15 Feb

A Letter of Complaint by K. Savic

Dear  Sir or Madam,

I am writing to express my opinion on the ban on smoking you have recently introduced. As you have stated in your Information leaflet, smoking will be banned in all public places including any outdoor facility in which there is seating. I would like to inform you that neither I nor the majority of the citizens I have talked with about this issue are feeling supportive towards this certain ban and in the next paragraph I will try to explain why this ban is inadequate and list a few alternatives.

First of all, I would like to note that the ban was introduced on really short notice and that there was no public discussion. If there had been any, I have no doubt that there would be much more compromise suggestions. Introducing this kind of a ban in that way will not bring any good to the City Council. I can give you an example of a similar case in Poland – the government banned smoking, but not many cafes respected this, and those which did – they lost many of their customers. A case like this   makes us realise that the introduction of this ban will result in a loss of not only tourists but also jobs and that the city economy will suffer from it.

In order to resolve this issue, I can suggest a few alternatives. Firstly, you should organise a public discussion. If that is not possible, you can always chose a simple solution – introduce obligatory non-smoking areas in every facility. In my opinion this is an adequate solution because it  will bring benefit to both sides in this issue.

Finally, I would like to mention that I do respect the City Council’s worries for the health of its citizens, but in the future you should make your decisions more carefully. I hope you will take my suggestions in further consideration.


Yours faithfully,
Katarina Savic

15 Nov

Slow and Fast City Life in Valjevo by Jovan Milovanovic

To be honest, up until recently I have never really liked living in Valjevo. I have always compared  it to bigger cities such as Belgrade and Novi Sad and how they have better standard of living and more things to do.

However, as the time passed and I got older and “wiser”, I realized that I am pretty lucky to live here. I was so focused on bad things we have to cope with that I completely forgot the good things, which, by the way, there is plenty of. The city isn’t overcrowded and you don’t have to put up with too much noise. There are a lot of parks where you can relax and do whatever you please. Also, there are tennis courts and a swimming center called “Petnica”. We have one of the least polluted rivers in the whole Serbia, the river Gradac, which is one the most favourite places among younger population to spend time during hot summer days. Lately, a lot of main streets in Valjevo have been renewed so the center of the city looks really nice now.

All in all, I think I am pretty lucky to live in a town like this and I should enjoy every moment I spend here because soon, when I another city for university studies, I won’t be visiting Valjevo that often.

15 Nov

The Big Clean-up Campaign! – by Katarina Savic

Last weekend our college’s principal organised a clean-up campaign in which, you might have noticed, the majority of students took part voluntarily. You may have also observed that since the campaign has been organised the college looks much cleaner. Does that mean that the clean-up day was a success?

It all started when the principal saw her college was turning into a real mess, so she decided to change something about it! She gathered a group of people, advertised the campaign and everyone felt really enthusiastic about it.

On the day itself, quite a big group of people gathered and bags for trash and rubber gloves were distributed. Everyone had fun while cleaning and talking to friends and to sum it up there was a free buffet supper for everyone in the evening.

The principal also introduced a few policies for everyone to follow – some of which were a bit absurd. The thing that caught my eye the most are the fines for littering. They are really too high for the student standard and should be reduced. On the other hand, extra bins have been put and they had art students paint them so that everybody now enjoys throwing rubbish away. One of the most popular policies is the ban on smoking, and surprisingly even the ones who smoke like it because the college looks really neat now.

Finally, the only bad thing about the campaign were the advertising leaflets! They were all over the place. But I believe now that students’ environment consciousness has been raised there will be a significant decline in littering, and that is why I declare the clean-up day a success!

Assignment from Advanced Expert CAE

06 Nov

The Big Clean-up Campaign! – by Ivan Beljic

by allen.goldblatt


Have you ever wondered what our college would be like if it was cleaned up? If the answer is yes, you should have taken a part in our Clean-up Day last Saturday.

As you know, our paper has been campaigning to clean the college. Judging from the emails we’ve received many students have complained that the college is untidy and that they would be glad to take part if there was some action concerning this issue. So, the idea was to clean it up and that the principal would introduce some new policies. On the day itself, we handed out rubbish bags and rubber gloves. Many students suddenly set to work, and what’s the most interesting they didn’t complain, like saying: ,“I’m tired, I can’t do this anymore”. On the contrary, people felt more positive about a clean college. While ones were giving away the equipment needed, the others were distributing leaflets about how to keep our college clean. As a reward we had free snacks and juices after we’d finished the job.  We also put some extra bins in order to encourage people not to drop litter on the ground.

When we analyse the results, it turns out that the most popular policy was NO SMOKING (even smokers hated seeing cigarette ends everywhere).

Unfortunately those leaflets only led to more litter being dropped. And what’s the most obvious, but sadly, is that fines for dropping litter will never work, because they are too high.

So all in all, now we have a cleaner college, but don’t forget to keep the emails coming in if you notice someone breaking the rules!

Assignment from Advanced Expert CAE

21 Oct

Ayers Rock Tour, Australia – by Ivan Beljic

Uluru Sunset, by Prince Roy

To the Editor

I am writing concerning the commentary on the Anangu opposition to tourism development in Uluru in the local paper cutting I received from an Australian friend. I want to express my disagreement with the criticism expressed. In my opinion we all should respect Anangu people and their tradition.

The Anangu people who have been there over 20,000 years call Ayers Rock as Uluru. It is their sacred site to which they are so attached that they never climb it and that is why they do not like when tourists do that. On the other hand, everybody realises that they benefit from tourism, and it is in their interests to increase visitor number to the rock. I think this can be solved by involving controlled tourism, which will ban climbing, but at the same time provide more seasonal work around the site and education to visitors.

I suggest that there is better cooperation between the goverment and the Anangu. To achieve this, the Culture Centre should have more jointly organised activities such as: educating visitors about aspects of the Anangu culture and explaining the spiritual importance of the area to their people. Visitors to Uluru are currently 400,000 a year. This is low compared with many other National Parks, and numbers could be increased. That is why Anangu should have a greater role in promotion, because then more profit will go to them.

All in all, the local people are right when they ask for a ban on climbing and for more control in tourism. I believe that this is the only way how this problem could be solved to make both sides satisfied.

Assignment from Advanced Expert CAE


09 Oct


Are we lucky or unlucky to live in a relatively peaceful city?

Tesnjar by Lj.Ljiljak


Although Valjevo is one of bigger cities in Serbia you can still say that it’s a peaceful city.

The best thing about Valjevo is that there are not many people living in the town’s centre, and that is where the beauty of Valjevo lies. Pople like to linger there in cafes after their work.

Tešnjar is another good place to relax owing to its interesting architecture, in which old crafts and small shops are still preserved although the local government prefers to subsidise big supermarket chains. All these old houses, quiet streets and small shops make Valjevo one of most peaceful cities in our country, and we should be happy because of that.

Pople are always complaining that there are not many things to do in Valjevo but I think that in most cases they should blame themselves.

27 Sep

Are we lucky or unlucky to live in a relatively peaceful city? by Katarina

Photo by Lj. Ljiljak

As a person living in Valjevo, I am of course automatically going to say I am not a great fan of the way of life ’round here, but thinking about it for a second makes me reconsider what I have just said.

From a point of view of a person living in a big city with all the hustle and bustle, noise and hectic work, I’d say Valjevo is a real little heaven on Earth. Although it sometimes seems that there are no things to do, and no places to go out to, it is actually not quite like that. People are just too lazy to create things to amuse themselves. Comparing a small peaceful town to a big city makes you realise how much you enjoy walking through the non-crowded streets, sitting on a bench in a quiet park while watching the world slowly drift by, even if you always bump into someone you know anywhere you go, which can sometimes be really annoying.

So, depending on the kind of a person you are and the things that interest you, you are the only one who should choose where to live. I, personally find myself lucky to have spent my childhood here in Valjevo, although I now can’t wait to leave it, but I am also sure that will change and I will want to come back when I’m older.

26 Sep

Slow and Fast Life in Valjevo by Ivan Beljic

Photo by Ivan Beljic

We live in a peaceful city. Some say that’s good, while others say the opposite. Those who like this city are usually older people, who like to have a peaceful morning or time for sleeping, without noise from local pubs and cafes. But, on the other hand, young people who are full of conviviality tend to have some places to go out and have fun.

What can be said about our citizens is that they tend to linger over coffee and gossip, which is not very clever. I think that’s a waste of time, but when I look deeper I believe this may be the one of the reasons which connects the people, so no wonder if you come across neighbourliness almost everywhere. Our people are very hospitable, especially to their neighbours.

Although there are young people, subsidies are not very much popular in our area. In my opinion, that may be the breakpoint for young people to choose to leave Valjevo, so they go to more developed cities in order to seek for a job. What could be interesting  here is the fact that there are some shoemakers and watchmakers who actually still have jobs.

As for the cuisine, Valjevo is known for dishes made from fishes caught in the river Gradac. By the way, Gradac is a favourite picnic area of citizens during hot summer days (this includes not just older people, but also the younger ones).

So, all in all, Valjevo is a city full of diversity. It can make young people feel fulfilled, but I believe it’s more suitable for life of older people.

25 Sep

Slow and Fast Life in Valjevo by Milica Cvetinovic

Old town

Photo bz Lj. Ljiljak

For all my life I have been living in this city. It has always been a small and slow town, but as the time changes so does our time. I remember, when I was a child, there were no hypermarkets, and now they are being opened everywhere. It is the same with big stores which sell branded goods, and I am still not sure whether it is a good or a bad thing. It definitely has some upsides and some downsides. For example, now there is a big choice of low-priced things, but the small shops are being closed because they can not compete with the sales that big shops offer. Also there are not enough people which could buy these things.
As for the people of my time, they have always been convivial and I believe that this will never change. Although they do not have good salaries and maybe they have not paid the rent for their apartment, they will always laugh cheerfully and be ready to help you find yourselves around. Also, people who live in the suburb are known for their neighbourliness and willingness to help. Sometimes Valjevo’s citizens are closer to their neighbours then to their family.
All in all, Valjevo is a small, warm town, with the aspects of both slow and fast life. It is changing but I believe that it will always keep its mentality and hospitality.

25 Sep

Slow & Fast City Life Assignment

Old Town Tesnjar, Valjevo

1. Are we lucky or unlucky to live in a relatively peaceful city?

Discuss this question first with your partner and then with the whole class. This activity will help you with your vocabulary for this task:

Slow and Fast City Life 1

2. Write a 60-70 word paragraph about the way of life in Valjevo and whether you would like to change anything about it. Post your writing to Lingva Journals.

3. Read other students’ work and make some comments/questions. Whose work do you like best?