Student Writing — “Relaxation” by Ibrahim Al-Arifi

Ibrahim is from Saudi Arabia, and is a long-term student taking English courses here at EC Miami.  He wrote this essay after attending Michelle’s lecture on relaxation! Relaxation has many ways to define it. Some say it’s to be free from tension and anxiety and stress and some say it’s an absence of arousal.  Others say it’s a release of tension.  I think that is all true but for me I find relaxation when I go to a peaceful place like the beach and sit there alone without a phone, without anything that bothers me.  Also, I like to sleep sometimes when I get stressed because sleeping is very good to relax and it makes you forget about anything that bothers you and when I wake up I am in a good mood.  People use kinds of relaxation such as yoga, tai chi, massage, and listening to soft music.  Some of them use other ways like traveling to other countries to find quiet places or lay down on the beach.  But I think people should know that too much relaxing is not healthy because you get too lazy or gain too much weight.  It’s not good for the body, either.  So my advice to everybody is to look for your own relaxation application and not do it too much, only when you get stressed or have anxiety.

Idiom of the Week — “Hit the Sack”

  Uh oh.  It looks like these students are taking a nap in class!  Certainly they didn’t come all this way to study English in the USA only to fall asleep in class!  Perhaps they threw a party last night and are trying to catch up on their sleep?  No matter the reason, they clearly need to hit the sack a bit earlier if they want to be successful in their English courses here at EC Miami!  Perhaps hitting the sack by 10 PM would be a good idea, especially if this group has classes starting at 8:30 AM! On weekends, they probably hit the sack much later than usual, but during the week we all need to hit the sack at a decent time so that we can get enough rest for the next day.  By now, you realize that hitting the sack is simply going to bed and getting some sleep.  What time do you usually hit the sack?

Idiom of the Week — “Throw a Party”

When you study English in the USA, it’s not all about academics.  Students need to be able to relax and unwind sometimes, as well.  We all do.  That’s when it’s time to throw a party.  Sometimes students will throw a party for themselves, and there are also times when we will throw small parties here at school to celebrate certain events.  The pictures above are from last Halloween when we threw a party for students and staff alike. Of course, when you throw a party, nothing is being thrown from your hand …  it’s just an expression for getting together and having a party!!  When was the last party that you threw?

Academic Lecture – Relaxation Techniques

  Here at EC Miami, we try to provide many opportunities for our students to practice outside of their English courses.  Many activities are organized (such as this weekend’s BBQ), and we also invite outside guests to come to the school and give a lecture on a topic of interest.  Often, teachers at the school will volunteer to speak about something that they are particularly passionate or knowledgeable about (Like Eric’s SCUBA lecture last month!) Today, Michelle gave two lectures on relaxation techniques.  Looking at the picture above, you would think that Reese was taking a nap in class, but really she was practicing a breathing exercise that Michelle was teaching the group at that time.  If there were audio, you would hear Michelle counting and talking them through the exercise. Students that are here for an Academic Year in the USA are required to write about the lecture the following week.  Check back soon to see the student writing!

Student Testimonial – Sabrina Felix

You may remember Sabrina, one of our student ambassadors.  She finished her English courses here at EC Miami, and is getting ready to go back to Switzerland: Hey there my name is Sabrina, I’m 23 years old and from Switzerland. I was at EC Miami for 10 weeks. The reason why I chose Miami for my language school was, I was here for vacation, and I loved it.  So I looked for an agency and they told me I should go to the EC Miami language school. At the First day I was really excited to meet all these new people in a place I didn’t know so well. Every day I learned a little bit more about everyone and about Miami and I started to loved it. The people at the school, all the teachers were so nice. And when I had a question they always helped me.  Also the ocean, the beach, whole Miami is so beautiful. Every day when I finished school in the morning, I went to the beach with some friends from the school. Once a week we made a big barbeque with about 20 students. It was so nice. Of course there are a lot of nightclubs. We went out almost every second day and enjoyed the whole nightlife.  I made a lot of new very good friends from all over the world. It was a beautiful time and I’m a little bit sad that it’s over now.  I’ll always remember my experience and never forget it.

Idiom of the Week — “Daydream”

We’ve all been there.  Sometimes you’re sitting in a room with a group of people and your mind just …  wanders.  It’s normal.  Even when people study in the USA, they may have a moment when they are in one of their English courses, and they begin to daydream about what their family is doing at home.  Or perhaps someone’s daydream is centered around what they are planning to do later that day (or weekend).  Sometimes, people simply daydream about lunch, especially when they haven’t had their breakfast yet! If you daydream, you are simply thinking about something that is not related to what is happening at the moment.  We all daydream from time to time, the key is to able to control it and stay in the moment!

Student Writing — SCUBA by Laura Soto

A couple weeks ago, Eric gave a lecture about SCUBA.  Academic lectures are something that happen every month here at EC Miami, for all of our students taking English courses.  At the conclusion of each lecture, we ask the students to write a summary about it, and then two students from varying levels are chosen as that month’s winners. Laura Soto is from Venezuela and is a student in our Upper Intermediate class: There is no other place on the planet as full of life as the ocean.  In that vast space, humans can do and practice a million things like surfing, boating, snorkeling, fishing, SCUBA diving, and much more. Talking about SCUBA diving, SCUBA is the acronym of Self-Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus, and was developed and created by Jacques Yves-Cousteau around 1980 to 1990; this sport has become very famous for recreation.  It became so popular because when you practice, you can discover the beauty of the underwater.  Also, it is a relaxing sport and you can have the opportunity to interact with nature and the only condition around the world for doing it is a simple rule:  know how to swim. Miami is a renowned city for diving.  Here you can find a lot of sunken boats underwater, and see animals like dolphins, sea turtles, lobster, rays, and even some sharks.  Diving in South Florida can be cheaper because there are many stores that offer lessons. Ft. Lauderdale is also a very nice place to SCUBA, in fact it is one of the ten best cities in the world to practice diving because there is a coral reef where you can find all kinds of animals.  Another cool place to practice SCUBA in Florida can be the Florida Keys. To practice SCUBA, you will need special equipment which … Read more

Student Writing — SCUBA lecture by Pinar Aydin!

A couple weeks ago, Eric gave a lecture about SCUBA.  Academic lectures are something that happen every month here at EC Miami, for all of our students taking English courses.  At the conclusion of each lecture, we ask the students to write a summary about it, and then two students from varying levels are chosen as that month’s winners. Pinar Aydin comes from Turkey, and is one of our students in Low Intermediate: We had a fun topic for this lesson.  It was “SCUBA diving.”  We learned what SCUBA is, what we need for this sport, how we can do this, and we we need SCUBA equipment.  Florida has a lot of different watersports.  These are jetskiing, waterskiing, fishing, surfing, windsurfing, shark diving, parasailing, skimboarding, and SCUBA diving.  Also you can swim and sunbathe. SCUBA diving is a form of underwater diving in which a diver uses a “Self-contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus” to breathe underwater.  SCUBA diving is a fun watersport.  When you are diving in the ocean, you can see all of the underwater world, kinds of fish, and sunken ships.  Also, if you are lucky, you can find valuables.  So you have to do SCUBA diving for all of that.  How can you do it?  If you want to do this, you should learn some rules.  This sport has a course to learn diving.  You must go to the course before the dive.  Also, if you want, you can take a license for this sport.  After that, you need equipment for diving.  These are the wetsuit, mask, airtank, regulator, depth gauge, weight belt, fins, a dive computer, pressure gauge, and BC. If you apply the rules, SCUBA diving is a safe sport.  Also, we are so lucky because Florida is a great place for this sport, especially Ft. Lauderdale.  So … Read more

Idiom of the Week — “Take a Nap”

  Life isn’t always so easy.  Even for students that are taking English courses with us here at EC Miami.  It can be exhausting for students to take a few hours of classes, grab some lunch (or not — some students prefer to sit outside and catch some rays) and then prepare for their elective.  Some students, like our friend pictured above, find time to take a nap between courses (and honestly, while waiting for a World Cup game to start).  It’s healthy to take a nap.  Some people will take a nap for 30 minutes or so, and wake up feeling refreshed. Of course, when you take a nap, you aren’t really “taking” anything.  It’s just an expression for when you want to sleep very quickly (20 or 30 minutes) and grab a quick rest.  Just don’t take a nap in class!!

Summer is Here!

  Summer is here and that means more than just hotter weather here at EC Miami.  This is the time of year that our enrollment jumps up to much higher numbers, and the group of students that we received today certainly shows that!  Today over 40 students from around the world have arrived to start their English courses with us. Today is a busy first day for them, as they will be taking their placement tests, learning about the school in their orientation, and then taking a free class this afternoon about Miami and all it has to offer.  By the time they receive their class schedules (they will start classes on Tuesday), they will be ready for some relaxation at the beach! Welcome to EC Miami!!