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.
|Рубрика||Иностранные языки и языкознание|
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Nobody can say for sure when people started playing football on the British Isles. It is important however, that current uniform rules of the game were settled only in the 19-th century. At that time there was a great debate, whether one could use his hand to kick the ball or not. Those who wanted to permit the players to carry the ball with their hands united to form rugby. Rugby is played by teams of 15 men with an oval ball. Those who insisted on playing with feet and head only had the majority and that was the beginning of football as everybody knows it today. In Great Britain and more often in the United States football is called soccer to distinguish the game from American football, the game that has much in common with rugby.
Soccer, played almost in all countries, remains one of the most popular games in Great Britain. Each team consists of field players and one goalkeeper. Only the goalkeeper is permitted to take the ball into his hands. The game lasts for 90 minutes with a 15 minute break between two halves 45 minutes each. Most British towns and cities have a football team. Every year, each team in England plays in the Football Association competition. The two best teams play in the Cup Final at Wembley Stadium in London. It is one of the biggest sporting events of the year.
Another traditional British game is cricket. Unlike football cricket is not widely spread outside the British Isles. Cricket is a summer game, it is played in schools, colleges, universities. Cricket is a very long and a very slow game. There are two teams. Each team consists of eleven men. The «bowler» throws the ball, and a «batsman» hits it with his bat.
Tennis is also very popular in Britain. Two different games that do not have much in common bear the name of tennis - lawn tennis and table tennis. Both games first appeared in England, but today the British prefer lawn tennis to table tennis. Every summer, in June, the biggest tournament in the world takes place at Wimbledon. This world centre of lawn tennis is located in a suburb of London. Millions of people watch the Wimbledon Championship on TV. Table tennis originated in England in 1880. But the British players are not lucky in table tennis international championships.
Englishmen like all kinds of racing. Horseracing, motorcar racing, boat racing, dog-racing, donkey racing are very popular in England. The most famous boat racing in England is between Oxford and Cambridge. It first started in 1820 and has been held almost every spring since 1836. A lot of people come to watch this competition between England's leading universities.
– Americans are interested in different sports and activities. The major American sports are ice hockey, baseball, American football and basketball. The large choice of sports in America can be explained by the variety and size of the country, its different climates and the people's love of competitions of any type. The seasons of the The fact is that in the United States when they say football they mean American football, while European football is usually referred to as soccer. In the recent years soccer is gaining its popularity in the United States as well. In 1994 World Football Championship took place in the United States. Nevertheless in the United States soccer is especially popular among girls, while boys prefer sports that are more traditional for their country - American football, baseball and basketball.
– Are you keen on sport?
– Although sport plays an important role in my life, I do not go in for it professionally. My choice of the sports depends upon the season. In summer I like to swim in the lakes and rivers and in winter I like to skate. Skating is a widespread activity among my friends. There are many skating rinks in our town. As for jogging I do it every morning all year round.
– Is sport important for your family?
– Yes, it is. Our family is doing sports on the amateur level. My father is an avid chess player. My mother likes walking in the parks. My sister prefers to get fit at home. She has a lot of books and video-cassettes with instructions how to do home exercise programmes. Although I do not go in for sports, I am fond of such activities that allow me to keep fit at home. I prefer jogging. We also like to watch football, ice-hockey and tennis matches on TV.
– What do American school and colleges use sports activities far?
– American schools and colleges use sports activities as a way of teaching social values. Among these are teamwork and sportsmanship. The average high school offers its students a great variety of sports, including rowing, wrestling, tennis and golf. That is why Americans have done well in many kinds of sports.
– What is regarded as an ideal in the USA?
– Being intelligent and being good in sports are regarded as an ideal. There are many colleges that have excellent academic reputation and are also good in sports.
– What worries professional American athletes today?
– Today sport becomes more and more professional. But it is possible to show high results only at a certain age. Many sportsmen have to terminate their professional career in their thirties. At present professional athletes are concerned with getting a good education that will allow them to find good jobs when their playing days are over.
– Are there special «universities» for sports in the USA?
– There are no separate «universities» for sports in the USA. Everyone in America can participate in sports activities. Public sports facilities have always been available in great number for participants.
Одни люди занимаются спортом, другие предпочитают смотреть спортивные соревнования. Так что же лучше - заниматься или смотреть?
What is better watching sports or participating in sports?
Nowadays sport and recreation have become an important feature in the people's life. But tastes differ and different people have different attitudes to sport and recreation. Some people prefer to watch different sports events, others choose to participate in them actively. Watching other people playing is a popular leisure activity. Large crowds attend numerous national and international occasions; millions watch them on television.
Among the most popular sports are football, hockey, basketball, tennis, and motor racing. Many people assemble to watch these competitions. World Football, Hockey and Basketball Championships attract people from all over the world who cover great distances in order to support their favourite team. Wimbledon Championship is the most important tournament of lawn tennis, while Grand Prix is the major motor racing competition. But of cause the most important sport event is the Olympiad that takes place every four years.
Most of the important games are shown on TV. In many countries there are special TV channels that broadcast sports programmes for 24 hours. The major sporting competitions, such as the Olympic games, are shown on the central TV channels attracting millions of people who can be thousands of kilometres away from the event. Popularity of sports differs from country to country. In Latin America football stadiums are always crowded, while the Russian fans are so disappointed with the poor performance of our football teams that many prefer not to watch the games even on TV.
I can not agree that it is good to disapprove of watching sports events and approve of participating in sports. The desire to follow the example of sports stars induces people to take up sports that they used to watch seriously. For example many young Russians are fond of playing football. Even if the Russian teams are far from being the best in the world, Brazilian, Italian and French players become the example that young people try hard to follow.
Что означает «здоровый образ жизни»? А как ты заботишься о своем здоровье?
The fitness boom of the past decades led to a big rise in the numbers of people participating in sports and activities. Those who pursue the latest fitness fashion are convinced that staying in good physical form requires much more than regular exercise and balanced meals. For anyone who really wants to be healthy, fitness has become an integral part of their lives. A lot of health and fitness clubs, and public leisure centres that were created in many countries indicate the popularity of sports during the past thirty years. These centres with their swimming pools, sunshine beach, water slides, and tropical plants and gyms are very popular among the people. Families can spend their holidays at huge indoor water parks. In such places everybody will have much fun.
There are many opportunities for keeping fit. First of all it is necessary to do exercises. People of different ages can design exercises that will fit them. Running, jumping, swimming, bending and stretching are among the most popular exercises. Many people prefer jogging, which is the cheapest and the most accessible sport. Walking is a very popular activity too. For example, popular running competitions are now held everywhere. Lots of people want to see if they can run faster than everyone else. The big city marathons have become sporting events. Television and newspapers report about them in detail. In order to keep fit some people do aerobics or yoga; others prefer some kind of weight training in a gym. People can easily learn more about fitness through popular books and videos that are sold almost everywhere. A healthy body becomes a fashion, an ideal of the life of today. Even moderate physical activity can protect against heart disease and strokes as well as improve general health and the quality of life. Everyone can benefit from being a little more active. Making small changes like using the stairs instead of the lift or walking or cycling instead of taking the bus can help people live a more active, healthier and enjoyable life. Many sports activities have become part of daily Russian life. Football has always been the most popular sport among boys. Playing football is healthy; football also brings people close because in order to win people have to work as a team. Bicycling is very popular in Russia. Skiing, skating, fishing and hunting are wide spread in our country. In summer many people like to go to the bank of the river on a hot day to swim. Another activity that is popular in our country is roller-skating. Today it has reached its peak in our country. At present the lack of facilities make enthusiasts use city pavements or parking lots.
Unfortunately, many people do not take enough exercise to keep themselves healthy. According to the statistics nowadays 60 percent of men and 91 percent of women are below activity levels necessary for a fit and healthy life. Many men and women are overweight.
Проблемы экологии необычайно важны сегодня. Что ты и окружающие тебя люди могут сделать, чтобы защитить планету?
Environmental protection is one of the main problems of today. Industrial civilisation is characterised by numerous factories and power stations, automobiles and aeroplanes. Technological progress improves people's lives, but at the same time it causes numerous problems that were unimaginable in the past centuries. Through their daily activities people pollute and contaminate land, water and air. Today pollution has become a universal problem. Both the atmosphere of the Earth and the depths of the oceans are poisoned with toxic wastes created by the humans. Millions of species - animals, birds, fish have already disappeared from our planet; thousands of others will be gone tomorrow. Natural resources are exhausted; the ecology of the planet is disbalanced. The survival of our civilisation depends on the ability of mankind to find a way out. The task of protecting the nature is of primary importance now.
Big cities face the environmental catastrophe. Concentration of millions of people on a tiny area causes numerous problems. Some of them can be solved only at the expense of creating new ones. For example, air pollution is caused by the ever-increasing number of automobiles that help to cope with the transportation problem.
The need for energy generates pollution on a large scale. Energy that derives from fossil fuels contaminates the atmosphere. Nuclear power plants threaten air, water and land. The necessity to employ all the inhabitants of the city leads to the creation of new factories that produce not only consumer goods, but wastes and smog as well. Constant carbon dioxide emissions is a characteristic feature of big cities. Pollution of water by both industrial and domestic users creates the problem of water deficit. One form of pollution that is characteristic of large urban cities is noise that has destructive influence on a person's mind. Litter is another issue that people face in big cities. As a result of it big industrial centres today look more like garbage dumps.
It would be naive to think that the environmental problems are limited to big cities only. Our Earth is a living entity; land, air and water are inseparable. Water contaminated in big cities runs to the major rivers that then flow into oceans and seas, thus affecting places far from the point of origin. The atmosphere is in constant movement; the air polluted in the United States can travel the next day to Russia poisoning our people.
Another source of global danger is acid rain. It is a relatively new kind of pollution. Acid rains appeared as a reaction of the atmosphere to the air contamination. Acid rains damage water, forest, and soil resources. Acid rains cause the disappearance of fish from many lakes, bring death to the forests and woods in Europe and America. One more danger comes from the depletion of the ozone layer, which absorbs ultraviolet radiation from the Sun. If it continues it will damage all living organisms on our planet.
The only thing that people fail to realise is that humanity is also part of the biosphere and that people depend completely on the environment. The war on nature that mankind is waging today is a kind of collective suicide. People pollute the air that they breathe, poison the water that they drink. The most evident example of such suicidal tendencies is smoking. Smoking not only harms the health of the smoker, but also is destructive for others. That is why many countries passed laws to restrict smoking in public and at work.
Beginning with the 1960s the pollution problems have received great publicity. Recently the environmental movement has gained widespread support. Environmental activists, organisations of volunteers do their best to stop pollution of our planet. Due to such groups many laws aimed at environmental protection have been passed. Such laws as the Clean Air Act, Water Pollution Control Act, Endangered Species Act led to considerable specific improvements in the environment. Numerous chemicals, fertilisers and gases that were once used in agriculture and industry are banned today. Standards for food have become strict, because agricultural chemicals, used for growing crops, may poison people and end up in food and water supply. In many countries purifying systems for treatment of industrial waters have been installed, measures have been taken to protect rivers and seas from oil waters.
Greenpeace organisation was created in 1987. This organisation carries out numerous campaigns against the global environmental pollution. The protection of natural resources and wild animals is becoming a political programme in every country.
Public attention to the problem of pollution has now become part of the contemporary life. The solution of this global problem requires the co-operation of all nations. People also worry about the dangers resulting from massive releases of radioactive materials from nuclear weapons, which, if used on a major scale, could seriously endanger the humanity. Another concern is accidents at nuclear power plants. In 1978 a nuclear power plant in the United States suffered a severe accident leading to radioactive contamination of water and atmosphere. In 1986 the Chernobyl nuclear power plant near Kiev suffered a fire and a serious breakdown that led to a radioactive explosion. The contaminated air was soon carried to northern and eastern European countries that suffered radioactive rains.
To protect nature people should change their attitude to it. Man should stop taking from nature everything he needs and give it his love instead. Otherwise the price that mankind will have to pay will be too high. It is good that at last people started to realise that they should keep air and water clean by establishing strict pollution control. Efforts are made to reduce pollution from automobile engines by developing pollution-free engines, which may eventually eliminate the more serious air pollution problems. Certain countries have already agreed to limit their carbon dioxide emissions. Moreover, the strong public reaction can facilitate the exercise of absolute pollution control in various contamination industries.
english language thematic text
Когда человек взрослеет, у него могут появиться проблемы. А у тебя есть проблемы с друзьями, родителями или другими окружающими тебя людьми? Как ты справляешься с ними?
Problems of the youth
Youth is a very important period in the life of man. This is the time when a person discovers the world and tries to determine the place in the universe. Young people face lots of problems which are very important for them and do not differ much from those that once their parents had to deal with. At the same time every generation is unique. It differs from the one that preceded it in its experience, ideals and a system of values. The adults always say that the young are not what they were. These words are repeated from generation to generation. To some extent they are true, because every new generation grows up quicker, enjoys more freedom. It is better educated and benefits from the results of the technological progress of the time.
Young people of today do not directly accept the standards of their parents who believe that they are right because they are older. The adults don't want their values to be questioned. The young on the other hand can not accept the values of their «fathers». All these differences generate a generation gap when the young and adult do not understand one another. As a rule the adults, dissatisfied with their own lives, teach the young how to live. Unfortunately, the adults apply old standards to the new way of life. They can not leave behind their «good old days». This burden is very heavy. They think that the world is going down hill. They gloomily look ahead unable to understand the optimism of their children who want to pave their own way in life. The majority of the young people do not want to live in the past. They have their own ideals. They want to make their own mistakes rather than to listen to the warnings of the adults and repeat the mistakes of the older generation. They want to overcome their own difficulties without looking back. However, the life of the young is frequently determined by the adults. I think that parents will never understand their children. And children, in their turn, shock their parents with their dress, language, behaviour. The existence of sub-culture which is specific for every generation is a form of protest of the young people against the values of the adults. Thus, informal groups such as Hippies, Rockers, Bikers, Skinheads, Punks, Goths, Acid House appeared as a kind of protest against the values and lifestyles of the older people.
Traditionally, young people were looking at their elders for guidance. Today the situation is different. Sometimes the young people share information and experience with their parents. I think that it is not bad, especially when the adults really try to understand what is going on in the lives of their children. Moreover, young people grow up so quickly that they almost do not have time to enjoy their childhood.
Another problem that young people face today concerns their relationship with their friends. As far as friendship is concerned, I think that a person can and should have a lot of friends. Не/she can be on good terms with the classmates. But at the same time there can be only two or three real friends. I believe that real friends will never betray each other. They will always understand and help each other. I agree that tolerance is the pledge of friendship. It is wonderful if a school friend will remain your friend for the rest of your life. But in this case everything depends on the person.
The problem of love is very important for young people. Today they fall in love when they reach the age of Romeo and Juliet. Romanticism and idealism very often accompany the love of the young. They can love deeply and passionately, they believe that their love will last forever. Unfortunately, often their hearts are broken. Young people are not always ready to have stable relations. In many cases they are too young and inexperienced to begin a family life. They have to continue their education, while family obligations will force them to make money. At the same time without good education it is not easy to find a good job.
– Communication has always been an important part of young people's lives. Today they can choose between traditional and new ways of communication. Traditionally the young meet after classes with their school friends, make parties, go to the movies or disco clubs to have fun, relax and acquire new friends. But if the young people do not like noisy clubs and other places of entertainment, they can find friends without leaving their homes - the Internet gives such an opportunity. Although this international Web Wide Web is intended for getting knowledge, only few users employ it in this way. Others use different computer programmes to chat with their friends from all over the globe. They can sit for twenty four hours staring at the monitors. Such young people do not eat, sleep, work or learn properly. Their parents think that they are doing nothing, but this is not absolutely correct. They only thing many young people are interested in is navigating through the net
Изучение иностранных языков становится все более популярным в России. Почему люди в нашей стране изучают иностранные языки?
Language is the means of communication. The most common way of expressing an idea for people is to say it out loud. Language enables people to understand each other. At the same moment language can be a major barrier to understanding because there are thousands of different languages on our planet. From the earliest time, with the development of trade and exchange of ideas and techniques people saw the necessity of learning foreign languages. Egyptian pharaohs had scribes and interpreters at their disposal. A language that is used as a means of communication by people of different nations is called international. International language helps people of different nations to understand each other. Different epochs had different international languages. As a rule the existence of the language as an international one is determined by political, cultural and economic development of the country which language is spoken as international. International language is not the phenomenon of our age only. The first international language appeared on the Earth with the birth of civilisation. The Biblical myth about the mixture of languages during the construction of the Babylon Tower, when the people lost their universal language and thus could not communicate, was a reflection of how dearly the people of ancient periods held the gift of speech and understanding. Ever since those times the foreign languages and people who knew them played a significant part in the development of international relations and trade of different countries. The first international language that we know about was the language of the Phoenicians. The Phoenicians were a nation of industrious merchants and brave seafarers who settled originally on the territory of the Lebanon. Their trading ships travelled across the Mediterranean, they often appeared in Egypt, Italy, and Greece, they voyaged across the Indian and Atlantic oceans. They were the first to round the Cape of Good Hope, the southernmost point of Africa. The Phoenicians were the first to create the alphabet, that later was borrowed by the Greeks. It is not surprising in this context that Phoenician was the international language for many centuries. The Greek language replaced Phoenician as a means of international communication. After the military expeditions of Alexander of Macedonia the Greek language won recognition all over Asia. The Greek culture and language were imposed in all Hellenistic centres and states, including Egypt, Syria and Persia. The Romans went a little further. The Roman legionary marched to the ends of the earth carrying Latin, their language, with the help of their orators and philosophers to Europe, Asia, and Africa. From that time on the role of languages in the historical development of humanity has increased. Latin survived the collapse of the Roman Empire. Until the establishment of national states, new national languages that originated from Latin (French, Spanish, and Italian) were still emerging. In such circumstances although the native speakers of Latin were gone, it was a universal language of Mediaeval Europe for fifteen centuries. In Europe Latin was used for the serious business of government, diplomacy, and philosophy. A person who did not know Latin was unable to become educated because Latin was also the language of the Universities. In the Middle Ages students and professors travelled from one country to another, from one University to another, and nowhere they had any difficulties in understanding their colleagues and friends as all lectures were delivered in Latin. Then with the emergence of national states and development of national languages the need to learn foreign languages became especially acute. Besides classical languages modern languages were introduced in the list of school studies. Educated people of Europe were to know several modern languages. For example, Rubens, the greatest painter of the Western civilisation who lived in Flanders in the 17-th century, spoke and wrote six modern languages. It should be said that not all the languages had equal importance in different centuries in the world. Preference was given to that one which country was more powerful at that time. In the 15-th and 16-th centuries Spain was in the vanguard of European and world expansion and the Spanish language could be heard in the far reaches of our planet. French became the dominant language of the Western world in the 17-th and 19-th centuries. In the 19-th century French was the official language of our country. Since childhood Russian aristocrats were learning French. For example, Pushkin wrote his first poem in French. Russian was spoken
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