The World of English

English as the Universal Second Language


Nad lutym i marcem czuwają święci- Walenty(14 lutego), Patryk (17 marca),a także święta Brygida(1 marca), dziewczyna z Irlandii, co czarem swym umiała rzucić urok na najgorszego... Nie zimowego zapachu grochu z kapustą, lecz wiosny tylko patrzeć! Ptaszki jeszcze cicho kwilą, ale zakochani już się ku sobie mają, więc kroi się przekładaniec przebogaty jak ta wiosna. Kwitnący. Wiosną wszak, jak to wiosną, czasem i plucha, więc troszkę też się ubłocimy. Odrobinkę. Zacznijmy jednak od rzeczy przyjemnych.

English Slang

Much of the modern slang commonly used today in both British and American English has its origins in colloquial African-American language from the first half of this century. This type of speech became 'hip' or 'cool' in the 50s and 60s through the lifestyle and writings of America' s Beat Generation, the growth of rock ' n roll (itself an African-American term originally referring to sex) and the hippie movement. Nowadays many of these words are so widely used that they can hardly be still considered slang - many are even listed in dictionaries.

You Are Now Entering the Phone Zone

An incredible 24 million mobile phone text-messages are sent and received every day in Britain. The young, especially, love this way of communicating, but many academics and teachers are increasingly worried about the quality of English they use when sending an SMS.

What a Wonderful World

World Santa Claus congress meets in Copenhagen

One hundred and twenty Santa Clauses from around the world met this autumn in the Danish capital for their 40th annual convention. The agenda for the three-day event included key issues such as when Christmas should be held this year. After much debate the red-nosed and jolly Santas decided, unanimously, that December 24 should be designated as Christmas Eve. Observant readers might notice that this is the same day as last year, and the one before, and the one before that. But never mind.


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 would like to ask you a question on how to use a noun in the role of an adjective in front of another noun. The point at issue here is the number of the first noun. Let me give you an idea what I have on my mind. I have many a time come across the phrase "profit percentage" on one hand, and "profits percentage" on the other. Is there any significant difference between these two expressions? If so, what is it?

A Town Built of Iron

Thirty kilometres north of Cardiff in Wales lies the town of Merthyr Tydfil. Though Wales has many much more attractive places to visit, its Welsh name is known to most British people. Merthyr is a place steeped in the history of the Industrial Revolution, a town that earned Britain its nineteenthcentury nickname of" the Workshop of the World".

Starting a revolution: a model of Trevithick's locomotive

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

America at Last

After a year of fundraising, Dominika Bosak, Anna Curyło, Kinga Drozd, Marta Huszcza, Agnieszka Lew, Natalia Piórkowska, and Daniel Zawadzki journeyed from Kłodzko to Burnsville, Minnesota. This article is about the different activities they did and their thoughts about America.

Host families

Stranger than fiction

British novelist and politician Jeffrey Archer became a Member of Parliament at the age of 29. Bankruptcy forced him to resign, so he sat down and wrote a novel that made him a millionaire. But in July he was sentenced to four years in jail for perjury. This is the story of his rise and fall.