New York English Academy Rookie blog

Tourists to New York City make Central Park one of their must-see stops.  Most visitors, however, see only the southern half of the park.  PC TECH students had the opportunity to visit the very northern section of Central Park, with a walk around the Haarlem Meer (lake) and a tour of the Conservatory Garden at its best in the Spring.


The role-plays that the students are scripting this week deal with etiquette in public settings.  Some examples:

From Bo, a restaurant situation:

Customer 1:  Hello!  How are you doing?   I…  (She has started talking too loudly on her phone.)

Customer 2:   Excuse me!  Excuse…!  Miss?

Customer 1:   What?

Customer 2:   Can you talk quietly please?

Customer 1:  Sorry, I wasn’t talking to you.  Don’t pay any attention to me.

Customer 2:  Yes, I wasn’t talking with you but I could hear what you said.  I don’t want to know about you.  Nobody cares!

Customer 1:  So What?  This is a restaurant.  Everybody can come and chat.

Customer 2:   Yes, you are right, but when you talk loudly, it bothers others.  You should be more polite.  Isn’t that right?

Customer 1:   Ummm…I’m so sorry about that.


From Jean, a student from France:

JA:  Hi, I’m sorry…Can I sit near you?

            Sandra:  Hmmm.  Sure, why not?

            JA:  Nice to meet you.  My name is JA.

            Sandra:  Nice to meet you, too.  My name is Sandra. 

JA:  Do you want [anything to drink]?

Sandra:  Oh, thank you, JA.  Yes, a martini.

JA:  Great!  Two martinis please.

Sandra:  Where are you from?  Your English is strange.

JA:  Hey, I’m from Paris.

Sandra:  Oh my gosh!  That is the most beautiful city in the world.  I’ve never been in Paris.  It’s my dream.

JA:  Me, I love NYC… but take my number, if you want.

Sandra:  You can give me your number when your English is better….

JA:  Ah, NYC!

 PC TECH: English Language School in New York City

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Composing a role-play script can be an effective method of practicing informal writing and conversation.

Here are a couple of examples from our “mini-Broadway”:

From Kaori, an experience on a packed train:

K:  Oh, this is rush hour.

J:   Yes, make sure you hold on to the pole.

K:   I know, but look at the pole.  The woman is leaning on the pole with her whole body.  There is no space for my hand.

J:    Excuse me.

W:  …(listening to loud music)

J:    Excuse me!!

W:  What?

K:   May I hold [on to] the pole?

W:  No!  I paid for my ticket [MetroCard].  I can do whatever I want!

J:   But Miss, she bought a ticket too.  She is going to fall down.

W:  Good point.  I will move over.

K:   Thank you; could you also turn your music down?  I can hear your headphones.

W:  Sorry, I can’t hear you anymore!


From Lisa:

N:   Hi Lisa!  How was your day?

L:   Not good.  I feel nervous and angry.

N:   Why?  What happened?

L:   I quarreled with a rude woman today at my doctor’s waiting room.

N:  Why?

L:   She entered the doctor’s studio before me.  But I was first.

N:   Didn’t you have an appointment?

L:   No, my doctor doesn’t take any appointments.  You can go to his office when you want.

N:   Perhaps she didn’t know that you [had] arrived [previously].

L:    No, absolutely!  When she arrived, I said that I was the last one in the line.  But when the doctor called [for] the next one, she entered his studio before me and she stayed inside for one hour!  I’m so angry!

 PC TECH: English Language School in New York City

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One of America’s greatest and most popular presidents was born on East 20th Street in New York City.  “Teddy,” as he came to be affectionately known, was in very poor health as a child.  However, he was determined to pursue a vigorous life and he gradually grew strong and vibrant.

PC TECH students took a free tour of his birthplace in Lower Manhattan to learn more about this fascinating politician.

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Students have recently written down their observations about tastes in clothing styles for younger and older people.  Here are some excerpts:

From TK:

Clothes are one of the factors for surviving in this world.  So it is very important that we use our time [wisely] until the last day in this world.

Clothes are just one thing that cover a body, so they’re very important.  But when we die, clothes will not be important anymore.

From Jean:

…But I like all styles, especially in NYC.  Later on, I would like to dress in very glamorous styles.

…It feels weird when I see older people dressing like the young.

From Aya:

I am writing about “cosplayers.”  Cosplayers are people who wear cartoon characters’ costumes.  Many Japanese young people do that; some Americans also.  Many older people don’t like this very much.  [They] ask me, “Why do you do this?”  But I feel that it’s fun.  We just don’t understand each other.

PC TECH: English Language School in New York City


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The Brooklyn Museum April 12, 2013

On this rainy and chilly April day, students from PC TECH found that the Brooklyn Museum is comfortable and fascinating place to visit.  This beautiful building houses many new exhibits and an extensive permanent collection.


Students often ask about the difference between maybe, may, and might.

Here are some examples of correct usage:

It might rain tomorrow.  Do you have an umbrella.

Maybe my friends will meet me for dinner this evening.

After I finish my master’s degree, I may take a vacation before looking for a job.


For a writing assignment, students were asked to compose imaginary emails to be sent to newspapers.  Here are excerpts from some interesting examples:

From TK:

People who live in New York  have to race in order to spend their lives in this city.  Transportation is very important because everyone needs to shrink time to do anything, but the subway in New York runs slowly and I have to wait a long time.

From Kaori:

A lot of times, I see people smoking and walking.  I don’t think this is good behavior.

Imagine what would happen if a child walked into a cigarette.  It could burn or blind the child.  [Cigarette users] blow smoke in everyone’s face.  They throw away the butts on the sidewalk.

From Lisa:

I love this city.  I love the traffic jams, the crowds in the streets, the subway, the yellow taxis, and the skyline.  But there is one thing that I really hate: the noise of the horns.  People who are driving use their horns without a real reason, sometimes only because the traffic light is red!  …I think that the police have to be more severe and fine the drivers.

 PC TECH: English Language School in New York City

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On a beautiful warm and sunny April day, students from PC TECH visited the Brooklyn Botanic Garden at a time when Japanese Cherry trees are beginning to blossom.  There was a little disappointment that most of the trees had not yet shown their pink and white flowers, but other plants more than made up for the cherry trees with their own displays.


On a very different topic, Miream recently wrote about her friend as a crime victim:

A year ago in [my country], my friend and I went to a restaurant at nightfall.  We sat down outside and ordered some food.  My friend left her handbag next to her seat.  After the food was served and we were enjoying our dinner, I saw a man watching us.  Suddenly the man picked up my friend’s handbag and then everything happened so fast.

After we realized what had happened, we hurried to run down the robber but it was too late.  The robber jumped on a motorcycle and sped away.  We wanted the restaurant to help us, but they would take no responsibility.  We thought someone in the restaurant had been helping the robber.  It was hard to see the handbag because the restaurant had a fence or partition.  If someone had not told the robber, it would have been impossible to know where the handbag was.  We reported the theft to the police but they could not do anything because we didn’t have any evidence.

PC TECH: English Language School in New York City

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Across the East River from Manhattan, where PC TECH is located on Forty-Second Street, is the Queens neighborhood of Long Island City.  Near the center of this relatively peaceful section of the city is perhaps one of the most unusual art galleries in the world.

This institution’s name “5Pointz” refers to the five boroughs of New York City, the most populous city in the United States and a center of the various arts: painting, sculpture, music, dance, architecture, and more.  However, this “museum” is dedicated to the spray-can art known as graffiti.   As in many cities around the world, graffiti has been a quality-of-life annoyance, often a petty crime.  This style of street expression used to be prevalent all through New York.  However, police attention and security cameras have discouraged the unauthorized painting and tagging of just about any writable surface.

An abandoned warehouse in Long Island City is the “canvas” for actual graffiti artists from around the world to demonstrate their artistic talents.  There is no admission fee since there is no admission:  only the outsides of the walls are decorated.

This venue was never meant to be permanent.  In the near future, this building will be replaced by a multi-story residence.  Perhaps another lonely, unused building with large walls can be found somewhere in the five boroughs and spray-can artists can again showcase their work.

PC TECH: English Language School in New York City

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High Places In NYC April 3, 2013

Plan on visiting New York City in 2015 and you will be able to visit the top of One World Trade Center, soon to be the tallest building in the Americas.  For the time being, our PC TECH students can visit the tops of the Empire State Building and Rockefeller Center’s “Top of the Rock.

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The topic of a recent writing assignment focused in counterfeit products, a problem in many countries.  Bo writes about her own experiences while shopping for genuine goods, not knock-offs:

 Counterfeit products are those that look like the real thing, but differ in price and quality.  I have seen many counterfeit items; for example, bags, shoes, clothes, even things you can eat.  It is difficult to distinguish them when I see them for just a short time.  They are made [to resemble] the original products, but there are little details like logos or names.

Everything [fake] is cheaper and of poorer quality than the originals.  One of my friends used to buy cosmetics of the Internet.  She didn’t know that the cosmetics were fake.  She saw that everything looked the same as the real cosmetics, but they were cheaper so she decided to buy [one of] them.  But after she used it just a few times, she knew that the product was fake because it changed color to something different from the real thing.

PC TECH: English Language School in New York City

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