Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Bowling Night With Scott

The South Bay students gathered together for a fun night of bowling. Omar 's smashed finger didn't stop him from cracking some pins. Masashi and Takuya provided plenty of energetic dancing and other entertaining moves. Best bowler award should probably go to Gerson for his nearly flawless technique. Tucked together closely and comfortably on three lanes, we all made the best of another great activity.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Japanese dinner with Tommy!

We went to a Japanese restaurant in Monterrey Park called Ramen N.A.O. Many of our Japanese classmates have been to this restaurant.  All the food there was so good and the place made us feel very comfortable. We were laughing and sharing a lot of funny stories. One of the best things about attending a school with so many cultures is learning about different food. The meal was an unforgettable memory for us and we can’t wait until the next time. :)

Mina - TOEFL Student

One of the best ways for students to get to know each other is through a good meal.  It is during these times that students begin to communicate and open up. Many students reveal information that they were once too shy to talk about.  Food has a way of making students feel they are not in school but having dinner with family.  I’m grateful that Language Systems allows me to take the students outside of the classroom and into a different environment.  Without these trips students might not discover how similar they are even though they all come from different countries.

Tommy Munoz - TOEFL Teacher #NELA

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Clipper game with Ty!

On Monday November 30, 2015, a group of 15 students and 2 teachers from Language Systems -Orange County made the trip to the Staples Center in Downtown Los Angeles to see the Clippers take on the Portland Trail Blazers.  For most of the students, it was their very first NBA game. The Los Angeles Clippers ended up beating Portland 102 - 87.  

During the game we got to see some amazing slam dunks by the Clippers, including this massive dunk by #32 Blake Griffin.  We had such a great time!  The students were pretty impressed by how nice the Staples Center was and how close we felt to the court, even though we were sitting in the very last row (literally).  

It was close to Christmas too, so the area around the Staples Center had a lot of beautiful Christmas lights and other decorations that helped us all feel America's Christmas spirit.  It was such a great night!

Ty - Language Systems #OC

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Thankgiving 2015


In the United States, the modern Thanksgiving holiday tradition traces its origins to a 1621 celebration at Plymouth in present-day Massachusetts. The 1621 Plymouth feast and thanksgiving was prompted by a good harvest. In later years, the tradition was continued by civil leaders such as Governor Bradford who planned a thanksgiving celebration and feast in 1623. While initially, the Plymouth colony did not have enough food to feed half of the 102 colonists, the Wampanoag Native Americans helped the Pilgrims by providing seeds and teaching them to fish. The practice of holding an annual harvest festival like this did not become a regular affair in New England until the late 1660s.

Today, Thanksgiving is an important part of American culture. Families and friends gather together to share a special meal and give thanks for their blessings. The traditional meal usually includes turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, and pumpkin pie. As many Americans move towards a healthier lifestyle, some variations of Thanksgiving dinner can include meatless options such as a "Tofurkey," which is tofu shaped like a roast.  Americans of different backgrounds also incorporate some of the traditional foods from their cultures into their Thanksgiving customs. While no two Thanksgiving meals are alike, one thing is for certain: Thanksgiving is a wonderful time to share with family and friends!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Thanksgiving event at The Midnight Mission (TMM)

Language Systems students & friends joined Teacher Caroline on Saturday, November 21st & Sunday 22nd, to help The Midnight Mission (TMM) prepare for their Thanksgiving Day event.

The preparation included  slicing hams, peeling & dicing vegetables, making stuffing & prepping the turkeys. Volunteers came each day and assisted chefs & workers in the kitchen. The chefs and volunteer coordinators were incredibly thankful for the effort and enthusiasm of our group.

Everyone had an amazing time and looking forward to volunteering again!


Check out all the pictures on our FB page!

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Lunch social at a local taqueria with Ty!

On Thursday November 12, 2015 about 15 students from Language Systems - OC had a lunch social activity at the local Taqueria de Anda, which is a local taco shop that serves delicious authentic Mexican food.  

It's hard to live in California and NOT eat Mexican food.  For many of these students it was actually their first time trying a food that almost every California native grew up eating.  

Some students got tacos, some got burritos, and a couple tried the quesadillas.  Students had to choose a meat, with the choices being BBQ pork (Al Pastor), Mexican beef (Asada), and chicken.  They also had to choose between red sauce (spicy) and green sauce (not that spicy).  

When one student from Japan held the burrito in her hands for the first time, she said, "It's so heavy!"  Half of us had food coma when we were done eating lunch.  It was a lot of fun, and our Language Systems students did a great job trying something new, and something unique about life in California.  

Good job everyone!

Friday, November 6, 2015

A night of pool/billiards with Anthony!

A night of pool/billiards in the Lakewood/Long Beach area was a great social event for the students from LSI #SBLA. There was a showing of more than 13 students from a myriad of levels and backgrounds. And aside from pool playing, there was American music and pizza from a local eatery.

With the large number of students, we took over three tables at Lakewood Family Billiards and took turns learning and playing cutthroat, a three player version of pool, and standard 8-ball, a 1v1 or team version of pool. Students interacted with one another and with LSI teacher Anthony while practicing realistic English use and everyday American social skills.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Halloween Celebration

Language Systems – Halloween Celebration

Halloween is always a special time for our students to have a lot of fun while learning about American culture.  Every year at our Orange County campus we hold a costume and pumpkin carving contest.  It’s always really cool to see some of the costumes that both teachers and students come up with.  This year the winner of the student costume contest was a Japanese student named Yohsuke.  he dressed up as a big baby.  He had a diaper on and had a big pacifier in his mouth.  His costume was really crazy, and really funny.  I think that’s why he won.  The students also came up with some really great ideas for the pumpkin carving contest.  Of course Language Systems provided the students with plenty of Halloween candy in the good old American tradition!

Rock Climbing with Teacher Shar

The students and teacher Shar went rock climbing at Hangar 18. Around 20 students showed up and everyone had a great time. Prior to that, the students signed a long hangar 18 liability waiver, which was a great way for them to get familiar with the process of writing their information for a waiver.

The students got a chance to interact and practice their English conversation with each other and the staff. Overall a great experience, and a great workout for the students. They all had a blast and were so thankful for the activity.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Fall Beach BBQ in OC!

On Friday October 23, about 60 OC students met in Newport Beach for our annual Fall Beach BBQ.

We had students from Brazil, Colombia, Peru, Saudi Arabia, Korea, Thailand, Japan, China, Taiwan, Vietnam, Cambodia, Jordan, Egypt, Venezuela, Kazakhstan, Yemen, and probably a couple of countries that I'm forgetting.  

The weather was wonderful, the water was warm, the food was delicious, and the company was the best.  All our students had so much fun together.  At the end of the afternoon, we were able to see a gorgeous California sunset.  

Thank you to everybody who helped make this BBQ such a success!


Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Arabic Culture Night in the South Bay with Brandon!

Many students attended Arabic Culture Night, ready to smoke hookah, drink tea and engage in discussions in a relaxed environment with Brandon Monahan, a teacher from LSI's South Bay Campus.

Although most of the students were from Saudi Arabia, there were two Japanese students and one Chilean student in attendance. Questions were asked of the Arabic students about their culture, including what is normally eaten while smoking hookah, how often this practice is done in any given week and why they think hookah has become so popular in the United States.

It was a great time to practice English, learn a few key Arabic phrases and revel in the camaraderie that bridges cultural and geographic borders.

It was an exciting night that extended late into the evening, leaving everyone breathless (and not just because of the hookah).

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Bowling night!

On Thursday, September 24th, DTLA students joined Teacher Caroline for a fun night of bowling at the Shatto 39 Lanes. 

Teacher Mary Jo also joined to bowl a couple of games. It was an incredibly fun night. Everyone cheered, danced and talked the whole time. Definitely, there'll be another night like this soon!

DTLA Teacher

Monday, September 21, 2015

Italian Lunch with teacher Michael An'gile!

On Saturday 09/14/2015, Teacher Michael An'gileo and a group of students (representing the countries of Venezuela, Turkey, South Korea, Japan, Mexico and Saudi Arabia) met for an amazing Italian Lunch and cool lesson in the Italian Language at Andre's Restaurant across from the Grove. 

Wow! The pizza, spaghetti, garlic bread and gelato were fantastic. Andre's is an historic restaurant, in business for over a half-century in Los Angeles. The students were really impressed with the huge quantities of food, delicious ice cream, and great prices. 

In Italian we learned to say... "Grazie mille... ci vediamo!" It means.. "Thank you so much, see you again soon!" Ciao! 

For more information about activities at Language Systems please visit

Friday, September 18, 2015

LACMA with teacher Jordan!

Students from #DTLA and teacher Jordan Kurt spent a leisurely Friday afternoon at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), where we saw James Turrell's, Breathing Light, Chris Burden's Metropolis II, exhibitions on Latin American and contemporary Middle Eastern art, and of course the famous streetlamps! 

It was so much fun!!

Friday, September 11, 2015

Wine Tour!

On Labor Day, nine wine-loving students from Language Systems Downtown LA visited three Central Coast Wineries, Babcock Vineyard & Winery, Koehler Vineyard & Winery, and Rusack Vineyard & Winery with teacher John, who is a longtime visitor to the area and a wine club member of the three wineries.

The first stop was Babcock, where students enjoyed tasting eight high-quality wines with cheese & crackers. We were served in the spacious tasting room while sitting around a low table.

Next, we drove to Los Olivos to buy lunch, then took it to Koehler to taste eight more wines and enjoy a picnic under shady trees, drinking four bottles of Koehler's Riesling, Grenache (red) and a Grenache Rose. Some students bought wine using John's 20% club member discount.

We then divided into two groups, one group exploring quaint Danish-style Solvang, and the other taking in one more winery, Rusack.

After meeting up again, we all went to Chumash Casino, where most students won some money!!

It was a long day, but everyone had a great time learning about wine, tasting delicious local wine of the area, playing tourist in Solvang, and just enjoying the beautiful Southern California countryside on a warm late-summer day.

John Bury - #DTLA Teacher

For more information about Language Systems, please visit