Monday, October 4, 2010

Brainbench Paper Certificate

Few months ago I heard for the first time about Brainbench online exams from friend of mine. So just for fun I tried to pass one of them which was free of charge at that time (I don't know if it is now). It was C# exam and I passed it with score 4.02 and it was enough to earn "Master" level by Brainbench gradation. Actually it was not too really hard. It is allowed by rules that you can use Internet resources during exam and it helps actually if you know where to search;)
In order to get any satisfaction from this achievement, I ordered paper certificate so that I can put it into the frame and hang on the wall when I'll have my own apartment:) Here it is how it looks like:

It looks not very astonishing especially after my local post service:) Maybe if the big red label "FRAGILE: DO NOT BEND" was wrote in Ukrainian, it could help. But I'm not really sure on this matter...

Saturday, October 2, 2010

English schools in Lviv

Oh, it has been almost a month since I wrote last blog post. It happens - you have many things during the day (work, university etc) and in the evening when you come home then you do not want to do anything. So promised post about English schools failed to appear "in the next days" as I wrote:) Let's try to fix this)

If you are the constant reader of my blog (one of the few of them) then you should already know that about a month ago I decided to start improving my English in some of the available schools in Lviv, the city where I live now. So I made quick search through the web and marked locations of found English courses using Google Maps. If it is useful for you, you could find this map here. Of course, this map is not full and there is other schools and private tutors as well - you are welcome to improve it.

As for me the main criterion for selecting the schools was the distance from my work in order to spend less time for traveling. Therefore I chose between two schools - International House and American English School. Both schools seem to be good so I think that you will be not wrong if you'll chose any of them. But my other requirement was the possibility to study in the morning or afternoon so that it will not interfere with the classes at the university. At International House I was told that morning classes will be in that case if they will get enough students. Hm, I didn't like the idea to pay for entrance test when I don't even know if it will be possible for me to study in time that they chose. So I enrolled in the American English School.

As yet I'm satisfied with the English classes. We are only 4 students in the group, so the teacher can devote enough attention to each of us. We teach grammar, some vocabulary, talk about different things. As part of homework we read English authentic literature, and then we discuss it in the class.

So I have some practice speaking English, and it makes me very happy:) But this is still not enough for me. Actually we have also speaking club at school on Saturdays but I usually cannot visit it. Do you know other ways to practice speaking English in non English speaking country? Did someone have the experience of using sites like Any comments will be appreciated.