Monday, December 19, 2011

Winter holidays in the USA, Christmas


December 18 at 2 p.m.  we had English Speaking Club with two Peace Corps Volunteers Jun Blore and Andrew Brož . This session was devoted to winter holidays, especially Christmas, in the USA. There were 9 people, among them students and teachers. We were speaking about different winter holidays, traditions of celebration and differences in celebration of these holidays in the USA and Ukraine. We discussed the ways American and Ukrainian families celebrate Christmas, spoke about peculiarities of celebration in both countries. The visitors found out more about USA winter customs and traditions and encouraged for further coming New Year and Christmas. We also decided to listen to Christmas songs and plays popular in the USA.

 



The visitors also had an opportunity to play games. They enjoyed it very much. We had a really great time.





Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Religion in the USA


December 11, at 2 p.m.  we had English Speaking Club with two Peace Corps Volunteers Jun Blore and Andrew Brož . This session was devoted to religion in the USA. There were 10 people, among them students and teachers. We were speaking about the main religion of the US – Christianity and variety of other religions which can be observed among Americans. We discussed the role of religion in American life and lives of people of all nations. The visitors found out ways of forming religion in the US. We had an interesting discussion about the role of religion particularly in our lives and our own attitude to religion. Everyone expressed his own opinion. We all together concluded that religion is something private and shouldn’t influence surrounding people’s lives.
The theme was quite serious and unusual but it appeared to be very interesting.










We also told our visitors about presents from the US and proposed them to look them through. Everyone discovered each item very thoroughly with great excitement. They liked books and games very much and now can’t wait to use these materials.



Sunday, October 16, 2011

New Technologies in the USA



October 16, 2011 at 2 p.m. we had English Speaking Club “Dialogue” with Peace Corps Volunteer Jun Blore. This session was devoted to the theme “New technologies in the USA”. There were 17 people, among them students and teachers. The group spoke about the technologies in the USA, its development, popularization and extension around the world. Jun mentioned about a lot of inventions that have been made in America from the 50ies till nowadays. We also spoke about such world-known trademarks as Apple and Dell and such famous persons as Steve Jobs and Bill Gates. I have presented our new devices: E-book and I-pads and the visitors were very expressed by them. The attendants were glad to speak on this theme, because they were interested in development of the technologies in the USA. This meeting was important and useful for the attendants, because they got known more information about the leading place of America in the world and got answers to the questions as to the theme. The quotation of the meeting became one by Clarke A.: “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Columbus Day


October 9, at 2 p.m. we had English Speaking Club with two Peace Corps Volunteers Jun Blore and Andrew Brož and also with a guest from the USA, who was earlier the Peace Corps Volunteer, Edward Novick. This session was devoted to the American holiday, Columbus Day, which was celebrated on the second Monday of October. There were 24 people, among them students and teachers. We were speaking about Columbus Day, its traditions, history and special features. The visitors got answers to the questions concerning name of the holiday, discovery of America, and the way of its celebration in different US states. The attendants have also got the information that Columbus Day was not celebrated in all states of the USA. South Dakota's official holiday on this date is Native Americans' Day and people in California celebrate Indigenous People's Day. Special attention was devoted to the main idea of the holiday, which is to honor this day as an important date of the history of America. This session was useful for the attendants because they got the idea of American holidays on the example of Columbus Day.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Teacher’s Day in the USA and Ukraine


October 2, at 2 p.m. we had English Speaking Club with two Peace Corps Volunteers Jun Blore and Andrew Brož. This session was devoted to the theme “Teacher’s Day in the USA and Ukraine”. There were 12 people, among them students and teachers. We were speaking about school system of education in the USA and Ukraine, the differences between them and orientation of both systems. We got known that there was not Teacher’s Day in the USA, however there was Teacher Appreciation Week, which was in the first week of May. The visitors asked different questions concerning out-of-school activities and celebrations of different holidays in school. Special attention was devoted to the main idea of the American school which was to motivate learning and to make lessons creative and interesting. This session was useful for the attendants because they got the idea of American school system of education and understood the differences between American and Ukrainian school systems. I have also presented for the visitors our new resources: E-book and I-pads.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Watching and discussing the movie "Kramer vs. Kramer"



August 7th at 2 p.m. we had English Speaking Club in the Mykolaiv Window on America Center. This time Peace Corps Volunteers couldn’t come and we decided to watch and discuss a movie “Kramer vs. Kramer”. It is one of the best American drama films of the year 1979. It was adapted by Robert Benton from the novel by Avery Corman, and directed by Benton. There were 8 people among them teachers and students. During watching the movie we stopped it in order to speak on some difficult grammar constructions, vocabulary and to discuss the plot. The visitors liked the movie, because it touched theme of family and relationships in it. The film made us think on our behavior and the future results of our deeds. This session was useful for the attendants not only in the way of broadening their outlooks with feeling of the atmosphere of that time in America, but also in educational way, which was in getting some new grammar constructions and vocabulary of American English.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

American and British English




July 31th, at 2 p.m. we had English Speaking Club with two Peace Corps Volunteers Jun Blore and Andrew Brož. Jun has just returned from his vacation and he treated everybody with sweets in honor of his return. The theme was “American and British English”. There were 9 people, among them students and teachers. During the meeting we were listening to different speakers of American and British variants of English. Native speakers told us about the special characteristics of American English, emphasized the differences in pronunciation, phonology, phonetics. Special attention was devoted to usage of different vocabulary, some specific American words which were called Americanisms and usage of some grammar constructions. The attendants asked many questions concerning some tricky specific issues and got the answers from Peace Corps Volunteers. This session was useful and interesting for the visitors, because they got deeper understanding of differences of the American and British English.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

The State of Alaska

On July 24th at 2 p.m. we had English Speaking Club with Peace Corps Volunteer Andrew Brož. This time we were speaking about the state of Alaska, its features and peculiarities. There we 7 people among them students. This time we continued the theme of the states Hawaii and Alaska, which were quite separate from the other USA states. Earlier we spoke about the other states and knew, that every of them had own specific features, however distance had a great impact on these above-mentioned states. Andrew told what he knew about Alaska. Everybody listened to him with interest. He told about the landscape and climate of the state, economy, education and culture. Special attention was devoted to the history and the period when Alaska became a part of the USA. We used a projector and the screen and looked through photos of Alaska and watched video about it. This theme was interesting for the attendants of the club, they actively participated in the discussion. This meeting was useful and educational for the visitors, they better understood the features of Alaska as an inseparable part of the USA culture and history.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

A Trip to Hawaii

July 17, 2011 at 2 p.m. we had English Speaking Club “Dialogue” with Andrew Brož, Peace Corps Volunteer. The theme of our meeting was “A Trip to Hawaii. The Main Peculiarities of the State”. There were 13 people among them students and teachers. The group talked about the state of Hawaii and its peculiarities such as landscape, climate, history, culture, cuisine. We also discussed the reasons why this state seemed to be a specific one and the features which differentiated it from the other states of the USA. Special attention was devoted to languages, which were used in the state of Hawaii, among them were English, Hawaiian and Pidgin. We used projector with the screen and watched a presentation about Hawaii and some beautiful pictures of the islands, listened to persons who spoke Pidgin and tried to understand them. Andrew Brož was glad to answer the questions from the visitors. This meeting was informative and useful for the attendants. They got a lot of information about the state of Hawaii and could get an idea what the main peculiarities of it were.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

American English Online Portal

Dear readers,

Welcome to American English Online portal, where you can find a lot of information about studying and teaching American English, you can also visit English teaching forum and look through the publications and exchange programs. Everybody who is interested in this information, can go to link: http://americanenglish.state.gov/


Sunday, July 10, 2011

History of Texas: from the Old to Modern Time

July 10, 2011 at 2 p.m. we had English Speaking Club “Dialogue” with Andrew Brož, Peace Corps Volunteer. Andrew is a new volunteer, who comes to our corner and helps us in our work. Not all of the members of English Speaking Club knew Andrew, that’s why we decided to make an acquaintance with him. Andrew also wanted to tell about his state Texas. So the theme of our meeting was “The History of Texas: From the Old to Modern Time”. There were 13 people among them students and teachers. The group talked about the state of Texas, especially about its development during the centuries, about being it depended from other countries, about the revolution and War for Independence from Mexico. We used the projector and screen and watched a presentation about Texas, listened to some songs (Ballad of the Alamo – battle of the Alamo in San Antonio) which symbolized different periods of the history of the state. Andrew Brož also told what Texas is now, shortly described its landscape, cuisine and differences in language. The visitors liked this theme and actively participated in the discussion, asked a lot of different questions. This meeting was an interesting one for the visitors, they got useful information about the state of Texas, deeply understood the history of this state and got an idea how what modern Texas is.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Celebration of the 4th of July

 

July 3, 2011 at 2 p.m. we had a session of English Speaking Club “Dialogue” with Jun Blore and Andre Brož, Peace Corps Volunteers. It was a session devoted to Independence Day of the USA. There were 17 people among them students, schoolchildren and teachers. A book exhibition “Live for the freedom, America!” and an exhibition of posters “Independence Day” were made to this event. At first we were speaking about the holiday itself, Ukrainian students told what they knew about it and how they understood it. Then Jun and Andrew presented a power point presentation about the meaning of Independence Day, its background, symbols, traditions and show some videos about the holiday. Then we have a Skype connection to one of the friends of Jun, his name is Matt Cobos. He tried to describe the atmosphere of the holiday, told us what Americans usually do on this day and described his planes as well. Matt also told us about the history of this day and emphasized that the American Flag was the most important symbol of this day as well as the national songs such as the national anthem "The Star-Spangled Banner", "God Bless America", "This Land Is Your Land", "Stars and Stripes Forever ". We also listened some of them after the Skype session. The attendants were interested in the information they got in the process of communication with Matt Cobos and asked a lot of questions about the Fourth of July. They got answers on all the questions they had. The atmosphere of the meeting was warm and nice. The importance of this meeting is in deeper understanding of such a great holiday of the USA as Independence Day and new opportunities of communication with American society due to Skype technology.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

New Peace Corps Volunteer Andrew Brož. Glad to Meet You!!!

Andrew Brož, Peace Corps Volunteer, came to the English Speaking Club for the first time, that’s why the first thing was an acquaintance with him. Evebody was glad to meet him and to communicate with a new person. Andrew told us about himself, his hobbies and plans. We hope, that we will communicate and cooperate with Andrew Brož. Welcome to Mykolaiv Window on America Center!

Speaking About American Art and Architecture


June 26, 2011 at 2 p.m. we had English Speaking Club “Dialogue” with Jun Blore and Andrew Brož, Peace Corps Volunteers. Andrew Brož came to the English Speaking Club for the first time, that’s why the first thing was an acquaintance with him. This time we spoke on the theme “American Art and Arcitecture”. There were 14 people among them students and teachers. We used the projector and screen, so the visitors watched the presentation and videos to the theme and discussed the theme of the session during the presentation and after it. The group talked about most famous American artists: Andy Warhol, Norman Rockwell, Jackson Pollock, special attention was devoted to movements and trends of the American art, Jun told about the most popular movements and named the representatives of all these genres. The attendants liked the theme and actively participated in the discussion, everybody also told which genre he/she liked most of all. This session was important and useful for the visitors, because they got a lot of interesting information about American Art and Architecture, as a part of the US culture.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Speaking About Two Holidays in the USA: Flag Day & Father's Day

 June 19, 2011 at 2 p.m. we had a session of English Speaking Club “Dialogue” with Jun Blore, Peace Corps Volunteer. This time we were speaking about the Flag Day and Father’s Day in the USA. There were 12 people, among them teachers, students and schoolchildren. We were speaking about both holidays, because Flag Day was celebrated in the USA during the week and Father’s Day was celebrated in the USA exactly on the day we have met. At first we spoke about the Flag Day in the USA. Jun told us about this holiday and explained how it was celebrated in the USA, and then asked questions concerning the flag, its parts and their meaning. The attendants tried to guess what different parts of the flag symbolized, Jun helped them in this process. He also told us the history of the USA flag and the way it changed during the centuries. After discussing the Flag Day, we spoke about the Father’s Day. Jun told about the typical presents on this day and described most popular activities. He also told that this day is not as popular as Mother’s Day, notwithstanding it is an important holiday in the US. The attendants got a lot of information about the celebration of the Flag Day and the Father’s Day, about the way Americans celebrate these days. The importance of this session is in deeper understanding of the USA holidays, the history of the country, USA flag and the meaning it has.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Flag Day in the USA

Today Americans celebrate Flag Day. This day commemorates the adoption of the flag of the United States, which happened that day by resolution of the Second Continental Congress in 1777. On June 14th, 1885, Bernard J. Cigrand, a 19 year old teacher at Stony Hill School, placed a 10 inch, 38- star flag in a bottle on his desk then assigned essays on the flag and its significance. This observance, commemorated Congresses adoption of the Stars and Stripes as the flag of the United States on June 14, 1777. This observance was also the beginning of Cigrand’s long years of fervent and devoted effort to bring about national recognition and observance of Flag Day.  In 1916, President Woodrow Wilson issued a proclamation that officially established June 14 as Flag Day; in August 1949, National Flag Day was established by an Act of Congress. Flag Day is not an official federal holiday, though on June 14, 1937, Pennsylvania became the first (and only) U.S. state to celebrate Flag Day as a state holiday, beginning in the town of Rennerdale.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Memorial Day


June 5, 2011 at 2 p.m. we had a session of English Speaking Club “Dialogue” with Jun Blore, Peace Corps Volunteer. This time we were speaking about the Memorial Day in the USA. There were 10 people, among them teachers, students and schoolchildren. Jun told us about this holiday, explained its meaning and importance of this day in the USA. It is celebrated on the last day of May, however we decided to speak about it a little bit later. The group also talked about the history and traditions of the holiday in the United States. We were watching the video about the history of the holiday and also were watching a Power Point Presentation. The attendants got a lot of information about the celebration of the Memorial Day, about the way Americans honor all veterans and express respect and gratitude for them. The importance of this session is in better understanding of the Memorial Day by the visitors. The quotation of the session became: “I think, it is not just the day of memory in the USA, it is the day, when everybody can think about all wars and about the way in which they have changed our planet.”

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Watching and discussing the movie "Sleepless in Seattle"


May 29, 2011 at 2 p.m. we had English Speaking Club “Dialogue”. Unfortunately, Jun Blore, a Peace Corps Volunteer, couldn’t come. So we decided to watch and discuss a movie. We have chosen a romantic film “Sleepless in Seattle”. There were 10 people among them students and teachers. The attendants enjoyed the movie. After watching the film, we discussed it. The visitors singled out the most impressive moments of the film and named them. Some of the attendants were impressed by the soundtrack of the film: a lot of wonderful songs which make the special mood and create the atmosphere of every scene. Except the key moments of the film and soundtrack we also spoke about the actors. The most important thing of the meeting is that the group has got more information about American films by example of “Sleepless in Seattle” and more about American actors Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Skype Connection with Phillip Marquis to the theme "American and Ukrainian Music Styles"



On the 22nd of May, at 2 p.m. we had English Speaking Club “Dialogue” with Jun Blore, Peace Corps Volunteer. The theme of our session was “American and Ukrainian Music Styles”. There were 16 people among them students, schoolchildren and teachers. We used the projector and screen, so the visitors watched the presentation and videos to the theme. This time it was not quite a traditional meeting, but a Skype connection to Phillip Marquis, who knows much about music and played the guitar. It was a great opportunity for us to get acquainted with him and to have an interesting talk. At first all the members of the discussion introduced themselves. We spoke about different music styles: jazz, blues, pop, rock, hip-hop, and RnB. Phillip told us about differences in these styles and enumerated the most popular in the USA now, played guitar and sang for us. Our visitors told Phillip about the music, which is popular in Ukraine now and also tried to sing traditional Ukrainian songs. The atmosphere of the meeting was friendly and positive, everybody had fun and got useful information about the US music genres. The most important thing of this Skype connection was that it became possible for people from the USA and Ukraine to communicate with each other on different themes, to understand the US culture deeply,  freely speak English and just to find new friends.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

English Speaking Club "Dialogue". Speaking to the theme "American Film Industry"



May 15, 2011 at 2 p.m. we had English Speaking Club “Dialogue” with Jun Blore, Peace Corps Volunteer. This time we spoke on the theme “American Film Industry”. There were 12 people among them students and teachers. We used the projector and screen, so the visitors watched the presentation and videos to the theme and discussed the theme of the session during the presentation and after it. The group talked about American film industry, special attention was devoted to such classic American movies as “Citizen Cane”, “Joy Luck Club”, “Gone With the Wind” and popular modern American movies “Star Wars”, “Titanic” and “Avatar”. The majority of the films are in the Mykolaiv Window on America film collection. Jun told the group about the process of movies’ creating and the process of its popularization. The attendants liked the theme and actively participated in the discussion, everybody also told about his favorite movie. This session was important and useful for the visitors, because they got a lot of interesting information about American Film Industry, as a part of the US culture.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Speaking about Mother's Day

 April 30, 2011 at 2 p.m. we had English Speaking Club with Jun Blore, Peace Corps volunteer. This session was devoted to the theme “Mother’s Day in the USA”. There were 10 people, among them students and teachers. Most countries including US, Australia, Canada and India celebrate Mother’s Day on the second Sunday of May, however we decide to talk about it a little bit earlier. The group talked about the history and traditions of the holiday in the United States of America. Jun told when and how the celebration of Mother’s Day was started, about the way it is celebrated in the United States. Using a projector, the group also was watching a presentation about the history, traditions, and popular gifts of the holiday. The attendants got a lot of information about the celebration of Mother’s Day, about the way Americans honor all mothers and express gratitude for the hardships they bear in bringing up a child. It was very important session, because the visitors got full understanding of the holiday and its way of celebration in the USA.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Presentation of the Window on America resources

 

April 21, 2011 at 4 p.m. we had a Presentation of the WoA resources. The speakers were workers of the Window on America center. There were 10 people, among them teachers and students of the Mykolaiv National Pedagogical University. We were talking about the work and resources of the information and resource center “Window on America” in order to help students to orient in the whole spectrum of different services and resources. The workers of the center told visitors about books, DVD-collection, audio books and other resources. Special attention was devoted to the program Rosetta Stone, to test books TOEFL, GMAT, GRE and to electronic database “Virtual Library”. This session was very important for the attendants because they got useful information about the WoA Center, where they can get a lot of different materials about the U.S., find out about how to apply to an American university, use Center’s test preparation materials to get ready for required standardized tests and generally learn more about the United States.