2000

How Cruel Are these sports?

Anybody who has visited Britain in the past year or so cannot have failed to hear about the argument surrounding bloodsports. These are 'sports' which involve hunting and killing wild animals. They are still legal in Britain, but many people want them to be banned, especially bloodsports which involve hunting with packs of dogs, or 'hounds' as hunting dogs are called"

Peace Corps: An American Adventure.

"It was a fantastic experience!" was the general consensus of the eight students who participated in a cultural exchange to California and Nevada in the USA.

For two weeks, from February 24 to March 9, 2000, a group of Polish high-school students lived with American host families, provided by Faith Lutheran High School in Las Vegas, Nevada. They had the opportunity to experience the daily lives and culture of their families, as well as share their own Polish culture.

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.

South Beats North

Venezuela surprises the baseball world at the 2000 Little League Series in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, U.S.A.

Overcoming obstacles, it seems, was nothing new for the Little League Baseball team from Maracaibo, Venezuela, representing the Latin American region at the 2000 Little League World Series in Williamsport, PA. The team's flight to the United States was delayed more than 12 hours, so the team arrived late and tired in Williamsport for the start.

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.

Letters to the Professor

I am learning English at school and I enjoy it very much. But I have one problem, so perhaps you can help me. Do I say: "I live in Zakopane" or "I am living in Zakopane"? Having two present tenses in English is difficult for me. - Stephan P., Zakopane

Dear Stephan,
Yes, I understand your problem. But the problem is not with English, it is with the English teachers and the grammar books.

A Thugs' Game

Rugby: a game for thugs played by gentlemen; football: a game for gentlemen played by thugs - or so the old saying goes. But whom would you least like to bump into on a dark night, a rugby player or a footballer?

Letters to the Professor

When listening to native speakers they do not seem to say 'one hundred' or 'one kilometre' properly. The 'one' sounds more like an 'er' sound. Can you please explain to me why this is and if I should try to do it too? Małgorzata J., Warszawa.

Dear Malgorzata,

Ancient Traditions, New Worlds

Australia's Aborigines are becoming a strong force in the country's diverse society and culture.

For people right around the world, Australia is synonymous with Aboriginal history and culture. And so it might be a little surprising to learn that Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders make up just 2% of Australia's population - or 353,000 people. For a people so few in number to be so well-known and appreciated internationally says a lot about the strength and vibrancy of indigenous Australian culture.

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.

Kung Fu

When most people hear the words Kung Fu, they think of energetic kicking and punching. However, Kung Fu actually means something like" accomplishment" or" successful effort" . In China, a master painter or calligrapher may be said to have" good kung fu" .

Throw Another Shrimp on the Barbie.

Some advice for those planning a trip Down Under: Beware the raw prawn! Before you go, let us guide you through the intricacies of Australian slang.

Letters to the Editors

"I always read your magazine with great interest and curiosity. I think the idea of translating difficult words is really perfect, because reading in English now makes sense. You have an ideal way of connecting pleasure with purpose" Katarzyna Surowiec, Lublin

BackWORDS

There are many uses of the word 'back'. We have selected the most common compound words and phrases used in everyday conversation to help you understand their meanings.

BACKBREAKER - any work or job which causes backaches, such as moving furniture, digging in the garden, etc. " Carrying bricks for the new barbecue was a real backbreaker ." Also," Carrying bricks was real backbreaking work."

BACKLOG - a build-up or accumulation of something, usually work. " When Harry returned to the office after a week's sick leave, he had a huge backlog of work."

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.

Four Men and a Zebra.

On a quiet street in north London there's a zebra crossing that attracts almost as many tourists as Buckingham Palace.

Genome in a Bottle

At last the new millennium seems real. With the completion of the Human Genome Project we are finally entering the new age we all thought began on January 1 2000. For good or ill, we all will soon feel the innovations this leap in biological understanding is bringing.

Living For Dancing.

Carnival isn't over yet. As many of you are no doubt spending a lot of time dancing at parties and discos, we present here a few profiles of young people who really know how to get down and boogie.

Letters to the Professor

I am a student of German at the University of Rzeszów. Recently, I have come across a problem with the usage of the simple future tense.

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.