New York English Academy Rookie blog

For lots of English language learners, getting a high score on an English proficiency exam is an important goal. Not only are tests such as the TOEFL or IELTS required for admissions at many American universities, but they are also a great way to measure your English knowledge and set clear study goals. If you were planning to take and English proficiency exam, here are some tips to help you in your studies:

Take an English Class

Taking classes at New York English Academy is a great way to quickly expand your knowledge of English. First, NYEA classes are extremely immersive since they are taught in English and with students from around the world, using English is essential to communicate. Additionally, classes will reinforce grammar basics, making it easier to learn more complicated grammar structures. 

Change Your Smartphone’s Language to English

Many of us use our phones frequently throughout the day, so translating the language to English will increase your exposure without you even realizing it. It may feel strange at first but you’ll be surprised by how quickly you get used to it and how many new words you pick up.

Keep a Journal in English

As you study, an English journal is a great way to track your progress. You can keep a diary, write short stories, or just jot down new words or practice sentences. Writing things down has been proven to make memory more effective so rewriting concepts you struggle with can significantly help.    

Watch English TV

Listening comprehension will also be tested on most English exams, and TV shows and films add an extra element of cultural context that is key to learning a new language. Challenge yourself by watching without subtitles in your native language. If you’re really struggling, turn on subtitles in English to help and improve your reading comprehension.

Did You Know?

Admission into a college in the United States usually requires a high score on tests like TOEFL or IELTS to prove English ability. But thanks to a unique partnership between New York English Academy and Saint Francis College, students who complete Level 4 at NYEA are exempt from the test requirement when applying to SFC. You can read more about our partnership here:

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NYC Art Galleries August 23, 2023

New York City is a treasure trove of artistic and cultural experiences. If you’re craving a blend of classic art, vibrant blooms, and contemporary installations, then check out the spots NYEA students visited: the Salmagundi Club, Macy’s Flower Show, and the NYC Yayoi Kusama exhibitions.

Salmagundi Club

Nestled in the heart of Greenwich Village, the Salmagundi Club is a haven for art aficionados. Established in 1871, this historic club has nurtured countless artists and their creative expressions. Its galleries proudly display a diverse array of artworks, ranging from traditional paintings to innovative sculptures. With a rich history and a dedication to fostering artistic talent, the Salmagundi Club is a must-visit destination for those seeking to connect with the city’s artistic legacy.

Macy’s Flower Show

Springtime in New York wouldn’t be complete without the Macy’s Flower Show. Every year, this iconic department store transforms its space into a floral wonderland, delighting visitors with an explosion of colors and scents. As you stroll through the enchanting displays, botanical realms awaken your senses and remind you of the beauty of nature. From towering arrangements to intricate floral sculptures, the Macy’s Flower Show is a true celebration of the season’s rejuvenation.

Yayoi Kusama 

For those seeking contemporary art that challenges boundaries, the NYC Yayoi Kusama exhibitions are a dream come true. Yayoi Kusama, the renowned Japanese artist, is known for her mesmerizing installations that often feature her signature polka dots and mirrors. Her immersive artworks create spaces that blur the lines between reality and fantasy, inviting viewers to explore their own perceptions. As you step into Kusama’s world, prepare to be dazzled by the infinite possibilities of art and imagination.

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NYEA Field Trips: Museums August 14, 2023

Field trips have always been a part of curriculum at New York English Academy. When living abroad, visiting museums is a great way to learn about the history or culture of your home away from home. Museums are also a great way to break the ice with classmates and practice using English outside of the classroom. Here are some of the museums NYEA students have visited together:

The Metropolitan Museum of Art (The Met):

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, often simply referred to as The Met, stands as one of the world’s most renowned and comprehensive art institutions. It boasts a vast collection spanning over 5,000 years of human creativity and culture. The museum offers a captivating journey through art, history, and diverse civilizations. From ancient artifacts to modern masterpieces, The Met invites visitors to explore the depths of artistic expression across various mediums and periods.

The Met Cloisters:

Located in Fort Tryon Park, The Met Cloisters is a unique extension of The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Devoted to the art and architecture of medieval Europe, this enchanting museum transports visitors to a different era. Designed to resemble a medieval monastery, The Met Cloisters showcases an exquisite collection of religious artifacts, illuminated manuscripts, sculptures, and decorative arts. Its stunning gardens and architectural elements create an immersive experience that evokes the spiritual and artistic essence of the Middle Ages.

South Street Seaport Museum:

The South Street Seaport Museum, situated in the historic heart of lower Manhattan, pays tribute to New York City’s maritime heritage. Offering a glimpse into the city’s seafaring past, the museum highlights the role of the bustling harbor in shaping the city’s identity. Visitors can explore maritime artifacts, historic ships, and engaging exhibitions that capture the tales of immigration, trade, and naval prowess. With its picturesque waterfront location, visitors can also view a variety of ships at the pier.

Staten Island Museum:

The Staten Island Museum serves as a cultural hub, dedicated to celebrating the diverse heritage and natural history of Staten Island, one of New York City’s five boroughs. Through a blend of art, science, and history, the museum offers a window into the island’s evolution from its Indigenous roots to its contemporary urban landscape. Visitors can engage with a wide range of exhibits, including artworks, artifacts, and interactive displays that shed light on the island’s environment, culture, and community.

Keep a lookout for our future post about art galleries and exhibitions that New York English Academy students have visited. 

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Things to Try This August August 3, 2023

Visit the Montauk Lighthouse & Sag Harbor 

MTA Away runs a variety of trips through MetroNorth and Long Island Railroad. Take a trip to Montauk, the ultimate seaside community located at the tip of Long Island, without the stress of a long drive, traffic or planning your day. After your train pulls into the station, you will board a bus to “the End”, making stops at Montauk Village and the Montauk Point Lighthouse. The Montauk Point Lighthouse was the first lighthouse in New York State and is one of the oldest active lighthouses in the U.S. today. Climb to the top or stay at the ground level and explore the gift shop, museum, and surroundings in Montauk Point State Park. Then, head to the heart of the Hamptons, Sag Harbor, for a quaint escape. Explore all the sights this historically rich port has to offer, from beaches and nature preserves to museums, vintage shops, and fine dining.

Find a Street Fair

New York City has over 100 street fairs and festivals between April and October. Below are a list of those street fairs occurring throughout the Spring, Summer, and Fall of 2023. Unless otherwise noted, these festivals are free to attend and all events are held rain or shine. You can use this link to find a street fair in your borough. This list will be updated throughout the spring and summer, so make sure to check back!

Free Kayaking

Brooklyn Bridge Park Boathouse is bringing their kayaks out for visitors to enjoy the simple pleasure of kayaking, for free, with breathtaking views of the skyline. Weather permitting, the boathouse will offer free sessions from Pier 2 on Wednesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays & Sundays starting May 31st through the end of September. You don’t need any prior kayaking experience to take one out for a spin on the water, but they do recommend wearing water-friendly clothes as your feet and seat may get a bit wet. 

Picnic by Waterfalls in Central Park

Central Park contains a few different kinds of environments within its great expanse, such as large grassy fields like the Great Meadow, woodsy trails in the Ramble, a stunning lake at the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir, and even a medieval castle! What many New Yorkers may not know is that Central Park contains a hidden oasis of mini-waterfalls. Tucked away in the Ravine, the stream valley section of the North Woods that spans 40 acres at the top of the Park has at least five different waterfalls. Charming stone bridges round out the scene, and it’s especially perfect during this time because the area is never very crowded.

Take a Summer Bike Ride

Even if you don’t have your own bike, Citibike is an easy and affordable way to get around the city while exercising and spending time outdoors. One of the most recommended bike routes in NYC is West Side Highway/Hudson River Greenway! The Hudson River Greenway spans most of the West Side of Manhattan starting uptown at Inwood Hill Park and ending at Battery Park. You can join it wherever, but some highlights include the mighty Intrepid at 46th St. and Freedom Tower and 9/11 Memorial down at the final portion. At the very end, you’ll be able to take in views of the Statue of Liberty. 

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Taking classes at New York English Academy is an excellent way to learn English quickly. We have multiple class schedules to accommodate different needs and classes are taught in English, so they are very immersive. However, if your looking to improve your English outside of the classroom, here are some tips:

Practice All Language Skills

NYEA classes cover reading, writing, listening, and speaking, so it’s important to practice all of these skills when practicing alone. To practice reading, try an English book or keep an English journal to practice writing. English music or podcasts can help improve listening skills and recording yourself speaking English can help perfect your pronunciation!

Create a Study Schedule

Studying doesn’t mean you have to sit in the library for hours a day. When it comes to learning English, consistency is key. Studying for as little as 30 minutes everyday can significantly help improve your skills. You don’t have to study all at once either. If finding time to study is overwhelming, try breaking up your study time into smaller sections, such as 10 minutes before class, 10 mins on your commute home, and 10 minutes before bed. Even if you only have 5 minutes, anything is better than nothing.

Build Your Vocabulary

Enhance your vocabulary by learning new words and phrases regularly. Keep a vocabulary journal and write down new words or words you hear often. You can practice new vocabulary by writing practice sentences or conversations.

Use a Variety of Resources

Utilizing different learning materials will expose you to diverse content and help you grasp different aspects of the language. Materials include textbooks, online resources, podcasts, videos, and language learning apps.

Review and Revise

Regularly reviewing what you’ve learned helps reinforce your knowledge. Set aside time to revise previous lessons, vocabulary, and grammar concepts. Spaced repetition techniques can be helpful for long-term retention.

We hope that you find these techniques helpful! Remember, consistency and dedication are key to improving your English skills. Keep practicing, be patient with yourself, and don’t be afraid to make mistakes—it’s all part of the learning process. 

Good luck!

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Summer has arrived in the bustling city of New York, students at New York English Academy are eagerly preparing for some well-deserved sunshine. In this blog post, we will delve into the diverse plans and aspirations of NYC students, showcasing the experiences they are looking forward to this summer.

Travel Plans

My fabulous summer plans are to travel to Brazil to see my family. My sister in Brazil just had a baby, so I’m very excited to meet my niece for the first time! It will not be summer in Brazil, but the good thing is it is always hot there. I’m saving money to take my mother to Fortaleza because it is my mother’s dream city. I miss my parents very much, but they know I’m here because it is my dream. I hope to buy the tickets next month. I will stay in Brazil for two weeks to see all my family and friends. – Amanda, Brazil

Summer is my favorite time of the year. I always plan some kind of trip to see and try something new and exciting. My friend and I want to go to Disney World in Orlando, Florida at the end of June for two days. I am looking forward to visiting this interesting place and having a lot of fun. After that, we are going to rent a car and go to Siesta Key for another two days. There are very beautiful white sand beaches there. I hope we will have a wonderful time on this trip. – Irina, Russia

This summer I will visit Italy, for the first time, for ten days with my cousin. We will go to Rome for five days to visit the cathedrals and museums and take lots of pictures. Then we will go to Venice for five days to visit the city by water taxi. We will go to restaurants to eat Italian food and taste Italian wine. We will surely go shopping. – Cladia, Republic of Congo

We are going to visit my mother-in-law in Chicago during the summer. We don’t have an exact plan of what to do yet, but it will be a nice time for all of us. – Kanna, Japan

Catching Up on Studies

I like the sea better than the mountains. In the summer, I will go to the sea near my house in Japan, so I need to buy a new swimsuit. I also must study hard for the Common Test for University Admissions. – Yuqian, China

I want to spend time with my family and friends and go for a road trip with my friends. I want to relax at the beach and plan picnics with my family. I want to learn the Swedish language also. – Farwa, Pakistan

I am planning to study this summer since I have just moved to New York. However, I already have plans for weekends, such as riding a bicycle with Uncle Jorge and attending Zumba class twice a week with Aunt Claribel. I’m ready to have fun with them and improve my English. – Rossibel, El Salvador

This summer, I am going to continue studying English in New York. Learning English at NYEA will help me a lot to get into college next year. I will also probably go to the beach to swim because I don’t have a pool, and it will be very hot. When I have time, I would also like to meet new people and make new friends at parties, festivals, and exhibitions. – Romina, Uruguay

A Day at the Beach

I want to go to Miami this summer. I like swimming, the beach, sand, and cold beer. I heard there are good parties there, so I want to go there and swim and explore the city during the day. Then, when the sun goes down, I want to party! – Erkan, Turkey

This is my first summer in New York, and I am going to enjoy it a lot. My friends and I have plans to visit several beaches in New York like Rockaway Beach, Coney Island, and Ditch Plains Beach in Montauk. I hope to visit other beaches, too. We are also planning to go to parties on weekends in the city, and visit some nearby tourist places like Philadelphia, PA, and some cities in New Jersey. It will be a great summer for us. – Sonia, Ecuador

Summer is one of my favorite times of the year, so I look forward to spending lots of days at the beach, soaking in salt water, and getting tan lines that remind me of Brazil. I’m also planning to run my first half marathon within the next few months, so my summer is going to consist of beach days after a long training run. – Emma, Brazil

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In June of 2021, President Joe Biden signed legislation to make Juneteenth a federal holiday. However, Juneteenth’s history goes back over 150 years. 

The History of Juneteenth

Also called Freedom Day or Emancipation Day, Juneteenth celebrates the emancipation of African Americans who were enslaved by the United States. Although the emancipation proclamation was signed almost two and a half years earlier, the news of this important decision didn’t reach Texas until June 19th, 1865. Now, Juneteenth is celebrated annually on June 19th and has become a time for celebration. National interest in Juneteenth grew in 2020, as the Black Lives Matter movement led protests across the country in response to police violence against black Americans. 

In the early days of Juneteenth celebrations, black families would travel to Galveston, Texas as an annual pilgrimage. In 1865, the Union general arrived in Galveston to announce the conclusion of the Civil War and freedom of all slaves. Today, some families celebrate by hosting gatherings and preparing food, but larger cities such as Atlanta and Washington hold large events such as parades and festivals. Texas became the first state to make Juneteenth a holiday in 1980. The House of Representatives passed a bill to make Juneteenth a nationwide holiday and it was signed into a law on June 17, 2021.  

Celebrating Juneteenth in NYC

Juneteenth is a joyous holiday and there will be many exciting events in NYC from June 16th through June 19th. These events also give attendees great opportunities to learn about black history and culture. Here are some events that are free to attend:

  1. The Lincoln Center will host two events for Juneteenth on June 18th. “To a Garden Luxuriously Verdant (Enameled with Countless Flowerings)” begins at 7pm with a multi-genre, full campus Juneteenth celebration. Their Juneteenth dance party begins at 9pm and is a silent disco of reimagined gospel music by DJ Rimarkable.
  2. Juneteenth at Seneca Village begins at 10am on Saturday, June 17th offers an opportunity to not only consider the origins and meaning of this day, but to reflect on Seneca Village, a predominately African-American community that existed before New York City created Central Park and long before we celebrated Juneteenth. This event is family friendly and activities include crafts, dance and yoga. 
  3. The Juneteenth Food Festival takes place at the Weeksville Heritage Center in Brooklyn on June 17th and 18th and is hosted by Black-Owned Brooklyn. Dine around from 29 Black food vendors offering African American fare traditional to the holiday, as well as flavors from regions of Africa and the Caribbean.
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It’s officially summer in NYC! Let’s look at some ways to enjoy the sunny weather while exploring the city.

National Donut Day

Even though National Donut Day was June 2nd, it’s never too late to celebrate.  Perfect with a cup of coffee, donuts in New York can range from a classic glazed from a street vendor to experimental pastries from unique bakeries. If you love a sweet treat, check out this list of recommended NYC donut shops:

Play a Game of Pickleball

Pickleball is a great summer game. The rules are simple and it can be played by all age groups, making it a fun friend or family activity. Combining elements of badminton, tennis, and ping pong, pickleball can be played indoors and outdoors on a tennis net. It’s played with a paddle and a plastic ball with holes. 14 new pickleball courts just opened in Central Park, so if you’re interested in picking up a new sport you can learn more on the official USA Pickleball website:

Visit the Astoria Carnival

The Astoria Carnival is returning this upcoming weekend! From June 7th to June 11th, Astoria Park parking lot will be home to an exciting carnival. Attendees can ride roller coasters, play games for prizes and enjoy indulgent fair foods, like funnel cake and fried Oreos. The festivities begin at 4pm and end around midnight so there’s plenty of time to check it out!

Pride March

June is Pride Month in the United States. In memory of the Stonewall riots of 1969, Pride Month is dedicated to celebration and commemoration of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender pride. The Stonewall riots were a series of gay liberation protests that started here, in New York’s West Village neighborhood. The March, often called the Pride Parade, will begin at noon on Sunday, June 25th from 25th Street and 5th Avenue. Pride is for LGBTQ+ persons and allies alike so have fun, express yourself, and remember to treat everyone with respect!

Picnic in Central Park

Central Park is one of New York’s most iconic locations. One way to enjoy it this summer is to organize a picnic! Whether you prefer a grassy meadow or some shade near water, Central Park has a wide variety of picnic locations. You can find some suggestions at the link below, as well as suggestions for picnic foods for sale in the area:

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For the first time since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, New York English Academy recently hosted an international food party! For this event, students, teachers and faculty came together for an afternoon of food and fun.  Starting at 11 am, Friday students began arranging their dishes in the break room. Since we had such an abundant spread, the neighboring classroom was converted into a dessert buffet! The food shared was delicious and diverse, with options like Indian samosas, Italian ravioli, beef and cheese empanadas, and yuca fries. Desserts were just as exciting. Students had brought Tango, a snack cake from Peru, and baklava, a flaky pastry common in Turkish, Iranian and Arab cuisines. We had a fair share of American staples as well, such as New York pizza and cupcakes. Food parties are not only delicious fun, but also a great way to learn about other countries and cultures. Students were excited to share their home country’s food just as their classmates were excited to try it and learn more. A benefit of studying with classmates from around the world is using English as a common language. This way, students get more conversation practice and strengthen their skills and confidence. The expression “Teamwork makes the dream work” was especially true when it came to cleaning up. Everyone did their part to make sure no trash was left in the break room and no food had to be thrown away! Students and teachers instead took home leftovers from around the world. NYEA’s first party of 2023 was a great success and we cannot wait to make it a tradition.

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Visit Outdoor Art Around the City

Seeing art in NYC is not limited to museums. The city is full of free outdoor art across all 5 boroughs. From sculpture to murals, there is something for everyone! In Manhattan, well-known spots like the High Line and Central Park are great places to view sculptures and mosaics while taking a walk. In Brooklyn, there is Cadman Plaza and Socrates Sculpture Park in Queens. For art recommendations, read through the article here:

Try New Foods at the 9th Ave International Food Festival

The 9th Avenue Food Festival is one of New York’s largest and oldest traditions, and it’s a vibrant celebration of cultural diversity through food. The fair offers both traditional festival treats like zeppolis, mozzarepas, funnel cakes, egg creams, and more fabulous food you won’t see at any other festival. Here you’ll also find Argentinian, Brazilian, Cajun, Cuban, Dominican, Ethiopian, Greek, Haitian, Irish, Moroccan, Ukrainian, and many other kinds of cuisine. The festival will be running May 20th and 21st. 

Rent a Bike 

Unlimited Biking opened its doors in 2010 in New York City and believe that the best way to experience a city like a local is by bike! With locations near various NYC landmarks such as Central Park and the Brooklyn Bridge. Renters can travel through the city and engage the local community on a guided or self-guided bike ride. Unlimited Biking delivers a unique sightseeing opportunity for families, couples, friends, and solo travelers. Find out more here:

Celebrate National Burger Day

International Burger Day is celebrated on May 28 annually. Burgers are one of the most popular foods in the world as they are easy to make, inexpensive, and tasty. To celebrate, try visiting a local burger spot in your neighborhood or test an interesting burger recipe!

See the 17th Annual Dance Parade

New York’s beloved and joyous Dance Parade returns to the streets Saturday May 20, 2023 celebrating its 17th year with 10,000 dancers featuring over 100 unique styles of dance, live bands, and DJs. Over 100 unique styles of dance will perform down Avenue of Americas, parade across West 8th Street, perform before the Grand Stand at St. Marks Place before reaching Tompkins Square Park.

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