Teacher Karl on TOEFL Courses in San Francisco

  It is known that EC is the place for taking TOEFL courses in San Francisco.  Teacher Karl absolutely agrees!  Take a look at what he has to say about teaching TOEFL courses: “The TOEFL is the test for foreign student admissions to US universities and many certificate programs, and is gaining popularity as a general test of English in some parts of the world.  For many students, a high TOEFL score is seen as a necessity for the life path they have charted.  At EC San Francisco, we work with students to give them the tools they will need to maximize their effectiveness while taking the test.  Anyone who says they can guarantee you a particular score is lying.  ETS (the company that owns TOEFL) spends millions of dollars to make sure no student can predict the test, or use any kind of formula to develop high-scoring answers.  However, a good school, such as EC San Francisco, can guide students toward skill development and test-taking strategies that will maximize their success.                 The foundation for a good TOEFL score is a good working knowledge of general English.  Since the test assesses all skills, effectiveness on the test depends on being able to function comfortably in all areas of English.  Within the context of TOEFL preparation, therefore, while we obviously work on learning how the test works, and what approaches will produce the best outcomes, we also continue to work on the development of each student’s overall English through ongoing Communicative Approach activities.  Our goal is that students not only come out of the course with more confidence about the test, but with a clear improvement in their ability to use English as members of a global community of English speakers.”

Meet Mayu, our new intern from Japan!

  EC San Francisco has recently had the pleasure of welcoming a new intern, Mayu Okazaki, from Japan.  Mayu will be with us for one year.  Since her arrival, Mayu has hit the ground running, interacting with students, explaining the difference between each program and courses, such as TOEFL courses in San Francisco and even leading activities by herself.  We are very happy to have her on our team.  Here are a few words from Mayu : “Hi, I’m Mayu Okazaki from Japan. My hobbies are running, hiking and eating. I graduated from Tohoku University in Japan. My major was geophysics, mainly focusing on oceanography and meteorology. I also got a teaching certificate when I finished the university. I used to work for an elementary school, a private school and a university to help some students as a part time job when I was a master student. I was getting interested in working in education field during this time. I have worked at Tama University as an office assistant for 2 years. Before that I used to work at Japanese IT company as a Systems Engineer. My life is so diverse so far. I wanna support exchange students at another university in Japan using English and understanding various cultures and student’s feelings. In order to get a job like in what I want to do, I really wanted to know about working abroad in education field and feelings of exchange students who stay abroad and also learn to speak English more. So, I came here to work as an intern!! I couldn’t choose the city to work but I think San Francisco invited me!! I really look forward to learning and I also want to try doing everything I can.”

Teacher Karl on Cambridge English Courses in San Francisco

It is known that EC is the place for taking Cambridge English Courses in San Francisco.  Teacher Karl absolutely agrees!  Take a look at what he has to say about teaching Cambridge Courses: “Like all standardized tests, the Cambridge exams lurk in the background at EC. Most students are not aware of them.  However, for those students who feel passing one of these tests is an important milestone, our test prep may be seen as the most important formal language learning of their lives.  It is therefore crucial that we get it right, and that we help students become aware of what the test measures, how it measures it, and the best strategies to succeed.  (And as a side note, our pass rate at EC San Francisco is very impressive.) When I first saw examples of some of the Cambridge exam tasks, I was really confused.  Why was I being asked to do this odd thing?  How did it connect to any reasonable method of measuring my English ability?  However, I had to assume that Cambridge University was not controlled by madmen, so I set out to try to find connections between the test tasks and real language use.  And they exist, big time.  The methods of assessment take a bit of getting used to, but what they are measuring is a totally valid analysis of a student’s ability to use English in ways similar to those of their first language.  I find that most students flounder in the first few weeks as they try to make sense of the connections.  However, once that happens, amazing progress can happen, not only in the test prep, but in English proficiency overall.  The Cambridge exams are by no means the perfect fit for every student, but it is well worth taking a … Read more

EC is the place to be for Cambridge English Courses in San Francisco!

Ten reasons why EC San Francisco is the best place to take a Cambridge English Course If you’re thinking about taking Cambridge English Courses in San Francisco, Director of Studies Elisa tells you why EC San Francisco is the place to be for Cambridge Exam Preparation! 1 – Highly experienced Cambridge Prep teachers – they’ve been teaching this content for years! They know their stuff! 2 – Historically high pass rates at ECSF!  In the past, 100% of students passed their Cambridge exams! 3 – Spring start dates!  And Spring is lovely in San Francisco! (13 March to 02 June) 4 – We offer an intensive 12 weeks of Cambridge focused study – 4.5 hours a day, 5 days a week! 5 – Cambridge students (mostly) share a living space –  group study after class! 6 – Small class sizes – more personal attention 7 – School hours – 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.,  Monday to Friday – the school is open for after-class study! 8 – We have Cambridge certified Exam Examiners on staff!  They provide some pretty great tips! 9 – Extra Cambridge testing resources available at the center 10 – Practice tests available Start your journey to Cambridge exam, contact us for more information on EC San Francisco. [hs_action id=”2793″]

Yukari's Blog about Cambridge Class

Yukari’s Experience in EC San Francisco Cambridge Class

Hello everyone! I would like to talk about the new FCE class. We started the FCE class in the second week of September. At first the students are a little bit nervous because the teachers are strict than usual, and there is plenty of homework. Furthermore, we have so many tasks to do . In the class we mostly focus on grammar, reading and listening. There is no time for you to relax except for break time. Although the students were nervous or did not get used to the class at the first few weeks, now we are a friendly class. The atmosphere in our class makes you feel easy to talk or ask questions. Sometimes our teacher even make coffee for students!! FCE class has already begun for 6 weeks. Now we are starting to practice more of speaking. Please wish that everyone in the class will pass the exam. ” Learn English and study the in the Cambridge class while you have fun here at San Francisco Language Center.

Test Prep at EC San Francisco

In order to get into a university, to get a better job (or advance in a current position), or simply for the experience, many students of English as a Second Language decide, at some point, to take one of the “high stakes” English tests  –  frequently the TOEFL (for admission to many U.S. universities) or one of the Cambridge Exams.  EC San Francisco, in line with all EC locations, offers both TOEFL and Cambridge prep classes. It’s certainly possible to prepare yourself for these exams without taking a class.  There are many well-designed prep books that can help you build on your English skill and get you ready for the test.  If your English level is already nearly fluent, you could certainly do this.  However, most students feel more confident, and are better prepared for the reality of the test, if they take a course similar to those offered by EC San Francisco. A good test prep class should have a number of features.  First, it should not promise you a specific score.  I’ve been teaching ESL for 20 years, in a variety of locations, and I’ve never seen anyone, or any method, that could do that.  More importantly, the class should help you prepare for the specifics of the exam, but also build on, and stress, the ongoing development of your English skills.  It does you no good to get a high TEOFL score and get into Stanford University if you then cannot understand the lectures or the readings, and get failing marks on the papers.  Therefore, a good prep class should continually make connections between the tasks on the test, and the real-world applications.  And finally, as at EC San Francisco, your teachers should be fluent in English, and highly trained as educators.  In all my years as … Read more

Vocabulary study for an Intermediate level English course in San Francisco

Once students have a basic grasp of the most common tenses in English, vocabulary tends to become the most commonly mentioned obstacle to communicative competence.  Students working on vocabulary in an Intermediate level Engish course, in San Francisco or elsewhere, find that the organizational simplicity of early vocabulary study (colors, body parts, clothing, etc.) is missing.  As a result, they lose coherence and focus in learning vocabulary.  Often, they give up on any systematic study of vocabulary, just at the time when they most need it. The research on this is pretty clear  –  if you want to really learn a word, you have to do meaningful things with it, over several days, to make it stick in your brain.  This is kind of a bore, and not as much fun as going out with your friends.  However, there are a lot of simple exercises one can do to help with vocabulary development.  If you set aside even a fraction of the time you spend on “regular” homework for the study of vocabulary, you will see some pleasing results. Our brains like order, and are searching for some sort of system.  Effective vocabulary study thus depends on giving your brain something to organize around and with.  This exercise, while somewhat time consuming, does just that.  I wouldn’t use this for all vocab, but for concepts that you really need to retain (for a university course, for example), this is one of the best. WORD WEB connect the new word(s) to as many ideas as you can                                                              bland                                                                                                       spicy                                                                  mild                                even-tempered                                                     fiery                                           high temperature                 hot                  cool                                calm                 hot-tempered                                                              sexy                                                                    plain                             ordinary                                                                                                       stolen                                                                                                       trendy (i-phone)                                              passe   (Myspace)                                                                                      cool                                                                                       outmoded  (VHS) (Note how “cool” is both the opposite of hot (temperature), and the same as hot (currently popular).  Word … Read more