29 February, 2016

Discover USA: Native Americans in the United States

The Year of English in Ukraine continues. Within the framework of the project "Discover USA" "Window on America" Center was visited by the students of secondary school №141 that focuses on the study of English. WOA’s Head Svetlana Usenko told the students about the events planned for school students and invited them to join the summer "American camp." The main topic of the meeting was the story of the North American Indians. The students were told about the places where the Native Americans lived, the houses they built for themselves and their interior. The native American house - "Tippy" is made of wood and buffalo skins. It became world famous and popular among hunters and children. The students were offered a diagram that explained how to build a tippy and have fun. Students watched a slide show and several videos. They have learned new English words on the topic and browsed through brightly illustrated books from the DOUNB library collection. We hope that this visit to the "Window on America" center will become a good motivation for studying American English and US history.
We hope that this presentation will be an extra motivation for the students to learn English.
Number of participants – 25 persons.





27 February, 2016

Tutankhamen and other Archaeological Sensations

Today’s session of the Gabfest Club ("Window on America", Dnipropetrovsk / Ukraine) was dedicated to the conversation about archaeology and related topics.
We started with watching a video about the 90th anniversary of the Tutankhamen’s tomb discovery in Egypt. This allowed to introduce the topic of great archeological discoveries of our time. We talked and watched videos about famous European excavation sites open for tourists.
To introduce new vocabulary we watched a video about archaeology as a profession. The club members had a few surprises over the meaning of some archaeological tools and artifacts, for example: “screen”, “spade”, ‘flint”, etc. Our American volunteer Mr. Jason told the group about the most sensational archeological discoveries in the USA. We talked about the iconic American movie “Indiana Jones” and its main character – the professor of archeology. The animated cartoon “Flintstones” was also introduced in connection with the archaeology topic.
 

The second part of the session was planned to give the Ukrainian Club members to tell Mr. Jason about the archeological sensations of Ukraine. The Club members had a chance to introduce the World Heritage site of the Taurine Chersoneses in Crimea and the Scythian pectoral found in Dnipropetrovsk oblast. The video about the discovery of the Scythian pectoral reminded all the club members about the anniversary of its founder – Ukrainian archeologist Boris Mozolevsky.
To wrap up the conversation and to introduce a funny interpretation of archeology the Ukrainians presented to Mr. Jason the iconic Soviet comedy ‘The gentlemen of fortune’.
The session was a full house and was considered very educational by all participants.
Number of participants – 41 persons.
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25 February, 2016

УкраїнаSpeaking

Within the framework of the educational project #УкраїнаSpeaking DOUNB Library and "Window on America" Center representatives attended Dnipropetrovsk Conservatory. Students learned about the modern library service which operates 24 hours 7 days a week through its website and online catalog Head of the "Window on America" center Svetlana Usenko told the students about the planned activities to observe the "Year of English in Ukraine" and #УкраїнаSpeaking project # that will help all who wish to improve their knowledge of English.
Students were acquainted with the WOA Center’s book collection and learned about the opportunity to use its free resources for learning English: attending Movie club and English-speaking club, access to e-LibraryUSA, the vocabulary board games. The students watched a slide show that highlighted on-line resources such as УкраїнаSpeaking, American English, Voice of America, SHAREAMERICA, English is fun and others.
Number of participants – 10 persons.



Cyprus calling to Dnipro

This morning the Window on America Dnipropetrovsk staff member T. Gavryliuk had a SKYPE session with the American Space colleague from Limassol (Cyprus).
Mr. Dimitrios is the Head of the American Center stationed in the Cyprus University of Technology (CUT). The name of the Limassol Center is “CUTing Edge”. CUTing Edge is equipped with modern infrastructure and technologies which people can use/borrow in order to develop or work on different innovative projects.
Mr. Dimitrios has invited us earlier to take part in his English-language project – University Radio Show “CUTIng Edge Rock". Our participation in the live radio program had the format of the on-line interview. The Radio Host (aka Mr. Dimitrios) asked questions about the city of Dnipropetrovsk, about the most popular projects of the WOA Dnipropetrovsk and student exchange programs available for Ukrainian students.
 

The Cypriot colleague is a very friendly and out-going person; he spent many years studying in the USA. While preparing the on-line interview we have talked over the possibilities for other common projects as Ukraine and Cyprus are in the same time zone and it’s easy to arrange video-conferencing not only with staff, but with facilities’ patrons.
We hope to have more contacts with the “CUTing Edge” in the future.
Number of participants – 2 persons.
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24 February, 2016

The Hours

Movie Club’s friends number is getting bigger. Today about 20 people visited the “Wednesday Movie Club” at Window on America center Dnipropetrovsk, Ukraine to watch a film. The members of Movie Club selected a film The Hours, which is a part of the WOA’s collection of the best Hollywood movies.
The Hours is a 2002 British-American drama film directed by Stephen Daldry, and starring Meryl Streep, Julianne Moore, Nicole Kidman, and Ed Harris. The screenplay by David Hare is based on Michael Cunningham's 1999 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel of the same title.
The plot focuses on three women of different generations whose lives are interconnected by the novel Mrs Dalloway by Virginia Woolf. These are Clarissa Vaughan (Streep), a New Yorker preparing an award party for her AIDS-stricken long-time friend and poet, Richard (Harris) in 2001; Laura Brown (Moore), a pregnant 1950s California housewife with a young boy and an unhappy marriage; and Virginia Woolf (Kidman) herself in 1920s England, who is struggling with depression and mental illness while trying to write her novel.
WOA’s patrons enjoyed the film and the discussion that followed.
Number of participants – 19 persons.


20 February, 2016

U.S. Presidents’ Day and elections

Today’s session of the Gabfest Club (Window on America center Dnipropetrovsk, Ukraine) was dedicated to the Presidents’ Day.
Presidents’ Day, also known as Washington's Birthday, is on the third Monday of February. It not only honors George Washington, the first President of the United States, and Abraham Lincoln whose both birthdays are in February, but honors all the presidents. It is a federal holiday in the USA.
The group was presented the information about the iconic American Monument – Mount Rushmore. The monument depicts the faces of four former U.S. Presidents blasted and carved from the white rock. Mount Rushmore is a project of colossal proportion, colossal ambition and colossal achievement. From 1927 to 1941 the 400 workers at Mount Rushmore physically sculpted, through the rock and soil, a landmark that people from across the nation and around the world would travel to see for generations to come. The illustrative videos presented to the group the striking facts about the monument and its secrets.
The second part of the session was dedicated to the explanations about the U.S. Presidential election system. The videos illustrated this complicated topic and introduced several important political terms – to run for presidency, caucus, elector, swing state, primary elections, etc. The other videos offered to the group covered the topics of ideal presidential candidates for campaign 2016 and candidates’ background. Each video was commented by our American volunteer Mr. Jason who attended the session and helped the Gabfest Club members to understand the implications that were clear only to American citizens.
The complicated topic made us focus on auditing, but it provided an insight into the Presidential elections for the learners of American English at WOA.
The topic was interesting and the session was enjoyed by all the participants.
Number of participants – 27 persons.
 

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19 February, 2016

УкраїнаSpeaking and ДніпропетровськSpeaking

Window on America center Dnipropetrovsk was invited to participate in the English Language Week at the local high school No.22. The school is a long time WOA’s partner and focuses on the foreign languages study. During the school visit the WOA staff interacted with 7 groups of students of different ages.
The WOA’s Head S. Usenko presented the WOA resources to the youngest children. They were informed about the #УкраїнаSpeaking project and the recent addition to the WOA’s children’s book collection – “Little House in the Prairie” by Laura Ingalls-Wilder. The book was translated into Ukrainian by Eugenia Kononenko and published with the support of the US Embassy in Ukraine. To present the WOA’s collection of kids’ movies the students were offered big screening of popular films trailers – Robot and Frank (2012) and Bee Season (2005).
 

The WOA’s speaking club moderator T. Gavryliuk and WOA’s American volunteer Mr. Jason had conversational sessions with several medium and high school classes. The format of the sessions was ‘Question and Answer’ and gave the students an opportunity to interact with a native speaking American. The students appreciated the visit of the guest who demonstrated the American variant of the English language. They have presented him with authentic Ukrainian souvenirs – locally made chocolates, folk crafts and an illustrated book on Ukrainian culture and traditions. The high school students invited the American guest to the school’s local lore museum and arranged a speedy tour for him during a break.
Number of participants – 125 persons.
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18 February, 2016

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 session for the school #23 students.
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 – 28 persons.
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17 February, 2016

Doctor Zhivago

“Wednesday Movie Club” at Window on America center Dnipropetrovsk, Ukraine.
The film Doctor Zhivago was presented to all who wish to improve their language skills with staring Omar Sharif, Julie Christie, Geraldine Chaplin.
The drama film (1965) is a story of the life of a Russian physician and poet who, although married to another, falls in love with a political activist's wife and experiences hardship during the First World War and then the October Revolution.
WOA’s patrons enjoyed the film and the discussion that followed.
Number of participants – 12.
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15 February, 2016

Future translators

FUTURE TRANSLATORS at Window on America center in #Dnipropetrovsk.
WOA center was visited by a group of 3rd year students of the Dnipropetrovsk Metallurgical Academy with their English lecturer Ms. O. Myrhorodska.  The students major is technical translation.
At the WOA center the students had a practical lesson on translation studies. They had a chance to compare variants of authentic professional (aviation) English dialogue translation into Russian and Ukrainian languages. The lecturer used a film from WOA’s collection to demonstrate the difficulties of auditing and translation of technical terms.
At the end of the session the WOA staff T. Gavryliuk presented to the group the #УкраїнаSpeaking project and the free resources helpful for the translation studies.
Participants – 8 students +1 lecturer.
 

14 February, 2016

St.Valentine’s Day for teens

The session of the American Teen Club took place in Window on America Dnipropetrovsk (Ukraine).
The «УкраїнаSpeaking» project was presented to small group and the visitors were urged to follow the project’s pages in the popular social networks.
The Head of WOA Svitlana Usenko  prepared several educational activities for the group. The group watched videos about history of St.Valentine’s Day, learned vocabulary.
A slide show with 12 popular idioms and slang words about love and dating was presented to the group. Finding of Ukrainian equivalents to all idioms was quite a challenge.
The second part of the session was a conversation about “bad dates”. The group was offered a slide show with beautiful views of Chicago and a story of a Chicago girl about her Valentine’s Day date that went wrong. We talked about the situations when a date is considered a bad date.
To wrap up the conversation the WOA staff asked the school students some questions and we had a tea party.
WOA’s young patrons enjoyed the meeting.
Number of participants – 2 persons.
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13 February, 2016

Valentine's Day Traditions in USA

Today’s session of the GABFEST Club (at Window on America Dnipropetrovsk, Ukraine) started with a pleasant ceremony. The club members handed a gift of chocolate candies in a heart shaped box to our American volunteer Mr. Jason who had his birthday on Friday. The “Happy Birthday” song and a round of applause was also added to congratulate our American friend whose time and effort is highly appreciated by the WOA staff and the Gabfest club members.
The official topic of the session was “Valentine's Day Traditions in USA”. The first activity offered to the group was new vocabulary and new meanings of the well-known words. The image that introduced the new vocabulary presented numerous objects associated with Valentine’s Day celebration in USA.
Talking about the symbolism of the popular Valentine Day’s images allowed us to introduce films and books from the WOA’s collection. For example, “City Lights” with Charlie Chaplin starring. Chaplin’s character is a dewy-eyed tramp who has fallen in love with a sightless flower girl. The group was introduced to several new elements of the American Valetine’s Day tradition.
We focused on the introduction of the “kissing booths” and the question «Will you be my Valentine?». A kissing booth is a holiday attraction where the person running the booth kisses customers for money, often to raise funds for charity. Domestic animals (dogs, cats) are often used for comedic purposes.
The group was interested in the Valentine’s Day message of President Obama to his wife. The video triggered a heated discussion. It was a good illustration to the difficulties in perception and cross-cultural differences. The Michelle Obama’s book about healthy life style was introduced to the group.
To wrap up the topic we listened and translated the lyrics of the wonderful song “My funny Valentine” performed by Frank Sinatra.
Number of participants – 29 persons.
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12 February, 2016

Fun St.Valentine’s Day

Today the staff of the Window on America center Dnipropetrovsk visited school No.141. This school is a long-time partner of the WOA Center as it has a focus on English study.

The «УкраїнаSpeaking» project was presented to the primary school students and they were urged to take seriously their foreign language study.
The aim of the WOA’s visit was to tell the children about a popular American holiday Valentine’s Day and its observance.
The children were offered a slide show about the holiday’s background and legends about Valentine.
Several sing-along songs were very popular with kids: they learned how to spell the word “HEART” and remember the pretty colors for Valentine cards.
 

To wrap up the presentation the WOA staff offered big-screening of the iconic Disney cartoon “Chip and Dale and Miss”. Children of all ages enjoyed the funny chipmunks’ love story.
The children were fascinated with the songs and stories, eagerly answered rather complicated questions and impressed the WOA staff with their interest in English study.
Number of participants – 235 persons.
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11 February, 2016

St.Valentine’s Day and its observance in the USA

Today the Window on America center Dnipropetrovsk was visited by a group of the 9th year students from school No.23. This school is a long-time partner of the WOA Center as it has a focus on English study.
The «УкраїнаSpeaking» project was presented to the group and the students were urged to follow the project’s pages in the popular social networks.
The aim of the high school students’ visit was to talk about up-coming Valentine’s Day and its observance in the USA.
A slide show with 12 popular idioms and slang words about love and dating was presented to the group. Finding of Ukrainian equivalents to all idioms was quite a challenge.
The second part of the session was a conversation about “bad dates”. The group was offered a slide show with beautiful views of Chicago and a story of a Chicago girl about her Valentine’s Day date that went wrong. We talked about the situations when a date is considered a bad date.
To wrap up the conversation the WOA staff asked the students to recommend an English song that might be a perfect Valentine’s Day background music. The students suggested the song “Only you”.
Number of participants – 15 persons.
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10 February, 2016

Apocalypse Now

“Wednesday Movie Club” at Window on America center Dnipropetrovsk, Ukraine.
The film Apocalypse Now (1979) was presented to all who wish to improve their language skills with staring Martin Sheen, Marlon Brando, Robert Duvall.
Apocalypse Now is producer/director Francis Ford Coppola's visually beautiful, ground-breaking masterpiece with surrealistic and symbolic sequences detailing the confusion, violence, fear, and nightmarish madness of the Vietnam War.
Plot: During the Vietnam War, Captain Willard is sent on a dangerous mission into Cambodia to assassinate a renegade colonel who has set himself up as a god among a local tribe.
In 2000, Apocalypse Now was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress, for films deemed "culturally, historically or aesthetically significant".
WOA’s patrons enjoyed the film and the discussion that followed.
Number of participants – 8.
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Students celebrate The Year of English at "Window on America"

Master students of the Electrical Engineering faculty visited "Window on America" center. They got acquainted with various services this center offers to everyone interested in the language and culture of the USA.
One of the most useful was the opportunity to access one of the biggest electronic libraries e-Library USA. This electronic resource can be very helpful in their research and preparation for Master thesis.
You can both work and have fun at the "Window on America" center. 

"Apples to Apples" is one of the various board games the Center visitors can enjoy. This simple game is a funny chance to use your imagination and learn new words and their combinations.
Learning can be fun with Window on America and the Department of Foreign Languages.
The number of visitors – 6 persons.
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St. Valentine’s Day

Today the WOA Center was quite busy!
On the St. Valentine’s Day a group of 40 pupils from the secondary school #23 visited our facility with their English teachers.
The students watched a video about the history and traditions of the St.Valentine’s day, heard podcast about “valentine’s date” in Chicago. Learnt new phrasal verbs about love and friendship, reviewed a popular American songs.
The students prepared Valentine’s cards. The boys and girls looked forward to the game “St.Valentine’s Post”. At the end we have a friendly tea party.
The visit was a lot of fun and we hope to see the school students again soon
The number of visitors – 22 persons.