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.

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.

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.

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.

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

Study in Australia

Nowadays, an increasing number of young people are choosing to study abroad. I completed a master's degree at Cracow Jagiellonian University after finishing my BA in Ireland. Now, years later, I have started a master's degree in International Relations in Perth, Australia.

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.

Interview with Australian Ambassador, Mr. Patrick Lawless

With low unemployment, a high standard of living, a warm and friendly people and an even warmer climate, it's no wonder that so many want to live, work and study in Australia. The World of English went along to the Australian Embassy to meet His Excellency, Mr. Patrick Lawless, the nation's representative in Warsaw.

R U An SMS Poet?

Millions and millions of text-messages are sent everyday worldwide. Its use is so common that the SMS form of shorthand English has entered the language's most respected dictionary, parts of the Bible have been rewritten in SMS, and now people are even writing poetry this way. Now it is your turn to see if you can become the Shakespeare of the text-message.

Put Another Language in Your Luggage

And this year was no exception, with over 600 different events taking place in 40 countries celebrating Europe's linguistic diversity and lifelong language learning. In Poland, the Foreign Languages Department of Wroclaw University of Technology staged an IATEFL Conference, which brought together teachers and course book authors to exchange ideas and experience. A joint art exhibition, entitled We in Europe, took place in both Człuchów and Constance, Germany, among many other events happening simultaneously all over the country.