New York City Your Best Tool for Learning English

As we just hit the six-month mark of living in a pandemic, I’ve been reflecting a lot lately on how much has changed in this short period. I joke with my coworkers how this whole journey has essentially felt like one long day, almost as if time simply doesn’t exist anymore. The punctuations of our days have been muted, and even my levels of productivity often feel lower than I remember. I live in a studio here in Manhattan, which means that my working space is in the same space as where I sleep, eat, and relax (at least try to). This has affected my outlook on my routines for sure, as the lines of my professional life have blurred with those of my personal life and vice versa. There are advantages to this, and of course, disadvantages.

No one knew that we would still be “in this” for this long. And once we all realized that this pandemic was not going to be short-term, I think we’ve all braced ourselves for the realities of our future and what those look like. A lot of my friends and colleagues have left the city for the freedom and open spaces of suburbia where their families live. I’ve chosen to stick around – I love being in the city, no matter how different or eerie it feels. I’m proud of how resilient us New Yorkers have been, and I’m even more proud at how we went from being the epicenter of the virus just months ago to the model of protocol and following safety procedures.

As our days in New York City continue, and as we face a very uncertain fall and winter due to flu season and colder temperatures, we still have plenty to look forward to here in the Big Apple. As long as we continue to practice our physical distancing and wearing a mask and simply just using our heads, we can still enjoy this amazing city to best of our abilities. And if you’re looking for ways to keep your English skills fresh and your practices sharp, there are still a ton of ways to put all of that to use as you enjoy New York City.

1. Stay fit and focused

As New Yorkers, we actually have quite a few options at our fingertips when it comes to staying active and in shape. When my gym closed in March, I had to adapt to new practices with what I had in my apartment – and finding the motivation was part of that new habit, too! On the warmer days, I did my best to do runs outside by the river or through parks just to get a change of scenery. It wasn’t awesome wearing a mask the whole time, but I got used to it. I also downloaded a ton of fitness apps to keep me motivated by activating reminders and establishing routine, which was super helpful. Now that gyms are open in the city but with heavy restrictions, you might be wondering what’s best for you. For me, I opted to continue down my own practices – not only has this helped me save money, but I also ultimately feel that it’s safer no matter what. At the end of the day, it’s up to you, but be sure to think about safety as one of your primary thought processes. If you’re looking for ways to keep you English practice fresh, so many of these apps are interactive, so you’ll be sure to keep your listening and comprehending skills sharp.

2. Outdoor and indoor dining

As our weather changes in the coming months, we’ll start to see some changes around how we’re operating both indoors and outdoors for dining. I keep seeing the dates change here, but more than anything, I recommend approaching the coming months with an open and flexible mind. So much of what we do next needs to be reactive so that we know how to move forward as safely as possible. In the meantime, enjoy the outdoor dining while we still have it, and if the day comes when we can move indoors, continue to use your best instincts to protect yourself and those around you. As always, interacting with the menus and the waitstaff is the best way to keep your English skills practiced and up-to-speed. Be sure to also support your local businesses by ordering take-out while you’re quarantining – they need our help, too!

Category : Stay in New York

As we’re still facing the realities of living in a pandemic, our regular routines and daily lives have shifted significantly. While we’re certainly in a better place compared to March and April, we continue to hear advisement around staying safe and the continuation of physical distancing and slow advancements. We’ve learned a lot over the past couple of months, and we’ll continue to learn more as our scientists and researchers work on a vaccine and develop learnings so that we can treat this virus and move forward stronger than ever.

Over the past couple of years, I’ve talked to you all about the benefits of living in New York City while learning English. There truly is no better place to be to immerse yourself in hundreds of other cultures and languages, not to mention – it’s the best city in the world!

Lately, I’ve shifted my tone to cater more to the immediate needs of living in New York City during this COVID-19 pandemic. While I still think New York City is the greatest place in the world, I understand that our tried-and-true methods that we’ve discussed over the years may not be as applicable. My love for the Big Apple has probably even grown after watching this great city overcome what once was the epicenter of this horrible situation into a place that is now safe and compliant to the orders of our administration.

According to the experts, we have a long way to go until we can go back to what we consider “normal.” And even then, our “normal” may be radically different than what we were used to just in January of this year. In any event, we must continue to be safe and practice our physical distancing so that we can continue on this positive trajectory.

For those of you that came to New York City to practice your English and are now currently experiencing this new life in the middle of a pandemic, we can still look to the fall and predict the best ways you can utilize your English practice in real life – without sacrificing your safety or the safety of those around you.

1. Take advantage of outdoor dining

While outdoor dining will start to slow down as the months get cooler, take advantage of this option as much as you can in the beginning of the fall. This is one of the best things to happen to New York City since the start of the pandemic, as businesses can open their doors again, the employees can start making their money again, and your friends and neighbors can enjoy the outdoor space and see the faces of their loved ones – with safety of course! This is a great time to utilize your English reading skills from the menu, practice your conversations with the waitstaff, and engage with your friends while enjoying a meal out. I always say that the best practice comes from real-world experience, so take advantage of this luxury while you can!

2. Did I mention the parks?

The parks in New York City are one of the greatest commodities that this island has to offer. Not only do you get the amazing greenery and scenery, but parks also give you the easy capability of physical distancing that you need to stay safe. Bring a large blanket, a few snacks, and be conscious of your surroundings. Everyone else around you should be practicing physical distancing as well, so you likely won’t have to ask anyone to move away. Enjoy the last remaining comfortable months outdoors, and bring a board game or a deck of cards and see how you can incorporate some English skills into it. Not only will you have fun in the fresh air, but you’ll be putting your skills to use in real time with a few laughs.

3. Simply take a walk

This is a practice that even I need to do more of – so many of us are used to being indoors so much now that even just getting outside for a walk can seem like a treat! When you’re out walking, see how well you comprehend the street signs and business names. When you pass restaurants, check out the menus they paste on the windows. Not only will you get out of your indoor space that’s probably driving you wild, but you’ll get some fresh air and get your English reading skills some action.

Category : Stay in New York