29 October, 2011

Peace Corp.Volunteer Mr.P.Kelly presentation

The atmosphere of today’s meeting was created by the active club member Nastya Burova. She took a lot of effort, time and creativity to carve a genuine Halloween artifact - a Jack-o-Lantern.  Nastiya’s   first experience in pumpkin carving turned out to be so successful that we decided to use it as a centerpiece for the round- table discussion. The lantern impressed all the visitors and became a popular object for taking photographs.

The actual topic of today’s ESC session was “Peace Corp. Volunteerism in Ukraine”. The guest presenter was Mr. Patrick Kelly – a friend of the WOA and an experienced Peace Corp. volunteer.

Patrick started the lecture with a brief presentation of his background and his home town – Seattle. The facts about the tourist attractions of Seattle were quite amusing and evoked a lot of comments and questions.

The facts, figures and statistics about Peace Corp. Organization were particularly interesting to the new-comers.

Mr. Kelly pinpointed the objectives and tasks of Peace Corp. activities in Ukraine. After that he told the audience about their projects of his host organization in Dnipropetrovsk and his own main goal – to teach the local Non Government Organizations (NGOs) the basic fundraising techniques and to shift their activity to finding the local finance sources for the volunteer projects.

Mr. Kelly appealed to the audience to help him in his community projects and received several offers and ideas for the joined activities for the young people in Dnipropetrovsk. There were many questions asked about the current experience of the Peace Corp volunteers in Ukraine.

Among the new visitors of the WOA was Mr. Matt – an ex- Peace Corp volunteer from the ex-Soviet republic Kazakhstan and an English teacher at a local language school. He shared his experiences of the life in the central Asian republic.

Once the official presentation was over the Head of the WOA Svitlana Usenko informed the club members about the article in the local government newspaper (circulation of 70,500 copies).

The title of the article was “America is closer than it seems” and it presented the history and the current activities of the “Window on America” in Dnipropetrovsk. Our American friends Patrick and Samantha who found their photos in the Ukrainian newspaper were genuinely impressed and received a photocopy of the article each.

The Halloween artifact on the table prompted numerous questions about the Halloween traditions from the clubmembers. Samantha and Patrick added a few funny facts to our knowledge about this holiday.

The younger generation of the club members needed more time to share the impressions from the session and arranged a Halloween tea ceremony around the Jack-o-Lantern. Nastya B. followed the tradition and treated her fellows with an assortment of candies.

The number of participants – 31 persons.

Федченко А. Америка ближче, ніж здається // Вісті Придніпров'я: Обл. суспільно-політична газета (тираж 70 500 прим). - 2011. - 27 жовтня. - С.9.

26 October, 2011

Sweet home Alabama

Today the Dnipropetrovsk  WOA had a “Wednesday Movie Club” session.
The film "Sweet home Alabama" was presented to all who wish to improve their language skills.
A young woman with a white trash background runs away from her husband in Alabama and reinvents herself as a New York socialite.

Lynyrd Skynyrd - Sweet Home Alabama lyrics
Big wheels keep on turning
Carry me home to see my kin
Singing songs about the Southland
I miss Alabamy once again
And I think its a sin, yes

Well I heard mister Young sing about her
Well, I heard ole Neil put her down
Well, I hope Neil Young will remember
A Southern man don't need him around anyhow

Sweet home Alabama
Where the skies are so blue
Sweet Home Alabama
Lord, I'm coming home to you

In Birmingham they love the governor
Now we all did what we could do
Now Watergate does not bother me
Does your conscience bother you?
Tell the truth

Sweet home Alabama
Where the skies are so blue
Sweet Home Alabama
Lord, I'm coming home to you
Here I come Alabama

Now Muscle Shoals has got the Swampers
And they've been known to pick a song or two
Lord they get me off so much
They pick me up when I'm feeling blue
Now how about you?

Sweet home Alabama
Where the skies are so blue
Sweet Home Alabama
Lord, I'm coming home to you

Sweet home Alabama
Oh sweet home baby
Where the skies are so blue
And the governor's true
Sweet Home Alabama
Lord, I'm coming home to you
Yea, yea Montgomery's got the answer 

Look at here 
 Listen here

22 October, 2011

Work & Travel

Today due to technical reasons we have given the English Speaking Club members the opportunity to choose the topic for the round table discussion.

The session started with the presentation of Olga Boiko about her Work & Travel experiences in the United States.

Olga is a graduate student of the A. Nobel University for Economics and Law (Dnipropetrovsk).
She has been actively taking part in this student program: her first trip was to Florida and her recent trip was to Alaska.
Olga shared her experiences about the stay in the USA. She told about the pitfalls of this student program and its positive sides.
The Club members asked Olga questions about the procedures for the participants, the costs involved, etc. Olga gave recommendations and expressed her opinion about the Work & Travel agencies in Dnipropetrovsk.

Due to the introduction of the theme of the migrants’ work in the USA club member Anastasia B.  suggested for the  round table discussion the topic  “Migration of people: reasons and  channels”.

The topic was supported by the club members and evoked active discussion.
The number of participants – 18 persons.

Have a look at more pictures, please

15 October, 2011

ESC - Norman Rockwell and Andy Warhol

Today’s session of the English Speaking Club was dedicated to the topic of “Art and Humanities” which was initiated by the President B.Obama in his October, 3, 2011 Proclamation.
We have presented to the club members a couple of prominent American artists.
President Obama’s proclamation mentioned the social artwork by the famous US illustrator Norman Rockwell.
The picture “The Problem We All Live With” was introduced and its history explained. At present the picture is on display in the White House outside the Oval Office.
The article dealing with Rockwell’s work was read and translated.

Another article gave an example of the picture’s description with details unknown to the Ukrainian viewer. “The picture strikes directly at the heart and exemplifies Rockwell’s hallmark approach – strong horizontals, close foregrounds and telling details which draw the viewer into concluding a narrative, one orchestrated to move him.
The perceptive viewer notes not only the confident posture and countenance of the young girl.
Her escorts are cropped and anonymous agents of the law.
But the writ in the pocket of the advancing guard, the contrast of the schoolbooks with the graffiti on the wall, the smashed tomato (the least of projectiles launched in those times).
It is the approach common to centuries of art – emblematic and immediate.
But Rockwell stirs a decent empathy, a quietly powerful outrage.”

After that the club members were asked to divide into teams. Each team was given a picture by N. Rockwell and asked to describe the artwork in their  own words. Once all the teams presented their descriptions they were given an art expert’s descriptions of the same pictures for comparison. The quality of the teams’ descriptions left much to be desired. All the participants realized that describing art is a complicated task even without special vocabulary.

Another artist presented by the speaker Vadym was Andy Warhol  – commercial illustrator and a leading figure in the visual art movement known as pop art.
Before the session beginning and after its ending, the recently donated gadgets (iPad and Kindle) were presented. The club members were given the opportunity to practice the devices and their software.
The number of participants – 22 persons.

12 October, 2011

Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles

The film "Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles" was presented to all who wish to improve their language skills.

A vampire tells his epic life story: love, betrayal, loneliness, and hunger.

Number of the visitors – 9.

Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles is a 1994 American drama and horror film directed by Neil Jordan, based on the 1976 novel Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice. The film focuses on Lestat and Louis, beginning with Louis' transformation into a vampire by Lestat in 1791. The film chronicles their time together, and their turning of a twelve year old Creole girl, Claudia, into a vampire. The narrative is framed by a present day interview, in which Louis tells his story to a San Francisco reporter.

The film stars Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt, and Kirsten Dunst, with Antonio Banderas and Stephen Rea co-starring. The film was released in November 1994 to generally positive critical acclaim, and received Oscar nominations for Best Art Direction and Best Original Score. Kirsten Dunst was also nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress for her role in the film.

U.S. Interagency Conference on English Language Programs in Ukraine "English Language Education: A United Approach"

До уваги викладачів англійської мови!
Запрошуємо Вас до дистанційного навчання.

INFORMATION CENTER "WINDOW ON AMERICA": U.S. Interagency Conference on English Language Programs in Ukraine "English Language Education: A United Approach"

10 October, 2011

Play and Learn: Gaming for students

The students of the National Metallurgical Academy of Ukraine together with their lecturer Alexandra Myrgorodskaya visited the center.
They watched a language teaching film and practiced spoken language discussing it.

The students reviewed the exhibit "Leаrn English together!!", the phonetics and grammar teaching program Rosetta Stone.

The last donations by the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine were also introduced – electronic gadgets iPad and Kindle.
EF Hight Flyers, World Abacus, Kids World Map programs (apps) were presented.
All new visitors were provided with the opportunity to practice the new devices.
The number of participants – 9 persons.

Have a look at more pictures here, please 

09 October, 2011

“SAMARA” Lyceum of Novomoskovsk town

The Dnipropetrovsk WOA Centre continues its project “Library connecting people”.
This summer the WOA friends from the Peace Corp. introduced the facility to Mrs. Joanna Luongo who had to start her volunteer activities in the “SAMARA” Lyceum of Novomoskovsk town (Dnipropetrovsk oblast’).
Mrs. J.Luongo participated in one of our English Speaking Club sessions, was familiarized with the resources and the equipment of the WOA center. She was positively impressed by the facility and the motivation of the ESC members and decided to organize a similar club in one of the Novomoskovsk libraries. Besides, she promised to introduce the WOA centre to her lyceum students and Novomoskovsk English speaking community.
As soon as the school year started Joanna organized the English speaking club and asked us to cooperate. Today the activists of the Novomoskovsk ESC visited the Dnipropetrovsk WOA. The group consisted both of students and adult learners of the English language.
The WOA’s worker Mrs. Tamara explained to the Novomoskovsk guests the main purpose of the facility and introduced the recourses and the equipment of the center. The adult guests were more interested in the collections of fiction and movies. While students asked a lot of questions about the TOEFL preparation books and student exchange programs in USA.
Mrs. Joanna told us about the difficulties she was faced with while starting the ESC activity and we talked about the ways to overcome these difficulties.
To round up the visit the Novomoskovsk group had a brief tour of the Oblast Scientific Library and was introduced to its departments located in the same building with the WOA.
The guests were invited to participate in the events of the WOA Dnipropetrovsk and visit its website, FB page and blog.
The number of participants – 7 persons.
Have a look at more pictures here, please 

08 October, 2011

Columbus Day

Today's session English Speaking club started with the introduction of the newcomers.
Our friends American volunteers were present today and we used this opportunity to talk to them. We decided to talk about the most memorable event of the week. For the Americans the worst news of the week was the death of Steve Jobs. Steve Jobs was a technology entrepreneur and visionary, the chief executive of Apple – the computer giant he co-founded in 1976.
The positive event of the week was described by Jana. She had a coach surfer guest from Greece who enlightened her on the situation in his country. Besides Jana reminded us all about the International day of Post service and suggested to everyone to greet their respective post office employees.
Peace Corp. Volunteer Kathryn asked our advice on how to go about sending a parcel to the US. The club members gave her numerous instructions about where to go, how to get prepared and what to expect from the local service.
One more topic for discussion was suggested – Jana’s recent travel to Europe. She shared with us her most treasured experiences – visits to the world known museums of Paris and Barcelona. The nightmares of the trip were mostly connected with the transport.
The second part of the session was dedicated to the celebration of the Columbus Day in theUSA. Across the United States people celebrate the day Columbus landed in America because it changed the course of history.
We watched videos illustrating the life of Christopher Columbus, the history of the Columbus day Celebration in New York. In the discussion we mentioned the events that commemorated different anniversaries of the American continent discovery.
“Columbus and the Discovery of America”, Imre Kiralfy's "grand dramatic, operatic, and ballet spectacle," is among the more elaborate tributes created for the 300th commemoration. The World's Columbian Exposition, by far the most ambitious event planned for the celebration, opened in Chicago the summer of 1893. 1992 marked the 500th anniversary of the Columbus discovery. Ohio, planned ''AmeriFlora,'' the first international floral and garden festival in the United States. Genoa, Italy, was having scholars compile everything Columbus, a Genoese home boy, ever wrote. Spain  had a World's Fair in Seville and sailed replicas of the Nina, Pinta and Santa Maria across the Atlantic.
The session was resumed with the discussion about the controversy of the Colombo’s role in history.
The number of participants – 23 persons.

05 October, 2011

"Eternal Sunshine of the spotless mind"

Today the Dnipropetrovsk  WOA had a “Wednesday Movie Club” session.
The film "Eternal Sunshine of the spotless mind" was presented to all who wish to improve their  language skills.

A couple undergo a procedure to erase each other from their memories when their relationship turns sour, but it is only through the process of loss that they discover what they had to begin with.
The title is taken from the poem Eloisa to Abelard by Alexander Pope, the story of a tragic love affair, where forgetfulness became the heroine's only comfort:

    How happy is the blameless vestal's lot!
    The world forgetting, by the world forgot.
    Eternal sunshine of the spotless mind!
    Each pray'r accepted, and each wish resign'd;

The film was a critical and commercial success, developing a strong cult following and receiving a myriad of accolades, winning the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay. The film was lauded by critics as one of the best and most thought-provoking films of 2004.
Number of the visitors – 11 persons.

National Arts and Humanities Month, 2011

The White House
Office of the Press Secretary

Presidential Proclamation -- National Arts and Humanities Month, 2011

- - - - - - -

Norman Rockwell's magazine covers are classic and recognizable portrayals of American life. A longtime advocate of tolerance, Rockwell was criticized by some for a painting now hanging steps from the Oval Office -- The Problem We All Live With. Inspired by the story of Ruby Bridges, this painting depicts a young girl being escorted to her newly-integrated school by United States Marshals. Today, the portrait remains a symbol of our Nation's struggle for racial equality.
Like Rockwell's painting, art in all its forms often challenges us to consider new perspectives and to rethink how we see the world. This image still moves us with its simple poignancy, capturing a moment in American history that changed us forever. This is the power of the arts and humanities -- they speak to our condition and affirm our desire for something more and something better. Great works of literature, theater, dance, fine art, and music reach us through a universal language that unites us regardless of background, gender, race, or creed.
Millions of Americans earn a living in the arts and humanities, and the non-profit and for-profit arts industries are important parts of both our cultural heritage and our economy. The First Lady and I have been proud to honor this work by displaying American art at the White House and by hosting music, dance, poetry, and film performances and screenings. The President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, along with the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Institute of Museum and Library Services continues to recognize the skill and creativity of American artists, historians, and philosophers while helping educate and inspire our children through the power of the arts and humanities.
We must recognize the contributions of the arts and humanities not only by supporting the artists of today, but also by giving opportunities to the creative thinkers of tomorrow. Educators across our country are opening young minds, fostering innovation, and developing imaginations through arts education. Through their work, they are empowering our Nation's students with the ability to meet the challenges of a global marketplace. It is a well-rounded education for our children that will fuel our efforts to lead in a new economy where critical and creative thinking will be the keys to success.
Today, the arts and humanities continue to break social and political barriers. Throughout our history, American hopes and aspirations have been captured in the arts, from the songs of enslaved Americans yearning for freedom to the films that grace our screens today. This month, we celebrate the enlightenment and insight we have gained from the arts and humanities, and we recommit to supporting expression that challenges our assumptions, sparks our curiosity, and continues to drive us toward a more perfect union.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim October 2011 as National Arts and Humanities Month. I call upon the people of the United States to join together in observing this month with appropriate ceremonies, activities, and programs to celebrate the arts and the humanities in America.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this third day of October, in the year of our Lord two thousand eleven, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-sixth.


eLibrary USA Databases and etc.

Today Information and Resource Center "Window on America" in Dnipropetrovsk was attended by the English lecturers  from the National Mining University. The Center’s  friend, the Fulbright Foundation academic exchange participant, Professor Virginia Kleist (University of West Virginia, USA) prepared a presentation:
The Fulbright Foundation academic exchange participant, Professor Virginia Kleist (University of West Virginia, USA) prepared a presentation:
Dnipropetrovsk Ukraine Workshop Presented courtesy of Window on America: Online resources for teaching English for Management students.

The presentation familiarized  the teachers with  the American electronic library resourceeLibrary USA Databases”.

Head of WOA Center Svitlana Usenko presented the book display "Learn English together!", the electronic portal  “American Online English”,   the phonetics and grammar teaching program by  Rosetta Stone.  
The last donations by the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine  were also introduced – electronic gadgets iPad and Kindle.
All the participants were provided with the opportunity to practice the new devices and to search information on the  e-Library.
The lecturers received the center’s brochure and printed copies of the resources for e-Library and American Online English.
The leader of the group has expressed intention to further communicate and cooperate with WOA on a regular basis. 

The number of participants – 17 persons.

Have a look at more pictures, please 

04 October, 2011

American Fashion

Information Resource Center "Window on America" in the new school year continues its project  “Discover USA”.

The center was visited by a group of students from the Dnepropetrovsk faculty of the Kiev National University for Culture and Arts. The students major in   hair design. They listened to a lecture about the American fashion industry.

The top 10 American fashion designers were introduced to them with illustrations by relevant videos.

The USA fashion web sites and magazines were introduced to the students.

The USA Hair industry was also introduced. The students were acquainted with the sites of the professional organizations and magazines.  The most popular feature was the free step-by-step video for modern hair design.

The number of participants – 16 persons.

Оксана Мороз,  учасниця FLEX (Програма обміну майбутніх лідерів) розповідає про програму, як взяти у ній участь та як змінилося її життя після року в Америці.

01 October, 2011

World Animal Day (4th October)

Today’s session was dedicated to the World Animal Day.
World Animal Day is celebrated each year on October 4. It started in Florence, Italy in 1931 at a convention of ecologists.

On this day, animal life in all its forms is celebrated, and special events are planned on locations all over the globe.

4 October was originally chosen for World Animal Day because it is the feast day of Francis of Assisi, a nature lover and patron saint of animals and the environment. Numerous churches throughout the world observe the Sunday closest to 4 October with a Blessing for the Animals.

However, World Animal Day has now gone beyond being the celebration of a Christian saint and is today observed by animal-lovers of all beliefs, nationalities and backgrounds.

We have decided to check the attitude of the club members towards animals. The majority had pets  in childhood. At present we have an equal number of cat-lovers and dog-lovers.

We shared the experiences about the cats and dogs. Then we talked about exotic pets. The club member with an exotic pet is Anastasia – she keeps a land turtle.

The discussion touched the issue of stray animals in the Ukrainian cities. This topic is rather controversial - the victims of stray animals demand safety on the city streets.The animal- lovers protest against the methods used by the communal authorities (poisoning and cruel killing of animals).

The club member Oksana asked to inform the club members about the activity of the Dnipropetrovsk animal protection organization “Vernost’” (Loyalty) and suggested cooperation for those willing to volunteer. www.vernost.dp.ua
The second part of the meeting was communication with our good friend – the Fulbright exchange participant  Prof. Virginia Kleist.

She presented to the club a banner of her University and asked numerous questions about her state and University. Mrs. Virginia  suggested  that the club members studying or working  in IT might  help her with a  scientific survey. The suggestion was cheerfully accepted and hopefully will help the Americans to understand better the situation in the Ukrainian IT.

Have a look at more pictures, please 

The number of participants – 24 persons.

«Learn English Together!»

WOA Dnipropetrovsk this month presents the Book Display: «Learn English Together!»
The display introduces the collection of textbooks, books, audio books, CDs and DVDs available to all those wishing to improve their language skills.
The highlight of the collection is the phonetics and grammar teaching program by Rosetta Stone.