28 December, 2011

An American in Paris

Переглядом та обговоренням чудової музичної кінострічки англійською мовою  "Американець у Парижі"  закінчився 2011 рік в інформаційно-ресурсному центрі "Вікно в Америку".
Музика композитора Джоржа Гершвіна вразила та створила святковий новорічний настрій у відвідувачів центру!
Щиро дякуємо нашому другу Джозефу Баттилезі за ідею відродження та допомогу в проведенні кіноклубу.

26 December, 2011

The new arrivals

December, 2011.
The information center “Window on America” Dnipropetrovsk is grateful to the Embassy of the United States of America, Public Affairs Section, for a wonderful donation - games, audio-books, DVDs, IIP publications and literature. These documents have replenished   the library funds and given the readers and visitors the access to the up-to-date information about the US.

The new arrivals include:

•    new editions feature films on DVD;
•    the complete collection of audio books about the adventures of Harry Potter;
a selection of  board games for kids and adults. Among them such a famous game as “Scrabble”. This is a classic board game that requires to assemble words by using chip-letters. "Scrabble” – is not just a pleasant pastime. It is the best method to expand one’s English vocabulary! “Scrabble” is an effective and exciting method of learning English for all, regardless of age and language level.

 The new arrivals of the Window on America were presented to the colleagues (the  library staff) , readers and members of the English Speaking Club.

Have a look at more pictures, please

24 December, 2011

Christmas celebration

Today’s session of the English Speaking club was dedicated to the introduction of the some unknown in this part of the world details of Christmas celebration.
The club members read and translated an article about such element of Christmas decoration as nativity scene. The article revealed some historic facts about this phenomenon.
A nativity scene is a depiction of the birth of Jesus as described in the gospels of Matthew and Luke.
The term "nativity scene" typically implies a two dimensional depictions in film, painting, printmaking, and other media. However,  in the history of art and culture, as well as in popular use, this term  often refers to static, three dimensional, artistic, commercial or folk   art dioramas, or pantomimes called "living nativity scenes" in which real humans and animals participate.
Nativity scenes exhibit figures representing the infant Jesus, his mother Mary, and Joseph.
Other characters from the nativity story such as shepherds, the Magi, and angels may be displayed near the manger in a barn intended to accommodate farm animals. A donkey and an ox are typically depicted in the scene, as well as camels belonging to the Magi.

For today’s session the Club’s speaker Tamara created our own nativity scene which turned out to be a very unusual artifact, especially for the younger generation of the club members.
To better understand what is depicted in the nativity scene the club members were offered to read and translates the Christmas story in English. After that we have tested our knowledge of the Xmas story in the on-line quiz. The score was quite good – 13 correct answers out of 15.
To further challenge the club member’s knowledge of the Xmas topic they were asked to divide into 2 teams and solve a word search puzzle and a crossword in 15 minutes. In each team the beginners tried to solve the word search puzzle, while the advanced users completed the crossword. The right hand side team has coped with the task earlier and was proclaimed a winner of the Xmas completion.
At this moment Santa Clause appeared in the room, wished the audience Merry Christmas and distributed nice mementos of the Club’s Xmas session - replica’s of US dollar bills with funny inscriptions.
The fun continued with a traditional Xmas tea ceremony - with assortment of cookies which included the famous American chocolate chip cookies. A multitude of world musical hits about Christmas was checked on YouTube. Big screen projection of the favorite clips created unforgettable atmosphere!
The last session of the year turned out to be a great success!
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all!
The number of participants – 20 persons.

21 December, 2011

Breakfast at Tiffany's

The film Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961) was presented to all who wish to improve their language skills.

A young New York socialite becomes interested in a young man who has moved into her apartment building.

Based on Truman Capote's 1958 novella of the same title, BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY'S (1961) is the story of a woman on her own making her way in the big city.  As stories go, it is short on plot but rich in characterization which may explain why its protagonist, Holly Golightly, has become Audrey Hepburn's most memorable screen persona.  In the hands of director Blake Edwards, the film neglects much of the book's foreboding edge, but gains an unforgettable comedic touch which actually helps accentuate the darker moments.  In addition, Henry Mancini's musical score and Hubert de Givenchy's gowns for Ms. Hepburn successfully uphold Capote's style when the story itself is forced to leave his writing behind. Like the protagonist at its heart, BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY'S is quirky, funny, bewildering, serious, sophisticated and bittersweet -- and as movies go, great entertainment.

Memorable Quotations:

    "Poor old cat.  Poor slob.  Poor slob without a name.  The way I look at it, I don't have the right to give him one.  We don't belong to each other.  We just took up by the river one day." --Holly.
    "I don't want to own anything until I find a place where me and things go together.  I'm not sure where that is, but I know what it's like.  It's like Tiffany's." --Holly.
    "Listen...you know those days when you get the mean reds?" --Holly.
    "The mean reds? You mean like the blues?" --Fred (Paul).
    "No... the blues are because you're getting fat or because it's been raining too long. You're just sad, that's all. The mean reds are horrible. Suddenly you're afraid and you don't know what you're afraid of. Do you ever get that feeling?" --Holly.
    "Sure." --Fred (Paul).
    "When I get it the only thing that does any good is to jump into a cab and go to Tiffany's. Calms me down right away." --Holly.
    "If I could find a real life place to make me feel like Tiffany's, then I'd buy some furniture and give the cat a name." --Holly.
    "Thursday!  Oh no, it can't be!  It's too gruesome!" --Holly.
    "You can always tell what kind of a person a man really thinks you are by the earrings he give you... I must say, the mind reels!" --Holly.
    "You don't have to worry.  I've taken care of myself for a long time." --Holly.

18 December, 2011

English Language Teaching and Learning Resources

US Government Sponsored English Language Teaching and Learning Resources:

American Online English


Voice of America Special English

Voice of America The Classroom

Online Interactive English Language Learning Resources for Young Learners:

Game Goo


Between the Lions

Learn English Kids (British Council)

ESL Kidsworld

http://eslkidsworld.com/index.html (Some free resources)


Free printable flashcards

Boggle’s World/Lantern Fish

Discovery Puzzlemaker

17 December, 2011

The Golden state of California.

Today’s session at Window on America center Dnipropetrovsk was dedicated to the Golden state of California.
The floor was given to the California natives – PCVs Sam and Kathryn. They brought a support team of other Californians (Kim, Matt and Joseph) – we had 5 of them all together.
The girls prepared very interesting slide presentations about their respective parts of the state. They have surveyed the club members in advance and incorporated the most wanted info about California into their lectures.
The presentations included the facts and figures about California, its history, cultural diversity, climate, geography, nature, tourist attractions, gastronomic traditions, sports, life styles, etc. Each of the Californians present added his own details and explanations to help the presenters to convey to the audience the essence of being a Californian.
The audience on the other hand listened carefully to the information and asked a lot of questions. The inquiries ranged from the difference in North and South California accents to the real estate prices in most prestigious parts of California. Particularly interesting question was about the dangers of living in California.
Among them are earthquakes, fires and   poor security in some neighborhoods.
The session was a great success and the discussions lasted long after the official part was over!
The number of participants – 33 persons.

14 December, 2011


The romance сomedy "Tootsie" (1982) was presented to all who wish to improve their language skills.

An unemployed actor with a reputation for being difficult disguises himself as a woman to get a role in a soap opera.

Director: Sydney Pollack

Writers: Don McGuire (story), Larry Gelbart (story), and 5 more credits

Stars: Dustin Hoffman, Jessica Lange and Teri Garr
The Games that are gifts of the U.S. Embassy were presented to center visitors. 
Joseph Battilega explained  idioms from the film.

10 December, 2011

Walt Disney - American legend

Today’s session at Window on America center Dnipropetrovsk was dedicated to the anniversary of Walt Disney, whose birthday was on December, 5.
W. Disney is the visionary, whose desire for escape honed an innate sense of what people wanted to see on the screen and, when combined with iron determination and obsessive perfectionism, led him to the reinvention of animation.
It was Disney, first with Mickey Mouse and then with his feature films, who transformed animation from a novelty based on movement to an art form that presented an illusion of life.
A retrospective of his most famous feature films -Snow White, Pinocchio, Fantasia, Dumbo, and Bambi was offered.
From the video interview by a British newspaper we have learned a lot of educational info about the film “Fatasia” and its role in the history of animation.
 We have listened to the interview with W. Disney’s biographer on the American news channel.
The on-line quiz about Mickey Mouse and its names in different languages was quite funny, but our score was not high.
The discussion continued and the club members shared their attitudes towards the characters and animations works by W. Disney. The most interesting was the story by a Ukrainian club member Victoria who was lucky to visit Disney Land amusement park in Paris. 
The US guests Sam, Kathrynne and Patrick told about their impressions of this world known tourist attractions in different American states.
As a final activity the Ukrainian club members told the American guests about the classical Ukrainian cartoons and popular characters – Cossacks who played football and the dog Pes who befriended a wolf.
The number of participants – 22 persons.

07 December, 2011


The film "Adaptation" (2002) was presented to all who wish to improve their language skills.
A lovelorn screenwriter turns to his less talented twin brother for help when his efforts to adapt a non-fiction book go nowhere.

Spike Jonze
Susan Orlean (book), Charlie Kaufman (screenplay), and 1 more credit »
Nicolas Cage, Meryl Streep and Chris Cooper 

06 December, 2011

U.S. Promotion of Diversity - CO.NXC program

Information and Resource Center Window on America hosted web chat in English (CO.NXC program, Kyiv-Dnipropetrovsk) with a representative of the U.S. State Department EUR/UMB/PPD Desk Officer Joslin Mack-Wilson.
She shared with National Mine University teachers of English, students, workers of the library her views on issues of cultural diversity and tolerance. Participants actively asked questions and received competent answers.
The number of participants – 15 persons.

Have a look at more pictures, please 

04 December, 2011

Chemistry: Matter and its Changes

Alexandra Myrgorodskaya, High School teacher:
Last month book display of new arrivals helped me to find information for teaching materials. Chemistry: Matter and itsChanges with its photos and electronic illustrations will certainly help the students to learn the fundamentals of Chemistry easily and in an interesting way. It is obvious that the authors put a lot of work to write their explanations comprehensively.  I think, studying an academic subject with books written in English is useful for both English skills and the Sciences.

Brady, James E., 1938 -
    Chemistry: the study of matter and its changes / James E. Drady, Joel W. Russell, Jonh R. Holum. - 3rd ed. - Hooboken, NJ. - 2000. - 1085 p. + appendix.

03 December, 2011

Golden State - California

Looking forward to the presentation about California by Peace Corp volunteer Sam Sachs we prepared a book display 'Golden State - California' about the history, geography and major attractions of the Golden State.

International Mountain Day

Today’s session at Window on America center Dnipropetrovsk was dedicated to the International Mountain Day.
To start the ball rolling the club members were asked to describe what they see on the International Mountain Day logo. Each person added own observation and we compared them to the official designer’s description. The perceptions of the viewers and the logo’s author proved to be somewhat different, but the club members learned that the description of an image can be executed on a much higher language proficiency level.
This year’s International Mountain Day theme will focus on Mountains and Forests.
It aims to raise awareness about the relevance of mountain forests and the role they play within a Green Economy as well as in climate change adaptation measures.
Healthy mountain forests are crucial to the ecological health of the world. They protect watersheds that supply freshwater to more than half the world’s people.
They also are the home of untold wildlife, provide food and fodder for mountain people and are important sources of timber and non-wood products.
Yet in many parts of the world mountain forests are under threat as never before and deforestation in tropical mountain forests continues at an astounding rate. Protecting these forests and making sure they are carefully managed is an important step towards sustainable mountain development.
The map of the North American mountains helped us to refresh in the memory the names of the US mountainous regions.
The video about the Rocky Mountains National Park impressed all the viewers.

We also watched several videos about the most famous US ski resorts on both coast - in Colorado and Vermont).
The information about the dangers to the mountains forests and was quite educational (mountain pine beetle, air and water pollution etc.).
 Rainforest phenomenon was well known to the audience; however, the video about temperate rainforests of Northern America mountains was a discovery to all.
The new terms learned from one of the articles allowed the Club members to describe the breathtaking photos of the mountains.
To round up the discussion we talked about mountains of different countries. Roland C. told about his favorite mountains in France.
Mohammed informed us about mountain regions of Algeria. Eugene P. told our foreign friends about the most fashionable ski resort in Ukraine – Bukovel’.

After the official part the club member Yana L.  gave us a long due  tutorial about buying staff on electronic auction site E-Bay. The clubmembers discussed their experience of using this site.

01 December, 2011

Thanksgiving Day at the school # 22

The head of Window on America center Dnipropetrovsk Svitlana Usenko visited the secondary school # 22.
The recently donated by the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine to the WOA centre electronic gadgets were introduced to the kids – iPad, Kindle. 
The useful resources   available at the WOA and presented to the school teachers and kids included the Rosetta Stone Language study program and E-Library (EBSCO etc.).The meeting also was dedicated to the Thanksgiving Day in the USA.
The slide show reminded to the kids the basic historic facts about this holiday. The Americans are celebrated with lots of craft activities. The creation of the Turkey – each pupil wrote on a feather shaped piece of paper for what he/she is grateful. The numerous feathers gave the Turkey a nice tail.
The meeting made the kids fascinated and attentive. It seems that everybody enjoyed to learn more about America, how people live and celebrate one of the biggest holidays.

The number of participants – 85 persons.