23 April, 2016

U.N. English Language Day

Today at Window on America center Dnipropetrovsk the Gabfest Club (Ukraine) members celebrated the U.N. English Language Day.
English Language Day is celebrated each year on April 23 – the date when tradition says William Shakespeare was born. Shakespeare has been called the greatest writer in the English language. His plays continue to be published, performed in theaters and seen in films almost 400 years after his death.
Language Days at the U.N. aim to entertain and inform. The Language Days goal is to increase the awareness and respect for the history, culture and achievements of each of the six working languages among the UN community.
To start the ball running we described several posters created for this date. Our American volunteer Mr. Jason introduced some specific words to describe the posters –“thought bubble”, “Gothic font”, “playwright ” and others.
The group was asked questions about the U.N. official languages, the work of translators and interpreters at the UN and other places. The notion of a “social interpreter” was introduced and the club members shared their experiences of social interpreting in Ukraine.

The WOA’s Head Svitlana Usenko told the group about the Day of English flash mob in Ukraine. The US State Department and the national project “УкраїнаSpeaking” produced a poster with popular English phrases for service industry in Ukraine. This year the flash mob participants had to deliver the posters to Ukrainian waiters. The photos from the flash mob were demonstrated to the group. We talked about the reasons why the Ukrainian hospitality service workers need to improve their English language skills.
At the end of the session we watched and translated the slide show about the history of the English Language. Now the Club members understand why the spelling and pronunciation of the English language is such a challenge for learners.
The session was a “full house” and explained several cross-cultural issues to the participants.
Number of participants – 30 persons.
Have a look at more pictures, please

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