29 November, 2015

Thanksgiving Games and learning

Today "American Teen Club" session took place at WOA Dnipropetrovsk (Ukraine). It was prepared and moderated by Anna Akastyelova – Future Leaders Exchange (FLEX) alumnus and DOUNB library’s friend and volunteer. Information Resource Center "Window on America" offers all its resources to make meetings interesting, educational and funny at the same time.
New "American Teen Club" members were welcomed by WOA’s American volunteer Mr. Jason. Anna presented to them a popular American holiday – Thanksgiving. The participants received   sweet treats and were offered to play a linguistic game. The task was to make new words using the letters from the new vocabulary on the topic "Thanksgiving". Educational videos and big screening of animated cartoons helped to understanding the new vocabulary better.
The next activity was the introduction of popular English idioms, among them «two peas in a pot». The group also played one of the games from the American English set “Activate”.
Action game offered by the moderator introduced some physical exercise, fun and words from the topic “Human body parts”. Questions and answerers activity was enjoyed by all participants.
The teenagers left the library in high spirits and with new knowledge.
Number of participants – 5 persons.
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26 November, 2015

Thanksgiving Celebration

Today’s session of the Gabfest Club ("Window on America", Dnipropetrovsk / Ukraine) had a topic Thanksgiving Traditions in the USA. Our American volunteer Mr. Jason also attended this session and added the first-hand experiences and comments about this traditional US celebration. Mr. Jason was sincerely thanked by the Club for his loyal friendship and offered a symbolic gift.
The Club members had an opportunity to speak about Thanksgiving. First they told what they know, later – translated the facts and figures about American celebration and described slides. The group was offered several White House videos – about the traditional Thanksgiving events. 

The pardoning of a turkey ritual was new to some of the club members. The video that impressed the group most was the one from the Thanksgiving dinner for the US veterans where the First family served food to the invited citizens. The video about pumpkin pie making was a tasty tail of our official part.
The group was offered an art break – a visit to the DOUNB Library art department to attend the display of art works (paintings in sand and shells) by the local painter Svitlana Ivanchenko.
The second part of the session was arranged as a Thanksgiving party. The Club members were offered a menu of traditional American dishes and snacks. The highlight of the menu was baked Turkey breast with cranberry sauce cooked by the WOA’s Head Ms. Svitlana Usenko. All the participants found the dish delicious.
During the dessert time we had a pumpkin pie competition. The winner was an American style pie baked by WOA’s Head Svitlana Usenko. Ms.Valentina, the club’s activist who baked the Ukrainian style pie, also received compliments for her treat.
The Club members suggested a karaoke session and had fun singing English songs.
The Club members thanked the WOA staff – Svitlana and Tamara – for the wonderful atmosphere created for the English learners. They thanked the American people and the US Embassy in Kyiv for their wonderful gifts to the WOA facility and Ukrainian community in Dnipropetrovsk.
 
In the heartwarming atmosphere of the Thanksgiving dinner the club members developed new friendships with fellow citizens and our American guest.
 

The session was most enjoyable and inspired to build more bridges between American and Ukrainian people.
Number of participants – 35 persons.
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Hurry to see America 24/7!

In November "Window on America" center (Dnipropetrovsk) presented a set of colorful posters America 24/7. New equipment donated to the DOUNB library by the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine was used for this paper display. Bright images, surprising photo angles, panoramas and portraits – all this is part of a unique photo project "America 24/7". In 2003 almost 25 000 professional and amateur photographers for a period of one week were taking photos throughout the country to create a comprehensive picture of contemporary America. DK Publishers issued a photo album containing over 1200 wonderful images. Thousands of copies were sold as each American family would like to buy the photo album and be proud of their country’s beauty. The DOUNB library proudly owns a copy of this album.
 

A set of posters was published later. The “America 24/7”
display at WOA Dnipropetrovsk introduces the patrons to the images of great American cities – New York, San Francisco, and Seattle. The landscapes of states Massachusetts, Vermont, Arizona and Louisiana are also presented. Particularly impressive are the NASA photos from outer space – "Evening Lights of America". Every house has a lit window, the cities blaze with lights; together they add up into a shimmering lace.



25 November, 2015

Thank you Mr.Rush



 Window on America Movie Club members are very grateful to the US volunteer Mr.J.Rush for his active participation in the club.
To mark 1 year of cooperation the Movie Club members presented to Mr. Jason a book about city of Dnipropetrovsk. We hope that it will be a good memory for our American friend.


Thanksgiving is very soon!

At “Wednesday Movie Club” the absolutely wonderful movie was presented to all who wish to improve their language skills.
Planes, Trains and Automobiles is a 1987 American comedy film written, produced and directed by John Hughes. The film stars Steve Martin as Neal Page, a high-strung marketing executive, who meets Del Griffith, played by John Candy, an eternally optimistic, outgoing, overly talkative, and clumsy shower curtain ring salesman who seems to live in a world governed by a different set of rules. They share a three-day odyssey of misadventures trying to get Neal home to Chicago from New York City in time for Thanksgiving dinner with his family.
WOA’s patrons enjoyed the film and the discussion that followed.
Number of participants – 12 persons.




23 November, 2015

Discover USA: Washington D.C.

The "Window on America" center (Dnipropetrovsk / Ukraine) had a presentation for those wishing to improve their English skills.
Within the frame work of the “Discover USA” project Window on America Dnipropetrovsk arranged a short session for the school students from the city Novomoskovsk.
School students watched a slide show about the city of Washington D.C. – the capital of the USA.  The WOA’s Head Svitlana who has been to Washington city shared her positive emotions about the trip to the USA.
The presentation covered numerous aspects – the history of the capital, the geography of the area, the beautiful architecture of the city, the capital’s heart – National Mall, wonderful memorials in honor of the US presidents, Library of Congress’s and the White House’s interiors. At the end of the meeting, the students watched a video about the Washington D.C.
Children listened to the presentation of the useful library resources for languages’ study and free resources for improving the English skills too. They examined the WOA’s technical equipment, the books and DVDs collections,  book & image display  “If you want to study in the USA” and paper show “America 24/7”.
The teachers reviewed the promotional trailer about the library resources and received promotional materials.
Number of participants – 25 persons.
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Presentation of WOA’s resources for students

Today "Window on America" center (Dnipropetrovsk / Ukraine) had a presentation of free resources for those wishing to improve their English skills. The presentation was arranged for the first-year students group from the Dnipropetrovsk National Mining University of Ukraine (NMUU).
They listened to the presentation of the useful library resources for languages’ study and free resources for improving the English skills. Students examined the WOA’s technical equipment, the DOUNB Library’s collection of documents in foreign languages at the respective department, the WOA’s  book & image display  “If you want to study in the USA” and “America 24/7”.
Students learned about the numerous activities:
-    free access to the digital “eLibrary USA” to prepare scientific papers,
-    possibility to watch US movies with authentic soundtrack  ( in a group or individually),
-    possibility to meet  native speakers at the “Gabfest” English-speaking  club  sessions.
 

The students reviewed the promotional trailer about the library resources and received promotional materials. They were invited to follow the WOA’s announcements via the website, social networks (Facebook), to view reference materials and on-line links to the blog (http://woadnepr.blogspot.com/).
Number of participants – 15 persons.
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22 November, 2015

American Teen Club. IGD2015. Activate - 3

American Teen Club session took place at Window on America center Dnipropetrovsk (Ukraine) today. The session was attended by our American volunteer Mr. Jason.
The American Teen Club’s moderator Ania Akastiolova (FLEX Alumni) offered some interesting positive videos (with Bob Marley) and vocabulary games as well to memorize popular English idioms.
The group of teenagers tried themselves as actors; they made short stories (Fables).
The highlight of the session was introduction of the board games set “Activate”. The group was offered a trial set of educational games for American English learners. The participants selected and played the game “Name your favorite …”.
The session was a funny and educational event that introduced new trends in language learning.
Number of participants – 13 persons.
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21 November, 2015

International Games Day - 2


This Saturday the Gabfest Club (Window on America center Dnipropetrovsk, Ukraine) members took part in the global event – the International Games Day.

The first part of the session was dedicated to the introduction of the event and the conversation about board games and their role in the lives of modern people. The phenomenon of “game-based learning” was introduced to the group and illustrated with several You Tube videos. The club members shared their experiences of having gamification elements in training and their attitude to the games that actually teach you something. New vocabulary to the topic was also introduced.
The second part of the Games Day session was the introduction of the WOA’s board games collection. Our American volunteer Mr. Jason took an active part in the games introduction. We started with the elementary school games that may be useful to American English learners as they teach spelling (“Boggle”) and progressed to the most challenging ones (the crossword game “Scrabble” and its varieties). The popular games that are just fun were also introduced (“The Jungle Speed” and “Monopoly”). The most helpful games for the Gabfest Club members are: “Apples to Apples” that enriches vocabulary and “Taboo” that improves descriptive and speaking skills.

The highlight of the session was introduction of the board
games set “Activate”. The group was offered a trial set of educational games for American English learners. The participant formed pairs and actively had conversations according to the games’ titles.

The session was a funny and educational event that introduced new trends in language learning.

The Gabfest Club members made a video about their Games Day at Window on America center Dnipropetrovsk, Ukraine for the global International Games Day site.

Number of participants – 27 persons.




19 November, 2015

International Games Day - 1

Window on America center Dnipropetrovsk, Ukraine, actively uses resources freely available on the American English web site recommended for English teachers and learners by the US State Department.
This year we were invited to participate in the “Activate Ukraine” event for the International Games Day observed on November, 21. WOA Dnipropetrovsk decided to present the event and the resources to the local long-time partner – high school No. 22 (with focus on English study). The school helped us to arrange game sessions for 5 groups of senior students.
 

Activate is a set of games that offer practice with vocabulary, grammatical patterns, and interaction skills in a learner-centered, low-stress environment. When playing the games students are motivated to talk informally and to think creatively.
As the students of school No. 22 are advanced students “Activate” games were offered for them as a warm up round for speaking skills practice. The activity was enjoyed by all students.
In the second round of games the WOA staff introduced board games from the WOA Dnipropetrovsk collection – Apples to Apples, Taboo, The scrambles States of America. The games popular among the native-speaking Americans were a challenge for the students as they required a big vocabulary, ability to describe the notions, objects, verbs as well as good knowledge of US geography. As a bonus for the fastest winning teams we offered a round of “Jungle Speed” game which urged the gamers to think and react fast.
The most enjoyed game for senior student was Apple to Apple – the game of crazy combinations.
At the end of the day the gaming session was offered to the middle students. They used WOA’s iPads to play word game “Futaba’.
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18 November, 2015

"Сulturally, historically, or aesthetically significant"!

“Wednesday Movie Club” at Window on America center Dnipropetrovsk, Ukraine.
The drama film Mr. Smith goes to Washington (1939) was presented to all who wish to improve their language skills.
 

Mr. Smith Goes to Washington is a 1939 American political comedy-drama film, starring James Stewart and Jean Arthur, about one man's effect on American politics. It was directed by Frank Capra and written by Sidney Buchman, based on Lewis R. Foster's unpublished story. Mr. Smith Goes to Washington was controversial when it was released, but also successful at the box office, and made Stewart a major movie star. The film features a bevy of well-known supporting actors and actresses, among them Claude Rains, Edward Arnold, Guy Kibbee, Thomas Mitchell and Beulah Bondi.
 

Mr. Smith Goes to Washington was nominated for 11 Academy Awards, winning for Best Original Story.
 

In 1989, the Library of Congress added the movie to the United States National Film Registry, for being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".
WOA’s patrons enjoyed the film and the discussion that followed.



14 November, 2015

Veterans Day

Today’s session of the Gabfest Club (Window on America center, Dnipropetrovsk / Ukraine) had a topic “Veterans Day in the USA”. We were very grateful to our American volunteer Mr. Jason for attending this session as he is a US veteran himself and could tell the first hand stories about the life of the US veterans.
The session started with the introduction of the official web site of the veterans’ affairs department and demonstration of the History channel videos about the history of the Veterans Day celebration. Veterans Day is an official United States public holiday, observed annually on November 11, that honors military veterans, that is, persons who served in the United States Armed Forces. It coincides with other holidays, including Armistice Day and Remembrance Day, celebrated in other countries that mark the anniversary of the end of World War I. Major hostilities of World War I were formally ended at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, when the Armistice with Germany went into effect. The United States previously observed Armistice Day, the holiday was renamed Veterans Day in 1954. Veterans Day is not to be confused with Memorial Day.
 

The highlight of the session was the Q&A with the young veteran about his years in the US Army. Mr. Jason demonstrated to the group his army uniform and some other artifacts, introduced new vocabulary and gave an insight into the life of American military personnel.
The group gave Mr. Jason a round of applause when the Gabfest moderator thanked him for one year of volunteering at the WOA’s English-speaking Club and handed him a Gratitude Letter. At the end of the session Mr. Jason’s fans took photos with him in the US military uniform.
Number of participants – 31 persons.
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12 November, 2015

Gone with the wind

Window on America center Dnipropetrovsk was visited by a group of high school students from the local school No.141.
The WOA staff prepared for the students a presentation about the American writer Margaret Mitchell whose 115th anniversary was observed on November, 8. 

The session was attended by WOA’s American volunteer Mr. Jason whose presence was a pleasant surprise to the group. He participated in the conversation that initiated the presentation and made some comments throughout the discourse.
 

The group was introduced to the DOUNB Library’s books – the 1938 London edition of the “Gone With the Wind” novel and books on Civil War in the USA. Since its original publication in 1936, Gone With the Wind – winner of the Pulitzer Prize and one of the bestselling novels of all time –has been heralded by readers everywhere as The Great American Novel. The biography of the novelist was presented and illustrated with several Youtube videos. In 2014 the movie based on M. Mitchell’s novel had the 75th anniversary. Widely considered The Great American Novel, it is often remembered for its epic film version.
 

The second part of the session focused on the storing sides of the movie. Gone With the Wind explores the depth of human passions with an intensity as bold as its setting in the red hills of Georgia. A superb piece of storytelling, it vividly depicts the drama of the Civil War and Reconstruction. The WOA staff introduced to the students and illustrated with videos the main character of the book- Scarlett O’Hara, the spoiled, manipulative daughter of a wealthy plantation owner, who arrives at young womanhood just in time to see the Civil War forever change her way of life.
We hope that the presentation will motivate the students to read the book or to watch the movie based on the iconic novel.
Number of participants – 25 persons.
 

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11 November, 2015

Cowboys and Aliens

“Wednesday Movie Club” at Window on America center Dnipropetrovsk, Ukraine.

The film Cowboys & Aliens was presented to all who wish to improve their language skills.
Cowboys & Aliens is a 2011 American-Canadian science fiction Western film directed by Jon Favreau and starring Daniel Craig, Harrison Ford, and Olivia Wilde. The film is based on the 2006 graphic novel of the same name created by Scott Mitchell Rosenberg.
The main plot revolves around an amnesiac outlaw (Craig), a wealthy cattleman (Ford), and a mysterious traveler (Wilde) who must ally to save a group of townspeople abducted by aliens. The screenplay was written by Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman, Damon Lindelof, Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby, based on a screen story by the latter two along with Steve Oedekerk.
WOA’s patrons enjoyed the film and the discussion that followed.
Number of participants – 16.
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