Words of Wisdom From Student Duckmyung Kim

Student Duckmyung Kim has been a student at EC San Diego since November 2013! He began as an Intermediate student and has now reached the Upper Intermediate level of English (the second highest!) here at school. Duckmyung chose EC San Diego English Language Center because he wanted to attend the best business English school in the US! Read what he has to say about his overall experience as an English student at EC San Diego: “I have learned a lot of various knowledge, as well as English, at EC school. When we studied about the current environmental situation of our world, I was shocked to find out that [human beings] have caused such harm to this beautiful Earth. “On the other side, I have also learned at EC that Technology, Science, Culture, the Arts, etc., have given us [people] the impulse to learn as much as we can! And for me, I had a great chance to learn as much as I could as a student at EC San Diego. “At EC I could meet new students, and my classes have lots of fun ones – we always kept practicing our English. All staff have always been very kind to me, and I would express my gratitude to them as well. Duckmyung with his Upper Int Class, April 18th 2014 “I deeply thank you for my esteemed teachers and my classmates, with whom I have spent many months. They all did their best to improve my English! Duckmyung with his class on February 14, 2014 “Learning English in San Diego was a really great experience, and I believe it will remain in my memory quite a while.”  

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

March Madness in San Diego

 We told you about EC San Diego’s March activities, and now we’re here to tell you the festivities in the greater San Diego area! In addition to learning English in San Diego, we want our students to experience all that the city has to offer, so pull out your calendars and mark down these events: shamROCK Gaslamp Block party March 15, 2014 $30-$85 4:00 PM – midnight 21+ Gaslamp Quarter: Main entrance is at 5th Avenue and G Street Join 20,000 attendees at shamROCK 2014, an extravagant festival that transforms the streets of the Gaslamp Quarter into the rolling hills of Ireland! There will be live music, a 150-foot Irish pub, a lighting spectacle on surrounding buildings, and endless live entertainment! Tickets include entrance and exits, specials and no cover charges at over twenty of the Gaslamp’s hottest nightclubs and restaurants. Attendees must be 21 years old or older and must have proper ID. The Flower Fields March 1 – May 11, 2014 Adult – $12, Seniors 60+ – $11, Children 3-10 – $6 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM 5704 Paseo del Norte Carlsbad, CA 92008 760-431-0352 Don’t miss the chance to see more than 50 acres of Giant Tecolote Ranunculus flowers! The flowers are in bloom for only six to eight weeks each year – from early March through early May. The Flower Fields are the only working ranunculus farm in the world that allows kids and adults to wander and linger among the flowers. Welcome Spring with a trip to this blooming sea! San Diego Latino Film Festival March 13 – 23, 2014 $9 – $200 Mission Valley and Old Town This is an 11-day film festival focusing on works by Latinos and the Latino experience. The San Diego Latino Film Festival initially began as a student film festival in 1993, but … Read more

EC San Diego’s New Year’s Resolutions!

So how are your New Year’s resolutions going? That’s right, we’re checking up on your goals for self-improvement for 2014… While it’s almost the end of January, we thought it would be good to ask people what their resolutions are – hopefully this will  remind you to stick to them! We asked students and staff members of EC San Diego English School for their 2014 resolutions. If you haven’t already made a resolution for yourself, take a look at these for some inspiration! Student Services Counselor Izzy: “I want to experience more of nature – go hiking, camping, swimming!” Student Services Counselor Liz: “To learn a language other than Korean or Spanish. To catch a bear with my bare hands.” Teacher Mai: “I resolve to test other people’s resolutions. Also, I live my life perfectly; I don’t need any resolutions.” Takaaki K: “I want to find a good job and visit friends in Switzerland!” Kumiko H.: “I want to speak English very well and be able to live with foreigners in Japan.” Anthony B. “To play more sports and stay healthy” Sultan A.: “I plan to go to University – and get engaged!” Yuri S.: “I want to get an internship at a naval company.” Bruno C.: “I want to buy an apartment in Brazil for my fiance and me…I’m already engaged.” Student Services Counselor Elisabeth: “To catch a leopard shark with my bare hands, shuck an oyster, and not eat so much chocolate!” Academic Assistant Andrew: “To eat more chocolate. And to make everyone else around me eat more chocolate.” Yuko: “To get my license to work at an insurance company. Also, I want to take diving lessons!” Teacher Melissa: “I want to enjoy more walks by the ocean.” Assistant Academic Director Nick: “To go running once a week. And to move … Read more

Test Your English with this ESL Crossword from EC San Diego!

A great way to practice English as an ESL students is to play word games. At ECSD, students are encouraged to use all available learning resources to improve their understanding of ESL concepts & lessons. And of course, word games are one way for our students to practice their English language skills and have fun, too! Test out your English savvy with this crossword provided by EC San Diego:    

Christmas Gift Exchange Games

Christmas is just around the corner, and everyone is scrambling to buy the best gifts for each other. To make things interesting, consider playing a gift exchange game within your group of friends or family; it can be a fun ice breaker among strangers, a cost-effective way to buy presents within larger groups (like classes!), and a fantastic way to liven up your Christmas party. Make your gift giving an event! Here are 2 gift exchange ideas you can play with your friends: Secret Santa This game is all about stealth! All of the participants place their names into a hat or box. Everyone then chooses a name out of the hat but doesn’t tell anyone the name he or she has picked. That is the person for whom they must buy a present. When the Secret Santa wraps the gift, he/she labels it with the name of the recipient but doesn’t indicate who it’s from. All the presents are then gathered in the general area. When it’s time to open presents, each recipient finds the present labeled with his/her name, opens it, and tries to guess who bought the gift! White Elephant Everyone brings a wrapped gift, and all of the presents are gathered in a pile. Everyone then draws a number that will determine their turn. When it’s your turn, you can choose a gift from the table, or you can choose to steal a gift from someone else.  Anyone who has a gift stolen from them can steal from another or open a new gift.  Every round ends when a new gift is opened from the gift table. The game continues with stealing and opening until the last gift is opened.

Business English Idioms and Expressions

Many international students attend our English school in San Diego in order to improve their English-speaking, reading, and writing skills. Oftentimes, this goal is influenced by another: to succeed in one’s career. The ability to communicate well is a requirement for all kinds of jobs, regardless of the department. Whether you want to be a tour guide or a math teacher, you must be able to communicate with your clients, coworkers, and bosses. Much of the business English used in the office may include certain idioms and expressions you wouldn’t usually hear on a normal basis. Here are a couple expressions you might hear around the office: (to) thrive – to do very well, to succeed ie. “Apple is a thriving company. So many people use their products!” correspondence – communication by letters ie. “Our correspondence within the office is through email.” (to be) hit hard by – to suffer a loss due to something ie. “Paper newspapers were hit hard by the rise of online news pages.” catchy – memorable, appealing ie. “I can’t get that slogan out of my mind. It’s really catchy!” to come up with – to think of ie. “I have to come up with a project idea for tomorrow’s meeting.” get ahead – to advance in one’s career ie. “She took the new position to get ahead.” return on investment (ROI) – how much profit or cost saving is gained as a result from an investment ie. “We have to measure the ROI in social media before we expend our marketing budget on it.”  

ECSD Is Thankful For…

During the Thanksgiving holiday, EC San Diego encourages students to participate in the holiday by expressing what it is they are most thankful for. Students, teachers, & staff fill out a feather and attach it to ECSD’s “Thankful Turkey” (see photo above). And our turkey is growing! Read below to find out what ECSD appreciates most. “I am thankful…” …for my family and San Diego weather. …for fun students! …for the opportunity [to be] abroad for 7 months, and having my friends and family who I can always rely on. …for Saleh and our classmates and Nick and Rebecca. …for all the love in this world. …for awesome co-workers and happy hours! …for EC One Love. …for the wonderful teachers at ECSD who help me and for the great students I have met. …that ECSD hired such nice people. …for my family and friends. …for Melissa, one of the best teachers ever. …for the beach and the sun and the waves. …for my family and friends. …for my family and friends, good health, having hope and faith. …for Love, Friendship, and Humanity. …for Lykai Nash – she has the best smile! …for our great students – like Mohammed ! …for having such fun & crazy roomies. …for this great time with my classmates in & out of school – FCE2 you are the best! I’m gonna miss you. …for my family, I love all of them. …for my wife, my son, and for the fact that I work with wonderful people at ECSD. …for Daniel’s help. …for having had this experience at ECSD. …for learning the cup song, meeting lovely teachers, escaping my family, and having a good time in San Diego. …for an unforgettable time in San Diego. …for having lived six months I will never forget. Every day, … Read more

English Proverbs 101: Witty & Wise Sayings

“A proverb is the wit of one, and the wisdom of many.” – Lord John Russell (British politician). Proverbs in English, or in any language, are short sayings that express popular beliefs that are based on common sense or the practical experience of humankind. ECSD teachers mix things up by teaching students the meanings behind things like proverbs – that way, students get to know American culture along with the language. Proverbs are often metaphorical (i.e., they use words/phrases that places ideas alongside others, suggesting a likeness) and thus have remained common & constant parts of our societies. ECSD wants our ESL students to immerse themselves in the life around them – and what better way than to know these proverbs? Here are some well-known & well-used American proverbs (that you have probably heard, too!): “Two wrongs don’t make a right.” When someone has done something bad to you, trying to get revenge will only make things worse. “The pen is mightier than the sword.” Trying to convince people with ideas and words is more effective than trying to force people to do what you want. “When in Rome, do as the Romans.” Act the way that the people around you are acting (in cultural circumstances). This phrase might come in handy when you’re traveling abroad – often people will do things differently than you’re used to. **EC San Diego favorite –  the perfect proverb for ESL students who study English abroad! “When the going gets tough, the tough get going.” Strong people don’t give up when they come across difficulty. They just work harder!! “A picture is worth a thousand words.” Pictures have that strange ability to create within us strong emotions. They can also carry messages that written explanations may not be able to describe.  

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