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Christmas Around the Globe

The Christmas holiday is among the world' s most widely celebrated festivals. Let' s take a look at some of our planet' s customs during this season of good cheer.

Business Ethics - a Contradiction in Terms?

"Business is business", "Time is money", - but is it right that "Anything goes"?

"Where there's muck there's brass" is an old northern English expression. It simply means that people will make money where there are raw materials - dirty, of course - such as coal. But what about the expression: "Where there's ethics there's brass"? It doesn't have quite the same ring. If such expressions are any guide, Anglo-Saxon societies clearly tend to think of business as a necessary but essentially dirty activity.

What a Wonderful World.

Many students take a "gap year" between finishing school and starting university. Many go and work in another country and get some experience of the world outside the classroom. Prince Harry is no exception. He is spending a few months in Australia and is working on a sheep farm in Queensland as a jackaroo - a farm labourer. On a 39,000-acre farm in somewhere called Tooloobilla, Harry is rolling up his sleeves and helping put the sheep through the sheepdip.

Irish Quotes

Continuing our Irish theme, here is a selection of quotations from a few great men of the Emerald Isle. No doubt you'll be familiar with some of them - perhaps you've even thought the same thing yourself.

I always pass on good advice. It is the only thing I ever do with it. It is never of any use to oneself. - Oscar Wilde

Take care to get what you like or you will be forced to like what you get. - George Bernard Shaw

The intellect of man is forced to choose
Perfection of the life, or of the work. - W.B. Yeats

The Peace Corps: Putting Women in the Picture

This year the Peace Corps' Women In Development committee initiated a photographic competition to show the value of Polish women in society, and help a good cause along the way.

From Wheat Field to League Field

The Little League Baseball European Training Center in Kutno, Poland, is putting the finishing touches to a five-year project that germinated back in 1996 and will live on for years to come.

It seems like only yesterday that I made my first visit to Kutno, Poland. In fact it was in January 1996. During my stay town officials drove me to a large wheat field on the outskirts of town. That day, snow blanketed the field that was to be the future site of the Little League Baseball European Training Center.

Finally, the Beginning

On 19th May 1999 the USA saw the biggest madness since Lindbergh crossed the Atlantic. " The Phantom Menace" had its opening in over three thousand cinemas across the States. Fans had been queuing for over a month in hot sun and cold rain because the tickets were not sold in advance. The introduction of the film was preceded by hype in the mass media and mass hysteria unseen since the times of Rudolf Valentino. Traders of Star Wars toys were already booking holidays in the Seychelles and ordering new Cadillacs.

Get a Diet, Get Fat

In the all-American health kick, it's not sport but food that's at the center of the obsession with healthy living. But have they got it all wrong?

R U An SMS Poet?

Millions and millions of text-messages are sent everyday worldwide. Its use is so common that the SMS form of shorthand English has entered the language's most respected dictionary, parts of the Bible have been rewritten in SMS, and now people are even writing poetry this way. Now it is your turn to see if you can become the Shakespeare of the text-message.

UCLES Exams

This is the first in a series of articles outlining the University of Cambridge Local Examinations Syndicate (UCLES) exams. Here we describe all the different tests offered by the organization, the extent to which they are recognized and how to take them. In future issues, The World of English will give an in-depth look into the structure of each of the exams and provide advice on how to study for them.

Celebrations World-Wide

One thing all nations have in common is celebrations of one kind or another. Some are of religious origin, others are secular. Nearly every country has its national day or independence day, celebrated throughout the land, as well as local observances, restricted to certain regions or even individual villages. Typically such occasions include parades or processions, marching bands or folk musicians, and nearly always there is food, music, games and general merriment.

Call to CALL

Mr. Deji Akala found us through our Internet pages. He told us an interesting story of how he had become a leader of a discussion group for EFL teachers in Central and Eastern Europe. He has suggested four subjects about computers which we thought would be interesting for our readers. Here is the second one.

Teachers and students of EFL who are interested in having fun during the teaching/learning process might consider entering the adventure-filled world of Computer Assisted Language Learning (CALL).

Ireland and the EU

This year Ireland is celebrating 30 years since joining the European Union. Since accession the Irish economy has become one of the most dynamic, not just in Europe, but in the world. What better time then to meet the Irish Ambassador to Poland, Her Excellency, Ms. Thelma M. Doran. In this exclusive interview, she explains that the EU has had many positive benefits for Irish society, and not just in the economic sector.

Polish Students Abroad

Over the past two semesters I taught both American and foreign students, most of the latter from Poland, at St Mary's College in Orchard Lake, Michigan. Apart from a course in American culture and another in Poland's recent post-communist history, most of my teaching load was in ESL (English as a Second Language). Some of my students indicated they had improved their English and felt more confident about functioning in the English-speaking world. But I also learnt quite a bit from them.

Pupil Power

Students from Mielec and Turek were announced as the winners of the annual PupilPower competition at the Roma Theatre, Warsaw on June 1. The prizes were awarded by top British novelist, Terry Pratchett. The event was part of the British Council's Imagine This season, dedicated to the promotion of British Sci-Fi and Fantasy writing.

You Be the Teacher

School is back in session, and a normal part of it is tests which the teacher must check at home. Usually any mistakes you make are underlined with a red pencil, and the teacher adds his or her comments. For the sake of variety, today we are turning the tables and letting you play the role of the teacher.

There are mistakes in each of the following sentences. Your job is to find them, explain why they are wrong and indicate the correct form. The answers can be found in the printed version of "The World of English" magazine.

It's a Two-Horse Race to the White House

The winner takes it all - and there are no prizes for coming in second.

The British Council

The Support for Polish Reform in Teacher Education (SPRITE) project was set up in September 1998 by the British Council. It is aimed primarily at educating and training English language teachers in view of new requirements in the Polish education system resulting from the coming reform of the sector.

Poland's Own Oscar Winner!

This year Andrzej Wajda received an honorary Oscar for his life-long achievements. The distinguished Polish film director was born in Suwałki on 6 March 1926. He studied painting at the Fine Arts Academy in Kraków and cinema at the Higher Film School in Łódź.

Wajda rose to fame with a trilogy - Pokolonie (A Generation, 1954), Kanał (1956) and Popiół i Diament (Ashes and Diamonds, 1958) that vividly reflected the experience of an entire generation in postwar Poland.

The Peace Corps in Poland

They came, did their work and are moving on...

The Peace Corps (PC) came to Poland at the request of the Polish Government in early 1990. That is anundeniable fact, but it is only part of the truth. It wasn' t quite that simple. As one Chicago-based newspaper noted back in 1995:" Over the past few years, Mr Piszek has been concentrating on propagating the learning of English in Poland. Five years ago, he was the main force behind bringing Peace Corps volunteers to Poland."