Student Writing (And Winning!) — Martin Luther King, Jr. by Myriam!

  Two weeks ago, Elisa gave a lecture about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to students taking English classes in Miami here at EC  in advance of the holiday celebrating him.  As always, the students that attend write an essay on the topic, and then a winner is chosen from the entries. This month, we have a Repeat Winner!  You may remember Myriam from last October, when she wrote about Football in the United States.  Well, Myriam is back with another winning essay: January 21st is a holiday in the USA but it is also mainly a commemorative date of the birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr. First of all, let’s talk about why he is so famous in the USA. MLK was a pastor and he’s particularly known for fighting against the segregation but in a non-violent way. He became an important figure for civil rights and in addition to this he was the youngest person to receive a Nobel Peace Prize. By the way, MLK was born in Atlanta on the 18th of January of 1929.  He was a brilliant man.  The proof of what I’m saying is that Martin Luther King, Jr. finished college at 15.  Then, he became a clergyman who raised four children. It’s important to explain the context in which he evolved.  In the USA, at this time, black and white people were separated in public spaces.  This situation was supported by the Jim Crow Laws “Separate but Equal”.  To illustrate what I’m talking about, I’ll give you an example which made a woman famous.  On the bus, white people sat in the front and the black people in the back.  As well, there were priorities, and when there were no more seats for them, black people had to leave one. This segregation took place mainly … Read more

Idiom of the Week – “Take a turn for the worse”

  Look at this married couple with Death looking over their shoulder.  Do they look healthy to you?  Perhaps a little under the weather?  More than that, judging by the looks on their faces, they have clearly taken a turn for the worse.  They look much more than sick —  they’ve taken such a turn for the worse, that they look to be at Death’s door. Don’t worry, these students from our Halloween celebration last October are only illustrating what it means to take a turn for the worse – to become more ill.  Frequently, this idiom is used for diseases that rapidly become worse.  Often, the word sudden will be used to indicate a very quick and unexpected change. It’s easy to learn idiomatic expressions when you are enrolled in English classes in Miami!

Student Testimonial — Gigi Torsiello

  You may recall one of our Student Ambassadors, Gigi.  He’s been taking English classes in Miami since October, and is a fixture at Heat games.  Gigi would like to share his experience: Beautiful weather, beaches, crazy nightlife and the best basketball team with the best player in the world… what do you want more? I came to Miami for this reason and all my expectations were true. Since my first day, I felt really comfortable in the school, welcomed by group of friendly smiling workers. My English improved a lot in a few weeks. Thanks to great teacher and to a good class structure. We have a lot of activities and I think my favorite is karaoke. We meet new people, we have fun together, we laugh a lot it is a really great time. I used to live in different EC accommodations. Even if my host family was far from the school, it was really nice. The room in sunbrite is really close from the school and really comfortable. Also, bayshore apartment are amazing. EC School is worldwide in despite that there are a lot of Swiss people. I have now friends from Korea, France, Swiss-German and South America. I definitely recommend EC to my friend because it is a good school. You can learn a lot and people are really cool! I will remember all the smiles the joyful people have and gave to me.

Idiom of the Week — “To paint a Picture”

Do you see Felipe?  Do you know what he’s doing?  He‘s painting a picture. It isn’t necessary to be artistic to be able to paint a picture.  To paint a picture, you just need to be able to use words.  In fact, if you are painting a picture, you will probably use many descriptive words.  After all, if you want to paint an accurate picture, you will need to be very descriptive. If not, the picture that you painted won’t be very clear, and people will be confused.  Many of our students here at EC Miami paint pictures for their friends and families back home to describe their times here both in and out of class.  In fact, many of our students from colder climates are painting very warm pictures and making everyone at home envious. Of course, by now you know that to paint a picture is to describe a situation in a certain way.  Another expression that you won’t be able to find in your translator or bilingual dictionary!  Just take English classes in Miami to learn more idioms!

Academic Lecture — Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

  As all of our students taking English classes in Miami know, next Monday (January 20) EC Miami will be closed in observance of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.  Dr. King is well-known in the United States for being at the head of the civil rights movement in the 1960’s, and his “I Have A Dream” speech is taught in classrooms from elementary schools to universities.   Every month, we give our students the opportunity to attend a university-style lecture, where they can learn about local culture, celebrations, and other “outside the classroom” activities.  In honor of Dr. King, our Academic Director, Elisa, presented two lectures (for students studying in the morning and afternoon) talking about the life and accomplishments of Dr. King.  Next week, these students will turn in essays detailing what they learned in the lecture.  Check back here at the end of the month to see who our winners are!

New International Student Advisor — Guheon Lee!

In the past two years, our school has grown from 12 students and four teachers to a staff of almost 20 and a population of students WAY bigger than when we started.  As our school has grown so much, we have added two new International Student Advisors to help us with all the extra work that we have.  If you are taking English classes in Miami, you will need to say Hello to Guheon: Hello everyone. My name is Guheon Lee and I am a new Intern at EC Miami. I am from South Korea, and major in Business administration in Korea. I have worked as an Intern for 2 weeks now. As a team player, I am always willing to  help other teammates and create the balance between work and play. Through a variety of volunteer and working experiences, I have gained team commitment and effective communication skills. These experiences have made me able to be versatile and learn quickly in various environments.  I am very pleased and excited to work with EC family! Welcome to EC Miami, Guheon!  We are so very happy to have you here with us!

New International Student Advisor — Blake Johnson!

Students taking English classes in Miami here at EC may have noticed a couple new faces working at the front desk and in the administrative office.  Give a warm welcome to Blake: It was a couple weeks before I moved half way around the world, to study abroad in England for 6 months, when my mentor said to me, “Blake, once you get on that plane and leave this country, you will never be the same.” At the time, I was oblivious to the amount of truth that was within those words. Needless to say, my mentor was absolutely right. Traveling and studying around the world changed my life forever and ever since I boarded that plane, I not been the same.   Originally, I was born in Chicago Illinois however; I grew up in Memphis Tennessee. Growing up, I never thought about the world outside of the communities which I lived.  Seeing the world with my own eyes was a life changing experience. Through my education, travels and international experiences, I gained a great passion for other cultures and a strong desire to learn more about the people and world. Presently, I am pursuing my MS in International and Intercultural Education at Florida International University in Miami Florida. I recently started working at EC-Miami as an International Student Advisor. I am really excited to see how my experiences and education will allow me to assist my students from all over the world and become an asset to the EC-Miami team.    When I am not working or studying for a class, you might find me at the gym working out or relaxing in the sand on south beach. I enjoy cooking, (and eating of course), especially pasta dishes. I also enjoy traveling and love to trying new foods. I … Read more

Idiom of the Week – “Wiped Out”

  It’s been “one of those days”.  You know how it is … You have to get up very early in the morning.  You spend hours sitting in traffic.  After you get to work, you run around like a crazy person and never get a break.  On top of all that, when you get home after work (more traffic!), you have to go grocery shopping, do laundry, and cook dinner.  But you don’t want to do any of that – because you are completely wiped out. Perhaps your English classes in Miami have you wiped out.  Maybe you’re wiped out because of so much work.  Maybe not sleeping so much has you wiped out.  Perhaps the incredible number of things you have to do is wiping you out.  No matter the reason, you’re not sure if you’re going to be able to cook dinner.  You’re so wiped out that you will probably order some food to be delivered.  One less thing to worry about. Of course, by this point, you know that if you are wiped out, you are exhausted.  You’re very tired.  You don’t want to move.  You just want to relax and fall asleep. You’re not just tired, you’re wiped out.  Relax.  Take it easy.  Tomorrow’s a new day.

Idiom of the Week: “Cold Spell”

Brrrrrrrrrrrr.  That’s what a lot of people in South Florida are saying right now.  When people think of Florida, they rarely imagine it being in a cold spell.  In fact, this cold snap has surprised many of our newer students (and some of our teachers)!! Even Celine, one of our Advanced students from Switzerland taking English classes in Miami is Cold!  FROM SWITZERLAND! Nobody needs to worry too much, or buy a new heavy winter coat, however.  This cold snap will only be for a few days.  In fact, this cold spell will be over before anyone realizes it.  By the end of the week, the temperatures will back to where people can go to the beach and enjoy the water. Yes, a cold spell (or cold snap) is just another way of saying “a period of very cold weather”. Two more expressions that your dictionary/translator won’t help you with!