TOEFL Higher Score Preparation Class: A great way to finish your program while at EC San Diego.

Many students who attend our General English courses often join exam classes before they leave in order to receive additional certificates of achievement. In addition, a TOEFL certificate can lead to new opportunities at universities in the US or abroad or possibly open the door to a new career. Preparing for the TOEFL test can be very challenging if you don’t have the right skills. However, don’t worry! EC San Diego offers a TOEFL preparation course that helps with achieving a higher score in all areas of the exam. With some of the most experienced teachers in town, we will guide you through the skills and create confidence while sitting the exam.   Some of our classroom strategies on how to prepare for the test include: instructions on how to take effective notes from academic lectures; effective practice sessions to summarize, paraphrase and synthesize important information with immediate feedback; dynamic classroom discussions and writing sessions on a variety of topics to express your opinions and prepare for academic success.   “In my class you will not only learn, but you will also have fun studying the skills you need to acquire to achieve a higher score. Come join us!” Alvin Almerol   Enroll at our language school and we will share EC’s Higher Score expertise with you!   Learn more about our TOEFL Courses in San Diego here. 

Cambridge Students Scavenger Hunt

Cambridge Class Scavenger Hunt

Cambridge students in Marilyn’s class took part in a scavenger hunt throughout the village of La Jolla last week. Some of the tasks included asking someone what their favorite restaurant is in downtown La Jolla are, taking their photos where students asked the questions and then finding the restaurant and taking a photo in front of it. Other photos included taking a photo in front of the La Jolla Public Library, finding the La Jolla Recreation Center and taking a group picture in front of the building. Students also had to find someone wearing plaid and asking a group member take a picture with them. They were also required to find and take a photo of someone doing a “Passive Grammar” activity and then write a passive sentence to show they understand the meaning. For example, “The street is being swept by a man. After writing a conditional question, students were required to ask someone on the street to answer the conditional question, take a photo with them and record their answer. The winners were selected based on best completion time and most correct answers. Congrats to Flurin and Rina and Philip, Claudia and Jin!

Cambridge Students Teach Passive Voice

Last week, our CAE Cambridge Last week, our CAE Cambridge students taught the FCE class certain grammar rules, such as the use of conditional, passive or future tense. Every group taught their topic three times to three different groups of the FCE. We used music, games and the white board in the classroom to help them understand the basics of the grammar. After our class taught the same thing three times in a row, we understood the rules better than before. All in all it was a very helpful experience for both classes and we enjoyed to be on the teacher’s side for once.

Sara Corrales

Colombian Actress Studies at EC San Diego

A few months ago, Colombian Actress and EC Student, Sara Corrales, returned to our school for a month of English lessons. It was her second time at EC San Diego, but her experience this time around was completely different and unique. Sara’s second EC experience included advanced English courses, different core and special focus classes and, of course, new friends. Sara also had the opportunity to take surf lessons in Pacific Beach with her boyfriend, Alexis Meana, from D.F. Mexico, who joined her at school for a few weeks. Sara enjoyed the “host family” experience and participated in student activities. A videographer captured some of her most memorable moments at EC. Click on the link below to see Sara with her host mother, in her classes, with her friends, surfing at Pacific Beach, working out at La Jolla cover and graduating from EC San Diego:  

EC at Home

EC San Diego Launches EC at Home

At EC San Diego we know that learning English is more than the hard work you do in the classroom; it’s also about all those moments, big and small, that happen after the day ends after school. That is why EC has launched EC at Home, which is yet another opportunity for students to practice their English outside of the classroom. EC at home is a unique offer that gives students extra time practicing and learning English at their current residences. The San Diego homestay English courses are designed to give students up to 4 hours of extra time each week with their teachers in a casual setting. The benefits include 1-2 hours of structured conversation in residences during the weekdays and 1-2 hours outside, exploring the city and using English skills in real-life contexts. Students at EC San Diego meet with teacher Gary weekly, at their apartments in Pacific Beach, to continue the fun and engaging learning experience after school. Below are some photos of students enjoying lessons poolside, eating pizza and playing billiards.

EC Students Experience Luxury Movies

EC San Diego students experienced their fest-ever luxury movie-watching experience at The Lot San Diego. They watched the “Beauty and the Beast” with Teacher Autumn, who had an optional vocabulary activity to go along with it. The students were impressed by the reclining seats and gourmet food options offered at the movie theatres. Students learned new words a new meaning to beauty and love in the eye of the beholder.

Student Ambassador Spotlight Series: Moving up in English Levels

  Giovanni Freni Sterrantino is one of EC’s Academic Year Student Ambassadors. From the time he arrived from Calabria, Italy, he struggled the most with pronunciation and conversation, but during our interview he seems confident and the conversation is fluid with little to no pauses. Although he admits “today was a good English day,” meaning some days he just wants to stay quiet and other days, such as these, he feels confident in his speaking abilities. Giovanni chose San Diego because he had been to California before and was impressed by its beauty. “It is totally different here,” he said comparing Italy and California. We are sitting in an office with an ocean view, he gestures to the window and with wide eyes says, “The location in La Jolla is beautiful.” He visited 7 years ago and was drawn to the city’s upbeat people and lively lifestyle. Although Giovanni learned the English basics in Italy, he did not feel it was helpful. “I am very happy to learn English in a totally different way because we didn’t study English this way in High School. We studied literature and it was not useful for my life.” Giovanni enjoys classes like English in the City where students can apply their knowledge outside of the classroom. He especially enjoys “Special Focus,” courses, such as Business English. Giovanni also stressed the importance of the quality of students and teachers alike. “The class mates are very important and the teacher is also important. How he/she teaches and controls the classroom makes a difference in keeping people interested.” At EC San Diego the average classroom size is 12 students and the maximum is 15 students, so it’s an intimate learning environment for both teacher and student. There is also a healthy mix of nationalities ranging from … Read more

Awesome Ambassadors

It’s the day before you leave your home country to explore the beaches of California, and learn English in San Diego at a new school. It’s a long journey, a leap of faith and you have no idea what to expect on your first day at EC San Diego. The nerves are to be expected and they are a strange combination of excitement, fear and anticipation all wrapped into one. These are emotions many EC students know firsthand, including our amazingly, awesome Student Ambassadors! Student Ambassadors are students, who have been at EC San Diego for at least two months, or more, and are knowledgeable of San Diego culture and are very outgoing and friendly. They are the students you want to make friends with to show you around and answer many of the questions that you may be afraid to ask. However, don’t ever hesitate to ask an EC staff member, such as one of the Stent Services Coordinators, your Teachers, Center, or Academic Director. They are always happy to help in whichever way they can. The Student Ambassador, on the other hand, can provide a certain kind of insight, since they were once sitting in your exact same seat on their first day of class. They are well acclimated students and can help get you involved in the EC Experience and the San Diego lifestyle. Unfortunately, we said goodbye to a few student Ambassadors a few weeks ago, so we had to recruit more big personalities that we knew could take on the task at hand! Each student represents their home country and helps the EC team on our first day of school by joining new students on a walking tour of San Diego and provide translation when needed! As of right now, our Student Ambassadors are from the following countries: Korea, Italy, Saudi Arabia, Brazil and Japan. … Read more

EC San Diego Welcomes New Intern

Meet our new intern, Kana Hamada, from Japan! Kana is joining us from EC San Francisco where she spent a year as a student learning English at EC San Francisco. The differences between San Diego and San Francisco are apparent, especially the city layout and weather. San Francisco is known for its cold, windy climate while San Diego is known for its year-round sunny weather. Kana enjoyed her time in San Francisco, but this is an entirely new experience for her, mainly because she’s returning to EC as an intern and not as a student. As an intern, Kana’s responsibilities include collecting student documents on intake day, following up with students for missing information, creating sign-up sheets and flyers for student activities, translating and other general admin duties. In her short time here, Kana has already experienced the San Diego Zoo with EC Students and Sea World with her friends. She also recently indulged herself in the American tradition of Black Friday shopping post Thanksgiving , which she very much enjoyed! We are very happy to have her as part of the EC San Diego family! Thank you for everything you do, Kana! We appreciate you! A few words from Kana herself, “Before coming to San Diego, I was a little bit worried. I felt like a complete foreigner and a bit intimated. I was worried about my English skills because I was staying in Japan for three months and during my stay in Japan I was a little bit scared because I didn’t speak English, or write English that much. I’ve been feeling more comfortable here because people are very friendly, nice and easy going. I am more confident speaking English with others, especially when talking to people at bars and cafes.Kana also loves animals, “I am pretty happy because San Diego is … Read more

Holiday Cheer at EC San Diego

The holidays are upon us at the EC San Diego office with festive lights adorning the front desk and chrome ornaments dangling from one end to the other. Holiday tunes can be heard throughout the building. To keep the spirit of the holidays alive, the activity calendar for December is filled with many holiday-related events, such as a Holiday Tree Lighting & Winter Wonderland Festival happening on Saturday, December 3rd and Balboa Park’s annual December Nights this upcoming Friday December 2nd and Friday December 3rd. December nights is a free, local event with many activities and food gardens respresenting traditional cuisines from various countries. There are carnival rides, beer gardens, cookie decorating, cheerful carolers, dance performances and plenty of holiday cheer to go around to liven up the spirit! We are also hosting our annual Holiday Party on Friday, December 23rd! For more information on free, local events in San Diego, visit the Official Travel Resource in San Diego.