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Friday, December 30, 2011

2011: The Best Books of this Year

What is everyone's obligatory coffee-table book this
Christmas time?
'Once the ritual traditions of giving are over, that quiet, becalmed period between New Year and Christmas is the perfect time for catching up on all the books you've missed during the year'.
After a rich year for fiction, the novel most likely to be placed under the Christmas tree will surely be Julian Barnes's Booker winner, The Sense of an Ending. The Sense of an Ending is a 2011 novel written by British author Julian Barnes. In October 2011, The Sense of an Ending was awarded the Man Booker Prize. The following month it was nominated in the novels category at the Costa Book Awards /
1. Lost in Shangri-La: A True Story of Survival, Adventure, and the Most Incredible Rescue Mission of World War II by Mitchell Zuckoff.
2. The Tiger's Wife: A Novel by Tea Obreht.
3. In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler's Berlin by Erik Larson.,_Terror,_and_an_American_Family_in_Hitler%27s_Berlin
4. Blood, Bones & Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef by Gabrielle Hamilton.
5. The Tragedy of Arthur: A Novel by Arthur Phillips.
6. Bossypants by Tina Fey.
7. 22 Britannia Road: A Novel by Amanda Hodgkinson.
8. Before I Go to Sleep: A Novel by S.J. Watson.
9. Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything by Joshua Foer.
10. Please Look After Mom by Kyung-Sook Shin.

'Happy New Year' Greetings From Lutsk WOA

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Dear Users and English Club's Members!
Heartfelt Season's Greetings!
May the splendor of the season surround you with joy,
May your home overflow with Love, Warmth and Happiness!
English Speaking Club's Schedule:

29 and 31 of December- No Club
05 of January at 5:30- Club!
07 of January- No Club
12 of January at 5:30- Club! Resume normal Thursday/Saturday schedule

URL of a picture:

Making To-Do List

The first item on a highly successful to-do list: Make a better to-do list. With the new year comes the urge to accomplish all the things that were meant to be done the year before, and it often starts with long to-do lists. There are, of course, all kinds of ways to stay on top of tasks. Some people like the tactile experience of hand written to-do lists on paper, embellished with doodles or designs.
Read More: Huffpost Daily Brief

Saturday, December 24, 2011

"Happy Holidays" Club

Fun Fact of the Day: The “snowiest city in the U.S. is Blue Canyon, California” (
Topic: Happy Holidays
1. The two biggest holidays at this time of year in the U.S. are Christmas and Hanukkah, i.e. the “Festival of Lights.” Do you celebrate either or both of these holidays? They are both full of symbolism. What symbols from either holiday can you name? Colors? Foods? Decorations?
2. What is your favorite Christmas tradition? How do you usually spend Christmas? What are you favorite activities or pastimes on or around this holiday? Based on what you know, how do you think Christmas in Ukraine differs from the U.S.? Are there alternate traditions, activities or meals?
3. What is your favorite New Year’s tradition? How do you usually celebrate the New Year in Ukraine? Do you have a favorite activity, such as decorating, gift giving, or cooking? How do you think New Year celebrations differ between Ukraine and the U.S.? Do you know any traditions that are popular in the U.S. On New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day that you find interesting?
4. If you could spend Christmas or New Year’s in any other country around the world, where would you go and why? What traditions would you bring with you to this celebration and what would you hope to learn?
5. What are New Year’s Resolutions? Do you make them? If so, what will be your Resolution for 2012? Do you think that Resolutions are important? Why or why not?

29 and 31 of December- No Club
05 of January at 5:30- Club!
07 of January- No Club
12 of January at 5:30- Club! Resume normal Thursday/Saturday schedule

Friday, December 23, 2011

English Club on "Fads vs.Traditions"

Fads vs. Traditions
Fun Fact of the Day: "Q is the only letter in the alphabet that does not appear in the name of any of the United States" (
1. What is fad? Why do fads come and go? Do you ever follow fads?
2. How do fads influence people? Do you think they are positive or negative influences? What people (age groups, genders, etc.) are most likely to follow fads?
3. Who starts fads? How do they spread (face-to-face interactions, in the media, etc.)? Whta causes a fad to come to its end?
4. Have you ever heard of any strange fads, such as the tamagochi egg phenomenon or pet rocks? Fad diets? Fad fashion?
5. How are fads different from trends? What is a trend? Are you susceptible to following trends?
6. Do trends have a bigger influence than fads? Do trends target specific groups? How can trends become the new norm?
7. What are some examples of trends that you find interesting or trends that you dislike? Are there any trends from the past that you wish would come back? What kinds of trends do you think will emerge in the future?
Fad: a temporary fashion, nation, manner of conduct, etc., especially one followed enthusiastically by a group; usually short-term.
Trend: the general course or prevailing tendency; drift; popular new style; potential to last in the long run.
Schedule: Saturday 24 December: Special Happy Holidays Club at 10:30!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

E-Book Lending at Libraries

Voice of America's Learning English Service 28 November 2011
Kindle is an e-book reader. has launched a Kindle library-lending service in the United States. Millions of users can now borrow Kindle books from their local public library.
Experts say this is likely to reopen a debate between publishers and libraries over e-book lending.
Bill Rosenblatt is president of Giant Steps Media Technology Strategies, a consulting company.
“Publishers and libraries are enemies that occur in nature like snakes and mongese [mongooses]. Libraries would like to be able to make books available to everyone, all the time, with no limitations. And publishers, of course, would like to sell more books to the public.”
Mr. Rosenblatt says the debate in the United States centers on the law of first sale. This means that once you buy a media product such as a book or a CD or a DVD, you can do whatever you want with it. You can read it, you can resell it, or you can even destroy it!
This law allows libraries to lend books over and over again without having to pay publishers each time. But Bill Rosenblatt points out that this law does not include digital products. Technology can make e-books unreadable when they reach a certain time or user limit.
He says the debate over e-book lending will likely end up in court.

Monday, December 19, 2011

What do you think is the perfect working place for you?

Task with Partners
- If you could celebrate the New Year anywhere in world with anyone you wanted, where and with whom would you celebrate it?
Discussion Topic: What do you think is the perfect working place for you? 
1. What bad habits make it difficult to work or study with someone? Have you ever had a boss or teacher with such bad habits?
2. What kind of environment do you need for working/studying? Should you be in a place that has lots of activity, or somewhere very quiet so that you can focus? 
3. Would you rather have a job in a very nice office, or would you rather have a more active job where you needed to move around the city a lot during the day? 
4. What do you think is the perfect working place for you? What new ideas can you think of to make working in an office/school/etc. more comfortable? 
Group Contest
Imagine that your team is given $10,000 to make a New Year’s/Christmas party for the English Club. What kind of party would it be? Where? What kind of food, music, entertainment, etc. would there be? 

Our Schedule
Thursday, December 22 – 17-30
Saturday, December 24 – 10-30
Visit Our Group on – English Club in Vinnytsia
English Club Blog -

Friday, December 16, 2011

US Government Sponsored English Language Teaching and Learning Resources

American Online English
Voice of America Special English
Voice of America The Classroom
Online Interactive English Language Learning Resources for Young Learners:
Game Goo
Between the Lions
Learn English Kids (British Council)
ESL Kidsworld (Some free resources)
Free printable flashcards
Boggle's World/Lantern Fish
Discovery Puzzlemaker

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Superstitions in various countries

Fun Fact of the Day: “Ohio is listed as the 17th state in the U.S., but technically it is number 47. Until August 7, 1953, Congress forgot to vote on a resolution to admit Ohio to the Union” (

Sometimes the smallest things in life can cause offense. Below it is an introductory guide to superstitions in Ukraine and the USA, customs, and traditions you should be aware of to avoid embarrassing or insulting situations. Some of superstitions are based on common sense, while others may leave your feeling utterly baffled. So, let's discuss this topic together.
 Topic:  Superstitions
1. What are superstitions? Why do you think people have them? Do you think there is any truth behind superstitions?
2. Do you take superstitions seriously or do you think they are a waste of time? Have you ever been annoyed or aggravated by someone who stresses the importance of superstitions?
3. Who creates superstitions? Are they social constructions or moral guidelines in any way? How can they help or hurt people? Compare social constructions and moral guidelines. How could superstitions fit into each category? What else do they relate to?
4. What are some examples of superstitions that you believe in? What ones have you heard of that seem too unbelievable, unreal or fake?
5. How do superstitions vary across cultures? Do you think superstitions in Ukraine are different than those in the U.S.? If so, why and how do they differ?
6. How are they different from something that is seen as taboo? Can you think of examples of something that is taboo?
7. Many people consider superstitions as surreal constructions and a way to talk about unexplained events and to create social rules. What other examples of “the unexplained” can you think of? How can individuals such as psychics, fortunetellers, or those who make predictions based on star signs, for example, use superstitions? Who tends to believe in them the most?
Saturday 17 December at 10:30
Thursday 22 December at 5:30- Let me know if you’re interested in leading!

Enjoy Your Time with iPad and Learn English!

Free Books for Reading: Gerald Durrel
Gerald "Gerry" Malcolm Durrell, OBE (January 7, 1925 – January 30, 1995) was a naturalist, zookeeper, conservationist, author and television presenter. He founded what is now called the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust and the Jersey Zoo (now renamed Durrell Wildlife) on the Channel Island of Jersey in 1958, but is perhaps best remembered for writing a number of books based on his life as an animal collector and enthusiast. He was the youngest brother of the novelist Lawrence Durrell.

Finding E-books: A Guide

Created by J. Cheyenne Hohman, University of Kentucky*
This guide is an introduction to e-books: what they are, how to use them, and where to find them, at the Library of Congress and elsewhere online. An e-book (also referred to as an electronic book, ebook or digital book) is a text that can be viewed and/or downloaded onto a computer or other digital device. E-books cover a wide range of genres and subjects. Though many e-books are currently available in both digital and conventional paper formats, some are created strictly in digital format. Conversely, some conventional paper books do not exist in digital format, because of the book's copyright status, or the preferences of the book's publisher or author.
Reading E-books
Whether someone can read an e-book depends on the compatibility of the e-book's format with the device being used. Certain companies have their own proprietary formats that don’t work on desktop computers or with other companies' mobile devices. When searching for an e-book, make sure the format you choose is compatible with the device with which you plan to read it. For an overview of compatible devices and formats, see Devices and Formats. Most e-readers have a standard page layout that looks like the pages in a book; page-turning/scrolling varies by device or browser.
Library of Congress E-books
Only a small percentage of the Library’s collections can be found in digital form on the Library’s Web site. Available full-text books are mostly American publications published prior to 1923, which are no longer under U.S. copyright protection. Academic textbooks and recent works of fiction cannot be found in full-text/electronic formats on the Library's Web site, and recent nonfiction on the site is limited to Library of Congress publicationssuch as annual reports, illustrated collection guides, Federal Research Division country studies, and a history of the Library of Congress.

New Technologies for New Generation

This Day at Our Center

New Programs on Psychology
On December, 14 the Information Center "Window on America" was hosting its new users, students of Vinnytsia Medical University named after M. Pyrohov. 
A Presentation of New Technologies of the Center

A Variety of Books on Medicine

  E-books: Challenges and Future
 How to Use Kindles and Load Books on Medicine

Kindles or Paper Books: Your Own Choice

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

CO.NX webchat on The Global Undergraduate Exchange Program (Global UGRAD) in Eurasia and Central Asia (IREX)

On Tuesday, December 13, the users of Vinnytsia 'Window on America' Center participated in CONX webchat "The Global Undergraduate Exchange Program (Global UGRAD) in Eurasia and Central Asia". IREX presenters: Elizabeth Knight, Country Director/Education Programs Manager and Tetyana Strelchenko, Alumni Coordinator, UGRAD alumna, answered questions given from all WOA Centers in Ukraine.
The webchat started with a brief presentation highlighting the following issues: Visa&Financial Support, Host Community Support, Who Can Be a Global UGRAD fellow, Program Regulations, Selection Process, Who Makes a Great Global UGRAD Applicant, Semi-Finalists, Finalists, Global UGRAD Applications, Tips for Writing Personal Statements: The Do's, Tips for Writing Personal Statements: the Don'ts, Submitting Applications, Application Guidelines, Application Deadline, etc.
The participants of this discussion could get details on undergraduate exchange programs asking the following questions: Who should write a reference form, What exchange programs are possible for students of agricultural and medical universities, Is it possible to choose a university, What programs or books can you advice to be ready for  these exchange programs in short terms, Is it possible to participate twice in this program, Is it possible to write a research paper being in the USA when taking a part in an exchange program, Did you personally participate in this program, What positive experience can you share, How many Ukrainians have participated in this program this year?, etc.
Applications are currently available for the 2012-2013 cycle of the Global Undergraduate Exchange Program in Eurasia & Central Asia (Global UGRAD). Paper applications, including all supporting documents, are due to the IREX office in your country of citizenship by 5 p.m. Thursday, December 22, 2011. Online applications may be submitted until 11:59 AM EST on Thursday, December 22, 2011.
More Info:
 A Brief Presentation: