2003

The Island of Ireland

I grew up in south London. I have a British passport. My mother and father have British passports. But, every 17th of March, St. Patrick's Day, I went to school with a bunch of shamrock, one of the symbols of Ireland, in my lapel. Why?

A-Z of the British Parliament

Some of them wear funny wigs and call each other "Right Honourable". The Speaker hardly ever speaks, and there is someone called Black Rod who is neither black, nor is his name Rod. But all are vital to the day-to-day running of the British Houses of Parliament. The strange behaviour and rituals of the Members of Parliament and officials is based on traditions that go back to medieval times. We present our guide to all you need to know about the British legislative chambers.

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.

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.

Easter Bunnies, Eggs and Other Stuff

Easter is a time of many traditions. First we look at what they get up in the US during the holiday. Then, on the next page, we take a look at some of the strange things they get up to on the other side of the Atlantic.

Guy Fawkes: Terrorist in Tights

"Please to remember, the fifth of November: gunpowder, treason and plot."

That's what children in Britain chant on Guy Fawkes Night, as fireworks spiral into the sky and an effigy of Guy Fawkes burns on a fire. It's been like that since the night, in 1606, when Fawkes was caught preparing to blow up the Houses of Parliament. In celebration, we present a timeline of the activities of Britain's very first terrorist.

Top Ten Love Songs***

What do you think is the greatest love song ever recorded in the English language?
It is a controversial subject of course and everybody has their own favourites.
Below are the choices of the editorial office at WoE . Do you agree with our choices?

Every Breath You Take - The Police Something - The Beatles Friday I'm in Love - The Cure God Only Knows - The Beach Boys No Ordinary Love - Sade Dream a Little Dream - Mamas and Papas Your Song - Elton John Everybody Hurts - R.E.M Wonderful Tonight - Eric Clapton Love Supreme - Robbie Williams

Ding, Ding-a-Dong: The Sound of Eurovision

Riga, Latvia, is the site for this year's annual festival of kitsch. And while Poland continues to send its most popular groups and singers to the contest, as usual, you will not have heard of the British entrant before. This is because no self-respecting British pop star would be seen dead in a contest that is, in that country, seen as a bit of a joke. In spite of that, 8 million Britons and 100 million square-eyed Europeans will tune in to watch the Song Contest this May.

British Comedy

"British humour" is another way of saying in Poland that something is "not funny." But the British are proud of their humour. Its unique mixture of surrealism, satire and just plain silliness is one of things that define the British character. But, as humour - like bad wine - does not travel very well, Colin Graham gives you a guide to the things that make the British laugh.

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.

Are Computer Games Good For You?

The Sony Playstation 2 and Microsoft's X-Box sold like hot cakes worldwide this Christmas as the popularity of computer games continues to grow. According to recent research, three out of four students play computer games for at least two hours a week in the US. But what are the psychological effects of the games on the player? Do violent games make kids more violent? And does sitting around wiggling your joystick have any educational value? Deji Akala ways up the facts.

E-Romance

The Internet is changing the way we meet. In the old days, relationships started when you spotted that gorgeous girl or guy as your eyes met across a crowded room. But now, Internet chat rooms are full of lonely hearts in search of Mr. or Mrs. Right. But is this the best way to meet that special someone?

Letters to the Editors

Letters to the Editor

Thanks to everyone who sent in entries to our SMS Poetry competition.We only have space to print a few of them. We also have had many suggestions to our Top Ten Love Songs of All Time. We receive many entries by e-mail these days, without home addresses accompanying them. So, if you see your name here then please send us your home address details and we will send you a CD as a prize.

4 U, TIGR

IT FEELS SO GUD
IT FEELS JUST GR8
2 WATCH U ENTR
MY G8

Five Irish Fairies

In popular tradition, the Irish have many special powers that normal mortals do not have. One of these is the ability to see fairies. Here is a quick look at some of the more popular characters that you might find at the bottom of an Irishman's garden.

Leprechauns

Rule Britannia?

Rule Britannia? In the 19th century, Britain was one of the most powerful nations on Earth. This was due to the size of its Empire. With territories on every continent, the colonies comprised 25% of the world's area and population. That is why people used to say: "The sun never sets on the British Empire."

Peter Gentle

SARS Panic

SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) has shocked the world. Most cases are in Asia, where the disease is thought to have originated, but it's also a very real presence in Canada. Toronto has had the world's fourth-largest outbreak, and is the only place outside of Asia where people have died. According to the Toronto Star newspaper, 7,000 people are currently in quarantine in the city, and health officials there expect the numbers to grow.

Ghosts of Christmas Past

Many of the things that the British and Americans associate with Christmas - the tree, the greetings cards, giving presents - have their origins in Victorian Britain. Lets go back in time and see what Christmas was like for an average family living in London in the mid-eighteen hundreds.

Them English Don't Know No Grammar

English language students visiting the UK for any length of time will quickly notice that many native speakers don't follow the rules of their own grammar. But as Anna Kapica-Harward, who moved to London a few years ago, argues, failing to follow grammar rules does not mean that you don't know them.

What would you think if, after years of studying English, you arrived in Britain and heard lots of native speakers say, "I didn't have no idea you was in the pub yesterday"?

Best Wishes for 2004 from Our Publisher

The old year is drawing to a close, and a new one is looming on the horizon. That is the time when we all tend to look back at the preceding 12 months and start thinking about what may lie ahead in 2004. Some of you have been with us for quite some time, others have begun reading The World of English© only just recently, but wondering about the future is something everyone has in common.

Contemporary Country

Most people associate country music with Dolly Parton and cowboy boots. But a new generation of country stars, such as Shania Twain and the Dixie Chicks, have given this form of music a new, fashionable image, and put it back at the top of the charts.