For Your Reference.

How would you learn English without a dictionary? These books that we now take for granted would never have existed if it were not for the immensely hard work of a few exceptionally talented men.

"Dictionaries", said Samuel Johnson, "are like watches; the worst is better than none, and the best cannot be expected to go quite true." He should know, having been single-handedly responsible for the creation of the most famous and most influential of historical English dictionaries, A Dictionary of the English Language, published in 1755.

Beating the Cheats

Hilary - an English teacher from London who has taught the subject in many countries, writes about the British attitude towards cheating and cheats.

To a Certain Degree

America draws thousands of foreign students every year. If youre interested, remember the famous American can-do attitude and our saying, Where theres a will, theres a way!

Language Companion

Taskmasters gives you the language exercises: Letters to the Professor sorts out your grammatical problems, while Hilary Davies answers your etiological questions in our new feature, Theories and Queries. Barry Keane, our resident bard, gives you top tips in The Art of Poetry Translation. In Letters to the Editor we publish the results of our SMS Poetry Competition. The English Language Olympiad reaches the first part of the second stage, and we present sections of the UJ Tests.

Travel, Music and Love: We speak with Kayah

Since the huge success of her recent album with Goran Bregović - the biggest-selling record in the history of the Polish music industry - Kayah has become an even bigger name throughout Poland and her fame has begun to spread to other parts of the world. In an interviewconducted entirely in English she talked to The World of English about how she learnt the language and how important it is for her to be able to speak it.

WoE: How did you learn English?

Sitcom Philosophy

One of television's lasting legacies is that work of art known as the sitcom. Art? Plain folks may laugh during the funny bits, but smart people like critics are quick to condemn sitcoms as "junk food for the brain."

Close study of sitcoms reveals, however, that they are shaped by a clear set of rules with an aesthetic purpose. In other words, a sitcom can be just as much a work of art as a Shakespeare tragedy or a Moliere comedy.

Power to the Pupils

The results of the 2003 PupilPower Competition, sponsored by The British Council and The World of English, among others, were announced to an excited audience at the Roma Theatre, Warsaw, on June 17. The winners were from the V Liceum Augusta Witkowskiego, Kraków, who received their award from Queen Elizabeth's cousin, His Royal Highness, the Duke of Kent.

The Duke of Kent, British Council Director, Susan Maingay, and the delighted winners from Kraków

Working Capital

London offers the best of what can be expected of any European capital: excellent galleries and museums, fantastic bars and clubs - and a top quality education. It's difficult to resist the pull of London when making your choice of where to study abroad, so Jan Majdecki opted for it. Here he describes briefly how to get into a British university. But be warned: it doesn't come cheap!

Taking the FCE.

The UCLES First Certificate Examination (FCE) consists of five papers:

1. Reading 1 hour 15mins
2. Writing 1 hour 30mins
3. Use of English 1 hour 15mins
4. Listening 40mins (approx.)
5. Speaking 14mins (approx.)

There is an overall pass mark (somewhere around 60%), which means you can theoretically fail one part if you do well enough in the other parts to make up the difference. Statistically, Polish students do least well on the listening paper, followed by the Use of English. Each paper represents 20% of the total score for the exam.

Travel Intern@tional

Karolyn Andrews, Ph D, currently manages Internet Polska, an Internet services company located in Poland and the States. Before she moved to Warsaw, she taught computer applications and Internet use in Washington, D.C. You can contact her at with comments and suggestions for upcoming articles.