ESL students share talents at spring celebration


Yumeno Matsuo

Lisa (Jiepin) Liao, 45, ESL student, performs a Chinese tea presentation and serves to Kanako Suda, an instructional support technician, during the Listening and Speaking Center spring celebration on June 9.

Yumeno Matsuo

The Listening and Speaking Center students and staff showed off their talent in front of about 80 people at the LSC spring celebration held at the California History Center on June 9.

LSC’s spring celebration marks the center’s 21st anniversary and supports the LSC programs,  such as ESL workshops and tutoring sessions. At the event individuals shared traditional food from their culture and enjoyed student performances.

Lisa (Jiepin) Liao, 45, ESL student, served various types of Chinese teas for more than 30 people. Among the teas served were jasmine, white, black and oolong.

“The most popular tea is Jasmine because it has a special fragrance,” she said. “I hope more people in the United States can learn Chinese tea from my presentation.”

Some students delivered their performances on stage.

Joowon Jang, 21, data science major, works as a LSC tutor and workshop leader. Jang performed his original song “Parties in America.” Jang has created music since 2009, and now he does it almost everyday.

“When I learned how to play the piano, it was hard because my hands were small,” he said. “So I told my piano teacher that I didn’t want to play. The teacher thought I was going against her. She said, ‘if you’re so good at it yourself, why don’t you just create one?’ Then I created my first song.” 

Caleb Woo, 19, business administration major, has been working as a student assistant in LSC for six months. Woo performed card trick magic.

Woo and other staff members knew that students practiced hard in preparation for the celebration, and hoped for a good attendance.

“We worry about how many students will come before the celebration starts,” Woo said. “Thankfully, we can see many people around and enjoy today.”

Kanako Suda, instructional support technician at Student Success Center which includes LSC, was pleased that her wish for ESL students to share their experiences and have a place where they could shine came true.

“Many of our ESL students, both current and past, joined the celebration and got to know each other,” Suda said. “They enjoyed conversation, and contributed their knowledge and expertise by sharing their talent in music, cooking and communication skills.” 

Suda believes the celebrations are encouragement for ESL students to be proud of their presence on campus. 

“I am truly grateful to all of them,” she said. “I hope this celebration has given them yet another motivation to get involved on campus and speak out with confidence.”