Language Tips

  • 5 Common Mistakes in English — And How to Learn From Them

    When you’re learning a language, making mistakes is part of the process. As you practice you will get better at recognizing when things sound right. So take every opportunity to say the sentences out loud; think like an actor and recite them like you were practicing for a play. Have fun!

    1. Mixing Up Watch, Look, and See

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    September 12, 2017 • Language Tips • Views: 938

  • Dive Into the Logic of English Spelling Rules

    English spelling can sometimes feel rather arbitrary, but rest assured there are rules to help you guide your pen or keyboard to the correct choice. We’ve compiled some of them to help get you started in recognizing patterns and taking note of exceptions.

    I before E except after C

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    September 5, 2017 • Language Tips • Views: 1166

  • 6 Popular Ways to Practice English

    August 25, 2017 • Language Tips • Views: 1044

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  • 5 Useful Cinematic Words

    Photo by Branden Baker

    At The ESL School at NYFA we focus our vocabulary words to help students prepare for a successful transition to visual and performing arts schools. Whether you are headed to The New York Film Academy or just want to have a grasp of the arts, these vocabulary words will help!

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    June 7, 2017 • Language Tips • Views: 969

  • Film Fridays: Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

    Most students have probably considered playing hooky at some point. While we don’t condone it, we definitely understand the need to sneak in a midweek break on occasion. Who better to school you on the perfect way to spend your day off than the cult idol and master of schemes, Ferris Bueller?

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    May 23, 2017 • Culture Fridays, Language Tips • Views: 1133

  • 5 Useful Creative Arts Words

    The ESL School at NYFA is the English language school for creative arts. We take every opportunity to infuse our curriculum with creative arts activities, classes, and vocabulary. Here are five of our favorite vocabulary words from the month of May.

    1. avant-garde (adj.) – used to describe a person or art that uses new, experimental, or radical ideas.  Ex: Emiko’s new short film is avant-garde. I’ve never seen anything like it!
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    May 12, 2017 • Language Tips • Views: 1138

  • English Through Music and Song Elective

    In this elective class, music and song treat the English language as a meeting point and a commonality rather than as a barrier. Students of different proficiency levels come together every Monday and Wednesday for an hour to listen to new songs and melodies, engaging with the English language in a different kind of way. The songs range in genre and style from popular music to blues to rap to feel-good, easy listening. In the course of 12 weeks students listen to artists like Adele, Macklemore, Stevie Wonder, The Beatles, and many more.

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    April 27, 2017 • Language Tips • Views: 1223

  • National Poetry Month at The ESL School at NYFA

    April was National Poetry Month and The ESL School at NYFA (ESN) has been celebrating the simplicity and complexity of its various forms. Students have been demonstrating their creativity with projects such as developing haikus and deconstructing modern song lyrics. Poetry, like all creative art forms, allows the viewers to find themselves as well as lose themselves in the process. The ESL School at NYFA San Jose began an exploration with haiku, which is a traditional form of Japanese poetry. Focusing on syllable count and mood allowed the ESL students to understand the music of the language, appreciate implied meaning, and tell a story with limited words.

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    April 1, 2017 • Language Tips • Views: 986

  • Free Resources to Help Improve Your English

    Looking to improve your English language skills? You’re not alone: according to TESOL, around 1.5 billion people are currently learning the English language around the world. You’re in good company!

    There’s no better way of improving your English than by speaking and reading it as much as possible, but there are some useful resources online that can help you along the way…

    … and best of all, these are all totally free.

    1. Project Gutenberg and LibriVox


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    March 27, 2017 • Language Tips • Views: 1574

  • The ESL School at NYFA Visits Cinequest

    The ESL School at NYFA recently had the opportunity to visit longtime San Jose virtual reality and film festival, Cinequest. The festival was a great chance for students to experience local culture and sharpen their language skills while enjoying some truly remarkable films and workshops. Cinequest was an exciting way for our English language students to enjoy the creative arts while continuing to learn.

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    March 17, 2017 • Language Tips • Views: 875