My mother. My blood. My life…

Sheetal Makhan (AYC) In one of my classes recently, we spoke about patriotism and what it really means. What does it mean to be patriotic? [patriotic means to express deep devotion/love for one’s country] Well, this morning, I had a surprise when one of my AY students, Otman Eltalis appeared at my office door. I was surprised because he told me that he wasn’t coming to school today as he had to run some errands this morning. He said: “I just came to give you this,” as he handed me a sheet of paper. A piece of writing to mark? Sure! It was nothing out of the ordinary. Until I actually read it. The best way of knowing if something was written from the heart is if it gives the reader goosebumps. It did more than that for me. I could feel Otman’s emotions. With my extra writing sessions that I have with my students, I tell them that they only need to do one thing when they write: Make your words jump off the page and dance! I interviewed Otman on his very first day at EC Cape Town. He has grown in leaps and bounds, not just with his English, but as a person. I’m so proud of him! With his permission, I would like to share what he has written. by Otman Eltalis  My name: Libya My nationality: Libyan My phone number: Libya My biography: Libya I am a patient. I am a villager. I am a national. I am a soldier for protect my country. I am peaceful. I extend my appreciation to my country everyday. It is my mother, my blood, my life. I left because I was forced. I didn’t like homesick, but this is for you. I hope to accept my excuse. I can’t forget … Read more

Life Advice from Abdulgader Alsharif

Sheetal Makhan (AYC) As part of a writing activity recently, my students had to give advice for…life! As we know, life can be complicated at the best of times and and we often wish there was a handbook for us to refer to, right? Using the letters of the alphabet as prompts for each piece of advice, this is what my AY student, Abdulgader came up with. Enjoy…and take heed! Advise everyone to good ways or avoid people with dangerous ways. Be smiling everyday, for everyone. Continue what you started. Don’t give up! Deal with problems in a simple way. Easy life = huge success. Feel your own feelings, but don’t be selfish. Good friends guide you to a good life. Happiness will get a happy life and reach your achievement. I‘m possible = I’m pleased. Joke around with your friends close to you. Keep life easy. Love. Love. Love. Make fun for yourself and for others to enjoy. Nothing is impossible. Old people have quiet wisdom. Pride of your work leads to success. Quality is magnificent. Read before writing or speaking. Simple = happy = success. Don’t be silly! Try to always have an open heart. Use your brain for every moment. Visit your friends and family to live in peace. Wisdom is your leader. Xerox [copy] your good memories. Yield your negative thoughts. Zero is the beginning of your steps. —————————————— Abdulgader is an Academic Year English Course Student (AY20) student Academic Year English Course Student

I can speak English! by Ahmed Abujarida

Sheetal Makhan (AYC) I have many students who do extra writing for me, over and above what they do in class. One such student is my Academic Year student, Ahmed Abujarida from Libya. He left this piece of writing for me to mark and I felt that it was really written from the heart and I had to share it with all to read. ——————————————- by Ahmed Abujarida (Libya) I am going to talk about how I learned English.When I came to Cape Town in April, I didn’t know how to speak English with people, but I started to learn English at EC School. Also, after three months, I started to speak English and learned a lot of things. For example: vocabulary, listening and grammar. I am really very happy at my school. I would advise everybody who wants to learn English just to speak English. If you’re Arabic speaking, speak English even with Arabic students!If someone speaks Arabic (or their native language) everyday, they will not learn English. Also, I would like to advise people to speak English in the streets – while shopping or anywhere. Then they will improve quickly. When I started studying at EC School, I started at Elementary level and then I moved to Pre-intermediate level after two months.You will be able to practice and do exercises everyday. Guys, I want you to always speak English at school and in class. I saw a lot of people speaking in their native language and not learning English. I learned this from my teacher, my friends from different countries and my host family.I couldn’t believe myself after three months. I can speak English! Guys, please! I want you to speak English as much as possible, because this is very good, worthwhile and important for you! ——————————————- Ahmed … Read more

Creative Writing: Time…

by Sheetal Makhan (AYC) As I’ve said before, nothing excites me more than when students unlock their creative sparks before my eyes. Regardless of their professions, I try to make everyone see that they are capable of creating beauty with words. A couple of weeks ago, I presented the following picture to a small group of students and they wrote the following in just five minutes! by Sancha (Angola) I can see time. Time is money. You can’t take time. You need to use time quickly. Time never stops. Look after people  by Ji-hyun (South Korea) We have time equally. Everyone can use it equally But to succeed depends how well people use it. by Miguel (Venezuela) Time goes easily. Life is now. Now, maybe everybody doesn’t have time, because everybody is busier than other centuries. We are a slave of technology and material things. by Otman Eltalis (Libya) Time as the sword is very quickly in Cape Town, but I will break time by my determination. When I came to Cape Town, all my time is for English language. I don’t like to lose time. by Fathi (Libya) The picture reminds us the importance of time. We must respect time and don’t spend it on unnecessary things. The picture tells us, please always look at time. Every hour that passed never comes back again. The picture tells us that life is very short and we should try to use every second for everything good and to help people. Look after old aged people because one day you will become like them. Quickly. Time passes quickly. ==== Check out EC’s English Courses in South Africa

Creative sparks from students!

This Monday, there were many class tests which were written. Usually, students want to go home immediately – exhausted from 3 hours of tests! However, this week was very different. Five students joined me for a group tutorial focused on writing. As their tutor, my purpose was two-fold: 1. I wanted to unleash their creative sparks and show them what they are unknowingly capable of. 2. I wanted them to escape. Even for 20 minutes. To forget about their worries, fears, situations with their families and countries. By the end of the tutorial, my mission was accomplished. Here’s why: I presented the students with a picture. They had only ten minutes to write – absolutely anything that came to their mind and heart. As I always say, “Words that come from the heart, enter the heart.” Their writing was so good that I had to share it here for the world to see. Congratulations! I’m so proud of you. This was the picture: I won’t surrender by Mohamed (Libya) I can see the ant. It will try to do something difficult. With the end of the day, it keeps trying …and it’s tomorrow. It’s a new day. And I will try again. So whatever. I will try again and again. And I won’t surrender. Never. Every day is a new start. If the world doesn’t support me, I can support myself. When I fail in something, I try to go to the top. I will try and I will do. Finally, I do. Nothing is impossible. I am possible. No pain. No gain. —————————————- It still has the power by Mustafa (Libya) The picture appears how the ant is working. How it lives in the desert. On the rocks. Besides the sea, on the beach…and it still has the power until sunset. It tried … Read more

Madagascar by Eva Razafinarivo

Madagascar by Eva Razafinarivo Between 2009 and 2013, Madagascar was in a period of political transition. It all started with a coup d’etat that allowed the former mayor of Antananarivo (capital of Madagascar) to be President of a transitional government. During this period, all the international aid was suspended. For a country whose national budget depends mostly on international aid, it was catastrophic. For example, the government could not even pay the salaries of the employees on time. Furthermore, it was said that the armed forces lent their guns to bandits to earn money. That’s why the country became insecure, especially in rural areas. Moreover, the corruption has increased during this period. Consequently, people didn’t trust the justice system anymore, which was well-known to be corrupted. The crisis was supposed to come to an end with the election of a new president. But it was not as simple as that. Actually, even if Madagascar has a new president and even if the actual government is recognized by the international community, the political situation remains fragile. ____________________ Eva is a General English (GE30) student  

Chocolate in the Listening Centre? Yes!

by Mayu Kakado Do you know where chocolate comes from? or… Do you know how much the most expensive chocolate is? Come to the Listening Center to find out! Today I read a book about chocolate. It taught me about the history of chocolate, what it is and how to make chocolate cookies. It also spoke about all the different chocolate events of the world. I really enjoyed this book and it made me feel like I want to eat chocolate. Of course, the Listening Center is good to practice your listening and also … it gives us some interesting knowledge. “Chocolate” by Janet Hardy-Gould (Mayu)

EC Cape Town Students experience Cape Town Spices

Teacher Kate took her Low Intermediate class to two well-known shops in Cape Town as a class excursion, here is what happened: “In our low intermediate class we visited Atlas Trading, a spice shop in BoKaap and Anthony’s Golden cup, a coffee shop on Loop Street. Both experiences were extremely aromatic. For the first part of the lesson the students were given a recipe for ‘Boeber‘, a traditional warm milk drink. They had to find the different ingredients in the shop, asking for assistance if needed. The manager gave the students some information about the shop and let them taste and smell different spices.” “For the second part of the lesson we walked down to Anthony’s Golden cup on Loop street. Anthony spoke to the students about his life and about his shop. The students had to listen carefully and take notes because as a follow up activity they would need to write a biography about Anthony. Lastly we ordered coffees and enjoyed winding down in a very cosy environment, after a lot of information.” “We had a wonderful afternoon class. We went to the spice shop and learnt about Indian spices and met a special man, Anthony and his famous coffee shop, I Loved it!!”- Izabel Silva from Mozambique Our students are not limited when studying at EC Cape Town, we try our best to show them all aspects of English as well as how to form full conversations with the people of Cape Town!   __________________________________ Remember to follow us on Facebook or Twitter RELATED BLOG POSTS Free Activities at EC Cape Town “Mystery Restaurant” Class Outing

EC Elementary English Students write Love Letters

by Sheetal Makhan / Academic Year Coordinator Yesterday I taught an Elementary English class at our EC Language School in Cape Town and as an icebreaker to begin, students wrote love letters to objects they can’t live without. It was a timed activity and I was blown away by some of the romantic sentiments our students came up with. Enjoy! Dear My Phone You’re my best friend. I’m with you all the time. You can give me the information of the whole world and you can make me in contact with my family. I can’t imagine my life without you. I love you so much. (Lourdes, Angola) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Dear My Car I’m happy with you. You take me every morning to the school. I am sad when my car doesn’t working. I love you so much (Frag, Libya) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Dear Ring I love you so much, because when I look at you, I remember my mother. Do you remember mummy when I brought you out when I was child? Yes, she got angry with me. Then she forgot and gave to me. Today, don’t leave you for nothing. I’ll protect you everyday, every week.  You have special meaning. (Cristina, Angola) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Dear Mobile Phone I love you so much, because I can’t imagine my life without you. You help me everyday. I can speak with everybody. For thy sake I travel, I can dream and meet people around the world despite being far. I cannot stay away from you one minute. I cannot see without you, because you are my best friend. I love you so much! (Matondo, Angola) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Dear My Watch I can’t describe love me to you. You make me to know the time. I without nothing! If you stop, hear me: Leave this like (Fuad, Saudi … Read more

A short story…by Mariana Alves (Brazil)

by Sheetal Makhan / AYC In one of my recent writing classes, I gave the students the prompt, “Everyone was asleep, except…” Mariana from Brazil wrote such a lovely piece that I wanted to share it on here and she graciously agreed. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did! Everyone was asleep, except…  The little mouse under the stairs. There, he starts building his house so it brings a sofa and his bed, leaving a space for the kitchen. A cabinet to stock his cheeses was very important too. Then it thought that there should be a big cabinet! Thinking about the last preparations for his home, the little mouse remembered that his friends will arrive in few minutes to know his new home and it was better to run to the big kitchen and check if the big people who live there, forgot something. Then he could offer to his friends because his new fridge was empty! When the little mouse arrives in the big kitchen, it couldn’t believe what it was seeing! Two hamburgers with ‘extra cheese’ on the table forgotten there for him! The little mouse moves very fast. He can take away the two hamburgers and run to his house but it’s not all lucky because a piece of bread was left behind. Anyway, when he arrives at home and looks at that food, he just thought about one thing… Party! He takes his phone and asked to his friends, “Don’t arrive here without drinks…” Mariana was a General English 30 student