Monday, July 17, 2017

Newsletter July 2017

Language Systems Newsletter

Editorial - Food in America By Michelle Buell, Academic Director at Language Systems International

What is “American” food? It seems like an easy question, but it’s actually a little harder to answer. The United States is made up of people from all over the world, and they have brought special dishes and food from their own countries. As people have settled all over the United States, these special dishes have become a part of American culture, so now everyone can enjoy a delicious variety of dishes wherever they are.

There are also different types of dishes and food for each of the four seasons. The 4th of July, or Independence Day, best demonstrates popular food for the summer season. Barbecues and easy side dishes seem to be popular with everyone during the summer months. At a typical barbecue, you will find hot dogs, hamburgers, and chicken. Side dishes include potato salad (cold), potato chips (all flavors and types), and corn on the cob.  Taco trucks have become a mainstay for special events in and around Los Angeles. For example, outdoor movies and other festive events will be accompanied by food trucks, especially taco trucks, which seem to have started the current food truck craze. In fact, during the summer months, there are food-truck events held weekly in each city, with food from all over the world, including sushi and crêpes, as well as shawarma and falafel sandwiches.

So the next time you would like to try “American” food, don’t just go to a fast food restaurant. There are many options to explore in Southern California, especially in the summertime. Try out a food truck night or a family restaurant in your neighborhood. Accept the invitation to your friend’s barbecue. Attend potluck parties where you bring food from your country and share it with others with special dishes from their countries. Food and fun bring people together for unforgettable experiences and lasting friendships.

Language Systems Life Style (OC) Curry Hut Restaurant By Ty Mussack, Program Coordinator at OC

Just minutes from Language Systems Orange County, we have an authentic Indian restaurant called Curry Hut.  It is located in Fullerton, and is in walking distance of both Fullerton College and Cal State Fullerton.  This means the restaurant caters to students, so the food is cheap.  The food is also really delicious and fresh.  Recently, one of our teachers in OC, who is Indian-American, took some students to the Curry Hut to introduce them to Indian food.  All the students loved the food.  It is run by an Indian family, and they have tried to make the restaurant like a fast-food restaurant while keeping the food authentic, fresh, and affordable.  You can get a 2-item combo for about $6-7, which comes with two curries, rice, and freshly-made naan (Indian bread).  But the portions are so generous, it could feed 2 people.  If you are ever near Fullerton, you should check it out.

Discover LA (OC) Independence Day in America By Ty Mussack, Program Coordinator at OC

If you or someone you know is planning to visit Orange County, California for the 4th of July, then you really should visit Huntington Beach on America’s Independence Day.  I will warn you first about 3 things:  the crowd, parking, and the weather.  There will be hundreds of thousands of people.  Finding a parking spot will be crazy!  And most likely, the weather will be hot and sunny.  If you can put up with these three things, you will be able to see one of the biggest and best 4th of July parades in America.  It takes place on Main Street in Huntington Beach every July 4th.  It is very special!  Then at night time you will be able to see an amazing fireworks show right on the beach.  They light off the fireworks from the pier, which by the way is also the longest cement pier in the USA.   The parade is in the morning, and the fireworks are at night.  During the day, you can enjoy the beach or the amazing shopping and food trucks at the pier plaza and along Main Street.  If you don’t end up melting in the sun, you will have an amazing experience.

Free in LA (OC) The 41st annual Ocean Festival By Ty Mussack, Program Coordinator at OC

  • July 16 – 17: San Clemente – The 41st annual Ocean Festival, billed as “the greatest show on surf,” features scores of activities, including a sand sculpting contest, live music, kids’ fishing derby and kids’ body surfing lessons.
  • July 14: Irvine – Bring the family to see the acclaimed 2016 Disney animated hit “Moana.”  Mason Regional Park. 18712 University Dr. Irvine.
  • July 14: Mission Viejo – The Big Band with Shep Shepherd swings into Saddleback College’s Upper Campus Quad. 7:30 p.m. Free parking. Reserved seating and food truck cuisine available for purchase. 28000 Marguerite Parkway, Mission Viejo.
  • July 15. La Palma – Stone Soul brings ’60s and Motown classics to Concerts at Central Park, 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. 7821 Walker St. 6:30-8 p.m.
  • July 15: Mission Viejo – Shakespeare by the Sea performs “Macbeth” at the Upper Campus Quad of Saddleback College. 28000 Marguerite Parkway, Mission Viejo. Free parking. Reserved seating and food truck items available for purchase.
  • July 15: Cypress – West Coast Pops Orchestra plays a Concert on the Green at the Civic Center. 6 p.m. with kids’ crafts offered at 5:30 p.m. 5275 Orange Ave.
  • July 16: Mission Viejo – Shakespeare by the Sea stages “Taming of the Shrew.” 7:30 p.m. Upper Campus Quad. 28000 Marguerite Pkwy, Mission Viejo. Free parking. Reserved seating and food trucks available for purchase.

Student Articles 

My Favorite Food By Lin (Level 6)

My favorite food in my country (China) is handmade noodles with eggs and tomatoes.  When I was a kid, my grandmother used to make these noodles for my birthday.  She started by making the noodles by hand.  This took a lot of effort and skill. Then she would fry the fresh eggs and tomatoes together.  When she fried the eggs and tomatoes, she would add a little bit of sugar to bring out the flavors.  She would then boil the noodles just perfectly.  The final step was to add the boiled noodles to the fried eggs and tomatoes.  I will never be able to forget the taste and the smell of those noodles. I love those noodles so much!

Food in California By Shunki (Level 6)

In California you can find food from all over the world! I’m Japanese, so of course I love Japanese food.  It’s a little expensive here, but I can still enjoy good Japanese food right here in California.  I have tried many other kinds of food in California, like Mexican food, Korean BBQ, and of course, American food. Actually, I have to make a confession.  I like junk food.  This is why eating American fast food makes me happy.  But I know that eating a lot of junk food or American fast food is going to make me gain weight, and this is something I worry about.  However, it is so good that I cannot stop eating this kind of food.  What should I do?  Anyways, I’m glad to be studying English in Southern California because I can enjoy food from all over the world.

Language Systems Faces Interview with Staff (OC) Interview conducted by Marketing Department at Language Systems International

Meet Graziele Crizol, our student advisor at the LSI Orange County Campus
Q: How long have you been with the LSI family?
Grazi: I worked at Sweet Home California for 1 year and I'm now working three months at Language Systems, and I'm really enjoying this experience!

Q: What do you like most about Los Angeles?
Grazi: I chose Los Angeles because I love the weather here and the beaches, the parks, the variety of food and things to buy! I love physical activity and this region has many activities and places for sports such as surfing, ice skating, skiing, running, etc. Another thing I love here are the Latin places to dance, and American sports bars; it's a lot of fun!

Q: What are your goals for the future?
Grazi: At this moment, I want to learn the maximum with this opportunity to work in the marketing of the school. Who knows, in the future I may open my own business, improve my English and learn Spanish.

Q: What do you think is the major advantage in studying at Language Systems International?
Grazi: The greatest advantage of studying at LSI is to learn English well.  I is the opportunity to connect with other cultures, make new friends, exchange experiences, and have the school's support in difficult moments.  I also think it is very important that the school provides us with constant activities.  From these activities, I can learn naturally by practicing English in a fun and relaxing way! That helps us to have fun, to learn and not to miss the family so much. Here at LSI, we are a family and the school makes me feel very loved and supported.

Q: What part of your job do you like the most?
Grazi: The opportunity to work in the school brought me new knowledge and I found a sector, marketing, where I fell in love! I want to learn a lot and be able to work with the school with many students. This work makes me very happy because I have the opportunity to help people realize the dream of coming to study here in the USA. I also love my current work team as my family. Being part of the LSI team is my biggest challenge and the most wonderful experience I have ever had! I really wore the t-shirt and I'm very proud to be here.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Newsletter June 2017


By Michelle Buell, Academic Director

        Summer is a special season in Southern California. It is when many of our stereotypes about California seem to come true.  The beaches, surfing, outdoor concerts, food trucks, amusement parks, and festivals are all a part of the Southern California culture, and summer is the best time to experience it. As a child growing up in Seattle, I would look forward to summer breaks when I could come down to California to visit Disneyland or just hang out at the beach. Summer in California is fun, and there is no place else I’d rather be! 
Summer 2017 is really a special time for Language Systems because it marks our 30 year anniversary! In July of 1987, Language Systems opened its first school in Pasadena, California.  Over the next decade, Language Systems would open three more schools, with the South Bay campus being the last one to be opened in 1998. That was when I joined LSI as a TOEFL teacher. Since then, I’ve been blessed to meet so many interesting students from all over the world. They all came to California to study English, learn about American culture, and pursue their dreams. 
As we approach our 30th anniversary, I think about my Brazilian friend Luciana, who was an advanced student in 1999 and is now the manager at our Orange County campus! We love to reminisce about the teachers she had and the friends she made from LSI.  So many of our students have gone on to do wonderful and fulfilling things in their lives. It is satisfying to think that Language Systems played a small part in helping them achieve their dreams. In this newsletter, we have a couple highlights of students who sent us their memories of LSI over the years. I wish we could print all the messages we received because every single student who reached out to us feels like a part of our family. So enjoy the Summer season with everything California has to offer, and join us in celebrating our 30th anniversary!!

Student Memories 

By Majda

          I was a student at LSI for about two years, from 2002- 2004.  I had an amazing time with amazing teachers and students too! I have a lot of memories with you guys that make it hard to pick one! However, I can share one of them with you. It was when we had a play to present in front of other groups (students). I never had so much fun in my life like I had on that day.  We laughed, we learned and we gained more self-confidence (in my opinion). 
I really loved all the teachers and one of my favorites was Megan.  She was just too nice and always smiling.  Her teaching was never boring.  She was always dynamic, energetic and most of all very encouraging. She used to say "if anybody makes fun of your accent, you just smile at them and ask if they know other languages besides English!”  Very smart, right?  Her phrase is embedded in my head forever😊  
I really do appreciate all of you guys at LSI, for your support and for working so hard to teach foreigners like myself to learn a new language and how to embrace a new culture.
Now I’ve been working as a Medical Assistant at Kaiser Permanente for 10 years.
My English is much better, but I am still always learning.
Thank you again for everything.
Thank you for remembering me, Mrs. Julia Roberts!   I still believe that you look like an actress Majda from Algeria😉

Happy 30th Anniversary, LSI!
By Kellen

          My name's Kellen and I'm from Sao Paulo, Brazil. In 2010, I was working in a bank when, out of the blue, I decided to take a chance and move to LA. I've lived in LA and studied at LSI for 3 years. I started to level 5 since I had studied English for a few years in Brazil before moving. After finishing the regular course, I took business and TOEFL classes as well. I don't think I can name the best front desk member or teacher since all of them were always very kind, patient and thoughtful with everybody as far as I know; however, Natalia, the Ukrainian girl at the front desk, and Matthew Flowers, the TOEFL teacher, are the two people who I'd say have made the difference for me. 
I've always had the dream of being a teacher, so when I decided to come back to Brazil I knew that I would become one and so I did. To do that, I got the LSI diploma, the TOEFL certificate and I also took the CELTA course.  I came back to Brazil in 2013 and I've been teaching English at two different schools in São Paulo, aside from the private classes, since then. I love teaching!

Language Systems Life Style 

Soccer Tournament 2017
By Hugh Alexander Kingston, Project Solutions Manager

          The soccer tournament was held at the beautiful Glendale Sports Complex. They day was beautiful but brought a punishing heat that tested all players’ and spectators’ dedication to their team.  Students flocked to the fields full of enthusiasm and excitement to cheer for their school.  And this year brought some exciting matches and interesting results.The battle between OC and DTLA ended in a nail-biting spectacle of penalty kicks.  While the Torrance Sharks struck first blood versus the Alhambra Dragons.  Needless to say, the atmosphere was energetic and full of cheers.  No matter how many times these tournaments take place, the drama doesn’t end.  At the end of the tournament, the DTLA Angels proved their worthiness to be crowned champions over the Torrance Sharks. However, at the end of the day, the tournament is about fun and building friendships. Language Systems loves bringing people together to cherish diversity, culture, and friendship in an atmosphere that is welcoming to all. Let’s hope the upcoming Volleyball Tournament is as exciting as this year’s goal mania Soccer Tournament.  

Discover LA

By Hugh Alexander Kingston, Project Solutions Manager

          Southern California is typically known for its sunny beaches, endless miles of nonstop shopping, and the glitz and glamour of Hollywood.  But did you also know that Los Angeles is famous for being a major center for space exploration?  The city of Angels has had a long and proud history of encouraging and contributing to the field of exploring space.  From being able to see the real Space Shuttle, Endeavor, to mapping out the stars from Griffith Observatory, there is no lack of space in LA (wink…wink…).  This is even truer by the fact that Los Angelinos can easily visit and tour an actual NASA facility at just about any time of the year.  The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, or most commonly referred to as “JPL,” in Pasadena, is renowned for being the branch of NASA that is mainly responsible for developing and managing the United States’ deep space program.   Some of these missions include launching America’s first satellite, sending a spacecraft beyond the edge of our solar system, and most recently, all of the Mars exploration missions.
Officially named as the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in 1944, JPL had been funded by the U.S. Army and was responsible for developing military rockets throughout the Cold War years.  Fueled by the “space race” against the then-Soviet Union, JPL was responsible for successfully creating America’s first satellite, Explorer 1.  It officially became one of the first centers for NASA in 1958.
JPL is open to the public throughout most of the year and offers FREE guided tours of most of its major facilities in Pasadena, CA.  These tours can be conducted for large educational groups of 20+ and/or for private individuals.  However, advance reservations via its website ( are required and include free parking to the public.  All tours include a multimedia presentation on JPL entitled “Journey to the Planets and Beyond” that provide an overview of JPL’s accomplishments.  The guided tour also includes visits to the Karman Visitor Center (which houses mockups of their robotic rovers and satellites), the Spaceflight Operations Facility (main control room), and the Spacecraft Assembly Facility (where all spacecraft are built).  Discover LA by taking advantage of this FREE opportunity to experience NASA firsthand!

Free in LA 

Lummis Day Festival
Date: Friday, June 2, 2017 - Sunday, June 4, 2017
Location:  TBA (multiple locations)
Price:  FREE

Celebrate the arts, history and ethnic diversity of Northeast Los Angeles at this annual music, dance and art festival. The three-day fest honors Charles Lummis, the journalist and activist who founded the Southwest Museum, built his own house (the Lummis Home) by hand and worked toward a more multicultural LA. The event takes place across four locations—Occidental College, Southwest Museum, Avenue 50 & York Boulevard and Sycamore Grove Park—with free shuttle service between each location, as well as by Metro stops

Smorgasburg LA
Date: Sunday, May 28, 2017 - Sunday, December 23, 2018
Location:  ROW DTLA, Downtown, 777 S Alameda St, Los Angeles, CA 90021 
Price:  FREE


Indulge your inner foodie and shopaholic at this weekly food-focused market. The Brooklyn export has landed in the Arts District and become a hotbed of fantastic food and retail vendors, with some that are testing out their dishes before launching a full-blown brick-and-mortar in the city. Bonus: there is plentiful (and free, for two hours!) parking in the nearby parking garage.

Jazz at LACMA
Date: Until Friday, November 3, 2017
Location:  Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), Miracle Mile
Price:  FREE
One of L.A.'s best free live music offerings, Jazz at LACMA has featured such legends as Wayne Shorter, John Clayton, Kenny Burrell, Les McCann, Billy Childs, Arturo Sandoval, Cannonball-Coltrane Project and Ernie Watts. Celebrating over twenty years at the museum, the program continues to be one of the museum’s most recognizable (and beloved) programs. It's a celebration of L.A.’s finest jazz musicians, and more than 42,000 visitors attend the program annually from April through November, making it a true L.A. rite of passage.

Sci-Fi at Union Station
Date: Friday, June 9, 2017
Location:  Union Station, Downtown
Price:  FREE


Watch three sci-fi classics from three separate eras—Blade Runner, Them!, Here—in Union Station's historic ticketing hall (with the exception of Them!, which screens on the north patio) at this free screening series. Brief remarks from a special guest will precede each screening.

Language Systems Faces 

Interview with Luciana Lovera, Manager at Orange County 

          Luciana Lovera is from Porto Alegre, Brazil. She enrolled as a student at LSI – SBLA in November 1999 and two years later started working at the front desk in SBLA.  In July 2004, Luciana moved to the Downtown LA campus as an Assistant Manager, and in 2008 she became the Manager at the OC campus. Luciana loves to travel and speaks several languages including Portuguese, English, Spanish, and Italian. 

What is your favorite thing about working at LSI?
My favorite thing is getting to know people from different countries and learning more about their cultures. My best friends today have all been students at LSI. I like to build friendships that will last forever!

What would the students be surprised to find out about you?
I’m a very adventurous person. I like to travel by myself. When you travel alone, you are open to knowing more people. 

Do you have any advice to students who are struggling to improve their English?
I struggled a lot with English in the past. I lived in London in 1996, and it was difficult for me to improve my language skills because I put a lot of pressure on myself to improve quickly. Here is my advice to students: First, do not give up. Second, don’t put too much stress on yourself. Third, don’t try to be perfect. It’s OK to make mistakes. Don’t think too much about what you want to say. Just talk and don’t be shy!

What is your most memorable experience at LSI (as student and manager)?
As a student, I remember experiences with my classmates and building friendships in and out of the classroom.  I especially liked hanging out with my friends after class and having barbecues together.
As a manager, I’ve had many opportunities to grow professionally and to learn every day to build people skills, especially between the management and staff.  We have a great team and are very close, like a family. 

Student Articles

How I found a Hobby in L.A.
By R.K.
        When I decided to come to Los Angeles, my plan was to study and work. Since I couldn’t get my work visa, I had to look for something else to do to make some money and fill the hours when I’m not studying. I looked for something that I could do at home and would make me feel happy, like some kind of art.
I got my Master’s Degree in Set Design and my final project was a set for a theater all made with pieces based on origami, the art of paper-folding that is from Japan and China. Origami is an old passion of mine, and I learned a lot in my research, so I decided to develop some origami works for decoration.
I started making a wall piece for my own apartment. When it was ready, I took pictures and sent them to my friends. Ever since I’ve had two orders that I’ve been working on. I hope to get more projects ordered in the future so I can make an origami business for homes and party decorations.

What Kind of Best Friend Do You Have?
By C. S.
        People naturally need to communicate as the expression “Humans are social animals” says. So, that’s why we need other people. Generally, we are raised to communicate with others so we can make relationships. In fact, having a friend is the best relationship in the world—everybody has friends, both male and female ones. But having male and female friends is different because they each have their own personalities. 
Women having female friends is normal because they have the same interests, styles, and sometimes the same ideas. Women can talk with each other easily just because they are other women. Even though they are complicated in the eyes of a man, women can understand each other just by eye contact.
On the other hand, having male friends is a much different feeling. Men are uncomplicated, but they are difficult to access, maybe because they have a difference of interests. Compared to women, they are hard to understand, but the good thing about having a male friend is they are easy-going and always free, so women can easily confide in them.
In the end, both of them are great. A friendship is a relationship that will never end and you will never regret having one.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Newsletter May 2017


Memorial Day
By Sylvia Sunada, Program Coordinator at SB

           Americans celebrate Memorial Day every year on the last Monday in the month of May. This year, Memorial Day will be observed on Monday, May 29th. These days, Memorial Day is considered to be the unofficial start of summer and is typically celebrated throughout the county with barbeques, beach outings, picnics, and outdoor events.
When Memorial Day was first introduced in 1868, after the American Civil war, it was called Decoration Day. On this day, the graves of Union soldiers were decorated with flowers. As time went on, the day evolved into Memorial Day, with the war dead from all American conflicts being honored and remembered.
This Memorial Day, as you are enjoying your day off from school or work, let’s take a moment to think about those who have died. Try and find a Memorial Day event that commemorates the service and sacrifice of more than 1.8 million men and women who have given their lives for America since 1775.

Language Systems Life Style 

Dodger Baseball with SBLA
By Sylvia Sunada, Program Coordinator at SB

          Baseball season is upon us, and so we thought it’d be a great idea to plan a school trip to see the Los Angeles Dodgers! PC Sylvia and Teacher Thaddeus organized a group of 20 people. The Dodgers were playing the Philadelphia Phillies and star pitcher Kenta Maeda was pitching! Our Japanese students were excited to see their beloved “Maeken” pitch in Los Angeles! We boarded the Dodger Stadium Express shuttles in Gardena and rode along with other Dodger fans to the stadium. The weather was perfect for an evening game.
Teacher Thaddeus is a huge Dodger fan and he was very helpful in explaining the rules, stats, and trivia to students who didn’t know much about the game or team. The game began with the Phillies in the lead, but soon the Dodgers overtook them in the fifth inning and won the game 5 to 3! We enjoyed Dodger Dogs, peanuts, and other ballpark snacks. It was too windy for their usual Friday night fireworks, but I think we were all a little relieved because we were ready to go home by the end of the game.
We had a great time together at the Dodger game!

Discover LA(SBLA)

Torrance Art Museum
By Sylvia Sunada, Program Coordinator at SB

          The Torrance Art Museum is located within walking distance from the South Bay campus. It’s not a big museum, but is well known for showcasing contemporary and sometimes local artists. Some call the TAM Torrance’s best kept secret! If you’re an artist, an art lover, a student, or just a human who is spending some time in Torrance, make your way over the TAM and check out its current exhibit!
The museum’s mission is to “encourage all people to develop and increase their understanding and appreciation for modern and contemporary artwork via a variety of exhibitions offered in its two gallery spaces, as well as educational programs, artist talks, lectures, and symposia.
Through its emphasis on contemporary artistic expression in Southern California and globally, the Torrance Art Museum brings together visual artists and community members; fosters personal and civic well being by inspiring understanding and appreciation of the visual arts; promotes meaningful experiences in the arts to strengthen creative and critical thinking skills; and builds bridges between the visual arts and other disciplines in the humanities and sciences.”

Free in LA (SBLA)

By Sylvia Sunada, Program Coordinator at SB

Every Friday night between April 8 and October 28, the lot in front of Ruby’s Diner in Redondo Beach becomes a giant car show, showcasing muscle cars and modern rides. Stop by Ruby’s Diner before or after you check out the cars for a delicious burger or milkshake. Enjoy this retro “California cruisin'” event each week throughout the summer!

Language Systems Faces 

Interview with Sylvia Sunada, Program Coordinator in South Bay 

Sylvia is the Program Coordinator at the South Bay campus of Language Systems. This year, Sylvia is celebrating her 10th anniversary with LSI! Read on to find out more about her!.
Q: What is your favorite thing about working at LSI?
A: Working with international students has always been the best part of being a teacher and now as PC. Our students come from many different countries, so it’s a wonderful way to learn about these places. I’ve met so many wonderful people through my job at LSI.

Q: What is your favorite subject to teach?
A: Pronunciation in the CMAR class is really fun! I think pronunciation is something that many students forget about and it’s often the one thing that can take their English to the next level if they worked on it. Grammar is also interesting because it is the “nuts and bolts” of English, and without it, you just have words!

Q: What would the students be surprised to find out about you?
A: Students might be surprised to learn that I have run in and completed 4 full marathons in the last several years. I think this surprises people because I’m not very athletic or competitive or outdoorsy. My first 3 marathons were the Los Angeles marathons in 2009, 2010, and 2013. My most recent marathon was in Long Beach in 2016. I plan on doing at least a half marathon before 2017 is over!

Q: Do you have any advice for students who are struggling to improve their English?
A: It’s important to remember the reason you started studying English in the first place. If you want a better job, think about how your life would be if you got that great job and keep that image in your mind. If you’re studying English to move on to college or university in the US, imagine yourself on graduation day accepting your diploma. It might be difficult to stay motivated, but it’ll all be worth it once you achieve your goals!

Student Articles
Our morning TOEFL class practiced their writing skills with a very special topic:
Mother's Day
Independent Essay: Some people feel that Mother's Day is an important holiday for everyone to honor someone important to him or her. Others feel that people should honor their mother every day, and that the holiday makes people think that mothers only need to be recognized once a year. Which opinion do you agree with? Use specific reasons and examples to support your opinion.

By Estelle
          Mother's day is celebrated all over the world for a good reason; to say "I love you" to a person really important to you. Mother's day is an important day for me for several reasons. It's a good occasion to remind your mom how much you love her, to do something special, and also to spend your entire day with her. 
This day is really special, it's a day that you are not afraid to say to your mom how much you love her and how much you are thankful about what she did for you. I remember when I was young, I used to make her  breakfast on the morning and to wake her up with a nice and cute little card that I built by myself with all the most beautiful words that I could know at that time. I continue this traditiontoday, and I still send her a card to say to her "thank you mom for being the best mom in the world, I love you so much".  
Next, this day is also a good way to do something for your mom and to reverse the role. Your mom is always here for you every day, so during this day of May you can be the one for her and make her an incredible gift that she will enjoy. Giving some flowers or a shiny tiny necklace that you bought is always a nice gift for the person who gave birth to you and a good way to make her day special.
Finally, I like to dedicate my entire day to my mom, to spend as much time as possible with her. Your mom needs attention, but she mostly needs your presence during this day. I used to take my mom to a gigantic, natural park next to the house and have a picnic there. We spend our day to relax, to talk, and to laugh. We try to make this day unforgettable and special. 
To conclude, mother's day is really important for those three main reasons. Even if you can enjoy your mom every day, you can't enjoy your mom as intensely as during this day. This day is her special day and nobody else's. 

By Haeyoung
          Every year, we meet Mother's Day in May. Some people feel happy with that day while others do not. I think Mother's Day is an important holiday to honor mothers because mothers deserve to have a special day for them once a year; it is difficult to recognize mothers and how important they are in daily lives, and people may build a strong relationship with their own mothers by honoring Mother's Day.
First, mothers give birth to their children by suffering from extreme pains and take care of the kids. With a great deal of dedication and sacrifices, the kids grow up and end up to be adults, who are  independent from their mothers. Thus, to honor mothers for their efforts, Mother's Day is vital for everyone.
Next, when being familiar with the dedication of mothers, it is not easy to recognize them as being valuable ones without whom we would not be able to be born and to thank them when we grow up. Therefore, it is necessary to honor mothers at Mother's Day at least once a year.
Finally, people may establish stronger relationships with their own mothers by remembering them as an honorable one on Mother's Day.
In conclusion, it is very essential to honor mothers on Mother's Day once a year, because they are worthy to be celebrated by their own families for their sacrifices and great efforts toward the families.

By William
          I think Mother's Day is one of the most important holidays and of course one’s mother has to be honored every day. She takes care of her kids every day, not just once a year,protects her kids when they are small, and gives motivation and suggestions when kids grow up and become adults. 
First, a mother takes care of her kids every day and lifelong. I am sure that is very, very difficult. It is like you have a job for your whole live, without holidays, weekends and vacations. A mother is responsible for her kids and every mother wants to raise her kids for a good life. Mothers give us our first education on how to read and write and it is very important for beginning education.
Second, as in nature, in a lion pridefor example, the mother always protects her cub  from dangers and in human life it is no less dangerous, so a mother is always ready for every situation.
A mother almost never relaxes; she relaxes only when kids relax instead of her or when kids are not far and she can see them, as did my mother. I was a very energetic kid so I was always under control of my mother, because I could have broken a vase or a window or even a TV.

Third, when kids grow up, a mother still remains a mother and keeps taking care of her kids but in another way. A mother always gives very good suggestions and helps with difficult situations with very good decisions.
In conclusion, I want say that a mother gives her whole life for her kids and I would say that her kids are her life. Mothers have to be honored every single day because mothers are given to us only once in a lifetime.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Taking a “Learning Vacation”

“What is a learning vacation?” I asked Mika, one of my best students during my time as an ESL teacher in Tokyo. In my mind, a vacation was doing absolutely nothing and just “vegging out” by the pool on a beautiful sunny day. Whoever said anything about “learning” while on vacation? Mika patiently explained to me that for one month a year, she could go to another country, learn a language, experience the local culture, and have fun sightseeing! It was a “win-win” for her. She worked in marketing, so brushing up on her English skills helped her professionally, and learning about another culture helped her relax, make new friends, and have an enjoyable vacation. This gave me something to think about, and once I returned to the U.S., I began to see why Mika was such a successful, well-rounded person.

Learning can be fun. In fact, having fun while studying can enhance and accelerate the learning process. This is especially true when learning a language. When a student is having fun in an English class, he/she forgets to be nervous or shy and starts to participate fully in the class without inhibitions.  When I started teaching at Language Systems in South Bay, I noticed that there were many special programs that catered to students coming for a short “learning vacation.” These programs were centered around certain themes like survival English for beginners or conversation English for intermediate and advanced students. Even academic programs like test preparation classes could help students make the most out of their short time in the United States.

Recently, requests for “learning vacations” have increased, and the last few months at Language Systems, where I currently work, have been really exciting and productive. In anticipation of our students coming for learning vacations this summer, we have been designing special business programs with hands-on activities that will enhance our students’ learning experience. For our survival English and conversation classes, we have added some impressive field trips and outings that will get students moving, learning about American culture, and making new friends in English!

Here are three reasons to make your next vacation a learning one: 
1. There are plenty of programs at Language Systems to choose from, depending on your interests and skills. You can choose the one that is right for you!
2. There are amazing sites to visit and things to do in Southern California. When we plan our field trips, it’s easy to find places that are both educational and fun.
3. Each program, even short-term programs, end with a certificate of completion or attendance so that when returning to your country, you can show your employer your dedication in building your professional skills.
Of course, there are many more reasons to learn while you are on vacation! When I see LSI students on a whale-watching trip in Long Beach, cheering on the Dodgers or Angels at a baseball game, or getting some hands-on time at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, I think of Mika and wonder what new adventure she is on right now. Are you ready to start your learning vacation?
Know more about LSI Summer Program

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Newsletter April 2017


Earth Day
By Carlos Takashima, Program Coordinator at NELA

           Earth Day; what is it?  Why do we even consider it?  Here are my thoughts.  Most people like the sound of the word Earth Day because it brings up images of environmentally friendly processes or actions by citizens and special groups.  You see videos of people picking up trash, saving whales, finding ways of saving water, etc.  You read articles about a new scientific discovery that will change or save our world without us having to do anything.  There’s a lot of information out there, but here’s the questions; what do you really know about Earth Day, the environment, and climate change?  Have you ever really sat down and focused on what all of those things mean?  Does it bore you?  Does it scare you?  Do you care?
This Earth Day, I propose a different task.  Rather than going out and picking up some trash or recycling your water bottle, I challenge you to find several environmental challenges you can research about and pick one that interests you.  There’s not one problem bigger than the other.  Our entire environment is connected and not all of the issues get the same coverage.  Maybe you could find something that really interests you and you could be the next head person of a group that advocates for a problem that’s disregarded or ignored all together.  I challenge you to sit down for an hour or two and understand what the environment is, how it affects you, and what climate change really means.  I don’t want to give you my opinion or force you to see my perspective.  This year, it’s all about Environmental and Climate literacy.  You have to start somewhere, and education is the first step.  Peace.

Language Systems Life Style 

Why Should I Study at NELA?
By Carlos Takashima, Program Coordinator at NELA

          I understand that students come to study English in Los Angeles because of the accessibility of things and all the attractions it has to offer. I understand that there’s a misconception about some areas being more entertaining or fun than others. It’s important to find a place you’re happy when you’re so far away from home and want to get the most out of your time in the United States; That’s why I advocate that you give NELA a try. I know some people think there may be nothing to do out here, but they would be wrong. There’s more to this part of the city than you can even think about, and we offer a couple of perks that you may not be aware about.
For one, we live in one of the most historical areas of the city and some of the most up and coming neighborhoods.  We will be moving to Pasadena soon, and the name itself springs of cool things to look out for. The San Gabriel valley has several neighborhoods that offer more cultural diversity and changing demographics than other parts of the city. There are good music and food scenes out here, and you may find that you’re paying less in rent as well.
Next, our school has some of the most experienced, talented, and knowledgeable teachers.  All our schools do, but many of our teachers have roots in the surrounding area and bring a wealth of information to our students. The size of our school gives you quick and direct access to teachers, services, and the program coordinator. The size of our school provides a great teacher to student ratio; more attention per student. The PC does counseling for students thinking of college prep programs and has good knowledge of the community service system and how to transfer to major universities. Don’t forget, we’re getting a brand new campus with quads for socializing, lounge rooms, and accessible services in the area. Most importantly, most of our students always come back and say they always felt like we were a small community that made them feel more at home.  
Lastly, if you took the brave step of living this far away from home, why not live in a place you may not know much about where you could find way more things than you even imagined? Disneyland, Universal Studios, the beach, and all that other good stuff is always a drive away anyway. Trust me, I live on the west side and I’m not always in Santa Monica, Venice, UCLA, Beverly Hills, and all that stuff.  I probably go as often as someone living on the other side of town.  So why not NELA? Why not give us a shot? You may be surprised to find out that you’ll love it here.   

Discover LA(NELA)

Cityrace Secrets of Old Pasadena
By Carlos Takashima, Program Coordinator at NELA

A white horse...a green castle...and a Man in Black!
          In CityRace Urban Adventure Hunts, teams of 2 to 4 players solve fun & challenging clues leading them on a 3-hour hunt through one of L.A.'s many diverse neighborhoods. Teams will crack codes, solve challenging puzzles, uncover little-known facts and more... all while racing against other teams to be first to the finish with the most correct answers!

Explore secluded walkways, charming plazas and bustling shopping areas as you solve tricky clues leading you through the heart of Pasadena's beautifully preserved original downtown. The rustic brick façades and quaint alleyways of this renowned landmark historic district are the perfect setting for this exciting CityRace hunt. Discover the hidden secrets and historic treasures of one of the region's most famous neighborhoods!

Recreation in Pasadena
Date(s): 04/08/2017
Day(s): Saturday
Time(s): 10:00am-1:00pm
Address: 150 N Raymond Ave Pasadena CA 91101 
Cost: $40.00

Yowie at Egg Bowl

          Come have an EGG-CELLENT time at our spring festival and egg hunt inside the Rose Bowl Stadium! Enjoy fun for the whole family with games and activities such as face painting, live entertainment, balloon animals, food, pictures with the Bunny, and much more! This will be Pasadena’s largest egg hunt! Children will hip-hop their way onto the Rose Bowl field through more than 60,000 eggs in search of the ever so lucky GOLDEN EGG!

Recreation in Pasadena
Date(s): 04/15/2017
Day(s): Saturday
Time(s): 11:00am-3:00pm
Address: 1001 Rose Bowl Dr, Pasadena, CA 91103

Free in LA (NELA)

Second Saturday Spotlight Talk
By Carlos Takashima, Program Coordinator at NELA

        Spotlight Talks take place the second Saturday of every month at 2:00pm. A PMCA docent leads an engaging and insightful 20–minute discussion about a work of art currently on view in our Main Gallery exhibition, The Golden Twenties: Portraits and Figure Paintings by Joseph Kleitsch.

Note: Spotlight Talks meet near the exhibition title wall.

Presented as part of our PMCA 1234 monthly programming.
Free for PMCA members. Free with admission. Children 12 and under are always free!

Museums in Pasadena
Date(s): 04/08/2017
Day(s): Saturday
Time(s): 2PM
Address: 490 E. Union St.Pasadena, CA 91101 
Phone: 6265683665

Cost: Free with Admission

Celebrate National Library Week APRIL 9-15

        Crowell Public Library is celebrating National Library Week with a plethora of activities for all ages. What can be more transforming than clothing? Adults coming to Crowell Library on Tuesday evening, April 11 at will learn about the history of costume, when librarian Alex Kosztowny from FIDM presents, Fashion: From Concept to Consumer and Beyond in the Library’s Barth Community Room at 7:00 p.m. Adults will also have an opportunity to transform a book by entering the Crowell Library BookArt contest, which actually begins April 4, giving entrants ample time to let their creativity run wild. Patrons of all ages will have fun in the Library’s photo booth, taking selfies and sharing them on Instagram. The photo booth will offer a giant passport and library card prop as well as a view from a “reference desk.” For the young and young at heart, there will be a magic show from Illusions by Allen on Saturday, April 8th at 2:00 p.m. Allen Oshiro won First Place at the “Magic Corner Battle of the Magicians.” All week long, if kids are caught reading a book in the library, they can earn surprise prize tickets, and they can also participate in a “Libraries Transform” Scavenger Hunt.

Books in San Gabriel Valley
Date(s): 04/09/2017 to 04/15/2017
Day(s): Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
Time(s): all day
Address: 1890 Huntington Drive, San Marino, CA 91108 
Phone: 626-300-0777
Cost: Free

Language Systems Faces 

Interview with LSI Front Desk Staff (NELA)
By Interview conducted by Carlos Takashima, Program Coordinator at NELA

Meet Paul Won. 
Q: How long have you worked for Language Systems?
A: Four and a half months.

Q: What do you like about working at NELA?
A: I can talk to students and try to help them.

Q: What is the most fun thing you’ve done at NELA?
A: Hanging out with students. I used to be a student at NELA, so It’s nice that I can still spend time with some of my old classmates. The most fun thing I’ve done here is going kayaking with other students.

Q: How many languages can you speak? Which ones? Do you want to learn any other languages? Which ones?
A: I speak English and Mandarin. I would like to learn Indonesian.

Q: What is your dream and what do you want to learn working at Language Systems?
A: My dream is to get a good career where I can have the option of working hard when I want to and taking time off when I want to.

Q: Who is the craziest person at NELA?
A: Carlos the PC because he’s always training. He trains early in the mornings, during his time off, during his vacation; he’s always training.

Program Coordinator Article

Why California is the best place to live
By Carlos Takashima, Program Coordinator at NELA

          The US is a large country.  We’re made of fifty states represented by stars on our flag.  However, when it comes to choosing a state to live in, why should California be considered as a good place?  We’ll let a Californian explain to you why.  California has more than enough reasons for you to want to live here.  Let’s go over some of the most important ones.
We’re the riches state in the country.  If we were to separate as an independent “Bear” republic, we would be the 5th or 6th largest economy alone.  That means there’s a lot of stuff going on and we’re rich on resources and people skills.  For example, California has the Silicon Valley, Hollywood, The largest (and most productive) agricultural force, production of some of the best wine in the world, it’s one of the most biodiverse states, it has the biggest, tallest, and oldest trees in the world, it has a wealth of microclimates, and the list goes on and on.
Here’s the most important thing.  California draws some of the most talented people from all over the world, which means that all the bright and talented minds come together in one place.  Along with our cultural diversity, some of the most tolerant and open minded people, and the amount of entrepreneurship that happens here, why wouldn’t you want to move to California.  I’ve only covered the surface though.  It’s important to remember that California gives you the opportunity to learn more about yourself because you’ll be going through the same thing with people from all over the world.  Empathy, tolerance, and friendship; that’s why you choose California.