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What is in This Issue?

In a BBC television documentary about the preparations for the opening of the Millennium Dome in London there is a scene at the end with two young children getting ready to take part in the opening night. "We won't be alive when it's the next millennium", says the first child. The second child thinks for a moment, and then replies, "It depends if we eat well."

In this new millennium it seems that more than ever before the topic of Health is on our TV screens, in our newspapers and magazines, and on our minds. In this issue of the British Studies web pages we look at the topic of Health for teachers and learners of English from the points of view of systems, issues, and individuals.

Through our Facts and Figures section and Health Links we provide you with detailed sources on the British Health and Welfare system. Feature articles on Organ Donors, the 'Crisis' in the NHS, and Genetic Crops take a balanced view of some current contentious issues in this field, and invite discussion and debate. You will also find in News Update a more light-hearted look at the health issues making the news.

Views on Health are coloured by the societies we live in, and so we sought out the opinions of Polish and British providers and recipients of health care. Doctors in both countries were asked a number of questions about the systems in which they worked and their views and feelings about their jobs. In a further attempt to discover cultural differences (or similarities) between the two societies, we questioned native Polish speakers living in the UK, and native English speakers living in Poland, about health in their 'adopted' countries. And in recognition of how our concepts of health and medicine can vary not only over place but also time, another feature article examines the survival of traditional remedies in both countries.

We also offer you language learning activities which combine the theme of the issue with fun and humour. Our resident diarist, Mrs. A., takes us through her recent trials and tribulations by focusing on idioms derived from the body, and there are six very different interactive quizzes for you to try out.

For those wishing to pursue this topic further, we have an annotated bibliography referring to materials from British Studies Resource Points, and a very full Health Links which, among others, features educational web sites on Health designed for British teenagers. In our Book Reviews section, you will also be able to find out what Polish British Studies teachers think of some reference books available on the market.

We hope you find this edition useful and enjoyable for your teaching and learning. As always we welcome your comments and suggestions. Stay healthy!


Produced in Poland by British Council 2003. The United Kingdom's international organisation for educational opportunities and cultural relations. We are registered in England as a charity.