Pongpanote Phongpanngam is taking an 8 week intermediate level English course in San Francisco. A technology teacher from Thailand, here is what Pong says about his time at EC. “Hi, I’m Pong from Thailand. I studied English for 15 years when I was a student in Primary school until university. It hard to understand grammar, so I didn’t have self confidence to use English with foreigners until now. I couldn’t speak with good accent, used the wrong tenses, sometimes incorrect vocabulary and always used broken English. I didn’t care, that was their problem, not mine (I thought) but it made me afraid every time I used English with anyone. Three weeks after studying English with EC San Francisco (with teacher Judith and Tim R), I can feel my English skills changing and seems all my problems are leaving. I am very happy to be here. All staff of EC are very kind and helpful. There is technology in all classrooms and so many students from around the world trust to learn here. They’re very friendly. I not only practice in class. I get more experiences by joining special activities such as “The Hood” (with teacher Gifford) for an in depth class that explains the history of different San Francisco neighborhoods. In addition I can practice speaking and sharing with friends in speaking class (with teacher Laura) and so on. Thank you EC School, no “broken English,” my self-confidence is coming back. I have a very good chance to learn here and this is the best thing in my life.”
On March 29, 2013 EC Pre-Intermediate and Business Lab students at EC San Francisco, an English Language School in San Francisco, took a field trip to Dolby Labs. The trip was prompted by Matthias, a Business Lab student from Switzerland, whose class project is doing a financial analysis of Dolby Labs. Their teacher, Cyndi Cadua, contacted Dolby by email and was informed they do not give public tours but would make an exception in this case. Roberto Landazuri, Dolby’s Corporate Archivist was kind enough to lead our tour. The students learned about the building where Dolby’s worldwide headquarters is located near the Potrero Hill neighborhood. The building was built as a canvas factory in 1910, not long after the 1906 earthquake. During Dolby’s seismic retrofit in the 1980s, gravestones were discovered at the site and it is speculated that some of the building’s materials are recycled headstones. In the center of the building is small room, with two foot-thick doors on either end. Back in the early 20th century, the factory employees were paid in cash so a “vault room” was required to store all the money.
On March 19, Cyndi’s Business English elective class had a fascinating tour at KQED, San Francisco’s Public Television Station. They met on air “talent”, they visited the studios and control rooms and learned all about non-commercial Television in the United States. All the money to pay for KQED and other public television and radio stations comes from donations…from private individuals as well as businesses, large and small.
Here at ECSF, an English Language School in San Francisco, we provide a variety of after-school activities. Those who participate have the opportunity to explore our beautiful city while getting to know other students. But, most importantly, our activity program gives students the chance to practice their English outside of class! Yesterday we had Coffee Club, which is always one of our most popular activities. It’s led by our student ambassadors, student leaders who have been at ECSF for an extended period of time and are experts on the school and the city. ECers gathered to chat, drink coffee, and eat snacks while engaging in lively conversation. Coffee Club is a chance for both new and old students to come together and discuss various topics. If you’d like to take a look at pictures of Coffee Club and other fun activities, make sure to check out our Facebook Page! Click the link: https://www.facebook.com/ec.san.francisco
Aline Mazeto Roldan was one of our most enthusiastic students at ECSF, an English Language School in San Francisco. She was a fantastic creative writer and would like to share one of her short essays with everyone. Read her description of the Redwoods here… Purposes Dancing, Time Changing It was a cold sunny day, with a clear blue sky. The sunlight was shinning through the trees and creating patches of bright color in the middle of the forest. Each tree with particular pulse kept in the thick and soft brown bark. The bird’s sound decorate (garnish) the vertical silence of the redwood trees. The sound of the little rocks and humid foliage on the ground were the only things talking between the footprints and the space that is to come. Time is in everywhere. The water runs in the river. You could see everything that didn’t move below, everything that was still, watching movement while keeping secret rhythms inside. The trunks were looking like old men or strange animals lurking on the curves of the trails. The sunlight was running away from the hungry night pulled by the moon. The fresh mysterious air, full of beauty and harmony during the day, gave place to a dark fear and lonliness. She wasn’t alone there anymore so she started to run from the unfriendly noises. Would she arrive at home at this night? Time was present in everyplace. Time is full of purpose. With the sweet memories on the one hand, a strong and tight bat in the other, the unknown in the eyes, she kept going in the direction of human voices. At the end of the trip, three people within in the sigth of the trees were joined new journeys. The redwoods with their 2000 years, still watching. Time, the constant changing river of purpose expressions.
We recently asked several of our Brazilian students to write about their experiences here at our English language school in San Francisco. This is what they wrote… 1) Two things you enjoyed and gained from your experience: Loved the integrated approach between academic and cultural activities: great way to learn the language and the culture I’m really learning English; I feel really welcomed by my host family and this is a great city for cultural exchanges Made lots of friends; I’m learning to speak and understand English really fast People (school and city) are friendly and multicultural Quick adaptation, my family was incredible in all aspects; met people from all over the world; so far the best experience in my life Friendly, fun and welcoming environment; very organized and supportive staff Made friends, learned English fast, especially my listening and speaking skills Gaining more and more confidence to speak Made friends, learned about other cultures and cultural differences 2) Teachers and teaching approaches/methods: Loved the teachers: Kelly, dynamic, interactive, good-humored and fun; A/B teachers provide great balance and variety Tim R. is excellent, good-humored and always receptive to our questions; Judith is a great teacher, interactive and tries to correct our pronunciation Gifford and Anthony are excellent and friendly Good method Karl and Kate are very good and I’m learning a lot; I love the school because it has everything I want and offers all the help I need Tim R is the best teacher, he explains very well and always uses words we understand. He was amazing! Tim M, Kelly and Drew are incredible, dynamic and very creative; they’re engaging and make learning fun Tim M is flexible, funny and his classes are very dynamic; Kate’s pace is excellent, her classes are challenging and I’m learning a lot Judith’s …
EC student, Mayra Ferreira, graduated on March 8th. Before she left, she filled out an EC Testimonial describing her experience at our school and in San Francisco. Thanks, Mayra! We enjoyed having you here. Come visit us again soon! Mayra Ferreira Brazil I came to San Francisco and studying at EC was an amazing and excited experience. I’ve been studying here for four weeks and it was one of my greatest adventure abroad. I recommend EC San Francisco because you can find great teachers that make learning English easier with their funny ways to teach and outside activities. All those things really helped me improve my English. Furthermore, EC San Francisco is located near good places to visit and have easy access to touristic spots, which is an excellent thing. I’ll miss all the friends I made at EC and certainly I’ll always remember all different habit and history about their countries and cultures that we shared in our classes.
At ECSF, a downtown English language school in San Francisco, we offer a Communication for Business class that focuses on entrepreneurship and includes a string of guest speakers. Sam Catalina, an owner of Prudential Real Estate Company, spoke to the students last month about a variety of topics related to business. Afterwards, the students wrote essays summarizing and analyzing his lecture. This stellar essay was written by 3 ECers: Aynur Ismailova, Carlos Rombaldo, and Eugenia Schall. Great work, students! On February 12th, 2013, in our business class we had a special visitor Sam Catalina – an owner of Prudential Real Estate Company, a professor at CCSF City College, a director of a bank and also a good family man. He told us about his own background and his friends’ experiences. The purpose of this visit was to show us the many opportunities and possibilities that exist to start a career. Below we highlight some details about his speech. The speech was about good and bad experiences from his and his friends’ lives, showing in different ways how we can reach our dreams. A couple of words about his background. His parents are originally from the Philippines, but he was born in the USA and grew up in San Francisco area. He has been married more than 40 years, his wife is a teacher. They have 3 children: a girl – she is also a teacher, and 2 sons – one is an orthodontist, another one is a manager in a large sporting goods store. His favorite hobbies are cooking, singing karaoke and race car driving. He got in the real estate business when he saw his neighbor driving a lot of new fast cars. After taking classes and educating himself, he applied for a job …
Santiago, a student from Venezuela, has been studying English at ECSF, an English Language School in San Francisco. Recently he had a food adventure in Baker Beach with other EC students. Read about it here! A few weeks ago I went to Baker Beach to have a barbecue with some friends of the school. They thought it was a nice idea to eat and relax with some people so I decided to go. I live in the inner Richmond, it’s just 20 minutes from my house to get to the place so I was the first to arrive, most of my friends live in the downtown area and they decided to go to japan town first to get some food and drinks…Of course! A bbq without food is not very fun hahaha. Once we all were in the Baker Beach we start cooking the food very quick (hunger I guess), my friend chan is a professional, his specialty is set A LOT of fire to the barbecue to the point everybody says “woow.” The food was delicous. We had meat, salad, some snacks and drinks. I liked this Multicultural barbeque, watching my Korean friends cooking while eating Japanese snacks, drinking American drinks and of course listening Latin American music. (: If you want to chill and eat with some friends, Baker Beach is a very good option! The place is nice and it has an excellent view of the Golden Gate Bridge!
Communication for Business is a popular afternoon class at EC San Francisco. A couple weeks ago, Sam Cadelinia, a real estate expert, was invited as a guest speaker and spoke to the class about entrepreneurship based on his experience in the real estate field. He focused his speech on dedication and the desire to learn. Sam personifies the American Dream. He was born in the Philippines, came to America with little money in his pocket, and early in his career, became the largest distributor of karaoke machines. He asked the students to talk about their dreams and aspirations and to explain how those fit into their career goals. After getting his real estate license, Sam tried to get a job at Century 21 but was turned down because there were too many agents working for the company at the time. With determination and drive, he eventually bought a major mortgage company. Sam spoke about San Francisco as a hub of culture and entrepreneurship. When a student asked, “What is the most challenging part of your job?” he delved into the importance of self awareness and emotional intelligence. He also made an important comment: “When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” In order to be successful, according to Sam, it’s vital to have a positive attitude, be persistent, have a distinct vision/focus, keep learning, and find something that you love doing and do it. Passion is key…being passionate about what you’re doing is the way to succeed in a bad economy. We’re looking forward to having more successful guest speakers visit us at ECSF in the future!