A Nightmare in Market Street Classroom

Hi ECSF students and blog readers, It’s another frightfully fun Halloween at ECSF and the festivities have been in full swing. The school halls are filled with vampires, crazed killers, and even a drag queen or two! After all, this is San Francisco. The Intermediate level class in Market Street classroom was especially lively today. Students from all over the world came together and shared traditional scary stories from their home countries. This was great as it served as another opportunity for our students to bond, learn about other cultures, and experience Halloween in America at its best. While students took advantage of the event to gorge themselves on popcorn and candy, they also worked on their language skills by watching a scary movie while carving our class pumpkin for the school’s pumpkin carving contest. The big event of the day will be the costume contest and pumpkin carving contest at the end of the school day, both of which will include prizes and best of all, bragging rights! Be sure to check back at see which classes and students won. Teacher Tim  

Global Citizen at EC San Francisco by Student Ambassador Misa Komine

On the 24th of October, 2013, Global Citizen class students visited a local San Francisco elementary school. Does everybody know about this class? It took more than one year to take place, is a new idea for EC to improve our English skills. The aim of this course is to develop English language skills through cross-cultural understanding by connecting EC students with local elementary school students. This course focuses on building language competency skills through a communicative method that targets the natural use of common expressions, vocabulary, grammar, and idioms in English as well as other languages. This class began on 8th of this October. Since then, we have been learning about colors, superstitions and several associated idioms. It is said that these are closely related to our ordinary lives. We learned not only the meanings which are based on the American society, but also the meaning from each of our various countries. On that day, we were separated into six groups and each had a task to introduce about the meaning of colors, superstitions, and idioms. It was the first time for EC students to visit an elementary school so everyone was exited. At first, I was a little nervous because I was not sure if I would teach them well or not. But when I meet the elementary school students, my uneasiness vanished. They were very cute, friendly, generous, and spontaneous. Even though it was the first time we met each other, they talked to me as if we were old friends. They were really full of curiosity. On one occasion, they said a word which I didn’t know, so I asked them the meaning of it. Then they explained it for me very clearly and carefully. I couldn’t believe that they were younger than me because their English … Read more

Off the Beaten Track: a Spa in the Wine Country

October and November are prime times to visit the Napa Valley, both for wine tasting, and for the spectacular fall color.  At this time of year, the poplars shine with bright yellows, the oaks are a dusky gold, and the grape leaves are every shade from orange to scarlet to a red so deep it seems almost black. However, as popular as the Napa Valley is, few tourists go as far up the valley as the gem of the region, the charming resort town of Calistoga.  As does nearby St. Helena, Calistoga sports a compact downtown, with a variety of enchanting shops, bakeries, and restaurants.  But, unknown to many, Calistoga also is a hot springs resort, with around half a dozen spas offering a variety of services from simple hot pools to full spa treatments with mud baths and herbal rubs.  Some of the facilities are day only, while others have full motel services, with the soaking and swimming pools as part of the package.  As the nights (and soon, the days) become cooler, breaking up a day of auto touring and winery visiting with a soak in rejuvenating hot mineral water becomes an ever more attractive idea.  (Even in winter, with the leaves long gone, sitting in hot water while looking at the nearby snowcapped hills has a charm all its own.) Calistoga is pretty hard to reach on public transportation, but it is an easy ride by car from San Francisco.  Many students at EC San Francisco visit the Napa Valley, either by rental car or tour, but if you choose to go, don’t forget Calistoga.  You won’t be sorry.  

Halloween is Coming!

Hi ECSF students and readers, As most of you are probably aware Halloween is quickly approaching and if it’s anything like last year, the halls of ECSF will be filled with goblins, zombies, vampires, and many more creepy creatures. In my humble opinion, Halloween is the greatest holiday of the year. It’s a night full of fear, excitement, and camaraderie. There is no better place to be on Halloween night in the Bay Area than SF. No matter what scene you’re into, there’ll be something for everybody. Your options will include house parties, bar events, and everything inbetween. If you haven’t already rented or purchased your costume, you’d better get on it because the good costumes are rapidly being snatched up. ECSF has already had an after school excursion to the costume shops and the school has been decorated with pumpkins, cobwebs, and more (Thanks teacher Kelly!).  Halloween is on October 31st, which will be a Thursday this year. Students can look forward to scary stories, a pumpkin carving contest, and of course the ECSF costume contest. Teacher Tim    

EC San Francisco English School Students Visit Stanford Medical Center – a Unique Opportunity!

EC English students were led by Brazilian doctor Edinaldo Torres, MD – Vascular Surgeon (second from left).  They visited Stanford Hospital & Clinics in the city of Palo Alto on October 4, 2013. The delegation was composed of physicians, nurses, nutritionists, human resources, journalist, and others, totaling 13 visitors, all  students at EC San Francisco, a San Francisco English School! The students were guided by Sheila Tost (Medical Services International Business Development Manager) and Robert Isom, MD (Clinical Service Chief, Division nephology & Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine) who presented the infrastructure for atendance, study, research, humanization of the hospital and future challenges, such as building a new hospital that is already underway. Dr. Isom answered specific questions for doctors and nurses detailing the great advances in health developed at Stanford University. All the students were fascinated with the humanization of the hospital and the great challenges for the future.

Get Some Extra Academic Support at ECSF’s New Guided Study Program

Hi students and blog readers, The busy summer season at ECSF is rapidly winding down but for many of our students, the work is far from over as they continue towards their goal of expanding their English language skills. While many of ECSF’s after school activities are geared towards using English in a laid back and social setting, we also like to offer our students more support with their academic work. Students wanting more support with their homework should come to ECSF’s Guided Study Program. Guided Study is a study hall we are offering to our students who are interested in getting help with their homework and writing skills. Guided Study is in Lombard classroom on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 2:15 pm-3:45 pm and offers students the chance to work alone or in small groups in a comfortable setting that is academic centered. Teacher Tim runs Guided Study and is there to offer students assistance with their assignments. Space is limited so sign-up in the activities binder at the front desk to reserve your seat. Drop-in attendees are welcome based on available space.  Teacher Tim  

Writing Class Post – Must See SF!

Kei: I would like to introduce you to ‘’Must see SF!’’ The place that I want to recommend is Twins Peaks! Have you ever been there? If you have not been to there, you must go! It was named twins peaks because there are two hills like a twins.  Each peak has its own name: Eureka Peak(North Peak) and Noe Peak(South Peak). This place is famous for its scenic beauty. You can see golden gate bridge, famous church, beautiful park and the San Francisco Bay many boat are coming and going. I cannot forget the view form there with my friends.  The scene is branded on my memory. So, I really recommend Twins Peaks. You have to climb up hill, it is better to go to there with shoes that are easy to walk in. There are at high altitude, the wind is blowing hard. You should wear warm clothes.  If you go to there, you take the 37 Corbett Muni line and get off Crestline Drive station near a path up the hill. I hope you can have a great time at Twins Peaks! _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________   Juan David: Why? It’s not about a big city, or the cheapest one, but you know for me is the place to be. Almost everybody where I come from wants to go to other towns and countries, with difficult names, but I don’t. I want to stay here and keep knowing much as possible. This city has so much to give that I don’t have all the space and the time to explain it but I’ll try to share what I think you must see in SF. For me it’s impossible to say which is my favorite thing to do or which was the best because all the days I’m glad to walk … Read more

How to meet Americans in San Francisco- Tips by Student Ambassador Misa Komine

    How to Meet Native English Speakers Hi everyone! This is Misa, one of your classmates and Student Ambassadors at EC San Francisco. I’ve been staying in San Francisco for 7 months now. I want to ask you some questions. Are you really satisfied with your ordinary life? Does anybody look for beginning something new? One of the things I’m really enjoying lately is talking with native English speakers. Normally, there are hardly any chances to meet people who can speak English very well and have a conversation with you as a friend. However, it is a great chance for you to improve your English skills. I want to talk about my story of how I met a native English speaker, Matt, and introduce his “meet-up” group, SF Babel. At the beginning of June this year, I met Matt on a muni bus as I was going over my notes.  I had a presentation the next day so I was trying to memorize the sentences. Suddenly, someone behind me asked me “Are you Japanese?” in Japanese.  I was startled and turned around. There was a person whose appearance was totally American. I thought “Oh, I might have misheard,” but he asked me again if I was Japanese or not. I was very surprised and answered “Yes”. Then we started chatting.  We talked a lot and he taught me various English words and phrases. Then he invited me to join a meet-up group. He said he was one of the organizers of SF Babel language exchange meet-up group. Then I joined the “Babel” group and I have since met many people. Meet-up is one of the world’s largest local networking groups. There are a very large number of groups. Not only groups that aim at language exchange but also there are groups … Read more

NightLife at the Academy

Hi ECSF students and readers, It’s no secret that there’s a million and one fun activities to do in San Francisco. From running on Ocean Beach to bar hopping in the Mission District, there is something for everyone. The California Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park is a great place to learn about history and the natural world. Many might argue, though, that the best activity to do there is “NightLife at the Academy,” a weekly mix and mingle event that many San Franciscans and ECSF students have enjoyed. Every Thursday evening some of the most social butterflies in SF come together for food, drinks, dancing, and even a little learning. NightLife offers a great mix of gourmet cooking and DJs paired with numerous bars that offer a variety social atmospheres. For an extra admission fee Nightlife also offers VIP tours of some of the Academy’s best exhibits. If you spend enough time in the City you’ll come to understand that the weekend really starts on Thursday. Get your friends together and go to Nightlife. You won’t soon forget it. Check out these pictures taken by some of our students who recently attended the event. Teacher Tim  

Writing Class Blog Post – Paragraphs

This week the writing class has been focusing on paragraph structure. As a final activity, students wrote a paragraph on the topic of their choosing. Some of them wrote even more!   #1 – Tariq Almalki I have been here in america almost four months. and i traveled a lot in my country ,i didn’t find any restaurant or cook like my mam cook , I am really homesick for my mom’s cooking. we called it kabsa . first thing i will do when u come back i will eat kabsa . i advise you when you come to Arabian country to try homemade kabsa. ____________________________________________________________ #2 – Ohbin Kown There’s something we are forgetting when we are going to travel! I often used to travel in my country in order to enjoy my life. I think it’s good choice. I have traveled other countries. However, tourist spot of Korea is one of best place in my mind. Usually, Almost Korean want to go to other country. it’s so stupid situation. Also, Some people didn’t travel in my country at all. They don’t know about tourist spot. Furthermore, they aren’t interested in our tourist spot they just want to go to tourist spot of other country. We have to know about our cultural heritage. Nowadays, people are slowing down to travel in my country. In conclusion, First, we have to know about our heritage. Second, we should go travel from our country. Traveling is so fun for relaxing my body. but Don’t Forget about , you have to think about our beautiful places.   ____________________________________________________________ #3 – Ranya Juengsanguansit   Thai food is interesting foods. There have many color and many tast. Thai food is cooked not difficult. You should try to cook and eat it. The best of Thai food of the world is Chicken Mussaman Curry. Because it has many ingredient and long time to cook. If you can eat it … Read more