Mongolski czar "tysiąca i jednej nocy"

 Za siedmioma lasami, za siedmioma górami, tam gdzie słońce świeci jaśniej, a stepowe króliki beztrosko hasają ponad załamujący się horyzont, mieszka nasz przyjaciel – Juvel  Munhlhagva. Uczniom klasy 2a i 2g udało się z nim połączyć przez komunikator internetowy , aby posłuchać przygotowanej specjalnie dla nich prezentacji o Mongolii oraz wziąć udział w krótkiej dyskusji na temat różnic kulturowych. Wirtualna lekcja języka angielskiego na żywo obfitowała
w multum fotografii wykonanych osobiście przez Juvela, który oprócz studiowania pracuje jako certyfikowany przewodnik po kraju. Swoim profesjonalizmem, perfekcyjnym angielskim oraz niezwykłymi, bajecznymi historiami zachwycił uczniów, zachęcając tym samym do poszerzania wiedzy o Mongolii i języku angielskim. Kto z nas po takiej lekcji nie chciałby choć na chwilę przenieść się do krainy bezbrzeżnego stepu oblewanego falami wiatru i zapachem  świeżego mleka…

Mamy nadzieję, że jeszcze tam wrócimy!

Shakespeare's unique language

Shall I compare thee to a summer's day? 
Thou art more lovely and more temperate. 
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer's lease hath all too short a date.
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimmed,
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance or nature's changing course untrimmed:
But thy eternal summer shall not fade
Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow’st,
Nor shall death brag thou wand’rest in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou grow’st.
So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,
So long lives this and this gives life to thee.
(Sonnet 18)

10 Things You Didn’t Know About William Shakespeare

1. Shakespeare’s father held a lot of different jobs, and at one point got paid to drink beer.

The son of a tenant farmer, John Shakespeare was nothing if not upwardly mobile. He arrived in Stratford-upon-Avon in 1551 and began dabbling in various trades, selling leather goods, wool, malt and corn. In 1556 he was appointed the borough’s official “ale taster,” meaning he was responsible for inspecting bread and malt liquors. The next year he took another big step up the social ladder by marrying Mary Arden, the daughter of an aristocratic farmer who happened to be his father’s former boss. John later became a moneylender and held a series of municipal positions, serving for some time as the mayor of Stratford. In the 1570s he fell into debt and ran into legal problems for reasons that remain unclear.

2. Shakespeare married an older woman who was three months pregnant at the time.

In November 1582, 18-year-old William wed Anne Hathaway, a farmer’s daughter eight years his senior. Instead of the customary three times, the couple’s intention to marry was only announced at church once—evidence that the union was hastily arranged because of Anne’s eyebrow-raising condition. Six months after the wedding, the Shakespeares welcomed a daughter, Susanna, and twins Hamnet and Judith followed in February 1585. Little is known about the relationship between William and Anne, besides that they often lived apart and             he only bequeathed her his “second-best bed” in his will.

3. Shakespeare’s parents were probably illiterate, and his children almost certainly were.

Nobody knows for sure, but it’s quite likely that John and Mary Shakespeare never learned           to read or write, as was often the case for people of their standing during the Elizabethan era. Some have argued that John’s civic duties would have required basic literacy, but in any event he always signed his name with a mark. William, on the other hand, attended Stratford’s local grammar school, where he mastered reading, writing and Latin. His wife and their two children who lived to adulthood, Susanna and Judith, are thought to have been illiterate, though Susanna could scrawl her signature.

4. Nobody knows what Shakespeare did between 1585 and 1592.

To the dismay of his biographers, Shakespeare disappears from the historical record between 1585, when his twins’ baptism was recorded, and 1592, when the playwright Robert Greene denounced him in a pamphlet as an “upstart crow.” The insult suggests he’d already made a name for himself on the London stage by then. What did the newly married father and future literary icon do during those seven “lost” years? Historians have speculated that he worked as a schoolteacher, studied law, traveled across continental Europe or joined an acting troupe that was passing through Stratford. According to one 17th-century account, he fled his hometown after poaching deer from a local politician’s estate.

5. Shakespeare’s plays feature the first written instances of hundreds of familiar terms.

William Shakespeare is believed to have influenced the English language more than any other writer in history, coining—or, at the very least, popularizing—terms and phrases that still regularly crop up in everyday conversation. Examples include the words “fashionable” (“Troilus and Cressida”), “sanctimonious” (“Measure for Measure”), “eyeball”                     (“A Midsummer Night’s Dream”) and “lackluster” (“As You Like It”); and the expressions “foregone conclusion” (“Othello”), “in a pickle” (“The Tempest”), “wild goose chase” (“Romeo and Juliet”) and “one fell swoop” (“Macbeth”). He is also credited with inventing the given names Olivia, Miranda, Jessica and Cordelia, which have become common over the years (as well as others, such as Nerissa and Titania, which have not).

6. We probably don’t spell Shakespeare’s name correctly—but, then again, neither did he.

Sources from William Shakespeare’s lifetime spell his last name in more than 80 different ways, ranging from “Shappere” to “Shaxberd.” In the handful of signatures that have survived, the Bard never spelled his own name “William Shakespeare,” using variations or abbreviations such as “Willm Shakp,” “Willm Shakspere” and “William Shakspeare” instead. However it’s spelled, Shakespeare is thought to derive from the Old English words “schakken” (“to brandish”) and “speer” (“spear”), and probably referred to a confrontational or argumentative person.

7. Shakespeare’s epitaph wards off would-be grave robbers with  a curse.

William Shakespeare died on April 23, 1616, at the age of 52—not bad for an era when the average life expectancy ranged between 30 and 40 years. We may never know what killed him, although an acquaintance wrote that the Bard fell ill after a night of heavy drinking with fellow playwright Ben Jonson. Despite his swift demise, Shakespeare supposedly had the wherewithal to pen the epitaph over his tomb, which is located inside a Stratford church. Intended to thwart the numerous grave robbers who plundered England’s cemeteries at the time, the verse reads: “Good friend, for Jesus’ sake forbeare, / To dig the dust enclosed here. Blessed be the man that spares these stones, / And cursed be he that moves my bones.” It must have done the trick, since Shakespeare’s remains have yet to be disturbed.

8. Shakespeare wore a gold hoop earring—or so we think.

Our notion of William Shakespeare’s appearance comes from several 17th-century portraits that may or may not have been painted while the Bard himself sat behind the canvas. In one of the most famous depictions, known as the Chandos portrait after its onetime owner, the subject has a full beard, a receding hairline, loosened shirt-ties and a shiny gold hoop dangling from his left ear. Even back in Shakespeare’s time, earrings on men were trendy hallmarks of a bohemian lifestyle, as evidenced by images of other Elizabethan artists. The fashion may have been inspired by sailors, who sported a single gold earring to cover funeral costs in case they died at sea.

9. North America’s 200 million starlings have Shakespeare to thank for their existence.

William Shakespeare’s works contain more than 600 references to various types of birds, from swans and doves to sparrows and turkeys. The starling—a lustrous songbird with a gift for mimicry, native to Europe and western Asia—makes just one appearance, in “Henry IV, Part 1.” In 1890 an American “bardolator” named Eugene Schiffelin decided to import every kind of bird mentioned in Shakespeare’s oeuvre but absent from the United States. As part of this project, he released two flocks of 60 starlings in New York’s Central Park. One hundred twenty years later, the highly adaptable species has taken over the skies, becoming invasive and driving some native birds to the brink of extinction.

10. Some people think Shakespeare was a fraud.

How did a provincial commoner who had never gone to college or ventured outside Stratford become one of the most prolific, worldly and eloquent writers in history? Even early in his career, Shakespeare was spinning tales that displayed in-depth knowledge of international affairs, European capitals and history, as well as familiarity with the royal court and high society. For this reason, some theorists have suggested that one or several authors wishing to conceal their true identity used the person of William Shakespeare as a front. Proposed candidates include Edward De Vere, Francis Bacon, Christopher Marlowe and Mary Sidney Herbert. Most scholars and literary historians remain skeptical about this hypothesis, although many suspect Shakespeare sometimes collaborated with other playwrights.


Tips for Making Sense of Shakespeare's English

Probably the number one complaint about reading Shakespeare is that it doesn't always read like "normal" English. It's a natural and legitimate accusation. Shakespeare wrote for an audience over 400 years ago. Think about how word meanings and expressions change over a relatively short time; four centuries bring with them a lot of alterations. For instance, the history of literary English is the history of invasions, with Celtic supplanted by Anglo-Saxon, which was usurped by Norman French (and accentuated with Latin). All of these influences combined to create first Old English, then Middle English, and finally Early Modern English—the language of Shakespeare. And if you compare Shakespeare's works to the Middle English of Chaucer, you can appreciate just how much closer Shakespeare's English is to our contemporary usage.

The Elizabethan era was a particularly volatile growth spurt in the English language. The Renaissance and England's emerging status as a sea power exposed the language to an ever-increasing range of cultures and languages. At the same time, there was no real standardization in English. Formal dictionaries and grammar textbooks simply did not exist, and "proper" education focused much more on classical Latin than on colloquial English. Despite this neglect—or perhaps because of it—English by the reign of Elizabeth had acertain flexibility to it, of which Shakespeare took full advantage.

So how can a reader today bridge that gap between then and now? There are four critical areas to address: word usage, grammar, wordplay, and versification. Once you understand these fundamental concepts, Shakespeare becomes a lot more accessible.

Word Usage

First and foremost, there have been numerous vocabulary changes in English since Shakespeare was writing. While many words are still recognizable today, others have shifted in their meaning or dropped altogether from usage. For example, when was the last time you heard anyone use words such as bodkin (a piercing tool), contumely (verbal abuse), or fardel (a bundle)? There are also conventions such as the informal thou versus the formal you; think of this the same way that and usted are used in Spanish, or du and sie in German. Often the context in which a word is used will help you determine its meaning. A Shakespeare edition with good footnotes will help you, as well as a good dictionary. The main thing is to be aware that even a familiar word from today may be used with a different meaning in Shakespeare's works.



This is where the flexibility of Shakespeare's English is often most apparent. Parts of speech are frequently switched, such as nouns or adjectives becoming verbs. Verbs and subjects don't always agree. Words are often omitted in phrases. Word endings such as -ly are inconsistently applied. Shakespeare uses double negatives in spots and phrases such as "most unkindest" with regularity. Even sentence construction can be tricky, with inversions of the basic subject-verb-object order. Whereas we would say, "John caught the ball," Shakespeare might render the same statement with the same meaning as "John the ball caught," or "The ball John caught." As a result, it's important to recognize which part of speech a given word actually represents in a given line.


Some of the most difficult passages of Shakespeare occur when the Bard is purposely playing with language. Metaphors and similes abound in poetic comparisons that can make some passages more complex or difficult to understand. And apparently, Elizabethan audiences loved puns,because Shakespeare wrote them into his plays by the dozens. In a similar vein, many words are used with intentional double meanings. This is especially prevalent in the numerous sexual innuendoes that appear in the works. Malapropisms are another device Shakespeare often uses for comic effect. So not only does the contemporary reader have to interpret surface meanings that may have changed, but also account for the subtext of Elizabethan humor. One key is to look for lines with homonyms or repeated words; those are some of the most common giveaways.


One issue often overlooked is that Shakespeare's plays were written as dramatic literature—meant to be performed and heard aloud, not silently read. That distinction is accentuated where Shakespeare writes in verse. Verse allowed Shakespeare to write lines with a poetic rhythm crafted for the stage. Typically, he wrote in iambic pentameter, which is a fancy way of saying ten-syllable lines that alternate unstressed and stressed syllables (although the pattern varies widely within speeches to avoid sounding monotonous). Shakespeare's verse is written either in pairs of rhymed line endings (couplets), or unrhymed lines (blank verse). Keep in mind that verse and poetic license sometimes force Shakespeare into phrasing that can seem foreign at first glance. Verse is easy to spot by its different margins and capitalization of the first word in each line—keep an eye out for it, and know that you may have to pay more attention to these passages to get at their meaning.

Other Web Resources

The Internet provides a wealth of opportunities for learning more about Shakespeare and his language. Shakespeare High is a good site for teachers and students. The New Folger Library also has online student reading resources. Alexander Schmidt's classic Shakespeare Lexicon is online via the Perseus Digital Library—perfect for looking up all those words like bodkin, contumely, and fardel.

You can also look for Shakespearan’s equivalent of the modern words here:



The Essential Shakespeare Handbook, Shakespeare for Dummies, Shakespeare 101


Shakespeare’s most popular literature works you should recognize (read at least once in a lifetime):


1. The Merchant of Venice

When was it written?

What's it about?
Things get a teeny bit anti-Semitic when a Venetian noble defaults on a loan to a Jewish merchant.

Why's it so good?
Troubling and complex, it’s proven endlessly malleable as a comment on Christian Europe’s troubled relationship with its Jewish population (and Portia is one of the Bard’s great female characters).


2. Romeo and Juliet

When was it written?

What's it about?
The children of mortal enemies fall for each other. It all gets a bit :’(.

Why's it so good?
It’s the uber-love story, the template for every tale of doomed romance ever written. Everything else is just a variation.


3. The Tempest

When was it written?

What's it about?
Sorcerer and single dad Prospero takes revenge on his enemies – magic style. 

Why's it so good?
Full of magic and spectacle, Shakespeare’s deeply layered  final play also tends to look bloody spectacular when staged.


4. Twelfth Night

When was it written?

What's it about?
A Shakespeare trope overload: romantic cross-dressing with twins and a shipwreck.

Why's it so good?
A big, grown-up comedy about identity and lost love that rewrites, supercharges and outclasses all his previous comedies.

 5. Othello

When was it written?

What's it about?
What happens when race relations in sixteenth-century Venice don’t go terribly well.

Why's it so good?
The most powerful play about racism ever written, but moreover a terrifying study in the destructive power of jealousy.


6. King Lear

When was it written?

What's it about?
A father-of-three takes early retirement and goes a little bit nuts.

Why's it so good?
The last of Shakespere’s great tragedies, this wild, elemental play about a tyrant losing his mind in old age is a haunting vision of collapse.


7. Much Ado About Nothing

When was it written?

What's it about?
Extreme sassiness in the Sicilian countryside.

Why's it so good?
Full of gags and one-liners, it's one of Shakespeare's biggest crowd pleasers about how bloody hilarious it is when people make a big hullabaloo about nothing.


8. Midsummer Night's Dream

When was it written?

What's it about?
A bunch of insane fairies attempt to solve the romantic problems of some mortals lost in a wood.

Why's it so good?
People love this exuberant magical comedy – it’s the ultimate crowd-pleaser and the perfect summer play.


9. Macbeth

When was it written?

What's it about?
A Scottish lord is persuaded to commit brutal murder by his wife, who promptly gets all guilty about it.

Why's it so good?
Short, thrilling and charged with the supernatural, this dark tragedy about the consequences of a Scottish lord’s terrible lust for power is probably Shakespeare’s most ‘modern’ and accessible play.


10. Hamlet

When was it written?

What's it about?
A student ponders the meaning of life when he should be on a killing spree.

Why's it so good?
What is there left to say about ‘Hamlet’? It reputation is so towering it’s hard to be objective about it, but this epic about a young man contemplating his own mortality while attempting to avenge his father is certainly a pretty hot contender for the greatest thing ever written in English.


Funny and easy ways to learn English in a different way

Are you getting tired of your textbook?Are you struggling with English grammar?

Don’t give up so easily.The key to learning English is to think positively!!!

But how can you stay motivated when you’re frustrated or bored? The answer is simple.

Instead of spending long hours with your textbooks you should try something new. 

Here are some ideas to make your studying faster, funnier and more effective.




We’ve all heard a thousand times that the best way to really learn English is to be totally immersed in the language ; completely surrounded by it everywhere you go. How can we do this? Go through the tips below and enjoy learning English even more.




Tip 1: Find some English radio stations and podcasts in iTunes
There are tons of podcasts about all topics imaginable these days: entertainment, politics, news. A good way to find one is to look for a podcast from a TV channel you usually watch on TV. Look for one that interests you the most and listen to it while walking or going to school by bus or by car. You’ll train your ear that way!


Tip 2: Talk and sing to yourself in English
When you are alone at home, or of course in the shower, start talking and singing! Sing a song in English the way it sounds to you, talk about the weather or any other topic in front of a mirror, for example J.You can sing at home  or gather some friends and go to karaoke bar. Singing English songs is a great way to practice speaking and intonation, plus you can have fun singing songs that you already know and enjoy  Do this frequently and your pronunciation will drastically improve – guaranteed!




Tip 3: Watch movies, TV clips, episodes or soap operas in English
It doesn’t matter if you don’t understand what they’re saying, watch anyway! Try to understand why something is funny or sad . If the joke is related to the word itself, then maybe that is why the joke does not make sense in your native language. Look for key words to understand the main message of the thing you’re watching and stay positive about it.


Tip 4: Love music? Try figuring out the words/lyrics of your favorite songs
Watch video clips with lyrics on YouTube and sing along. Read the translation and build up your vocabulary. It’s funny and it’s a really good idea!


Tip 5: Pay attention to billboards, signs, advertisements and magazine stands
Look and think about what these ads mean. How many words do you recognize? Did you see that same word elsewhere? Make up sentences about what you’re seeing. And of course, mind the context of words being used.




Tip 6: Do you have an English-speaking idol? Go to YouTube and watch all of his/her interviews in English
You can spend hours listening to interviews and it sure won’t feel like studying. But it is! It helps you a great deal.


Tip 7: Check out the Top Videos on YouTube and watch for at least a few minutes
Most of them are hilarious! It will be so worth it. Try looking at the comments to pick up some words and sentences you aren’t familiar with.


Tip 8: Play Scrabble


It’s a fantastic way to strengthen your English vocabulary. Playing Scrabble challenges you to really think in English as you try to come up with different words with your set of letters. You can also play Scrabble online through websites like Facebook, where the game is called Words With Friends.  




Tip 9: Engage in a conversation on Facebook with friends who post in English or find an English speaking one
When you have English speakers in your timeline, you see their posts daily and get inside information about news and other stuff in English. Your friends can be your teachers! Their timeline basically sort out the best material for you to study. Get more English conversation practice also by searching for English friends online. You might be able to connect with another language learner in your area, or even just exchange emails, instant messages or have Skype conversations in English. Try Conversation Exchange, a free website that helps language learners connect for language exchange.


Tip 10: Sit near people who are speaking English on the bus, train or in the park. Listen in…
I imagine that it can be a bit difficult in a small town, but not impossible when you go somewhere by train or go on holiday to another country. Don’t be a creepy eavesdropper! But, see what words you can pick up and of course listen to the flow of the conversation. How much did you understand? What general topic were they talking about? Did you hear an interesting word you might want to look up after?


Tip 11: Get a Book of English Jokes


Look for joke books or jokes on the Inernet, they are surprisingly useful learning tools. In order to have English conversations, not only do you need to speak the language, but you also have to understand English culture. Humor is very culture-specific; something that’s funny in one country might not make sense in another. Reading a joke book is also a good way to practice tricky concepts like puns and idioms.  




Tip 12: Read Blogs About Learning English and even start your own one


Following a blog is an excellent way to add some fun to your English learning. And lucky for you, there are lots of fantastic blogs out there about learning English! I’m sure you’ll find a blog that interests you the most. Once you’re familiar with the idea of a blog, why not start your own in English? Spend a little time writing in English every day. It doesn’t have to be exciting; you could write about what you did that day or how your English studies are going. This exercise is a perfect way to become more comfortable in writing and expressing your ideas and opinions.




Tip 13: Get an English App for your Phone and set phone menu in English


You’re probably constantly on your phone, right? So why not use it as an opportunity to practice English? There are dozens of great apps, and so the hardest part is simply narrowing it down to just a few. You can also set phone menu in English, it makes miracles, believe me!




Tip 14: Produce, produce, produce. No matter how shy you are or how much you don’t “get” English, force yourself to speak
Help out a tourist who looks lost. They won’t mind you struggling with the language while you’re doing them a favor! After class, talk to your teacher about how things are going and what you need help with in English. When traveling, ask around for directions in English, even if you don’t need them! Try purchasing things online and by phone, or using customer support in English.
It does not matter if you talk slowly, you are learning, that’s natural!


                                                                                                    GOOD LUCK J


Anna Witkoś-Janczura

English Teacher