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ELC Boston Student Spotlight – Eduardo Ergueta October 5th, 2017

Eduardo has been a student at ELC Boston for four months now. He’s one of our most diligent and focused students. Not surprising- as back home, he serves as a university professor, in addition to leading his own consulting firm. We so impressed with Eduardo and the tremendous growth and initiative he’s shown since enrolling at ELC Boston.

In terms of your experience at ELC in particular and Boston in general, what do you feel most proud of?

I am proud of my language progress. I count my improved grammar as the biggest achievement. But I know my speaking and listening skills have grown a lot as well. What I like most about the ELC curriculum is that students remain working on a topic, reviewing specifics of the language for a period of a time. In my previous experience learning English last year in a different institution, we jumped a lot between topics, going from one chapter to another – it didn’t make sense to me.

I’m also proud having learned I just passed the Cambridge CAE after taking the course here at school. Cambridge was definitely a challenge. The Cambridge class is interesting because you’re doing exercises to improve at these particular skills for the test, and in that way- it’s a very demanding course. The entire course is customized to the test, and it’s good for that. I started the course as a challenge- not necessarily because I was at the same level of fluency as some of the other students. I started really low and therefore I had more ground to cover.

What has been the best activity you participated in and why?

I would say just hanging out with friends from school has been fun. Especially with the Cambridge guys, we bonded a lot in Cambridge. We were just a few people and we spent a lot of time under the same pressure. I’ve also enjoyed playing soccer and basketball with Timothy. I remember the time Jen led us in the MIT tour- it was great. A very cool place and an interesting tour. There was also the time I went to the library with Katherine to hear a free Berklee concert, that was one of my favorites, a great night of music. But any activity. I can’t just choose one, all the ELC trips have been great. I enjoy this city, but also I really enjoy my time spent here in school. And many of my best memories are just with the people inside this building.

What teacher at ELC made the most impact on you and why?

It’s going to be unfair if I say just one person. I like them all. I’ve received something different from everyone. For example I like the way Timothy teaches communication classes because we focus on the very practical things, very useful things. I like his methods, he’s always taking notes during class on our mistakes and takes one part of class to write our mistakes on the board and calls attention to habitual mistakes we make, then we correct them together. Nych was my teacher for a short time and he was very passionate, clear, and very compassionate with students. Dave as well is such a good instructor. And of course Janet and Matt are amazing. I think I’ve gotten a lot from everyone.

What are your hobbies?

Playing sports- soccer and basketball. Reading books, I prefer to go to the library and read books in my field. I’m not really a fan of other genres. But I read a lot of journals, essays, pamphlets related to my work and industry. I prefer to watch movies for pleasure. And music. I really like good music. I like cooking. But I haven’t done anything yet for the potluck!

What is your favorite American food/place?

I think cheeseburgers in the US are the best. And I love the barbecue ribs. In Argentina, the barbecue is different. We don’t have American barbecue sauce and that’s the part I like about the American way of making barbecue.

I miss deep dish Chicago-style pizza. You don’t have that here in Boston. But when I studied before in Chicago, that was my favorite. And there’s a place in Harvard square- Charlie’s Kitchen. Traditional, common American food, but I really like it.

What would your advice be to an incoming ELC student?

Study. Work hard. I didn’t speak English a year ago. And look at me now- I just passed Cambridge CAE. But there was no magic, I had to study a lot, focus really hard, and keep myself encouraged. ELC has been so good for me. But you can’t just rely on your teachers. I always did extra assignments. I found time outside of class and ask for teacher recommendations to improve my weaknesses. Just coming to the United States doesn’t guarantee you’ll improve in the language. You have to be present, and studying, and work hard. Focus and practice every skill you want to develop.

What does the future look like for you?

Last year I was in Chicago also studying English. I wouldn’t be here if I hadn’t gave myself goals years ago. I was working, doing my routine at home. But I knew I wanted to learn English. I knew it would benefit me in my career. This time in Boston is part of the plan I laid out for myself to learn English and learn it well. I’m not going to back down until I get my goal. I started last year and in the beginning, I was A2. I work as a private consultant for companies advising in the areas of marketing and negotiation. English could open up so many other opportunities for me. I plan on attending several courses at Harvard after ELC. I’ll also go back to teaching when I return to my country. But I plan to come back to Boston maybe in a couple years.

But after that, I have no idea. After the next years I’ll be directionless. We have an idiom in Argentina, related to soccer. Something like, “Stop the ball, and look ahead to where you’re going to pass.” So that’s what I’ll have to do. Stop and look ahead, then come up with new goals and make plans to achieve them. But that’s the part I’m really excited for!