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Newsletter Febuary 2017


What is Valentine’s Day?
By Iain McConnell, APC at DTLA

          According to legend, there was a Roman priest named Valentine who performed marriage ceremonies while Rome was at war. This action was forbidden by law, but Valentine continued to marry couples. Supposedly, when the Roman ruler discovered this, Valentine was killed. Whether this legend is true or not is unclear. However, in the year 496, the Pope declared St. Valentine’s Day a national holiday. 

          In the 1850’s, an American greeting card maker began mass producing and marketing Valentine’s Day cards, effectively bringing the celebration to the United States. Over time, other companies began to realize the value of marketing Valentine’s Day to men and women. Now many candy makers, flower sellers and restaurants report that couples spend more money on this day than many other holidays. People buy lots of these kinds of gifts for their Valentines. Yes, Valentine’s Day can be an expensive day for the average person. But it doesn’t have to be…

What is Valentine’s Day?

Valentine’s Day on a Budget
By Iain McConnell, APC at DTLA

          Have you got that special someone but no money to make him/her feel special? Well, don’t worry. I have some ideas for you! 

          First, explain to your Valentine that you want this day to be the best and most romantic Valentine’s Day ever. For that reason, you decided NOT to reserve a table at an OVERCROWDED restaurant because that’s too ordinary and not special. This will save you money and make you look good. 

          Next, research a few simple meals online. and are two websites that offer lots of recipes. Once you find the perfect recipe, simply follow the directions and cook the meal – and don’t forget dessert! Of course you’ll need to decorate your dinner table. Candles are a must. You can buy candles cheaply at any store – perhaps the most cheaply at the Dollar Store or Ross. 

          After you’ve finished dinner and dessert you’ll want to suggest a movie. If you have the money to go to the cinema ($16-$20 per ticket!), you could suggest La La Land, a romantic musical. But if you’re looking to save money, you could tell your Valentine that it’s a cold February evening and you want your Valentine to stay warm and safe INSIDE with you! Here are a few streaming movie suggestions: (classic) Annie Hall, The Apartment; (old) Groundhog Day, There’s Something About Mary, Amelie, Shakespeare in Love; (more recent) Man Up, Silver Linings Playbook, The Lobster. 

          After the movie, you’re on your own. Have a great Valentine’s Day!

*Check answers on the last page.

Language Systems Life Style 

How to get your drivers License

As an international student you can get your driver’s license here in the U.S.! If you are interested in driving in Los Angeles, below we have included information to help you get a driver’s license. 

  • Visit your local CA DMV office. There are many offices in and around Los Angeles. Consult to find the office nearest you. I recommend making an appointment once you locate the nearest office. Often the DMV is very crowded and you could wait a very long time to speak to a worker. 
  • Complete a Driver License or Identification Card Application (Form DL 44). You will find this form only at the DMV office – not online. 
  • Provide proof of your identity. You will need a valid (current) form of identification (a document that has your date of birth and photo, like a passport), a document that proves you are in the country legally, and document (like a utility bill) that proves you are a residing in Los Angeles. 
  • Pay the $33 driver’s license fee. 
  • Pass the written test. You will need to make an appointment for this. 
  • Pass the road test. You will first need to pass the written exam before you schedule the road test. 
For more information about obtaining a California driver’s license, visit or call 1-800-777-0133.

By Ligia Andersen, Program Coordinator at DTLA

Two great American presidents were born in February. For that reason, we celebrate Presidents’ Day on the third Monday in February. Let’s learn a little more about these two former presidents: 

George Washington was the first president of the United States of America. He was born on February 22, 1732. He grew up on a farm in Virginia. His father died when he was 11 years old. He joined the army to fight against England for freedom because America was a colony of England. The colonists won the war and formed a new country called America. After the war, he was elected as the first president of this country. He was president for eight years. He went back to Virginia before he got sick and died on Dec 14, 1799. He was 67 years old. We can see his face on the one dollar bill and quarter coins today. 

Abraham Lincoln was born on February 12, 1809. He was poor and he loved reading books. He became a lawyer, and he fought for the poor and sick people. He fought against slavery, and he gave a speech called “The Gettysburg Address”. 

On November 6, 1860, Lincoln was elected the 16th president of the United States and on April 12, 1861 the Civil War started. Abe was a great president for America, leading the country through its most difficult time. He remained president until he was assassinated on April 14, 1865 while attending a play. Abraham Lincoln’s love for humanity is still in our hearts. Today you can see him on the five dollar bill and the penny.

Free in DTLA

The year of the Rooster
By Ligia Andersen, Program Coordinator at DTLA

LA has many interesting events going on in February! A few of them are FREE! Here is one of them: The 118th Golden Dragon Parade and Chinese New Year Festival in Downtown Chinatown! This traditional celebration will take place on Saturday, February 4th, from 1:00 to 3:00 PM. You will be able to enjoy the parade as well as some traditional music, kung fu demos, great food, storytelling, face painting and much more! 


Check out this website for more information:

Language Systems Faces 
Interview with staff Vinicius
By Interview conducted by Iain McConnell, APC at DTLA

Meet the new Assistant Manager at the LSI Downtown campus: Vinicius Martins. 
Iain interviewed him and in between answering phones, questions, and helping students, this is how their talk went…
Q: How long have you been with the LSI family?
A:I worked at the LSI South Bay campus for about two years, and I have just started working at the LA campus.
Q: What do you like most about Los Angeles?
A: When I first arrived I was really into skateboarding. When I was young, I almost went pro, but I hurt myself. Most of my favorite skateboarders are from LA. I have been able to meet many of them. In terms of skateboarding, in the 1980’s-90’s, everything started here. Of course I like many other things about LA like the weather and beaches, but skateboarding is my favorite thing!
Q: What are your goals for the future?
A: Hopefully I will become the LSI downtown manager in a few months and after that I want to be successful in my job as a manager and build a career at LSI.
Q: What do you think makes a successful manager at a language school?
A: Well, first I would say a successful manager needs to be comfortable with people from a variety of cultures, and he or she must also make those people feel comfortable with him or her. Also, a successful manager must be prepared for many difficult situations. Finally, a successful manager must work hard and provide a good example for his or her employees.
Q: What part of this new job are you most looking forward to?
A: I can’t wait to interact with all the new students here at the downtown campus and help them get the most out of their experience in Los Angeles and, specifically, at our school. I’m also really looking forward to making new friendships and great working relationships with all the staff and teachers.
Well, Vinnie, on behalf of the Downtown campus, welcome aboard. We’re happy to have you!

Student Article 1 
Touring Los Angeles
By Anna from El Salvador

L.A. is one the most visited cities in the U.S. Many travelers from different countries come every day. There are so many places and things to do in L.A. For example, one of the most visited places is Griffith Park. It has an amazing view of the downtown and surrounding areas. Also, there is the Observatory. It is a place to learn a little more about Astronomy and related sciences. Another popular tourist spot is the Hollywood Walk of Fame. It is a boulevard that has stars with the names of many actresses, actors, directors, singers, writers, and other famous people. People walk around and look for their favorite figure. Others take pictures with the stars or with the imitators of famous personalities like Michael Jackson, Elvis Presley, and Marilyn Monroe, to cite a few examples. 

Those are just a few of the most fun and interesting places and things to do in L.A., one of the most visited cities in the U.S.

Student Article 2 

Valentine’s Day
By Palm from Thailand

How do you celebrate Valentine’s Day? Do you have any plans for this year? In my country (Thailand), we celebrate Valentine’s Day too, but the activities that we do depend on the people who we want to celebrate with. On this day, we can express our love to our companion through flowers, gifts, chocolates, cards, or just say something nice to them. Some people who have their Valentine usually plan to have dinner or spend their time and make something special for their lover. It’s a good thing to do. We can see a lot of decorations that are symbols of love, like flowers and hearts, on this day. Many restaurants have a special promotion or food, allowing couples to enjoy some quality time together. 

To conclude, Valentine’s Day is a day to celebrate your love. It’s not only for couples, but for everyone. If you have anyone you love, this is a chance to express your love to them! Written by Palm from Thailand



2. Flowers
5. Chocolate
6. Love
7. LSI
8. Cupid


1. Date
3. Reservation
4. Romantic

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