New York English Academy Rookie blog

A Strong and Powerful Woman August 13, 2014

Tamila, one of PC TECH’s staff, shares her affectionate thoughts about her grandmother:

“Women have always been the strong ones of the world.”

— Coco Chanel.

For many generations the world has been ruled by women. Only we know how much power we have inside.  How strong we are.  In my family, one of the best examples of a strong and powerful woman is my grandmother Rosa.

Remembering all difficult moments in her life that she had been through, I am still wondering how she found enough strength for all this.  My grandmother was born in 1932.  When World War II began, she was only nine years old.  Her father went to war, and after that she never saw him again.  When she was twelve years old, she started work in a hospital.  It was at that time that she met my grandfather. They got married when she was fourteen.  And later she gave birth to four beautiful children.  One of them was my mother.  Everything seemed to be perfect, but my grandfather died in a car accident.  It was a very hard time for Rosa; suddenly she was left alone with four kids.  She was uneducated, so it was impossible for her to find a better job.  Sometimes there were days when they didn’t have anything to eat.  But Rosa never gave up.  Later, with her friends’ help, she finished professional nursing courses, got her license, and opened a small private clinic, which became very busy.  It saved her family.  She had always been a hard worker. But working all day in her clinic, she never forgot about her children.  She gave them all her love and warmth. They grew up as wonderful people.

Now my grandmother is 80 years old.  And she is one of the most energetic people that I have ever seen!  She got married a second time ten years ago.  She exercises every morning, eats healthy food, and takes dance classes.  Looking back on her life, she has no regrets to what she went through. “Sometimes life is hard,” she says, “but you always have to stay strong.” And every time I see how she smiles, I believe her.

Tamila's Grandmother

PC TECH: English Language School in New York City

GREAT NEWS! August 12, 2014

We at PC TECH are happy to report that we have been granted initial accreditation by the Accrediting Commission Council for Continuing Education and Training (ACCET).

ACCET is an independent national accrediting organization founded in 1974 for the purpose of improving continuing education and training. Since 1978 it has been officially recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as a qualified source of higher education evaluation. ACCET requires schools seeking accreditation to adhere to a rigorous set of quality standards in their educational program offerings.


Category : NYEA students

1. When you hail (wave for) a taxi, make sure the cab’s light is on.    Many people wave their hands trying to get a taxi and feel frustrated when so many cabs pass them   by.  If a taxi’s light is on, this means it is available.

2. If you want to go to a Museum in NY, find out when there is a free day.  For example:  The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) is free on Fridays from 4PM to 8PM.


3. A MetroCard (card for transportation) can be used on the subway and on buses.  You can transfer for free from the subway to the bus and from the bus to the subway.

4. If you go to a restaurant, tipping is advised and expected.  At an average restaurant, an 18% tip is suggested.  At a more expensive restaurant or for superior service, you should tip 20%.   People from countries outside of the U.S. are not accustomed to tipping.  Example:

My foreign friend took me to dinner in NYC and did not tip.  The waitress
came over and said to me, “Was something wrong?”  I said “Why?”  She
said, “Well you didn’t leave a tip.”  “Oh,” I said, “that’s because my friend’s
from a foreign country.  I’ll let him know.”

5.  Most celebrities feel very comfortable in NYC because they can come and go without
being fussed over.  It is a good idea if you refrain from staring at or screaming at them,
or running over to them.

PC TECH: English Language School in New York City

The passage below uses several phrasal verbs with “get”  See if you can understand the different meanings of “get” in the passage and then look at the chart for the actual meanings.

Last week I got up and decided to get away from NYC.  There are so many people here
trying to get ahead.  Personally, I’m just trying to get by.  I got in my car
and got out of Manhattan.  I drove out to Montauk, Long Island.  It was a very
long drive and I was pretty tired, but I knew I would soon get over it.  The only
problem was that my car was out of gas.  I had to walk to the nearest gas station.
These things happen when you travel, and I knew I could get through it.

Phrasal Verb Meaning Example
To get about (or around) To be socially active Tom really gets around, doesn’t he?
To get ahead To be successful It’s very difficult to get ahead nowadays.
To get away To escape The thief got away from the police.
To get back To recover or retrieve I got my books back from Tom.
To get by To survive financially Sally gets by on just $1,000 a month.
To get in To enter a car, train etc. Come on, get in! Let’s go.
To get into To be accepted He got into the university of his choice.
To get off To exit from a train, bus etc. Jerry got off at 52nd Street.
To get on with To have a good relationship with I really get on well with Janet.
To get out To leave I got out of class at 3.30.
To get over To recover from an illness or bad occurrence He got over his operation very quickly.
To get through To succeed in an examination, test etc. That was a difficult test to get through, wasn’t it?
To get up To get out of bed I got up at 7 this morning.


PC TECH: English Language School in New York City

Category : English Grammar

One of the most discussed options when travelling or studying abroad is a homestay with a local family. Homestays can be a rewarding experience and present an unrivaled opportunity for genuine cultural exchange.

1: Cost
2: Experience real local life
3: Cultural exchange

1: Rules
2: Hours to commute
3: Feel dependent


A homestay is a good option for saving money especially in New York, this high-rent city. However, for the short term students, long hours to take trains does not always mean “affordable”.


PC TECH Teacher Michelle has put together this little quiz:

The phrasal verbs that use “make” and “give” have many different meanings.  Here are examples of them in sentences.  Try to guess the meaning in the sentence.  Then look below for the meaning.

My sister and I fight a lot, but we always make up.

Peter told me what happened last night.  I think he made up the whole thing.

People go to department store cosmetic counters to get a complete make over.  When they leave the store they feel like a whole new person.


If you take sugar and heavy cream and mix them together, you can make them into whipped cream.

How did you do on the audition?  How did you make out?

make out                    manage, deal with

make over                  remake (noun form:  makeover)

make up                     1) stop arguing, make peace
2) invent a story

make into                   turn into something else

give up                        stop trying

give out                      distribute, hand out

give back                    return

give away                   1) reveal a secret

2) to give as a gift

 Examples of “give” in sentences.

(At a Baseball Game) The Yankees played the Red Sox for 5 hours.  The score was 5-0, Red Sox in the lead.  The Yankees couldn’t get a hit.  They wanted to give up.

The teacher gave out the tests to the students.

Now, it’s your chance.  Try to write sentences using these phrasal verbs:

give back  and give away.

An English Language course at PC TECH will help you use these and many more phrases in your conversation and writing.  Come to New York City and join us!

PC TECH: English Language School in New York City

Category : English Grammar

Mood Pizza August 7, 2014

Here is an example of a speaking and writing activity called “Mood Pizza,” used at PC TECH:

Materials:  Each group of students gets a “Mood Pizza” pie.  Each slice of the pie is labeled with an adjective expressing a mood;  for example: happy, sad, afraid, surprised, hopeful, hopeless, etc.

In addition to the pie itself, the students get “toppings” to put on the pie;  for example: frustrated, disappointed, elated, ecstatic, disappointed, astonished, etc.

 Pizza slice

Method:  First, the students select different slices from the pies.  They must tell their story to reflect the mood of their slice.  Next, they write down the story.  Together the students add toppings to their slices that will match the mood of their story.  Next, they must add the topping vocabulary to their story.  Finally, each student reads his or her story out loud and the other students decide if other toppings can be added to the story.

At PC TECH, your teachers will show you similar word games and other exercises to help you improve your English skills.

PC TECH: English Language School in New York City

Word Confusion August 6, 2014

Michelle, one of PC TECH’s excellent instructors, writes about an experience shared by many people as they travel internationally:

Cuernavaca, Mexico

Cuauhnahuac, Language Cultural Institute – Spanish Program


It was the first day at Cuauhnahuac, where I had come to study Spanish.

I needed lodging, so I decided to ask the director of the school

to help me and said in Spanish, “Quisiera hablarte de casamiento.”

I had wanted to say, “I would like to talk to you about housing.”

I knew the word for house was casa and I also knew that many

words ended in -miento.

Everyone began to laugh and I didn’t understand why.  I asked

what’s so funny and they said, “You asked him to talk about marriage.”

Could you imagine the first time I spoke to the Director, I mentioned


I was so embarrassed, and of course I said “Estoy tan embarazada.”

“I’m so embarrassed.” and what I really was saying was

“I am so pregnant.”  The Director and the teachers began to howl

with laughter.

What a coincidence.  First I talked about marriage

and then pregnancy.  What a way to introduce myself!  And I was

trying to impress them with my knowledge of Spanish.

I like to tell my students this story and other stories of my mistakes

because then they feel I’m human and they begin to relax and

realize it’s OK to make mistakes in English.

PC TECH: English Language School in New York City

Cesar, a PC TECH Level 5 student, has written about his experiences as a volunteer in a Brazilian hospital:

One of the most remarkable moments in my life was when I offered [my time] to do volunteer work in a hospital specializing in children with cancer in Brazil.

I’m not going to lie, it was one of the toughest moments of my life.  At [first], I got depressed to see all those children sick and facing their illness in the first stages of their lives.

However, after a few minutes, I realized that I couldn’t demonstrate my weakness; I should bring good energy for them.  My goal became to make them happy as long as I was able to show them that their recovery had an objective.  It was a very [confusing] moment in my mind.

For the next four hours, I played games with them, read and talked with them, and before I left we ate some snacks together.  I’m positive that, at least for those hours, I could entertain them and bring them out of that hospital environment.

While I was [traveling] home, I was at the same time, wondering how lucky I was.  Just the [fact] of being healthy changed my way of thinking, of facing my own “problems.”

 Empire State Bldg

Federico writes about a different kind of experience:

Probably one of the most important events in my life happened in 2009.  I took my first trip to New York City as a vacation with two friends.  If I hadn’t made that trip, I might not be here now.

I was born and [raised] in Europe, a totally different world from the USA.  I wasn’t too sure that I would like New York: no history, no good food, no social life [!], only “fake” buildings.  That trip opened my eyes!  I was completely shocked by the lights of Times Square and the elegance of the Empire State Building.  I [became] completely involved in the noisy life of this city.  [Because of] that trip, my only dream was to come back to the USA and try to establish myself there.

I’m in “work in progress” situation, but at least part of my dream is achieved.

PC TECH: English Language School in New York City

Category : Student Essays

This post concludes our list of phrasal verbs that you can use when you speak and write English.  There are a lot of others that you can find in our previous blog posts.  We invite you to take our ESL classes at PC TECH to learn these expressions and many more:

“I wish our neighbors would turn their TV down; it is too loud.”  [Lower the volume]

“I asked my boss for a raise, but she turned me down.”  [Refused]

“To save electricity, it is important to turn unneeded lights off when you leave your apartment for the day.”  [Switch off]

“If you turn around, you will be able to see the Empire State Building from here.”  [Look in the opposite direction]

“I’m going to turn in; I’m very tired.”  [Go to bed]

“Please turn your homework in by Friday.”  [Submit]

“That movie really turned me off; it was so boring!”  [Disappointed me]

“Please turn on the TV so we can watch the news.” [Switch on]

“That style of music turns me on; I feel like dancing!”  [Makes me feel good]

Turn up the radio, please.  I can’t hear it.”  [Raise the volume]

“I was looking everywhere for my credit card and it turned up under my bed!”  [Suddenly appeared]

“You should try on those shoes to see if they will fit comfortable.”  [Sample them]


“They are going to try out for the football team next week.”  [Audition]

“We used up all the orange juice last week; we’ll have to buy more at the supermarket today.”  [Finished]

Wake up!  You’ll be late for school.”  [Arise from sleep]

“You can warm the soup up in the microwave.”  [Heat it again]

“It’s a good idea to warm up before you run in the marathon.”  [Prepare for exercise; for example, by stretching]

“The effects of the medication will wear off in a few hours.”  [Gradually disappear]

“They are going to work out at the gym this afternoon.”  [Exercise]

“Good luck!  I hope your new job works out for you.”  [Is successful]

“I know we have some problems, but we can work them out.”  [Resolve them]

PC TECH: English Language School in New York City

Category : English Grammar