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VOTE for my students’ stories 1 March 2015

Posted by Ryszard Oślizło in Announcement, Contests, Creative writing, Day by Day, Essays, Events, Literature, Student Drawer, writer, Writers.
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written for the annual all-Poland literary competition “Day by Day”

Click: http://glossa.pl/daybyday

You may vote for all 4 stories written by:

  • Aleksandra Lasia
  • Justyna Kulesza
  • Oliwia Penkala
  • Dorota Palka

Click: “Zagłosuj na ten pamiętnik” under each entry.




Dear Diary – a new Think English ebook 2 June 2013

Posted by Ryszard Oślizło in Creative writing, Essays, Literature, novel, Polls, Student Drawer, writer, Writers.
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This collection includes 4 diary entries written by 1a LO, 1b LO and 1c LO students at Wojciech Korfanty High School in Jastrzębie-Zdrój, Poland, for the all-Poland writing contest “Day by Day” organized by Glossa – School of Foreign Languages, based in Cracow.

Each of these entries is totally different in style and content, which makes them unique and worth reading. “A Soldier’s Daughter” by Oliwia Penkala is a story full of intense emotion and feeling that will undoubtedly move and thrill the reader. “Heading for California” by Justyna Kulesza is rich in vocabulary that adds a spark of humour to this teenage romantic journey across the ocean. “An Explorer from Space” by Aleksandra Lasia is a story of yet another journey – different both in distance travelled and purpose – and the narrator has a truly unearthly flair for spotting the strangest human behaviours and habits. “Into the Dreamland” by Małgorzata Skorupa rivets the reader’s attention and interest from the very first paragraph, taking you into a land of dreams, fairies and magic where adventure awaits.

I hope you will enjoy reading these stories as much as the authors enjoyed writing them.

You can also download this e-book
to your Android mobile phone.
Scan the code:

After you have read the collection,
please, vote for the best short story.
You can choose two of them.
Vote everyday until June 16th, 2013.

A Few Words About Adele… 1 December 2011

Posted by Ryszard Oślizło in Essays, Great Britain, Singers, Student Drawer, Student Programme, UK.
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A Few Words About Adele…

Today, I would like to write about Adele – a great musician with an incredible voice. Her full name is: Adele Laurie Blue Adkins but everyone knows her as Adele.

She was born on 5 May 1988. She was the first recipient of the Brit Awards Critics’ Choice and she was named the number-one act of 2008 in an annual BBC poll of music critics, Sound of 2008.

I didn’t like her from the start, until I heard the songs: “Rolling in the deep”, “Someone like you” and “Set fire to the rain”. While I was watching on Youtube her live show on the stage, when Adele was singing “Someone like you” – I totally fell in love with her, cause I thought: “Oh my god, her voice is so incredible”.

Really, she’s a real artist and a great person. I remember when a woman (don’t remember her name) said that Adele was fat. I really liked the way she answered. She said: “I don’t make music for eyes. I make music for ears”. That was a smart and not offensive answer.

She gave her heart and soul to her songs, and I think that this is the most important thing that makes her so special.


Your Turn!

1. Write a comment on Adele’s songs: what do you feel or think when you listen to them? Paste it HERE.

2. Write a few words about YOUR favourite artist: who he/she is, what he/she does, why he/she is special for you?Paste it HERE.

3. Translate into Polish the first part of the “Someone Like You” song by Adele.Then, paste your translation as a comment HERE, for everyone to read.

Someone Like You

I heard that you’re settled down.
That you found a girl and you’re married now.
I heard that your dreams came true.
Guess she gave you things I didn’t give to you.

Old friend, why are you so shy?
It ain’t like you to hold back or hide from the lie.

I hate to turn up out of the blue uninvited,
But I couldn’t stay away, I couldn’t fight it.
I had hoped you’d see my face and that you’d be reminded,
That for me, it isn’t over.

Nevermind, I’ll find someone like you.
I wish nothing but the best for you two.
Don’t forget me, I beg, I remember you said:
“Sometimes it lasts in love but sometimes it hurts instead”
Sometimes it lasts in love but sometimes it hurts instead, yeah.

A FanFiction eBook as a Tribute to Agatha Christie 30 April 2011

Posted by Ryszard Oślizło in agatha christie, crime, crime writing, detective, detective fiction, Essays, killer, Literature, novel, Polls, Student Drawer, thriller, writer, Writers.
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As a tribute to the Queen of Crime, Agatha Christie, the 2a LO and 2d LO students at Wojciech Korfanty High School in Jastrzębie-Zdrój, Poland, wrote a fan fiction short story collection “The New Investigations of Hercule Poirot”.

The task of writing a detective story was a classwork assignment and it took three consecutive English classes to plot, complete and revise the stories. The students were given the opening paragraph and the closing sentence of the story which they could use, change or replace to their liking. The parts suggested were the following:

Hercule Poirot frowned/brightened up. He had never investigated such a(n) interesting/surprising/shocking/dramatic/funny/easy/difficult case before. At the moment he was…(where? with whom? doing what?)… and remembering the whole story.

It all began when…

‘As always,’ he thought boastfully, ‘Hercule Poirot proved to be the greatest detective in the world!’

Moreover, the students were asked to focus on some specific grammar structures, including direct and reported speech and modal verbs of deduction. As for the target vocabulary, they were supposed to employ body verbs such as “frown”, “giggle” or “gasp” as well as adjectives describing places, e.g. “shabby”, “luxurious” or “cramped”.

The great enthusiasm and commitment which all the students brought to this project will certainly make up for some possible shortcomings that may be found within these covers.

Hopefully, you will enjoy reading the stories as much as the authors enjoyed writing them!

After you have read the collection,
please, vote for the best short story.
You can choose more than one.

A Recipe for a Great Lover 25 May 2010

Posted by Ryszard Oślizło in Essays, Student Programme.
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Have you ever been in love? A great lover Those who have probably remember their utmost wish and the dilemma of that time: how to become an ideal lover? Is there a secret recipe to follow? And where should you seek heart advice? Exploring the subject, you may consult literature and find two mutually exclusive images of a great lover: Don Juan and Romeo. Though you may be eager to choose and follow one of these outdated examples, beware of the consequences, because none of them should be followed separately! A modern great lover must be a clever mixture of both, seasoned generously with your own personality.

Imitating someone else’s behavior may seem exciting, but can work for some time only. Sooner or later every poseur becomes irritated and tired of his pose. Therefore, the only way to achieve a lasting success in love is being always natural. A pinch of romanticism and an ounce of craziness will then just add colour to the relationship.

There are men who call themselves romantic while they play the roles of knights-errant. They love longing for the queens of their hearts, which means they passively pursue blind adornment and languish comfortably doing nothing. Women hate such bores, so you’d better be more active in expressing your feelings. There is an extensive assortment of helpful means that women always appreciate, such as, invitations to special dinners for two by candlelight; going out to the theatre, cinema or concert; giving flowers and paying compliments. All simple and effective.

However, exaggerated simplicity can be as dangerous in love as boredom is. Women prefer balance: a bit of crazy fun from time to time will surely be welcome. The three following ex’s – exquisite parties, exotic journeys and expensive presents – can work wonders if used as exciting interludes among everyday forms of spending time together. Of course, throwing money down the drain won’t do but there’s no question of making a great lover out of a penny pincher.

The final conclusion may seem surprising and a bit strange: a great deal of common sense is required to combine all the other, more obvious characteristics into one perfect image of a great lover. A lot of people may be shocked at the above statement. Nevertheless, the idea, when put into practice properly, always works. And this is not cold calculation, this is real love. Try and see.

Your Turn!

1) How many fictional great lovers do you know of? Find and paste here the names of great lovers known from films, books, songs, etc. Choose your favourite one and write why you like him/her best.

2) Write a short characteristic of one (or more) of the following: a great friend, a great sibling, a great parent, a great student, a great teacher, a great boss. Use as many adjectives as you can!

3) Contrast Romeo with Don Juan: who was a better lover and why?

Dear Editor… 9 May 2010

Posted by Ryszard Oślizło in Essays, Film, Student Drawer, Student Programme.
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1 comment so far

Do you remember the essay Dear Editor about teen alternate worlds? You might want to go back and reread it before you read the following letters commenting on some points mentioned in it. The letters have been written by high school first form students practising their letter writing skills.


Dear Sir,

I am writing in response to your article about Teen Alternate Worlds which was published on your website. I agree with all things you mentioned.

First of all, you say that one of the reasons why teenagers like fantastic stories with supernatural heroes is the feeling of being different. I totally agree. A lot of teenagers try to find themselves in the novels and the films.

Next, you say that themes like vampires, werewolves are popular because of the necessity to live with a secret. In my opinion, this is a very good point. We all have some secrets we do not want to share with others.

Finally, you say that there is the need of excitement that we will fulfill while reading or watching the sci-fi stories. I agree, there is nothing better than a good sci-fi novel.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Yours faithfully,
Martyna K

Dear Mr. Oślizło,

I am writing about your article “Teen Alternate Worlds” which I have recently read. In my opinion this article is very interesting but I am afraid I cannot agree with all your arguments.

To begin with, I totally disagree with the first argument “the familiar feeling of being different “, because I think teenagers are trying to be popular , and they would like to be like others.

Secondly , the article suggests that young people would like to be mysterious . I agree with this because I think teenagers would not converse about their problems.

Finally , you are writing in this article about “the need of excitement … while reading or watching the sci-fi stories “, and I think you are absolutely right, sci-fi stories are kicky.

I hope that in the future you will write more articles like this because it really can help understand teenagers.

Yours sincerely,
Natalia K

Dear Editor,

I am writing in connection with your article: „Teen Alternate Worlds”, which was published on the “Think English” page. Unfortunately, I must say, that I disagree with your opinion about science fiction.

Firstly, you wrote, that there are some superpowers and we believe we could be some other fantastic people but I think, that everyone has their own personalities and we cannot change it.

Secondly, I disagree with what you wrote about the necessity to live with a secret about who we are. I think that we should get to know ourselves, but not in this way.

Next, if you ask me, everyone needs some excitement, but we can find it not only in science fiction stories, for example – on the rollercoaster!

Finally, some days ago I was in the cinema and I saw a science fiction film and it was the worst film that I have ever seen. So, in my opinion the fantastic is not good for us.

Yours faithfully,

Dear Editor,

I am writing in connection with Ryszard Oślizło article “Teen Alternate Worlds” which appeared in your newspaper last Monday. I must say I agree with many things that were mentioned by the author.

First of all, Mr Oślizło believes that one of the obvious reasons that teenagers have ‘their own world’ may be the familiar feeling of being different. I must say I agree. A lot of teen humans feel alone and not understood because at present the most important in the world is money so their parents work hard and they have less time to talk to each other. They feel alone and different because they have not got anyone at home to talk about their problems so they are looking for ‘the better world’ where they will be understood.

Next, he says about the necessity to live with a secret. In my opinion that’s a very good point. Teen humans think they are strange and different from other teenagers so they pretend to be someone else. Watching or reading sci-fi stories brings relief because somewhere there can be someone who feels the same.

Finally, Mr Oślizło suggests that teenagers need excitement. I totally agree. A lot of teen humans want to discover and experience something unknown. It is very fascinating when you know that somewhere there can live an unknown species or person.

I wonder what other readers think about this issue.

Yours faithfully,
ola p

Your Turn!

1) Write if you agree with the opinions presented in the letters. Don’t forget to explain why or why not!

2) State your own opinion about the article – write a letter and paste it as a comment or send it to thinkenglish@op.pl

Alice in Wonderland 6 March 2010

Posted by Ryszard Oślizło in Essays, Film.
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The TitleAlice in Wonderland poster
Alice in Wonderland is a novel written in 1865 by English author Lewis Carroll (his real name was Charles Lutwidge Dodgson). The original title of the book was Alice’s Adventures Underground, but it was later renamed to Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and finally shortened to the version of the title under which it is published today.

The story
The novel tells the story of seven-year-old Alice who falls asleep in a meadow and through a rabbit hole she enters a fantasy world. Walking around the Wonderland, she meets plenty of strange creatures, such as the White Rabbit, the Queen of Hearts or the Mad Hatter. She has lots of adventures and tries to reason in numerous discussions which clearly lack the logic of the waking world.

The influence
The storyline, the characters, the structure and the language of Alice in Wonderland influenced plenty of creative works by other authors, especially in the fantasy genre. Some terms used by Lewis Carroll in the book have entered the language and popular culture all over the world. Nowadays, everyone knows what kind of place “Wonderland” refers to and that going on an adventure into the unknown can be described as going “down the rabbit hole” – which is the Chapter 1 title of Alice in Wonderland. The most famous quote from the book seems to be the Queen of Hearts’ words “Off with her head!”

The sequel
In 1871 Lewis Carroll wrote Through the Looking Glass, the sequel to Alice in Wonderland, and it is even more often quoted than the first book. When Alice’s adventures were published, they were considered children’s literature, but as Virginia Woolf said, “the two Alices are not books for children; they are the only books in which we become children”.

The film
The story of Alice has been made into a film several times and the latest adaptation by Tim Burton has just been released (March 5, 2010). As the director says, the film is his own personal journey into the Wonderland so no matter if you have read the books or not, you may expect the unexpected (after all, Tim Burton’s Alice is…19 years old). Go down the rabbit hole and explore the 3D Wonderland hand in hand with Alice.


Your Turn!

Here you can read or download
Alice in Wonderland
Through the Looking Glass

Here you can read more
about Lewis Carroll

THINK ENGLISH recommends
Alice’s interactive adventures

Choose 2 or more characters that Alice meets in Wonderland and describe their looks, personality and/or actions:

  • The White Rabbit
  • The Caterpillar
  • The Duchess
  • The Cheshire Cat
  • The Mad Hatter
  • The March Hare
  • The Queen of Hearts
  • The Red Queen
  • The White Queen

Search the Internet and find some books, films, musicals, paintings, etc. influenced by the story of Alice in Wonderland. Post the titles as a comment and write which element of the story was used there.

Check which Wonderland character you are.
Do the quiz and paste the outcome (html code) as your comment!

Post your comment HERE

If Colours Could Speak… 13 December 2009

Posted by Ryszard Oślizło in Essays, Symbols.
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Colours surround you: you see them, wear them and even eat and drink them. Most probably, you like some of them better than others. Have you ever thought about the possible reasons why you love wearing your green sweater or black jeans but hate the very idea of putting on that dreadful pink blouse or grey T-shirt? Well, perhaps it’s because of the messages that different colours convey – in other words, you may or may not like what particular colours say to you or… about you. Your most loved and most hated colours may be a key to understanding your personality, so why don’t you learn the language of colours and check what they say about you?

Think about different colours now and choose those you like best and perhaps one that you simply can’t stand. If you find it difficult to decide, look around your room and see what colours your walls, furniture and gadgets are. Then open your wardrobe and see what colours your clothes are and finally, check your fridge to see if you prefer any colour in your food. Aren’t these reliable indicators of which colours you like and which you don’t? Or else, you might want to use the simple quiz which you can find here or when clicking on the link underneath this post.

After you have chosen your best and worst colours – check what they mean. The ones you like will tell you what kind of person you are or would like to become. While you might expect that the colours you don’t like mean that you lack the qualities they symbolize, it is not necessarily the case. Instead, they will tell you about the qualities that you don’t want to see in yourself whether they’re positive or negative. I recommend to think twice before you reject such possibility – sometimes you need to look deeper to see what lies beneath and remember that none of us know ourselves ultimately. Why not reveal at least one or two secrets about ourselves, then?

Below you will find a few names of colours enlisted, so if you have already chosen yours, check the website I recommend (care2.com), where you will find these colours explained in detail. And after that you may share your results with us all, so post a comment here! You might say (1) what colours are your most loved and most hated ones, (2) what they told you about yourself and (3) if you agree with what you learnt or not. After all, not only colours can speak, but so can you!

Your Turn!

Use the quiz to help you decide:
What Colour Are You?

colour circle

CLICK and PASTE the html code here

Now that you have chosen your best and worst colours, click on the colourful link below and check what the colours say about you:

White, Red, Maroon, Pink, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Blue-Green, Turquoise, Lavender, Purple, Brown, Grey, Black

Do you agree with what the colours say about you?
Have your say – CLICK HERE

Teen Alternate Worlds 3 December 2009

Posted by Ryszard Oślizło in Essays, Film.
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Lots of good and not-so-good books, films and TV series have been written or produced where perfectly normal and usually average teen humans get into contact with something (or should I say someone) supernatural. Twilight These stories set in alternate worlds – where “the normal” and “the adult” seem more alien than E.T. – have always been very popular with teenagers all over the world. And why is that?

One of the obvious reasons may be the familiar feeling of being different and not understood, which is common in such stories: no matter if you are a vampire, an alien, a superhero or a human teenager, you will feel equally strange in the ordinary world of so called normal and adult humans. And there are the tempting superpowers that you could use…

The theme’s success might also result from the necessity to live with a secret about who you really are or feel you are. It brings relief if you know that there are others with their secrets – however strange – because you know that you’re no longer alone.

And, of course, there is always the need of excitement that you will fulfill while reading or watching the sci-fi stories. After all, isn’t it thrilling to explore the unknown, whether it is the unknown world, the unknown species or the unknown person?

Regardless of the reasons why the theme of teen alternate worlds is so popular, these stories are usually good fun and a way to forget about the everyday reality, so don’t think twice, just plunge into the alternate world of feeling different, secrets, excitement and… the English language, if only you read or watch the original versions!

Your Turn!

for your favourite teen sci-fi book/film/TV series.

Keep in mind that the following poll is about teen alternate worlds, so sorry guys, no Star Trek, Heroes or True Blood this time…

You can choose among:
(if unsure, check the trailers below!)

1. Roswell (aliens)
2. Kyle XY (superpowers)
3. The Twilight Saga (vampires)
4. Smallville (superhero)
5. Hex (witches, angels, demons)
6. The Vampire Diaries (vampires)

…or add a different one

for your favourite teen sci-fi book/film/TV series.

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