Downtown Los Angeles Tour

Explore DTLA with POLY!

Are you a new ESL student in Los Angeles? Or maybe you’ve been here a while and have always wanted to embark on a Downtown Los Angeles Tour, but didn’t know where to start. There is so much to see and learn in Los Angeles. However, as a new resident to Los Angeles, this can be a difficult challenge. Many students attending language schools in the U.S. for the first time do not know where to go and where to stay away from.

Fear no more. This upcoming April 20th, you can join our Explore Downtown LA Tour with POLY Los Angeles, Pasadena, and Irvine ESL students and staff. On Saturday afternoon from 12PM to 5PM, we will be taking you through interesting places for you to check-out and see.

The Tour

The Downtown LA Tour will begin in the Little Tokyo/Arts District area where we will check out local shops, bakeries, and more. Afterwards, we will head over to the historic Grand Central Market. Here you can buy your lunch from various restaurants from different cultures, styles, and cuisines. Next, we will take our lunch to Grand Park for a relaxing, cozy picnic in Downtown’s most beloved park. Then, we will head over to The Last Bookstore, an iconic shop in the heart of Downtown. At the bookstore, you can browse for something new to read or simply sit and enjoy the quiet atmosphere. You can also tour the shop, and browse their beautiful book arrangements.

Explore Downtown Los Angeles Tour sights that will be visited
Explore Downtown Los Angeles Event Flyer


After that, our Explore Downtown Los Angeles Tour will take a detour to Little Damage. This place is famous for their fancy charcoal ice cream. Also, they have a selfie wall where you can strike your best pose.

Final Destination

Finally, we will make one final stop at Pershing Square before making our way to Spire 73, the tallest building west of the Mississippi River. Pershing Square has some of the most interesting architecture and colors of the area. To end the day, we will enjoy a gorgeous sunset view of LA from one of the most cool spots in Downtown – Spire 73.

If you ever feared exploring Los Angeles on your own, this POLY event will be a great experience for you. Join Poly Languages Institute’s Explore Downtown Los Angeles Tour for a fun and adventurous day with ESL students and staff! Don’t forget to bring your comfortable shoes, sunscreen, a bag, and a camera to capture long-lasting memories.

Women in White State of the Union

Written by: Susan Massoudnia
On Tuesday, February 5th, the President of the United States (POTUS), Donald Trump, addressed the nation in a speech famously known as the State of the Union Address.

This historic speech dates back to the 1920’s, when for the very first time, the U.S. president of the time, spoke before the congress and addressed the nation about the country’s state of affairs.

Since then, all U.S. presidents have followed the practice and it has become a presidential convention. The purpose of this important speech is to make the nation aware of the accomplishments thus far in the presidency and to unfold the future expectations of the remaining years of the presidential term. The speech can potentially reaffirm the support of voters and increase the president’s chance to win another four-year term, if the president chooses to run again.

The main reason I started to write about this is not to speak about the speech, but to mention something very unique about this year’s address that I observed on TV.
As I was in the kitchen, getting some things done with my head down and half-listening to the speech on TV in the other room, I glanced over and the camera moved from the president to the congressional floor.

The image showed Donald trump in Capitol Hill on the floor of the Congress, behind the podium, before the hundreds of elected representatives in the joint session of Congress. As I glanced up at the TV, suddenly something caught my eye. I noticed a sea of white amid all the mostly dark-suited men and women. At first I couldn’t make out the patch of white. I curiously looked closer and realized that the white were all the newly elected women representatives dressed head-to-toe in stark white clothes. I quickly realized that this was an intended act for media visibility. It was a show of power and a display of women’s new stronghold in leadership, government and lawmaking.

Women in the government has dressed in white throughout history to represent their struggle.

It was awe-inspiring to see such an inspirational gesture right in the heart of our nation. It was an “in your face,” bold and courageous display of support of women in the aftermath of the recently publicized injudicious acts by powerful men in all sectors of our society. As a woman, witnessing this solidarity among women lawmakers, instantly empowered me.

As exuberant as I felt, a question lingered in my mind about the significance of the color white. After researching it, I found out that wearing white in protest goes back to the 1920’s and the suffrage movement. The suffrage movement is a significant event in U.S. history. Women flocked to the streets dressed in white demanding equality and protesting their inability to vote. Women were able to successfully adopt the 19th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution shortly after, which gives citizens of the U.S. the right to vote, regardless of sex (men or women). It’s quite interesting that almost a century (100 years) later, women lawmakers in Congress are again dressed in white, publicly voicing their interests, showing their influence and still fighting for equal rights.

Karaoke Day in Irvine, California

Valentine’s day is approaching.  Love is in the air, but birds aren’t the only ones singing. 


For February’s inter-campus event, POLY Languages at Irvine is hosting a Karaoke day followed by dinner at Diamond Jamboree in Irvine! Karaoke will begin at 3:00 p.m. and will carry on until 5:30 p.m. 


Karaoke – an interactive form of entertainment where amateur singers sing lyrics off a television screen into a microphone, while a music recording plays in the background. It is a favorite pastime that’s enjoyed by people all over the world. According to Wikipedia, “Singing is the act of producing musical sounds with the voice and augments regular speech by the use of sustained tonality, rhythm, and a variety of vocal techniques.” Like learning to speak a new language, singing requires one to focus on tone (intonation), rhythm (flow), and other techniques (such as stress, etc.). 


Singing is a part of everyone’s culture and Karaoke is an essential social activity in many countries, especially countries in Asia. Bryan Singer wrote in USA-Karaoke that “Japan and the Philippines are two huge karaoke spots” furthermore, he explains that in the Philippines and Korea, “it isn’t unusual for them to grow up with a karaoke machine in their living room.” He lists several reasons as to why Karaoke is more popular in Asian countries, these reasons include: cultural differences, price, setting, and song choice (Asian countries have over 30,000 songs to choose from).


The special thing about this inter-campus event for our students from abroad is that students and faculty from all three campuses (Pasadena, Irvine, Los Angeles) will be joining in. This will be a great opportunity to meet and befriend other international students. After karaoke, we’ll most likely be going to BCD, a Soon Tofu restaurant located in the same complex. Fellow ESL students will be able to share and compare their experiences from different parts of Southern California! We especially encourage students to sharpen their pronunciation and really try out their new skills on KARAOKE DAY!

Student Event – Ice Skating in Pasadena

There are plenty of well-known winter sports, but perhaps none as widely known and elegant as the sport of ice-skating. Where men and women alike strap on shoes with a single sharp blade attached at the bottom, and glide around a rink (or lake) of ice. Unlike hockey, many of these athletes travel backwards with ease, sometimes doing tricks, skips, turns, and jumps for scores. Ice-skating isn’t always a singular sport either. Pairs lift, fling, and dance in unison with their partner across the ice giving an expressive and artistic showing to the people watching. There is no question that this is a beautiful and graceful sport, but the best part about it is, it’s not just for the professionals. It can be incredibly fun for beginner skaters as well! In fact, particularly in the winter months (December thru February), children and adults from across the country strap on a pair of skates and go to the rink for some great times with family and friends. POLY Languages Institute is no different!

On December 21st, our English students will be enjoying the finest December chill that California has to offer at the Pasadena Ice-Skating Center located at 300 E. Green St in Pasadena CA, 91101. Students from Pasadena, Los Angeles, and Irvine alike will come together for a fun night filled with gliding, grooving, and some all-around good fun. The event will be from 7pm to 9pm with $11 for admission and $4 for skate rentals. Don’t forget to wear those warm clothes you thought you’d never need when you relocated to sunny California. Come learn some new cold weather vocabulary and meet students and staff from all of our wonderful locations. Bring your family too – kids, spouses, and friends are welcome to join in on the fun! Come watch the skills of one of our students from the Philippines, who was a professional ice-skater back in the day. Or you can watch some of the more inexperienced staff fall on their butts. Either way, it should be a great time for everyone! We look forward to seeing you there.