Language Systems International Reviews | Glassdoor

Language Systems International Reviews

Updated February 17, 2017
19 reviews

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2.9
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Yukio Sato
10 Ratings

19 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (2)

    "The Best Language School to Work at"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - ESL Teacher in Los Angeles, CA
    Current Employee - ESL Teacher in Los Angeles, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    I've been working at this wonderful school for over 4 years. My students and co-workers are amazing people. The great thing about LSI is that it offers its part time and full time employees PAID vacation after they have being employed for a year. We've always had GREAT health insurance. Even though the school has been on a salary freeze, they have come up with many other ways to reward teacher performance. For a few years we were given $100 American Express gift certificates for teachers who scored over a 95% evaluation. And I got that $100 EVERY term (4 times in one year). We have many parties throughout the year. Our Christmas parties for STAFF and TEACHERS have been in some really nice restaurants - Moroccan, Argentinian, Upscale Italian, and more.
    As far as the cameras go, in two of my classes, at our Koreatown campus, we had incidences where a few students had lost their wallets, books and even has some misunderstanding with either a teacher or another classmate. All of those issues were solved by reviewing the camera footage. The support that I've gotten from my Program Coordinator has been amazing. I remember I told her once that I was having trouble teaching a certain grammar topic and she organized a special training just for me and an another teacher. She is always understanding, encouraging and even brings us treats like cupcakes, PB&J sandwiches, bagels, croissants, etc. every Friday. Some of my students and co workers have become life family to me. There is no way I would stay at ANY organization for that long if I weren't happy.

    Cons

    Obviously we would all like to get raises more often. I did get a raise from the time that I started working there.

    Advice to Management

    Keep up the positive and supportive environment that you have created. It makes ALL the difference to me, specially when I'm having a hard day.


  2. Helpful (3)

    "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - ESL Teacher in Los Angeles, CA
    Former Employee - ESL Teacher in Los Angeles, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    I have noticed somewhat of an ongoing argument has been on Glassdoor about LSI. While some reviews are very negative, some are overly Polyanna- so much so I think management had a hand in writing them. I'd like to submit a review I hope is as objective as possible so that future employees can make an informed decision. I worked at two locations- South Bay (Torrance) and Los Angeles-- so I know this company pretty well.
    The Good: Four weeks paid vacation once you hit a year and three months (it's not a year; they do not count the first term.) This is good, but keep in mind- Federal holidays are unpaid at any time. Also if a federal holiday, including Christmas, falls on the paid week off, it wont' be paid. So say, for instance, the Fourth of July happens to be in the middle of a vacation week, it will be unpaid. And all federal holidays are always unpaid no matter what/ when.
    Also keep in mind these holidays are based on continued employment. If you leave for maternity you will be taken out of the system and if you return to LSI you will be back to waiting 1 year plus three months.
    I should also put under "good" that some - not all - of the PC's are kind to employees. Also I thought it was cool we had the chance to get paid to take students out, so if you want to make some extra money you can take students to a movie, or coffee.
    Also you will meet some amazing students who are very interesting, dynamic, and driven. They will drive you crazy with their cell phones and sometimes try to cheat on very easy tests -- even level 1 tests -- that's students for you. LSI needs clearer cell phone policies... they do not have a clear policy on how to handle this problem. It's up to the teacher at the end of the day. A blanket policy against them in the classroom would help.

    Cons

    The Bad:
    As mentioned in a previous post, everyone did feel uncomfortable about the cameras. No matter how you slice it, it is ODD to be recorded, especially with your voice as well.
    Another thing under "bad" is the technical equipment. The Gradekeeper system is on very cheap equipment, which means you may have to stay after hours to get it up and running. Under BAD I would also put how much stress management puts on students not even being ONE minute late or they are marked tardy. Of course, LSI makes money every time a student has to do makeup. Remember, LSI runs for profit.
    Pay. Raises are practically nonexistent. I saw a previous poster mention that the PC's bring in snacks. While this is true, as someone with a lot of bills and dependents, I do not consider this to be a reasonable alternative to a pay raise. After all, I can't take the snacks home to feed my family. I recently saw LSI advertising for 17-18 an hour- the pay they were offering years ago. I wonder what will happen when the minimum wage raises to $15- it will be sad to see teachers making only a few dollars above the minimum.
    I found it odd another poster mentioned the $100 gift cards. These were discontinued when the governor of California signed it into law that employers had to give 3 sick days. That poster's information is not up to date-- LSI no longer does this. Even when they did you had to get over 95% on your student evaluations, even great teachers often fell short. Some would get 94.25% and be denied the giftcard; which seemed overly stingy to me.
    The Ugly:
    Upper management and the power they yield over employees. HR is EXTREMELY slow to react to any change or request. Things that should be taken care of in a ten minute meeting take years; such as when they said they were considering pay raises and about a year went by before we got any updates. Any errors in pay or requests for paperwork take a very, very long time and can cost the employee money.
    I found it odd that a LSI claimed on here the owner was very involved-- I never met the man (woman?) We do not have contact with the CEO or the owner.

    The bottom line: if you are considering working here, stay and get some experience and move on. Do not expect growth or accommodations for pregnancies, illnesses, etc. Do not count on a pay raise. LSI is what it is -- a for-profit company. HR and upper management are interested in keeping LSI running at a profit and making money for themselves and the owner. Stay for the experience, but get out and move on with your life -- work on getting experience and taking some classes to get yourself a skill so you can do better. LSI is only a stepping stone for people who truly want to be successful. The turnover is VERY high.

    Advice to Management

    Consider raises; listen to employees more; understand we are people too, not just your paychecks. The turnover is very high for a reason.

    Language Systems International Response

    Aug 5, 2016 – HR Manager

    Thank you for your feedback. We appreciate your opinion on your experience while working at Language Systems; however, we would like to correct some inaccuracies in your review on a number of ... More


  3. Helpful (1)

    "A scary place to work"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Instructor in Torrance, CA
    Current Employee - Instructor in Torrance, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Language Systems International full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    The students are great.

    Cons

    The management decided to put cameras with audio all over the school. Everyone is very nervous. Of course they will say it's for security but nothing has happened. Worse is that management does not care about us at all. Wages are frozen. They gave a memo about raises but it was impossible. They even said in it that sick days are considered before a raise is given. I do not know anybody who got a raise at LSI. The memo about raises had so many pitfalls to get a raise nobody could do it. But worse is management doesn't care about us. I have personally seen people who are sick or disabled get thrown under the bus even though they had no control over their illness. It was very shocking. The management at night chase the students around and scold them if they are literally one minute late. They are so petty in the evening it's unreal. Students are tense especially with the cameras. Do you want to teach with a camera trained on you with audio? students want to leave. Teachers too.

    Advice to Management

    Anything I write here will fall on deaf ears, so no point- this message is for people thinking of working here.

    Language Systems International Response

    Jul 29, 2016 – HR Manager

    Thank you for your post. While we communicated with our instructors and students regarding the installation of security cameras quite some time ago, it seems that you might not have received the ... More


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  5. Helpful (2)

    "Great place to start working"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Los Angeles, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Los Angeles, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Language Systems International part-time

    Pros

    The company culture and working environment is great. I worked in Korea Town which is ideally located, with lots of public transportation solutions.

    I worked on a very challenging project with a limited budget, time and high expectations from the CEO. I received full trust and support from my direct supervisor (Karla). She is a great professional, opened-minded, very effective, supportive, and always understand where you are coming from when expressing any issue you are facing.

    Language Systems International offers to beginners great opportunities with lots of responsibilities.

    Cons

    Limited budget and resources for the project. However, the project was great and quite challenging with full support from my supervisor (Karla).

    Advice to Management

    No Particular advice.


  6. Helpful (5)

    "Great starter job for any teacher, delightful classroom experience, supportive PC's and sociable atmosphere"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - ESL/English Teacher in Los Angeles, CA
    Former Employee - ESL/English Teacher in Los Angeles, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Language Systems International (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Like someone else on here, I acquired teaching experience at LSI so that I could go on to teach college, which I do now. LSI was my "starter" job and prior to teaching there, I had a spotty and scattered teaching history. I taught first at the Torrance campus--Sylvia, the PC was amazingly supportive and fostered collaboration and cohesion among the teachers. Then, at the beginning of 2015, I switched to the Koreatown campus under Ligia, an equally accessible, supportive and professional but also lovely lady. Both campuses offer a pleasant working environment, sociable atmosphere and students who, if you're open to it, will make a lasting impression. The students, who hail from more than a dozen countries, taught me and each other about their respective cultures. They also essentially taught me how to be a teacher by requiring but never demanding a lot. I grew into the position and developed the skills and confidence needed to teach in a college classroom, which I now do at three different campuses. Something else that helped me to cultivate my teaching skills was the curriculum, which has also been invalidated on here. I actually use that curriculum to develop activities and lesson plans for my college and university-level English classes. These activities and lessons have helped me to successfully engage students at the postsecondary level and have also received high praise from professors in my department. Another "con" that people have listed is the pay--no, it isn't the greatest and people balk like crazy about that but, first off, it's comparable with other schools and, also, what you get in return, if you're willing to work for it, is a strong skill-set to take you to the next level, teaching wise and one of the most wonderfully memorable experiences of your life. If you're anything like I was and are basically starting from ground zero, this will not only be a great starting point, where you can acquire and hone skills and bulk up on lots of teaching strategies but one of the most delightfully surprising adventures of your life. Luckily, I still go back to teach there during my vacation/breaks.

    Cons

    Once you fall in love with this place, which you invariably will, if you have an open heart and mind, it can be pretty heartbreaking to leave.


  7. Helpful (5)

    "Management wrote the good reviews"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - ESL Teacher in Torrance, CA
    Current Employee - ESL Teacher in Torrance, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Language Systems International full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    I can't think of any. Free hot water in the kitchen?

    Cons

    Here's the thing. I believe LSI wrote the good reviews. Nobody on the teaching staff cares about ACCET. Unlike LSI we care about our students and giving them a good education. LSI is a very hard place to work. First of all, they have tardy rules, turning us into glorified hall monitors. The students are very upset because these rules are not applied across the board. The students they like or have been there longer seem to get a pass to come in late or leave early from the PC's. This makes the other students upset, quite rightly. Meanwhile we are trying to enforce rules that seem completely arbitrary and ridiculous (these are adults after all). I've talked to a few people here who have been here for a long time and it seems LSI doesn't give raises. You have to live on the same salary for years. Also, they send me home with novels I've never read and expect me to do the reading at home on my weekends. Is this fair? Is this legal? I have so many students coming and going. I have students that should not be in the level they were placed in, but had to be moved up so LSI could keep them as students for revenue. It makes your head spin. All this falls on you, the underpaid, overworked teacher. I even have to make my own tests. Certain favored teachers never get reprimanded while teachers they don't like get written up for whatever they can cook up. If you work here PLEASE use it as a temporary job while you look for something else.This is not even going into how dirty it is- the kitchen, the carpets, the microwaves... and how they nickel and dime you (they would not cut us a $5 bathroom key.) In a nutshell: low pay, lots of responsibilities, unclear rules, disorganized management.

    Advice to Management

    Please, get your act together. Either something is a rule or it's not. Apply rules fairly to the teachers. Apply them fairly to the students. Pay people what they are worth.

    Language Systems International Response

    Dec 23, 2015 – Academic Director

    The Accreditation of English Language Training Programs Act was signed in 2010 and it required all schools offering ESL programs to be accredited by a federally recognized institution. Language ... More


  8. Helpful (1)

    "Great school!"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - ESL Teacher in Los Angeles, CA
    Current Employee - ESL Teacher in Los Angeles, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    The school is accredited by ACCET, so this gives us security and schedule stability, 4 week paid vacation (after 1 year of employment), health and dental insurance, $100.00 bonus card every term for teachers with good evaluations from students and program coordinator. Well organized academic program complete with tests, books, syllabi and lesson plans, which cuts back a lot on prep time, and support from program coordinators. It feels good to be a part of a team of strong, knowledgeable, and dedicated teachers. There are opportunities to grow in the company if you want to.

    Cons

    The pay is average for the industry, but there has been a raise freeze, so raises are not given regularly.

    Advice to Management

    It would be nice to have more regular raises with a specific criteria and sick days for salaried and non-salaried.


  9. Helpful (4)

    "Not a place you want to work for in the long run."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Teacher in Placentia, CA
    Current Employee - Teacher in Placentia, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Language Systems International part-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Curriculum is all set up and ready to go. Little out of class work. Nice co-workers.

    Cons

    Low compensation, no benefits, no mobility, not academic at all, boring(a monkey could do this job), uneducated/unprofessional management, low quality students,

    Advice to Management

    Hire managers who are actually educated in the field of Second Language Acquisition and pay workers a decent wage.


  10. Helpful (3)

    "Charles Dickens lives!"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Instructor in Placentia, CA
    Current Employee - Instructor in Placentia, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Language Systems International full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Great students and great colleagues help make the days bearable. Little prep time required and you can wing it with most lessons (unless you care which LSI does not).

    Cons

    No pay for holidays or sick days. You are not told this until you are working there, making it a bit problematic to bail out. Teachers are required to be 'hall monitors,' keeping track of students' attendance but are also supposed to present a student-centered approach (whatever that means).

    Advice to Management

    Advice to middle management (program coordinators): get a new postiion as quicky as possible as LSI will toss you on the scrap heap without a second thought.


  11. Helpful (2)

    "NO ROOM FOR GROWTH"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Teacher in Torrance, CA
    Former Employee - Teacher in Torrance, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Language Systems International part-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    The teachers are nice, and they try their best. You get four weeks' vacation per year paid, but they don't pay for state or federal holidays.

    Cons

    They only give raises about once every five years (no exaggeration.) Federal holidays unpaid. No retirement plan for employees. There is no room for growth on any kind of level. No paid sick days! The employees are very unhappy due to these factors; general sense of low morale.

    Advice to Management

    Management should consider giving raises to employees on a regular basis to retain most valuable employees. Management should pay sick days and federal holidays, at least for full-time employees.



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