International Conference “British, American and Georgian Studies”
It should be particularly noted that the Department annually organizes English-language conferences on British, American and Georgian Cultural Studies, for students at the university and secondary school level which are attended by British and American experts. The winners of these local conferences have been awarded the highest honours at national and international conferences. The Department tries to help pre-university students to evaluate their abilities and choose future careers. For this purpose every year in April it arranges tests in English for students of secondary schools, colleges and lycees of the Imereti Region.
In May 2005 traditionally the XI international conference “British, American and Georgian Studies” was held at KSU Kutaisi. School and university students took part in the conference.
Students prepare topics for the conference and invite the audience for discussion. I must proudly admit that this year conference had a wide range of particularly interesting topics. Students spoke about crime and punishment, work and entertainment, environment, democracy, war and peace and etc.
As there were too many presenters the department decided to hold a two-day conference. It coincided with the visit of the professor of American studies and social science, Pennsylvania State University at Harrisburg Dr. Michael Barton. He listened to our students and was greatly impressed by their English and ability of critical thinking. All the participant took an active part in the debate and sometimes gave hard time to the speakers to answer their question.
Professor Barton could not hide his emotions and surprise. He praised the students and wished them good luck and every success. He was happy to say that our department does its best to give all opportunities to our students to master the language and be well prepared for independent life in the modern world.
OUR PAPERS IN NEWPORT
The participants of the annual conference “British, American and Georgian Cultural studies”, held on the initiative of the Kutaisi-Newport International Association and KSU English Studies Department, take a particular interest in the final stage of their immensely fruitful work. The best presenters send their papers to Newport and look forward to the decision of foreign experts about the paper which could be published in the journal “ARIEL”.
In May, 2004 the conference traditionally confirmed the aspiration of the youth for the profound cultural awareness of their homeland and English-speaking countries Kutaisi school, college and university students talked about various significant aspects of life, thus reviving an absorbing world of the past, present and future before the large audience. The papers dealt with the unique discoveries of archeology, the ancient American civilization, Renaissance in Britain, the independence of Georgia, the coverage of the Rose Revolution in foreign mass media, globalization, ecology, overcoming public stress, leadership, free speech, humour versus distress, etc. The listeners were greatly impressed by the students’ ability of making excellent presentation and joining in a heated debate.
Twelve students were honoured to send their papers to Newport for Essay Competition for Young Writers 2004: Ann Managadze, Natia Sopromadze, Eka Lezhava, Lela Iosava (English Language and Literature), Nino Tavidashvili, Giorgi Gulua (History and English), Salome Loria, Nino Chubinidze, Giorgi Revazashvili (IT and English), Irakli Shamugia, Natia Nanava (St. Nino High Scholl), Shalva Kikalishvili (School #9).
It should be noted that the paper “The Enigma of Cleopatra” delivered by Natia Sopromadze was published in “Ariel” in 2002. The Newportonians presented the winner with an interesting guidebook about Transcaucasus. This great success contributed to Natia’s winning Akaki Tsereteli Scholarship.
Not long ago the contestants received an award and a commendation card signed by the chairman of the Newport-Kutaisi Association Bernard Tyson. The nicely made card provides a story about the miraculous life of St. David, a patron of Wales. The front cover represents the picture of Tredegar House (one of the most famous sights in Newport) - a reproduction of a watercolour specially painted for the young people of Kutaisi by Wilfred Wilson. The Association expresses gratitude to the contestants for their essays whish celebrated the cultural links between Kutaisi and Newport.
May all the students who did express themselves in exciting and original ways enjoy eternal success in the future!