25 February, 2017

Presidents’ Day and Winter Carnivals

This afternoon the Gabfest Club members (Dnipro Window on America center) observed the holidays of the last winter week.
The President’s Day is a public holiday in the USA. To refresh the curious facts about the US Presidents we have researched the topic of Presidential portraits on the US currency – both notes and coins. The group has learned the new vocabulary - penny, nickel, dime, quarter or half dollar. Our US volunteer Mr. Jason illustrated the topic with the demonstration of the 100 US$ note with the portrait of Mr. Benjamin Franklin. He was not a President, but one of the Founding Fathers of the American state. The group enjoyed a quiz “Presidents on Money” – the hints in the quiz told fun facts about each President. The highlight of this part was a video about President Andrew Jackson (the portrait from 20 US $ banknote) and the duel in which he was wounded.
In the second part of the session we talked about winter carnivals and their symbolism. The most popular carnival in the USA was mentioned - Mardi Gras in New Orleans. The Mardi Gras color scheme for year 2017 was introduced and its symbolism explained.

Our American guests Mr. Cole and Mr. Jason were interested in the stories of the club members in which they explained the winter carnival tradition in Ukraine - the so-called “Kolodiy”. The American volunteers were fascinated with the tradition of eating of cottage cheese dumplings, washing them down with a honey drink, punishing single guys and girls for not finding a fiancé before Lent. The illustrative video of the TSN channel enlightened the group on the symbolism of the local folk tradition.
Participant number – 57 persons.

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23 February, 2017

Reading Rules and Phonetic Drills

In the Dnipro Window on America center (Ukraine) the Basic English group  was busy with phonetic drills to master pronunciation of diphthongs and combinations of consonants.
The progress is obvious – we start reading longer words and sight word charts.
Participant numbers – 89 persons.
Presenter: T. Gavryliyuk.
Pictures: S.Usenko.


U.S. Presidents’ Day quiz

The Dnipro Window on America center (Ukraine) was visited by a group of the 7th grade students from the local school No.141 (with focus on English study).
The WOA’s Head S. Usenko briefed the group on the history of the center and presented its resources. The official part of the meeting was dedicated to the President’s Day holiday in the USA. We decided to start with a Presidential Quiz from the Share America resource. The group managed to answer all questions correctly. Mr. Usenko told the group about her trip to the USA and illustrated the story with a slide show about Washington (DC) – the capital of the USA.
The auditing skills of the students were challenged by the YouTube video which presented the biography of the president D. Trump.

The students and the teachers enjoyed the visit and found it very educational.
Participant numbers – 23 persons.
Presenter: T. Gavryliyuk.
Pictures: S.Usenko.

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22 February, 2017

L.A. Confidential

 (Window on America center in Dnipro, Ukraine).
At the Window on America center in Dnipro (Ukraine) L.A. Confidential (1997) was presented to all who wish to improve their language skills.
L.A. Confidential is a 1997 American neo-noir crime film directed, produced and co-written by Curtis Hanson. The screenplay by Hanson and Brian Helgeland is loosely based on James Ellroy's 1990 novel of the same name, the third book in his L.A. Quartet series. Like the book, the film tells the story of a group of LAPD officers in 1953, and the intersection of police corruption and Hollywood celebrity. The title refers to the 1950s scandal magazine Confidential, portrayed in the film as Hush-Hush.
At the time, Australian actor Guy Pearce and New Zealand actor Russell Crowe were relatively unknown in North America, and one of the film's backers, Peter Dennett, was worried about the lack of established stars in the lead roles. However, he supported Hanson's casting decisions and this gave the director the confidence to approach Kevin Spacey, Kim Basinger, and Danny DeVito.
The film grossed $126 million worldwide and was critically acclaimed, holding a 99% rating at Rotten Tomatoes and an aggregated score of 90 out of 100 on Metacritic. It was nominated for nine Academy Awards, winning two: Basinger for Best Supporting Actress and Hanson and Helgeland for Best Adapted Screenplay; it lost every other category to Titanic. In 2015, the United States Library of Congress selected the film for preservation in the National Film Registry, finding it "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant"
WOA’s patrons enjoyed the film and the discussion that followed.
Participants number – 17 persons.

21 February, 2017

Activate English Group 5.3.: International Day of the Mother Language

On the International Day of the Mother Language the «Activate English! 5.3.» students of the WOA’s “Express-English” course  learned to describe traditional Ukrainian peasant house “Khata”.
In Dnipro city region the village cottages are made from clay-and-straw bricks and white-washed. The roofs are covered with the river cane. The typical country cottage is glorified in classical XIX century Ukrainian poems.
We should be proud of our heritage and be able to tell the foreign visitors about traditional Ukrainian architecture.
 The topic «My Home. My Neighbors» was studied and discussed by 93 persons.
The professional EFL lecturer T. Gavryliuk combines the lexical exercises with important cross-cultural information that will help the English learners to understand their foreign counterparts better and to avoid awkward situations in communication.
Number of participants – 93 persons.

20 February, 2017

One book display: Heaven's Hundred Heroes Day

#EUROMAIDAN – History in the Making is dedicated to Ukraine's 2013-2014 revolution. The movement's first sparks were ignited in Kyiv's Maidan Nezale-zhnosti (Independence Square), which stands in the heart of the capital. The revolution's mass protests forced Ukraine's corrupt President to flee and ushered opposition leaders into power. Through vivid photographs and an accompanying text, this book documents and explains Euromaidan as a historical event, as a set of shared values and as a form of self-organisation and creative expression.

This book assembles the most compelling photographs taken by Ukrainian photographers at Maidan from November of 2013 to February of 2014. Two articles open the book: historian Yaroslav Hiytsak describes its sources, causes, and driving forces, philosopher Taras Liutyi explores the Maidan as an assembly of myths. A chronology of events, a map of the Maidan and a list of those who were killed during the protests accompany the images.

18 February, 2017


The Speed English activity (Window on America center in Dnipro, Ukraine) this afternoon gave the chance to discuss   the vital questions about the Valentine’s Day – should it be a national holiday, what single people should do on Valentine ’s Day, what are the best gift ideas, is Cupid a good symbol of romance, etc.
The newcomers and regular club members enjoyed the activity that allowed conversation with a big number of like-minded people.
Participants –  54 persons.

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New Friends and Valentine’s Day

This afternoon the Gabfest Club’s session (Window on America center in Dnipro, Ukraine) was attended by our US friends. Mr. Max is a new-comer from the Indiana State. He told us about the attractions in his home town and the popular pastimes – hunting and fishing. Mr. Spencer shared the information about the attractions of Oregon State and his home town Eugene. The club members on the other hand shared the information about local superstitions and habits (not to whistle, to avoid draughts in summer, not to seat on cold surfaces, etc.) The highlight of the conversation was discussion about the iconic Ukrainian dish – jellied meat. We hope Max has reconsidered his aversion towards “holodets” after we told him about why and how it is cooked.
The official topic of the session was “Valentine’s Day in the USA”. We watched a YouTube video that will help to avoid social mistakes in the USA during Valentine’s Day celebration. The highlight of the discussion was the video of unusual Valentines’ gift – a Daughter&Dad ballet class in Philadelphia Dance School. The group had a good laugh after their video that became viral on Facebook.
Moderator: T. Gavryliyuk
Pictures: S. Usenko
Participants –  54 persons.

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16 February, 2017

ABC at Basic English Group meeting

The DOUNB Library had new-comers again that got interested in the opportunity to study English in the library format.
The Window on America center offers the library patrons an “Express English” activity that will help adult students to learn the basics of the English language.
Ten two- hour lectures are offered for the patrons who studied other foreign languages, but now need to speak English.
The professional EFL lecturer T. Gavryliuk combines the phonetic, reading and lexical exercises with important cross-cultural information that will help the English learners to use the Basic English in communication with foreigners in Ukraine and abroad.
The new patrons were informed about the DOUNB’s resources and modern services.
Participant numbers – 105 persons.
Presenter: T. Gavryliyuk.
Pictures: S.Usenko.

15 February, 2017

Taxi Driver

Tonight we, the Wednesday Movie Club members (Dnipro Window on America center, Ukraine) offered the big screening of the film “Taxi Driver”.
 Taxi Driver” (1976) is an American “vigilante” film with “neo-noir” and psychological thriller elements. It was directed by Martin Scorsese and written by Paul Schrader. Set in New York City following the Vietnam War, the film stars Robert De Niro, and features Jodie Foster, Harvey Keitel, Cybill Shepherd, Peter Boyle, and Albert Brooks.
The film is regularly cited by critics, film directors, and audiences alike as one of the greatest films of all time. Nominated for four Academy Awards, including Best Picture, it won the Palme d'Or at the 1976 Cannes Film Festival.
The film was considered "culturally, historically or aesthetically" significant by the US Library of Congress and was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry in 1994.
The group found some parallels between the US Vietnam veterans and the Ukrainian soldiers from Donbass battles. The happy end of the film surprised quite a few people.
WOA’s patrons enjoyed the film and the discussion that followed.
Participants number – 20  persons.

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