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12/16/2011

Time to talk about Christmas celebration


On December 15th there was the meeting of the English-speaking club. The topic of conversation was the coming holiday “Christmas”. There were 6 participants, among them 2 specialists, 2 students, 1 pensioner, 1 PC volunteer.
The leader of the club, a student-volunteer Yuliya Kulchytska, prepared a presentation about Christmas celebration, traditions in different countries, symbols and colors of the holiday. She also prepared several songs to sing, such as “Jingle Bells” and other carols.
Peace Corps volunteer, Sharece Bunn, also took an active part in the meeting of the club and prepared some games to play. She used the anagram game “Bananagrams” and it was a success. Each of participants at first tried to match letters in words out of six, seven, and eight tiles. Afterwards they started a group game by arranging the word “Christmas” and connecting or intersecting words in horizontal or vertical position. Thanks to such games the meetings of the English-speaking club are more exciting and involve each participant to develop language skills.
The informational center “Window on America” expresses gratitude to the Embassy of the United States of America, Public Affairs Section, for donating games, audio-books, DVDs, IIP publications and literature. These resources will enrich library funds and widen the possibilities of getting new and up-to-date information for the readers and visitors of the center.

11/11/2011

November English-speaking activities in the WOA center

The first decade of November in the WOA center was marked by some exciting English-speaking activities. Four club meetings took place in ten days. The total amount of participants is about 60 persons. They were willing to communicate in English and they really had a great time, I must admit. I’d like to remember those meetings and all the staff.
On the 2nd of November TOEFL Test Takers Club (TTT Club further) took place. There were 11 participants, including a PC volunteer Sharece Bunn. Girls (all of the participants were girls) tried their best in writing section of the model test. The theme of an independent essay was “An Important Leader”. The students wrote their essays and discussed them after some instructions from Sharece concerning such important parts of an essay as introduction, thesis statement, body and conclusion.
The next day, November, 3, the English-speaking club took place. The topic of conversation was “Social Media”. The leaders of the club were two 11th form pupils of school #3 Yana Kumpanenko and Olena Klymenko. They gathered the auditorium of 25 participants who exchanged their opinions on several popular social networks, such as Facebook, Vkontakte and Odnoklassniki. The representatives of several countries, the USA, Canada, Nigeria and Ukraine, talked about popular social networks in their countries.
For the following TTT Club which was on the 9th of November PC volunteer Sharece Bunn prepared a warming-up game based on the essential words for the TOEFL taken from the book with the same name. After the game the participants practiced in listening section of the test and showed pretty good results. They also talked to the girl who passed the TOEFL test several years ago which was not Internet based, therefore they mutually exchanged experience and ended the meeting with a relaxation of playing a guessing famous person game.
Yesterday’s meeting of English-speaking club on November, 10, was a real success thanks to the two 4th course students of Ternopil national pedagogical university Yuliya Kulchytska and Valentyna Rudak. They prepared a presentation in the form of an interactive trip to the Ireland. The 14 participants of the club got to know some interesting facts about Ireland, its symbols and its two major cities Belfast and Dublin. The virtual excursion around Ireland castles was accompanied by an Irish melody. The visit to the Irish Pub was accompanied by singing the Irish Pub song (everyone had the text printed). One more song, "You Raise Me Up" by Josh Groban, was sung in the form of Karaoke. The meeting ended with some interactive activities and everyone wrote his wishes and expectations anonymously on the pieces of paper. These pieces of information give us, the leaders and organizers of the club, the inspiration to go on. So thank you for participation and welcome to the TOEFL Test Takers club and English-speaking club!!!

10/28/2011

Celebrating Halloween

On October 27th there was the meeting of English-speaking club on the occasion of the coming holiday Halloween. The club was led by the two students of Ternopil national economic university, Kristina Kernitska and Natalia Kovalchuk. These girls prepared a presentation on the topic “Halloween” with a lot of interesting activities for participants.
16 participants were present; among them 1 volunteer from Canada, 1 librarian, 2 pupils, 4 specialists, 8 students. They listened to some facts about the holiday, took part in discussing different ways of celebrating Halloween, worked in groups and made two Halloween pumpkins, watched a Halloween video and had fun in general.
Different opinions were expressed concerning the meaning of the holiday for it touches the item of evil. As not all people celebrate such a holiday and not all of them appreciate such a celebration, the following conclusions were made. Those families, who do not celebrate Halloween, they switch off the lights in their houses for about two or three hours in the evening. Those who celebrate the holiday but do not like evil creatures may dress up in any costume of an animal or any other nice item. So everyone should feel comfortable during the eve of celebration of the beautiful and tricky holiday of Halloween.

10/26/2011

TOEFT Test Takers Club with a PC volunteer

On October 26th there was a meeting of TOEFL Test Takers Club. The club was led by a student of Ternopil national economic university Diana Goliash together with a Peace Corps volunteer Sharece Michelle Bunn.
There were 6 participants, among them 5 students and 1 PC volunteer. They trained in listening and speaking sections of TOEFL iBT test. They used a book with tests and audio-CDs. The topics of speaking were: “A Marriage Partner” and “News”.
The main problem in speaking was the limit of time. Students were supposed to speak for 45 seconds and the preparation time was 15 seconds. So the native speaker, Sharece Bunn, tried to explain how to manage to cope with such a task. After some training the participants had a success in speaking.

10/20/2011

English-speaking club - Steve Jobs & Apple products

In Window on America center on October 20th there was a meeting of English-speaking club on the topic “Steve Jobs & Apple products”. The club was led by a PC volunteer Amanda Norton. She prepared a presentation about some facts from Steve Job’s lifetime and a text about Apple products.
There were 19 participants, among them 2 PC volunteers, 2 pupils (11th formers), 2 specialists, 1 librarian, 12 students. They listened to Amanda’s presentation and then read a text in groups. Afterwards the participants presented the information about the six Apple products themselves. While preparing they actively used both iPads to search information.
The topic of discussion was actual enough and people got to know about such a prominent personality of 21st century as Steve Jobs. They also had the opportunity not only to get information about Apple products but also to use one of them, the iPad.

10/19/2011

TOEFT Test Takers Club

In Window on America center  on October 19th there was a meeting of people who are preparing for the TOEFL test. It was decided to name it TOEFL Test Takers Club.
The club is led by a second year student of Ternopil National Economic University Diana Goliash. Resources used for training are: TOEFL iBT / Pamela J. Sharpe. – 13th ed., TOEFL iBT audio CD pack & CD-Rom, Internet resources (http://www.graduateshotline.com/sampletoefl.html), dictionaries (English-Ukrainian). All resourced were donated thanks to the American Corners project of the US Embassy in Kyiv.
There were 9 participants; all are students of Ternopil National Economic University. They trained in reading and used one model test. One of them trained also in listening and used one model test. Four students used iPads and passed through one TOEFL Practice Test. They all checked their results and discussed them. For the next time PC volunteer is invited and a training in speaking is planned.
We hope this new activity in center will get popularity as this is a great opportunity to train English language skills.

10/14/2011

English-speaking club - Octoberfest

On October 13th there was the meeting of the English-speaking club. The topic of discussion was an Octoberfest. Two Peace Corps volunteers, Amanda Norton and Sharece Bunn, led the discussion.
The event started with reading the information about when is Oktoberfest, beer and food, history, opening ceremony and other countries, were the fest is celebrated. There was mentioned that in Cincinnati, Ohio, United States there are 500,000 participants plus visitors and in Denver, Colorado, United States there are 450,000+ visitors.
After reading the game was played, based on the questions to the text. The participants were divided into four teams with two and three players in each. One of the participants took part in the Octoberfest in Germany. His name is Vitaliy Chemenko, who is the citizen of Vancouver, Canada and he also has Ukrainian roots. That is why the participants of the club had an opportunity to communicate with one more English-speaking person.
14 participants were present, among them 8 students, 2 specialists, 2 PC volunteers, 1 librarian and 1 guest from Canada. They all were practicing in using an iPad and decided to meet in a week and talk about Steve Jobs, co-founder and CEO of Apple Inc.

9/23/2011

Around the world - Ukraine, France, the USA

On September 22nd there was a meeting of English-speaking club called “Around the world”. Peace Corpse volunteer Sharece Bunn talked about her counry, the USA. A group of students from Ternopil State Pedagogical University, French Philology, talked about their native country, Ukraine, and about France, the country, which language they are learning and to which they’ve been to.
The participants of the club watched several power point presentations about Ukraine and Euro 2012, about France, its state symbols and places of sightseeing, and about the USA, its history and its citizens. At the end of the meeting everyone got to know about new electronic resources of the Window on America center – a Kindle and an iPad. 20 people were present, among them 15 students, 1 PC volunteer, 1 specialist, 1 pensioner, 1 teacher, 1 librarian.

9/08/2011

English-speaking club - Human rights

Welcome to the English-speaking club in autumn! The speaker of the club is Amanda Norton, the Peace Corps volunteer in Ukraine. Each Thursday at 17.00 Amanda is waiting for you with the presentation on some uptodate topic for conversation.
The first meeting in September was dedicated to the human rights. The participants got to know about the Constitutional Week in the USA starting on the Day of Constitution on September 17th. They discussed some important issues in the Declaration of Independence. We hope you enjoyed it. See you next time!

9/07/2011

Movie Club


Welcome to the Movie Club! This autumn you will have the opportunity to watch american movies from the DVD collection of the Window on America center, thanks to the Peace Corps Response Volunteer in Ukraine Sharece Bunn. Each Wednesday at 16.30 Sharece presents the film she really cares about. She prepares some interesting information about the film, you can read it here http://americanteacherinua.weebly.com/movie-club.html
On the first meeting participants watched "Pursuit of Happyness". Afterwards they discussed some important issues like social services and homeless people. We hope you enjoyed it and see you next time! 

8/10/2011

Window on America center presents its activity

On August the 9th Window on America center was visited by the guests from the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine.

Natalia Yasko - Information Resource Center Assistant and Heather Fabrikant - Assistant Cultural Affairs Officer came to Ternopil regional universal scientific library. The deputy director of the library Liskova Oleksandra Hryhorivna greeted the guests and guided them through the library. The coordinator of the Window on America center Olga Slobodian demonstrated the resources and the activity of the center.

Window on America center is supported by the Democracy Grants Program of the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine and thanks to this project the center has new and uptodate resources concerning various information about the United States of America. This time Yasko Natalia  has delivered to the center leaflets, maps, magazines and CDs containing information about the past and present of the USA.

Heather Fabrikant showed to the coordinator of the center new technical resources, such as iPad and eBook. These recourses will be presented to the Window on America center in the near future.
On the photo: Olga Slobodian - coordinator of the WOA center (on the left), Heather Fabrikant - Assistant Cultural Affairs Officer (on the right)

 




6/03/2011

Some kinds of meetings within the English-speaking club

Spring meetings of the English-speaking club come to the end. Summer vocations are ahead and the speakers of the club are going to have a rest. Travelling and camping are of a great interest among the participants of the club.
Recently club members has talked about internet and tested themselves on how much they are keen on websites and social networks. The internet addiction appeared to be a question to consider. Very interesting internet schemes were sketched, especially the one created by a professional programmer, a member of the club.
Another kind of meeting of the English-speaking club was the English-speaking picnic at the weekend in the forest near the Ternopil lake. The weather was excellent and the atmosphere among American and Ukrainian friends was the same.
 
One more American guest came to the previous meeting of the English-speaking club. Amanda’s friend Ryan Murfield accompanied her to lead the club. Ukrainian members of the club questioned Ryan a lot and were thankful for the experience of communicating with a native speaker. Ryan is a Peace Corps volunteer in Monastyrysk, Ternopil region, and was invited by Amanda to participate in her summer camp which she holds in Ternopil Ukrainian Gymnasium named after Ivan Franko.

Next meeting will be the last one in this academic year and will be dedicated to sports. The farewell party will take place for the speaker of the club Iryna Kushnir as the next academic year for her will be in Budapest, Hungary, at Central European University. Congratulations!!! Don’t miss the party!

5/19/2011

English-speaking Club - Travelling

On the 19th of May the PC volunteer Amanda Norton talked to the participants of the English-speaking club about travelling. She prepared a game with a number of questions concerning the topic of travelling. After having fun with a game all participants exchanged their experience of travelling to different countries and cities, like London, New York, Los Angeles, Maryland, Stockholm, Helsinki, Dublin, Istanbul, Lviv and Kyiv. 8 participants were present, among them 6 students, 1 retired teacher and 1 PC volunteer.The next topic of discussion will be Internet.

5/17/2011

The first week of May - Choose Privacy Week


Universities and public libraries of the US hosted a number of events to celebrate Choose Privacy Week. These were community discussions of privacy rights at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, DVD playing at the public library in Indiana, and blogging about all kinds of privacy-related topics in New York City College of Technology. American Library Association initiated one of the stocks of large-scale campaign to protect privacy in the digital environment. To know more go to http://www.privacyrevolution.org/index.php/privacy_week/choose_privacy_week_events.

5/13/2011

English-speaking Club - Music



On the 12th of May the English-speaking club was dedicated to music. Most of the participants wished to discuss this topic. Therefore our beloved speaker of the club, Iryna Kushnir, prepared a presentation on some points in the history of musik: she found out that the first pipe organ was made by Archimedes (220 BC) and is now the world's largest musical instrument, which is in the Municipal Auditorium in the USA and it has 33,112 pipes. 8 particapants were present (6 students, 1 PC volunteer and 1 pensioner). One more presentation was prepared by an active participant of the club Nina Grigoryeva, who once had a trip to Dublin, Ireland and shared her experience with others. Next topic for discussion was chosen by the majority of the participants and it will be travelling.

5/10/2011

May - National Physical Fitness and Sports Month

Since 1983, May has been observed as National Physical Fitness and Sports Month. Individuals and organizations everywhere have joined in the fun to promote awareness of the value of physical activity in the pursuit of happier, healthier, more productive lives. To further this vital mission, the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports reached out in 1994 to both public and private organizations to form the Presidential Fitness Partners in May. By working together in this partnership, our individual health and fitness messages will achieve increased public resonance. To know more go to http://www.fitness.gov/getmovingamerica.htm


5/06/2011

English-speaking club – Achieving success



On the 5th of May the topic of communication in the English-speaking club was Success. 10 participants were present, among them 1 PC volunteer, 7 students, 1 pensioner, 1 librarian. Iryna Kushnir led the conversation and Amanda Norton took an active part along with the other members of the club. A number of successful Americans and Ukrainians were mentioned, famous expressions about achieving success were discussed and an exclusive recipe of success was made. 

5/05/2011

2012-13 Humphrey Program for mid-career professionals is identifying good candidates — June 17th is application deadline.

The Humphrey Program provides for 10 months of non-degree academic study and professional activities in the U.S. This year's fields for Ukrainian candidates include:
--Agricultural/Rural Development
--Communications/Journalism
--Economic Development/Finance and Banking
--Educational Administration, Planning and Policy
--Higher Education Administration
--Natural Resource Management/Environmental Policy/Climate Change
--Public Health Policy and Management
--Public Policy Analysis and Public Administration
--Technology Policy and Management
--Urban and Regional Planning

For more information on the program, including details about the application process, please go to:
    English -
http://ukraine.usembassy.gov/humphrey-description.html
    Ukrainian -
http://ukrainian.ukraine.usembassy.gov/uk/humphrey.html

The Program Coordinator for Humphrey in PAS will conduct consultation sessions on the application process, including pointers on essay-writing, for applicants tentatively on April 26, May 10May 24 and June 7, 2011.  (More details on those sessions in the links above.)

Applications must be submitted online by June 17.

Note:  Two Ukrainians on average have been accepted as Humphrey finalists each year.  Since 1994, 25 Ukrainians have taken part in the Humphrey Fellows Program.  Embassy Ukraine does not receive a quota or guarantees number of slots.  Instead, candidates from all over the world compete to participate. 

Education abroad — American College of Thessaloniki-Greece — Extended application deadlines

The American College of Thessaloniki, Greece, is the higher education division of Anatolia, an integrated educational center now well into its second century of service. As a leader in global education, ACT is accredited by New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) and also has its degrees externally validated by the University of Wales in the United Kingdom. This means that its degrees are approved both within the United States and the European Union making ACT the only university in South-Eastern Europe that offers dual degrees. Please take a few moments and read more about ACT by clicking here

ACT offers almost unlimited amounts of scholarships based on the high school grades of students and these scholarships are still available and can reach up to 80% of tuition. Please read more about our scholarships by clicking here

For those who don't already know, Thessaloniki is the second largest city in Greece with 1.5 million inhabitants. It is interesting though that 1 in 10 of these people are students therefore creating one of the largest student cities and communities in Greece. A city with a great deal of historic and cultural experiences waiting for students to explore, Thessaloniki is an affordable city that is almost always adored by students. 


Please don't hesitate to contact:

Ms. Janet Kostrevski
Enrollment officer at ACT

Tarek Kouatly
Associate Director for 
European Enrollment Management
The American College of Thessaloniki 

Sales and Promotions Executive
Anatolia Testing Office (MSU Exams)
tarek@act.edu - www.act.edu - www.msu-exams.gr
+302310 - 398398 - 398389

Interact Live with the Admissions & Recruitment Office
MSN:
actadmissions@windowslive.com
SKYPE: actadmissions

4/10/2011

Arbor Day is America’s National Tree Holiday

Arbor Day is America’s National Tree Holiday, founded by J. Sterling Morton in Nebraska in 1872. This is the day we set aside to plant trees, educate people about the importance of trees, and honor the role trees play in our daily lives.
For the first Arbor Day, prizes were offered to counties and individuals for properly planting the largest number of trees on that day. It is said that more than a million trees were planted the first year, while within sixteen years over 350,000,000 trees and vines were planted in the State.
This custom, so beautiful and useful, spread rapidly, and now is recognized by the statutes of many of the States. Arbor Day has become a designated day upon which people and especially school children plant trees and shrubs along the highways and other suitable places.
In 1970, President Richard Nixon proclaimed the last Friday in April as National Arbor Day. All 50 states celebrate Arbor Day. The celebration dates may vary in each state due to the local climate.

4/02/2011

April – National Poetry Month & Jazz Appreciation Month

Inaugurated by the Academy of American Poets in 1996, National Poetry Month is now held every April, when publishers, booksellers, literary organizations, libraries, schools and poets around the country band together to celebrate poetry and its vital place in American culture. Thousands of businesses and non-profit organizations participate through readings, festivals, book displays, workshops, and other events.
To know more about National Poetry Month and how to celebrate it go to 
http://www.poets.org/page.php/prmID/41

Each April, Jazz Appreciation Month (JAM) shines the spotlight on the extraordinary history of jazz and its importance in American culture. Through concerts, lectures, films, and other programs, JAM encourages people of all ages to attend concerts, listen to jazz on radio and recordings, read books about jazz, study the music, and support institutional jazz programs.
Launched at the Museum in April 2002, JAM added to the Smithsonian Institution’s 30-year record of leadership in jazz. The Smithsonian operates the world’s most comprehensive set of jazz programs—including exhibitions, publications and recordings, concerts, workshops, master classes, lectures, symposia, and fellowships for research in jazz. The Museum collects jazz artifacts, documents, recordings, and oral histories, and sponsors the Institution’s own big band, the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra.
To know more go to 

3/29/2011

March 29 – Meeting with the participants of the Fulbright Program

On March 29 there was a meeting with two scholars, Ukrainian and American, who are the part of Fulbright Academic Exchange Program. The audience consisted of students and specialists (12). The guest from America, Stephen North, presented his experience of life and work in Ukraine. He said that after his descriptions of our country, his colleges in U.S. begin to name Ukraine without particle “the”, because Americans named our country “the Ukraine”, meaning a part of another country. Another guest from Ukraine, Maya Repchenko, said that being a Fulbrighter for her is a great honour, and she gained that possibility by hard work and persistence. Those participants who were interested in this program had the possibility to ask questions and received informative and vivid answers.

3/24/2011

English-speaking Club - Women's rights

 Iryna Kushnir let the conversation about women’s rights. 14 participants were involved (7 students, 3 pupils, 2 specialists, 1 PC volunteer, 1 librarian). After getting acquainted, they watched a video about women’s rights in the USA.





Amanda Norton, Peace Corps volunteer, had a few minutes speech on the topic. After that was a group work concerning two opposite points of view: men and women must be equal – men must be superior to women. One of the participants, a pupil of the 10th form Yaroslav Palamar, said: “Without women men will not feel, that they are strong”.

3/15/2011

March 17 - St. Patrick's Day

St. Patrick is the patron saint of Ireland and the Irish. He was born about 389 A.D. in Northern Wales, which at that time may have been part of England or Scotland.
Saint Patrick had an adventurous life. He was captured by pirates at the age of 16. The Irish pirates brought him to Ireland to tend the flocks of a chieftain in Ulster. Six years of slavery made him a devoted Christian. He escaped to France and became a monk. In 432, a vision led him to return to Ireland as a missionary bishop. He brought Christianity to Ireland and taught there for 29 years. He used the shamrock, a 3 leaf clover, (Ireland's national flower) to explain the Blessed Trinity. St. Patrick founded 365 churches, baptized over 120,000 people and consecrated 450 bishops.
Many tales sprung up about this popular saint. One of the most popular legends was how he charmed all the snakes of Ireland down to the seashore to be drowned by the water. The only certain writings of St. Patrick's are his Confessions and a letter written to a man named Coroticus (See Tripartite Life of St. Patrick by Stokes and Lives by Todd, Healy, Bury and Lusack.). His Confessions are written in crude Latin.

According to some Irish writings, St. Patrick died on March 17, 461 A.D. The anniversary of his death is celebrated as St. Patrick's Day. It's interesting to note that the shamrock clover flowers around that time of year.
The first official celebration of St. Patrick's Day in the United States occurred in Morristown, New Jersey in 1780. It was authorized by George Washington. Today St. Patrick's Day is celebrated by the Irish as well as many Americans with parades, parties, wearing of green, Irish songs and jigs. People wear green on this day to represent the lushness of Ireland - The Emerald Isle.

3/11/2011

English-speaking Club - Notable American Women

This week the meeting was held in the frames of Women’s History Month in the U.S. and the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day. The speaker of the club, Kateryna Olender, prepared interesting information about extraordinary accomplishments of American women, who were shaping the course of American history.

The stronger part of humanity, our participants – boys, took lead in the discussion. 
Our guest-speaker Amanda Norton was amazed on how Ukrainians are getting to know about the U.S. history. Amanda was really thankful to Kateryna for revealing the stories about a number of notable women in American history.
The participants interacted in creating a scheme of a prosperous women in the nowadays society. Here the weaker part of humanity, our girls, took lead.
All the participants thanked each other for informative and creative class with applauds and ended the meeting, holding hand in hand and wishing something special to one another.
The number of participants – 12 (students – 6, pupils – 2, volunteers – 2, journalist – 1, librarian – 1). Next meeting will continue the women theme and we will talk about women’s rights. See you!

3/10/2011

Library is a WiFi zone

Readers of the library, those who've got a readers ticket of the library, are free to use their laptops in the reading room of the "Window on America" center, being connected to the internet by means of wireless internet connectivity. 
WiFi is provided by the Democracy Grants Program of the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine.

3/04/2011

English-speaking Club goes on

English-speaking Club is opened now.
The first meeting was dedicated to the education in the USA. The discussion was held around the presentation of the speaker of the club – Iryna Kushnir, a student of Ternopil national pedagogical university. The girl has spent a year in Ball State University, thanks to the IREX organisation and its program UGRAD. A guest speaker, the Peace Corps volunteer Amanda Norton, interacted with Iryna and all other participants throughout the meeting.
Everyone felt free to introduce themselves, while rolling the ball and making a thread net over the round table.
During Iryna’s presentation there arroused a number of questions and answers. After this some group work gave the opportunity to each participant to talk about positives and negatives of American and Ukrainian education. There was a represenrtative of the country Finland – volunteer Katherina, who works in Ternopil School #5. So we got to know some facts about education in Finland.
An announcement - days of education abroad in Kyiv and Dnipropetrovsk on March 4-6th - was made through the web-site http://dec-edu.com/action-18.html, which was of great interest among the participants. At the end of the meeting Iryna proposed everyone to write on a sheet of paper their feelings after spending an hour in a library, taking part in the club, and was pleasantly surprised that every minute seemed to be exciting and no one felt bored.


The number of participants - 23 (students - 15, pupils - 4, teachers-volunteers - 3, pensioner (teacher) - 1). Next time we are going to talk about notable women in American history in the frames of a Women’s History Month in the USA.