5ive Useful Idioms

Time Flies: Joe is having so much fun on his date with Melissa. They spend the whole day talking, and walking around. He looks at his watch and sees that they spend over five hours on their first date! Time flies when you’re having fun indeed. We say “time flies” when we don’t feel that we spent too much time doing something. Weigh one’s options: Allison just graduated college. Now she has free time to do whatever she wants. She’s thinking about traveling around the world, starting postgraduate studies or finding a job! She’s going to weigh her options before she makes a decision. We say “weigh one’s options” when we think about many options carefully before making a decision. Climb the ladder: Gregory started working at the restaurant when he was 16. He started as a dishwasher. Now at the age of 26, he was made to be the manager of the store. In the past 10 years, Gregory climbed the ladder in his restaurant from dishwasher all the way to the top! We say “climb the ladder” when we talk about someone getting promoted within the company, and advance in their career. Make ends meet: With the breakout of this coronavirus (COVID-19), a lot of Americans are now out of their jobs. They’re not getting paid. Unemployment programs are being flooded with applications. Americans are now in stress of trying to make ends meet. We say “make ends meet” when we are able to to pay our bills and rent and everyday food. Tough call: Lisa is an executive of a company. She’s been working for them for 20 years. Her pay is 120 thousand dollars a year. She is now offered a new job in another company with the same position with an increase of pay. They … Read more

What Does Language Testing Have to Offer?

This is a summary of a research paper done by Lyle F. Bachman (UCLA) under the name of What Does Language Testing Have to Offer?. It was published in TESOL Quarterly in 1991. The paper tackles aspects of testing language, such as, authenticity and language ability and the relationship between language ability and metacognitive strategies.   This research consists of two parts. The first part is Language Testing in the 1990s. Bachman illustrates briefly the history of language testing during the 90s and demonstrates a couple of theories and issues. In part two; An Interactional Approach to Language Test development, she says that there are two main categories for the purposes of Language testing; Results that can help us infer students language ability and Decisions made to place, employ or certify test takers (Gatekeepers). For example, when we want to measure a test taker’s ability according to a curriculum, we have to make sure that the curriculum is represented in the test tasks. Moreover, when we want to employ someone according to a test’s score, we have to make sure that their test includes some job-related tasks. In that way we can justify the use of the grades.    Then she provides a framework for language ability, and tells us that linguists consider that language ability is of two aspects; Language Knowledge and Cognitive Process. First, Language Knowledge is of; Organizational knowledge that determines how tests are organized and Pragmatic Knowledge that determines how utterances and sentences, intentions and contexts are related to form meaning. The second aspect of language ability is Strategic Competence; and that is represented in a table of three sections: Assessment, Goal-setting and Planning.    After that, Bachman mentions that there are some points in which to consider to characterise the testing Method. Importantly, to know … Read more

6 Grammar Points Explained Simply!

Present perfect continuous Use the Present Perfect Continuous when you’re interested in the activity. Affirmative: S + have / has + been + v-ing + O/C : I have been going to a pottery class. Negative: S + have / has + not + been + v-ing + O / C : I have not been going to a pottery class. Question: Wh-word + have / has + S + been + v-ing + O / C? : Where have you been going to?                Have / Has + S + been + v-ing + O / C? : Have you been going to a pottery class? Present perfect Use the present perfect when you’re interested in the result. Affirmative: S + have / has + Past Participle (v3) + O /C : I have made 8 vases. Negative: S + have / has + not + Past Participle (v3) + O / C : I have not made 8 vases. Questions: Have / has + S + PP (v3) + O / C? : Have you made 8 vases?                  Wh-word + have / has + S + PP (v3) + O / C? : What have you made? Reported Questions Generally the order becomes Subject + Verb  The question turns into a statement. Use a “.” instead of “?” The verb tense changes the same way it changes in reported statements.  Simple Present: “Is your father a doctor?”  Simple Past: He asked me if my father was a doctor.  Note the use of if / whether when reporting Yes / No questions  With direct questions with “WH-words”, we do not use helping verbs: do, does, did  Simple past: “ Where did you go?” Past Perfect: He asked me where I had gone. Simple past  (action verbs)  Use: finished … Read more

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5 Tips how to maintain your English after EC

Here are our priceless five pieces of advice to keep improving your English after you graduate from EC. We asked our teachers for their insight and here is what we agreed on! Other than the usual advice you hear, PRACTICE! But you’re confused on how and where, specially that you live in a country where most people don’t speak everyday English! here are more tailored and specific tips!   Watch in English We advise you to get in the habit of watching your favorite movies and shows in English, if possible. If your show is in another language, or your native language, turn on English subtitles. You may not like watching TV, well you can listen also in English! A lot of podcasts and news outlets have programs designed for you to listen while you are doing your work, or while you commute! Find what you are interested in, and start watching / listening in English. Vocabulary Journal You will never stop learning new phrases, words or idioms. Keep small journal next to you and write down everything new you hear. Explain it, put in a little anecdote, give it synonyms. And don’t forget to revisit it every once in while from cover to cover. It’s always helpful and way better than looking up things in online dictionaries. Keep in Touch You’ve met so many people here at EC. Follow them on social media, and exchange WhatsApp numbers. Keep in touch and keep up the conversations with them. It will be a great way all of you can keep improving and practicing your English. If your teacher is willing, ask them to chat with them every now and then to catch up. Travel! The best way to practice your English is a face-to-face conversations. Travel and stay in Hostels and … Read more

Golden Rules of the English Language

Every language has a set of rules that must be memorized to master it. Here are some golden rules of English that everyone who is learning must keep them in mind at all times! Even after you leave us, please try to print these and revisit them every other day.   Every English sentence has a verb! Every English sentence starts with a Subject followed by a Verb. A sentence is a group of words that has a complete thought, meaning or idea. A sentence always starts with a capital letter and ends with an ending mark. A Subject tells who or what the sentence is about. the Verb is an action word that tells what someone or something does. A noun names a person, animal, place or a thing. An exact noun tells more a noun. E.g. The animal (noun) eats. The dog (exact noun) eats. A compound noun is a word made from two smaller words: dog + house = doghouse. A collective noun is a noun that names a group of people, animals or things. E.g. Family, Litter, Class A noun can name one or more than one. Add -s to most nouns to name more than one. Some nouns change spelling to name more than one. E.g. One child. Three children. A verb tells what someone or something does. E.g. dig, plant, eat. Add -s to most verbs to tell about one person, place or a thing. E.g One bird stops. The words (am, is, are) are verbs called (to-be) They tell about now. E.g. I am six. Kip is little. Use AM to tell about yourself. Use IS to tell about one person, thing, place. Use ARE to tell about more than one.   If you want to learn more, Please sign up for English … Read more

How to Spend Valentine’s in San Francisco

Are you still in San Francisco? ٌYou don’t have to be in a relationship to enjoy SF’s Valentine’s Day! You can always celebrate with your friends. They understand you better anyway! Here are some suggestions for spending Valentine’s Day 2020 here in the City by the Bay!   The Great San Francisco Pillow Fight A yearly event that takes place in Herman Plaza in front of the Ferry Building. Buy a new pillow for the fight from Target or Ross. It should not cost you more than $10. Be ready in the Plaza at 5:50 PM. When the clock strikes 6:00 PM the fun starts. Remember that this event is not supervised. So you might want to be careful where and who to hit! Romantic Cruise Hornblower Cruises offer cruises around the San Francisco Bay throughout the year. They also offer a romantic one for Valentine’s Night. The tour is typically three hours. There’s a dance floor with a DJ inside. There will be a full bar and small bites. The company offers day or night cruises. We suggest you catch the sunset cruise. It’s always the best view from the ocean. Romantic Hotel There are many hotels in San Francisco that are cozy and very romantic. You can spend the night there away from the hectic life o San Francisco. Many of these hotels serve a small number of guests. They were built in the Victorian eras and offer bed and breakfast type of rooms. San Francisco Tour San Francisco is famous for its unique and full-of-history neighborhoods. Each of them has a distinct identity. It is why we love the tours! There are so much to see. Tours can last up to 4 hours! You can choose to tour on a bus or on foot. They also have … Read more

“My Internship at EC San Francisco” by Sandra Taschke

  “I am Sandra from Germany, and I’m studying Multilingual Communication in my fifth semester of my undergrad degree. I came to EC San Francisco in October to do an internship at Student Services for four months. Next week will be the last week of my internship – and I’m so grateful that I had this opportunity of doing an internship here. My main tasks were to help students who reach out to the front desk, maintain student files, help during orientation and graduation day, lead student activities, and many other administrative procedures and tasks. I’ve also learned much about American business culture, and workplace ethics, general school procedures, and I learned a lot about many different cultures from all around the world. Besides the internship, San Francisco is a wonderful city to live in. There is so much to see and so much to do. What I love the most about SF is that it has so many spots where you get beautiful views overlooking the city or the ocean. I am already so sad about leaving EC soon, since I really enjoyed this internship. I love the atmosphere at this school. And I will miss all the great people that I have met here, whether staff members, teachers or student”. This post was written by our lovely intern Sandra. We will miss you so much once you leave us. We are already feeling anxious for your leave. You have been a vital part of EC in the past four months and we cannot imagine what we would be doing after you leave us on Friday! But we are excited to see where life takes you, and we hope that the time you have spent with us will help you advance in your personal and professional life! – EC San Francisco … Read more

Golden Gate Bridge inspire our Golden Rules!

Four Cheap Lounges in San Francisco

This post is about our favorite spots to hangout in SF, relax after work or school, and enjoy cheap food and drinks!   1. Sutter Station Tavern It is on Market St. Sutter Station Tavern is only a block or two from our school. They have pool tables. Also, They offer 5 dollar beers on their happy hour. Their Happy Hour times are Monday to Friday from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM. It is a great spot for after school beers. They have seven different kinds of beer on tab! They also have a full bar and make your famous cocktails. 2. Tesmpest Bar & Box Kitchen This is a bar located in the same area as San Francisco Chronicle at 431 Natoma St in San Francisco. The bar was opened in 2010. It is a great location for Baseball fans. It is a favorite of the SF Giants fans. They specialize in serving late night food. Their Happy Hour is Monday through Friday from 11 in the morning until 2:00 PM. They also having different menus for lunch, dinner and late night menu. They’re the sister bar of Louie’s; another awesome dive spot in San Francisco located in the financial district. 3. The Saloon Here’s a spot located in Little Italy that is 150+ years old, making it San Francisco’s oldest saloon. It features live music from local Blues artists and bands. Some say it is the greatest Blues bar. The Saloon is at 1232 Grant St. It is also a walking distant from our school. It’s your typical dive bar with typical cocktails and beers. 4. El Rio This lounge is spacious and has a huge garden (an outdoors area) where people can enjoy fresh air while mingling. They also have live shows that start around 8:00PM, on … Read more

My Experience, written by Kazutoyo Hayashi

Kazu is one of our awesome EC ambassadors. He is from Japan, and is currently studying in our pre-intermediate class. He is also signed up in our semi-intensive program. Here’s what he said about his experience at EC San Francisco. “I’ve already spent two months EC San Francisco. I’m having a great time here. On the first day, I couldn’t understand everything which was in English; school rules and information about San Francisco. But everyone who; teachers and my friends were very helpful. Thanks to everyone, I feel my English was improved a lot. I’ve learned that communication is important in conversation. EC has a lot of students who are from different countries. We have different accents and different cultures. We also have a lot of different personality differences. We’ve been staying here and respecting each other. I learned that respecting each other is important to get along. I’ve never thought about it before I came to San Francisco. I believe it’s going to be a great experience for me. Thanks to every student I met, I am having a great time here. I often ask teachers when I couldn’t understand. Teachers always help me. EC teachers are so kind to teach us. We really like them. I really think EC school is the best school. New students don’t need to worry. Also, our school has a lot of activities. I experienced yoga, hiking and traveling to Las Vegas etc. It was really fun. And we can make friends even though we have different classes”.   If you want to learn more, Please sign up for English Courses in San Francisco  

Activities Highlight of December

Holiday season has started with December! Here are some big events we will be leading for our students! Coit Tower On Wednesday, December 11th, Teacher Gifford is going to take students to the famous Coit Tower. He will lead a walk to the Tower to climb the hill from the secret stairs. It is located in the Telegraph Hill neighborhood. You will see people’s backyard. The Coit Tower was listed in the National Historic Landmark in 1984. It was built as a memorial for Lillie Hitchcock Coit, a wealthy woman of the Bay Area. Chocolate & Art On Thursday December 12th, Teacher Linah is showcasing her art at the SomArts Cultural Center on Brannen St. The event will include free chocolate fondu, food vendors and drinks are present. its is strictly 21+. It starts at 8:00 PM and continues to 2:00 in the morning. If you cannot make it on Thursday, you can go on Friday the 13th. The event is 2 days in a row. Holiday Potluck Party It’s also UGLY sweater day. Our Christmas potluck party is on December 19th. It will take place at the Tehama Luxury Residence. It will start around 5 PM. Just bring a snack, or a drink, beer or a bottle of wine! We will enjoy a relaxed evening before we head out for dinner. HAPPY HOLIDAYS! December Karaoke On December 27th, just after Christmas, we will host our monthly Karaoke contest! Let’s see who can sing the loudest, the bravest, and the best! Anna & Linah will lead the contest at the student lounge. It will cost you $2 to attend our party! We will have snacks for you. The contest will start at 3:00PM after your afternoon class. Cocktail Bay Cruise Do you want to have a nice party with drinks … Read more