2000

Gowns, Golf, and Strange Goings-On

In the Scottish county of Fife an old university town of saints and scholars mixes history and tradition with sport and tourism.

Many people know that Oxford and Cambridge Universities (which people sometimes call "Oxbridge") are the two oldest in Britain, but the third oldest can be found far, far away up north in the small town of St Andrews situated on the wild east coast of Scotland. Records show that the first degrees were awarded in 1415.

Bridges of the British Isles.

We would all recognize London' s famous Tower Bridge, some may have heard about Iron Bridge, but in general bridges are not obvious tourist attractions. They were built to serve a simple purpose - to join the opposite banks of a river. But despite their apparent simplicity, they can be highly complex, stunningly beautiful, wonderfully inspiring and definitely worth seeing.

Life on Mars?

The year 2001 is just around the corner, but how close will life be then to how it was portrayed by Stanley Kubrick and Arthur C. Clarke in the epic film of the same name? The film showed a massive orbiting space station, communities on the moon, computers that can think and evidence of extraterrestrial life. It doesn't seem likely that we will reach such levels of technology in a matter of months, but can we ever expect people to live on other planets or encounter life elsewhere in the universe?

Footbal Means Violence

Why does football breed hooliganism? Looking at the nature of the phenomenon we ask whether it can ever be eradicated.

Bonnie Prince Billy

Next year Scotland will be welcoming Prince William, a brave new royal, to study at St Andrews University, and history will be made.

Icelandic, Eccentric, Eclectic

All sorts of things have been said about her, but one thing everybody agrees upon is that she is unique. She's got an unusual voice, she is strangely beautiful and totally unpredictable. She is special, she is awesome - and her name is Björk.

Brand New Sting

With his latest album, Brand New Day, released last year, Sting returned with another set of distinctively melancholic yet danceable songs. An icon of popular music for the last two decades, he has managed to convey his music to people of all generations and nationalities, an achievement most artists can only dream of.

Congratulations Maturzyści!

The entire staff at The World of English would like to congratulate all those who passed their recent Matura exams. We hope our magazine was helpful, in some small way, to your success in passing the written and/or oral English examinations. We wish you all the very best and look forward to being a part of your continued educational pursuits... And now that Matura is history it' s time to think about your future educational goals.

Wind up, Turn on, Tune in.

With his amazing clockwork radio, British inventor Trevor Bayliss has built a machine that could save the lives of millions of Africans.

Taking the FCE

Paper 1: Use of English

This paper consists of five parts, each very different, but all with the aim of testing your knowledge of English grammar, vocabulary and word formation.

Part 1

This is a multiple choice gap-fill exercise which involves knowing not only the meaning of words but also collocations and grammatical patterns. The extract below is the first paragraph of a typical part 1 text.

The London Tea Trade

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.