On April 23 the Institute of Germanic-Romance Languages and Cultures of Tallinn University celebrated the 450th birthday of William Shakespeare with a talk “Shakespeare’s Sonnets and Their Reception in Estonia“, which some of the ESU Estonia members attended and enjoyed. It was very interesting to hear and compare two different versions of translation of the sonnets into Estonian. We would like to thank Professor Suliko Liiv, Director of the Institute and ESU Estonia member for the invitation.
On April 23 finalists of the 2014 National Public Speaking Competition were invited to a luncheon at the residence of US Ambassador Jeffrey Levine. Here is what Gertrud Metsa from Tartu Hugo Treffner Gymnasium had to say about the event.
Since I can’t remember my own birth, yesterday had been one of the most prominent days of my life. I will probably never forget that I had the privilege to not only meet but to have lunch with Jeffrey D. Levine. The ambassador was a humble and lively man with unquenchable curiosity and a very good taste in watches. Topics at the lunch table ranged from videogames, language skills to college choices. I hope the tradition to have lunch with the six finalists from the National Public Speaking Competition continues, as it will give the competitors something else, except winning, to look forward to.
The English-Speaking Union has branches in 55 countries, the United States of America being one of them. As a way to support newcomers to the country in improving their English skills and give them confidence to carry out conversations and not feel lost in the local cultural environment, the ESU of the US set up a program by the name of English in Action. Based on conversations with local volunteers, it is a mutual learning experience by which the newcomer learns about English and life in the US while the teacher can learn about their partner’s culture and language.
In addition to conversation classes, the program also offers Here/There – regularly published worksheets that teach idioms, expressions, and all things related to life in the United States. These are a good learning tool not just for those seeking to or already settling in in the States, but also for everyone looking to improve their understanding of American culture and linguistic specifics.
ESU Estonia’s very own Zinaida Jevgrafova has introduced her students to the program to great results. She has been using the exercises in the monthly Here/There newsletter since November 2011 to provide her students with something different from the usual material. The students have been enthusiastic about the variation in study methods as well as the chance to learn “real American English” and become more aware of the country’s culture.
This learning tool is perfect for anyone looking to further their knowledge of English and American culture in a simple way that doesn’t consume too much time. Teachers might find it a great opportunity to provide their students with a break from the usual routine. Why not head over to the English in Action website and learn more?
The ESU Estonia members enjoyed another event in the series “Diplomats Talk” on March 24. This time we visited the German Embassy in Tallinn and met Mr. Schlaga, Christian-Matthias, the German Ambassador to Estonia. We were led to the meeting room on the 3rd floor of the Embassy, a nice modern building in a quiet area of the city center, where we were offered some drinks. The Ambassador gave us a brief overview of his career, the work the Embassy does nowadays, Germany-Estonia partnership and answered our questions. We would like to thank Mr. Schlaga and the German Embassy Tallinn for a very interesting meeting and fruitful talk.
Chairman, ESU of Estonia
On April 15 the ESU of Estonia will hold its Annual General Meeting, which is to take place at 6 PM at Tallinn University. The registration deadline for the meeting is April 7. Only members who have paid their membership fee for the ongoing year have the right to vote, so we urge everyone to make sure their membership has been renewed.
We kindly ask any member who is not able to attend the meeting to organise their representation by proxy by submitting a signed application by the registration deadline. For more information, please contact us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
On March 17 the traditional St. Patrick’s reception was held by the Irish Embassy, Tallinn. We would like to thank H. E. Peter McIvor, the Irish Ambassador to Estonia, and Mrs. McIvor for inviting some of our members to the event. The evening passed with networking and chatting in the festive atmosphere.
Zinaida Jevgrafova, Chairman of the ESU of Estonia
On March 1 the 6th National Public Speaking Competition was held at Tallinn English College. 45 participants from 31 different schools of Estonia and about 80 supporters and guests came to enjoy the speeches.