Usually I get up at 7 o'clock. I don't like to get up early but I am a pupil and my school begins at half past 8. I must not be late, that's why I must get up early. I switch on the light and the radio and do my morning exercises. I am lazy and do not do my morning exercises every day. After that I make my bed, go to the bathroom, wash my face and hands with cold water, clean my teeth and brush my hair. I put on my clothes and go to the kitchen. My mother prepares breakfast for me every morning. As a rule I have some sandwiches and a cup of tea for breakfast. At quarter past 8 I leave my house. My school is not far from my house and it takes me 10 minutes to get to school. We have 5-6 lessons every day. We study different subjects: Maths, Physics, Chemistry, Russian and Literature, English and History etc. Some of them I like very much, especially Maths and English. After lessons I come back home and have dinner. For dinner I have a plate of soup, potato with fish or meat and a glass of juice. I have a short rest or go to the shop if my mother asks me, and then I go to my sport club. I am very fond of football and three times a week I am on the football ground. In the evening I have a lot of things to do. I do my homework for the next day. Usually I spend 2 hours at my desk. I play with my little sister, watch a video or TV, if there is something interesting on. After that I have a light supper and go to bed.
Our family is not very large. There are five of us: father, mother, sister, my grandmother and me. We live in St. Petersburg in Ivanovskaya Street in a big old house. Our flat is small but it is very comfortable.
My father is 40. He is a worker, he works at a plant. He is an excellent specialist and likes his work. He thinks that his job is the best one.
My mother is 39. She is a teacher at school. She teaches English. She is a good teacher and schoolchildren like her.
My sister is a little girl, she goes to the kindergarten. She is a very funny girl. She likes to be busy with her toys and dolls, to dance, to sing songs and to play very noisy games.
The leader of our family is our Granny. She is 65. She doesn't work, she is retired. She looks after our house and cooks dinner for us. Our Granny is a veteran of the Great Patriotic War and she has many medals.
My name is Alec. I'm 12. I go to school, I am a pupil of the 7th form. I am a good pupil and I study well. After leaving school I am going to be a businessman.
We have a flat in a new district of our city. Our house is a 9-storey building. We live on the 4th floor. Sometimes we use a lift to get to our flat. There are 3 rooms as well as a kitchen, a bathroom and a balcony in our flat.
The living room is the largest room in our flat. It has 2 windows and a balcony.
There is a thick carpet on the floor and beautiful curtains at the windows. We have a new sofa, 2 arm-chairs, a TV-set on a small table, bookcases and a great number of books in the living room. Our mother likes flowers, so you can see many flowers in our flat, especially in the living room. There are flowers everywhere: at the windows and on the bookcases. We like to spend our evenings in the living room watching TV or reading books.
The bedroom is not so big as the living room but it is very comfortable. There are 2 beds with bed-side tables, a wardrobe and a mirror in it. There are small carpets near each bed, a modern lamp in the corner of the room and, of course, flowers.
The children's room is the smallest in our flat but we have all we need: beds, desks, toys and a tape-recorder. There are four shelves full of books on the walls. I think, my room is the best in our flat.
schools in russia
Children in our country go to school when they are 7. It is the first of September when they begin their school year. We go to school on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. Saturdays and Sundays are our days off.
I go to secondary school and our school life lasts 10 years. Our school is an old 3-storey building, with large, light classrooms. Lessons begin at quarter past 8. Usually we have 5-6 lessons a day. Each lesson lasts 40 minutes. There are breaks of 10-15 minutes after each lesson. During the large break we have breakfast in the dining room. The dining room is on the ground floor. The library, gym, cloakroom, and workshops for boys and girls are on the ground floor too. We also have the classrooms for Chemistry, Physics, Biology, Geography, Russian and Literature. Our English and German classrooms are on the first floor. We think that our teachers are the best and we like them very much.
More than 600 pupils study at our school. After lessons the pupils who are on duty help the teacher to clean the classroom and to prepare materials for the next day. Our boys and girls have many hobbies. And when our school day is over they go to different clubs and sections in our school. They are fond of music, football, computers, swimming, dancing, English, arts and sewing.
I like my school and my teachers very much.
There are four seasons in the year: spring, summer, autumn and winter. Each season has three months, March, April and May are spring months, June, July and August are summer months, September, October and November are autumn months, December, January and February are winter months.
Spring is a nice season. It is the time when nature awakes from the winter's dreams. It is the first warm season in the year. The weather is usually fine. The sun shines, the sky is blue and there are no clouds in it. It seldom rains and it is warm. The trees in parks and gardens, and on the streets are green, the first flowers appear and birds begin to sing their songs.
After spring comes summer. It is the best season. The sun shines brightly. The streets of the cities are green and full of flowers of all colors: red, yellow and blue. The days are long and nights are short. The time of "the white nights" comes to our city in summer. The nights are so bright that we don't need to switch on the lights. Summer is the favorite season for all schoolchildren because they have vacations in summer.
Then autumn begins. On the first day of autumn pupils go to school and the new school year begins. The days get shorter and nights longer. Autumn is a dull season. It is a rainy and windy season. The sky is grey and often cloudy. But autumn is a tasty season. There are many fruits and vegetables in autumn: apples, plums, pears, water melons, potatoes, tomatoes and many others. The days become shorter and shorter and winter comes.
It is usually cold in winter. The trees, streets, parks and gardens, fields and squares are white with snow. The rivers and lakes are covered with ice. It often snows in winter. Children like to play snowballs and make snowman, they ski and skate and toboggan.
There are four different seasons in the year and each season is beautiful in its own way.
education in russia
As it is written in our Constitution, everyone has the right for education in our country. Boys and girls in our country begin to go to school when they are 7. Nowadays there are different kinds of schools: secondary, private, author's school. We can choose any school we like. If you want to enter one of the privileged schools you will have a test.
The school year begins on the 1 of September and finishes on the last day of May. There are 4 school terms and after each term there are vacations. As a rule the school day begins at quarter past 8. Each lesson lasts 40 minutes and children have a break after each lesson of 10-15 minutes. The school day finishes at 2 or 3 o'clock in the afternoon. On Saturdays and Sundays our schoolchildren have a rest. But in some schools Saturdays are also working days. In our schools pupils study different subjects. Russian and Literature, Maths, Physics and Chemistry, Biology, Geography, History, Foreign Languages, Art, Music, Craft and Physical Training. After finishing 9 years of education at school, children can continue their education at school or enter one of the vocational or technical schools. At such schools they receive a specialty. After finishing 11 years of secondary school or technical school young people can enter an institute or begin to work. In our country there are many institutes of different branches of industry, for example: polytechnic or electro-technical, medical and textile, pedagogical and communications. Many institutes have evening and extramural departments. That gives the students an opportunity to study at an institute without leaving their jobs at plants and factories.
During the school year children have 4 terms. After each term there are vacations. Pupils have autumn, winter, spring and summer vacations.
The autumn vacations last only one week. The weather at that time of year is not very nice, so usually we stay at home. We have time to read books, visit Granny, play computer games with friends or organize a small party with our best friends and listen to music and dance.
In winter we have 2 weeks of rest. It's a splendid time. First of all New Year's Day is during our winter vacations. It's my favorite holiday. There are many parties, performances and concerts for schoolchildren in clubs and the Palaces of Culture. You can visit them and get New Year presents. Secondly — winter is a wonderful season. The streets are full of snow. We can ski, skate, toboggan and play hockey or with snow-balls. So children spend much time in the fresh air. It is very good for their health. Some children go to winter camps during the vacations.
In spring we have 7 days vacations. The longest and the most wonderful are the summer vacations. They begin at the end of May and last 3 months. Summer is the best time for rest. Many children go to holiday camps. In the country side around St. Petersburg there are many camps of rest for children. They are situated in beautiful places, some in the forest, others on the banks of lake or the Gulf of Finland. It is not possible for all children to go to the camps. That's why many of them go to their relatives who live in the country or in villages. As for me, I like to spend my free time in summer with my Granny in the village. She lives in a village not far from the town Pskov. The village is not very large, the houses are old and made of wood. Our village has a very interesting history. These places are connected with the life of the great Russian poet A. S. Pushkin, who lived and worked here. There are many wonderful places there. The forests are full of berries and mushrooms and the birds sing their songs all day long. I like to swim in the lake. The water in the lake is clean and always warm. In the fields you can see some kinds of farm animals: cows, sheep and horses. Not far from the village there is a cattle farm. I often visit it. I like to watch the life of the animals, especially of the young. My Grandmother has a plot near her house. I often help her to grow and take care of the plants. We grow potatoes and cabbages, tomatoes and cucumbers, carrots and onions. In the garden we have many apple and plum trees, red-currant and strawberries. In autumn we cook tasty jams from these fruits and berries.
holidays in russia
Holidays are a pleasant time for everyone. There are many holidays in each country and we'll speak about some of them. New Year's Day — January 1, is a very popular holiday in all countries including Russia and Great Britain. Of course the happiest part of the population is the children. Each family brings a fir-tree into the house and decorates it with toys and colorful lamps. In the morning on the first of January everyone will find a New Year's present under the fir-tree. It is considered that Father Frost in Russia and Santa Claus in England brings these presents to the houses. Everyone is very happy, they send the best wishes to their friends and relatives.
In Russia we celebrate Christmas Day on the 7th of January and in England — on the 25th of December. It is because of the religion. We have the Orthodox Christmas and the British people have the Catholic Christmas. This holiday is a new one for our country, so we have no special traditions about how to celebrate this holiday. But in England it is one of the main holidays of the year. They send special cards to their friends with good wishes. You will hear the words "Merry Christmas" everywhere. In the evening children put stockings near their beds, because in the morning there will be presents for them. The English tradition is to cook turkey and Christmas pudding.
On the 14th of February English people celebrate St. Valentine's Day. It is the holiday of all lovers. They send wonderful cards to each other with words of love and give each other small but very pleasant presents. Unfortunately we have no such holiday in our country.
On March 8, we celebrate Women's Day in Russia. In England people celebrate Mother's Day on one of the Sundays in March. It is the holiday of all women. On that day men try to do their best to help women about the house and try to cook something tasty. Of course men give presents to their women, usually the first spring flowers.
In April we celebrate Easter in both of our countries. It's a new holiday for us. On that day people paint eggs and give them as presents. The decorations of this holiday are small yellow chickens in baskets full of spring flowers.
In June there is Father's Day in England, and on the 31st of October is Halloween. It is the holiday of ghosts and witches.
shops and shoppings
Shops are very important in our life: there we buy our food, clothes and other things. We buy bread at the baker's shop. We see loaves of white and brown bread on the shelves behind the counter. We pay for our loaf at the cash-desk and then receive it from the shop-assistant. When we want to buy tea, sugar, coffee and also butter, cheese, boiled and smoked sausage, tinned fish, tinned meat, tinned fruits or jam we go to the grocer's shop. The shop where we buy meat is called the butcher's shop. There we can buy pork and lamb, beef and chicken, ham and chops. The shop-assistant weighs our meat, wraps it in paper and tells us the price. When we want to buy fruit or vegetables we go to the greengrocer's shop.
Many people do their shopping at the market. There the collective farmers sell vegetables and fruit, which they grow on their own fields and plots. They also sell meat, eggs and milk.
Large shops with many departments are called department stores. In the shop-windows we can see all the things which they sell there: food, suits, dresses, ladies' coats, men's overcoats, boots, shoes, radio and TV sets and many other things.
sport in our life
We have heard many times that sport holds an important place in our life. Sport helps people to keep in good health. People, especially young people, are fond of sports. They are particularly keen on soccer, volleyball, track-and-field, skiing, skating and swimming. We begin to go in for sport from the first years of our life with morning exercises, then we have physical education lessons at school. Many teenagers are members of different sport clubs and sections and sport societies. They take part in competitions and championships. Some of them achieve distinguished results. The best sportsmen take part in the Olympic Games. The Olympic Games are prestigious international sport competitions. They take place every 4 years in different cities of the world.
The first Olympic Games took place in Greece 2700 years ago. It was the tradition that during the Olympic Games all wars and conflicts were stopped. So we can say that sport is a messenger of peace. During the summer Olympic Games there are competitions of football, volleyball and beach volleyball, basketball, track-and-field, swimming, water sports, boxing and races. In winter we can watch skiing and skating, ski jumping, hockey, biathlon, bobsleigh and others. The best sportsmen who win the competitions get gold medals, for the second place they get silver medals, and for the third place — bronze medals. Our country has many distinguished sportsmen — Olympic Champions, who are famous all over the world. Here are some of their names: S. Bubca, I. Rodnina, R. Smetanina, G. Kulakova and many others. And we are very proud that the first modern Olympic Champion was the Russian figure-skater N. Panin. It was in the 4th Olimpic Games in London. Figure skating was at that time in the programmer of the summer Olympic Games. Russia began to take part in the summer Olympic Games in 1952 and in the winter Games — in 1956.
In summer 1980 the Olympic Games were held in Russia in Moscow. It was a real holiday not only for sportsmen but for our whole country. Many new stadiums, swimming pools and training grounds were built or rebuilt. The streets of Moscow, Leningrad and Kiev were decorated with flags of the participating countries. The guests of our country were thrilled by the unforgettable festivals opening and closing the Olympic Games. And we will never forget our wonderful "Olympic Misha" and his farewell song. St. Petersburg has put its name forward to hold the Olympic Games in the year 2004.
There are as many hobbies as there are people. Everyone likes to spend his free time in his own way. Some people like to collect stamps, post-cards, badges, coins and other things. They keep their collections in special albums and are very proud of them. If you visit their house they will show you their collections without fail. They learn the history of a stamp or a coin, the history of the country where this stamp or coin was created or they try to find new ones. They are members of special clubs.
Many girls and women are very fond of knitting and sewing. They make very beautiful pullovers, shirts and dresses. The most popular hobby among teenagers is music of different kinds: pop and rock, classical or country music. Many of them go to special music schools or clubs, others study at home independently. It is very nice when a young man can play the piano, guitar or some other musical instrument. Teenagers collect tape-recordings of the music of their favourite groups or singers. Other young people are very fond of computer games. They can play all day long, but the problem is that all the game rules are written in English so it is necessary for them to study foreign languages. You can see that it is a very useful hobby. English now plays an important role in our life. Our country develops business, cultural and educational relations with many foreign countries. A great number of our young people want to get education abroad or to spend their vacations in other countries. Many people learn English to read books of famous authors in the original or to learn about the history, traditions and culture of foreign countries. That's why learning English or some other language is very important and useful for modern life.
books in our life
Books play a very important role in our life. Books are our real friends and the source of knowledge. They will help us to find the right decision and teach us, books make people clever and kind.
Reading is a hobby for many people. There are different kinds of books: fiction, detective books, adventure books, travel books, science fiction and historical novels. Different people prefer different books.
Books follow with us from the early years of our life. At first mother reads us Russian fairytales and the poems of A. Barto and K. Tchoukovsky, later we read ourselves the funny stories of N. Nosov and V. Dragounsky. At school we learn much about Russian and foreign authors such as A. Pushkin, L. Tolstoi, W. Shakespeare and C. Dickens, Mark Twain and J. London. We read their works and discuss them.
When it is difficult to find one book or another, we go to the library. A library is a great treasury of books. Sometimes it is difficult to find the book that you need. The titles and authors of all the books can be found in a card catalogue. Each card in the catalogue gives very useful information about the books, the title and the author, the time and place of publication and even something about its contents. The books in the library are arranged in alphabetical order. There are a lot of reference books in the library. An encyclopedia is extremely useful in our work. Encyclopedias’ give information about every branch of knowledge. In the library you will also find books on history, sport, architecture, art, different novels, poems and plays. You can take books for reading at home or to work with them in the reading-room of the library. Many people have their own libraries at home with a rich collection of books. I think it is very pleasant to have the books of your favorite author at home.
Every book can arouse different feelings and emotions. With the help of books a writer can express his views and ideas. Books can enrich our life and mind. They have a great influence on readers.
Some time ago I read the books of Theodore Dreiser, a famous American writer. He wrote such novels as: "Sister Carrie", "The Financier" and "An American Tragedy". The last story impressed me very much. It is a story about a young American, Clyde Griffiths, from the days of his childhood till his tragic end on the electric chair. He was a poor man, but tried to become a rich man and important man in the capitalist world. This novel gives a true picture of American society. And it is considered to be Dreiser's masterpiece.
my native city
I was born in 1985 in St. Petersburg. I like my native city for its streets and squares, parks and gardens, monuments and museums. St. Petersburg is one of the most attractive cities in the world. It was founded in 1703 by Peter the Great. The city has an area of 53000 hectares and is built up along the banks of the Neva. The river Neva flows from the Lake Ladoga to the Gulf of Finland. The city lies on 42 islands, which are connected by bridges. There are more than 300 bridges in Petersburg. Some of them can go up and down. On one of the islands, in the widest part of the delta, stands the Peter and Paul Fortress, the first construction of the city. The foundation stone of the Fortress was laid on May 16 (30 the New Style) 1703, the day St. Petersburg was founded. St. Petersburg is famous for its "white nights" which happen in May and June. St. Petersburg is rightly considered one of the most beautiful cities in the world. The buildings and ensembles designed by Rastrelli, Zakharov, Voronikhin, Rossi, Stasov and other masters belong to the best world architects. Many of our museums are famous all over the world.
The Hermitage is the main museum in the city. It was built as a residence of the royal family. It was built in 1754—1762 by Rastrelli. The Hermitage has 1000 rooms and its principle cornice is almost 2 km long. After the revolution of 1917 it became the State Museum. Today it is the country's largest museum, exhibits its collections in the Winter Palace and in four other buildings. There are not many museums in the world whose collections are equal to those of the Hermitage in value, variety and artistic worth. The culture and art of nearly every country in the world is represented here. Antique sculpture, Russian applied art, paintings by Leonardo da Vinci, Rubens, Raphael, Rembrandt, Velasquez and Van Dyke, as well as many other unique works of art are displayed in 5 big, connected buildings. About 2.5 million people visit the Hermitage every year.
The main street of the city is Nevsky Prospect. It covers 4.5 km. There one will find shops, department stores, cinemas, theatres, restaurants, cafes and hotels.
The monument to Peter the Great, known as "The Bronze Horseman" is considered to be the symbol of our city. The monument was created by Falconet, and it took 40 years to build it. St. Petersburg is a great cultural, political and industrial centre of Russia. More than 5 million people live in the city.
sightseeings of st - petersburg
The first construction of the city was the Peter-and-Paul's Fortress. It was built to protect the newly born city from the Swedes. Three parts of the wall, known as bastions, face the Neva and three others face the Kronversky Strait. At first the walls were made of earth. The earthworks were mainly completed by the end of summer 1703. Peter the Great personally planned, organized and controlled the works. A few years later the earthen walls were faced with granite. The 29th of June 1703 was the date of foundation of the Peter-and-Paul's Cathedral. It was a wooden building. The construction of a stone building in the place of the wooden one was begun in 1712, to be completed only 21 years later. The architect Trezini, who came to Russia at the invitation of Peter the Great, found his second home here. Trezini designed a number of outstanding buildings in St. Petersburg, but his masterpiece is the Peter-and-Paul's Cathedral. It is the tallest architectural point in St. Petersburg. It is 122 meters high. In 1717 the Peter-and-Paul's Fortress was turned into a political prison. The first prisoner was Prince Alexei — the son of Peter the Great. Later, the Decembrists, M. Gorky, Radeeschev, Tchernyshevsky and others were prisoners there. Since 1923 the Peter-and-Paul's Fortress has been a historical museum. The cannon is fired from Naryshkin Bastion at noon sharp every day giving the exact time to all citizens.
St. Isaac's Cathedral was designed by Monferand, who came to Russia in 1826. He presented 24 different versions of his design. Only one of them was approved by Alexander I. Its golden dome can be seen from afar. Construction began in 1818. The Cathedral took 40 years to build with the efforts of hundreds of thousands of people. Each of the 112 columns surrounding the Cathedral is a granite monolith. The columns are 17 meters high and each one weighs 114 tons. The gold plating took about 25 pods of gold. The excellent view of St. Petersburg can be seen from the top gallery, which is 101.5 meters high.
The Summer Garden is the oldest garden in St. Petersburg. It was founded in 1704. It covers the territory of 11 hectares. The garden was planned by Peter the Great, who wanted to have a better garden than the French king had in Versailles. Rare trees and flowers were brought in from different parts of Russia and also from Holland, and the best gardeners were invited. In the 18th century marble statues began to appear in the garden. Most of them were made by Italian sculptors. The garden had about 50 fountains, but after the flood of 1777 it lost its fountains. In 1771 and 1784 the famous tall grille of cast iron was put up along the riverside frontage of the garden. They were created by the architect Egorov and made in Tula.
countryside of st.- petersburg
St. Petersburg is famous all over the world not only for its splendid buildings in the historical centre but also for its environs. St. Petersburg cannot be separated from its suburbs. Any visitor to the city wants to see the places outside it. Petrodvorets, Lomonosov, Pushkin and Pavlovsk are all former residences of Russian tsars. The best architects, sculptors, painters and landscape-architects were involved in their construction.
The town of Pushkin is the nearest to St. Petersburg. In the 18th century it was a small village. Peter the Great gave this village to his wife Catherine I as a gift and that is why the village got the name Tsarskoe Selo. The palace was created there by the architect Rastrelli as a summer residence of the Royal Family. This Grand Palace is considered to be a masterpiece of Russian architecture. The Palace is situated along series of low hills. The Alexander Park spreads behind it, and the Catherine Park lies on the other side of the palace. Rastrelli designed the most magnificent rooms of the Palace, some splendid rooms were decorated by Cameron.
There are many buildings, pavilions and other structures in the landscape park. Many structures in the Park commemorate the victories of Russia in the war 1768—74 against Turkey. The most interesting is the Tchesmen Column erected in the middle of the Great Lake by the architect A. Rinaldi. During the Great Patriotic War, Pushkin was occupied by German fascists. The Palace, parks and monuments were destroyed. With the efforts of many talented people the town was re-created on the basis of the old drawings and documents.
Of course the town is especially dear to us because it is linked with the name of the great Russian poet Alexander Pushkin. He lived and studied at the Lyceum in Tsarskoe Selo. He often referred to its beautiful spots in his works and considered the town to be his birthplace as a poet. In 1937 the town was given the name of Pushkin. Near the Lyceum you can see the monument to Pushkin as a student of the Lyceum, created by the sculptor Bach.
Everybody will agree that travelling gives pleasure. New impressions, new sights and beautiful nature enrich people and give them knowledge. A lot of people travel for pleasure or on business today. Before they go on trip they read something about the place they are going to or speak to those people who have been there. Some people are interested in art, and they visit picture galleries and museums. Others are fond of historical buildings and monuments. There are people who prefer different exhibitions and shows etc.
Travelling is one of the ways of extending life. People can travel by air, by sea or by land. Those who wish to travel for pleasure or on business can take various means of transport. Many people enjoy travelling by sea. They say it is the most pleasant way to travel. Ships cross seas and oceans from one continent to another. You can enjoy the fresh sea air, the sights of the sea and the sky. It doesn't matter whether the sea is calm or stormy, you feel comfortable and safe on board the big liner. Every modern liner has a number of decks; the passenger cabins are above and below the deck. A cabin looks like a compartment of a railroad sleeping-car, but the windows are different. In a cabin they are known as portholes.
Another form of travelling is travelling by plane. Many people prefer travelling by air because it is the fastest and the most comfortable means of transport. If you decide to go by plane, it is necessary to go to the booking-office to buy tickets beforehand. 20 kilograms of your luggage are free. Before boarding the plane the passenger must check in at the airport. The stewardess gives you information about the flight, the speed, and wishes you a pleasant trip.
Travelling by train is slower than by plane, but most people prefer this means of transport. Modern trains have comfortable seats in all passenger carriages. You can buy tickets for a sleeping-car, this makes your journey more enjoyable.
Best of all I like to travel by air. Last year I decided to go to Berlin to see my friends during my vacations. I booked the ticket and when the day came, I went to the airport. I had many gifts for my friends so my parents saw me off. I checked in and in half an hour I was on the plane. Our stewardess was a very pretty young woman. During the whole journey she took care of us and gave us sweets, cola or juice. 2 hours passed very quickly and soon we landed in the airport of Berlin. My friends were already there, we caught a taxi and my vacations began.
Our country Russia is one of the largest and richest countries in the world. The territory of Russia is about 17 million square kilometers. The distance from west to east is 9 thousand kilometers, and from north to south is 2.5—4 thousand kilometers. The western part of Russia is mainly situated on the East-European Plain. In the south the East-European Plain is limited by the Caucasus Mountains and in the west by the Urals. The West-Siberian Lowland, one of the biggest lowlands in the world, is also in Russia. There are many rivers, lakes and channels in our country. Among them are the famous Russian river Volga, the river Ob, the Yenisei and the Lena; Lake Baikal is the deepest lake in the world.
Different time zones cross the territory of our country. The climate varies from zone to zone, when it is hot in one part of the country, it is cold in another. The lowest winter temperatures are about -70°C in Siberia.
Our country is very rich in natural resources and minerals such as oil, natural gas, coal, diamonds, gold and ferrous ores.
The population of Russia is about 146 million people. People of more than 100 nationalities live and work in our country. Most of the population live in towns and cities. There are 1030 towns and cities in the country. The biggest and the most famous cities are Moscow, St. Petersburg, Ekaterinburg, Vladivostok, Samara and others. There are many villages in Russia famous for their specific crafts: painted boxes in Palekh, wooden tableware in Khokhloma and toys in Dymkovo. The capital of Russia is Moscow. The President of Russia lives and works in Moscow.
Traditional Russian cooking includes porridges, pancakes, cabbage, chicken and fish soup, pelmeny, peerozhki and kvass.
Theatre plays a very important role in the life of the people. Theatre is a special and wonderful world. A. S. Pushkin called it "The magic land". Everything is unusual in this world. You see scenery made by a painter, you see actors on the stage who show you the life of people who are not real. But sitting in the chair and looking at the stage you forget about the scenery, the light and the actors. You begin to live together with the heroes of the performance, begin to help them in their struggle and to help them with their problems. Without leaving the auditorium you can travel to different countries and continents and to look into the future. The most important thing the theatre teaches us is how to see the good in our life and in other people.
The Russian theatre was born in Yaroslavl in the middle of the 18th century. "The father of Russian theatre" was Fedor Volkov. He was born in the family of a merchant. While he was studying trade in Moscow, he visited the theatre very often and learnt about everything connected with the theatre. After returning to Yaroslavl he began to organize his own theatre. The citizens enjoyed the theatre and its performances very much. In 1756 the troupe was taken to Petersburg as a base of the Russian professional theatre. Some years later Aleksandrinsky Theatre was opened and these two theatres were the foundation of Russian theatrical culture.
Today our city is one of the largest and the most important cultural centers of Russia and of the world. A great number of different theatres you can find there. There is the Mariinsky Theatre of Opera and Ballet, the Theatre of Comedies, the Theatre of Young Spectators, the Big Puppet Theatre and many others.
One of the most important and the largest theatres in our city is the Mariinsky Theatre of Opera and Ballet. It was built in 1859-1860 by A. Cavos on the Theatre Square. Soon after the building was finished, alterations were made to the facade by the architect V. Schreter. Its extravagance and the tasteless clutter of ornate details deprived it of both monumentality and personality. The opera hall on the other hand is very impressive with its upholstery of pale-blue plush and the gilt ornament of the balconies. The theatre was opened on October 2, 1860, and to this day remains one of the leading musical theatres in the country. Outstanding Russian singers and ballerinas have performed on its stage, such as: Shaliapin, Sobinov, Anna Pavlova, Galina Oulanova, Doudinskaya and many others. Operas such as "Ivan Susanin", "Boris Godunov" and "Rouslan and Ludmila" and many ballets, including "Swan Lake", "Romeo and Juliet" and "Sleeping Beauty" have all been performed on the stage of this theatre.
museums of st. petersburg
Our city St. Petersburg is often called the museum-city. It is really so. We have a great number of splendid museums in our city. We are very proud that such famous museums as the Hermitage, St. Isaac's Cathedral, the Kunstkamera and the Peter-and-Paul's Fortress are in our city. The museums are the main part of our cultural life. We can find out and learn many new and interesting facts about the history of our state and the traditions and customs of different peoples. There are a great number of documents, photographs, drawings, clothes, dishes, paintings and sculptures in our museums.
One of the best loved museums in our city is the Russian Museum. The State Russian Museum occupies the building of the Mikhailovsky Palace. It was created in the first part of the 19th century by the architect Karl Rossi. The Palace belonged to the younger brother of the Russian Tzar Alexander I, Mikhail, and was named the Mikhailovsky Palace in his honor. But in 1895 it was turned into museum, and the interior was almost completely rearranged. But the main vestibule, staircase and the White Hall on the main floor have been preserved intact.
Today the Russian Museum is one of the country's largest treasuries of Russian national art. You will see a rich collection of ancient icons. Among them are the works of the 15th century by Andrei Roublev. The paintings by Levitsky, Brylov, Fedotov, Repin, Sourikov, Serov, the works of the sculptors Rastrelli, Shu-bin, Antokolsky and other outstanding works of art are displayed there. Modern Russian artists are also well represented.
The Russian Museum is not only the great treasury of works of Russian art but it is also a great science and teaching centre. This Museum directs the work of all the art museums of Russia. It has its own study centers, schools for small children and teenagers. The Museum does its best to collect and buy as many works of Russian artists as possible. Different meetings with artists, conferences and exhibitions are organized there.
More than one million people visit the Russian Museum every year. And interest in our Russian art is becoming greater and greater, that is why one can see a queue at the entrance to the Russian Museum.
I am very fond of reading. Best of all I like to read books by Charles Dickens, an outstanding English writer. He was born on the 7th of February, 1812, in a small town in England. He was not an active boy and didn't like to take part in noisy games. The little boy was very capable. He learnt to read at an early age and read many books in his childhood.
When he saw a play by William Shakespeare for the first time, he liked it very much and decided to write his own play. When it was ready, he performed it with his friends. The play had a success and the little writer was very happy.
Soon the family moved to London. Their life was very hard. Charles could not go to school because at that time his father was in the Debtors' Prison. He lived alone in cheap London lodgings. The low-life of London he got to know so well during these years furnished much of the atmosphere and vast range of comic characters in his books, and his most touching descriptions of oppressed children, like David Copperfield, Nicholas Nickleby or Oliver Twist, are based on his own experiences.
Only at the age of 12, when his father was out of prison, could Charles go to school. He wanted to study very much, but he did not finish school. Two years later he began to work. He worked hard, but he did not like his work. His dream was to study.
When he was 15 he began to visit the famous library of the British Museum. He read and studied in the reading-room of the Museum and in this way he received his education.
In 1833 his first story was published. Nine years later after his first publication, five other novels were written — among them "The Pickwick Papers" and "Oliver Twist".
Year by year he drove himself on, digging deep into his childhood memories to create the countless fascinating characters that fill the pages of his books. And when he was more than 50 years old he took up the even more arduous profession of public lecturer.
Charles Dickens died on the June, 9, 1870. The great writer died more than a hundred years ago, but everybody still reads his books with great interest.
From the galaxy of talents one man stands out supreme. William Shakespeare was not just a child of his own time, but a writer whose genius has won him an unparalleled position in English literature.
But while Shakespeare's plays are the best known in English literature, remarkably little is known of the writer himself. Certainly there was nothing in the early career of William Shakespeare to suggest his rise to greatness. He was 27 before he wrote anything of promise, and he seems to have gone through a difficult period in his youth.
His father, John Shakespeare, dealt in corn, malt, leather, hides and wool, and became so prominent in local affairs at Stratford-upon-Avon that he was made the mayor. William, the third child of the family, was born at Stratford on April 22 or 23, 1564. Life must have been pleasant for him during the days of his father's prosperity.
William was almost certain to have attended Stratford Grammar School, where the boys were made to learn by heart sections from classical Latin authors.
When Shakespeare was 17, his father's fortune took a downward turn, and the family began to run into debt. A year later William was married.
About 1587 Shakespeare left Stratford. He attracted to the company of poets and actors, and by 1592 had made enough of an impact on the capital to attract enemies as well as friends. By 1599 he was part-owner of a new playhouse called the Globe.
Shakespeare's friends described him as "gentle", "civil", "friendly" and "sweet". He was "honest, and of an open and free nature".
Shakespeare spent the greater part of his life in London, though he paid regular visits to his home. His adult career was a happy one. During 20 astonishingly creative years, Shakespeare's output was enormous. His works can be divided into 4 main phases: his literary work, closing in 1594, resulted in the two long poems, "Venus and Adonis" and "The Rape of Lucrece", historical dramas such as Henry VI and Richard III, the tragedy of "Romeo and Juliet" and such comedies as "Comedy of Errors" and "The Taming of the Shrew". In the second phase, 1594-1599, Shakespeare wrote three of his greatest historical plays — "Henry V" and "Henry IV" and the comedies "Much Ado About Nothing" and "As You Like It". The third period was the period of his great tragedies "Hamlet", "Othello", "Macbeth", "King Lear" and "Anthony and Cleopatra".
About 1611, Shakespeare decided to retire to Stratford. He paid off the family debts, and on April 23, 1616, at the age of 52, he died. As his legacy to mankind he left the fruits of his creative years; 37 plays, 2 long narrative poems and his incomparable sonnets.
William Shakespeare is the most considerable writer in the English period of the Renaissance. The most famous work of the author is his tragedy "Hamlet".
The leading characters of the tragedy are Hamlet — the prince of Denmark, Queen Gertrude — his mother, the New King — Claudius, Ophelia and her brother, Laertes. Hamlet is a morally strong man with a hard character. He loves Ophelia and she loves him. But they don't want to confess to it. Queen Gertrude loved her husband very much, but after his death becomes his brother's wife. Hamlet doesn't trust her after this treachery, because he loved his father very much. The new King Claudius is a very evil man. He married Gertrude in order to become king. (He killed his brother when he was sleeping in the garden.)
When Hamlet found out about Claudius' crime, he wanted to avenge his father's death. Claudius was a very astute man. He pretended to love Hamlet but in fact he wanted to kill him, because he knew about Hamlet's intention. That's why there are some exciting moments in the tragedy.
The play teaches us to tell only the truth, not to lie, because the truth always comes to the surface. This tragedy is about a fight between good and evil. And good usually wins the fight.
Everybody likes music. We cannot live without music. We enjoy different kinds of music: classical or pop-music, jazz or rock-music. Some music is merry and some is sad. Some music is serious and some makes people laugh. Many boys and girls study at musical schools to get a good musical education and to become musicians. Composers write their own music. We know a great number of composers: Mussorgsky and Rimsky-Korsakov, Tchaikovsky and Mozart, Rakhmaninov and Rossini. We know much about them, their life and their work. Let's speak about a talented English composer. His name is Edward William Elgar.
He was born on June 2, 1857, in the village near Worcester. His family was very musical and his father owned a music shop in Worcester. From an early age Elgar learnt the piano and violin. At 16 he was a member of the orchestra at the local music centre. Soon he realized that his real talent lay in composition. Elgar mainly was self-taught. When he reached 30, he wrote pieces which met considerable success. At that time the Czech composer Dvorak came to England and this visit stirred the young Elgar's enthusiasm. Slowly but solidly he built up his reputation, culminating with two great works, the "Enigma Variations", a set of musical portraits of the composer's friends, and the oratorio "The Dream of Gerontius", which was acclaimed as a European masterpiece in 1902. Richard Strauss, the celebrated German composer, wrote about it: "With that work England became for the first time one of the modern states". Later he wrote "The Coronation Ode", celebrating Edward VII's accession to the throne. The King himself suggested that the patriotic poet Benson should write words for it and it became a second national anthem — "Land of Hope and Glory". In that period, Elgar became a well-known public figure. He was knighted in 1902 and became Professor of Music at Birmingham University. He made lecture tours of America and visited European capitals. He died at the age of 76, listening to his own second symphony being played on the gramophone.
The most brilliant English scientist was Ernest Rutherford, the Baron Rutherford of Nelson. He was the first man "to split the atom" and produce the world's first ever artificial nuclear reaction. At that time he was working in a laboratory of Cambridge University.
Rutherford was born in New Zealand in 1872 — the same year the Cavendish laboratory in the University of Cambridge was founded. An outstanding scholar, Rutherford joined the Cavendish at the age of 24, at a time when, under the leadership of the brilliant J. Thomson, the laboratory was entering its most creative period.
It was in 1908 that Rutherford made the breakthrough that was to change the whole concept of physics. He found that if he fired radioactive particles at a thin foil of metal most particles passed through — but more importantly, other particles were deflected. These deflected particles Rutherford believed, had hit some sort of dense core, which occupied only a small part of the volume of the atom. Rutherford called the dense core the "nucleus" of the atom, around which he envisaged the systematic orbiting of electrons. Rutherford's model of the atom won him the Nobel Prize in 1908.
Eleven years later, he used different radioactive particles — high-speed helium — to bombard a different substance — nitrogen. The particles shattered the nucleus to produce a totally different material — oxygen. Rutherford had "split the atom" — and by doing so, had unleashed the most powerful form of energy known to man.
The great scientist himself published over 150 papers. Rutherford took over from J. Thomson at the Cavendish in 1919 and remained at its head until his death at the age of 66 in 1937.
Great Britain is the largest island among the group of islands. It is situated to the northwest of the continent of Europe. Great Britain is separated from Europe by the English channel (The French call this channel "La Manchu"). The narrowest distance between England and France is only 30 kilometers. Great Britain is washed by the Atlantic Ocean in the north-west, the North Sea in the east and the Irish Sea in the west. There are no high mountains in Great Britain. The mountains are mainly in the northern and western parts of the island. Speaking about lakes and rivers, we can say that Great Britain is rich in lakes, the most famous are in the Lake District in the north-west. The rivers are not very long, the longest one is the river Severn, it flows in the western part of England. The deepest river is the Thames, it is the most important river in England. The climate of Great Britain is damp and mild, it is not very hot in summer and not very cold in winter. Such a climate is very good for agriculture and cattle-farming.
Great Britain contains three countries. England, Scotland and Wales. The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is the political unit of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. The population of the U.K. is about 56 million people. Each country has its own language, traditions and customs and national clothes.
The United Kingdom is a highly developed industrial country. It is one of the world's largest exporters of manufactured goods per head of population. Britain's traditional industries are textiles, coal, machinery, chemical and electrical goods. The people of Great Britain are employed in agriculture, mining, manufacturing and building.
Great Britain is a parliamentary monarchy. The head of state is the Queen but she has no political power. The Parliament has the political power. It consists of two houses: the House of Lords and the House of Commons. The House of Lords is hereditary. The House of Commons is elected for a period of 5 years. The leader of the party which has the most members of Parliament becomes the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister forms the Cabinet. The main political Parties in Great Britain are: the Conservative Party, the Labor Party and the Liberal-Democratic Party.
London is really a great city. London, the historical capital of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, is home to some of the world's best-known landmarks, including Nelson's Column, The Tower of London, Big Ben and of course Westminster, known all over the world as "the Mother of Parliaments". London's charm goes beyond historic buildings and monuments. Events unique to the city such as the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace and the State opening of Parliament, all contribute to its unmistakable character.
London is situated on the banks of the river Thames. It is the deepest river in England.
London is the greatest industrial and cultural centre and one of Britain's most important ports. The population of London is about 8 million people.
London is historically divided into 3 parts: the City, the West End and the East End. The City is the centre of the business and financial life of the city. Only about one thousand people live there. But most of the government buildings, the Bank of London, the main political and administrative enterprises and of course the Houses of Parliament are concentrated there. The City has the title of the "money" of London.
The West End is the privileged part of London. Only rich people live there. Beautiful historical monuments and museums, restaurants, hotels and cinemas, theatres and parks and other kinds of entertainment you will find in the West End. The well-known Oxford Street is also in the West End. It is London's busiest shopping street. On week-days the street is always full of red double-deck buses, cars, taxis and people. Oxford Street is more than a mile long. Londoners sometimes call it "Ladies' Mile" because there are so many expensive clothes shops, shoe-shops and department stores. People from all over the world go shopping or window-shopping there.
The East End is often called the "hands" of London. You will not find any hotels, expensive shops or theatres there, but plants and factories. It is the part where poor people, workers and dockers live.
London is famous for its places of interest. They are known all over the world: Trafalgar Square, Westminster Abbey, the National Gallery, the Tower and many others. London is a great transport centre. The streets of the city are full of cars, double-decker buses. London has the oldest Underground. The citizens call it the Tube. But the tube is not so beautiful and clean as it is in Moscow and St. Petersburg. Great international airports connect London with all parts of the world. Ships from many countries bring tourists and goods to London.
PLACES OF INTEREST OF LONDON
London is one of the oldest cities in the world. Much of its 2000 years of colorful history has been represented in its monuments, buildings, streets and palaces. Many of them will help you to understand the true history of London. Let's talk about some of them.
The main place in the historical and cultural life of London is Westminster Abbey. Westminster Abbey is one of the most famous and widely visited churches, not only in Britain, but in the whole Christian world. The fact is that since 1066 every King or Queen has been crowned here. For many centuries it was also the burial place of Kings, Queens and Princes .One of the most famous parts of Westminster Abbey is Poet's Corner. You can find graves and monuments to such famous people as W. Shakespeare, Lord Byron, George Handel, Charles Dickens, William Caxton — the first English printer, Henry Longfellow and others.
Another splendid place in London is St. Paul's Cathedral. The first St. Paul's Cathedral was built in 604 and was a wooden one. It was at the heart of everyday life in the City of London. All political debates and general assemblies were held there. The old St. Paul's Cathedral was the largest church in England and the third largest in Europe (today it is only the seventh in Europe). But the great fire of London in 1666 put the cathedral beyond restoration. It was Christopher Wren who designed and constructed a new St. Paul's. It took 35 years to build the Cathedral. Christopher Wren was buried in the Crypt of St. Paul's. The Crypt is the largest in Europe: 200 memorials can be seen here. The tombs of Wellington and Admiral Lord Nelson are also in the Crypt. Daily worship, weddings and special services are regularly held at St. Paul's today.
Trafalgar Square was designed as a memorial to Nelson. There is Nelson's Column in the centre of the square; the figure of the Admiral is on the top of it. Four bronze lions are at the foot of the Column. There is another attraction in the square - countless pigeons which make the square their home. The great treasury of national art, the National Gallery, is also located on the square.
Over 900 years ago, William the Conqueror began building the Tower of London. The Tower was once a Royal residence, later a prison and a fortress. It is famous for the Bloody Tower, the Crown Jewels, Yeoman Warders and the ravens. The Yeoman Warders were formed in 1485 by King Henry VII as his personal bodyguard. Now you can see them wearing their traditional Tudor uniforms. The Tower Bridge is known as the "river gates to London".
Buckingham Palace is the official London residence of Her Majesty the Queen and is one of the best known symbols of the British monarchy. In front of the Palace stands the Victoria Memorial. The Changing of the Guard takes place every morning at 11.30 and attracts the attention of hundreds of tourists. There are many other places of interest in London: the British Museum, the Tate Gallery, London Zoo.
CITIES OF GREAT BRITAIN
There are many important and well known cities in Great Britain, including London, Edinburgh, Liverpool, Glasgow, Oxford, Cambridge and Stratford-upon-Avon. Let's speak about some of them.
Oxford is one of the most beautiful cities in England and its university is the oldest in the country. You will find there very interesting old single storey buildings of grey stone: churches, students' rooms, studies and the university yards. Everything will excite your imagination. Every year hundreds of young people hope to pass their school-leaving exams well enough to be able to study at Oxford. It is said that an Oxford education is the best one.
Cambridge is famous throughout the world as one of the oldest university cities in Britain — Oxford is the other. The city lies about one hundred kilometers north-west of London. The city is situated on the River Cam and is dominated by the magnificent university buildings. The crowded streets are packed with students going about their business on bicycles. A surprising number of famous people studied there: Cromwell, Newton, Byron, Darwin and others. Nowadays Cambridge is home to a number of modern hi-tech industries.
Stratford-upon-Avon is an old town not far from Oxford. It is famous as the birthplace of W. Shakespeare - the famous English poet and dramatist. There is a house where he was born. Now it is the Memorial Museum. You can see there many real things which belonged to the family of Shakespeare. And it is interesting to see the plays of this great man on the stage of the famous Shakespeare Theatre.
Another city of Britain is Edinburgh. Edinburgh is the capital of Scotland. It is one of the oldest and most beautiful cities of Europe. The city lies on 7 hills and from these hills one can see the sea at the foot of the city. The city is divided into two parts: "the old city" and "the modern city". The streets of the old city are narrow and not very long. In the modern city they are straight and well planned. Edinburgh is famous for some great men who lived and worked in the city. Robert Burns and Walter Scott are among them. Every summer an international festival of music, songs, theatre and films takes place. The 25th of January is celebrated as the national holiday of the birthday of the folk poet Robert Burns. Today Edinburgh has electrical, electronic and chemical enterprises.
EDUCATION OF GREAT BRITAIN
English children start school when they are 5 years old. First they go to primary school until they are eleven. Then they go to secondary school. Most state secondary schools in Britain are comprehensive schools which take all the children of a district between the ages of 11 and 16 or 18. Children whose parents are rich enough to pay for their education may go to a private school. Sometimes children must pass an exam to go to a private school. At the age of about 16 all pupils take exams called GCSEs, (General Certificate of Secondary Education) usually in about 9 subjects. Children who want to continue studying can then go to the sixth form, which prepares them for either vocational qualifications or advanced level (A-level) exams, usually in 3 subjects. Some secondary schools take pupils until the age of 18 but in many parts of the country children have to go to special "sixth form colleges". If they get good enough grades in their A-level they can usually go to university, but there is a lot of competition for places. They do not have to pay to study at university, even famous universities such as Oxford and Cambridge.
The school year in Great Britain begins in early September and finishes in July. The lessons begin at 9 o'clock in the morning and go on until about 4 o'clock in the afternoon with a break of an hour and a half at midday. English children study the following subjects: English, a foreign language (sometimes 2), Maths, History, Geography, Science (includes Biology, Botany, Zoology, Chemistry and Physics), Drawing, Music and P.E. English children go to school 5 days a week. Saturdays and Sundays are the days-off. There are 3 school terms. Schoolchildren have vacations after each term. In winter in December and January they have the Christmas vacations, in spring in April they have the Easter vacations and in summer they have vacations in August and September.
The pupils of most secondary schools have uniform. Each school has its own uniform. They often wear a dark grey, dark green or dark blue uniform with a white blouse or shirt. The pupils of many schools have striped ties, only the colors are different for each school.
SPORT IN GREAT BRITAIN
The English are the sport nation. Lots of English people go in for different kinds of sports and are fond of playing sport games. The national English sport game is football, but the British like Rugby football as much as football. In this game each team has fifteen men. They play with an oval ball. The players kick the ball but they can also pick it up and run with it in their hands.
In winter children play hockey at school. In summer British people like to play or watch tennis and cricket. Cricket is the most famous of all the British sports. Of course the British like swimming. No part of Great Britain is more than 70 miles from the sea and many people spend their weekend at the seaside. Every year some people try to swim across the Channel. Golf is very popular in Scotland, but they play it in England too. Rowing is a very tiring sport. It is popular at the universities. Crews of 8 men race in long narrow boats on the rivers at great speed. Horse racing is very popular too. Even the Queen goes to the most famous races.
The British love sports. They don't play better than others, but they are more interested in games than we are. They go to many matches and they know the rules of the games. They try to follow the rules of the games in their everyday life. At work or at play, at home and in business they try to "play fair".
GEOGRAPHICAL poSITION OF THE USA
The United States of America, or the USA, is the fourth largest country in the world. It is situated in the central part of the North American continent. It is washed by the Pacific Ocean in the west and by the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of the Mexico in the east. The USA is bordered by Canada in the north and in the south it borders Mexico. Hawaii is in the Pacific Ocean and became the 50th state, when it was admitted to the Union in 1959. The islands have a beautiful climate and many tourists from the main land spend their holidays there. The state of Alaska is separated from the USA by Canada and from Russia by only about 50 miles across the Bering Strait.
The continental part of the USA consists of highland and lowland regions. The highland regions are the Appalachian Mountains in the east and the Cordillera in the west. The Appalachian Mountains run parallel to the Atlantic coast. The Cordillera stretches along the Pacific coast with the Sierra Nevada in the south and the Rocky Mountains extending from Mexico to Canada in the north. The lowland region is between the Cordillera and the Appalachian Mountains.
The main rivers of the USA are the Mississippi, the Missouri, the Colorado, the Columbia, the Hudson river and the Ohio river. The Mississippi together with its tributary the Missouri form the longest river in the world. The Colorado and the Columbia rivers are unsuitable for navigation and serve as an immense source of electric power.
The northern part of the USA is famous as a region of five Great Lakes. Lake Superior, Lake Huron, Lake Michigan, Lake Erie and Lake Ontario. They are connected by short rivers or channels cut by rapids. The greatest of these rapids is the Niagara Falls. In the west there is another lake known as the Great Salt Lake.
The climate of the USA is on the whole a continental one. The coldest climate is in the north, with heavy snow in winter. The south has a subtropical climate. The region around the Great Lakes is known for its changeable climate.
About 239 million people live in the USA, they are called Americans. Most of them live in towns.
The country is rich in coal, oil, iron and other minerals, which form a solid base for the development of American industry. The USA is a highly developed industrial country. Such industries as mining, metallurgy, electronics and space engineering, chemicals, textiles, leather and footwear are well developed.
POLITICAL SYSTEM OR THE USA
The USA is a federal republic. The President is elected for four years. He is the head of the state and government, names the Cabinet.
Congress consists of two Houses, the House of Representatives and the Senate.
Elections to the House of Representatives take place every two years, when the whole House of Representatives is replaced.
The elections to the Senate also take place every two years, but only one third of the whole number of senators is replaced at each election. Each state elects two senators. The president of the Senate is the Vice-President of the United States.
There are two main political parties in the USA, the Republicans and the Democrats. Their programmers have little difference in national and international policies.
CITIES OF THE USA
The capital of the United States of America is Washington. It lies on the river Potomac, about 220 miles south of New York. It was named after George Washington, who led the American colonies in their struggle for freedom and became the first president of the United States. Washington was planned and built as a capital city on a site chosen by George Washington himself, and is today one of the most beautiful, as well as one of the most important cities in the world. It has little industry. The population is only one million people. You will not find high buildings in the city. The chief building in Washington is the Capitol, the meeting place of the American parliament, known as Congress. The White House
— the home place of the American President
— is also in Washington. The Abraham Lincoln Memorial is the most impressive memorial to the great president, who during the Civil War saved the Union and freed the negro slaves.
New York is another large city of the USA and one of the largest and richest cities in the world. Its population is about 13 million people. It is situated at the mouth of the Hudson River. The centre of New York is Manhattan Island, which was bought for 25 dollars from Indians in 1626. The "Big Apple", as New York is nicknamed, has an energy that few other cities can equal. The port of New York is the biggest in the world and John F. Kennedy International Airport is the busiest in the world. New York is the financial centre of the world. The United Nations has its headquarters in Manhattan. It is the great cultural and educational centre of the USA. Its museums, art galleries and libraries are world famous.
Chicago is one of the biggest cities in the USA. It is famous for its tinned meat factories and is known as a home of criminals.
San Francisco is a big port and a big centre of ship-building. Until the Californian gold rush of 1849 San Francisco was a small village. Almost overnight it grew into a town of 50.000 people. Today it is the main port on the Pacific Ocean coast of the USA. Of great interest are its nine bridges over the Golden Gate Channel between the Pacific Ocean and San Francisco Bay.
Los Angeles in California is famous for Hollywood, which is not far from the city. It is the world famous centre of the US film business.
EDUCATION IN THE USA
There are different schools in America. People can choose between large and small schools, schools only for boys or only for girls, public or private schools. At first, children go to Elementary school, they study there for eight years. The beginning of the year is on the 6th of September and the end is on the 6th of June. During the first three years at school pupils have only one teacher for all subjects. Later they have a special teacher for each lesson. The highest mark in American schools is "4" and the lowest mark is "0". Schoolchildren have no uniform. The school day begins at 8 a.m and finishes at 2.30 p.m. The breaks last
5 minutes and a lesson lasts 50-55 minutes. After each semester schoolchildren have a test with 200 questions on each subject.
After finishing Elementary school American children go to high school. The education at high school is free and pupils study there for 4 years. When they finish high school they can go to college. It is like a university but there are several colleges and young people must choose one of them, Maths, sports or another. The education in college is not free and it costs a lot. The students study at college for 4 years.
FROM THE HISTORY OF THE USA
Once the United States of America was an English colony. In the spring of 1775, the city of Boston on the east coast of America was full of English soldiers. Their red coats could be seen on every street corner. King George III of England had sent them across the ocean to make sure that his American colonists paid their taxes. The Americans had protested again and again that they would pay no taxes as long as they had no voice in the Government in London. Many of them would rather die than continue living under tyranny.
The colonists began forming companies of men who were ready to fight at any minute. The Americans were also busy collecting guns and gunpowder in secret hiding places. The War of American Independence lasted 6 terrible years. In the end the Americans under their General, George Washington, were victorious and a new nation was born — the United States of America.
When the 13 American colonies began their struggle against the British they called themselves the "United Colonies". On the 4th of July, 1776 the colonies proclaimed their independence, calling themselves the United States and in the next year Congress passed the following resolution: "Resolved that the flag of the United States be 13 red and white stripes with 13 white stars in a blue field". Congress also decided that a new star should be added every time a new state joined the Union. By 1912 there were 48 stars and today, after the addition of Alaska and Hawaii, there are 50.
The Americans have never forgotten their struggle for freedom. Every year on the 4th of July, the 'Stars and Stripes' flies from public buildings, shops and private houses all over the United States, as the Americans celebrate their national holiday, "Independence Day".
CHOOSING OF YOUR FUTURE CAREER
It is a very important and difficult question. It is relevant from a very early age. Ask a young boy or girl what she or he is going to be and you will hear the answer: "I want to be a pilot or train driver or doctor". When you are 14-15 years old it is not so easy to answer this question. Only a few teenagers know very well what they are going to be. It is very hard to choose a career, especially in these days when the economy of our country is so unstable. It is important to find a profession where one's talents and skills will be used. You should find out what you can about any job which interests you from the wide variety of jobs.
The best way to prepare yourself for any job is to get a good education at school. It can also be done by talking about your future with adults or by reading books and magazines, by visiting exhibitions and lectures. You will learn a lot about every job and then you can make a decision.
Some people decide to work after school before entering high school. It is right, because they have time to think over their decision. People who go on to high education after some years of working in industry have a clear idea of their future profession. But the greatest pleasure will surely come from feeling that you are useful to your country.
Today the contradictions between man and nature are acquiring a dramatic character. Every year the world industry pollutes the atmosphere with about 100 million tons of dust and other harmful substances. People in many cities suffer from smog. Forests are disappearing and this upsets the oxygen balance. The pollution of the air, of the world's oceans, seas, rivers, and lakes, and the destruction of the ozone layer can lead our planet to a global catastrophe.
That is why serious measures to protect the environment should be undertaken. As many as 159 members-states of the United Nations organization have set up environmental protection agencies. They have worked out hundreds of projects to protect nature. A global strategy of nature protection has been worked out by large international organizations. One of its fundamental provisions is the transfer of industry to low and non-waste technologies. In Russia more attention has been given to the problems of ecology of late. The role of our public in the solution of ecological problems has greatly increased.
The government pays great attention to the protection of nature. All industrial organizations are obliged to take measures so as not to damage nature. State control of environmental purity is carried out. Public organizations take an active part in solving the problem of environmental protection. Thousands of people take part in this noble work.
In St. Petersburg and the St. Petersburg region protected territories comprise 200 000 hectares. 99 kinds of wild plants are under State protection.
Pollution is a serious problem. It affects everyone everyday. Most big cities pour their waste into seas and rivers. The Baltic is a special case. Because it is such a small sea, it becomes dirty very easily. Seven industrial countries surround the Baltic. Quite a lot of big cities lie on its coast. All of this, combined with the active navigation of the sea, naturally affects the state of the sea water and the shore line flora and fauna. Once we have polluted a sea, it is very difficult to clean it. Fortunately all the countries in the Baltic area have realized the problem. They are co-operating actively in solving the ecological problems of the Baltic basin. Both international law and the national laws of the costal states define the regime of environmental protection of the Baltic sea. The aim of the agreements among these states is to prevent oil pollution of the sea and to organize national fishing and the preservation of sea life.
It is not a secret that a lot of cities of the world are facing the problem of pollution. The St. Petersburg municipality is undertaking some measures to improve the ecological situation in the city. Some factories with backward technologies have been removed from the city. Significant fines are meant to punish those who do harm to the environment.
what is bussiness
Business is based on common sense. People concentrate on doing certain things that they are good at. Then they exchange their work for money, which can in turn be exchanged for the goods or services which they require. This is much more efficient than if each person worked purely to satisfy his or her own needs. There are many different types of business in the modern world. They range from very small ones to enormous multinational companies.
Every business either provides a service, produces goods, or buys and sells goods and services for a profit (this is called trading). Many are involved in all three activities. The main areas of business going around us every day are: financial services such as banks and insurance; retail businesses (shops) which sell goods; the hotel business; communications business such as telephone and post; transportation business; public services such as police, fire brigades; food producing activities; manufacturing business; coal mining and oil extraction; electricity generation and water supply; construction business.
In ancient times, business was done by exchanging. A farmer might exchange corn for goat or sheep for cattle. This is called bartering. But this caused problems when someone had a surplus of goods that no one needed at that time. People started to exchanged goods and services for tokens that could be stored and exchanged later. The first tokens were shells, sharks, teeth and large stones. At one time the Romans used cattle as money. Later still, gold, silver and copper coins were used. Paper money was first issued in China in about 650 AD but was not introduced in Europe until the 17th century. It was popular because it was easier to carry than large amounts of heavy coins. Nowadays, many commercial transactions are done through the banking system without money. Financial information is beamed across the world via satellites.
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