New York City Your Best Tool for Learning English

It’s a bit mind-boggling to consider everything we’ve experienced in the past year, as we approach the one-year mark of our lives being completely turned upside down by COVID-19. The impact of the pandemic and how it forced us to change our behaviors, interactions, and thought processes will likely stay with us for the rest of our lives.

There were moments during the pandemic that I had to tell myself to focus on reflection – it was really easy to grow frustrated with being home all the time, and there were days that I was more worried about my social life than the big picture. In those moments, I forced myself to reassess. I had to remind myself that this pandemic will impact our economy for a long time – entire industries were shut down and millions of people lost their jobs. I had to remind myself that people were losing their loved ones to this virus and that the healthcare industry will never be the same. Anytime I found myself thinking about ‘me,’ I had to remind myself to think about ‘we.’ Reflection has been a heavy practice for all of us this past year, and it may have been overwhelming at times. For me, I wanted to share how I’m choosing to reflect as we arrive at the one-year mark – these stories will be with us for the rest of our lives, so I want to be sure that I can process all of those thoughts while we’re still experiencing it.

1. Flexible work situation

I made it a point to express gratitude that not only was I able to keep my job during the pandemic, but I was able to do it from the safety of my own. I didn’t have to commute to go to work, and I didn’t have to expose myself of risk. I was fortunate enough that I could perform my work tasks successfully, and this change wasn’t a direct disruption to my daily life or the quality of my life. Anytime I found myself complaining about working from home, I again recentered my focus to gratitude that I had a job and could do it safely and productively from home.

2. Technology saved us

It was technology that allowed me to perform my work successfully from home. With easy internet connection, innovative devices, and products that helped our teams connect, I recognize that this is what allowed me to perform my work successfully. This very technology allowed me to stay in touch with my loved ones – I had Zoom parties with my friends that were in the city with me, which made me feel connected with them, even if I couldn’t see them in person. I used FaceTime to chat with my family in other states since seeing them over the holidays wasn’t a possibility. While it will never be the same as being in the same room as them, I recognize how this has been a huge game-changer for staying in touch and “seeing” everyone. Additionally, thanks to delivery services, I was able to order groceries, home necessities, and even meals straight to my door, which made my changes of contact even lower. I’m thankful that we have this kind of technology and innovation during this pandemic.

3. We all reassessed together

There is not one person in this world that has not been impacted by this pandemic in some way. There have been very few events or instances that have affected our world as a whole, and as terrible as this experience has been, it’s one that we can all experience together. It helped us reassess how we speak to one another, how we talk to one another, and how we consider others’ circumstances. I have friends and coworkers that have lost loved ones, others that have had to homeschool their kids while still working, and others that have slipped into depressions because of the intensity of living solo in combination with social distancing. As a result, we’ve all become hyper-aware of human impact – we’re giving back and supporting each other. We’re asking our friends and coworkers how they’re holding up. We’re expressing human gratitude a little more.

Any time I find myself slipping into negativity or complaints, I remind myself of the luck I have and my health. I check in with my loved ones, and I ask what I can do that can help. It’ll be some time before we reach recovery, so I suggest that we continue to come together as one, and reflect as often as we can.

Category : Stay in New York

We’re certainly living in unusual times. It seems that every week, there’s a new challenge for us to navigate, a new concern for us to worry about. With all of this constant change, it might be difficult to think about how you can keep practicing your English effectively and also safely. Living in New York City presents additional difficulties since our city is still seeing so much tragedy, and our previous activities have been halted due to so many businesses being shut down due to the realities of the pandemic. As we approach the one-year mark of us living with COVID-19, you might have grown accustomed to certain elements of the change in lifestyle, but you might also be thinking about new and creative ways to keep your English skills sharp in a weird and difficult time. There are a ton of creative ways to keep these juices flowing. Here are few innovative ideas that you can try to make sure your English skills stay strong in a challenging time.

1. Take advantage of YouTube and other video platforms

We’re lucky that we live in a time that is so virtual – it allows us to connect in ways that we’ve never been able to before. Our technology gives us ways to stay in touch with one another, and we have so many amazing platforms that gives us ways to learn as well. If you want to take advantage of these platforms while we’re spending so much more time at home, we’re lucky that we have so many options available. YouTube is one of those platforms that has proven to be a valuable resource for learning. There are tons of helpful videos that can help you practice in practical ways – instructors will give you various tactics to use and direction that is applicable for the real world. There are also TONS of apps that you can use from your phone that will help you interact with others, learn different tactics, and generally just keep your English skills sharp. Might as well take all this extra time at home and put it to good use!

2. Practice your writing skills

One of the best ways to stay fresh is to practice your writing. This could be either just free-writing, like in a journal to keep your thoughts in one place, or it could be creative writing. Write a poem, a short story, or even just coming up with random scenarios. This will help you exercise multiple scenarios and tactics, like dialogue, explaining a setting, or even just getting into the practice of writing in longform English. If you want to take it up a notch, read it aloud to others to get feedback on how you did with your English writing – this will help you better understand what you’re good at and what you need to work on more.

3. Host a Zoom party

They say that the best way to stay fresh with your English skills is to speak it. Schedule a half hour with friends each week over Zoom to just practice speaking English with each other. You’ll hear from your friends how we’ll they’re doing with their practice, and you’ll be able to help each other out if someone’s stuck on a certain word or pronunciation. Your friends will coach you, congratulate you, and help you. Plus, this is a great way to stay in touch with your friends, especially since seeing each other in person isn’t much of a possibility these days!

4. Keep up with music and movies

If you’re like me, you’re spending a lot more time with your TV catching up on shows and movies that you never got around to watching. Come up with a list of movies or TV shows that you’ve always wanted to see, and watch them in English. This is a great method since the actors use language that represents how most people speak English, so it’s a good practice to learn from those shows and movies. And listening to all kinds of music has never been easier, thanks to streaming platforms like Spotify. And now that podcasts are also more available than ever, you’ll be able to tune into any kind of podcast to get used to different accents and word choices in English – plus, you’ll be learning something while you’re listening, so it’s a win-win situation! You won’t run out of any options thanks to our technology these days!

Category : Stay in New York