Wednesday, March 22, 2017

The Echo Park Experience!

An urban hike through one of LA's hippest neighborhoods. 

We began the Sunday afternoon climbing the legendary Baxter Stairs for a view of Elysian Park (Dodger Stadium!) and DTLA. 

, we strolled down Echo Park Lane, popular for vibrant street art, stopping for a quick nibble from the famous "blue quesadilla" street cart vendor. 

Later, we arrived at the scenic Echo Park Lake where we relaxed on paddle boats and enjoyed the warm, sunny weather. 

Lastly, we walked down Sunset for our final destination of Button Mash. 

An Asian fusion restaurant complete with a 1980s arcade and pawn shop.

It was a wonderful Sunday! ​

Friday, March 17, 2017

Basketball Tournament Memories

The morning of March 10, 2017 was filled with the energy of the students arriving at our annual basketball tournament.  People were wearing smiles and their proud school colors to support their school’s team.  Their spirits were high and their voices even higher.  The court began to fill up with students and the fun began as the game whistles went off.  Program coordinators running around trying to keep things in order, Office Managers trying to organize staff, and our Marketing team doing their best to make sure everything was going as planned.

Nothing is easy about the tournament; some teams have trained for weeks.  There was some serious planning behind this entire event, but it’s worth it to see the students smiling and using their voices to show their happiness to watch their classmates try their best at basketball.  The games were packed with action and filled with drama.  Some games were so close that they had to be decided on free throws.  People were biting their nails, losing their voices, and some making new friends.  In the end the team from OC was the victor and proud champion for the year.  So congratulations to the Orange County Champions. That’s what the basketball tournament is about; interactions that help motivate students to use their English to build lifetime friendships. 

We are committed at Language Systems to making our events memorable experiences.  Language Systems is built from the efforts of people that care about student progress and their quality of life in the United States.  We are about inclusion, understanding, and respect.  We want our students to experience as much as possible and remember us for good times and learning experiences that help them become international ambassadors, even if it’s with a simple basketball tournament.  So don’t be shy and participate with all your classmates.  Who knows, you may surprise yourself with how much English and life skills you’ve learned.

 By Carlos Takashima, PC at NELA

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Sriracha Factory Tour

Last February 17, NELA students took a tour of the famous Sriracha sauce factory.  I’m sure you have seen, or heard, of the famous sauce in most restaurants, as it has become quite popular in recent years.  It’s difficult to miss with its distinctive bright red color and green top.

We were very lucky to see the inside operations and workings of such a popular item.  The tour guide gave us some history about the owner and how kind he is to all his workers.  She guided us through their shipping warehouse and the processing machines.  The machines were loud and had many moving parts and processes.  It was fascinating to see how much work and effort is placed to provide the public with something we often take for granted.  The students were curious and excited to see everything put together from simple elements and ingredients. 

At the end of the tour, we were taken to their merchandise store and we were given a free, small bottle, of Sriracha.  

They were very kind and helpful to us, even though we had a torrential downpour that day.  We hope we can visit again to get the full tour, as we were given a limited one due to the rain.  It was a great experience and students enjoyed it.

 By Carlos Takashima, PC at NELA