On Monday February 12th, JJ Wilson delivered a presentation on his best-selling course book Speakout to an audience of almost 500 people in the main congress hall of the Kyiv National University of Trade and Economics.
As part of his first ever visit to Ukraine, Pearson and Dinternal Education organised a national competition open to any current journalism student at a Ukrainian university. To take part, a student needed to write a news report of no more than 250 words. The entries were judged by qualified journalists from the UK, Andy Hudson and Laurie Hanna. After reading through all the entries, they chose Yaroslava Rychik, a 3rd year mass media student from the National University of Kyiv Mohyla Academy, as the overall winner. Here’s Yaroslava’s article:
On 12th February, the majority of Ukrainian students, including me, lost their opportunity to start a new era of their own English. The famous teacher and author J. J. Wilson visited Kyiv, and we missed it. Fortunately, YouTube and the ability of people to shoot videos saved all of us from linguistic suicide, so I took my notebook, a bucket of popcorn and started watching the speech online. The lecture started with some congratulations and a short introduction of new educational technologies, presented by Michael Hudson, a methodologist from Dinternal Education. Then a young, cheerful and smiling man took centre stage at the Kyiv National University of Trade and Economics - as I found out later, this was J. J. Wilson. The audience, ready for just another usual English class, was surprised. Yes, for the hour of his workshop the lecturer told us about the structure and efficiency of his English textbook Speakout, showed three different movies, interviewed students about Kyiv, shared his own travelling experieces and laughed at a joke about Troyeschina.
Except for this informative block, J.J Wilson gave 10 tips to improve our English. The most unexpected was the last one - to find a native speaker girlfriend/boyfriend. And as a person who runs creative writing courses in almost 60 countries, he definitely knows what he’s talking about.
After watching the video, I closed my notebook and decided to start with three things: read Wilson’s novel Damnificados, search for more information about Speakout and find a native speaker boyfriend.
As well as getting her first international publication, Yaroslava also won a copy of Speakout 2nd Edition Advanced personally signed by JJ Wilson himself and free access to the MyEnglishLab online learning platform. Michael Hudson, Dinternal’s senior academic consultant for Higher Education, and Anna Brusko, our Higher Education Product Manager, visited Mohyla to deliver the prize. Michael also gave a lesson to Yaroslava and her classmates on how to write a news report.
We also gave the class another opportunity to practise their writing:
"Today was a day of great news and new experience. The students of NaUKMA had a meeting with Michael Hudson, a senior academic consultant with the Dinternal Education company. He made a special visit to the mass media course students to give an award to one of our classmates, Yaroslava Rychik, for winning a national student writing competition based on Speakout author JJ Wilson’s recent visit to Ukraine. It was a great honour for the winner and also a practical learning experience as Michael gave us lots of information about how to write an interesting news article!