New York English Academy Rookie blog

More about Favorite Foods October 30, 2013

PC TECH students have been describing their favorite foods.

Wilson from Colombia has a wide range of tastes:

My favorite food is beef, but I don’t have a problem with pork, chicken, fish with rice, potatoes, and salad.

I also love pasta, [like] spaghetti and lasagna.  Other favorite foods are soups of all kinds, but especially the ajiaca santafereña, a typical soup in my country and in my city, Bogotá.

I see in the United States many varieties of foods, for the multicultural class of citizens who make up this society.  [It is easy to] get street food such as hot dogs, Mexican food, and many varieties of sandwiches; delicious coffee in the morning, accompanied by cheese-and-egg sandwiches; [and] all kinds of burgers.  If the preference is vegetarian, [these foods are] also found on the menus of any restaurant.  [To be honest] when I was young, I did not like vegetables, but now they are [some of] my favorite foods.  The only thing I don’t like is too much spice!

As Wilson indicates, there is a great variety of “street food” available in the USA, especially in its largest city, New York.  In the midtown area where PC TECH is located, there are food “wagons” serving food from many cultures, even though these offerings are not exactly what Mother makes at home.

           PC TECH: English Language School in New York City



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English as a craft October 29, 2013

Learning English doesn’t have to be seen as just a task. It can be both Fun and Adventurous.

You could create a Journal. Write in it whatever you want. Even if you don’t understand English all that well, it’s a fun and productive way to practice. Start one!

— Scrapbooking. Scrapbooking is awesome! Collect some of your favorite pictures and works of art & write about them. Write. Write. Write. Write about your time in New York City….or write about your shoes, but just write.

Fun Games:

Trivia is a wonderful game to play. The game is based on logic, grammar and rhetoric. You’re sure to gain some knowledge. Along with a better understanding of English. 🙂

Scrabble is another cool game. Very insightful in it’s own right. A fun letter game that transforms into words, that will both, test and challenge your English knowledge. Try it!

Learn via online. When browsing the web, you can find lots of interesting things. Here is a link to couple of websites where you can apply your English skills for Free.


PC TECH: English Language School in New York City

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Delicious Writing October 25, 2013

PC TECH students have been writing about their favorite foods.

Takuma from Japan has had a change of taste since his childhood:

Of course my favorite food is Japanese [cuisine] such as simmered seaweed, grilled fish, riceballs…oh, I can’t write everything about my favorite foods!

But my favorite is my mother’s cooking.  She’s such a good cook.  Since I left Japan, I have really missed her cooking.  I really want to tell you about Japanese food because most people think sashimi  is sushi.  Japanese food equals sushi.  I think that’s true.  Sushi is a favorite food of Japan.

Do you know natto?  It’s traditional Japanese soybeans.  When I was a child, I hated it because the taste is so strange and the smell is so bad.  But now it’s [one of my favorite foods].

New York has a lot of Japanese, but they are [mostly] not real.  If you want to try [Japanese food], you should go to Japan.  You would be able to enjoy a different taste and I think it would be a good experience for you.

I love [every kind of food], but I hated mushrooms when I was a child because the texture was so unusual for me.  My mother cooked them well, but I couldn’t eat them.  My mother said, “If you don’t eat it, don’t leave the table!”  I was so scared.

Actually, my hobby is cooking…so now mushrooms are my favorite food!

PC TECH: English Language School in New York City

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Here are a couple of examples of PC TECH students’ written opinions  about video games. 

Wara from Thailand:

If you play for two or three hours, you’ll be all right.  If you play eight hours a day, you have a problem.  As far as creativity goes, it really depends on the person.  I love video games, so maybe this makes me a little biased, but I still come up with plenty of my own ideas and stories.  However, there is also a chance that maybe [many] people gravitate towards games because they are more creative.  They are more willing to accept the sometimes odd concepts and intricate story lines of some game.

One of my friend’s hobbies is designing simple little machines to do tasks.  Guess what he does when he’s not designing them?  Playing video games.  Many of his ideas he may base off things he’s seen in games, but in the end they are very much his own ideas.

Kevin from France:

Among entertainment [options in my] life, video games [are some of my favorites].  In fact I like a challenging game with virtual life, or discovering a lot of stuff in a fantasy world.

When people start to discuss video games, the same topic comes up:  Video games make children violent!

Yes, it could be right that sometimes young people become violent [as a result of video games and can become addicted.  But from my point of view, video games are just entertainment.  I don’t need to take them seriously because I have a lot of things [in like that are] important; I know that I get one life to act [out] as a character in video games.

We just need to have self-control with [these] games.

PC TECH: English Language School in New York City

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Fall in New York City October 22, 2013

Fall is a wonderful time of the year. From the ever changing colors of the leaves, the beautiful weather, to Halloween. There is lots to do in New York City, this fall of 2013.

New York’s Greenwich Halloween parade will take place this year. It has been taking place every Halloween since 1973. Thursday, October 31st, 7pm…start making your costumes! It is one of the most exciting events of the year.

MoMA, which is the Museum of Modern Art will be examining two special artists this season. Mexican painter Diego Rivera being one of them. Most widely known for his amazing murals and marriage to another Mexican artist: Painter Frida Kahlo. This is something definitely worth exploring.

If you haven’t already paid your respects to the 9/11 memorial….it is not too late to do so. Built in honor of the fallen Twin Towers, and those who perished in it. The 9/11 memorial site is also a museum. Visit, and your world’s perspective will be renewed.

Watch the Macy’s Parade balloon’s inflation. Key?: Go the day before the actual parade and witness the balloon airing in person! Watch the gigantic characters come into shape. That’s a pretty unique experience.

101 Things to do this Fall in New York City

PC TECH: English Language School in New York City








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Favorite Games October 18, 2013

 Here are more examples of PC TECH students’ compositions  about their favorite group games (see the previous blog for another). 

 Wara from Thailand:

I liked “Musical Chairs” when I was a kid…but it can be even more fun [for older people].  You can create a song playlist and have one person control the music’s starting and stopping.  (You can use a different song each time.)  For a “flirty” twist, add a rule that – as long as you’re on a chair with your feet off the ground – when the music stops, you’re safe.  This will encourage a whole lot of lap-sitting?  It’s so funny!  When down to the last two players, the chair may be moved as long as the music has stopped before the chair has been touched.

 Souleymane from Burkina Faso:

There are many games I like to play with my friends, but the best for me is Scrabble.  [It] makes me think and it also helps me learn words.

Playing Scrabble is a good way to learn because it makes us share knowledge with other people.  I can ask about some words written by my partner in order to know their meaning.

Sometimes we use a dictionary to check some words, [to be sure of] their real meaning.

           PC TECH: English Language School in New York City

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October 16, 2013


PC TECH students in Level 2 have been writing about group games that they enjoy.  These could be sports or board games or multi-player video games.  Here is an example:


Kevin from France tells us:


There are several games I like to play in a group:  soccer, basketball, etc.  But besides those games I prefer video games.  My favorite game is Call of Duty.  It’s a “shooting” game.  You can play alone, with friends, or online.


There are three different modes:  The first is named “Arcade.”  It’s the story of your character.


The second mode is “Multiplayer.”  In this mode you can play with many friends or strangers everywhere in the world.  This mode requires a good network.


The last mode – and the best for me – is the “Zombie” mode.  It’s a survival mode where you can use a lot of weapons to kill Zombies.


When I was in France, I used to play this game with my friends.  It’s a good game to test your friends; for example, if a Zombie kills you, your friends can save you.  I remember when I played this game that [nobody] saved me because they knew I would be “dead” the next second.


           PC TECH: English Language School in New York City

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English in Art Culture October 15, 2013

English in art culture is usually conveyed into Literature, Poetry, Theatre, Film, and Music….

Famous works of English in Art culture include those of William Shakespeare. He was a poet and playwright. He is regarded as one of the greatest writers of the English language. His works has inspired many. Another famous English writer is Charlotte Bronte. She was a novelist and poet. Who’s famous works include Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights, and Agnes Grey.  Those of you might also be familiar with Jane Austin, and her novel Pride and Prejudice.

English in art culture is immensely universal. Timeless, and iconic. Those who discover such great works of art, surely appreciate the English language even more! It is respected and shared. English in a nutshell, is complex and wonderful. It is widely regarded as having become the global language.

The art culture is growing, evolving, inspiring. And English has lots, if not very much everything to do with it. You can see these amazing works of art in the New York Public Library, The American Museum of Natural History. The Statue of Liberty is one of them. A gift from France. Lady Liberty is a signal of Freedom

Art is everywhere. And New York City is one of the places to experience them.

File:Statue of Liberty 7.jpg

PC TECH: English Language School in New York City

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WHO or WHOM October 11, 2013

When should you use who, and when should you use whom?

Let’s call it contemporary and traditional. We’ll look at each in turn.

Contemporary usage

It’s becoming rare to see whom these days because most of us use who in almost all cases. Let’s face it, whom can sound rather pretentious and stuffy, can’t it? For example:

To whom am I speaking?

Whom am I speaking to?

These sound very formal. Many of us would be more inclined to write or say:

Who am I speaking to?

Nonetheless, there are still a few stock phrases that use whom, even in contemporary English. For example:

To whom it may concern

In almost all other cases, it has become acceptable in contemporary English usage to use who.

Traditional usage

Having said that you can use who in almost all cases, it’s still quite easy to use whom in the traditional fashion.

Consider the following sentence: To who/whom do I send this?

Here’s how to decide whether to use who or whom:

Step 1: Look at the words after who/whom, In this case, they’re: do I send this?
Step 2: Rephrase these words to include he or him: That gives us: Do I send this to he/him?
Step 3: If it sounds better with he, the original sentence should use who. If it sounds better with him, the original sentence should use whom.

So, which sounds better? Do I send this to he? or Do I send this to him?

Well, in this case, him sounds better, so the original sentence uses whom: To whom do I send this?

If you choose to follow this traditional usage, one extra piece of advice is worth noting: It was common not to use whom as the first word in a sentence. Thus, even with traditional usage, you might prefer to write:

Who am I speaking to?

rather than:

Whom am I speaking to?


PC TECH: English Language School in New York City



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Modal auxiliary (“helping”) verbs are very important to learn,  especially for use in conversational English.

Here is the final part of a list of modal verbs you can learn in PC TECH.  You can find the other  lists in previous blogs :

Would helps you make a polite request:  Would you help me with my homework please?

We can also use would – often with rather – when we want to express preference:  I would rather have tea.  I would like to live in Antarctica.

To refer to a repeated past activity, we can use wouldWhen I was a teenager, I would often go to the mall to meet my friends.

Would  (with like) is a polite way to express want:  I would (or I’d) like some pepper on my pizza, please.

Used to express past time, would describes a wish or desire that was unfulfilled:  I would have bought an umbrella, but they were so expensive.

Used to can express repeated past action; often it can be interchanged with wouldI used to go fishing with my father when I was a child.  I would often go fishing….

Shall is infrequently used in American English conversation; it can seem rather formal:  Shall I close the door?

PC TECH: English Language School in New York City

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