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Newsletter December 2017

Editorial – Christmas and Holiday Season By Carlos Takashima, Program Coordinator at NELA

I don’t know about you, but the Holiday Season is one of my favorite times of the year.  Many people think it’s just a commercial holiday to make people shop.  But whatever your perspective, religion, or personal beliefs are, it’s important to remember it always involves family and kindness.  Shopping is a personal choice.  Family is the core group of your personal happiness.  The beautiful thing about family is that it can be anyone.  Being family automatically involves kindness.  Kindness to your closest family members, your friends, your colleagues, and the 7-Eleven guy; you get to choose who, where, and when you spread that love.  That’s what I love about the holidays.  You have a chance to put all your differences aside once a year to just enjoy each others’ company and love.

This last year has been difficult for many people.  Life can take unexpected turns sometimes.  No matter how tough things get, you have a choice on how you want to react.  The holidays are a difficult time for many people, but they don’t have to be.  If you have no family here, invite that cool friend from class over, be kind to your neighbors, or ask that cute person out to a coffee or lunch; you never know if they’re feeling the same way as you.  And if you’re already happy and feeling lucky, organize a small potluck party for people who may not be as lucky as you and watch how much they’ll enjoy themselves.  Sometimes people just need someone to talk to and to not feel so alone in this world.  The best way to spread kindness is through friendship, consideration, and a little heart.  My way of spreading kindness is just trying to make someone smile sometimes.  You wouldn’t believe how far that can go.  Happy Holidays to everyone.  Much love to all of you from a simple office worker.

Language Systems Life Style (NELA) – Thanksgiving Celebration By Carlos Takashima, Program Coordinator at NELA

Pasadena had lovely weather during this year’s Thanksgiving potluck celebration.  We were very fortunate and decided to have our potluck outdoors.  Our morning students brought an entire assortment of lovely food.  For some students, it was the first time trying turkey, so it was a bit exciting and scary at the same time.   Some of them were impressed with the size and portions of food and sent photographs for their families to see.

Our afternoon classes brought a completely different style of food.   It was great to try different styles of food throughout the day.  One of our students brought a guitar and had a group of people singing.  There was a group of girls counting calories, and then there was the mother thinking of her own parents back in her home country.   Evening students decided to talk about what they were grateful for this year and brought lots of desserts; maybe evening students need more sugar to stay awake.  Anyway, it was lovely listening to everyone share their feelings of gratitude for something in life.
That’s what thanksgiving is about.  It was great to share a meal with students of different ages, countries, and religions all together in one place.  It helped us realize that we are all human and we can learn to understand each other, no matter how different we are.  I guess that’s a good reason to be thankful for this year. 

Discover LA (NELA) By Carlos Takashima, Program Coordinator at NELA

One of the coolest things I got to do due to the four day schedule was organize Friday activities for students. Because I live in the west side of Los Angeles, I never really took the time to visit North East Los Angeles. I must say that there’s much more to do than people think. There are people from many backgrounds, many cultural events, a lot of history, and unexpected places that would blow your mind. If you like nature, you can go to Eaton Canyon, Monrovia Canyon, or even the many gardens available to the public. The beautiful part is that most of this stuff is free.

If you like art and music, you will enjoy the Pasadena play house, all the galleries and museums, and the free concerts at Levitt Pavilion. They have tons of outdoor movies, community events, and family activities. My mind has really been opened to a variety of great things.

The Arboretum is so close that the peacocks will walk onto our campus sometimes. The Rose Bowl is minutes away if you want to watch a sporting event, a concert, try a 5k, or go to the flea market. There’s richness in culture and history. You can get some of the best Chinese food in one of the oldest parts of Los Angeles. It’s a great deal and one that students from abroad should take advantage of and discover.

Free in LA (NELA) By Carlos Takashima, Program Coordinator at NELA

  • Rose Parade – January 1, 2018
  • Pasadena Tree Lighting Ceremonies – November 17 to December 03, 2017
    Deck the Halls with Holiday Cheer
    Pasadena Tree Lighting Ceremonies are free events that deck the halls of Pasadena with holiday cheer. Enjoy festive holiday music and holiday-themed family fun starting with The Paseo Colorado as they kick off the holiday season November 17, 2017. Then join Mayor Terry Tornek at Pasadena City Hall as the Mayor lights the City’s Official Holiday Tree on December 1, 2017. Continue the holiday cheer at The Langham Huntington Pasadena as they light their own beautiful tree on December 2, 2017.Centennial Square
Language Systems Faces Interview with Teacher MR. JEFF ZEDOUTI (NELA) Interview conducted by Carlos Takashima, Program Coordinator at NELA
AI’m originally from North Africa, precisely from Morocco, and “Amazigh” by heritage.

AI have visited several countries and spent almost sixteen years in Asia.  First, I lived in Thailand, and then moved to China.

ABesides my native tongue, I can speak French fluently and moderately Spanish.

A: I had a chance to visit and explore other states before settling in California. And indeed, each state has its own charm, pros and cons. However, California remains a welcoming state to many new immigrants, offering various opportunities in terms of good living standards as well as affordable costs of living. The climate is its own prestige, which attracts many people from all colors of life. Los Angeles was, and always will remain a legend city that has a stunning history, and there is a lot to learn about this very busy city which still keeps growing and prospering.

A: For all these years that I have been operating in the education field as an ESL instructor, I have learned that in order to become a successful educator one should deeply believe in the profession’s ethical values as the main foundation and building blocks of a genuine teacher. I am indeed very grateful to be part of the world’s education mission, pouring and sharing the best off my knowledge, energy, and capacity with students from different backgrounds and parts of the globe. I am very thankful to be given the opportunity to work at Language Systems International School which allows me to further my ESL knowledge and learn new teaching methodologies, as well as broaden my educational horizons. I strongly believe that knowledge is power. And being a teacher, one should constantly keep learning because curiosity has no cure.

Student Article 

By Bond (Level 5)

Hello Guys!  My name is Bond.  I’ve been studying English at LSI for several months and I’ve been in L.A. for four months.  This Christmas holiday is going to be a special one for me because it’s going to be my first Christmas celebration in the US.  My plan is to go around sightseeing by bus and watch the light decorations on the street.  Then, I’m going to spend a day in Hollywood and enjoy the decorated Christmas trees and simply walk around the streets looking at the decorations on buildings and other trees around Hollywood.  I hope to enjoy the unique atmosphere and the feelings of joy and happiness that arise in every living thing there.

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