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Two New Think English e-books 16 June 2014

Posted by Ryszard Oślizło in Contests, Creative writing, Literature, novel, Student Drawer, Student Programme, writer, Writers.
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Click the covers to read the e-books

You are invited to read two new e-books written by 2 talented students at Wojciech Korfanty 2nd High School in Jastrzębie-Zdrój, Poland. Both stories were written for the all-Poland literary contest “Day by Day” organized by Glossa – School of Foreign Languages, based in Cracow. These e-books are completely different from each other both in style and content.

“When I Was… a Girl” by Oliwia Penkala is a funny story of a boy who one day wakes up to a pink-walled room and, to his horror, discovers he is no longer a boy… This abstract situation becomes a pretext for exploring the differences in boys’ and girls’ minds, behaviours and choices. Hilarious dialogues and reflective observations make the story a funny, light read with a message.

“A Miscellany of Memories” by Justyna Kulesza is a story of Janina Tulip, a sixty-year-old woman who spent her childhood and youth in the communist Poland of the 1970s and having discovered the truth about the political system, she decided to leave the country forever. Thirty years later she finds her old diary at the attic and decides to share her dramatic life experience with her blog readers.

You can read these e-books both from your computer and Android devices, just click the book cover of your choice and enjoy the read!


What Do You Know About Australia? 18 March 2012

Posted by Ryszard Oślizło in Australia, Contests, Student Programme.
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Australia (by Ania Juszczyk, III d LO)
Australia is a large island located in the south-eastern part of the world. The capital of Australia is Canberra and Sydney is the largest city. The Australian animals are very rare and specific only for that area. Welcome to AustraliaThese species, such as kangaroos or koalas, were discovered only in Australia. The native Australian people are called Aborigines.

Aborigines (by Kamil Kordela, I a LO)
Aborigines are indigenous people of Australia. They arrived in Australia about 40 to 60 thousand years ago and probably came from the islands of Southeast Asia. Their main activities were hunting and gathering in coastal areas and fisheries. Aborigines led a nomadic life, roamed vast areas establishing temporary camps near water and as soon as food supplies ran out, they set off on their journey.

Melbourne (by Marek Łącz, I a LO)
Melbourne is the second most populated city in Australia and the capital of the state Victoria. It has got the biggest harbour in Australia, and large part of automotive industry. There are located many sports objects. 9 out of 16 Australian Football League teams are based in Melbourne. It’s the fourth city in the world, which has the biggest number of students from abroad. Over 16 thousand Poles live in Melbourne.

Kangaroos (by Kamil Szulik, I a LO)
Kangaroo is the most famous marsupial living in Australia. It moves jumping on long strong hind legs. During the fast (50 km/h) running the jumps can even be longer than 10 feet and higher than 3 meters. The long tail helps to keep the balance while jumping, and also serves as a support when resting.

Kangaroo hits it on the ground to warn its fellows when they are in danger. His front limbs are short and ended in claws. The animals uses them to pick up food. The most characteristic feature of these animals is the pouch on the abdomen of the female. Tiny baby kangaroo goes into this bag right after it’s born. It is 3 inches long and it stays in this pouch until the eighth month of its life.

When famous Captain James Cook reached the coast of Australia, he met Aborigines and asked them:
“What is this strange jumping animal?”
“Kangaroo,” was the answer.
In the language of the original inhabitants of Australia, the word did not mean, however, the name of the animal, but simply: “I do not understand you.”




Your Turn!

Answer 5 questions to check what you know about Australia:

1. Where is Australia located?
2. What is the capital of Australia?
3. Which species were discovered in Australia?
4. Who are the Aborigines?
5. What is the name of an instrument resembling a giant flute, that is considered one of the oldest musical instruments in the world?

Post your comment HERE

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.

Give Me a Penny and I’ll Change the World 13 October 2011

Posted by Ryszard Oślizło in Student Drawer, Student Programme.
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What do you think you need Change the World to make a difference to the world? A global campaign? A bankful of money? An international charity fund? An army of volunteers? Well, think again. In fact, you don’t need anything that you don’t already have. Plus 2 PLN, perhaps.

Impossible? Not for those who are creative, generous, selfless and positive – just like the IIIa LO, IIId LO and IVb T students who proved that where there is a will there is a way. In no time (a few minutes, to be exact) they found lots of different ways to make the world a better place to live. Read their ideas and feel inspired!

If I had 2 PLN, I would buy a better kind of shopping bag (e.g. recyclable or biodegradable) to save environment because I wouldn’t have to buy another plastic bag for some time. (Ania)

Change the WorldGive me 2 PLN and I’ll change the world. If I had 2 PLN, I would look around and try to find someone who needs it more than I do – and, of course, it must be a person who I could trust. I’d offer them the money if they promised me that if they ever find someone who will need the money more than they do, they will give it to that person. It may be one person or a group of people – it doesn’t matter. What’s important, is that they must tell such a person/group the same I told them. I think that this idea could change the world and make it a better place to live because even though 2 PLN is not much, it may be the first step to change people. If people become more generous and more caring about others, the world will change for the better. (Martyna)

If I had 2 PLN, I would buy a comb and go to the city centre. I would play the comb for money. Then, for the money I would earn, I would buy some cat and dog food and give it to an animal shelter. I would save another 2 PLN to buy two pan lids and go back to the city centre to continue my campaign… (Natalia K)

If I had 2 PLN, I would buy a clown nose and go to a children’s hospital where I’d try and console sad children. (Emilia)

If I had 2 PLN, I would buy 4 bread-rolls and give them to poor people who are hungry. They could share with other hungry people and so there would be less hungry people in the world. (Gosia)

Change the WorldIf I had 2 PLN, I would buy a bottle of water, because in Poland there is a charity campaign in which if you buy a bottle of water, people in Africa will get some drinking water. Someone wouldn’t be thirsty. Give me 2 PLN and I’ll change the world. (ola p)

If I had 2 PLN, I would buy a lottery ticket to win 3 million and be able to help other people. I would organize charity events for the sick and the homeless. I would buy toys for poor children, medicines for the sick and food for the hungry. Everyone would get what they need and be happy. (Młody)

If I had 2 PLN I would buy some strawberry seeds and sow them on my grandmother’s plot. Then I could give the strawberries to poor children every year to make their lives sweeter. They feel alone and unloved, however some tasty fruits could make them happy. (Patrycja)

If I had 2 PLN I would buy my little neighbour some crayons. She is 7 years old and she lives with her mom. They’re poor. She always wears clothes too big for her. I talked to her once and she told me that she was dreaming about the day when she would draw a picture worth a lot of money. She told me that her mom didn’t have enough money to buy her some new crayons. That’s why I want to buy them for her and help her dream come true. (GosiaR)

2 PLN is not much but when used in a good way, it can change something. In my opinion a good idea is to send a text message for charity. It only costs 2 PLN and that money are to help sick children. I hope that a lot of people send messages like this, because it doesn’t cost much and in this way we can help someone in need. (Kasia)

Change the WorldIf I had 2 PLN I would give this money to a homeless person. Maybe it sounds stupid, because 2 PLN is nothing for many people. But for a poor person it’s something special. He or she could buy some food or something to drink. Poverty is a huge problem nowadays. There are a lot of starving people on the streets and we don’t often notice somebody else’s pain. But this problem is getting bigger and bigger. As I said before, 2 PLN is not a lot of cash and it’s impossible to repair the world with this sum of money. However, for this one homeless, poor person it could mean a piece of bread or some hot tea bought in a restaurant. This single deed may not change the whole world but it could definitely change somebody’s day. I think it’s worth it. (Magda)

If I had 2 PLN I would buy… balloons. I would take some paper and pens and then go to the hospital to give the balloons to sick children. Together we would draw pictures of the balloons on pieces of paper. I would like to make those children happy and see smiles on their faces even if it was for one moment only. Sick children need to know that they’re not alone and not to think about their being ill all the time. (Roksana)

If I had 2 PLN, maybe I would buy a pen and some paper. Next, I would write a poem about nature, my feelings, some people or my town and send it to a publishing house. Some day in the future someone might read my poem and it could change his or her view of life. Maybe in 20 years’ time this poem will be read at schools and students will interpret what I wanted to say in the same way as we are now interpreting poems by Mickiewicz or Kochanowski. I hope I could change the world in this way. (Monika)

Your Turn!

1) Think and share with us your own idea how to make a difference to the world with just 2 PLN (or with no money at all if you wish).

2) Choose the best of the above ideas and write, why you think it’s the best.

3) Write a few words about someone you know or heard of who can be called “an everyday hero” (You can find more about everyday heroes – HERE.)

Post your answers as a comment HERE.

The Black Rose Poems 4 February 2011

Posted by Ryszard Oślizło in Literature, Student Drawer, Student Programme, writer.
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Think English proudly presents translations of two poems sent in by one of the site users, Madeline. She is a promising young poet with a unique ability to transform the elusive internal worlds of her thoughts and feelings into the comprehensible language of words. She decided to share her gift with us and agreed to publish three of her latest poems, written as the Black Rose Trilogy. Not only did Madeline write those poems but she translated two of them into English for Think English website users all over the world. Thank you, Madeline!

Black Rose I

From stone to stone
blood drops fall
from the heart of black rose,
dying in the daylight.

In its black petals
sweetly sleeping joy
rests enchanted in the scent
from inside the sleep.

I’m like the black sad rose
and I meditate in silence
and from stone to stone
blood drops fall…

Black Rose II

Look at the black roses,
They’ve got thorns turned inwards,
Hidden beauty.
All of it is shut in one petal.
Inaccessibility cause loneliness.

You can also read the poems in Polish, as they were originally written, by clicking HERE.

Your Turn!

1. Write a comment on the poems and their translations: what do you feel or think when you read them? Paste it HERE.

2. Choose one stanza of the “Black Rose III” poem and translate it into English. Then, paste your translation as a comment HERE, for everyone to read.

Czarna Róża III

W świetle księżyca
rozkwitają czarne róże,
martwe i kruche.

Sto tysięcy pajęczych myśli
utkanych razem
owija się
wokół mnie,
mrowią się.

W powietrzu krew,
a ze wszystkich kątów
wylewają się myśli.

Księżyc ślizga się po niebie,
a gwiazdy zapadają w sen.

Dużo pajęczyn,
na dywanie płatki czarnych róż
i ich kolce.

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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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

Think English More – Student Programmes 31 January 2010

Posted by Ryszard Oślizło in Student Programme.
1 comment so far

Collect points
for your activities at the Think English website
and exchange them for SurPrizes or school marks

THINK ENGLISH announces 2 programmes designed for students who think reading is not enough and want to put their own oar in the site by posting comments, voting in polls, sending e-cards to other Think English users, contributing articles to the site or enhancing and enriching the website as a whole in any other way.

Learn more about the programmes!

Think English Programmes
1. Your Turn Programme
2. Be a Blogger Programme
3. Exchange your points
4. Sign up for the programmes
5. Check your scores

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