Thursday, April 30, 2015

May 2015 Student Activities

April Showers have brought May flowers! Join us for a month full of fun activities! From our monthly visit to the Empire State Building to Jazz on the Brooklyn Bridge! Summer is slowly approaching and we are excited to welcome it!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Junior Ngakla, an NYLC Student Success Story

Junior Ngakla

New York Language Center has served as a pathway for English language learners since 1985. Students come from all over the world to study at our schools for many reasons. Some study English with us while spending time in New York City as tourists; others study with us specifically to meet personal goals; still others come to NYLC to advance their college education.

Meet our former student Junior Ngakla, who came to New York City to study English. When he first arrived in NYC, his English was very limited; now Junior is able to converse well in English and has been accepted to DeVry University's MBA program. On Junior's last day at NYLC, I sat down with him and asked a few questions about his journey and his experiences at NYLC.

D: So, tell me where are you from?
Junior:  I am from the Republic of Congo.

D: How long have you been studying at NYLC?
Junior: I have been here since January 12; my last day is today, April 10th, so about four months.

D: How long have you been in NYC?
Junior:  A year and a half.

D: Were you studying English somewhere else before coming to NYLC?
Junior: Yes, I studied at LaGuardia Community College for a year.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Using SO and SUCH

This frozen yogurt was SO yummy. It was SUCH a treat at the end of a long day.

We often use SO or SUCH when we want to intensify our descriptions and opinions of people or things. For example, we say, "This is SUCH a good restaurant. Their food is SO delicious." Another example: The students worked SO hard and did SUCH a great job.

Because these two words are quite common, learning how to use them correctly is a very good idea. It can easily and suddenly come in handy when you're talking to someone. Fortunately, the rules are not difficult at all.
  • COME IN HANDY - be useful; be ready to use 

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

It's April Fools! DON'T FALL FOR IT!

It's April Fool's Day! It's a day when your friends and family, colleagues, even newspapers, magazines, and radio programs play practical jokes on people. The jokes can be quick and simple or they can be elaborate, making others believe that they're true when, in fact, they're not. Then the pranksters yell out, "April Fools!" ... and you feel (sort of) bad that you fell for the joke.
  • PLAY PRACTICAL JOKES - trick someone to believe something false just for fun
  • ELABORATE - complicated; complex
  • PRANKSTERS - people who play practical jokes on people
  • FALL FOR A JOKE - believe someone's joke, usually something that is not true

Here's an example of a practical joke: Michael Brady told his class this morning that they were going to have a test today. The class was taken by surprise.
  • BE TAKEN BY SURPRISE - be surprised

Tuesday, March 31, 2015


An alley in the Beacon Hill area of Boston, Masachusetts

You might say, "There's a garbage can up my alley," or "There's a bunch of trash up my alley." Alleys or alleyways are tiny, narrow paths or passages between buildings. They're usually dark and dirty although once in a while you'll run into a clean one like this alley in the historic Beacon Hill neighborhood in Boston, Massachusetts.
  • ONCE IN A WHILE - sometimes
  • RUN INTO - find; meet; come across

The idiomatic expression "UP YOUR ALLEY," however, has nothing to do with a physical alleyway; it has more to do with someone's interest or expertise. For example, if you're a web designer, then designing web pages is UP YOUR ALLEY. If you're a car mechanic, fixing cars is UP YOUR ALLEY. If you're studying film, then perhaps acting or directing or film editing is UP YOUR ALLEY. You get the picture.
  • YOU GET THE PICTURE - You get the idea; you understand

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Some ideas for a fantastic spring in NYC!

Spring has finally arrived in New York City after one of the longest and coldest winters in NYC history! Some days are still a bit chilly, but the weather is gradually warming up and the flowers are starting to bloom. Are you excited?

Some may say that NYC is at its best in the spring due to its endless events and flower shows. Here are a few that we think you should check out.

Image credit: NY Post
The Macy's Flower Show is the department store's second largest event of the year (after the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade) The Macy's in Herald Square on 34th street dresses its store with beautiful flowers -Yes, real flowers!- And has events going through April 3 inside the store, where guests can conveniently go shopping after checking out the flower exhibits!

Monday, March 16, 2015

Everyone's Irish on St. Patty's Day!

Photo Credit:
March 17th commemorates Saint Patrick's Day, the Irish celebration of Ireland's beloved patron saint. This is the oldest Irish tradition in the United States, dating back to 1762 before the U.S. Declaration of Independence. 

The parade in New York City was started by Irish immigrants centuries ago who felt homesick and wanted to keep their traditions alive. The parade this year celebrates 253 years of Irish merrymaking.