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Newsletter February 2018

Editorial – New Year’s Resolutions By Sylvia Sunada, Program Coordinator at SBLA

New Year’s Eve is always a time for new beginnings. Many people make promises to themselves to improve certain aspects of their lives. Here are the ten most common New Year’s Resolutions in the United States.
1. Get Fit! – The end of the year is full of holidays with lots of yummy foods to eat. Most of us enjoy as much of it as we can (because it’s only once a year, right?!) However, once January rolls around, we’re feeling a little soft around the middle. The new year is a great time to resolve to get into shape. In January, fitness clubs offer deals and promotions to those who want to keep their promises.
2. Take a class, learn something new – Learn a new language? Improve your cooking skills? Find a new hobby? The world is full of exciting facts and activities!
3. Adopt Healthier Eating Habits – As mentioned in #1, we tend to indulge in lots of fatty, yummy, delicious foods over the holidays. Do you want to eat healthier, fresher foods? Now’s a good time to try and change.
4. Volunteer – Lots of people and organizations need a little help. Find local organizations to help kids, the homeless, animals, anything that sparks something in your heart.
5.Fix Your Finances – Do you have a retirement plan? How does your savings account look? Read a book, take a seminar, but do something to try and improve your money situation.
6. More Quality Time with Family – If you’re not too close with your family, resolve to spend more time with those friends who make you happy.  Make time in your busy schedule to see the ones you love.
7. Stop Smoking – This one of the most challenging resolutions, but also one of the more beneficial ones. Do your best! Only an estimated 15% of people who try to quit manage to stay cigarette-free six months later.
8. More Vacations and Trips –  The world is yours to discover! Take that trip you’ve always wanted to. Don’t wait till it’s too late!
9. Stress Less – Stress has been linked to some dangerous health problems. Less stress can make you healthier and happier.
10. Reduce Alcohol Consumption – Have you ever had a hangover? Not so nice! The best way to avoid those is to drink less alcohol. If you enjoy a cocktail now and then, practice moderation. Your health will thank you.

Language Systems Life Style – Valentine’s Day in America By Josh Block, DTLA Assistant Program Coordinator

The origins of Valentine’s Day are mysterious. Scholars and historians have argued for years about when the holiday was created; we are not even sure who St. Valentine is! In the United States today, Valentine’s Day is a celebration of love. Couples give gifts, flowers, chocolates, and cards to their partners, and often spend the night out at a romantic restaurant.  Lovers young and old plan dates at many of the beautiful locations around Los Angeles, like Huntington Gardens and Barnsdall Art Park. In school, children decorate heart-shaped cards with Valentine’s Day messages and leave them in boxes for each other. No matter who you are or who you love, Valentine’s Day is a celebration for all!. 

Discover LA By Sylvia Sunada, Program Coordinator at SBLA

Olvera Street is known as the first official street in Los Angeles. It is now a Mexican Marketplace that recreates a romantic “Old Los Angeles.” There you’ll find a narrow, tree-lined, market with old brick structures, painted stalls, street vendors, cafes, restaurants and gift shops.  Olvera Street was created in 1930 “to preserve and present the customs and trades of early California.”  Many of the merchants on Olvera Street today are descended from the original vendors.

 Visitors from around the world stroll around the marketplace smelling the ever-present taquitos and tacos at the outdoor cafes, listening to the strolling mariachi music, and watching Aztecs and Mexican folkloric dancers. The many vendors offer handcrafted items such as pottery, belts, wallets, purses, leather and Mexican folk art.

Olvera Street celebrates holidays such as Los Tres Reyes,  Blessing of the Animals, Los Angeles City Birthday, Cinco de Mayo, Mexican Independence Day, Dia de los Muertos, the Day of the Virgin of Guadalupe and Las Posadas with lots of music and special offerings.  Olvera Street continues to be a major tourist stop attracting as many as two million visitors per year. It’s a must-see in Los Angeles!

Free in LA By Josh Block, DTLA Assistant Program Coordinator

  • Broken Hearts Circus – February 11th, 1pm
    Feeling down about Valentine’s Day? You’re not alone! Join the festival for the broken-hearted in the Arts District and forget your troubles. The circus will include live music, face painting, magic, and a photobooth. The event is free at Angel City Brewery, but you must be 21+ to join the fun.
  • Valentine’s Day Tango Party – February 14th, 7:30pm
    Looking to spend a romantic evening with your special someone this Valentine’s Day? Come to downtown LA and dance the night away! The evening will begin with a free tango lesson, followed by social dancing (called milonga) and finally, a professional tango performance! Love is in the air, and the beautiful Union Station is the perfect place to celebrate the holiday. The doors open at 7pm, bring your dancing shoes! More information is available on the Union Station Los Angeles Facebook page.
  • Lunar New Year Festival – February 17th, 1pm
    Join over 100,000 Angelenos for a cultural celebration! Head to the Chinatown Central Plaza in downtown LA for food, ping pong, traditional music, and even kung fu! The highlight of the festival will be the in the 119th annual Golden Dragon Parade.  Parking will be difficult, so take Metro to the Chinatown station on the Gold Line to beat traffic.

Language Systems Faces
Interview with Assistant Program Coordinator Henry (SBLA) Interview conducted by Sylvia Sunada, Program Coordinator at SBLA
Meet Henry, the Assistant Program Coordinator in Torrance
How long have you worked at Language Systems?
AI started at the Alhambra LSI in October 2012 and moved to Torrance LSI in April 2013 I became an Assistant PC in July 2014

Q: How long have you been teaching English in general?
AI taught English in Japan for the JET (Japanese Exchange Teaching Program) from 1992 to 1995 and then with AEON from 1996 to 2010

Q: What is your favorite thing about being evening PC?
AMy co-workers are very positive and we all support each other well. The teachers work hard with not only teaching English to the students but also American culture. The students here in Torrance are very friendly and outgoing. What’s not to enjoy working here?

Q: What is something about you that would be surprising to people who don’t know you well?
A: My wife is Japanese, and my two sons were born there. One is in high school and the other is in college. Their English has really improved since coming here but they are still enrolled in an ESL class to improve their English. 
 On a personal level I have recently gotten interested in bicycling. I have an old mountain bike that I ride all over L.A. I have ridden about 3,500 miles this year so far and I’m hoping to get passed the 10,000-mile mark. If you ever want to go for a ride please let me know.

Student Article 1 Three Things People Need to Know About Christmas

By Triana Level 6

 The most important thing is family. During the Christmas season, it is inevitable that you are going to be with your family, so try to have fun and don’t get stressed. The second thing is the food. Everyone likes to eat but in Christmas, people are used to cooking and eating a lot so be ready to gain weight but appreciate that you have that food. The last thing is the kindness. For some people, this is the most lonely and sad time so do something considerate for others that you receive no credit or benefit from. In conclusion, Christmas is a season everyone should enjoy.

Student Article 2 Christmas Time

By Chris Level 6

      It is the most special time of the year for everybody. Young people, teenagers and even elder people usually enjoy this holiday. Why? The reasons are clear; because of the magic that we feel, the colors of the environment, and also the happiness that people share with each other. All these things are noticeable during the holiday season.
      Firstly, you can see children and young people living Christmas time as a unique moment in their lives. They look surprised receiving and opening gifts they asked for with sincere enthusiasm, playing with them for hours or even days without taking care of the time. For teenagers it is also a good time because they can proudly show off new clothes and gifts to their friends in the New Year. Elder people see this time differently because they don’t really care as much about the gifts as the young do, but joining with family and having a good time together is something that they appreciate and will never forget.
      Secondly, families meet to happily decorate their houses inside and out by placing colorful and fun stuff all around. They enjoy these activities together. It is also gratifying to visit different cities or to go out and walk around looking at all the decorations in the streets. You realize that there are countless kinds of ambiance you can find.
      Finally, you can feel the happiness of this magical environment in which everybody is more active than usual and has a fever to buy things that they don’t even need. They may find nice stuff for the house and will buy it even if it is pricy. It has become kind of necessary to spend money on cool things at Christmas. It might be a waste of money, but the reason is that everybody has family, friends, and     people to give gifts to, and this is a particular time when people see each other more often, meet for lunch or dinner, and just have big celebrations for fun.
      I would like to encourage everybody to enjoy this time because it only happens once a year. You have the chance to spend more time with your family and friends or at least talk with them, and you could make somebody happy with your gift.                 

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