everyone!

EC San Diego Teacher Profile: Melissa MacClaren!

Students are often surprised to find out that EC San Diego Teacher Melissa became an ESL teacher only a few years ago. After retiring from the University of California in 2010, Melissa arranged to earn her TESOL Certificate in France, combining a memorable trip abroad and a professional (& personal) goal. “I’ve loved languages as long as I can remember,” Melissa says. “When I learned that our word for ‘water’ was only one option, [I realized that] that the world is full of so many good & different ways to do things. I am energized by the thought of that diversity. “And of course, I LOVE that students from many different countries come into my classroom each day. I am so grateful for the trust students show by sharing their cultures, customs and lives with me – and with everyone here at school.” Melissa is proud to be a small part of opening the whole world to ESL students at EC San Diego. Her main goal as an ESL teacher? “For my students is to be able to fully express themselves in English, to be as funny, creative and as smart as they are in their own language. “ Melissa is native to San Diego, but has also spent many years in and around Silicon Valley & the San Francisco Bay Area. She loves California, it’s culture, and above all it’s diversity. Melissa also spends time outside of the classroom helping EC San Diego students to get to know La Jolla and find the best ways to experience life in Southern California  –  all while learning and improving their English language skills. She is a contributor to EC San Diego’s Facebook page, and enjoys keeping in touch with former students.  “Teacher Melissa has been instrumental in helping to shape and grow the … Read more

When ECSD Teachers Travel the Globe!

   An important part of learning English as a student at ECSD is continually communicating (in English, of course) with those around you. One of the best ways to learn and improve English skills is to try talking about a personal passion. For many students, one of them is sharing about their own culture. EC San Diego staff members and teachers work at ECSD because they love meeting new people & learning about new cultures. We are the students of our international students – they teach us as we teach them. Recently, several ECSD staff members & teachers traveled abroad. Here are a few quotes from their descriptions of where they went, what they did, and what they brought home with them to ECSD: Elisabeth Stallard, ECSD Student Counselor:  “I went to Maui [Hawaii] for one week with my boyfriend. We snorkeled and hiked and ate amazing sea food, but the moment that stands out the most during my trip is when we [my boyfriend and I] saw a sea turtle one day. It was after we had been out [snorkeling] for a while, watching lots of fish and a few eels darting back and forth through the water. Then, all of a sudden, we saw this turtle drifting from rock to rock and feeding on algae. I kind of don’t know how to say this…but we stopped and just hung in the water with him. It gave me such a calm feeling, and centered me in a way. Like all that existed was just this turtle, and me, and my boyfriend. We watched him for over 20 minutes, just not moving and then swam slowly with him. “Now I know, being back in San Diego, that it is okay to move slowly sometimes. It is okay to allow yourself to stop and … Read more

Meet ECSD Teacher Adela: ESL Teacher AND Graduate Student!!

This fall, ECSD Teacher Adela Rahmati is going back to school for her Master’s degree while continuing to teach ESL at EC San Diego! Adela was kind enough to write a post for ECSD’s blog on why she is returning to school, and how being a teacher has helped her to become a better student for graduate school! “I am going to graduate school at Alliant International University in San Diego to earn my Master’s Degree in Education in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages). My dream is to one day become a college professor, and this Master’s is the first step toward that dream. I love teaching English mechanics and grammar at EC San Diego, so I would like to continue with TESOL well into the future. I still don’t know what will materialize for me because, well, life often throws in other factors…that weigh in on any important decision. As for right now, I [will] continue teaching English at EC San Diego for some time, and eventually will begin teaching a college-level English preparatory course to transition into higher education. Being a teacher has definitely helped me be a better student! Now I know that if I listen to the teacher, read everything carefully, ask questions when I don’t understand something, and work hard, I will earn an A in the class. There are no “tricks” to learning and getting good grades. Being a teacher has helped me understand that there reasons for everything that is done in the classroom. What I mean is, is that what you or I as students do under a teacher’s instruction always has significant purpose and has been thought out by the instructor with care and rationale. I also know that I can question my teachers and that everything is transparent, … Read more