New York City Your Best Tool for Learning English

As the weather continues to get chillier and the leaves begin to fall at a much faster rate, you might be wondering what there is to do during a month that can be warm one day and pretty darn cold the next. Luckily, just in case you forgot, New York City is home to constant action and a never-ending list of things to do to keep yourself occupied. And if you’re adjusting to English, fret not, because all of these events offer plenty of ways to incorporate your learning tactics into real life. Between meeting new people by means of verbal and social interaction and reading and listening to cultural events, you’re sure to put your English skills to use for the whole month of October!


  1. New York Comic Con 2017; October 5 – October 8

You might be familiar with this event, as this huge gathering attracts thousands of people from all over the country. This event is a chance for superfans from all kinds of pop culture disciplines to come together and interact with other fellow fans. From comic books and superhero movies to science fiction television shows and book series, these passionate fans come to the Javits Center in Hells Kitchen dressed as their favorite characters, called cosplay. This is also a chance for these fans to interact with celebrities, browse timeless memorabilia, and shop for prized souveniers and collectibles. Tickets start at $45 for the day, but act fast since they sell out quite quickly. A great way to practice your English? Come dressed up as your favorite sci-fi character that doesn’t speak English and challenge yourself to interact with other fans. They won’t even know that you’re practicing!

  1. Cider Week; October 20 – October 29

One of my favorite parts of fall is how everything is apple-focused. I could eat an apple every day and just not get bored with the taste, so since fall is the best time for apples to be in season, I feel like I’m in heaven! With all sorts of types of apples in season, you can surely find your favorite in an instant. And even better is that during this last week in October, over 50 bars and restaurants are participating in this eventful series of events with free apple cider tastings, events, and workshops. Check out the site to see what bars are participating in your area, and bring a group of friends so you can meet other cider fans, practice your English, and get your apple cider on!

  1. The Rink at Rockefeller Center

Even if you’re brand new to New York City, you no doubt are aware of this legendary ice skating rink in the heart of Manhattan. It might still be a bit too warm to ice skate when it opens up for the season on October 7, but it’s still a very monumental time of the year when this opens up for the season. You might notice an influx of foot traffic in this area the first couple of days it’s open, so I recommend coming around later in the month, and you’ll beat a lot of the holiday tourist traffic as well! Since you’re in the prime tourist location of the city, this is also a great time to put your English skills to use – help tourists in need of directions or ask other people where they recommend to get great food and drink.

  1. The New Yorker Festival; October 6 – October 8

The New Yorker is a celebrated and culturally iconic brand in the media industry, and each year the magazine organizes a 3-day event in which their editors and contributors host panels and discussions with some of the most popular and culture-changing figures in theatre, film, music, and social movements. With tickets starting at $65, this event can be a bit pricey, but if this kind of content intrigues you, it would be super beneficial to attend one of these events to feel like the magazine is brought to life. Plus, what better way to utilize your English skills than listen to some of the top academically and professionally accomplished talents in our current world?

No matter what your interests are, you’re bound to find something during the month of October that will not only keep you excited and entertained for the season, but they’ll also keep you on track when it comes to putting your English speaking skills to use.

Category : New York

You’ve probably noticed that New York City can be pretty expensive at times if you’re not paying attention. Between paying for different means of transportation, trying out all kinds of amazing foods, and making sure you see everything the city has to offer, it can really add up, and if you’re not careful, you could easily spend more than your budget allows! I’ve already shared with you ways on how to save money on groceries and travel, but here I can share with you different portals that can help you save money on New York City experiences. Maybe there’s something that you’re dying to do while you’re in the Big Apple, but it simply costs too much and you can’t bring yourself to spend that kind of money. (Trust me, we’ve all been there.) Luckily for our digital generation, there are a few online sites and apps that will help you save money and get incredible deals on things you would never participate in for full price.

coupon application

And as I keep telling you guys, the best way to put your English to use is by socializing, and these opportunities that these sites and apps offer provide the perfect chance to mingle and meet people from all over the city.

  1. Groupon

This is probably the most widely used deal application, as there are thousands of things to find on this site. If you’re in the shopping mood, Groupon can present deals to you for all sorts of items, like clothing, electronics, jewelry, home products, and even food. You can also find deals for things like haircuts, fitness packages, and home services. When I first moved to New York, I needed to find a hairdresser, and since I was on a strict budget, I looked for deals in Groupon. I found one that struck my interest in my neighborhood, and two and a half years later, I still go to her! Say you’re looking for something cool to do in New York, but what if you’re not sure where to start looking? Check out their featured deals. Have you always been interested in kickboxing but just a little too afraid to try? They offer super cheap packages that will help alleviate your fear. Download the app, and just check it out—you might be surprised at what you can find!

  1. Yelp

I introduced Yelp to you a few months ago for the purpose of finding the best restaurants, museums, gyms, spas, and shopping spots, but you might be surprised that Yelp is also super handy at finding good deals for you. Many locations offer special coupons or deals if you simply share your location on social media or leave helpful feedback on their page. When I moved apartments in December, the movers I hired were so phenomenal, so I was delighted to share my good experience on their page to help boost their business. They were so touched by my positive feedback that they sent me flowers to signify their appreciation for my business as well as my helpful commentary. A little bit goes a long way, and you never know when it might pay off for YOU in the end! Next time you’re looking for a great new restaurant, sort by the locations that have the best deals.

  1. Woot

I personally like this service because it brings you deals just like Groupon and Yelp do, but they do it with a sense of snark and humor in their delivery. Sometimes I find myself scrolling through this app just to get a good laugh. They offer all sorts of great products at discounted prices, like name brand appliances, artwork, wine, and clothing. Similar to Amazon, they also offer flash deals on certain products, so the deal only lasts for a brief period of time, forcing you to make a quick decision—which can be pretty exciting! Another great aspect to sites and apps like these is that they will give a pretty solid understanding of what items and experiences cost in the marketplace in New York City and beyond. You might often feel that as an outsider new to New York that you might be taken advantage of or “duped.” With sites like these, you remain anonymous, so you know exactly what you’re paying for and that it’s fair. For some helpful and quick English practicing while you’re perusing these apps, make sure to check out the comments section to see what other people have said about the products or experiences—they can make or break your decision entirely!

Category : New York

I’m a rare bird in the sense that I always loved school, and back-to-school time was my favorite time of the year. For most kids, it was Christmas or their birthdays, but for me, when September rolled around, I couldn’t have been happier. I do remember, however, that this time of the year was always stressful for my family, as we had so many kids in the house, so picking out new school supplies, getting new haircuts, and purchasing new clothes for the schoolyear always made our household quite chaotic and hectic. We were running around for days at a time, frantically trying to get everything done before we got on the bus for that year’s first day of school.

back to school

As you’re preparing for a new school year at the New York English Academy or if you’re helping others prepare for a new semester at another educational location, here are some helpful hints that will make your transition less stressful and get you excited for a new chapter in your English-learning career! With these tools in mind, you can ensure that your first day back will be calm so you can put your focus and energy on learning and practicing your English in New York City.

  1. Practice

If your schedule includes commuting, packing your lunch, getting up early, or even dressing a bit differently than you’ve been dressing all summer, it might be helpful to start training yourself to get adjusted to this new schedule about a week before your classes start back up again. It’s easy to allow yourself to sleep in and dress as lightly as possible in the summer, but training yourself to operate on a daily school schedule again can be a bit rough the first few days. Instead of waiting until your first day of school to start this new way of life, start waking yourself up earlier each day a week before, and go grocery shopping to get into the habit of packing for lunches again. This will make your first day back at school a breeze so you can instead focus on getting to know your instructors, meeting your new classmates, and of course, most importantly, learning English!

  1. Take advantage of the sales

You may have noticed that retail stores have back-to-school sales and promotions starting in August, promising to save you money on clothes, school supplies, dorm necessities, and even food. While it may be overwhelming to think about going into these stores when hundreds of other people are shopping for the very things you need, it’s helpful to check them out. For me, I always dreaded going into these stores because they would often be packed with fellow back-to-schoolers, but once I checked out my receipt and noticed all the money I saved, I realized a few hours of packed shopping was definitely worth it. Plus, since New York City is an epicenter of culture and language, you might be surprised at what you might find at these spots for tools that might help you transition into English fluently.

  1. Practice your commute

You probably spent lots of your summer sight-seeing, making new friends, and essentially having fun in New York City. You more than likely got used to operating on a very fluid schedule and not really have to worry about making it anywhere on time. But don’t forget that New York City often has many variables that can make you late, even if you leave with plenty of time. Inclement weather, train delays, or even just high traffic can stall any commuter’s morning, so refresh your memory on your commute, and start practicing a few days before the first day of school. Keep in mind that thousands of other people in the city go back to school at the same time that you do, so the commute will be much more congested than in the summer, which as you know, will affect your time of arrival significantly. Be sure to leave early and allow yourself some cushion time to arrive at your destination just in case some variables outside of your control influence your commute.

Category : How to Learn

As you know, New York City is a hub for many cultural elements. With Broadway shows, iconic museums, timeless concert venues, and legendary parks, the Big Apple offers the best of the best when it comes to cultural exposure. Another incredible cultural staple to New York City is its wide array of comedy clubs. Some of the country’s best comedians got their start at comedy in small clubs in the city before graduating to the biggest venues in the city. Comedians like Jerry Seinfeld, Chris Rock, Robin Williams, and Tina Fey all got their start in New York City then eventually made it big as top comedic talent.

comedy show

I’ve always loved comedy; as a kid, I had to beg my parents to let me stay up late to watch MadTV and Saturday Night Live. My favorite movies are the ones that make me laugh until I cry. My favorite books to read are memoirs by my favorite comedians, so I can read their stories about how they made it in this business and the steps they took in order to get there. So when I moved to New York City, I made sure that one of the first things I did was go to an authentic New York City stand-up comedy club. Within two months of being there, I discovered one of my favorite comedians was coming to an iconic location just outside of Times Square. And just like that, I literally made one of my life-long dreams come true.

Here are some of the best comedy clubs in New York City that will not only give you something unique to do, but this is a great chance for you to listen to some comical English—you’ll be laughing so hard, you won’t even realize you’re practicing your translation skills!

  1. Caroline’s on Broadway, Times Square

This is the location where I saw my first comedy show after moving to New York City. I felt like such a giddy kid standing in line, waiting for the usher to scan my ticket. Once I was in my seat, I could hardly contain myself! It’s a very intimate space, so you won’t need to bring your binoculars. They serve food and beverages here, so make sure you bring your appetite! The great part about this venue’s size is that you can hear incredibly well in this space—with this, you’ll be able to understand every word the comedian is saying, so you won’t have to struggle with your mental translation.

  1. Upright Citizens Brigade, West 22nd Street and East Village

I also had to include this one because when I was in middle school, I used to stay up late and watch the sketch comedy television show version of this comedy group. The brigade then moved their act to New York City, and now it’s become known as the comedy club that aspiring funny people go to hopefully get noticed. With its huge success, it branched out into three additional locations. Tremendous talent has come out of this club, like Aziz Ansari and Amy Poehler. This is another great place to put your English translation skills to use, as many comedy “students” practice in this club to get used to the sensation of performing live, so you can be sure that they deliver their lines clearly, making it easier on you!

  1. Gotham Comedy Club, West 23rd Street

This is another one of my favorites, as this location is also very intimate, making it easy for you to truly feel “a part” of the show. With names like Jim Gaffigan, Judd Apatow, and Craig Robinson, you can be sure that this venue will surely deliver in endless laughs. Also, keep in mind that comedians will often engage the audience, especially if you’re sitting within the first two front rows. So depending on if this is something that you think would be cool, keep that in mind when choosing your seat! This is also the perfect opportunity to understand English jokes and slang, as these comedians will often reference current lingo and phrases, so pay attention to their lines so you can reuse them yourself the next time you’re putting your English to use!

Category : New York