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Newsletter July 2016

Language Systems Newsletter

Editorial – Food in America  By Ty Mussack, Program Coordinator at OC

            Sometimes international students will say something like this, “There is nothing really special about American food.  It’s just hamburgers, French fries, fast food and junk food.”  Well, if you think McDonald’s and KFC are the symbols of American food, then this may be true.  However, the U.S. actually has a rich food culture that international students rarely take the chance to experience.  A lot of this food culture is connected to geography and the people who have populated these areas.  For example, the northeastern states like Maine, New Hampshire, Boston and Connecticut have a rich seafood culture, while the southern states like Texas, Mississippi and Tennessee have delicious BBQ and southern soul food.  Texas and California both have their versions of Mexican food, while the east coast has a rich sandwich culture that includes pastrami, cheesesteaks, and New York style deli sandwiches.  American BBQ itself can be divided into Texas BBQ, Kansas City BBQ, Carolina BBQ, Memphis style, and several others withy unique sauces and preferences of wood types that are used for smoking.  It’s true that sometimes America borrows a food concept from another country, like pizza from Italy, and then we make it our own.  American pizza has many varieties that cannot be found anywhere in Italy, including Chicago deepdish, New York style, and California style wood-fired pizza.  So basically, if you’re an international student studying English here in America, you need to put down the fast food and go out and taste some truly American food.  Enjoy!

Language Systems Lifestyle – Food Trucks in America  By Ty Mussack, Program Coordinator at OC

            A lot of students at Language Systems come from countries that have a vibrant street food culture.  Because of certain strict laws and regulations in California, there is not a lot of street food out there.  However, we do have a thing called food trucks in California, and you should check some of them out.  A lot of cities have food truck gatherings, when many different types of food trucks all meet at one location to give people a really cool dining experience.  Recently, a group of Language Systems students from the OC campus went to a food truck gathering in Fullerton, CA.  The most popular truck that night was a fusion truck that combined Korean food with Mexican and American food.  The most popular item that the students ordered was the pork belly sliders.  Another favorite was a truck selling Cajun food, which comes from New Orleans, Louisiana.  Sometimes ordering from the food trucks may seem a little expensive, but you are supporting a small “family business.”  Check it out!

Discover in LA (OC) – Free Concerts in the park 

            One of the cool things about the summer in California is all the free concerts in the park.  Many cities offer free concerts during the summer, and it is a great way to enjoy California culture and weather.  Every city does holds their free concerts on a certain day of the week, so you have to check the city government website to find out which day of the week it is for any given city.  In Huntington Beach the concerts are on Sunday nights, and in Fullerton they are on Wednesday nights.  Every summer our students from Language Systems – Orange County attend a concert and have a picnic together.  A lot of American families attend these events.  They usually bring chairs, food, drinks, blankets, and sometimes even the family dogs.  Some concerts will have food trucks, and others will have special games and activities for kids.  If you are in California for the summer, you should go to one of these FREE concerts in the park.  Here is a link for the concerts available in Orange County.

Free in LA (OC) – Welcome OC Fair 

You’re invited to join the OC Fair as we celebrate the spirit, tradition and heritage of being OC’s Fair since 1890. A county fair wouldn’t be complete without the competition pies, quilts, paintings and giant pumpkins. Every year at the OC Fair, the community’s gardeners, bakers and artisans of all ages and types come together to share their talents with more than one million Fair-goers. Enter into a competition to win a coveted blue ribbon or visit one of the OC Fair’s competitive galleries and witness the spirit of competition that is alive and thriving in Orange County.

    Come and Get it! Friday July 15th is the Opening Day of the Orange County Fair!

      From 12 pm – 1pm / Parking and Admission is free.

        Check out the following website:

          Language Systems Faces – Interview with Shizuka By Almugarry, Rakan – ESL Morning Level 5

          1) So how long have you been working for LS-OC and what is your main role/job? 
          I’ve been working at LS-OC now for about 7 months. I work at the front desk and my main job is to help prospective students apply for their I-20. I also help with enrollment when they arrive here. Lately, I have also been using Instagram to promote LS in Japan. I want to try to attract more short-term students from Japan.
          2) What do you like most about your job at LS-OC?
          I used to be an ESL student, so I know how our students feel. I know they have a dream about studying abroad. Applying for a student visa can be really stressful. I enjoy helping them.
          3) What is the most difficult thing about your job?
          It’s sad when students want to come here, but they can’t get a visa. It also difficult communicating with students because of the language and cultural barriers.
          4) Where are you from originally, and what do you miss about your country?
          I am originally from Sendai, Japan. Most people know about Sendai from the earthquake and tsunami we had in 2011. I miss the sushi in Japan. I haven’t found any good sushi in California. I worry about my family and friends sometimes too because we have so many earthquakes in Japan.
          5) I hear you have your own jewelry business. Can you tell us a little about that?
          Sure. I make my own jewelry using unique stones and gold filling. I sell it online and through two stores in Southern California. I mainly use the website, and my account is under the name brilliantmoonCA if you want to check out my work. I’ve been doing this for the last 2 years.

          Student Article 1

          Vietnamese Taste in America By Bao (Level 6)

                   There are two things that remind foreigners about Vietnam: The Vietnam War and Pho. While the war was over 35 years ago, Pho remains a well-known Vietnamese food not only in America but also around the world. Pho is a kind of noodle soup, sometimes with beef and chicken. Since the first Pho restaurant was opened in Hanoi in the 1920s, Pho has become popular around the world. In America, people can find Pho restaurants easily in any area where there is a Vietnamese community.  In Southern California, if you love Asian food, you should taste the Pho in Westminster City, Orange County (OC), also known as Little Saigon. There are many Pho restaurants in Little Saigon, but I strongly recommend a restaurant called “Pho 79.” 
          Pho 79 is located at 9941 Hazard Avenue, Westminster, OC, at the corner of Bolsa Avenue and Hazard. For over a century Pho has been served in a bowl with a specific cut of white rice noodle in clear beef broth, with slim cuts of beef. Variations feature tendon, tripe, meatballs, chicken leg, chicken breast or other chicken organs. There are also three bowl sizes:  medium, large and extra large. The extra large is also called the super bowl in Vietnamese.  This will help you when you want to order in any pho restaurant in America. Check out a review from a loyal customer of Pho 79 at “I haven’t gone to this Pho 79 for a long time, about 10 years. When I tried it again, it was still so good, no wonder it’s still around after all these years. They have various types of pho and other dishes too. I recommend this place for pho. And it’s cheap!”  You and your friend can have a meal with each other in Pho 79 restaurant for around $17 (including tip) for two extra large bowls. 
          With many Vietnamese living outside their own country for a lot of different reasons, Pho is not only a food, but also part of their memories of Vietnam. Therefore, when a Vietnamese opens a Pho restaurant, the owner also wants to introduce Vietnamese culture to people in America.  So when you come to Pho 79, or any Pho restaurant in your community, you are not only tasting Vietnamese food, you are also tasting Vietnamese culture.  

          Student Article 1

          My First Burger in California By Mariana (Level 5)

                   Everyday people go to a lot of different places, and some of these places might be strange for them because there is a different culture.  This was my experience when I first came to the U.S.  I will never forget my first day in California.  I flew from Brazil to Los Angeles, and I was so excited to see a new place.  When I got here everything looked so different and so brilliant.  I was starving, so a friend took me to In-n-Out Burger.  When I got out of the car I saw a long line of other cars waiting to order at the drive-thru window.  There were so many people it looked like a long line of ants looking for food.  I thought the food must be good.  The cashier who took my order was very polite, and their system was so fast and efficient that my food was ready in 5 minutes. The hamburger looked so attractive and succulent that my mouth was watering. I took the first bite and thought I had gone to heaven!  It was divine!  The combination of tender meat, crisp lettuce, and a soft fresh bun was so delicious that when I went to bed that night I dreamed about In-n-Out Burger.  I liked it so much that I decided to go there to eat every week.

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