United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland with an area of
244 000 square miles is situated on the British Isles, which are
separated from the European continent by the North Sea, the Strait of
Dover and the English Channel. Britain’s population is over 56
million. Four out of every five people live in towns. The largest
cities of the country are London, Birmingham, Liverpool, Manchester,
Glasgow and Edinburgh.
UK is a monarchy: the head of the state is a king or a queen. In
practice, the Sovereign reigns, but does not rule: the UK is governed
by the Government. The present Sovereign is Queen Elizabeth II.
territory of Great Britain is small. Yet the country has a wide
variety of scenery.
heart of Britain is England. It is the richest, the most fertile and
most populated in the country. The north and the west of England are
mountainous, but all the rest of territory is a vast plain. In
Northwest England, there are many beautiful lakes with green, wooded
or grassy shores and grey mountains all around.
smallest of Britain’s countries is Wales. The largest part of
Wales is covered with rocky mountains, which are difficult to climb.
Most people in Wales live in the coastal plains.
Scotland is a land of mountains, wild moorlands, narrow
valleys and plains, famous lakes and no end of large and small
islands. The Highlands of Scotland are among the oldest mountains in
the world. One-third of the people in Scotland
in or near its capital, Edinburgh, and its great industrial center,
capital of Great Britain, London, stands on the Thames. The Thames is
the busiest and the most important river in Great Britain, but it is
not very long. The climate of Great Britain is mild.
Robert Burns is the national poet of Scotland. In his poems
Burns sang the beauty and the glory of his native land.
Burns was born in Alloway,
near Ayr, on 25 of January 1759. His father, a small farmer, was a
hard-working man. When Robert was 6, he was sent to a school at
Alloway Miln. Robert and his brother Gilbert were given a good
knowledge of English. They progressed rapidly in reading and writing.
For some years Burns worked
on the family field, plugging and reaping. The combination of hard
physical labour and poor food in his youth that brought about the
first symptoms of the heart disease which troubled him for much of
his life and from which he died.
Burns wrote his first poem at the age of 14 for a girl who
worked with him in the fields. After father’s death he
immigrated to Jamaica. His most creative years were probably 1785 and
1786. During this period Burns wrote his most brilliant poems. Burns
published his poems in August 1786. The success was great.
Soon, in April 1787, a
second edition of his poems appeared in Edinburgh; 3000 copies were
printed – a very large number for those times!
Now Burns had the
opportunity to see more of his native land which he so dearly loved.
He visited some historic places, which made a great impression on
the last 5 years of his life Burns wrote some of his best poems and
songs. After a short illness he died on 21 July 1796.
is the capital of the United Kingdom, its economic, political and
cultural center. It is one of the world’s most important ports
and one of the largest cities in the world. London with its suburbs
has a population of about 11 million people.
has been a capital for nearly a thousand years. Many of its ancient
buildings still stand. The most famous of them are the Tower of
London, Westminster Abbey and St. Paul’s Cathedral. Most
visitors also want to see the Houses of Parliament and the many
London was a small Roman town of the north bank of the Thames. Slowly
it grew into one of the world’s major cities.
areas of London seem like different cities. The West End is a rich
man’s world of shops, offices and theatres. The City of London
is the district where most offices and banks are concentrated; the
Royal Exchange and the Bank of England are here, too. The East End is
a district where mostly working people live. The old port area is now
There are now new office buildings in Docklands, and thousands of new
flats and houses.
the day the whole of London is busy. At night, offices are quiet and
empty, but the West End stays alive, because this is where Londoners
come to enjoy themselves. There are two opera houses here, several
concert halls and many theatres, as well as cinemas. In nearby Soho
the pubs and restaurants and nightclubs are busy half the night
is the capital of Russia, its political, economic and cultural
center. It was founded 8 centuries ago by Prince Yuri Dolgoruky.
Historians have accepted the year of 1147 as the start of Moscow’s
history. Gradually the city became more and more powerful. In the
century Moscow was the center of the struggle of Russian lands for
the liberation from the tartar yoke. In the 16th
century under Ivan the Terrible Moscow became the capital of the new
united state. Though Peter the Great moved the capital to St.
Petersburg in 1712, Moscow remained the heart of Russia.
Moscow is one of the largest cities in Europe. Its total area is
about 900 square km. The population of the city is over 8 million
is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. The heart of Moscow
is Red Square. The Kremlin and St. Basil’s Cathedral are
masterpieces of ancient Russian architecture. The main Kremlin tower,
the Spasskaya Tower, has become the symbol of the country. On the
territory of Kremlin you can see old cathedrals, the Bell Tower, the
Palace of Congress, the Tzar-Cannon and the Tzar-Bell, the biggest
cannon and bell in the world. St. Basil’s Cathedral was built
in the mid-16th
century in memory of the victory over Kazan. There is a legend, that
Ivan the Terrible blinded the architects Barma and Postnik, because
he didn’t want them to create another masterpiece.
Moscow is famous for its
theatres. The best known of them is the Bolshoi Opera House. Drama
theatres and studios are also very popular.
Moscow is a city of students.
There are over 80 higher educational institutions in it, including
Moscow is the seat of the
Russian Parliament and the center of political life of the country.
schools in our
are comprehensive. Ours is a lyceum so our pupils come from different
parts of the city. The school holds over 1200 pupils and about 100
for junior forms are on the ground floor. They look cozy. The walls
are decorated with pictures and there are nice curtains on the large
windows. I think, children feel at home here. The classrooms for
senior students are on the upper floors. Our principal’s office
is on the ground floor. At the beginning of the corridor, on the
right are gym and a workshop for girls, and on the left –
workshop for boys. The library and the canteen are on the first
floor. The computer class is on the first floor, too. It is very
popular with our pupils, as many of them are fond of computer games.
It’s a pity we have no Assembly Hall and all school
celebrations and gatherings are held in the gym. The school is rather
well equipped. Tape recorders and record players are used at
different lessons. Chemistry, physics and biology are taught in
well-equipped labs. The students carry out experiments and make
careful observations there. Our classes start at half past eight and
are over at half past one. Some pupils live far from school so they
have to get there by bus, by tram or by trolley-bus. My school is
from Monday till Saturday so we have only one day off. If we had one
more day off we would devote our spare time to entertainment,
theatres, museums, sports and different hobby clubs.
The Russian Federation is the
largest country in the world. Its total area is about 17 million
square kilometers. It occupies most of Eastern Europe and Northern
Asia. Russia is bordered by Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Litva, Belarus,
Ukraine, Azerbaijan and China.
Russian Federation is located
on two plains, the Great Russian Plain and the West Siberian Lowland.
The longest mountain chains are the Urals, the Caucasus and the
Altai. Russia’s most important rivers are the Volga, the main
Siberian rivers and the Amur. The total number of rivers in Russia is
over two million. The world’s deepest lake – Lake Baikal,
with the deeps of 1600 metres, is situated in Russia, too. The
climate in Russia varies from the arctic in the north to subtropical
in the south. The current population of Russia is about 150 million
Russia is a
highly-developed-agrarian republic. Its vast mineral resources
include oil, natural gas, coal, iron, zinc, lead nickel, aluminum,
gold and other non-ferrous metals.
The capital of the Russian
Federation is Moscow, with the population of about 10 million people.
Russia is a constitutional
republic with president as Head of State. The legislative power is
vested in the Federal Assembly, consisting of the Council of
Federation and the State Duma.
Science is important to most
people living in the modern world for a number of reasons. In
particular, science is important to world peace and understanding, to
the understanding of technology, and to our understanding of the
Science is important to world
peace in many ways. On one hand, scientists have helped to develop
many of the modern tools of war. On the other hand, they have also
helped to keep the peace through research, which has improved life
for people. Scientists have helped us understand the problem of
supplying the world with enough energy; using energy from the sun and
from the atom. Scientists have also analysed the world’s
resources. Scientists studies the Universe and how to use its
possibilities for the benefit of men.
Scientists are also important
to everyone who is affected by modern technology. Many of the things
that make our lives easier and better are the results of advances in
technology. In some cases, such as technology for taking salt out of
ocean water, technology may be essential for our lives on Earth.
Scientists are learning to
predict earthquakes, to study many other natural events such as
storms. Scientists are also studying various aspects of human biology
and the origin and developments of the human race. The study of the
natural world may help improve life for many people all over the
A basic knowledge of science is
essential for everyone. It helps people to find their way in the
Sport in a pub.
There are many public houses in
London and elsewhere, where beer, wine and spirits may be bought and
drunk at certain times of the day. These are suitable for all classes
of the community and provide a place, where people may meet together
and talk, and perhaps play at darts or other games, as well as drink.
the bar of every English «pub»
is a dartboard, and on most evenings the game of darts is being
played. This is a traditional English game. The first record of
something like the modern game appears in a sixteenth century. In
this tournament people threw missiles in a target by hand, instead of
using a bow.
dartboard has numbered sections and the score depends on the section
in which the dart lands. The darts are small, about 12 cm long, and
have a steel point, a metal body and the three feathers. A set of
three darts is used and each player throws them in turns. Expert
players usually have their own private set of darts, but pubs always
provide a set for occasional players. If you hit the very middle –
you hit the bull’s eye, which give you the highest score.
are really an essential part of English life. Most customers in the
smaller pubs play games such as dominoes, darts or snooker. Snooker
is a variation of billiards played with 15 red balls and 6 variously
colored ones. And in many local pubs there are the teams of players
of snooker who play matches against teams from other pubs. The idea
has developed so far that there are even national championships in
snooker and darts.
in Our Life.
People all over
the world are fond of sports and games. Sport makes people healthy,
keeps them fit, more organized and better disciplined. It unites
people of different classes and nationalities.
people do sports on their personal initiative. They go in for skiing,
skating, table tennis, swimming, volleyball, football, bodybuilding,
etc. All necessary facilities are provided for them: stadiums, sport
grounds, swimming pools, skating rinks, skiing stations, football
fields. Sport is
much attention to in our educational establishments. Gymnastics is a
part of children’s daily activity in the kindergartens.
Physical culture is a compulsory subject at schools and colleges.
sport is also paid much attention to in our republic. There are
different sporting societies clubs and complexes. The most famous of
them are the Olympic complexes «Luzhniki»,
stadium, etc. They are used for international and world competitions.
all kinds of sports are popular in our republic but football;
gymnastics and tennis enjoy the greatest popularity.
for me, I go in for swimming. It needs mobility, liveliness and much
energy. It keeps a person in a good form. I have been swimming for a
5 years. I get a real joy taking part in competitions or a simply
swimming with my friends. Certainly, it`s a great distance between my
manner of swimming and such favorites as Popov, but I do my training
with great pleasure and hope to swim well as our best swimmers do.
people know that Thomas Edison invented first working light bulb, but
they don’t know anything else about him. Edison had almost no
formal schooling, yet he invented over 1000 different things. Among
Edison’s inventions are: the phonograph (record player), the
movie camera and the movie projector.
Edison invented his electric light bulb in 1879, but there was still
much work to do. No one knew how to use electricity outside of
laboratory before Thomas Edison. He and his workers had to create a
safe electric system. First they had to build a factory. Then they
had to build the dynamos to make the electricity. Next they had to
send out the electricity.
show people that he was serious, Edison began his project in New York
City. By 1887, much of New York City had electricity. Edison founded
the Edison Electric Light Company and continued to supply electricity
to New York and other places.
Edison lived until 1931. He continued to invent all his life. After
the War, he tried to invent a substitute for rubber because of the
shortage that the war caused.
Edison was a true genius, but he never went to a college or
university. The only time Edison attended school was when he was 7
years old. He stayed for 3 months and never returned. Thomas Edison
was a school dropout, yet he became one of America’s most
famous and most honoured man.
United States is a federal union, which is made up of 50 states and
one independent district – the District of Columbia. The
District of Columbia is the territory of the national capital of the
USA, Washington, with its own laws and regulations. Washington, D.C.
is situated on both banks of the Potomac river, between the two
states, Maryland and Virginia.
This place was chosen by the
first American President George Washington. In 1790 George Washington
laid the corner-stone of the Capitol where the Congress sits. The
place was called the District of Columbia in honour of Columbus, the
discoverer of America. The capital got the name of Washington after
the name of its founder. Washington has been the federal capital
Washington is sometimes called
the heart of America. It is the capital where the federal government
works and where each President of the United States lives. Washington
is smaller in size than the largest cities of the USA. The population
of Washington is about 11 million people. The buildings in Washington
are not very tall because no building must be taller than the
Capitol. But in political sense Washington is the centre of the
country and the most important city in the United States.
William Shakespeare is the
greatest of all playwrights and poets of all times. Not much is known
of his life. He was probably the son of a businessman and was born in
1564 in Stradford-upon-Avon. He probably attended the local grammar
school and got a classical education. In 1582 he married Anne
Hathaway and had 3 children. Little is known of his life before 1592,
when he appeared as a playwright in London. Soon he became an actor
playing supporting roles like the ghost in «Hamlet». In
1599 Shakespeare became a part owner of the Globe Theatre in London.
Shakespeare’s work as a
playwright is subdivided into 3 periods. Written in the first period,
Shakespeare’s plays are mostly history plays like «Henry
VI», and comedies with strong elements of farce. His
masterpiece of this period is «Romeo and Juliet».
the second period Shakespeare wrote a number of comedies where he
moved away from farce towards romance. In the third period, after
1600, appeared his major tragedies – «Hamlet»,
«Othello». They presented a clear opposition of order to
chaos, good to evil.
Shakespeare was a great poet and
would be well known for his poetry alone. His major achievement as a
poet is his sonnets, first published in 1609. A sonnet is a poem
consisting of 14 lines, with a moral at the end. The sonnets are
addressed to some «W.H.», and to mysterious «Dark
Lady of Sonnets». The sonnets deal with the great themes of
love, friendship, death, change and immortality. Shakespeare looks at
his own poetry as a means of immortality. Shakespeare’s sonnets
are excellent. They are full of harmony and music; they praise love,
friendship and beauty, though there is no sentimentality in them.
Shakespeare’s poetry is at
the summit of human achievement. Many centuries have passed since his
death in 1616, but Shakespeare is still considered to be the greatest
of all playwrights and poets.