27 January, 2014

Pilgrims and Thanksgiving

The head of Window on America center Dnipropetrovsk Svitlana Usenko had a meeting with students of local school No. 39 and English teacher Victoria, who is a WOA’s long time partner. Meeting was dedicated to the topic «Pilgrims and Thanksgiving».
Were introduced to the traditions of a favorite American Holiday – the Thanksgiving Day.
The focus of slide show was on the history of the holiday. The children learned about the Pilgrims who disembarked on the American coast (the territory of the modern Massachusetts state) and the lovely “Mayflower” ship that brought them over the ocean. After several centuries Thanksgiving is a US national holiday and the most popular family holiday. It is normally celebrated with an array of festive activities - sports events, concerts and parades.
The session was very educational.
Number of participants – 21 persons.

25 January, 2014

The Oprah Winfrey show

Today’s session of the Gabfest Club (Dnipropetrovsk, Ukraine) was dedicated to the topic “TV Talk Shows”. To introduce the terms and definitions for the topic we have read and translated an article about the genre of tabloid talk shows and their specific features. The article introduced two well - known Americans talk show hosts – Phil Donahue and Oprah Winfrey. To translate an unknown idiom in the article we used the WOA’s Dictionary of American idioms.

To illustrate the topic we watched the YouTube video of Phil Donahue’s Show with American and Soviet audience. The fact that O. Winfrey was awarded the US Medal of Freedom and her speech in a video impressed the group a lot.

The second part of the session was dedicated to the conversation about classification of talk shows on Ukrainian TV. The Club members were asked to tell about their favorite talk shows and hosts. It turned out that half of the people present at the session do not watch TV and use the time to read, to study, to visit friends and do things about the house and garden. Among the favorite Ukrainian talk shows prevailed the ones hosted by females. It turned out that political shows these days scare our club members and they tend to avoid them.

At the end of the session several arrangements were made for an important session that will require a lot of language preparation from the Club members.

The session was educational as it introduced new vocabulary and triggered meaningful conversation (18 persons).

22 January, 2014

The Truman Show

«Wednesday Movie Club»
The Drama Fantasy Family film The Truman Show (1998) was presented to all who wish to improve their English language skills.
The Truman Show, 103 min  -  Comedy / Drama.
Plot: An insurance salesman/adjuster discovers his entire life is actually a TV show.
Director:  Peter Weir
Writer: Andrew Niccol
Stars: Jim Carrey, Ed Harris, Laura Linney

Welcome to Window on America!

Students of the specialized high school No.141(foreign languages study, the 11th year students) had an opportunity to learn  more about the modern library – full of electronic books, catalogues and gadgets.
WOA Head Svitlana Usenko introduced them to some interesting facts from Window on America center history, numerous academic exchange programs in the USA were presented to students, such as Work & Travel and Fulbright.
The first presentation was about the Information and resource Center «Window on America». It covered the history of the facility, the foreign and VIP guests of the centre. The photos about WOA impressed the students a lot.
The most appreciated information was about the free resources for English learners available at the Window on America Center.
The students were informed about the free resources for English study available at the WOA. The slide show about software and books illustrated the information.
To wrap up the session WOA’s Head S.Usenko invited the students to join American Teen Club and told them about the display “Highlights of our collections”.
Number of participants – 20 persons (18 students and 2 teachers).

18 January, 2014

Art and story-telling

Today’s session of the GABFEST Club (at Window on America center Dnipropetrovsk, Ukraine) was announced as a free-topic session as we planned to talk about various things in one day. The session was attended by our PCV friend Mr. Andrew Bader; we used this opportunity to motivate the Club members to talk about Dnipropetrovsk city and DOUNB Library news.
To start the session we made a visit to the Library’s Art Department to see the exhibition of the Petrykivka paintings by students of the children’s painting school. During the visit the Club members were to remember the facts about the painting school select the most impressive work and describe it to our American guest. Only several club members were able to complete this challenging task in decent English. Our guest was very much impressed by the new s that Petrykivka painting was included in the UNESCO   Cultural Heritage list.

As a musical surprise the colleague from another department presented to the group a musical parody number of a Ukrainian New-Year pop hit by Andrij Danilko. This musical greeting inaugurated the beginning of real winter in Dnipropetrovsk – today we had the first snow. The task for the club members was to translate the song lyrics for Andrew, present the performer and explain why he is so popular as a comedian and a singer.

The second part of the session was dedicated to Andrew’s story-telling. He shared with us his impressions about travelling in Northern Europe. The Club members were very pleased to listen to an educated American English and funny facts about travelling in Ukraine and abroad.
The final event of today’s agenda was re-election of the Club’s President. The President’s place is still vacant, but we can congratulate Helen and Oleg who were elected as Club’s Vice-Presidents.
The session was visited by numerous new-comers and had a very positive effect on them.
Number of participants – 23persons.

Marina Klepach, the Gabfest Club newcomer:
“The first visit to the WOA Centre greatly impressed me. The session of the Gabfest Club incorporated a visit to the Petrykivka painting exhibition.
This 2-in- 1 cultural event motivates me to expand both English language skills and cultural knowledge“.

Vocabulary, games, Steve Jobs, iPad

Today’s session of the American Teen Club with FLEX alumni (at Window on America center Dnipropetrovsk, Ukraine) was moderated by Club’s moderator Dasha and Club’s activist Maria.
To start the ball rolling Dasha introduced some vocabulary activity – the group studied the rows of synonymous adjectives in an interactive language puzzle.
For the official topic Maria prepared a complicated material.  As a future IT specialist she decided to introduce the basics of programming to the ATC club members. To make the difficult thing more understandable Maria used the example of “Angry Birds”. It showed to teach the group how programming language (C+++) can be studied.

The highlight of the session was a video of Steve Jobs speech at Stanford University. While translating the interview the group learned a lot of interesting facts about his background and the hardships of his green years.
Number of participants - 8 persons.

15 January, 2014

Thelma and Louise

Window on America center Dnipropetrovsk, Ukraine offered screening of the film Thelma & Louise (1991).
Thelma & Louise is a 1991 adventure female buddy film co-produced and directed by Ridley Scott and written by Callie Khouri. It stars Geena Davis as Thelma and Susan Sarandon as Louise, with Harvey Keitel, Michael Madsen and Brad Pitt in supporting roles.
The film became a critical and commercial success, receiving six Academy Award nominations and winning one for Best Original Screenplay (Khouri). Both Sarandon and Davis were nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress.

Plot: An Arkansas waitress and a housewife shoot a rapist and take off in a '66 Thunderbird.
Thelma and Louise are finally cornered by the police officers only 100 yards from the edge of the Grand Canyon. Detective Slocumb arrives on the scene, but he is refused the chance to make one last attempt to talk the women into surrendering themselves. Rather than be captured and spend the rest of their lives in jail, Thelma proposes that they keep going. Louise asks Thelma if she is certain. Thelma says yes and steps on the accelerator. As soon as the car starts forward, Detective Slocumb sprints after it in an attempt to save them, but the car drives over the cliff as the film ends...

14 January, 2014

Open Doors Day

The WOA Dnipropetrovsk staff took an active part in the «Open Doors Day» Media Event at the DOUNB Library.
Local Media representatives were welcomed at the WOA Centre. 

The WOA’s Head S. Usenko  presented the facility and briefed the guests on its history.
Especially for this occasion   the book, image and e-resource display «Highlights of our collections» was arranged at the Dnipropetrovsk «Window on America» Center.
This 2 stand exposition showcases the richness of the Centre’s unique collections: recently published English books, art albums, encyclopedias, reference books, textbooks and guides, electronic English study software Rosetta Stone, 300 items DVD collection of films, table games for English learners, classical and modern fiction in English.
The Media guests were informed about the WOA’s popular clubs (speaking clubs for teenagers, for adults; for movie fans).

We hope that they will spread this information among their respective readers and viewers.
Number of participants – 30.

11 January, 2014

Bottom Line of Year 2013 for Dnipropetrovsk

During the next week Ukrainians will celebrate the Julian calendar NEW Year. We used this opportunity to draw the bottom line to the year 2013.
Today’s session of the GABFEST Club (Dnipropetrovsk / Ukraine) was dedicated to the topic “Results of the Year 2013”. We started with the results of the year for Dnipropetrovsk city and region. The list of achievements was very impressive and included the following outstanding events:
-    inclusion of Petrykivka tole painting into the UNESCO list of intangible  cultural Heritage
-    hosting of the Eurobasket Championship games in 2015
-    initiation of the international tourist project “Scythian Way”
-    new tourist attractions of the Dnipropetrovsk city (the Rocket Park and the “Roaring Rapid” waterfall ).

We had vivid discussion about each event. The most substantial discussion was about the unique Petrykivka painting. The Club members shared their knowledge about the facts and figures about Petrykivka, we learned the English names of objects traditionally used in the Petrykivka ornament - names of local flowers and creatures.The new Club member - 6 y.o Kate - demonstrated her Petrykivka style handcraft: bookmark presents for friends and family. The Club member Eugenia boasted the original Petrykivka painted walls in her own kitchen. The rest of the events in the list triggered the conversation about touristic potential of Dnipropetrovsk region. After the sessions at the Gabfest the club members will have enough facts and information to promote their home region globally.

The second part of the session was dedicated to the personal stories. The club members shared their results of the year with the group. It was good to hear that everyone was satisfied with the results of the last year.
The session was very educational as it summarized the public events of our home region.
Participants number – 23 persons.