Pronunciation Clinic — Every Tuesday at 11AM and 2:15PM!

Every Tuesday there is a free pronunciation clinic available to all students at EC Miami!  The students pictured above (three of the students in this picture are taking Cambridge ESOL courses with us) spent 45 minutes with me this afternoon practicing one of the most difficult sounds for foreign speakers learning American English —  the schwa!  In fact, that sound occurs three times in “a banana”.  Do you know where? If you came to pronunciation today, you would!  Signing up is mandatory, and can be done at the front desk.  Take advantage and spend 45 minutes improving your pronunciation with me! — Mark

Idiom of the Week – “break up”

Uh oh.  It looks like there is trouble in paradise.  Remember last week when Gigi asked Myriam out?  Well, something must have happened, because now they are breaking up.  Did one of them find another person?  Was there a big fight?  We might never know the real reason why they broke up.  Such an eventful month for these two!  All we know now, is there relationship is Over.  Finished.  Myriam has broken up with Gigi.  Myriam has ended their relationship. Gigi and Myriam may be Over, but there’s still time for students to sign up for our General and Cambridge ESOL courses here in Miami!!

Student Testmonial — Pirmin!

  Pirmin is currently one of our Student Ambassadors, and is taking General English courses with us at EC Miami.  Perhaps, in the future, he will be ready for Cambridge ESOL courses! I chose this destination because when I decided to come to America it was important for me that the weather is warm. I can go to the beach and the city has a crazy night life. My agent told me that Miami is the best option for this requirement. I’ve been here since October until now and I’ve learned a lot. At the beginning, my English was terrible and now I’ve improved my English a lot. The best activity for me was the Miami Heat game. Because I am a big fan of Miami Heat team.  In the school, I like the people who work in the office because they are friendly and helpful.  (I like it!)) Teachers are also very friendly and enthusiastic.  I would recommend the school to my friends and one of my friends will come in April!. When I go back to Switzerland, I will remember all things in here because I liked the school, the teachers staff and of course all the funny moments with my new friends from all over the world.

Student Testimonial — Stanislas!

I had chosen this school because I had a holiday, and I wanted not only to study but also take a rest for me. So I choose here. I thought Miami would be a great place for me to relax. I have learned English pronunciation, some grammatical rules and speaking skills. Especially I like to interact with the teachers and joining school activities. I would recommend the EC School to my friends. Stan is one of our recently-departed students studying in our General English courses.  Prospective students are strongly encouraged to also look into our Cambridge ESOL courses!

Idiom of the Week – “ask out”

It’s February and love is in the air!  We can see our Student Ambassador, Gigi, is definitely in the spirit.  A red rose in one hand, and the hand of a beautiful woman in the other, we can see that he is asking Myriam out on a date.  Perhaps dinner?  Perhaps a movie?  Maybe a romantic walk on the beach?  Judging by the look on Myriam’s face, she accepted his invitation, and they will go out soon. If someone asks another person out on a date, it means they are going to spend time together with a romantic possibility.  Who knows, maybe because Gigi asked Myriam out, they will have a future together.  We’ll see! These idioms (and more!) are just waiting to be discovered in our General and Cambridge ESOL courses!

Selina Comes Back to Visit!!

  As a teacher, it’s always nice when former students come back to say hello.  Websites like Facebook and Twitter also make it very easy to stay in touch with students once they go back to their home country.  Today, one of my former students, Selina, came to visit during her vacation in Miami.  Selina was my student here in Cambridge ESOL courses at EC Miami in 2012, and we’ve stayed in contact since then.  She came to Miami last week to do an exchange project with students from the Unversity of Miami as part of her Masters program.  Since she finshed with her work, she came over to the beach to work on her tan and say hello to us!  It was so wonderful catching up with Selina, getting a hug and a smile, and laughing about the difference between “Tuesday” and “Thursday”.  Also, we posed for this picture five times.  Selina had to be sure her “good side” was being captured.  I look equally creepy in all the pictures. — Mark

Idiom of the Week – “blind date”

Have you ever gone on a blind date?  I did — once.  It wasn’t the best experience I ever had in the world of dating.  My first (and only) blind date happened about five years ago.  A friend of mine said that she had a friend and that we should meet sometime.  We spoke on the phone, and decided to set up our blind date for the next day at a local restaurant for lunch.  Nothing fancy, just a casual lunch on a Saturday afternoon.  When my blind date arrived, she sat down and we ordered drinks and lunch.  After about five minutes, her phone rang and she answered it.  I will never forget watching my blind date as she said to whomever she was talking to on the phone, “Oh not much, what are YOU doing?” She stayed on the phone for almost 30 minutes.  Enough time for me to eat my lunch, leave money on the table for my part of it, and leave.  My first and only blind date.  I promised myself that day that I would never again go on a blind date. Obviously, a blind date is a date with a person that you have never met before (as opposed to dating a person who is blind).  I’m sure my friend had good intentions, but I will never go on a blind date suggested by my friends again.  Students taking our General and Cambridge ESOL courses will learn these idioms and more! — Mark

Sandro Completes the Miami Marathon!

  Sandro Huegli, one of our Intermediate students, arrived from Switzerland in January.  Last Sunday, he surprised students and teachers by completing the Miami Marathon!  Sandro writes: My name is Sandro, I’m from Switzerland and I’m staying with my brother Manuel in Miami for 7 weeks. We want to improve the English language, discover Florida, and have a good time with international friends. In my free time I do a lot of sports like soccer, skiing, tennis, cycling, orienteering and running. On the 2nd of February 2014, I participated in the Miami Marathon. I ran the 26.2 miles / 42.2 kilometres in 3h50min, so I finished on the 500th position of around 3’300 attendees. It’s hard to do without party for one week, train 5 days per week, just eat spaghetti for a long time and wake up before the sun on the race day, but all the hard work and dedication deserved great recognition from my schoolmates. The atmosphere was great and it was a good experience for me to finish the second marathon in my life. A big thank also to Manuel, who accompanied me. He ran the half marathon as a preparation for summer races. There is so much more to Miami than just the beach and Cambridge ESOL courses!  

Student Testimonial — Vanessa Schorr

  Vanessa is one of our former Student Ambassadors.  Some of you may remember her from her skydiving adventure a few months ago.  Vanessa came here to take one of our Cambridge ESOL courses to prepare for her CPE (She passed!).  She recently sent an email talking about her experience here at EC Miami:   One word to describe my time at EC Miami? Amazing! It was by far the best experience I’ve ever had. From day one I was adopted into the EC family and it felt like home. Not only did I make friends with students from all over the world but also with teachers and staff as everybody is open and welcoming. My English got better on a daily basis because, if you do it right, you’re surrounded with lots of people who like to see you making progress and challenge you every day. And believe me when I’m saying: this is the best thing when learning a foreign language!   Thanks to a big range of activities you can be sure to never get bored! You can play many different sports, go on weekend trips to amazing places or take elective classes like Pronunciation Clinic, Chill & Chat or the monthly lectures. Or if you like to experience something more adventurous you can even let yourself get kicked out of a plane with a parachute!!! How awesome is that?!   Teachers and staff at EC Miami are warm, funny and, to be honest, a bit crazy sometimes. But exactly this makes it so special! You can be sure to have lots on fun in class, everybody tries to make it as interesting as somehow possible. Even outside of the classroom they help you with everything they can and provide you with all the information you need … Read more

Idiom of the Week – “strike up a conversation”

You know what can be difficult for some people?  Striking up a conversation.  Sometimes, people are just too shy to strike up a conversation with someone they’ve never met.  Your first day at a new job, for example, can be one of those times.  A man looking at a beautiful woman from across the room may want to strike up a conversation with her.  After all, if she’s alone, perhaps she’s waiting for someone to strike up a conversation with her.  You never know!  One place that is awkward to strike up a conversation is a crowded elevator.  People always seem to be so quiet while they’re riding to their destination.  Often, people riding on public transportation or airplanes avoid striking up conversations by listening to music on their headphones.   Of course, by now you know that to strike up a conversation is simply to start talking with someone you’ve never met.  Is it easy for You to strike up a conversation?  One of the many idioms you can learn here at EC Miami both in our general classes, as well as our Cambridge ESOL courses!