New York English Academy Rookie blog

January 17, 2023

On the third Monday of January, the federal holiday Martin Luther King Jr. Day honors the memory of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. A social activist and Baptist minister, Martin Luther King played a key role in the civil rights movement from the mid 1950s until his assassination in 1968. Civil rights activists fought for the equality and human rights of African Americans. Despite hardships, MLK was dedicated to non-violent forms of protest, saying that violent attacks on him “deepened [his] faith in the relevance of the spirit of nonviolence if necessary social change is peacefully to take place.1” Using this ideology, MLK was the protest leader and spokesperson for the Montgomery Bus Boycott of 1955, which succeeded in illegalizing segregated seating on buses.  

In 1957, he and other civil rights activists founded the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), a group committed to achieving full equality for African Americans through nonviolent protest. In his role as SCLC president, Martin Luther King Jr. traveled across the country and around the world, giving lectures on nonviolent protest and civil rights as well as meeting with religious figures, activists and political leaders.

In 1963, Martin Luther King Jr. worked with a number of civil rights and religious groups to organize the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, a peaceful political rally designed to shed light on the injustices Black Americans continued to face across the country. Held on August 28 and attended by some 200,000 to 300,000 participants, the event is widely regarded as a turning point in the history of the American civil rights movement and a factor in the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Listen to the famous “I Have a Dream” speech here: Editors. “Martin Luther King Jr..”, A&E Television Networks, 9 Nov. 2009, 

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A Day at the MET Cloisters November 15, 2022

On November 4th, Nathaniel’s class took a trip to the Met Cloisters.  Since The Cloisters are all the way in Washington Heights, we met at New York English Academy in the morning and headed out together around 11 am.  The journey to upper Manhattan takes about an hour. Luckily, we were able to take the A train all the way there, from Fulton St Station to Dyckman St Station.  The Met Cloisters is a museum specializing in European medieval art and architecture. A cloister is actually a type of covered walkway and this museum has 4!

Located in Fort Tryon Park, the museum is surrounded by lots of foliage. We visited just in time to see the changing leaves. The Cloisters even have medieval gardens as well as chapels and themed galleries.  Not only did we see paintings and sculptures, but we also saw manuscripts, tapestries, and stained glass works. It was a long journey but the experience was well worth it!

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In a previous post, our teacher Shirley’s class took a trip to the National Museum of the American Indian. Since the museum is so close and admission is free, our teacher David took his class too! However this time there was a special exhibit for the Day of the Dead. After a 10 minute walk, our class lined up at the front of the museum’s steps to take a group photo.  Once inside, we visited the special exhibition, took pictures with the colorful display, and watched some short films that were projected inside. 

Going to a museum is actually a great way to study English! Reading about items on display helps us learn about the piece but we can learn new worlds at the same time. Plus, if you have trouble figuring out the meaning, the items on display can be used as a visual aid.  Before leaving we took turns taking pictures with the unique architecture.  We’ll be sure to visit again for the next special exhibition.

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Our teacher Nathaniel’s class goes on a field trip every Friday after class.  This week, they took a trip to South Street Seaport.  A short walk from campus, South Street Seaport is a historic district where Fulton Street meets the East River.  The neighborhood is home to some of the oldest buildings in downtown Manhattan as well as a variety of shops and restaurants. There’s also the South Street Seaport Museum, which showcases New York’s history as a port. Admission is free!

Our class took pictures with Lightship Ambrose and Wavertree, 2 of South Street Seaport’s historical ships.  The Lightship Ambrose was built in 1908 and served as a beacon for local shipping channels.  Wavertree was a cargo ship built in 1885 and it is the largest ship made of iron to float! From Pier 17, there are excellent views of Brooklyn and the Brooklyn Bridge.  

Our class in front of the Brooklyn Bridge~
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Another attraction close to New York English Academy is the National Museum of the American Indian. Only a 10 minute walk from our campus, the museum is situated between The Battery and the Charging Bull statue.  Even more convenient, entrance to the museum is free!  The museum is inside a former customs house built in 1907, so the architecture is stunning and impressive.  Inside, Native American art and artifacts, some dating back 12,000 years, are on display.  It was cool to see things that were made before the United States was even a country, as well as work from contemporary artists.  There are lots of exhibitions and new ones are added often, so students could easily come back for a fun visit.  

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With Halloween around the corner, the spooky season is in full swing.  We asked our students to tell us about Halloween in their home country. While some are similar to Halloween in NYC, others have different customs to honor the dead.  Keep reading to learn about Halloween around the world from NYEA students.

“China has a traditional festival to appease the souls of the dead. It’s called the Hungry Ghost Festival. It is said that the gates of hell will open at midnight on the 14th day of the 7th lunar month and hungry ghosts will be released to find food or take revenge. So, we need to prepare some food and light incense sticks to let them peacefully move into the afterlife”. – Wenjun, China

“In Korea, most people think that Halloween is a season for some theme parks or wearing costumes. In my opinion, Koreans don’t care about the afterlife on Halloween. It is just a party for them. However, there are some ceremonies honoring deceased ancestors in Korea that are called Charye. They usually proceed in the morning of Lunar New Year and Chuseok, which is the brightest day of the full moon in autumn”. – Soohee, South Korea

“In Ecuador, Halloween is not popular. However, we celebrate the day of the death. We make a special drink called ‘colada morada’ (spiced berry, with many fruits) and we drink it with sweet bread figures. We also go to the cemetery to visit the family members who passed away”. – Rosa, Ecuador

“In my country on Halloween night, children dress up in scary costumes. Then they ring the doorbells of the people living in their village. If a person opens the door, the kids ask: ‘Candy or a spell?’ As for me, I prefer to have a party with my friends; of course, we also dress up”. – Emma, France

Do you have similar Halloween traditions? And what international traditions would you like to take part in? 

Happy Halloween! 

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A great thing about studying in New York is getting to experience 4 distinctively different seasons. The northest of the United States has hot, sunny summers as well as cold, snowy winters. One of the best places to see the seasons change is Central Park! At 843 acres, Central Park is the largest park in Manhattan.  Designed to mimic the environment of New York State, the park is home to gorgeous foliage and scenery. 

Last week, our level 2 class took a field trip to Central Park.  New York English Academy is close to Fulton St Station, so getting around in the city is very convenient.  We rode the uptown A/C line about 20 minutes to Columbus Circle, the southwest corner of the park. 

Walking around the park is the perfect activity for exercise and relaxation. In fact, the majority of Central Park visitors are local New Yorkers going for a stroll, playing sports, or taking part in other hobbies like bird watching. Our class visited at the ideal time to see the leaves begin to change to Autumn colors.  New York City is known for its hustle and bustle, but Central Park is a nice retreat.

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Field Trip to the MET October 14, 2022


Downtown Manhattan is full of things to do, but last month our class ventured Uptown to visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art. From NYEA, we took the 4 train from Fulton St Station.  The express train got us to the MET in about 30 minutes.  

Upon arriving, we took in the stunning architecture.  The museum sits high up on a flight of stairs and is decorated with large columns.  New York state residents and students of New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut pay as they wish, so with a NYEA ID card a trip to the MET can be very affordable. 

The MET houses a variety of artwork, from paintings to sculptures.  Every wing focuses on a different region of the world so we pieces from Greece, China, and the Americas all in an afternoon.  We even saw some koi fish in a little pond! The MET is also next to Central Park so we finished our trip enjoying the views from the museum’s rooftop. 

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After class, Nathaniel and his students made their way to Whitehall Ferry Terminal.  Located on the southern tip of Manhattan, Whitehall Ferry Terminal is a short 15 minute walk from the academy.  The Staten Island Ferry runs about every 20 minutes depending on the time and day, and the ride is about 25 minutes.  Also, unlike the other NYC Ferries, service on the Staten Island Ferry is free! 

After waiting with a crowd, large glass doors opened and everyone began to board.  The Staten Island Ferries are HUGE, so the crowd quickly spaced out on the different floors.  The weather was warm, so our class enjoyed the views from the outer decks.  Along with views of Manhattan and New Jersey, we saw some cute boats and took some great photos of the Statue of Liberty! 

When we reached Staten Island, we walked around St George Terminal and took some group pictures in front of the water.  Free with amazing views, the Staten Island Ferry is an easy way to get some fresh air while enjoying NYC.

Students and our Level 3 teacher, David, left NYEA shortly after 10 am and headed to Fulton Station to catch the 4/5 train and then the 7 train via Flushing, Queens. Once we arrived, we met up with some other students and then proceeded to some of the matches at the practice courts. We watched a female match between a player from China, who eventually won against a player from Romania. Afterwards, we headed back to the main area and were given tips by a juggler who was entertainment people walking by. Some other students decided to check out some of the other matches going on, while the rest of us went to the food court, called Food Village, then went inside some of the local stores such as the US Open’s official sponsor, Polo Ralph Lauren. In addition, we had the pleasure of posing in some of Mercedes Benz’s new vehicles. Afterwards, we took a few more photos of women on stilts and a man on a unicycle before making our way back to the 7 train at Mets-Willets Point.

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