29 March, 2014

Inspiring Change

Today’s session of the Gabfest club (at Window on America center Dnipropetrovsk, Ukraine) was dedicated to the Women’s History Month celebrated in the USA in March.  The club members were offered an article from the “American English” website about the background of this holiday.
We started the conversation with the official International Women’s Day site and  discussed the 2014 slogan – ”Inspiring Change”.
To motivate active participation in the discussion we have selected for discussion outstanding female personalities of the modern time and with Ukrainian roots. We started with the NASA astronauts Heidi Stefanyshyn-Piper and Roberta Bondar.


The group watched videos about these brave women, shared the information received and commented on the change these ladies introduced into the modern society.
To continue the topic of bravery among women the group  watched and discussed the video of the US ”Women of Courage Award” ceremony where the First Lady  Michelle Obama handed the award to the Ukrainian rock singer Ruslana  for her role in the Ukrainian “Revolution of Dignity”.

As a musical wrap up of the session we watched and discussed the videos of Karina Smirnoff ballroom dancing. Unlike Karina her dancing partner is well known in Ukraine due to his participation in popular Ukrainian reality show. But Karina’s achievements as a world scale ball room dancer were a big surprise to the club members.
The session was both educational and funny.
Number of participants – 24 persons.


Committee session

Today’s session of the American Teen Club was held as a Committee session. The newly joined members discussed with the WOA staff their expectations and expressed their wishes for the Club’s activities for the rest of the academic year.
The Committee members visited the WOA’s partner department – the Foreign Literature department of the library to get the ideas for the future events. They have explored the book and image displays presented at the FL department and came up with an idea to discuss Taras Shevchenko’s anniversary once again. The topic is complicated, but it’s a good opportunity to practice spoken English skills.
Nadya expressed her readiness to try her luck in moderating the Club’s sessions as a volunteer.

26 March, 2014

Arsenic and Old Lace

On March, 26 the Dinropetrovsk «Wednesday Movie Club» offered screening of the classical movie – a dreamy laughs to-die-for Broadway comedy classic!
“ARSENIC AND OLD LACE” is one of the American theatre's funniest comedies. Drama critic Mortimer Brewster is engaged to the lovely Elaine Harper... but will she fit in with his 'unusual' family? Abby and Martha Brewster are known throughout Brooklyn for their many acts of kindness and charity. But Mortimer has just learned that his charming spinster aunts have taken to relieving the loneliness of old men by inviting them in for a nice glass of home-made elderberry wine laced with arsenic, strychnine, and "just a pinch" of cyanide! What else can go wrong? Their brother believes that he's Teddy Roosevelt!
Director: Frank Capra Writers: Julius J. Epstein (screen play), Philip G. Epstein (screen play). Stars: Cary Grant, Priscilla Lane, Raymond Massey
Number of participants – 7.

22 March, 2014

American English

Today’s session of the Dnipropetrovsk Gabfest Club was dedicated to the topic that is important for all language learners: the English Grammar. In the USA March, 4 is a nationwide Grammar Day. We started with discussing some funny cartoons about grammar. The group agreed that English verb tenses and aspects are very difficult for understanding. We reviewed the table of the English tenses and completed a grammar test. The brainstorming allowed us to get a decent score. All answers were correct.
The next activity for the group was composing of the “Bio Poem”. The club members formed groups and started to create Poems about themselves. Poem recital was a good start for the Introduction ritual – there were quite a number of new comers today. The activity was recommended on the American English website for practicing the forms of the verb “to be”.
Our newcomer Evgeniy continued to share with the group his experiences from working onboard an American cruise liner. Today we focused on the American service culture aboard the cruise ships. Some facts really surprised the group and they asked Evgeniy numerous questions.
The session was both funny and educational.
Number of participants – 25 persons.

20 March, 2014

Discover USA - Urban Living in the USA

On March 20 the WOA Centre was visited by a group of senior students from the local high school No.141.
Within the framework of the “Discover USA” project the group was offered a presentation «Urban Living in the USA».
 As city dwellers in Ukraine we explored the topic of urban living and tried to compare affordable housing projects in Ukraine and in the USA.
To start the conversation the group was asked to define and describe the Soviet «Khrouschevkas» – cheap houses from prefabricated  blocks that allowed millions of Soviet people to improve their living conditions after WW2. 
It turned out that in New York City a similar project was initiated last year by Mayor Bloomberg. The Mayor stated: “The growth rate for one- and two-person households greatly exceeds that of households with three or more people, and addressing that housing challenge requires us to think creatively and beyond our current regulations”.
The group watched several videos illustrating the topic of space-optimizing in modern urban life. The group was particularly impressed by the video about a transformable flat displayed in the Museum of New York. They have learned why some New-Yorkers choose to live in tiny apartments in downtown.
The group found the presented topic very educational as it introduced new vocabulary and provided the chance to audit original American English sound tracks .
Number of participants – 8.

Have a look at more pictures, please

Conversation about Kobzar with DNMetAU students

03/20/2014 - To the 200th anniversary of Taras Shevchenko's birth

«Ira Aldridge  - Kobzar’s American Friend» for students NMetAU
 “Kobzar’s American Friend” presentation for Translation Students
The WOA  Centre was visited by a group of the 2nd year students from the National Metallurgical Academy; the students’ major is “Technical Translation”.
The WOA’s Head Svitlana Usenko introduced the WOA centre and its resources to the students. The WOA staff member Tamara Gavryliuk created a slide show “ Kobzar’s American Friend”.
Prior to the slide show the group discussed the role of Shevchenko in the Ukrainian culture and his importance for the Ukrainian nation.
The PP presentation reminded the students about facts of Shevchenko’s biography with the focus on his painting talent, introduced new vocabulary and art terms. The presentation highlighted the fact of Shevchenko’s acquaintance and friendship with an outstanding African-American Shakespearian actor – Ira Aldridge .The students’ attention was drawn to Ira Aldridge’s portrait by Shevchenko. They read and rendered into English the memoirs of the person who witnessed their friendship.
The 200th Shevchenko’s anniversary is widely celebrated in Ukraine and the information about his friendship with the outstanding American actor has both cultural and educational value.
Number of participants – 6.