Visit Our New Location!
Our new location is 21 Aviation Rd, right across the street from our previous building!
We have more classroom space and shiny new white boards and displays!
Our new break room has a kitchen area with tables where students can relax and have a snack in between classes.
We also have a large training room where we will host cultural events that are open to the public. Visit our Events page for more details!
Winter Weather Cancellation Policy
Winter Weather Cancellation Policy
1. We don’t cancel until we have either a blizzard or icy roads. Snowy roads alone will not cause us to cancel, however you should decide whether or not you attend class based on your own comfort level of traveling in the snow.
2. Because we have schools in two different counties (Albany and Saratoga) we do not follow any one school district’s school closing schedule. Sometimes we close for just half a day. A decision will be made by 8 AM regarding morning classes up until 2 PM and a decision will be made by 2 PM for classes from 3 PM through the evening.
3. Anytime that we have a partial day closing or full day cancellation, it will be listed via the School Closings Network. That information will be available through the following media outlets:
The Daily Gazette • The Post-Star • The Saratogian • The Times Union • WFLY — FLY 92 • WGNA — Country 107.7 • WGY — 810 WGY • WNYT TV • WRGB TV • WRVE — The River • WTEN TV • WYJB — B-95.5 • WXXA TV • YNN
4. If Empire State English is closed it will be listed under Capital Region Language Center.
5. The School Closings Network will specify closings per location, so for Colonie, Saratoga, or for both locations, since the weather can be very different in our different locations.
Please check one of the media outlets listed above around 2 PM for afternoon and evening classes, and again the next morning around 8 AM.
Making friends at the Festival of Nations
On Sunday, October 26, Kim and I had a table at the Festival of Nations. This annual multicultural event is hosted by the International Center of Albany at Empire State Plaza. The Convention Center was filled with tables of wares for sale from all over the world, all oriented toward the stage where local groups performed songs, dances, and martial arts demonstrations. From Scottish highland and traditional African dancing to tae kwon do and hulusi flute-playing. Food tables with too-many-to-list international delicacies were arrayed in the exhibit space outside the Convention Center.
During the event, Kim and I met a woman visiting from Togo. Pauline was in Albany visiting her daughter and only spoke French. I was only too happy to speak French with her! She was very happy to meet someone in our region who had heard of Togo and knew that it’s located in West Africa. She even gave me directions to find her in case I ever visit Lomé.
You never know what friends you’ll meet when you speak a world language!
Click here to learn more about the festival and participating countries.
Fall Vocabulary BINGO – Spanish
Games are great, in class and out, for practicing vocabulary. Here are 4 Spanish Fall Vocabulary BINGO game boards you can print to use in the classroom or at home with your child. Just print the number of boards you’ll need based on the number of players, and then print an extra to cut up to pull pictures one at a time out of a basket, bowl, or envelope.
Click here or on the picture below to print the boards: Bingo Otono Game Boards
And here’s the vocabulary list: Otono vocabulario
BINGO Game for Fall Vocab – French
Games are great, in class and out, for practicing vocabulary. Here are 4 French Fall Vocabulary BINGO game boards you can print to use in the classroom or at home with your child. Just print the number of boards you’ll need based on the number of players, and then print an extra to cut up to pull pictures one at a time out of a basket, bowl, or envelope.
(I use these same printed and cut-up pictures as flashcards and to play BOUM!)
Click here or on the picture below to print the boards: Bingo Automne Game Boards
And here’s the vocabulary list, au cas où (just in case): Automne vocabulaire
Children and Second Languages
Kids are sponges. Parents know this. Once children start talking, the words snowball. One day they say two or three words and a few days later their word list has grown exponentially. It’s the same with a foreign language.
So why should your child study a second language?
Studies show that kids who study another language have higher linguistic, cognitive, and creative abilities. Language-learning students score better on standardized tests related to math, vocabulary, and reading. Learning the rules of grammar and the structures of a new language improve a student’s understanding of their original language. Memorizing foreign words and grammar rules exercises the brain, just like a muscle. This makes language students better at remembering all kinds of lists and sequences.
In addition to making a person smarter, language students are more perceptive. Learning a language broadens cultural horizons and opens the mind, teaching students there is more to the world beyond their own communities. Students have a deeper understanding of that world and of the human experience.
The mental gymnastics required to switch between languages, makes language students better at making decisions. Studies have shown that bilingual children are better at solving social problems than monolingual children. Other studies have shown that the benefits of learning a second language apply to adults, too. It’s never too late to learn another language!
Additionally, knowing more than one language will give kids greater opportunities in the work force. Speaking another language gives a job-hunter access to more people and resources than a monolingual. Job-hunters in 2014 who speak another language can expect high salaries, too. More bilinguals in the work force benefits the country, in general.
Of course, some language students just want to connect to their heritage, regardless of the cognitive and work benefits. They want to be able to communicate with family in another country and better understand where they come from. Whatever the reason to learn a language, the benefits are clear.
What’s the most important benefit of second language-learning for your child?