Some questions at the rate of studying English language
Answers to tickets in the form of thematic texts on English language courses. Describes the themes of education, tourism, the future of vocational guidance, tastes and problems of young people, environmental problems, especially language learning.
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Как ты оцениваешь свои школьные годы?
Some people think that school years are the happiest in their life. As for me, I cannot say whether it is right or wrong. I am still too young. I am 14 years old, and it is difficult for me to say whether my future will be more happy than my past. Moreover, school takes so much time that I hardly have time for anything else. I have classes in the first half of the day and in the evening I have to do my homework, which takes me several hours. Sometimes I have to sit up to write a composition, prepare a report, or learn a poem. Autumn and spring holidays are very short. In winter I have only two weeks free of school. Summer is the only time when I can forget about school. But it is impossible to do so. Little by little I start to understand that school plays a very important part in the life of every person, and knowledge gained at school is the key to the future success or failure.
School years may certainly be fairly happy. However, there are a lot of problems even today connected with school life and the formation of a personality. People think differently about this time of their life experience. In my opinion optimism or pessimism in the attitude to school years is equally wrong. School is the place where almost everything happens with a person for the first time. School years are the time of great expectations and great emotions. Not all emotions are always pleasant. School is the first true experience of the real life. At school a person makes his first friends, meets his first love, confronts the first betrayal. Here at school the person reads the first book and writes the first composition. He acquires basic knowledge of physics, mathematics, literature, history, biology, etc. But here at school the person not only accumulates knowledge, school helps the pupils to get on in life and become successful.
In a way it is a kind of society in miniature. School society is a model of real society with its advantages and disadvantages. School lessons are not given by teachers only. The harsh reality of everyday school life teaches pupils a lot of lessons which will be useful in their later life.
School plays a very important social role. It provides high-quality education for pupils between the ages of 6 and 17. It brings together children with different interests and experience. School offers pupils the opportunities to develop their abilities, satisfy their curiosity, and realise themselves as individuals. At school pupils are taught to be responsible, gallant, and honest. Pupils should be aware that generosity and sympathy might be as important as moral virtue. School helps pupils to establish for themselves a set of convictions and beliefs. Here at school pupils can compare themselves with each other in terms of academic ability and athletic achievements. Teachers are knowledgeable in their subjects. School provides high-quality conditions that will enable pupils and teachers to make the most of their time. Knowledge acquired at school enables pupils either to continue their education or start working.
Now I want to say some words about my school. My school is located in the centre of our city. Set up before World War II, it values its traditions, which, however, have changed in the course of time. When I started to go to school it was an old building with a garden around it. Every year on the first of September all the pupils and teachers of our school gather in the forecourt for a meeting at which the beginning of a new academic year is proclaimed. After the meeting the pupils go to their classrooms. The classrooms are very large. In our school mere are lour specialised classrooms. The first is a Biology classroom with a lot of flowers and two exotic trees. By taking care of the flowers and trees we learn to love and protect nature. The second is the Literature classroom. It resembles a library with a lot of bookcases around the walls and the portraits of the classics of Russian literature. The third is the History classroom. There are maps and archaeological artefacts in this classroom. I like history because it tells us about the events of the past. Most of all I like the English classroom. On the wall of the English classroom there are posters with London places of interest: Westminster Abbey, Houses of Parliament, and the Tower of London. There are some portraits of the British and American writers such as Shakespeare, Byron, Hemingway, and Mark Twain there. Our English teacher teaches us not only the language of the Englishmen but their culture, history and traditions as well. By learning more about the life style of other peoples we start to appreciate customs and traditions of our country. During our English classes we read and translate texts, discuss some English books, and listen to the tape-recorder.
I spend much time at school. But at school we do not only study. We have some extracurricular activities as well. They are part of school life. Our social and cultural life is well organised. We have different clubs. We often go to the museums and theatres. At school I have many interesting subjects and they are all different. My favourite subjects are English, English literature and History. I like to learn new English words, dramatise texts
Если ты хочешь продолжить свое образование, куда ты пойдешь учиться? Аргументируй свой выбор.
Russia's institutions of higher education
There are a lot of institutions of higher education in our country. The Linguistic University, previously known as Maurice Thorez Institute of Foreign Languages, Pedagogic University, Peoples' Friendship University of Russia are well known not only in Russia but also abroad. There are numerous regional educational centres in our country. Almost every city of Russia has its university and colleges.
Moscow State University is the largest educational institution in Russia. Mikhail Lomonosov (1711-1765) inspired the foundation of Moscow University. On the Day of St. Tatiana, Count I.I. Shuvalov officially asked the permission of Empress Elizabeth to establish the University. The University was set up by the edict of the Empress issued on January 12, 1755 (according to the Russian old style). Since that time St. Tatiana has become the patron saint of Moscow University, and January 25 is celebrated as University Day in Russia.
When Moscow University was founded there were three faculties - philosophy, law and medicine there. Today there are 24 faculties mere. From the outset the best Russian scholars lectured at Moscow University. Professors were invited from all European countries. The instructions were given in Russian and in Latin. Young people from all estates but serfs could be enrolled as students. Moscow University was the centre of advanced Russian science and social thought. In the Age of Enlightenment the University was patronised by Catherine the Great. In 1785 the Empress granted the University some land for the construction of the central building.
The fire of Moscow of 1812 destroyed the magnificent classical building of the University. Precious books and archives were also lost. The construction of the new building was carried out under the supervision of D.I. Zhilyardi. Today the Institute of Asia and Africa, one of the University faculties, is housed there. In 1832 Nicholas I granted the mansion of the Pashkovs to the University. Today the Journalist Faculty is located here. During the period 1833-1836 the mansion was reconstructed into a Lecture Block. The library was located in the left wing. The University Chapel occupied the right wing. Following the October Revolution of 1917, the University got the state status and became known as Moscow State University (MGU in Russian). In May 1940 it was named after M.V. Lomonosov. In 1953 the modern University building on the Vorobyevy Hills was constructed. Sciences faculties were transferred here. In the years 1950-1970 the University campus was laid out. Now almost all the faculties are located there.
Moscow State University teaches almost in all subject areas: Arts, Sciences, Law, Economics, Psychology, Biology, Chemistry, Engineering, etc. I do not know yet which faculty to choose. The Law Faculty is the centre of legal training in Russia. It is known for its high level of teaching. Professors of the Faculty do detailed research in the field of law. Moreover, they participate in the working out the Russia laws. The Lawyers, the Faculty graduates, use their knowledge in courts of law. The Faculty of Journalism is proud of its graduates who work in different fields of mass media: in editorial boards, television, radio stations and news agencies in Russia and abroad. Two-level system of economic and business education is offered at the Economics Faculty. At the Faculty students study Economics and business. They do research work and gain professional skills. The Faculty of Philosophy has always been the centre of progressive philosophical thought in Russia. The greatest Russian philosophers lectured at the Faculty. Today the best home and foreign scholars give lectures at the Faculty. Psychology was among the courses taught at first at the Faculty of Philosophy. The works of Russian psychologists are recognised in the whole world. The Biology Faculty, the largest scientific and research centre in the country, comprises the most important fields of modern Biology. Students take practical courses in Zoological Museum and Botanical Gardens. The Faculty of Mechanics and Mathematics is one of the leading scientific centres in Russia. World leading professors deliver their lectures there. The Faculty of Computational Mathematics and Cybernetics is popular among the applicants for entry too. Applied Mathematics and Computer Science undergo rapid changes. The usage of computers in various fields of education, science, technology, economics, management and linguistics is provided by the Faculty.
The top research institutions of Moscow State Lomonosov University enable to keep research and teaching up to date. Here students can learn skills, which fit them for a better career. Moscow State Lomonosov University reputation stays with its graduates - and their achievements in turn glorify it.
– Who can enter universities or colleges in Russia? -Any school-leaver can enter any university or college he likes if the entrance exams are passed successfully. Everything depends upon the ability of the
Выбрать профессию нелегко. Как ты думаешь, что может помочь тебе сделать выбор?
Choosing the future profession
The problem of choosing the future profession has always been very important. The profession a person chooses in many ways determines his future life. This is a universal problem of our epoch. Every generation in this or that way comes across it. For most people choosing a career is not an easy task. It is one of the most important decisions one makes in life. The properly chosen career makes a person happy and successful for the rest of his life.
There are several factors that influence the decision of young people to make their choice. They concern material and spiritual aspects of the future profession. It is generally believed that professions should be both prestigious and interesting. Everybody wants to benefit from the social privileges provided by the profession. At the same time other factors are important. Much depends on the inclinations and interests of the person. Although it is wonderful when one's hobby becomes one's profession it seldom happens in reality. Another important factor is social environment. The profession of the parents often in this or that way influences the future profession of their children. Today we have dynasties of physicians, historians, lawyers, economists, pilots, and military officers.
It is impossible to forget about the material aspect of the future profession. It indicates the level of the society's values. Today all professions can be classified as prestigious and not prestigious. The problem of prestige is subjective. Nobody can explain the meaning of this notion. «Prestigious» jobs give a chance to an individual to enter the upper circles of the society. When the job is prestigious money is of secondary importance. The future profession should be interesting and meet the demands of the person.
To avoid mistakes, I discuss career prospects with my friends even today. Some of us want to become physicians, others teachers, economists, historians, historians of art, mathematicians, biologists, and computer operators. All the professions are very useful. Physicians help people to be healthy and live a long life. They save the lives of their patients. This profession requires well-educated people. Mistakes are impossible in this profession. Physicians should be very patient and attentive with their patients.
Teachers also should be patient and kind. Teachers should not only give knowledge to their pupils but understand their problems, help them to become real citizens of their country, be honest and hard working. For education to be successful, teachers and pupils should work together. Every word and every gesture of the teacher should be carefully chosen, otherwise the misunderstanding is inevitable. Certainly, it is very difficult to be a teacher, because sometimes pupils do not behave properly. They can shout, whistle, and drum on the desk. Teachers should maintain discipline among the troublemakers. At the same time one should not forget that discipline should work hand in hand with freedom. Freedom is welcomed if it helps a pupil to learn. Teachers should encourage their pupils to do things successfully. Teachers should be well educated themselves. Unfortunately both professions - physician and teacher are not well paid in our country. One has to be an enthusiast to choose one of them. I do not know how to cope with this problem but it is said that a state declines if the government does not support health care and education.
Today the most popular professions are lawyers and economists. These professions are prestigious. After graduating from Law and Economics Faculties it is possible to find good jobs. Law and Economics students are better motivated to do their best because they have clearly set goals. Their competence and knowledge, required by the developing business economy, are well paid. To be a designer is attractive too. This profession can fit creative people who know how to make things around them look nice. For those young adults who choose the profession of a chemist, a mathematician or a physicist the determinant factor is not prestige but interest and inclination. To be a biologist is very prestigious and interesting today, because the biologists are at the forefront of cloning. They are on the threshold of great discoveries. I think that to be a sociologist or a psychologist is very interesting and useful too. Psychologists try to help people to cope with their spiritual problems. Sociologists study the health of the society.
One of the most fashionable and prestigious professions of today is that of a computer operator. Although computers came into our life only in the 1960s they quickly gained the ground of the contemporary society having become its indispensable part. Today our life is entirely connected with computers. With the help of computers people can do a lot of wonderful things from controlling spaceship up to buying books and
Существуют разные возможности познания мира (средства массовой информации, книги, путешествия, посещения музеев, встречи с интересными людьми и т.д.). Какие из них ты предпочитаешь?
Ways of exploring the world
There are many ways of exploring the world. Previously the choice of the means of exploring the world was rather limited. It was confined to books and meeting other people. Transport was poorly developed to allow people to travel throughout the world without difficulties. With the appearance of newspapers in the 17-th century people had a chance to learn about current events more quickly. The technical progress of the 20-th centuries has made our planet a small world. Any distance is covered in a twinkle of an eye. Today besides books and travelling the world can be explored with the help of mass media and the Internet.
Books are considered to be a traditional way of learning about the world around us. This is quite natural because books give information about various subjects. From the point of view of the 21-st century it is possible to say that this source of knowledge is proved by time. Books introduce us to the experience of the present, past, and future. In every day life we are limited by Time. We cannot enter the distant future or return to the past. Every moment we live only in the present. Books make an easily accessible time machine. They give everybody a wonderful opportunity to travel into the past and future. With the help of books we can almost eyewitness the major historical events, the way people lived in distant epochs. Ancient and medieval writers show us the world of the past centuries as it was. For example, by reading books about the expeditions to the North and South Poles we live the lives of the people who participated in them. From books we derive all possible knowledge of arts and sciences. Textbooks and manuals are written to give knowledge and information about different special things. It is held that nothing can be more important but the book acquired in time. All the revolutions are conceived first in mind and then put into practice. From the books we understand that the idea of an ideal society has interested people since antiquity. The stories about an ideal society were written by Plato, Thomas Moor, Adam Smith; modern scholars developed them. In the last two centuries attempts were made to put the dream into reality through a number of successive revolutions. I think that books play a very important part in our education. Every specialist first derives information from books.
Travelling as a way of learning also has a long tradition. In the past travelling was the final stage of the education of aristocrats. Lord Byron described his journey in his poem «Childe Harolde». It is very useful to visit different countries and get familiar with different cultures. People today are travelling far more than they ever used to. In the past people did not travel so much as we do today; they set sail in search of new lands and trade routes. Now a person travels in order to learn more about the culture of the country he is visiting and compare the real life of the people with the information given in the books. Sometimes the reality and the books do not coincide. The information given in the books does not often reflect the reality of the day. For example, the pictures of the great painters given in the albums do not show the size, colour or emotion of the paintings. That is why it is better to see paintings, sculpture and architecture in the original. Travelling is indispensable for learning foreign languages. Pupils go to different countries to learn the chosen language. In all European countries there are a lot of summer schools. They are not expensive, but are very useful. The effect is great. After studying at such schools pupils can speak English more fluently. They do not have a language barrier any more. They can establish contacts with people easier. Travelling is very popular today. The most fantastic wishes are put into life due to modern technologies. Millions of people move from their own countries. By mountain biking or skiing, flying into outerspace, feeding sharks or just sight seeing people explore both themselves and the world around them. It should be said that now people travel by car, train, plane, ship, spacecraft or on foot. Travelling, going from one place to another, gives a person a kind of social experience.
I am fond of travelling because it is the best way to learn the world. It gives me a chance to see new places and meet new people. Reminiscences about my travelling experience will stay with me forever and a day. I guess that the most impressive was the trip to Greece a year ago. I spent there a fascinating fortnight. I visited Athens, Delphi, and Corinth. The trip was especially important to me because we were through with the history of Ancient Greece and it gave a rare opportunity to see the place where Ancient Greek history happened. I saw the region where ancient heroes lived, fought and died. I visited the temples of incomparable beauty, especially the Parthenon. And may be there in Greece I made up my mind to be a historian.
Путешествие - один из способов узнать другие страны. Чем привлекает туристов Россия? Что бы ты показал своим зарубежным друзьям?
Tourism provides one of the possibilities to know more about other countries. Now people travel much more than they ever used to. Many people travel in their own country and millions of them travel abroad.
Russia, the largest country in the world, has always attracted visitors from neighbouring and distant countries. Russia is proud of its architecture, painting, and music. A lot of tourists come to our country to see its beauty and to admire its cultural achievements. As a rule they want to visit Moscow, St. Petersburg and the towns of the «Golden Ring».
Russia is located in the eastern part of Europe and in the northern part of Asia. It boarders on thirteen countries. Russia is washed by twelve seas and three oceans. Russia is connected with the Atlantic Ocean through the Baltic Sea in the west and the Black Sea in the south. The Arctic Ocean and its seas including the White, Barents, Kara, Laptev, East-Siberian Seas wash Russia in the north. The Pacific Ocean and its seas the Bering, Okhotsk, and Japanese Seas are in the east of Russia.
The Russian Plain, the Ural Mountains, the West Siberian Plain, the Central Siberian Plateau, and the Far East are the main areas of Russia The Russian Plain occupies the European part of Russia. The Ural Mountains separate Europe from Asia. The West Siberian Plain links with the Central Siberian Plateau. The Far East of Russia comprises the Kamchatka and Chukchi peninsulas and the Kuril and Sakhalin islands.
Russia's greatest rivers are the Don and Volga in its European part, and the Ob and Yenisey in West Siberia. The Ob is the longest river in Russia, but the Volga is the most important one. Many Russian towns are located along the Volga river.
Russia is densely populated, but its population is unequally distributed. People prefer to live in the European part of the country. Siberia is thinly inhabited. There are more than sixty nationalities and ethnic groups in Russia. Russia is an urban country - the majority of the Russian citizens live in cities. As Russia occupies vast territories there are various climatic zones in the country. Continental climate, with cold winters and warm summers prevails on the territory of Russia.
Russia is rich in mineral deposits such as coal, oil, and natural gas, as well as of iron ore, copper, zinc, lead, nickel, aluminium, and tin. Natural resources determine the development of the Russian economy. Russia's heavy industries produce much of the nation's steel and most of its heavy machinery.
The Russian Federation was founded in 1991. The Constitution was adopted in 1993. Russia is a Presidential Republic. It is headed by the President. The President is commander-in-chief of the armed forces, he makes treaties, enforces laws, appoints the Prime Minister, cabinet members, and key judges.
The Russian government consists of three branches: the legislative, the executive and the judicial. The power is distributed in such a way that each branch checks and balances the others. The legislative power is vested in the Federal Assembly. It consists of the Federation Council (upper house) and the State Duma (lower house). The members of the State Duma are elected by popular vote for a four-year period. The Federation Council is not elected. It is formed of the heads of the regions. Each Chamber is headed by the Chairman. Legislature is initiated in the State Duma. But to become a law a bill must be approved by the Lower and Upper Houses and signed by the President. The executive power belongs to the Government. The judicial branch is represented by the Constitutional Court, the Supreme Court, and regional courts.
The national flag of the Russian Federation is three coloured: white, blue and red. The symbol of the country is a two-headed eagle. Russia's hymn was created by Alexandrov and Mikhalkov.
– According to the Chronicle the history of Early Russia began in the year 862. That year Rurik became the first Russian prince having merged Novgorod and Kiev. Rurik's successor Prince Oleg did his best to strengthen and expand the nascent state. In 988 Prince Vladimir, the Red Sun, baptised Russia. After the adoption of Christianity churches and monasteries sprang up in the country. The beautiful cathedrals and churches of Early Russia still stand in their glory. From the 10-th to the 12-th centuries Russia was a progressive Christian state. With the development of feudalism the Russian state disintegrated into separate principalities. The princes quarrelled among themselves and waged feudal wars. The hordes of armed nomads conquered the Russian land. The yoke lasted till 1380. Russia's strength was diminishing. Lands on the Black sea coast and along the Volga river were lost.
Каждая страна имеет свои особенности. С чем у тебя ассоциируется страна изучаемого языка и ее жители?
The United Kingdom of Great Britain
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland consists of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. All these parts of the country are represented in Parliament in London. England is noted for its «high-tech» and car industries. Scotland is a land of mountains, lakes and romantic castles. Wales is famous for its high mountains and pretty valleys, factories and coal mines, music and myths. Northern Island, with farming land, is beautiful too.
The UK lies on the British Isles. The English Channel and the Strait of Dover separate Britain from the continent. The climate on the British Isles is temperate. The Gulf Stream makes the climate warmer in winter and cooler in summer. There is much humidity in the air of England. Britain is known as a foggy country. Geographically Great Britain is divided into Lowlands, Midlands, and Highlands.
The history of the UK dates back to the ancient times. From the sixth to the third centuries BC, the British Isles were invaded by Celtic tribes. They came from central Europe, and settled in southern England. The Celts were pagans. Their priests, known as Druids, had all education in their hands. They administered justice, and made a disobedient layman an outlaw.
Great Britain is a constitutional monarchy. The Queen is the head of State, but her power is limited by Parliament. The branches of government are: the legislative, the executive and the judiciary. The legislature is the supreme authority. It comprises two chambers - the House of Lords and the House of Commons - together with the Queen in her constitutional role. The executive consists of the central Government - that is the Prime Minister, Cabinet, and other ministers. The judiciary determines common law and interprets statutes and is independent of both the legislature and the executive.
The Government derives its authority from the elected House of Commons. The Government is formed by the political party in power. The second largest party becomes Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition with its own leader and 'Shadow Cabinet'. In Great Britain there is no written constitution, only customs, traditions and precedents.
London is the capital of the UK. It was founded by the Romans in the 1st century AD. In the 11-th century it became the capital of England. In 1215 its citizens won the right to elect their Lord Mayor. The town experienced tremendous growth in trade and population during the late 16th and early 17th centuries. After the Great Fire of 1666 which destroyed three-quarters of London, the town began its extensive building. London became the main centre not only of the country but of the growing British Empire. During the 19-th century London expanded into the suburbs. As a result of it new forms of transport were developed, including the underground railway system. During World War II London was heavily bombed. The reconstruction that followed was of mixed quality. Replacement of industrial enterprises and docks made London a centre of international trade, finance and tourism.
Today Greater London consists of 33 separate boroughs, including the City, the West End, and the East End. The City is the financial centre of the UK. The Bank of England, the Royal Exchange, and the Stock Exchange are located here.
The West End is noted for its historical places and parks. These are Westminster Abbey and Westminster Cathedral, Houses of Parliament, Buckingham Palace, the principal government offices, New Scotland Yard, the Tate Gallery, and the National Gallery. The most celebrated parks are Kensington Gardens with the Victorian Gothic Albert Memorial; Hyde Park, with its famous Speakers' Corner; and Regent's Park, home of the Zoological Gardens and Regent's Canal. The West End is the area of wealth and goods of high quality.
London's East End is historically associated with the Cockney dialect. It was an infamous slum during the 19th century. The port of London until recently was in the East End. The area of docks played an important part in the country's commerce.
London's major cultural institutions also include the British Museum, which houses collections of antiquities, prints, and manuscripts and the national library; the Victoria and Albert Museum of decorative arts; and the music and arts complex located on the South Bank of the Thames.
– Westminster is now the political centre of London, but originally it was a sacred place. King Edward the Confessor built a great abbey church here. It was consecrated in 1065. In 1245 Henry III replaced it with the
Каждая страна гордится своими достижениями. Какими достижениями своей страны гордишься ты?
Russia is proud of its achievements in satellite technology and investigation of outerspace. On October 4, 1957, the world's first artificial satellite was launched in our country. With «Sputnik-1» a great deal of programmes of space exploration were implemented. Over the next few years a number of unmanned spaceships of various kinds, ranging from meteorological and communications satellites to lunar probes were launched.
On April 12, 1961, the Soviet Union launched «Vostok-1». For the first time in the history of mankind a manned spacecraft was launched into outerspace. It carried Yury Gagarin in a single orbit around the Earth. German Titov piloted «Vostok-2» spacecraft. It was launched on August 6, 1961, on the first manned spaceflight of more than a single orbit. Valentina Tereshkova, the first woman to travel into space, was launched on June 16, 1963 in «Vostok-6», which completed 48 orbits in 71 hours. In space at the same time was Valery Bykovsky, who had been launched two days earlier in «Vostok-5»; both of them landed on June 19.
О ком из людей, прославивших нашу страну, ты рассказал бы своим зарубежным друзьям? Кем из знаменитых людей страны изучаемого языка ты восхищаешься?
Russia gave the world a lot of great writers, artists, musicians, philosophers, sportsmen, and politicians. The names of Russian scientists and inventors are known all over the world. Almost in all branches of science and technology the Russian scientists played the leading role.
The achievements of the Russian scientists are great.
– Can you tell us about an outstanding American personality?
– John Fitzgerald Kennedy (1917-1963), 35th president of the United States (1961-63), faced a John Kennedy grew up in a large family. He was the second of nine children, and his father wanted all his children to compete physically and intellectually with each other. Kennedy graduated from Harvard University. For six months in 1938 he served as secretary to his father, then U.S. ambassador to Great Britain.
– In the fall of 1941 Kennedy joined the U.S. Navy and two years later was sent to fight in the Pacific against the Japanese during Word War II. Originally John's elder brother was to become the U.S. president, but he was killed during the war. So, John who originally planned to become a scholar or a journalist was to
Что бы ты рассказал своим зарубежным друзьям о традиционных русских праздниках? Что ты знаешь о праздниках в странах изучаемого языка?
Holidays in Russia, Britain and the USA
Feasts and festivals serve to meet specific social and psychological needs of the people of the country. Holidays can be religious and secular, national and local, official and unofficial. The dates that are memorable to every Russian citizen are Victory Day, May Day, Constitution Day, Women's Day, and the Day of Sovereignty of the Russian Federation. These are national holidays; people do not work on these days. The most important date in Russia is Victory Day. Observed on May 9, it commemorates the Victory of the Russian troops over the Nazi invaders. On that day the veterans meet in the parks and squares of the cities to recollect the days of war and exchange greetings. Wartime music is played everywhere. At night fireworks are let off. May Day is also very popular in our country. This is the day of friendship and support.
One of the biggest festivals of the year is New Year. Peter I the Great decreed that New Year should be marked in Russia on January 1. The coming of New Year is celebrated with a New Year Tree, presents, Grandpa Frost, European Santa Claus, and a hearty meal. In our country New Year is toasted in champagne at family gatherings. New Year's feasts are widely covered by mass media.
Recently new national holidays have been introduced in our country. These are Christmas and Easter. Christmas and Easter are both religious holidays. Now they are officially marked throughout our country. In Russia Christmas is celebrated on January 7. Easter is the most important holiday for the Orthodox. Besides the religious significance, these holidays have become the days of family reunion and happiness.
The major holidays in Great Britain are New Year's Day, Good Friday, Easter Monday, Labour Day (May 1), Christmas Day, and Boxing Day. Public holidays are called Bank Holidays, because on these days banks, most of the shops and offices are closed. The Bank Holidays were appointed by the Act of Parliament in 1871.
Christmas is the festival that everyone celebrates on December 25. On Christmas people usually stay with their families. On Christmas Eve children hang stockings at the ends of their beds for Father Christmas to fill them with toys. Boxing Day, marked on December 26, is the day on which boxes of presents are given to the people who have given service during a year. New Year is marked in accordance with the family tradition and personal taste.
National festivals in the United States include Thanksgiving Day, Independence Day, St. Patrick's Day, Mother's Day, and Memorial Day. Independence Day is observed on July 4. On this day, in 1776, America adopted the Declaration of Independence, written by Thomas Jefferson, and started the fight for freedom from the British rule. The celebration of it began in the American Revolution. Since then it has been a patriotic holiday. People go out into the streets on July 4, dress up and take part in parades and open-air meetings. In the evening there are always parties and fireworks.
Another big holiday in the USA is Thanksgiving Day. It commemorates colonial celebrations following the first successful harvests in 1621. The first national Thanksgiving Day, proclaimed by George Washington, was celebrated on November 26, 1789. Abraham Lincoln revived the custom in 1863. In 1941 Congress provided that Thanksgiving should fall on the fourth Thursday of November. On this day American families meet for a special dinner, usually with turkey and pumpkin pie. They give thanks to God for the past year.
Children always have fun at Halloween on October 31. They dress up like ghosts and witches. They cut up a pumpkin to look like a frightening face and put a light inside. They go from house to house and say «Trick» or «Treat»? If they get a «Treat» (sweets or an apple), they go away happy. But if they don't, they play tricks.
– Memorial Day falls on the fourth Monday of May. It is the day on which the Americans honour the dead. At first it was the day on which flags or flowers were placed on graves of the soldiers who perished in the
Ты собираешься провести месяц в семье твоего зарубежного друга. Как ты думаешь, что в этой семье будет интересно узнать о тебе?
My little sister is 10 years old. Her name is Ann. Although she is little she knows a lot of wonderful things. She is very clever and intelligent. I can talk with her for hours about the adventures of three musketeers, the Greek and Roman gods and heroes. She learns English. Her favourite books are «Alice in Wonderland» and «Through the Looking-Glass» by Lewis Carroll. But I like his poem «The Hunting of the Snark». It is
Читательские интересы у людей разные. А что любишь читать ты?
Literature is the greatest human property. It is generally known that Russian literature is one of the most voluminous in the world. A. Pushkin, I. Turgenev, I. Goncharov, L. Tolstoy, F. Dostoevsky, A. Chekhov are the leaders of the world classical literature. They set a pattern for language, subject matter, and narrative techniques of Russian and world literature. Their works attract readers even today, because everybody can find something special there.
Ivan Turgenev successfully linked social problems with true literary art. His «Hunter's Sketches» and «Fathers and Sons» depict Russia's life with realism and with artistry which make these works classics. The problem of the generation gap discussed in his «Fathers and Sons» is very acute today.
America gave the world many great writers. Mark Twain, Edgar Allan Рое, and Walt Whitman dominated in the 19-th century literature. The great American writers of the 20-th century were Ernest Hemingway, William Faulkner, and Francis Scott Fitzgerald.
– Yes, I do. There are certain books that I can read any time from virtually any page. Each time I open these books I discover there something new, something that I have missed or misinterpreted during my previous reading. Some people say that rereading books is boring, that there are so many books that they have not read yet, that they will never return to the books they have already read. I can not agree with it. There are many books that are not worth even a single reading, while there are others that have numerous layers. Most of all I like to return to the books that 1 have already read every couple of years just to compare in which way my perception of the author and his book has changed.
– What are these books?
– It would take me some time simply to mention the books that I love to reread. One of these books is «The Adventures of Tom Sawyer» by Mark Twain. When I first got acquainted with this wonderful novel I did not know how to read and my mother read it to me. The first thing I did when I started reading myself was reading «Tom Sawyer.» It was as if I met the old friend. Later I was rereading some episodes that I liked most of all and each time I discovered something new. For example, when I was a kid I thought that the adventures of Tom and Huck constituted the most important part of the book. Later I started to understand the humour of Mark Twain. Since my first acquaintance with this author I have read many other novels and short stories by Mark Twain. Reading «Tom Sawyer» again and again enhanced my understanding of Mark Twain not only as a writer, but also as a personality. Now I am trying to read the novel in the original, I think that this will help me to understand both Mark Twain and Tom Sawyer better.
Сейчас много говорят о телевидении, находят как положительные, так и отрицательные стороны. А что думаешь ты?
Advantages and disadvantages of television
Television is one of the greatest achievements of the 20-th century. It is the most popular part of mass media. Today every family has a TV-set. TV has changed much since the time of its invention and so has its role. There have been numerous debates concerning advantages and disadvantages of television. When TV first appeared its main purpose was to give official information to people. It was supported by the government. Now television plays a big role in every civilised society. Today television gives people a possibility to be well informed and enjoy «civilised pleasures.» The programmes are various and people have a chance to select what they want to see. Television provides great opportunities for education. There are programmes devoted to specialised subjects. With the help of TV it is possible to learn foreign languages, to know a lot of wonderful things concerning the world flora and fauna. TV teaches the ideals of democracy and political argument. Watching television can be compared with reading books. It provides an outlet for creative talents. By the beginning of the 21-st century TV became a coloured world network. Numerous programmes people can receive by satellite or cable. The choice of the channels ranges from six to twenty. These channels show programmes of various kinds from documentaries, current events and sports to programmes American films and science fiction cartoons. Now this medium of communication allows people to see and speak with each other if they are separated by thousands of kilometres. TV bridges between Russia and the USA once were very popular. They showed that TV was a unifying force and that our planet in reality is a small world. Previously innovations were promoted on TV. TV shocked, surprised and stimulated. It brought ballet, opera, and theatre to big masses of people. It was even in the vanguard of new drama. Moreover, TV can keep children quiet. If they are noisy their mothers turn on the set. If people do not like TV they do not buy it or switch it off.
At the same time there are a lot of arguments against TV. It is said that only three generations have grown up with television, but they managed to forget how to spend their free time without television. Its role is increasing not because it is an entertainer or informant, but because of the grip it has on many people. It is called a «living room monster» or «one-eyed monster.» It is established that the biggest viewers are pensioners and housewives. The latter watch TV while their husbands are at work. In total they spend five hours daily sitting before the «boxes.» Children watch commercials, horror films or films of violence. TV prevents children from creating their abilities. They get accustomed to TV to such an extent that they watch it all the time. To force their children away from their favourite evening programmes to their homework has eventually become the main problem of the parents of different countries.
Moreover, TV is damaging for health. It has bad effect on the eyes, particularly of children. The physicians proved that if children do not watch TV their eyesight improves. But if children do not watch TV they find themselves without anything to talk about at school, where comedians and singing stars are major topics during breaks between classes. The same is true about some adults. Sometimes TV programmes become the topics of common interest of the people and without, them they have nothing to talk about.
Nowadays some people in our country watch television programmes from about six in the morning to the early hours of the next day. It means that contemporary people for various reasons depend upon television. They watch everything from news and sports reports to dramas, educational and entertainment programmes. Today some people become TV addicts and feel - unhappy if they fail to find another way of passing leisure time. Free time is regulated by television
Молодежь, любит разные музыкальные стили. Какие из них популярны сейчас? Какой стиль ближе всего тебе? Почему?
20-th century music styles
The 20-th century is by all means considered to be the most influential period of time in the development of music. In the 20-th century there were more practising musicians than in all previous centuries taken together. In the 20-th century there was no mainstream but various styles in music. It is not an easy task to describe these music styles. They reflect the world that was constantly changing. Desires and fears of the people of the 20-th century found their outlet in music. The 20-th century opened a new era in the history of mankind, and the new epoch was to be described in new musical forms. The rules were left in the past. In the 20-th century everybody could choose the music that he would enjoy. It was exciting in its adventurous freedom.
In the 1920s in New Orleans beautiful music filled the streets and cafes. The black and poor singers sang about their hard lives. Their music - jazz, ragtime and blues - soon travelled to Europe. It was the time when the black music entered the whites' culture changing the lifestyle of the people all over the world. Ever since the 1930s music was not just a way to relax. From that time on music began to reflect and determine the people's way of life.
Many sub-cultures developed as a result of the fusion of black and white music cultures. Black music evolved in the Caribbean and in the United States, later it moved to Britain. Such styles as reggae, rap, hip-hop to say nothing of the blues were created by the black community. Today many white musicians either perform the black music or use the black melodies in creating their own songs.
Swing, rock'n'roll and singers like Jerry Lee Lewis and Chuck Berry destroyed the laws of morality that were imposed on the people by the Church for centuries. In the 1950s Elvis Presley became the king of rock 'n' roll in the United States of America. The new music travelled to Europe soon. It was especially popular among the teenagers. The parents were really shocked by «Devil's music» that their children adored. The young people disagreed with their parents, wore their jeans and danced to their rock 'n' roll records.
In the 1960s in Great Britain, in Liverpool a new band was created. It was soon to be known world-wide as the «Beatles». John Lennon and Paul McCartney were writing simple songs and performing them so brilliantly that they gave a new impulse for the development of the musical community. Other members of the famous group were George Harrison and Ringo Starr. Such songs as «Yesterday», «Let It Be», «Love Me Do», and «Yellow Submarine» made them the most popular band not only in England, but throughout the world as well.
Madonna, Michael Jackson, and «Spice Girls», and «Backstreet Boys» give an example of what teenagers preferred to listen. At the same time a powerful opposition to the pop music appeared. Rave, techno, rap, chaos, and acid styles were gaining momentum in the 1990s. Young people who preferred this kind of music would never attend a pop show because of a general disgust and hatred for pop music.
The music of the 20-th century did a lot to change the outlook of the people, make peace, bring some positive social changes. It still plays a great role in the life of the people of the 21st century. Everything either happy or tragic that occurs in our life is set to music.
– What was typical of American music of the 20-th century?
– In the 20-th century the USA developed several distinctive and highly influential types of music: jazz, blues, country, and rock'n'roll. The most important performers were Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Charlie Parker, and John Coltrane in jazz; Muddy Waters in the blues, Hank Williams in country and western, and Elvis Presley in rock 'n' roll.
– Does music play an important role in the life of young people?
– Yes, it does. It even determines their life style and fashion. Teenagers try to imitate their favourite musicians in appearance, dress, and lifestyles. Hippies originally tried to imitate the «Beatles;» Hippies usually have long hair, they are dressed in torn clothes. People who prefer heavy metal would rather be dressed in leather and be richly decorated with decorations made of iron.
– What groups are popular in Russia now?
– Young people in Russia prefer different styles of music. Among the most popular groups are «Mumiy Troll», «Agatha Christie», «Tatoo», «Bee-2». At the same time many Russian teenagers have a special liking to the Ukrainian and Moldavian bands. In this context «Vopli Vidopliasova», «Ocean Elzi», and «Sdob Si Sdub» can be mentioned. Some of these bands perform in their native languages, while others sing in Russian. In either case Russian youth can easily understand a song in Ukrainian.
– What music do you like?
In fact I can listen to almost any kind of music, my tastes range from classic music to heavy metal. At the same time there are certain styles of music that I prefer. I believe that music should be energetic, that is why I
Какие традиционные виды спорта страны изучаемого языка ты знаешь? Популярны ли они в России? Какими видами спорта интересуются в твоей семье?
Sports in Great Britain, the USA and Russia
The British like sport very much. They are fond of all kinds of sports. Many sports were invented in Great Britain and then spread throughout the world. Sports became popular long ago. In the 19-th century sport was organised at public schools so that young people could develop their physical abilities. But shortly afterwards the idea was borrowed by businessmen who started to organise football and other sports for their workers. From the 1960s commercial companies began to sponsor different British sports and activities. The national British sports are: football, golf, cricket, tennis, racing, darts. Like everyone else the British adore football. Moreover, the Englishmen invented it.
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