Student Ambassador Yohko Kayahara Explores Free Yoga in San Francisco!

  The other day, I went to an AY lecture about Yoga by Laura and learned that there are a lot of yoga studios in SF. When you hear the word “yoga”, what comes to your mind? I think although most people think yoga is difficult, yoga is simple and easy. Of course, some poses are so difficult, but most teachers know the most important thing in yoga is to enjoy yourself. So how about doing yoga without thinking too much?  If you want to try to do yoga, there are many opportunities for you in SF. For example, I know two places we can do yoga for free. First, we can take part in a yoga class every Tuesday from 6:15 p.m. at Grace Cathedral.There are a lot of people, but the light is dim, so if you don’t do yoga well, nobody looks at you. But you need to bring a yoga mat. YOGA ON THE LABYRINTH     Another option that we can take part in is a yoga class every Friday, Saturday and Sunday morning. The place is called “prAna” and is a yoga clothing shop near Japantown and you don’t need a yoga mat. prAna San Francisco     In addition to the two yoga class, we have a chance to do yoga under the sky. Although I haven’t been there, I want to go there in the near future. Free Rooftop Yoga Sundays at Lombardi Sports It is said that yoga is good for our health and mind. If you are scared to go by yourself, please invite me!  

San Francisco’s Chinatown….A great place to Learn English in San Francisco

Chinatown is packed with interesting stores, markets, restaurants, tiny parks and lots and lots of color!  Our teacher Drew took a group of students to Chinatown and toured the back alleys, the Buddhist temple, and of course the fortune cookie factory….yes Chinese fortune cookies were invented in San Francisco!  They talked to lots of local people in English and yes, Chinatown is a great place to Learn English in San Francisco. Just 5 minutes from EC San Francisco’s front door is the Chinatown Gate, at the corner of Grant and Bush Streets.  Since it is so close, we tend to take it for granted…”oh yeah, Chinatown, its right up the street” but it is a fascinating section of the City with an incredible history.  SF’s Chinatown is the largest Chinatown outside of Asia and it is the oldest Chinatown in North America….older that New York’s, older than Vancouver’s! The first Chinese immigrants to San Francisco arrived in 1848, 2 men and one woman.  They came on the American ship, the Eagle.  Gold was discovered in California the next year and that event caused the Gold Rush, people from all over the world came to California, including thousands more people from China.  

“The Hood” a free student activity at EC San Francisco

All cities have neighborhoods, and all neighborhoods have history.  However, often even local people have no idea about the history of their city.  San Francisco has a famous neighborhood that is easily understood by everyone  –  Chinatown.  And there is the Mission District, currently a vibrant cultural center of The City.  However, not everyone knows that the area is named for the Spanish Mission San Francisco de Assisi (Mission Dolores) that still sits quietly on the edge of the neighborhood.  You can probably guess why Little Italy is called that (just check out the restaurants), but why is Russian Hill called Russian Hill?  And what is the Western Addition? A very popular free activity at ECSF involves students in discovering the history of San Francisco neighborhoods, the influence of people of different nationalities on The City, and the geographic and demographic changes since San Francisco began as a tiny military base belonging to Spain.  Walking, or using public transportation, students get to and then explore various SF neighborhoods, learning about the fascinating history of this famous multicultural center while practicing their English.  This is one of our most popular free activities, and many students come back week after week to learn more about The City, and see it with new eyes.  San Francisco’s “Hoods” are calling you.  Why not join us to learn more?

Grammar Help is available (without calling 911)

Most students would say that the core of learning a language is to be able to use the grammar.  As a result, almost all ESL schools focus, to some extent, on the basics of English grammar.  Sometimes, however, the work in class just isn’t enough to make the idea clear to you, or you want to know now not later, but you don’t want to interrupt the teacher.  Don’t fear  –  the “Grammar Doctor” is here. One of EC San Francisco’s weekly free classes, the Grammar Doctor is ready to help you with grammar (or other) questions, assist with homework, or just make you feel more confident about what you are doing.  As with our program as a whole, our goal is to make learning English as positive and productive an experience as is possible.  (And this isn’t just EC San Francisco  –  the same is true for all EC centers.)  So drop in on the Grammar Doctor for “a checkup.”  It’s painless  –  and it’s free.

“Pronunciation Power” helps develop English for Adult and Executive students at EC San Francisco

Maybe you’ve had this problem.  Your grammar is pretty good, you have enough vocabulary, you feel fairly confident when speaking English, but when you talk to native speakers, a lot of the time you hear “WHAT?????”  The experience makes you feel bad, and really damages your confidence.  Well, maybe the solution is an easy one  –  it might be your pronunciation. “Pronunciation Power” is a free one-hour class that we offer weekly to our adult and executive students here at EC San Francisco.  The class may address common problems (for example, “th” sounds, and the “ir” in bird and world), problems related to your first language (when you say “like,” do people hear you say “lie?”) or individual issues that vary from student to student.  Many “serious” pronunciation issues can be fixed in a short time (some in less than 5 minutes), but you really need an expert to hear what you are doing wrong, and help you learn how to do it right.  And the class is free.  Just one of many free classes and activities available at EC San Francisco, and all EC schools.  Follow the link to our website.

Idioms in Action with Drew

Every week, EC San Francisco gives our English students an opportunity to take a free class taught by one of our talented EC teachers. To learn more about our ECSF Staff, check out the teacher profiles on our website, or come to school say “Hi” in person! Some people thing that English classes are a dime a dozen in San Francisco, but if you’re not careful, a fool and his money are soon parted. Most other schools charge an arm and a leg, but EC San Francisco’s Idioms in Action class doesn’t cost you a thing! So save money and improve your English for free, because everyone knows that a penny saved is a penny earned. Improve your English with this free class. Because you CAN have your cake and eat it, too! Learn more at the free Idioms in Action class Wednesday at 2:45. To learn more about the other free classes, teacher-led activities, and events at EC San Francisco, check out the activities calendar on our EC San Francisco facebook page. If you want to see the other classes at EC schools around the world, here is a full list.