British Studies Web Pages
This set of activities, produced by Andrzej Junak, lets you explore some differences between housing in Poland and Britain.
Read the two descriptions of typical houses found in their own countryside by a Polish and an English person.
A typical house in the area where I live is a cottage . It is usually made of brick, although stone is often used as well. Cottages built of stone may differ in colour depending on the geological characteristics of the area where they were built. They’re small with two or three bedrooms and often quite old though very well kept up. In my area many cottages come from the 19th century and some of them are listed . They’re usually surrounded by flower gardens. A striking feature of some of them is that they’re thatched .
In my area people live in brick houses. Some of them have their walls covered with plaster but most of them don't, which actually makes them look better. There is usually a ground floor with a kitchen, a bedroom and a living room, which usually also serves as a bedroom. Some people convert their attics into one or two bedrooms. The roofs are covered with tiles. Some of the houses are quite old and need a lot of redecoration. There are newer houses too which are usually cubic in shape as their roofs are flat.
For the answers click here.
Activity 2Below you will find two photographs of houses.
For the answers click here.
Buying a house in Great Britain
The following story will help you understand why prices of houses are so high and what implications it has for the inhabitants of some rural areas in Britain. After you have read it answer the questions below the text.
Vicky Thomas, 26, a chef from St Agnes, still lives with her parents because she says she has no other option. She earns GBP14,500 a year – a typical wage in the West Country for the job she does – and that will allow her to afford a mortgage of up to GBP51,500. But in St Agnes she cannot afford to buy a home of her own. A suitable two-bedroom cottage in St Agnes recently came on the market, but it was priced way beyond her reach at GBP80,000. In the village’s pretty Quay Road around half of the cottages are holiday homes that lie empty during the winter but will fill up during the season. “I know plenty of other people my own age who are in exactly the same situation. They want to carry on living where they are but they can’t afford to move out and buy a place” says Vicky. An estate agent in Budleigh recently sold a modest three-bedroom cottage in Otterton for GBP170,000. The cottage was snapped up almost as soon as it was put on the market. The agent said: “The prices in this area are becoming very high. Finding homes for young people who want to buy on their own is becoming increasingly difficult.”
Excerpts from "Housing crisis that is driving out the young", Western Morning News, May 14th 2001
British people seem to have a different idea of what kind of a house they want to live in than Polish people. Look at the two advertisements below and say what differences there are in the way the houses are advertised.
GORDON HOUSE LINCOLNSHIRE
THIS WELL APPOINTED DETACHED FIVE-BEDROOM TWO-BATHROOM HOUSE IS SET IN ITS OWN GROUNDS WITH A LARGE POND. THE HOUSE RETAINS MANY ORIGINAL FEATURES, TWO LARGE RECEPTION ROOMS, CENTRAL HEATING AND DOUBLE GLAZING. A VERY ATTRACTIVE HOUSE AT AN ATTRACTIVE PURCHASE PRICE.
PHONE/DAY 01507 588288
EVENING 0777 1507 300
ULIKOWO, K. STARGARDU SZCZ.
DOM WOLNO STOJĄCY DO ZAMIESZKANIA O POWIERZCHNI 300m kw., DZIAŁKA 1000m kw. DWUKONDYGNACYJNY, PODPIWNICZONY. W PIWNICY KOTŁOWNIA, NA PARTERZE KUCHNIA Z ANEKSEM JADALNYM, 2 POKOJE. NA I PIĘTRZE: SALON, 2 POKOJE, ŁAZIENKA. MEDIA: ELEKTRYCZNOŚĆ, SIŁA, WODA, TELEFON, CIEPŁA WODA Z BOJLERA ELEKTRYCZNEGO, KANALIZACJA, OGRZEWANIE WĘGLOWE
CENA 200.000,-ZL TEL. 091 8405630
For economic reasons some advertisements are presented in a coded form. Look at the advertisements below. Decipher them and rewrite again using the full forms of the abbreviations.
For the the full forms of the abbreviations click here.
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