29 February, 2012

A Beautiful Mind

«Wednesday Movie Club».
The film «A Beautiful Mind» (2001) was presented to all who wish to improve their language skills.
After a brilliant but asocial mathematician accepts secret work in cryptography, his life takes a turn to the nightmarish.
Director: Ron Howard
Writers: Akiva Goldsman, Sylvia Nasar (book)
Stars: Russell Crowe, Ed Harris and Jennifer Connelly

National Grammar Day

List of Questions for the NationalGrammar Day
March 4

1.     Do you like studying grammar?
2.     Do you think grammar is the most important thing to learn in English?
3.     What is the most difficult part of English grammar?
4.     Which is more difficult, English grammar or your own language’s grammar?
5.     What is the best way to learn grammar?
6.     Do you have a favorite grammar book?
7.     How do you like to learn grammar in class?
8.     What are your grammar successes?
9.     Do you think playing grammar games is an effective way to learn?
10.  Do you think students should keep a special grammar notebook?
11.  What grammar websites would you recommend to other students?
12.  How do you think many people can learn a language without learning grammar?
13.  What grammar question would you really like answering now?
14.  Do you think you are good at explaining English grammar rules to other learners?
15.  Is the grammar of speech different from the grammar of writing?
16.  Have you ever met a native English speaker with poor grammar?
17.  Have all your English teachers been good at teaching grammar?
18.  What area of English grammar do you think is easiest to learn?
19.  How often have you said you hate grammar?
20.  Do you think that one day you’ll be able to download grammar from your computer into your brain and have no grammar homework?
21.  What do you think about the English articles ‘a’, ‘an’ and ‘the’?
22.  Do you have articles in your own language?
23.  What do you think when your teacher says you’ll do a lesson on articles?
24.  What are articles for?
25.  What are your biggest problems with articles?
26.  Would the English language be so different without articles?
27.  What does ‘a’ and ‘an’ mean?
28.  Why do we say ‘the biggest’, ‘the most important’ but not ‘a biggest’ or ‘a most important’?
29.  Would the Philippines, the Maldives, the USA etc be any different without ‘the’?
30.  When do you think articles are absolutely, totally necessary?
31.  What do you know about English articles?
32.  What advice would you give to someone trying to learn articles?
33.  What’s the difference between ‘a’ and ‘an’?
34.  Does your teacher do a good job at explaining articles?
35.  What’s the difference between “I’m a student” and “I’m the student”?
36.  How would you describe what articles are to an alien?
37.  Do you think the terms ‘definite article’ and ‘indefinite article’ help you understand articles better?
38.  Do you care about whether or not you understand articles and use them correctly?
39.  Why is it “Once upon a time” but “The end”? How would “An end” or “Once upon the time” change things?
40.  Did you like this discussion on articles?
41.   42.  What do you know about the present perfect in English?
43.  What are the different functions of the present perfect?
44.  If a student wanted you to explain the present perfect to them, what would you tell them?
45.  What are your biggest problems with the present perfect?
46.  What’s the difference between ‘Have you ever…’ and ‘Do you ever…’?
47.  Can you think of a more helpful or useful name for the present perfect than ‘the present perfect’?
48.  Does your teacher put a timeline on the board to help explain the present perfect? Is this useful?
49.  What’s the difference between the present perfect and the past simple?
50.  Teachers often talk about ‘unfinished time’ when teaching the present perfect. Do you understand this?
51.  What is your favourite present perfect question?
52.  What do you think when your teacher tells you you’re going to do a lesson on the present perfect?
53.  What does the ‘present’ and the ‘perfect’ mean in the present perfect?
54.  Is there anything similar to the present perfect in your language?
55.  How is the present perfect formed (questions, negatives and statements)?
56.  Can you remember a good or a bad present perfect lesson?
57.  What’s the difference between ‘Have you ever...’  and ‘Have you…’ How does the word ‘ever’ change the question?
58.  Do you think there’s a big difference between ‘gone’ and ‘been’?
59.  What would English be like without the present perfect?
60.  What three adjectives would you use to describe the present perfect? Why these three adjectives?
61.  What’s the difference between the present perfect and the perfect present?
62.  What do you know about the present simple in English?
63.  What are the different functions of the present simple?
64.  If a student wanted you to explain the present simple to them, what would you tell them?
65.  What are your biggest problems with the present simple?
66.  What difference do you think the ‘third person s’ makes to communication?
67.  Is the present simple really so simple?
68.  What does your teacher do to help you explain the present simple?
69.  How often do you think you make mistakes using the present simple?
70.  How many times have teachers tried to teach you the present simple?
71.  What is your favourite present simple activity?
72.  What do you think when your teacher tells you you’re going to do a lesson on the present simple?
73.  Do you enjoy talking about habits, routines, everyday life, etc. when you study the present simple?
74.  Is there anything similar to the present simple in your language?
75.  How is the present simple formed (questions, negatives and statements)?
76.  Can you remember a good or a bad present simple lesson?
77.  What do you think of the materials and lessons in course books that help you understand the present simple?
78.  Do you think the present simple is just for beginners?
79.  What would English be like without the present simple?
80.  What three adjectives would you use to describe the present simple? Why these three adjectives?
81.  What’s the difference between the present simple and a simple present?
82.  Which is more difficult to learn, English or your language?
83.  What things are you better at than your best friend?
84.  Are people today luckier than they were 50 years ago?
85.  Is it better to study English in class or online?
86.  Are you happier now or were you happier when you were younger?
87.  Are video games better for you than watching TV?
88.  What is worse than failing exams?
89.  Is it better to go on a date with someone who is older or younger than you?
90.  Do you think buying a more expensive brand means it is much better than a cheaper brand?
91.  How much would you pay to have an Internet connection that is 100 times faster than the one you have now?
92.  Does life get more complicated the older you become?
93.  Is the world safer now than it was before 9-11?
94.  Is studying comparatives easier or more difficult than studying superlatives?
95.  Will tomorrow be more interesting than yesterday?
96.  Is there anything more delicious than your mother’s cooking?
97.  What is healthier: eating good food or getting lots of exercise?
98.  Would you like to be more beautiful / more handsome than you are now or more intelligent than now?
99.  Which is worse: a virus attacking your computer or a virus attacking your body?
100.                  Are you smarter than your parents? In what way(s)?
101.                  Do you prefer studying English using books or Internet resources?
102.                  When do you prefer to study, in the morning, afternoon or evening?
103.                  Do your teachers ever ask you what you prefer doing?
104.                  Do you prefer to have a choice in class or do what your teacher thinks is best?
105.                  Do you prefer doing lessons on reading, writing, speaking or listening?
106.                  Would you prefer to have a different teacher?
107.                  How do you prefer to study?
108.                  Which do you prefer, studying in class with a teacher or studying alone?
109.                  What’s the difference between ‘prefer doing something’ and ‘prefer to do something’?
110.                  Would you prefer an English teacher from your own country or one from an English-speaking country?
111.                  Do you prefer paper dictionaries or online / electronic dictionaries?
112.                  What topics do you prefer to talk about in class and which do you prefer to not talk about?
113.                  Do you prefer talking with the person next to you in class or moving around and talking to different students?
114.                  Do you prefer male or female teachers?
115.                  Do you prefer your teacher explaining grammar on the board or working it out for yourself?
116.                  Have you ever told your teacher what you prefer doing in class?
117.                  What things do you think your teacher might prefer to do differently in class?
118.                  What are the differences between ‘prefer’ and ‘would rather’?
119.                  Would you prefer to have more, less or no homework?
120.                  What would you prefer to do instead of having this discussion?
121.                  How often do you study English? How often should you study?
122.                  How often will you study English in the future?
123.                  What would you like to be better at than anyone else in the world? Why?
124.                  How are you going to get better at speaking English?
125.                  When are you going to stop studying English?

25 February, 2012

“Guns & Roses”

Pictures made with iPad using Valentine's Frames program
Today’s session “Guns & Roses” at Window on America center Dnipropetrovsk was dedicated to the presentation of the popular February holidays celebrated either globally or only in Ukraine.
The discussion started with St.Valentine’s day - the day celebrated by people in love. We have reviewed the background of this holiday, discussed its symbols, traditions, etc. Kathryn, our PCV friend, mentioned that she could not find heart candies in Ukraine and explained what kind of sweet it is.
the meringue Kiev cake.
The Club members used the opportunity to introduce the famous Ukrainian cake to Kathryn – the meringue Kiev cake. We explained the Ukrainian traditions of gastronomic souvenirs.
The next holiday we discussed – was the ex-Soviet holiday celebrated on the 23rd of February – the Motherland Protectors’ Day. The Club members explained the meaning of this holiday and the controversy behind it.
The most interesting holiday for the discussion turned out to be the Slavic Pan Cake week “Masliana”.
We have demonstrated a slide show about this holiday and explained to our American friends the details of folk celebrations. In return they have told us about the winter carnival traditions in USA.
Patrick happened to be a fan of New Orleans
The most famous carnival in the country is Mardi Gras in New Orleans.  Patrick happened to be a fan of New Orleans – he volunteered there several times and had a lot of photos about Mardi Gras Parade.
Once the official part of the discussion was over the club members and our American friends had tea with pancakes and Kiev meringue cake.
Session was a success!
The number of participants – 23 persons.
Have a look at more pictures, please 

22 February, 2012

The Grapes of Wrath

«The most discussed book in years - now comes to the screen to become the most discussed picture in ages»

The film «The Grapes of Wrath» (1940) has presented by movie expert Mr. Joseph Battilega to all who wish to improve their  language skills.

21 February, 2012

George Washington birthday

Today’s session at Window on America center Dnipropetrovsk (Ukraine) was dedicated to the 280th anniversary of the first American President George Washington.
The group of 21 pupils from the secondary school #23 and theirs teachers Ms M. Abramova and Ms. J. Zhdanova visited our facility.
The students watched a slide show about the biography of George Washington, about sights of Washington D.C, about the memorial place.
The information was illustrated with several YouTube videos.
The WOA director Svitlana Usenko who has been to Washington city felt rather nostalgic and missed the positive emotions of her trips to the USA.
The numerous books presented to the students aroused a lot of interest. The WOA collection features books on many aspects of American presidency – from the speeches of the US presidents to the first ladies’ backgrounds, from the statistics on elections to the interiors of the White House.
The number of visitors22 persons.
Have a look at more pictures, please