Polish politicians are taking English lessons as part of preparations for their country’s first turn holding the European Union presidency, for the second half of this year, after Hungary. Classes are available for any of 400 or so MP’s and ministers who want them, under the direction of English teacher Agata Klimczak.
Klimczak explained: “Each course is divided into two parts. One part concentrates, focuses on general English and then the second, specifically on EU languages. So we talk about different tasks of the presidency. We introduce topics such as energy, environment, foreign policy.”
MP Jerzy Gosiewski underscored that his original schooling imposed Russian, and he also knows German. The former communist regime did not have much time for English, he said, but today: “We are catching up: Have a nice day!”
The teacher said part of her task — from elementary to proficiency levels — is raising awareness of cultural linguistic differences, as Polish has what she called different politeness strategies.