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School English
  • Switching the Channels
  • Promising Children a Future
  • Generation Y. Why?
  • A European Holiday
  • British Common Sense
  • New Chapter: Becky
  • French Exchange
  • Meet the Wrights
  • Weekly Moan
  • The Old and The New - 2
  • Oxford
  • Animal Welfare in the UK
  • Remembrance Day
  • Unwelcome Visitors
  • A Day at the Churnet Valley Railway
  • Political Correctness
  • A Wonderful Trip to New York City
  • Thanksgiving Day
  • Richmond
  • Just do it!
  • Chapayevsk's Urban Legend
  • A Good Samaritan
  • Happy Birthday, Mr. King!
  • British poetry today
  • The Old Badger (2)
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    anglosphere /
    Oxford
    Oxford Oxford is one of the few English cities foreign people have heard of apart from London. Manchester is usually greeted with a vague look and sometimes a comment about football, but the word Oxford is recognised by almost everyone, and immediately linked to its main institution – Oxford University.


    Switching the Channels
    Jayne Torvill and Chris Dean Dear Readers,
    My season’s greetings to you all, lovers of English and thus ‘School English’!
    As for me, my dream came true at last and I spent both Christmas and New Year’s Day at my friend’s house in England. Here, as usual, I enjoy tranquillity and relaxation. I read, watch TV and walk in the garden. Isn’t that happiness?


    Chapayevsk's Urban Legend
    Chapayevsk's Urban Legend Urban legends thrive on people’s deepest fears – that our safe world can crack at any moment and a madman will change our lives forever. That alone is enough to give anyone some second thoughts about our everyday routine.


    An Australian Christmas
    An Australian Christmas For people in the Northern Hemisphere, Christmas is all about cold mornings, large hot lunches, and snow. In Australia, Christmas is celebrated during the summer months with no snow and log fires for us! For Australians it’s about sun, the beach, and often inappropriate large hot lunches, though our Christmas Cards and traditions usually depict those of colder climates. Australians have Christmas Trees, Father Christmas, Christmas Carols and gifts which are a familiar Christmas scenario.


    A Good Samaritan
    A Good Samaritan Not long ago, I told you about the dog, Ricky, that had been awarded a medal for his work in detecting mines during WWII. I had been reminded of that incident by my very good friends in the Netherlands, George and Truus. This time I would like another good friend, Elena, who lives in Lugansk, Ukraine, to tell you (more or less in her own words) a true story about another dog.


    Promising Children a Future
    Dear Reader,
    My column this time is inspired by one of the TV programmes which I saw when I was in England. I was impressed by the personality of Sarah Settleton who, having lost her daughter suffering from cerebral palsy, started up The Promise foundation in Russia in memory of her daughter Ellie. The Promise focuses on training and supporting a team of Portage workers in two orphanages in the Ryazan region of Russia and another team that works with families with disabled children in their own homes in Ryazan city.


    Generation Y. Why?
    Dear Reader,
    The inspiration for my column today was a picture my friend David Wright sent me on April 1. It might be dealing with April Fools’ Day - or might not. He sent it in an email the subject of which was “Generation Y. Why?”


    Animal Welfare in the UK
    Animal Welfare in the UK It has been said that the English are a nation of animal lovers. In support of that idea, attention is drawn to the many laws and organisations which exist here to protect animals. However, one could equally well argue that there would be no need for such laws and organisations if we all cared so much about animal welfare! We often seem to make illogical and arbitrary decisions about which animals we like and which are viewed less favourably.


    Political Correctness
    “All men are created equal.” This 18th-century statement was a reaction to royal rule. The rule of law was supposed to replace the rule of man. “Justice is blind”. Unfortunately, the law was discriminatory. It treated women, slaves, children, non-citizens, etc. differently. However, the strong individualism of the settlers reinforced egalitarianism. Discrimination in the law also diminished.


    A European Holiday
    A European Holiday Dear Reader,
    This time I have no problem choosing the topic for my column. I was lucky enough to spend four days holiday in Western Europe and I think that is worthy of the title: A European Holiday!


    British Common Sense
    Dear Reader,
    I am going to share with you my impressions of a book I read quite recently. I bought it during my stay in England in January this year after seeing a copy at my friend’s. It deals with something quintessentially British, that is ‘common sense’. What is it? Al Murray, the pub owner, TV personality and author of the book ‘The Pub Landlord’s book of British Common Sense’ gives a definition: “It’s the sixth sense, the others being: hearing, seeing, smelling, tasting and touching.” The book is lavishly illustrated with photos and pictures, full of humour (English, of course!) and easy to read. There are funny quizzes dealing with British history and way of life.


    Happy New Year!
    Dear Reader,
    Happy New Year!
    I do hope 2008 will be happy for all people all over the world, as I am at the moment. For I am staying at my friend’s home (Mr David Wright’s bungalow) in England now and thus am trying to be absorbed into the English way of life, at least for a while.


    Remembrance Day
    London in 1941 As a family we were lucky that my father was too young for military service in WWI and too old for WWII. He was in the Home Guard and his rifle (when he eventually got one – most were lost at Dunkirk) stood in the corner of the kitchen. I was under strict orders not to touch it although I doubt whether it was ever loaded! He worked all day in the City and then spent nights sitting on the roofs of tall office buildings ‘fire watching’. Without mobile (or any other) phones, when a fire was seen somebody from the team had to run to tell the Fire Brigade. For some months, there were fires all over the place, so the exercise was rather useless, but the government tried to make everyone feel involved and to share at least some part of the sacrifice.


    A Little Pretty Pocket-Book
    A Little Pretty Pocket-Book Dear Reader,
    Much has been written about the different perception of things on the part of men and women. (You know: “Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus”!) I started pondering about it when I was thinking over the topic of my column. I decided to choose the article “Little Pretty Pocket Book” written by D. Wright. There was a link attached to the article and I followed it. So I read extracts from the book for Little Master Tommy and Pretty Miss Polly. David has chosen the topic connected with sport and games which are introduced in the book, but what drew my attention was the question of upbringing. The Little Pretty Pocket Book is a well of everyday wisdom for girls and boys. It is extremely (in a good sense of the word) didactic which is no wonder considering the date of publication. At that time, literature was fulfilling educational purposes, not only entertaining ones (as we see sometimes see now).


    “Please and Thank You!”
    Dear Reader,
    In November the Americans celebrate the Thanksgiving day and it just reminded me of a Mary Rau Foster’s article. I would like to share it with you.


    New Chapter: Becky
    Becky in school uniform Dear Reader,
    Let me introduce Becky Pitt to you. She is David Wright’s granddaughter. She is a lively girl who likes maths and wants to become an actress. We talked to her and I found her an interesting personality. She reminded me of Becky Thatcher from ‘Adventures of Tom Sawyer’ by Mark Twain. I imagined Twain’s character just like Becky!


    Happy Birthday, Mr. King!
    Happy Birthday, Mr. King! Stephen King was born on September 21, 1947 in Portland (USA). The Kings were the typical family until one night when Stephen’s father, Donald, said he was stepping out for cigarettes and was never heard from again. Ruth, Stephen’s mother, raised King and his adopted older brother David by herself, sometimes under great financial strain. They traveled throughout many states over several years, finally moving back to Durham, Maine, in 1958.


    British Made
    British Made Dear Reader,
    This time I’ll take advantage of the situation (my visit to my friend David Wright) and tell you about what is going on here, in Runcorn in Adderley Close. David usually reads a lot and his interests range from (attention, biology and language students!) ‘The Origin of Species’ by Charles Darwin, and, to continue the topic ‘The Talking Ape: How Language Evolved’ by Robbins Burling, to ‘How to Become a Lover of Latin’ by Harry Mount. He is still a regular reader of ‘Time’ and ‘The Spectator’ magazines. The latter, I must admit, he reads without needing to refer to a dictionary which is not easy for readers who are less well educated. Using his computer to surf the Internet is another of his hobbies and all David’s friends and relatives can confirm that they receive articles, jokes and pictures from him on a daily basis.


    Trip to New Zealand (2)
    Trip to New Zealand (2) My name is Valeria Whitworth. I am a teacher of English in Lyceum №2 in Volgograd. I have been a reader of School English newspaper for a very long time and I especially enjoy reading articles about other countries and cultures. So I would like to share my holiday experience in an English-speaking country. My husband is from New Zealand. My first visit to his native country was for Christmas 2006, New Year 2006-2007. And I must admit that was the best holiday ever.


    Paradise Found
    Dear Reader,
    This time I am going to share my impressions of the place which is always dear to my heart and where I found myself after a long stop-over at Prague airport on the way here. I found myself on an island! No, it was not deserted! After a long sleep (imagine the jet-lag!) I opened my eyes and found myself in a paradise! I heard the birds’ singing. I am not an expert but to my mind it was a thrush. The singing was so sweet! There were the other birds, too. Sitting in a sun-lit room with a French window facing the garden, I noticed a magpie, a dove (do not confuse doves with pigeons) and actual pigeons, of course!


    Trip to New Zealand
    Trip to New Zealand My name is Valeria Whitworth. I am a teacher of English in Lyceum №2 in Volgograd. I have been a reader of School English newspaper for a very long time and I especially enjoy reading articles about other countries and cultures. So I would like to share my holiday experience in an English-speaking country. My husband is from New Zealand. My first visit to his native country was for Christmas 2006, New Year 2006-2007. And I must admit that was the best holiday ever.


    Ten Commandments of How To Get Along With People
    Ann Landers, famous American columnist Dear Reader,
    This time I would like to share with you “Ten Commandments of How To Get Along With People”. They are practical pieces of advice written by Ann Landers. I do hope you will read them attentively and follow them in your everyday life. We all need a piece of advice sometimes, don’t we?


    Unwelcome Visitors
    Stone marten on a stone post I have written before about two of my very best and oldest friends who live in the Netherlands. They are George and his wife, Truus. They live in the south of the country in the province of Limburg. The Duchy of Limburg existed before the formation of the modern Netherlands and overlapped into what is now Belgium and Luxembourg. Netherlands, which literally means ‘Low Lands’ because much of the country, especially in the north, lies below sea level and is protected from flooding by the famous system of sea defences known as dykes.


    Isn’t it Good That
    Dear Reader,
    Again I want to share with you an inspirational message from Mary Rau-Foster who is the editor of an E-magazine on positive thinking. Nadezhda


    French Exchange
    left-right: Rachel (David’s wife), Max, French girls Amelie and Julie, Milly and Eleanor THE Wright household is even more crowded than usual this week. The family is host to two French girls who have come to the UK as part of an exchange visit.



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