ALC September Newsletter
September, 30 2013
1. Message from ALC Administration
A hearty welcome to the inaugural e-newsletter from American Language Center administration! This issue marks the beginning of our new communication channel that aims to keep our past and present students updated with American Language Center most interesting projects, special guests from US, competitions for students, Discussion Club sessions organised for free every other Saturday, the organisation of special events, celebrations of American holidays, resources for studying English recommended by our teachers and many more interesting articles. Over the past 15 years, American Language Center has grown tremendously, with about 700 enrolled students per year. We will do our best to motivate our pool of existing students and old ones by offering opportunities for networking, publishing student success stories, loyal students’ feedback and recognition of the most active students. We have particularly designed the e-newsletter as a platform for you to share updates about yourself, about your impressions as ALC students and suggestions and recommendations for improvement. Therefore, we are strongly encouraging all of you to make use of this platform, participate in our contests, post your feedback on our Facebook page, attend our special events and study English with pleasure! We welcome all contributions so that we can make this e-newsletter a common place for all your voices. We hope that you find this newsletter beneficial and the resources available of great value and interest. We appreciate your suggestions and wish you a great fall semester!
Wondering what would brighten up the routine and would be useful, captivating, entertaining, what would develop your way of thinking, of writing and speaking in a foreign language (English, for example)? Me too! Better said, I was, until I started attending English language courses at American Language Center with the American Councils Moldova. I’ve got now a totally different idea of what studying is. When coming home, after the lesson, you realize that all those bunches of grammar rules and vocabulary words you used to learn by heart are already there, in your head, you know it’s the right way of teaching and studying. I enjoyed every single lesson, no kidding. I loved the atmosphere, it makes you feel free and comfortable, no pressure, everything’s very liberal, but at the same time well-organized and thought thoroughly. I had my courses in the morning, so I was very pleased to be able to make a cup of tea and just drink it during the lesson; it creates a warm and lovely ambiance. Thanks to this course I got to know many awesome people and this is the thing I’m most grateful for, this and the knowledge I gained, of course. We had both nice chats and heated debates. Even though I was the youngest in the group, I did enjoy it. I had the opportunity to discuss with people with more life experience and knowledge than me and I’ve got a more complete picture of what l thought life is. I can even tell you what the taste of this course is: it has the sweet taste of intellectual freedom; it smells like friendship and has the sound of a child’s laughter.
Valeria Cernei, ALC student
3. American Language Center Honorary Student - Tatiana Daniliuc, our most loyal apprentice!
Tatiana is an an active and highly- motivated lady who decided to study English after visiting USA in 2011. She became an ALC student in November 2011 by enrolling into the elementary level for two months and then continued studies up to the advanced level in July 2013.Tatiana never ceased learning English and worked hard to practice her speaking and listening skills during the Conversation Club meetings organised by ALC, debate clubs at the American Resource Center and other events organized by American Councils in Moldova. Tatiana is very positive, tolerant, industrious, curious, creative, punctual and conscientious! Tatiana, thank you for being part of the American Language Center! We are proud to have you as one of our students!
” English and me, it’s a long story.
I am a French teacher. I also studied Spanish as a second language at university and during my professional activity, I studied Italian as well. Still I should never have thought that one day I will be able to speak good English.
Frankly, I tried to learn English by myself many times. Unfortunately, or may be luckily, I didn't succeed in doing it. I am a professional linguist, and it has a pitfall - I couldn't learn English without knowing the rules of pronunciation. In spite of this fact, I changed it into the advantage later.
The story began when I visited the United States of America 2 years ago.
In the beginning I wasn't so worried that I didn't speak English. I knew only "Give me, please" and "Show me, please". I could intuitively guess a few other simple sentences, but no more. At the end of the first week I had already become worried, all people around me were speaking English, mass media was in English, all the information and all the inscriptions were only in English... In short, I understood that I need to learn this language which is so different from French and so close to it at the same time (I found out it later).
On a day in September, I was searching the Internet and I came across the website of ALC in Chisinau. I couldn't wait coming back to Chisinau for registering at the English courses. I needed to do something to make sure that I would be in the list of students. Following my insatiable thirst for communication, for sharing things and ideas with other people, for feeling that I am a part of this world I wrote a message to ALC to get information about the courses. The answer was that they would be happy to invite me to become their student.
The last day in the USA was difficult but I left with a firm decision to learn English. And I did become an ALC student and I have been a part of ALC student team since November 2011. I began at the elementary level, I attended session after session, I worked hard at home - the English dictionary and later many English dictionaries online began my best friends and counselors. Thanks to English I discovered large possibilities and opportunities offered by Internet to all learners.
I remember the day when my son got his visa to study in the USA. The counselor told him, "Remember this day, it will change all your life". I can say the same about my enrolling at ALC- that day surely changed my life as well. Thanks to English courses at ALC I got to know a lot of interesting and absolutely amazing people, I had an opportunity to meet and to communicate with the native speakers even at the low levels, I learned a lot of things about the United States and Britain which sometimes surprised and charmed me. I fell in love with this language, with the ALC and the skilled teachers who work hard because the learners have the best conditions, the best methods, the largest possibilities to use and to enrich their language skills through the Discussion Club, different other extra activities as a meeting with an American senator etc.
Undoubtedly, I will continue my courses for progressing, for meeting again the team of ALC who definitely possess the secret of motivating the learners to study this charming language thanks to (not in the last place) a very likeable and friendly country director of American Councils, David Jesse.
I am sure learning a language has only a beginning; you can never be bored with it and certainly find out more and more new exciting things about it even at advanced level.
I wish good luck to everybody who is on their path of learning English!"
4. The Resource of the Month: a free resource for studying English American Language Center teachers recommend
Study English and improve your pronunciation with Real English (http://www.real-english.com/home.asp), a free site featuring original videos & interactive lessons and videos with subtitles, an English teacher always present to help you, and a community of teachers & students learning together with extra activities on Facebook.
The website was created a decade ago by a group of American and British ESL teachers at the Marzio School in the south of France who started interviewing people on the streets of the USA, Great Britain, and other countries during school vacations, came back to his language center in France, and edited the video according to classic grammar structures & functions, in order to make the spontaneous, authentic, seemingly fast speech usable by different levels of students, including beginners. The idea was to take the shock out of hearing real English for the first time. Real English is based on a very simple idea, the organization of spontaneous speech. There are no actors here. All the people in the videos are simply being themselves, speaking normally.
Send us by email (email@example.com) a short essay entitled "Why I like studying English at the American Language Center" (200-300 words) and enter the competition! Deadline: October 28.
The selection committee will include the following members:
- Olga Boțan, ALC Director
- Dorina Calinovscaia, ALC Director of Studies
- Marina Chirnițcaia, Professional Development Coordinator
Criteria for judging the essays:
- Creativity 60%
- "Wow!" factor 10%
- Use of appropriate examples 20%
- Accurate grammar, spelling and punctuation 10%
Your essay should:
● Be well organised in paragraphs
● Provide examples (for example: mention teachers, activities done in class, extra curricular projects, movies discussed in class, interesting teaching methods,, etc)
● Follow correct grammar, spelling and punctuation
● Be creative where possible (you can write a poem, include a drawing or a picture taken in class, etc)
Dear ALC students - we are inviting you to join our Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/ALC.cursuri.engleza), share your favorite videos, practice your English while writing posts and comments to our picture galleries, find pen pals from USA and interact virtually with your teachers and colleagues. We organize regular competitions and offer valuable prizes to all of our students, so be active, access our Facebook page regularly and keep up with all the news we publish online!
7. Join our ALC Discussion Club every other Saturday!
The ALC Discussion Club launched its Fall session on 28 September 2013 which attracted 18 current, former and prospective ALC students. Amy Samuelson, Fulbright and ALC Instructor, together with the help of the students made an introduction and expressed the insight view of the Fall holidays in the USA and Moldova, made comparison between local and national celebrations and also covered the topic of the origin of the Fall holidays and its meaning in modern life, which arose interest and lively discussion.
The sessions will take place every other Saturday, three of which will be dedicated to traditions of Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas. If you would like to participate, please register by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or at the Reception Desk on the first floor (Administrative assistant: Cornelia Calin)