30 July, 2011

English Speaking club - The Internet in our life

The topic of the session of English Speaking club in Dnipropetrovsk WOA center was The role of the Internet in our lives”.
Today’s session started with the introduction of the new members and welcoming of the club member Roland who relocated back to Dnipropetrovsk.

The session started with the reading and translation of an article “The Difference Between the Internet & the World Wide Web”. Even the active users of the internet were not aware that the two terms are not synonymous and should not be confused.

The Club members watched You tube videos  about the history of the Internet and the founder of the World wide web, Tim Buerners-Lee. This English scientist passed his great invention on to humanity absolutely free of charge.

Once some basic facts were learned from the videos we brainstormed for the on line quiz “Internet – fact or fiction?” However. The score was not very high-only 4 correct answers out of 10.Even the presence of 2 IT specialists did not help us to get a better result… But we had fun voting for answers! As always…

The rest of the session was spent discussing the good and bad things about Internet. The club members shared their opinions about the most annoying things in the Internet, about social networks, about internet lingo. The question that was the most puzzling in the discussion was about the technology to replace the Internet in the future.

Useful links, we chose it:

27 July, 2011

«Wednesday Movie Club» - Dead poets society

URL from WiKi
Visitors of Window on America center watched the movie "Dead poets society" on Wednesday, July 27.

Dead Poets Society is a 1989 drama film starring Robin Williams and directed by Peter Weir. Set at a conservative and aristocratic boys prep school, it tells the story of an English teacher who inspires his students to change their lives of conformity through his teaching of poetry and literature.

The story is set at the fictional Welton Academy in Vermont in the 1950s, and was filmed at St. Andrew's School in Middletown, Delaware. The script, written by Tom Schulman, is based on his life at Montgomery Bell Academy, an all-boys preparatory school in Nashville, Tennessee.

23 July, 2011

English Speaking club - Summer

Today’s session started with the introduction of our guests, Peace Corp volunteers, to the new club members. We discussed several topics today. We started with the summer holiday tradition in Ukraine. The club members told about the places in Ukraine where it’s customarily to spend summer holydays. Kim, the volunteer, shared her experience of a weekend trip to Odessa – a popular seaside resort in Ukraine. Vlad, a Ukrainian student, shared his plans to visit Hawaii during his summer holidays. Sam, the volunteer, gave him recommendations – which places on Hawaii are a “must’ for the tourist.
The other topic was the Peace Corp procedures and admissions. The Americans explained the role of their organization in America, their own reasons to join it, their expectations from the mission. They asked the Ukrainians whether they would join a volunteers’ movement in case an opportunity had arisen. Anastasia expressed everybody’s opinion that so far very few people were willing to travel to other continents and countries in need. The main reasons being the feeling of insecurity.
The second part of the session was dedicated to the topic “Summer”. The Club’s speaker Tamara presented information about the American summer rites – swimming and eating ice-cream.
Swimming activities unusual for Ukraine were presented – water tubing and skimboarding.
The Florida beach rules were read and translated to find out if there were any differences with Ukrainian ones. Some new terms were introduced: summer solstice and SPF( Sun Protecting Factor).
When talking about ice cream we have learned about different kinds of ice-cream in USA (gelato, frozen yogurt, sorbet, popsicle, sundae, etc.). Some quotes about summer were translated and discussed as well.  Summer songs popular in USA were introduced at the end of the session. We enjoyed the golden hits of the singer who used the name of this wonderful season as her stage name -  Donna SUMMER. 
The hits of the 60’s  from the musical “Grease” were introduced. Everybody enjoyed Travolta’s performance.
The world famous songs –“San Francisco”, “Summertime”, “Hot wet American summer” also gave us the idea about  American summer songs. The selected You Tube videos were giving the subtitles of the songs’ lyrics which helped to enjoy them better.
Have a look at more pictures, please

Useful links, we chose it:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fi6MWQgaHF0&feature=related  summer nights fm GREASE  lyrics

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FpJUrt0O7uY&feature=related   Travolta Olivia Newton John

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EFKU8PgtMHA&feature=related     Donna Summer 70 + disco

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yefxo-vEHcU  hot stuff

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gcC3VT67HfI&feature=related  Summer McArthur park

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TbVwKDiBywA       summer San Francisco

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kr0tTbTbmVA      summertime black picnic

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ulETSldJ8o&feature=related  hot American summer lyrics

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0kg9jma9K5I       Sting(Police)  Every

20 July, 2011

«Wednesday Movie Club» - Amadeus

Today the Dnipropetrovsk  WOA had a “Wednesday Movie Club” session.
The film "Amadeus" was presented to all who wish to improve their  language skills.
"Amadeus" won 8 Academy Awards (including Best Picture.

Amadeus is a 1984 period drama film directed by Miloš Forman and written by Peter Shaffer. Adapted from Shaffer's stage play Amadeus, the story is based loosely on the lives of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Antonio Salieri, two composers who lived in Vienna, Austria, during the latter half of the 18th century.

16 July, 2011

Merriam-Webster's Dictionaries

Kiryll, the member of English Speaking Club Dnipropetrovsk Window on America center, advises to use the Merriam-Webster's Dictionaries
Video here - Kiryll advises

English Speaking club - Chess Day

Today the English Speaking Club in Dnipropetrovsk WOA  was lucky again – the group of Peace Corps volunteers  came over to mix and mingle with  the club members.  As always the new club members and Americans introduced themselves. The questions asked today came back to the issue of  food stuffs – how the Americans survive without their favorite foods , how they find the Ukrainian food and the taste of Ukrainian  fruits and vegetables.

The guests shared their opinion about the American cuisine restaurants in Dnipropetrovsk.

Another issue discussed was coming Football Championship to be held in Ukraine in 2012. Some Americans were very enthusiastic about it and planned to work as volunteers there as well. Some people however were relived not to have the Championship in Dnipropetrovsk, because soccer is often associated with fans’ violence and aggression.

The guests were asked if they found the transportation system of Dnipropetrovsk and the region ready for the big inflows of foreign visitors. All the Americans expressed their views on the present state of the city public transport.

 The second part of the   ESC session was dedicated to the International CHESS Day, July, 20.

We have learned some facts  about the history of chess, the basic  terms ( the names of the  chess pieces) , the aim and the basic rules of the game.

The USA grandmasters were presented to the club members.

William Steinitz  is the first undisputed world chess champion (1886 to 1894) , the founder and editor of the "International Chess Magazine".
Bobby Fisher (1943- 2008) is  the American chess legend. This controversial master proposed a new variant of chess and a modified chess timing system.

The game of chess inspired artists in different genres to create pictures, sculptures and music.

The musical “”CHESS’ by ABBA was presented to the club members and the hits from this play were thoroughly enjoyed –  “I know him well” and    “One Night in Bangkok”.

The famous rock group “Black Sabbath” in the song “War Pigs” also mentioned chess game. The video with the relevant music was enjoyed by some.

The number of participants – 25 persons.
Have a look at more pictures, please 

14 July, 2011

WebChat: "Strategic Dialogue with Civil Society: Europe"

Svitlana Usenko, the Head of Dnepropetrovsk Information Resource Center "Window on America", Marina Sichova, Anatoliy Ribalko, Vadim Saveskul had the unique opportunity to participate in WebChat: "Strategic Dialogue with Civil Society: Europe" (CO.NX webchat, Washington, D.C.).

It was a civil society webchat focusing on media freedom in Europe with Irena Chalupa, Senior Correspondent for Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Inc. and Dr. Tomicah Tillemann, Senior Advisor to the Secretary for Civil Society and Emerging Democracies.

As part of the State Department’s ongoing commitment to defend civil society worldwide, Secretary Clinton launched a Strategic Dialogue with Civil Society groups on February 16, 2011. The Strategic Dialogue with Civil Society elevated our relationship with nongovernmental organizations to the level of our government-to-government relationships. The Dialogue is an 18-month, ongoing initiative with working groups on empowering women, promoting democracy and human rights, and enhancing transparency and good governance.

Format: It was a video webchat in English.
A lot of interesting questions were in focus of discussion from various parts of the Europe.

We've taken an active part in this activity and asked some questions: 
How European journalists manage to combine high ethical standards of journalism and responsibility for reliability of information with the freedom of expression?

We know that there’s much pressure on journalists from different minority group, like the society not to heavy ago in Penmar (about some religiously sensitive caricatures). Doesn’t the necessity to factor in the interests of  those groups limit the freedom of express  in for European journalists?

13 July, 2011

«Wednesday Movie Club» - All about Eve

Today the Dnipropetrovsk  WOA had a “Wednesday Movie Club” session.
The film "All about Eve" (1950 ) was presented to all who wish to improve their  language skills.
Praised by critics at the time of its release, All About Eve was nominated for 14 Academy Awards (a feat that was unmatched until the 1997 film, Titanic) and won six, including Best Picture.
All About Eve appeared at #16 on  the 1998 list of the 100 best American films.
Number of the visitors – 15 persons.

12 July, 2011

American English Online


 American English Online up and running!

If you learn or teach English, information below might be interested for you!
American English Online
The links page for the American English Online portal will soon be officially launched and is now up and running. The link is http://americanenglish.state.gov .

09 July, 2011

English Speaking club - the Peace Corp

Today our guests were 6 Americans, Peace Corps volunteers working in Dnipropetrovsk city and oblast.   
The guests introduced themselves to the Ukrainian club members, explained the aim of their visit to Dnipropetrovsk, told about their pupils and activities in Ukraine.
The Ukrainian University lecturers and the Americans exchanged their experiences about difficult moments in teaching process.
The volunteers clearly enjoyed the meeting with the WOA’s Ukrainian patrons and promised to prepare presentations about their home states for the ESC members.
The second part of the WOA’s English Speaking Club session was dedicated to American inventors. We decided to present to the audience the famous USA inventors with Slavic roots.
The presentation started with the brief history of Nicola Tesla, the genius and inventor of the AC (alternating current) and many other things.
The second inventor in the presentation was the father of the helicopter, Igor Sikorsky. Sikorsky was born in Kiev under the Russian Empire and is considered to be the national talent both in Ukraine and Russia.
The third person presented was the inventor of the mobile phone, Martin Cooper. Mr. Cooper’s parents were immigrants from Ukraine. Dr Martin Cooper, a former general manager for the systems division at Motorola, is considered the inventor of the first portable handset and the first person to make a call on a portable cell phone in April 1973.
The information about the inventors was illustrated with the relevant videos via YouTube.
An article about accidental food inventions was found quite useful – about the origin of Popsicle, chocolate chip cookies, potato chips and coca-cola.
The on-line quizzes are one of the favorite activities with the club members. Today’s BBC on-line quiz about last centuries’ inventions was a big success and brought about several bursts of laughter – the objects on the photos happened to be some bizarre inventions. We did not score much – only 4 out of 10, but had some fun guessing the correct answers.

http://www.squidoo.com/who-invented-it - famous inventions by who
The CBS and Times magazine videos about the best inventions of 2008 and 2009 were very informative.
To conclude the session we gave the opportunity to all the present to tell about their own inventions in everyday life. The professional engineers have not disclosed any info, but humanitarians shared some fun facts – how to make a soup out of the leftovers of a quiche, how to make nice photos of oneself without other people help, etc.

The number of the visitors –28.

06 July, 2011

«Wednesday Movie Club» - Patton

We have watched the movie "Patton" on this Wednesday.
The film documents the story of General George S. Patton (George C. Scott) during World War II, beginning with his taking charge of demoralized American forces in North Africa after the disastrous Battle of the Kasserine Pass.

04 July, 2011

The Independence Day celebration

The «Window to America» Center was visited by the group of schoolchildren of rehabilitation center  «Turtle-dove»  together with their teacher Irina Cherepen’ko.
The Meeting was devoted to the Independence Day celebration and an acquaintance with the United States of America.
The group listened to the presentation of S. Usenko, the head of WOA. The informative slide show «MEET the United States of America» introduced the students to the geography of the USA, its capital Washington, founder of America Christopher Columbus, native population - Indians, people which created history of country – first presidents and political figures, about the American icons of pop-culture, the biggest cities are centers of economics and culture, about architectural views of these cities
It was useful for pupils to learn about the national symbols of the USA –  flag, bald eagle, rose, White house, Congress, Statue of Liberty, memorials in honour to the presidents Washington, Jefferson and Lincoln.
The Head of the center «Window to America» Svitlana Usenko paid a regard to a rich collection of coloured and interesting child's books which would help to improve pupils’ knowledge of English.
Schoolchildren were eager to hear new information. They thanked sincerely in the end of the meeting.
Number of participants – 19 (17 students and 2 teachers).

Independence Day picnic

The English Speaking Club's committee had a picnic dedicated to the Independence Day in the USA.
The picnic was a great success!

A beautiful park landscape near the Dnieper river waterfront. 

Tamara dressed in “the patriotic colors” was sharing the experiences. The picnic participants were sharing views on numerous topics.

Dnipropetrovsk skyscrapers are also impressive! And  the "Swan" fountain on the water was amazing!

 Vasil with the club ladies and "The Tourist" ;-) from Italy walked along the Dnieper river waterfront. We enjoyed watching the beautiful  summer sunset.

02 July, 2011

English Speaking club - The Independence Day in the USA

Today’s session was dedicated to the celebration of the Independence Day in the USA.
To start with all the arriving club members were recommended to study the book display “Americans celebrate: Independence Day”.
Continuing the Flag day discussion we started the session with the introduction of such national symbol as National bird. An abstract from Edwin Way Teale’s article 'Bird of Freedom’ written for the “Atlantic Monthly” in 1957 was offered for translation.
The speaker of the club T. Gavryliuk explained how the Independence Day is usually celebrated in the USA.
The explanation started with the video of the White House ceremony on July, the 4th.
 July 4, is a day of patriotic celebration and family events throughout the country. The videos of most famous in the country parades, fireworks, and picnics were offered (including the BBQ recipe).
The patriotic songs have become staples of U.S. Independence Day celebrations and reflect the nation’s history and the contributions of immigrants to the country’s diverse culture.
The Club’s speaker T. Gavryliuk introduced to the club member’s the most famous  Independence Day  music - John Philip Sousa’s “The Stars and Stripes Forever” or George M. Cohan’s “Yankee Doodle Dandy”, Samuel A. Ward’s  “America the Beautiful”.
It was interesting to find out that music written by our compatriots is enjoyed during the Independence Day celebrations in the USA.
Irving Berlin (1888-1989), an immigrant from what now is Belarus, expanded the nation’s musical repertoire with “God Bless America.”  
Look at video 
Russian composer Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s “1812 Overture” is a traditional July 4th feature. It has no connection to U.S. events, but its strong melodic line and use of cannon fire, which adds a percussive charge and thrills the American audiences.

Book Display: «Independence day»

Book Display: «Americans celebrate: Independence Day»