01 October, 2016

Welcome to the USA and October in DniproWOA

Book display: New Arrival of American Fiction

Book display: «Welcome to the USA»

October, 1 – ESC Gabfest: World Tourism Day.
This afternoon the Gabfest Club at Window on America center in Dnipro observed the World Tourism Day. Ever since its inception, World Tourism Day is celebrated on 27 September to foster awareness among the international community of the importance of tourism and its social, cultural, political and economic value. As the official day set aside in the United Nations Calendar the celebration seeks to highlight tourisms potential to contribute to reaching the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), addressing some of the most pressing challenges society is faced with today.
This year’s theme for the Day was “Accessible Tourism for all”. The term “universal accessibility” was explained and the less mobile groups defined (a disability, even temporary, families with small children, the ageing population). The illustrative videos proved that at some point in our lives we all benefit of universal accessibility in tourism.
The Club’s US volunteer Mr. Jason shared with the group his impressions from visiting an unusual church in Pragе. The Club members told funny stories about their visits to Czech Republic.
We have noticed that religious heritage tours   become a trend in modern tourism. The group shared with the US volunteer the information about religious heritage places in Ukraine. They explained to him the phenomenon of Orthodox Lavra and briefed him on the attractions of the three Ukrainian Lavras (in Kyiv, Pochaiv and Sviatogirsk).
Participant number – 41/24 persons.

October, 1 – Speed English at Window on America center Dnipro.
We as usual had our Speed English game. Those members of the Gabfest club who feel that they express themselves in English confidently stayed after the English-speaking club for a beloved activity – Speed English.  Today, Mr.Jason, the volunteer from the USA, was mentoring in the game.  We discussed the best destinations for summer period, and those for winter, places better not to go and how to combine the business and fun when you are on a trip.

Some of the advanced club members were disputing with the activity moderator, Aleksandra, whether “means of transport” is OK or should we say “kinds of transport” instead. We asked Mr.Jason to consult us and he confirmed that both phrases are applicable in the contemporary English. By the way, there is the other one “means of transportation”. And what is your opinion about it? Share with us, don’t hesitate. We are here to learn.
Participant number – 24 persons.

October, 4 – Activate English. 3: Graduation.
Graduation of "Activate English 3.0." group took place today at the WOA Dnipropetrovsk. The group had a 20 hour language course within the framework of the project “Express-English at the DOUNB Library”. The instruction was provided by the library staff member Tamara Gavryliuk who has the University degree equivalent of the MA in ESL.
The course was based on the materials from the textbook published by McMillan Language House and focused on the conversational practice for intermediate and advanced level learners of English.
During 10 educational sessions the students practiced popular conversational topics, studied new vocabulary and grammatical structures, learned about the basic etiquette of the English-speaking countries, mastered the skills of “small talk”. At the final session the most diligent students received certificates of attendance.
The Third group graduation lesson took place today. As a test task the group had to listen to the History of the Parker Pen. The You Tube video dedicated to the 125th anniversary of the Parker pen impressed the group. We have learned about the founder of the company Mr. George Parker, about legendary pen models and famous Parker pen owners.
The group managed with the task and had almost no difficulties in understanding the film. The most diligent students received certificates of attendance.
Participants number – 11 persons.

October, 5 – Australia and Australians in Window on America center in Dnipro.
This afternoon, WOA’s Australian volunteer Mr. Eric met with the group of NMetAU students, the intending translators and interpreters.  It was interesting for our students to try the ear on listening the Australian accent and try the tongue on the simultaneous translation. Mr. Eric told the students interesting facts about Australia, showed the Australian map of Australia (this one is quite different from the Australian maps issued in the other countries) and photos, after that, suggested a presentation on  a unique Australian predator. The student group was offered   a short video “Killer Crocodiles of Australia” by “Travel OZ”. Even though the comprehension of the Australian English was a challenge for many the new vocabulary proved to be very useful for other spheres if life.
The students were active, their questions were found interesting, the interpretation skill were evaluated as “on high level” and the cool sense of humor  -  the meeting appeared to be mutually beneficial.  The library presented the participants of the event with the bookmarkers for a long memory.
Participants number –  15 persons.

October, 5 – “Wednesday Movie Club” at Window on America center Dnipropetrovsk, Ukraine.
Tonight we watched the movie which was chosen by our Australian friend Mr. Eric. Because Mr.  Eric is the big fan of American westerns, he expressed the wish to watch the old movie from the WOA collection Stagecoach (1939). As we do not watch westerns every day, we spend a nice time enjoying old movie with amazing actors, truthful story and happy end which is typical for such type of movies. We discussed the questions which arose after watching, and our conversation was very lively, we enjoyed the feeling that despite the serious topics for the discussion there was an amazing plot, and happy end was pretty rewarding.   
The film "Stagecoach": A group of people traveling on a stagecoach find their journey complicated by the threat of Geronimo and learn something about each other in the process.

In 1995, this film was deemed "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant" by the United States Library of Congress and selected for preservation in their National Film Registry.
Director: John Ford
Writers: Ernest Haycox (original story), Dudley Nichols (screen play)
Stars: John Wayne, Claire Trevor and Andy Devine
Number of participants – 19 persons.

October, 6 – Basic English 3.10.

The last lesson of the Basic English course was dedicated to the topic WEATHER. We learned the basic vocabulary, read and translated the text composed by Ogden in basic English style. Had a few laughs about the definitions provided in the text.
The active students held speeches about the typical weather in Ukraine. The course is over, but many students plan to join the Activate Group. So we’ll meet again very soon.
Number of participants – 19 persons.

October, 8  –    Thanking Our Australian Volunteers.

This week is the last week of Eric and Iryna’s  stay in Ukraine. As appreciation of their enthusiasm, loyalty and dedication the Gabfest Club presented to them Gratitude Letters and a sweet souvenir to keep them through the long journey home.  We think that the best way to keep sweet memories about Dnipro is chocolate made in Dnipro.

After the today’s club session we had a tea party. As our Australian friends Eric and Iryna were about to leave Ukraine soon, we decided to have this party, we enjoyed drinking tea and chocolate cake brought by one of active members of our club, Nestor. We spend a wonderful time, communicating with Eric and Jason, who turned out to leave Ukraine next week as well, but promised to return in a month. We feel we are all going to miss both of them, so by having this party we said good bye to both our friends and how much we appreciate their presence in our club as volunteers, that every time they come back we have an opportunity to communicate with them and to discuss everything we are interested in, and this is always great for us.

October, 08  – World Teachers’ Day and mile Day.
World Teachers’ Day is held annually on 5 October. It is a UNESCO initiative, a day devoted to appreciating, assessing, and improving the educators of the world. The real point is to provide a time to look at and address issues pertaining to teachers.  The group was offered to translate the slogan for the year 2016 – “Valuing Teachers, Improving their Status”. We watched and discussed several videos about work conditions of teachers in the poor country, listened to the opinions of US students about what makes a great teacher. Our foreign volunteers Mr. Eric and Mr. Jason shared with the group their impressions of the Ukrainian schools and teachers.
The second part of the session was dedicated to the World Smile Day. We have watched a Smithsonian channel video about the history of the “Happy Face” and its popularity in the USA. The group discussed with the foreign guests their ideas about the role of smile in Ukrainian society and tried to explain the stereotypes about smiling and not smiling societies.
The group wished safe trip home to our American and Australian volunteers.
Participant numbers  – 52  persons.

October, 8 – Speed English at Window on America center Dnipro.
We as usual had our Speed English game. Those members of the Gabfest club who feel that they express themselves in English confidently stayed after the English-speaking club for a beloved activity – Speed English.  Today, Mr.Jason and Mr. Eric, our volunteers, were mentoring in the game. 
We discussed the best places for study, teachers, the quality of education.
Some of the advanced club members were disputing with the activity moderator, Aleksandra.
Share your opinion with us, don’t hesitate. We are here to learn.
Participant number – 38 persons.

On October, 11 – Activate English Group 4.0 started. - Fuul House!!!
The Activate English Group at DOUNB library is an integral part of the EXPRESS-ENGLISH course offered to the Window on America Dnipropetrovsk readers in year 2016.

The year 2016 in Ukraine is the year of the English Language. The Activate English Group - 4 was created for people who have been studying English for several years, but are too shy to speak.
The objective of the course is to activate the passive knowledge and enable the students of English to express themselves in English no matter how small might be their vocabulary.
The participants of the group will be offered some revision activities to refresh their grammar skills. The vocabulary for the topics will be presented and illustrated with native-speaking videos to activate their comprehension skills.
The activation of the speaking skills will take place during the conversation pair practice.
The materials for the Activate English Group are compiled and presented by the qualified ESL teacher. They are based on original textbook by the reputable language house “Macmillan” and various free on-line resources for ESL study.
 All the participants found the session educational and helpful.

October, 12 – The Great Gatsby at #DniproWOA
Tonight in honour of 120th anniversary since the birth of one of the most famous American novelist F. S. Fitzgerald  we as the “Wednesday Movie Club” members had a pleasure to watch the movie  based on the novel written by this incredible author “The Great Gatsby”. This movie, which bears the same title as the novel itself,  impressed us with the beauty and incredibility with which the film director Baz Luhrmann created it, making everything possible for the movie to be as interesting as the novel.

The result of it was the fact that the drama and the tragedy shown here were really touching. We were amazed by the ability of such film director as Baz Luhrmann to make a beautiful movie, in which beauty of plot, picturesque views and drama were combined and not just combined but on a very high level. So everyone felt everything shown in this really fantastic and incredible movie deeply, and the discussion that we had after watching it, was very dramatic, deep and correct, and that’s why analyzing all the details and making conclusions was a splendid pastime for us.
Number of participants – 18 persons.

October, 13 – Start of the Basic English 4.1.
In spite of the inclement weather conditions a big group of new comers arrived for the first lesson of the Basic English group at DOUNB Library and Dnipro Window on America center.  With big enthusiasm the group started to study the sounds of the English language and transcription signs.
The year 2016 in Ukraine is the year of the English Language.

The Basic English Group at DOUNB library is an integral part of the EXPRESS-ENGLISH course offered to the Window on America Dnipro patrons in year 2016.
All the participants found the session educational and helpful. So we’ll meet again very soon.
Number of participants – 73 persons.

October, 15 – National Italian American Heritage Month.
Today’s session of the GABFEST speaking club started with a surprise visit of our American friends – Mr. Spencer,  Mr. Kelly  and his  son Joseph.
The official topic of the session was “October is Italian – American Heritage Month”. As a warm up we remembered globally famous objects, things and foods that originate from Italy (leaning tower of Pisa, Coliseum, espresso coffee-maker, pizza, olive oil, Tuscan wine, Vespa moped, and romantic dinners with candles). The slide show about prominent   Americans with Italian roots enlightened the group about the impact of this community on the American society.
The Columbus Day holiday was introduced to the group and illustrated with the video of its celebration in New York.
During the second part of the session the Ukrainians answered the questions of the US guests about the relatively new Ukrainian holiday – October, 14 – the Day of Motherland’s Protector. The group had to explain in English the complicated symbolism of the celebration.
Number of participants – 63 persons.

October, 15 – Speed English with Sasha at DniproWOA.
After the usual session of getting to know about Italian American heritage month which American people celebrate every October, we gladly proceeded to the Speed English activity hosted by Aleksandra Myrgorodska.  Speed English appeared to be especially cool this time. Sometimes when there are many people and native speakers we divide into few groups and this time we did it as well so we had a great pleasure to communicate with our American friends during this Speed English session as nothing beats practicing speaking English with native speakers, and that’s why we can say that nothing beats Speed English session with American native speakers, in other words this Speed English was upbeat.
Taking into account that we do not have a possibility to speak English with foreigners every day (which would be ideal for us in order to speak English fluently), we especially enjoyed this opportunity to communicate with them in a very intense and interactive way which is proposed in Speed English.  For each conversation with one partner we had three minutes, and questions were usual as they were not about the topic which was during the informational part of the session. But some of them were extraordinary for us, especially question about the craziest thing in life, so we as speaking club members can say it made us think in an unusual way to answer such question, which was really upbeat. No wonder that communicating in groups with American native speakers at Speed English was so efficient for us and inspiring that we enjoyed communicating with our American friends after this session, feeling hungry for another Speed English.
Number of participants – 56 persons.

October, 17 – The 120th Anniversary of the American Dreamer.

September 24th was the birth anniversary of one of the most well-known Western writers of the 20th century. F. Scott Fitzgerald is known as one of the most important voices of the Jazz Age and a front-runner of Modern American Literature.
The WOA Center was visited by a group of the high school students from the local school No.144- a long-time friend and partner.
The Group was offered YouTube videos about the social classes in the USA and the writer’s biography.
The DOUNB Library’s collection of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s books was presented. The group translated several slides with novelist’s popular quotes.
“The Great Gatsby” book trailer and “Tender is the Night” film trailer were demonstrated to the group. The young people were motivated to read the original novels and enrich their knowledge about the Jazz Age described in F. Scott Fitzgerald novels.
Number of participants – 12 persons.

October, 18  – ACTIVATE ENGLISH group 4.2. at Dnipro Window on America center.

Today’s lesson was visited by WOA’s American volunteers Mr. Stephen and Mr. Spencer whose presence greatly contributed to the effect of the lesson. The students introduced themselves to the foreign guests and asked them questions. Besides the introductions the group practiced how to present local attractions to foreign guests. They have recommended to the volunteers unique places of interest in Dnipro.
The second part of the session was dedicated to the phrases which help to talk about one’s HOME.
All the participants found the session educational and helpful.
Number of participants – 100 persons.

October, 19 – Wednesday Movie Club at Dnipro Window on America center: The Adjustment Bureau.
Tonight we as the Wednesday Movie Club members had a great pleasure to watch the science fiction movie in which the topic of destiny arose in a very fascinating way. As the title of the movie is The Adjustment Bureau (interesting to see the translation of this title as Those Who Change The Reality, which is quite true, if the reality here means destiny and ability to change it) it was really fantastic to look at people who actually have the power to change the destiny of other people, and it was just one of the ways that filmmaker tried to explore the essence of the concept of destiny.
 So naturally our discussion was about the possibility to change the destiny, where there is your free will or somebody else’s will, and special attention was dedicated to the main line of the movie which says “you have your free will and you do not know how to use it till you fight for it”. This line was so true, that we just made sure that it concerns everyone. You really start fighting for your destiny if there is someone willing to change it or steal it like the Adjustment Bureau, and that was the conclusion we came to during our discussion, which everyone considered to be full and successful pastime for us as movie club members.
DniproWOA’s patrons enjoyed the film and the discussion that followed.
Participants number – 17  persons.

On October, 20 – Express-English Basic Group. Meeting 4.2.
This afternoon the second session of the Basic English Group took place at the DOUNB Library in Window on America Dnipropetrovsk (Ukraine).
The Group was founded as a training site for people who never studied English or for those who need to return to the basics of the language.
The ABC introduction was helpful for all. Now they can sing along the ABC song. The learners of English  tried very hard to understand the reading rules for English vowels and diphthongs.
All the participants found the session educational and helpful.
Number of participants – 65 persons.

October, 22 – ICONS of American Literature.

This afternoon the session of the GABFEST Club at #DniproWOA was attended by the group of American volunteers. As a warm up the Ukrainian club members asked questions to the US guests about their home states (Oregon, Utah, Texas) and  family background.
The official topic of the session was “Dreiser and Fitzgerald – the ICONS of American Literature”. The fun facts from writers’ biographies were presented to the group as well as their famous quotes. The group enjoyed translating the slides with quotes. The information about Dreiser’s visit to Ukrainian cities in 1927 surprised the club members. They had a challenging task – to explain to the US guests what shocked T. Dreiser in Soviet Russia (according to his book “Dreiser looks at Russia”). Several book trailers   illustrated the topic and motivated the participants of the session to read the novels.
The second part of the session challenged the Ukrainian participants with a difficult task - to recommend to the US guests iconic works of Ukrainian literature that give an insight into the mentality of Ukrainian people. The fact that surprised everyone – in 1962 American audience was offered a film “Taras Bulba” based on the iconic novel by Nikolay Gogol. Our volunteer Mr. Sterling helped to render into English the famous Bulba’s words.
All the participants found the session enlightening and educational.
Instructor: T. Gavryliyuk
Pictures: S.Usenko
Number of participants – 62 persons.

October, 25 – Autumn Holidays with DniproWOA.
During the autumn school holidays two groups of children from the local school number 28 visited the "Window on America" center DOUNB library to learn more about the United States, the American cultural tradition and to improve the English language skills. The children watched presentations about popular American holidays in October – the Columbus Day and Halloween.
 English-language cartoons and songs immersed them into the English language atmosphere. In the role of the host and DJ was the WOA’s staff member Tamara Gavryliuk.
 At the end of the visit the group enjoyed hot tea and cookies. Children were active, answered the questions with enthusiasm, demonstrated good knowledge of the classics of the English pop music despite their young age.
Participants’ number: 19 persons (17 kids + 2 teachers)

October, 25 – ACTIVATE ENGLISH 4.3.
 Today’s session at Dnipro Window on America was also a big surprise for all participants. Our American volunteer Mr. Stephen attended the lesson and actively participated in the class conversation about types of homes in Ukraine and in the USA.   The Gratitude Letter presentation was a good start for the lesson.
At the end of the lesson our caring US friend gave us a piece of advice to keep us warm outside.
Instructor: T. Gavryliyuk
Pictures: S.Usenko
Participants number – 74 persons.

October, 26 – Wednesday Movie Club – Extraordinary Measures.
Tonight we, the Movie Club members, had an honor to enjoy the movie with movie stars like Harrison Ford and Brendan Fraser – Extraordinary Measures. As this movie is based on real facts we especially enjoyed how hard medical sphere works in the US to find a treatment for such a rare genetic disease as Pompe disease, and the drama was in so called conflict of interests between the Company which is able to find the necessary treatment and the hero of Brendan Fraser who has a very high position at this Company and whose children were the victims of this horrible disease.
We saw all this drama and how parents worried about their children, how they were afraid their children could die if there was no treatment found for them. Such drama cannot leave anyone indifferent, so we could not help empathizing and discussing this situation in the movie about what the father of these children had to do to save them, it even came to his being fired so that his children would have the treatment they needed. Really life is the most precious thing, which we value very much, and we admired how much this scientist wanted his children to be alive, because losing children is the hardest loss, it’s pain for the rest of parents’ life. And we were happy that it did not come to that.   
Participants number – 15 persons.

October, 27 – eLibraryUSA presentation.
Pictures: S.Usenko.
Participants number – 30 persons.

October, 27 – Phonemic Chart.
This afternoon the third session of the “Basic English Group – 4” took place at the DOUNB Library in Window on America Dnipro (Ukraine).
The Group was founded as a training site for people who never studied English or for those who need to return to the basics of the language. Today the Basic English Group was studying diphthongs and practices reading.
All the participants found the session educational and helpful.
Instructor: T. Gavryliyuk
Pictures: S.Usenko.
Participants number – 75 persons.

October, 29 – HEALTH and HALLOWEEN.
This afternoon the Gabfest club members at Dnipro Window on America center (Ukraine) listened to scary stories – both serious and funny.
The first part of the session was dedicated to the World Stoke Day – October, 29. The World Stroke campaign aims to encourage people to understand stroke risk factors:  high blood pressure, diabetes, high blood cholesterol. The campaign also promotes healthy living and ways to recognize the warning signs of stroke and how to take action. In 2016 the campaign’s slogan is:  “Stroke is Treatable”. The group was familiarized with the vocabulary that deals with topic “Types of Stroke” and learned the F.A.S.T. test of spotting a stroke in a person. The topic was illustrated with the videos provided by the American Stroke Association. In the conversation that followed the Club members shared the information about the annual blood tests that help to monitor one’s health and prevent stroke.
In the second part of the session the history of the Halloween celebration was presented to the group.  The origin of the celebration’s name was explained as well as customs and traditions. The Halloween vocabulary was very helpful for the learners as challenging phrases were explained: trick-or-treating, TPing the house, etc. The “word play” phrases about Halloween helped to understand the American humor.
The Gabfest Club members are ready to celebrate Halloween the American way.
Participants number –  49 persons.

October, 29 – Speed English for Halloween.
Today, after the usual speaking club session dedicated to one of the most iconic US holidays – the Halloween – we as Gabfest club members had an incredible chance to participate in Speed English which was the continuation of Halloween session.
Both long honorable Gabfest club members and new ones enjoyed Speed English like never before, because the questions, dedicated to Halloween “let us express our opinion about it, whether we like it or dislike. We as speaking club members can hardly express what a pleasure it has been for us to say that we like Halloween and why, whether we need to celebrate it or not, especially because we started practicing Speed English on a regular basis”, according to Marina Repan, one of the Gebfest members. So no wonder that after Halloween Speed English everyone was in really high spirits thanks to Halloween as holiday with spiritual and magical taste. 
The Speed English moderator, Aleksandra Myrgorodska, managed to combine grammar studies and question about Halloween.
Participants number – 38 persons.

Welcome to us in October!