суббота, 4 июля 2015 г.

Welcome to Belarus! 


Religion in Belarus;

International Activities;

Sights of Belarus;

National symbols of Belarus;


History of Belarus;

Culture of Belarus;

Towns and Cities of Belarus;

Famous People.


All these information you can find here

How to set your English language goals

Do you have a dream about how well you can understand and use English? Understand your favourite movies in the original, present your ideas at business meetings, speak with confidence on the phone or at a job interview, arrange a family trip via email, help tourists in your town, make friends with people from different countries, travel the world maybe? Do you have one like that? 

 So you need a dream and you need a deadline. What else do you need?
You need to be as specific as possible with your dream. “I want to speak better English” won´t do. And you need somebody to share it with. Ideally someone who´ll be checking up on you once in a while and maybe tease you a bit. Social support is very important and can have enormous impact on your performance. And finally you need a pen and paper. Don´t type it. The whole brain – hand connection, it works, you know. If you can mind-map it, even better.
Goal-setting is one of the key tools for staying motivated. And you need to stay motivated, learning a language isn´t a short journey.
So these are the simple steps we should take to fulfill our dreams.

Short-term goals are timebound by 6-12 months. What would you like to accomplish in this time? How well will you be able to do it, in what situations, who with? And who can be your “buddy” to share your goals with –  your language teacher, your boyfriend, your schoolmate, your best friend?
Long-term goals are timebound by 3+ years. Same questions but this area is more tricky as you need to be aware that this might change on your journey to accomplish your short-term goals. There might be a few realizations on the way about what you actually want and don´t want.

If you don´t know where to start, you can download a worksheet here. You will see all the four skills, you need to fill in all the categories. You might protest that you don´t need writing or reading so much. Ehm, you do. Please, think again. In today´s world you need all the four skills if you want to consider yourself a confident English speaker. Speaking is not just about speaking, it is supported by all the remaining skills – writing, reading and listening. If you improve one skill, it will help your other skills too.
Always answer the following questions:
  • What – what is it you want to be able to talk about/understand/read/write (apply to approapriate skill)?
  • Which level – at which level will you be? or how often do you want to be correct? how deep will you be able to go?
  • Who with – who do you want to be able to to speak to/understand/write with? a guy you like or the English Queen?
  • Which situations/where – in which situations/what kinds of conversations/texts, where? pub, business meeting, airport?
It´s enough to have 1-3 goals in each category (=skill).
Always start with “I will be able to…” (some people like the present tense of “I am able to…”)
Here are some poorly written goals:
I will be able to speak better English with everyone.
I will be able to understand movies and books.
I will be able to write business email.
And here are some well-written goals:
I will be able to understand and speak on the phone with my foreign colleagues (Austrian, English, American) about work (reports, taxes), use small talk and  correct tenses at Intermediate level 65 – 70% (now 50%). I will be able to use correctly: simple forms of present, past, future and prepositions – place, time, basic phrases (go to bed, I am at work).  
I will be able to understand recipes in English cook books / blogs and only check 15% of new words.
I will be able to write my lessons in Power Point without another teacher proof-reading my English text.

The next step is to write a Study plan for each of the categories.
Here are some examples of activities your students can include in their Study plans:
  • I will email and chat online with my colleagues both formally and informally about work.
  • I will write my professional texts directly in English, every month.
  • I will start to write my diary  in English (my feelings, experiences, opinions about some events  that happened that day), every day a few sentences.
  • I will write my posts in English, with or without the help of a dictionary.
  • I will go out with my foreign colleagues every Wednesday when they go for a beer and get involved in the discussions.
  • I will attend English meetings twice a month, I will ask my best friend to join me.
  • I will read one English graded reader at Level 4-6 every month.
  • I will follow a minimum of 3 pages about cooking and spend at least 30 min per week reading the posts/links.
The trick is to do things that you truly enjoy doing or you really need. Surround yourself with English as naturally as possible, it may be speaking with your English speaking friends/colleagues, watching your favourite movies/tv series, reading your favourite authors/blogs ... If you don´t enjoy the activities on your Study plan, it will get harder and harder to return.

So all you need now is discipline. To be able to move forward and become more confident when using English, you will need to dedicate some of your time to it. There really is no magic pill or a magic course. It´s all about you and how much you want it. If it´s not your priority, don´t even bother. You will fade away, in 1-2 months you will. Especially with no buddy or guidance. But if your desire is strong, nothing can stop you. So make a weekly checklist or plan in the calendar, whatever works best for you but definitely have your study plan + schedule always nearby (fridge, work desk, dresser, toilet door,… more ideas welcome!)

And don´t worry if you don´t have anyone to measure your progress. Record yourself speaking to someone now and then 6 months later, it´s the best way to find out how you did. And you know what? If you work hard, you will make progress.

четверг, 7 мая 2015 г.

Looking forward to Victory Day ...

Film June 41 is a dramatic love story of a young American girl Rose and a Russian officer Ivan. The film is the last work of a famous Belarusian director Michael Ptashuk.
Rose was born in America. But her parents were originally from a small Belarusian village called Zhdanovichy. In June 1941 Rose came to a cousin`s wedding. A few days later, German troops invaded the territory of the Soviet Union. The Nazis locked all the villagers into a synagogue and set fire. Together with the Russian officer Ivan Antonov, Rosa managed to escape from that fate, they hid in the woods, surrounded by enemies. Will young people be saved from death?

Watch the  film and share your impressions.

вторник, 5 мая 2015 г.

Are You Fond of Blogging? 

 Blogs have become an integral part of online culture. Practically everyone reads blogs now, whether they’re “official” news blogs associated with traditional news media, topic-based blogs related to one’s work or hobbies, or blogs purely for entertainment, just about anyone you ask has at least one favorite blog. But it wasn’t always so. Blogs have a relatively short history, even when compared with the history of the Internet itself. And it’s only in the past five to ten years that they’ve really taken off and become an important part of the online landscape.

Read about the history of blogs and comment on the perspectives of blogging in future.

четверг, 19 февраля 2015 г.

Quotation of the week

Choose the quotation you like most and comment on it

Nelson Mandela: "If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his own language, that goes to his heart."

Frank Smith: "One language sets you in a corridor for life. Two languages open every door along the way."

Ludwig Wittgenstein: "The limits of my language are the limits of my world."

понедельник, 9 февраля 2015 г.

Window on Belarus

It is obvious that people abroad know almost nothing about Belarus. It is quite surprising to hear Europeans saying that Belarus is small and far. But by far the most shocking is the label of a sad and grey country hanging on it. Famous Belarusian hospitality and warm-heartedness are not mentioned. Nevertheless many foreigners indicate the desire to get to know the country, its history, originality. Most of them express a will to find out about the Belarusian culture, from the language to the food and the history. Particularly interesting is the origin of the country name “Belarus” and the difference of the nation compared to Russia.
What can you advise foreigners to visit in Belarus?

воскресенье, 25 января 2015 г.

Chocolate Cake Day

The International Chocolate Cake Day is celebrated on the 27th of January. Maybe, it was created by a baker or, perhaps, a food company or likely, a chocolate cake...eater!
This day people make and eat chocolate cakes, chocolate ice-cream, chocolate cocktails. This day is a great day for all chocolate lovers. There are at least three things to do on the Chocolate Cake Day:
1) to bake a chocolate cake;
2) to decorate a chocolate cake;
3) and finally, to eat a chocolate cake and share it with friends.

Can you propose any other ideas to celebrate this day?