31 March, 2012

Diplomacy and Diplomatic Protocol

Today’s session at Window on America center Dnipropetrovsk was dedicated to the topic “Diplomacy and Diplomatic Protocol”.
We have started  the session with an educational  slide show  and a simple quiz about the  basic objectives of the diplomatic protocol. In  international politics, protocol is the etiquette of diplomacy and affairs of state. A protocol is a rule which guides how an activity should be performed, especially in the field of diplomacy.
The session was attended by our PCV friends who shared their experiences of dealing with diplomatic staff in Ukraine. Their story about the PCV swearing ceremony was quite interesting. The American friends told us about certain requirements they had to meet to be able to work as volunteers. The Ukrainian club members shared their own experiences about diplomatic procedures in countries they had had a chance to visit.
The club members learned with great interest   the news about the forthcoming event - “The USA days in Dnipropetrovsk” in April 2012. The pending visits of the USA diplomatic staff, including the US Ambassador in Ukraine, might be a good illustration to the topic of today.
To further enrich our knowledge about the diplomatic protocol we have watched the White House videos about the preparations for different state visits, made a virtual tour of the dinner premises decorated for a certain function, observed the arrival ceremony of a high foreign official to the White House.
The next set of videos was about most obvious protocol errors made by world known political persons.
To draw the line we have checked the understanding of the terms embassy, consulate, chancery, etc.
The phenomenon of the Embassy Row in Washington, DC, was presented to the club members. We tried to find the analogue in the Ukrainian capital.
The session was quite educational to all.
The number of participants – 28 persons.

Have a look at more pictures, please 

28 March, 2012

The Color Purple

«Wednesday Movie Club»
was devoted to Women’s History Month.
The film The Color Purple (1985) was presented to all who wish to improve their language skills.
The Color Purple is a 1985 American period drama film directed by Steven Spielberg, based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel of the same name by Alice Walker. It was Spielberg's eighth film as a director, and was a change from the summer blockbusters for which he had become famous. Filmed in Anson and Union counties in North Carolina, the film tells the story of a young African American girl named Celie and shows the problems African American women faced during the early 1900s, including poverty, racism, and sexism. Celie is transformed as she finds her self-worth through the help of two strong female companions.

The Color Purple was nominated for five Golden Globes, including Best Picture (Drama), Best Director for Spielberg, and Best Supporting Actress for Winfrey. Its only win went to Goldberg for Best Actress (Drama).

Spielberg received the Directors Guild of America Award for Best Motion Picture Director, his first.

The film was shown at the 1986 Cannes Film Festival as a non-competing title.

Director: Steven Spielberg
Writers: Alice Walker (novel), Menno Meyjes (screenplay)
Stars: Danny Glover, Whoopi Goldberg and Oprah Winfrey
The number of visitors – 14 persons.

24 March, 2012

International World Water Day

International World Water Day is held annually on 22 March as a means of focusing attention on the importance of freshwater and advocating for the sustainable management of freshwater resources.
Each year, World Water Day highlights a specific aspect of freshwater.
Statistics say that each of us drinks from 2 to 4 liters of water every day, however most of the water we ‘drink’ is embedded in the food we eat: producing 1 kilo of beef for example consumes 15,000 liters of water while 1 kilo of wheat ’drinks up’ 1,500 liters.           
When a billion people in the world already live in chronic hunger and water resources are under pressure we cannot pretend the problem is ‘elsewhere’. Coping with population growth and ensuring access to nutritious food to everyone call for a series of actions we can all help with:
-          follow a healthier, sustainable diet;
-          consume less water-intensive products;
-          reduce the scandalous food wastage: 30% of the food produced worldwide is never eaten and the water used to produce it is definitively lost!
-          produce more food, of better quality, with less water.
At all steps of the supply chain, from producers to consumers, actions can be taken to save water and ensure food for all.

Today’s English Speaking Club session at Window on America center Dnipropetrovsk supported the World Water day by a  dynamic discussionof water problems faced by the city of Dnipropetrovsk and the country ingeneral.
The discussion was illustrated by several videos on the topic – about the water cycle, the water re-cycling, about water crisis in the world and the ways to reduce it, etc.
The popular activities for language training included - the description of the Water decade logo and translation of quotes about water.
At the beginning of the session all the newcomers introduced themselves to the Club members and were welcomed to the community.

All members of ESC had opportunity to get to know book, gift of Fulbright Program scholarship recipient  Linda B. Gray:
World Atlas of the Oceans : with the General Bathymetric Chart of the Oceans (GEBCO) published by the Canadian Hydrographic Service / comp. Dr. Manfred Leier. - New York : Firefly Books, 2001. - 264 p.  

Session was a success!
The number of participants – 24 persons.
Have a look at more pictures, please 

23 March, 2012

Diplomatic Protocol in the USA

Within the framework of the «Discover USA» project the center was visited by a group of students from the Dnipropetrovsk faculty of the Kiev National University for Culture and Arts.
The students major in Document Science Management. They listened to the information about the Diplomatic Protocol in the USA.
The students watched a lot of interesting videos about the ceremonies during the state and official visits to the USA and other countries, the backstage preparations for the state dinners at the White House, watched the interviews of various
diplomatic staff (ambassadors, military attaches, etc.). The students were informed about the tradition to make  diplomatic  gifts .
The USA Diplomatic Protocol web site was introduced to the students.
The resources of other library departments were introduced to the students.
The number of participants – 14 persons.

Have a look at more pictures, please 

21 March, 2012

Children of a Lesser god

"Wednesday Movie Club"
The film «Children of a Lesser god» (1986) was to all who wish to improve their language skills.
James is a new speech teacher at a school for the deaf. He falls for Sarah, a pupil who decided to stay on at the school rather than venture into the big bad world. She shuns him at first, refusing to read his lips and only using signs. Will her feelings change over time?

Excursion of students

The students of National Metallurgical academy with their English teacher Alexandra Myrgorodska visited Window on America center Dnipropetrovsk (Ukraine).
Svitlana Usenko, the head of Window on America center, presented the resources of the Center (Books, Internet, Wi-Fi, Movie Club, English Speaking Club, Rosetta Stone, elibraryUSA etc.).
The students were shown the Dnipropetrovsk scientific library web site, WOA center blog, pages on Facebook and Vkontakte as well.
They watched a slide show dedicated to the Window on America’s history and its activities and a video about our Center on YouTube.
It was interesting to get acquainted with a program Rosetta Stone which can be interesting for self-studying.
Students saw book display “America's First Ladies”. They have learned a lot of new facts about  Martha Washington, Abigail Adams, Jacqueline Kennedy, Nancy Reagan, Laura Bush, Hillary Clinton, Michelle Obama.
The number of visitors – 11 persons.

19 March, 2012

Food Industry in the USA

In the frame work of the project “DISCOVER USA” Window on America center Dnipropetrovsk (Ukraine) was   visited by 2 student groups from the National University for Culture and Arts.
The 1st and 2nd year students major in Hospitality and Tourism Management. Today they listened to the first lecture from the series of lectures on the Food Industry in the USA.
The lecture introduced the students to the most important facts about cheese producing in the USA.
 The American cheeses were compared to the European products. The information was illustrated by relevant videos demonstrated on the big screen.
The highlight of the lecture was the information about the World Cheese Contest held in Wisconsin earlier this year.
The World Championship Cheese Contest is the largest international cheese and butter competition in the world.
It is held every two years in Madison and sponsored by the Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association.
 Wisconsin is America’s Dairyland.
The state reaffirmed its national leadership by taking top honors at the U.S. Championship Cheese Contest for the show's best cheese and 115 awards in all, more than any other state.
The number of visitors54 persons.

17 March, 2012

From Bell’s telephone to iPhone

Today’s session at Window on America center Dnipropetrovsk (Ukraine)  started with a lively talk with our American friends – PCV Kathryn and Sam. We had a lot to discuss after their extended absence.
-    the girls told about their travels around Ukraine within the framework of Peace Corp projects
-    we told them about the history of the International Women’s Day and its celebration in Ukraine
-    girls  answered the questions about their roots
-    the Club members explained to them some popular myths about the Ukrainian  nation
-    we reviewed the tradition of St. Patrick’s day  celebration in Ireland, the USA and Ukraine.
The conversation was enjoyed by all the club members including several new comers who introduced themselves to the audience.
The official part of the Club session was dedicated to the anniversary of A. Bell – the inventor of the telephone.
We have discussed numerous aspects of telephone communications -
-    the history of telephone spreading in the USA
-    how the telephone works
-    how the mobile phone works
-    how wireless system Bluetooth works
-    what is a Smartphone
-    how to choose a Smartphone.
 The discussion was illustrated by relevant documentaries and You Tube videos on a big screen. The discussion was continued further : the club members answered  questions about the way  modern phones affect  our lives.
The number of visitors – 23 persons.

Have a look at more pictures, please 


  1. What comes to mind when you hear the word ‘telephone’?
  2. How important is the telephone to you?
  3. What would life be like with no telephone?
  4. Do you ever talk in English on the phone?
  5. How many calls do you make every day? How many of these are necessary?
  6. Who comes to your mind first when your telephone rings?
  7. Have you ever received any prank calls?
  8. Do you think Internet telephone will replace the current telephone system one day?
  9. What’s the best and worst news you’ve received over the phone?
  11. Chuck Palahniuk said: "People use a telephone because they hate being close together and they are scared of being alone." Do you agree?
  12. Do you like using the telephone?
  13. What was your longest telephone call?
  14. What is the most annoying thing about using the phone?
  15. Do you worry about your telephone bill?
  16. Can you remember life before the mobile phone?
  17. Do you think you use the telephone too much?
  18. Do you like listening to other people’s telephone conversations?
  19. Have you ever got really angry with someone over the telephone?
  20. Do men or women talk more on the phone? Why?
  21. Ogden Nash said: "Middle age is when you're sitting at home on a Saturday night and the telephone rings and you hope it isn't for you." Do you agree? 

16 March, 2012


Open educational resources (OER) are digital materials in the public domain or licensed under Creative Commons (http://creativecommons.org/ ), meaning the creator permits free use with certain restrictions (for example, requiring that the materials be attributed to the original author). The Creative Commons website allows people to license their own materials, as well as search for Creative Commons–licensed works. The Creative Commons site is not limited to educational materials, but many other websites focus only on education, such as Merlot ( http://www.merlot.org/ ), Connexions ( http://www.cnx.org/ ) and OER Commons ( http://www.oercommons.org/ ).
All U.S. federal government materials are in the public domain. The Department of Education provides a guide to free materials at Federal Resources for Educational Excellence ( http://free.ed.gov/ ).
Another resource for teachers is open courseware (OCW) — course materials created by colleges and universities around the world and shared freely online. One of the first to offer open courseware was the Massachusetts Institute of Technology ( http://ocw.mit.edu/index.htm ) in 2001. Open courseware can include course syllabi, reading lists, PowerPoint presentations, problem sets, lecture notes, exams and videotaped lectures. There is now a worldwide consortium ( http://www.ocwconsortium.org/ ) of more than 250 organizations and institutions of higher education committed to open courseware.
Culatta, a former teacher of Spanish, created a Wikipedia page called Recursos educativos abiertos ( http://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Recursos_educativos_abiertos ) that lists sites offering free educational materials in Spanish. Among these are Universia ( http://ocw.universia.net/es/ ) and MIT en español ( http://mit.ocw.universia.net/all-courses.htm ).
Classroom-aid.com ( http://www.classroom-aid.com/technology-resources/ ) lists recommended digital resources for the classroom (K–12), including resources in Chinese ( http://www.classroom-aid.com/chinese/ ). MIT’s Translated Courses ( http://ocw.mit.edu/courses/translated-courses/ ) webpage links to materials in Chinese, Spanish, Portuguese, Thai, Persian and Turkish. Connexions allows people to browse for materials in numerous languages ( http://cnx.org/content/browse_content/language).
The Department of Education’s National Clearinghouse for English Language Acquisition ( http://www.ncela.gwu.edu/ ) and Doing What Works ( http://dww.ed.gov/ ) have resources for English-language teachers. There are resources at the State Department’s Materials for Teaching and Learning English ( http://exchanges.state.gov/englishteaching/resforteach/pubcat.html ) and American English Online ( http://exchanges.state.gov/americanenglishonline/index.html ) websites, and the Voice of America offers special broadcasts and materials for learners of English ( http://www.voanews.com/learningenglish/home/ ).
A new initiative called the Learning Registry ( http://www.learningregistry.org/ ) is working to make free educational resources easier to find. The registry facilitates the sharing and searching of educational content located on federal agency and commercial publisher websites, as well as reviews and ratings of that content. It was launched by the U.S. departments of Education and Defense, and the private sector and any other interested parties can participate.
Source: http://iipdigital.usembassy.gov/iipdigital-en/index.html)

14 March, 2012

Mystic River

“Wednesday Movie Club”.
The film "MysticRiver" (2003) was presented to all who wish to improve their language skills.
With a childhood tragedy that overshadowed their lives, three men are reunited by circumstance when one loses a daughter.
Director: Clint Eastwood
Writers: Brian Helgeland (screenplay), Dennis Lehane (novel)
Stars: Sean Penn, Tim Robbins and Kevin Bacon

10 March, 2012

International Women’s Day

Today’s session at Window on America center Dnipropetrovsk was dedicated to the International Women’s Day.
Each year around the world, International Women's Day (IWD) is celebrated on March 8. Thousands of events occur not just on this day but throughout March to mark the economic, political and social achievements of women.
Organizations, governments, charities and women's groups around the world choose different themes each year that reflect global and local gender issues.
"Connecting Girls, Inspiring Future" is the 2012 theme of the internationalwomensday.com website.
Each year the United Nations declares an overall International Women's Day theme. Their 2012 theme is “Empower Rural Women – End Hunger and Poverty”.
Many organizations develop their own themes that are more relevant to their local contexts. For example, the European Parliament's 2012 theme is "Equal pay for work of equal value".
We have watched a funny slideshow about the innovations introduced by women – like coffee filters, water heater, chocolate chip cookies, windshield wipers, Kevlar, etc.
We have watched and discussed the Reuters slideshow about women from other countries.
The slideshow “Women’s World of America” allowed as to make a retrospective of most prominent women in the USA history.
The final activity today was the introduction of the new club members.
The number of visitors – 16 persons.

Have a look at more pictures, please 

07 March, 2012

America's First Ladies

To  celebrate the International Women’s Day the WOA center has presented a book display
“America's First Ladies”. The books are complemented with the popular photographs of the First Ladies.
            The WOA director S.Usenko comments to the visitors the displayed books and illustrations.
Tetiana Mischenko studies the book display. She has learned a lot of new facts about  Martha Washington, Abigail Adams, Jacqueline Kennedy, Nancy Reagan, Laura Bush, Hillary Clinton, Michelle Obama.
The young girls Natalia and Nastya are impressed by the elegancy of the American First Ladies whose inauguration outfits are displayed at the Fashion Museum.

05 March, 2012

Hospitality Trade Shows in the USA

Within the framework of the «Discover USA» project the center was visited by a group of students from the Dnipropetrovsk faculty of the Kiev National University for Culture and Arts.
The students major in Hospitality Management. They listened to the information about the Trade Shows in the USA.
The most important USA trade fairs for Hospitality and Tourism were introduced to them with illustrations by relevant videos.
The USA hospitality web sites were introduced to the students.
The USA tradeshows were compared to the most important shows in EU and in Ukraine.
The resources of other library departments were introduced to the students.
The number of participants – 13 persons.

03 March, 2012

National Grammar Day in the USA

Today’s session of the Speaking Club at Window on America center Dnipropetrovsk was attended by fewer members than usually due to the fact that this Saturday is a work day in Ukraine.
The attending minority happened to belong to the «beginner» language skill level.  This fact allowed us to join the celebration of the National Grammar Day in the USA. For our grammar activities we have chosen the resources of the Voice of Americaweb-site.
The chapter “Grammar Bytes” allowed the present club members to review the basic grammar rules of the English language and get rid of the most common mistakes. The colorful   slide design and excellent sound track made the test tasks quite enjoyable.
Grammar Bytes are fast, easy, fun lessons on the most common English grammar problems.
At the end of the session our students of English realized the importance of   the grammar knowledge.
The books on grammar available at the WOA Centre illustrated the topic of today’s club session.
The advanced language user Lesia Kovaliova participated in the US National Grammar Day too. She spent several hours getting ready to her future TOEFL Test and she wished Happy Grammar Day to all!
Have a look at more pictures, please