EC Host Families with Isabel Frauenknecht

Isabel (Middle) with classmates Denise and Ayako enjoying the weekend with their EC Host-Families. What was it like first meeting your host-family? From the minute I met them, they were so kind and gave me a hug. As soon as I arrived, we went on a tour of the city which made me feel more familiar with the bay area. My host-father’s brother also hosts students learning English. It was cool because we didn’t know our way around and got to experience everything as a group. For what reasons did you decide that using a home-stay would be better than a student residence? I think staying with a host-family is a much better way to improve your English than in a residence. You have no other choice but to speak English and everyday we talk about something new. I think this is important for anyone who wants to practice their English as much as possible. What are 3 things that make staying with a host-family worth while? – Feeling at home – Being part of other people’s plans – Continuously improving your English outside of school How would you describe your relationship with your host-family now? At first they were just my host-family but now they are close friends. They are very family-orientated and I will continue to keep in touch. What advice can you give new students moving into their host-family for the first time? – Keep an open-mind because you can learn a lot and receive plenty of good advice – Remember to respect other families’ cultures and traditions – Offer to help out, even if everything seems to be okay – Go to a host family!

Grammar Lesson: Wishes and Regrets

Have you ever done something in the past you wish you hadn’t? Do you wish you were shorter or taller? Thinner, or bigger? Do you ever find yourself wishing for something that is extremely unlikely, almost impossible? Perhaps there is something bothering you in the present that you would like to change? From Intermediate upwards, learners of English find themselves using ‘wish’ through a number of different tenses. Sometimes it can be a little confusing about when we are supposed to use this word and with which form of a verb. Let’s take a look at the following sentences. 1. “I wish I had eaten a bigger breakfast. I’m so hungry!” 2. “I wish I was taller” 3. “I wish I could fly to the moon and back” 4. “I wish Jessica would stop talking” If we direct our attention to the first sentence, we can see the most typical use of ‘wish’ in English. In this example, the speaker is talking about a situation in the past they cannot change. The basic formula for this use of ‘wish’ is outlined below. Subject Pronoun + ‘wish’ + Subject Pronoun + Past Perfect + Object I wish I had eaten a bigger breakfast     Here’s another… I  wish I had visited the Eiffel Tower Just like the first example, the second sentence is similar because the speaker is referring to something in the past. They regret their decision to not visit the Eiffel Tower in Paris and cannot do anything in the present to change this behavior. Let’s take a look at the second sentence in bold. Notice that here, the speaker is not referring to an action in the past. Instead, they are talking about something they dislike about themselves in the present. Take a look at this grammatical formula. Subj. … Read more

EC Birthday Cards!

EC San Francisco would like to thank EVERYONE who attended yesterday’s International Luncheon to celebrate our school’s 2 Year Anniversary. The pictures look great and the food on display was delicious! In addition to the lunch time celebration was each class’ participation writing in an EC Birthday card. Below are some pictures displaying the procedure I used to create a design, which in my mind, gave a ‘home-made’ quality to the cards before they were handed out to all General English classes. (A glossary of the vocabulary in bold can be found at the bottom of this page) First, I grabbed a ruler and sheet of blank paper. I drew up a rectangular space that I thought was an appropriate size for our design. Within this box, I began to sketch-out a rough draft of what I wanted to include on the front of our Birthday cards. After using a pencil to give the card a natural, ‘handwritten’ feel, I then switched to a black marker pen. Using this marker, I wrote over the pencil, adding more depth and boldness to the original writing. Once this was complete, I filled out the design by drawing a basic balloon shape and a party hat, which sat on top of the first letter ‘p’. You will see these extra details in a moment. Next, I printed a blank sheet of paper with our famous orange logo centered towards the bottom of a landscape page. This page would be the second phase of drafting. I then placed the original design underneath this new sheet of paper before picking up my black marker to trace over my first draft. This meant that the original writing could be replicated both clearly and cleanly. Now it was time to take the new and improved draft and … Read more

Teacher Interview: Drew Rogers

How long have you been with EC? I will have been here one year in June. In which other countries have you taught English? Spain. Barcelona to be specific. In your mind, what distinguishes EC from other language centres? Great facilities! Favorite English expression: You can’t win the lottery if you don’t buy a ticket! Must-see place in San Francisco Bay Area. In terms of nature, Golden Gate Park has some nice hidden trails. For an urban setting, the Lyon area is great for views of the city and architecture Bay Area sports team of choice. SF 49ers in the winter, SF Giants in the summer! BART or MUNI? BIKE! Favorite transport route? ‘The Wiggle’ bicycle ride. You get to speed down and around the city’s hills!