Guess the Olympic Sport

With the Olympics happening right now, many people from all over the world are watching their televisions and reading sports news to find out how well their teams are doing. It’s interesting how the names of sports in various languages are sometimes quite different. Take this short quiz below to see how well you know the sports in the summer Olympics. We will reveal the answers tomorrow! 1. Players in this sport use a small racquet to hit a light ball back and forth. It’s similar to tennis, but smaller. 2. This sport is similar to handball, but it happens in a pool. 3. You must use a horse to do this sport and you can participate in 3 types of events, including jumping. 4. You need to use an arrow to do this sport. You also must aim for a target. 5. There are many events in this sport. Some of the most famous are running events, high jump, and long jump. 6. Many athletes in this sport are short, but they are very strong because they have to balance well and do a lot of flips and turns. 7. This sport is similar to handball, but you must dribble if you want to move with the ball. Miami is famous for this sport this year. 8. In this sport, athletes jump into the pool with their heads first. They sometimes do this in partners and they don’t want to make a big splash when they enter the pool. 9. This sport usually reminds people of the past because it involves fighting with swords. Players wear masks and all white clothing and try to hit each other with swords. 10. This event involves running, swimming, and biking.

EC Miami Olympics

The Olympics have already started in London and the opening ceremony was last Friday. To celebrate the beginning of this special sports celebration we decided to have an EC Miami Olympics competition last week. Students were grouped into teams, which had people from various different English levels. The teams had to do four events to determine the winner. The first event was  a spelling bee and students had to spell as many words correctly as possible. This was good practice for saying the letters in English as well. Next, there was the categories game in which the students had to think of words for every letter of the alphabet for various categories. For example, for the category “animals” the answers would be alligator, bear, crocodile, dog… The other two games involved other English challenges. In the running remembering game, students had to run to another classroom and memorize an idiom or phrase and come back and appropriately report it to their team. The final game was similar to Pictionary, but you had to close your eyes! So, the pictures of trees looked pretty interesting! In the end the winner of the competition was Team 5, the Hakuna Matatas! The winning team got gold (well, plastic) medals and a South Beach souvenir so that they can remember their time at EC Miami. Great work everybody and have fun watching the Olympics competitions during the next 2 weeks. Remember that you can always come watch your favorite Olympic event at EC Miami, we will be showing the Olympics all day long (until 5:00 p.m.)!

EC Slogan Possibilities

Currently, we do not have a slogan at EC Miami. Our upper-intermediate class is learning about business and advertising and began to discuss some famous slogans. Slogans are short phrases or sentences that help people to remember a business. Some famous ones are “Just do It” and “I’m Loving It” for Nike and McDonalds. Our upper-intermediate class was given the challenge of making their own slogan for EC Miami. Here are some of the top choices. None of them are our official slogan but we want to know which ones you like? Would these slogans make you want to study here? Can you make your own slogan for us? “Easy Learning? EC Miami!” “It’s easy to enjoy EC!” “EC – Where everybody wants to be.” “EC. Enjoy life!”

Welcome to Miami! – From Taiwan

Our Taiwanese students at EC Miami always seem to be smiling, especially our student Sunny who just left us last week. We were sad to see him go but he will continue studying at EC Los Angeles. To find out what’s happening at EC in LA, click here. Before he left, Sunny wrote a letter to new students welcoming them to EC Miami. Keep reading to see what advice he had for new students. “Welcome to Miami! When we talk about Miami almost everyone would say beaches and sunshine. Besides, there are several advices from my life in Miami. First, if you like to drink, you must be over 21. If you are under 21, the shops can’t sell liquors to you. Second, in additional to enjoy the beach, you have to do homework and hand it in on time. If you want to improve your English, you should do that every time. Last, if you don’t want to sunburn during the vacation, you must put sunscreen during the vacation, you must put sunscreen even you just walk on the street! Because every day in Miami is a sunny day! I hope you have a wonderful vacation and enjoy everyday! -Sunny”

Meet our Low-Intermediate Teacher, Sharon!

Sharon is another one of our new teachers and she is currently leading our low-intermediate class. She also did a wonderful lecture about the history of Miami Beach and the mob a few weeks ago. She has had a lot of very interesting experiences in her life. Did you know she used to be a flight attendant? To find out more, keep reading! “I was born and spent my early childhood on a Sioux Indian Reservation in South Dakota. We moved from the endless horizon of the prairie to Southern California where I learned how much I love the sun, sand and ocean. On my first job, as a secretary with the space program now known as Nasa, I met and worked for the new astronauts. They wanted to explore the galaxies and inspired in me a more modest desire to explore this planet Earth. I dreamed of farther horizons and a job as a flight attendant with Trans World Airlines gave me the opportunity. I lived in New York City for many years traveling mainly to Europe and the Middle East. Exposure to so many countries and cultures instilled in me a fascination with different customs and languages. I always tried to learn a few words of the local language while traveling in every country. I qualified in French and Italian for the airline by studying for many months in Paris and Florence. After I retired I finished college and I have now realized a further dream to teach English to students from all over the world. Almost always I have been to their country and I feel like we are old friends. My satisfaction in having my students make progress in the “global language” of English is immense and I have hopes to continue in my new career … Read more

Meet our TOEFL teacher, Juan!

During the summer we are excited to welcome new teachers to EC Miami. Many of you may have seen that the teacher wall keeps expanding and new pictures are being added everyday. How well do you know your teachers? Many of you have attended activities with Juan, who is our TOEFL teacher. He led a beach volleyball activity last week and this week he is doing beach soccer, so it is clear that he likes the beach and he likes to teach (it rhymes!). Keep reading to find out more about Juan! “I may look young, but I can assure you that teaching English has been a passion of mine for years now. I first started my career as an ESL Instructor in Costa Rica, where I held free classes for the locals in exchange for surf lessons, and it was in that year that I rode my first wave – oh, and that I happen to love teaching ESL too! In 2010 I became a certified CELTA Teacher in New York City and have taught English there as well as in cities like Barcelona and Valencia. My job allows me to meet some of the most interesting people from all corners of the world. From seventeen year old students from Mali to sixty year old lawyers from Florence, I’ve taught ESL to all sorts and in return they have taught me things that have openened my mind to different, often wonderful treasures that come from their diverse countries and cultures, which is least to say one of the perks of my job. While teaching in these exciting cities like the Big Apple have been amazing experiences, Miami is definitely my favorite place to be an ESL Instructor. I have to admit that I am probably a bit biased towards … Read more

Welcome to Miami! – From Brazil

Two of our Brazilian students in our Intermediate class wrote letters to new students giving them advice about life in Miami. Keep reading to find out important information about what to expect when you study English with us at EC Miami! We are excited to meet you soon! “Welcome new students! Welcome to EC! My name is Leo and I’m here to tell you what you will do here at school and I think all of you will like it, as me. Here we have a regular time you have to arrive at 8:45 and finish at 12:00, but will have a lot of complementary activities in the afternoon, so you should participate too. We also offer tours in Miami to go shopping, to the beaches and etc. because you have to enjyou your vacation too, right? I hope you like EC as me and enjoy your vacation. -Leo” “Dear new students, Welcome to EC Miami! You will enjoy and learn a lot here, I hope you like it as me. If you really want to learn English, you will get it! You are going to have classes from Monday to Friday and two times per week you can do the conversation [free classes] in the afternoon, you should do it! You can enjoy Miami too! It’s a really nice city with beautiful beaches and a famous night life. You can also go to basketball games because of Miami Heat and there are some soccer matches too. I hope you like it and you can search me any time you need! See you, Hugo”  

Orlando Choices

Today during Chill & Chat some students were surprised to find out how many different amusement parks there are in Orlando. Most people think about Disney when they hear the word “Orlando” but did you know that there are 6 parks within Disney? It’s not just the famous Cinderella’s castle in Magic Kingdom. In Disney World you can also go to Epcot Center, which features food and attractions from around the world. If you like animals, you can go to Animal Kingdom where it is possible to go on a safari and see lions, giraffes, and more. For people who like movies, Hollywood studios could be the place to visit. In the summer it might also be a good idea to go to the waterparks, either Typhoon Lagoon or Blizzard Beach. Outside of Disney, there are other amusement parks in the area too. Many students like to go to Universal Studios, which has a movie-related focus and it even has a special Harry Potter theme park. If you like aquariums, you could go to Sea World to see the dolphins and whales. All in all, it’s a great idea to do a one or two day trip to Orlando while you are studying English in Miami at EC. If you have questions about the trips that we offer to Orlando, ask at the front desk!

The Miami Mob

Last week, Sharon, one of our newest teachers, gave a very interesting lecture about the history of Miami Beach and the mob. During her lecture she showed pictures of some of the most well-known gangsters from the past in Miami Beach, such as Al Capone and Lucky Luciano. She discussed how the mob in the U.S. was connected to the mob in Italy and how they even helped the U.S. government during the War. Some students were surprised to find out that many government organizations, such as the FBI, worked with the mob. So, in many cases they did not get in trouble with the law because they were helping the government. Eventually, most of the leaders of crime in Miami went to jail for tax evasion, which means not paying your taxes. Another fun fact about the mobsters in Miami is that they lived very close to our school on Palm Island. In fact, Al Capone’s watch tower is still on the island, which is just off of the bridge that connects Miami Beach to downtown Miami. One student who attended the lecture decided to learn more on his own by watching the movie J. Edgar about the leader of the FBI. All in all, people learned a lot about the history of Miami and it wasn’t boring at all because the crimes and lives of these gangsters were very interesting. Thanks for a great lecture, Sharon!

Friday the 13th

13 has traditionally been an unlucky number and there are many superstitions associated with the number. Many people believe that Friday the 13th is a day when bad things might happen to you. This is true for some people in the U.S., but also for people from other countries, such as Italy and Spain. If you believe that 13 is unlucky you might be a little nervous this week because tomorrow is Friday, July 13! Many scary movies have been made about this special date and the “horrible” things that could happen on this day. Some people believe that bad things do happen and a few things have happened in history, but it depends on your opinion whether you believe these bad things are caused because of the date. Friday the 13th is a “bad signs” according to some people. People who are scared of the number of 13 have a special name for their fear: triskaidekaphobia. Try to say that three times fast! So, if you are superstitious be careful tomorrow!