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Инфоурок / Иностранные языки / Другие методич. материалы / Страноведческий журнал «Великобритания»

Страноведческий журнал «Великобритания»

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Государственное бюджетное образовательное учреждение

среднего профессионального образования

Нижегородской области

«Краснобаковский лесной колледж»

Страноведческий журнал

по английскому языку

«Great Britain»



английского языка

Воронина М.В.



1. История 3

2. География 5

3. Достопримечательности 7

4. Традиции и праздники 11

5. Спорт 15


The island was first inhabited by people who crossed over the land bridge from the European mainland. Traces of early humans have been found (at Boxgrove Quarry, Sussex) from some 500,000 years ago and modern humans from about 30,000 years ago. Until about 10,000 years ago, Great Britain was joined to Ireland, and as recently as 8,000 years ago it was joined to the continent by a strip of low marsh to what are now Denmark and the Netherlands. In Cheddar Gorge, near Bristol, the remains of animal species native to mainland Europe such as antelopes, brown bears, and wild horses have been found alongside a human skeleton, 'Cheddar Man', dated to about 7150 BC. Thus, animals and humans must have moved between mainland Europe and Great Britain via a crossing. Great Britain became an island at the end of the Pleistocene ice age when sea levels rose due to isostatic depression of the crust and the melting of glaciers.

According to John T. Koch and others, Britain in the Late Bronze Age was part of a maritime trading-networked culture called the Atlantic Bronze Age that also included Ireland, France, Spain and Portugal where Celtic languages developed,but this stands in contrast to the more generally accepted view that Celtic origins lie with the Hallstatt culture.

hello_html_326596c.jpg Its Iron Age inhabitants are known as the Britons, a group speaking a Celtic language. The Romans conquered most of the island (up to Hadrian's Wall, in northern England) and this became the Ancient Roman province of Britannia. For 500 years after the Roman Empire fell, the Britons of the south and east of the island were assimilated or displaced by invading Germanic tribes (Angles, Saxons, and Jutes, often referred to collectively as Anglo-Saxons). At about the same time, Gaelic tribes from Ireland invaded the north-west, absorbing both the Picts and Britons of northern Britain, eventually forming the Kingdom of Scotland in the 9th century. The south-east of Scotland was colonized by the Angles and formed, until 1018, a part of the Kingdom of Northumbria. Ultimately, the population of south-east Britain came to be referred to, after the Angles, as the English people.

hello_html_m2cfb94f1.jpgGermanic speakers referred to Britons as Welsh. This term eventually came to be applied exclusively to the inhabitants of what is now Wales, but it also survives in names such as Wallace, and in the second syllable of Cornwall. Cymry, a name the Britons used to describe themselves, is similarly restricted in modern Welsh to people from Wales, but also survives in English in the place name of Cumbria. The Britons living in the areas now known as Wales, Cumbria and Cornwall were not assimilated by the Germanic tribes, a fact reflected in the survival of Celtic languages in these areas into more recent times.At the time of the Germanic invasion of Southern Britain, many Britons emigrated to the area now known as Brittany, where Breton, a Celtic language closely related to Welsh and Cornish and descended from the language of the emigrants, is still spoken. In the 9th century, a series of Danish assaults on northern English kingdoms led to them coming under Danish control (an area known as the Danelaw). In the 10th century, however, all the English kingdoms were unified under one ruler as the kingdom of England when the last constituent kingdom, Northumbria, submitted to Edgar in 959. In 1066, England was conquered by the Normans, who introduced a French ruling élite that was eventually assimilated. Wales came under Anglo-Norman control in 1282, and was officially annexed to England in the 16th century.

hello_html_4d26b03a.jpg On 20 October 1604 King James, who had succeeded separately to the two thrones of England and Scotland, proclaimed himself as "King of Great Britanie, France and Ireland". While that title was also used by many of his successors, England and Scotland each remained legally in existence as separate countries with their own parliaments until 1707, when each parliament passed an Act of Union to ratify the Treaty of Union that had been agreed the previous year. This had the effect of creating a united kingdom, with a single, united parliament, from 1 May 1707. Though the Treaty of Union referred to the new all-island state as the "United Kingdom of Great Britain", many regard the term 'United Kingdom' as being descriptive of the union rather than part of its formal name (which the Treaty stated was to be 'Great Britain' without further qualification.) Most reference books, therefore, describe the all-island kingdom that existed between 1707 and 1800 as the "Kingdom of Great Britain".


hello_html_m585ee1d2.jpgThe UK of Great Britain and Northern Ireland occupies the territory of the British Isles. It consists of 4 main countries which are England, Scotland, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Their capitals are London, Cardiff and Belfast.

The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is the official name of the state which is sometimes referred to as Great Britain or Britain (after it major island), England ( after its major historic part or the British Isles.

The UK is an Island state it is composed of some 5.500 islands, large and small. The two main islands are: Great Britain to the east and Ireland to the west. They are separated by the Irish Sea.

The area of the UK is 244,100 square kilometers. It is situated off to the northwest coast of Europe between the Atlantic Ocean on the north and the North Sea on the east and is separated from the European continent by the English Channel (or La Manche) and the Straits of Dover (or Pas de Calais).

The population of the UK is over 57 mln people. The UK is inhabited by the English, the Scots, the Welsh and the Irish who constitute the British nation. English is not the only language. Scottish, Welsh and Irish are also used.

hello_html_m7ed6de4e.jpghello_html_m11d66570.jpg The flag of the UK is known as the Union Jack. It has its history. It all began in 1603 when Scotland was joined to England and Wales. The flag is made up of 3 crosses. The upright cross is the Cross of St.Jeorge the patron saint of England. The white diagonal cross is the cross of St.Andrew, the patron saint of Scotland. The red diagonal cross is the cross is the cross of St.Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland. All of them are on the blue background.

The national anthem is «God Save the Queen». The national currency is pound.

hello_html_42050ef0.jpgGeographically the island of Great Britain is subdivided into 2 main regions: Lowland Britain and Highland Britain. Lowland Britain comprises southern and eastern England. Highland Britain consists of Scotland, most of Wales, the Pennines (or the Pennine Chain) and the Lake District.

The highest mountain top is Ben Nevis in Scotland. The chief rivers of Great Britain are: the Severn, separating England and Wales, the Thames (the longest and the deepest one). The swiftest flowing river is the Spray. Also the Tweed is famous (the woolen fabric is made here).

hello_html_m2c984491.jpg There are many lakes in Great Britain. The Lake District is the most beautiful.

The largest are London, Birmingham, Glasgow, Liverpool, Bristol, Leeds, and Cardiff.

The capitals are: London in England, Edinburgh in Scotland, Cardiff in Wales and Belfast in Northern Ireland.

Every country has its own national emblem. The red rose is the national emblem of England the thistle is the national emblem of Scotland the daffodils and the leek are the emblems of Wales and the shamrock (a kind of clover) is the emblem of Ireland.


Britain is rich in its historic places which link the present with the past. The oldest part of London is Lundinuim Hill, where the city is originated.


About a mile west of it there is Westminster Palace, where the king lived and the Parliament met, and there is also Westminster Abbey, the coronation church.


Liverpool, the "city of ships", is England's second greatest port, ranking after London. The most interesting sight in the Liverpool is the docks. They occupy a river frontage of seven miles. The University of Liverpool, established in 1903, is noted for its School of Tropical Medicine. And in the music world Liverpool is a well-known name, for it's the home town of "The Beatles".


Stratford-on-Avon lies 93 miles north-west of London. Shakespeare was born here in 1564 and here he died in 1616.


Cambridge and Oxford Universities are famous centers of learning.


Stonehenge is a prehistoric monument, presumably built by Druids, members of an order of priests in ancient Britain.


Tintagel Castle is King Arthur's reputed birthplace.


Canterbury Cathedral is the seat of the Archbishop of Canterbury, head of the Church of England.


The British Museum is the largest and richest museum in the world. It was founded in 1753 and contains one of the world's richest collections of antiquities. The Egyptian Galleries contain human and animal mummies. Some parts of Athens' Parthenon are in the Greek section.


Madam Tussaud's Museum is an exhibition of hundreds of life-size wax models of famous people of yesterday and today. The collection was started by Madam Tussaud, a French modeller in wax, in the 18th century. Here you can meet Marilyn Monroe, Elton John, Picasso, the Royal Family, the Beatles and many others: writers, movie stars, singers, politicians, sportsmen, etc. 


Tower Bridge was opened in 1894. It takes its name from the Tower of London. The hydraulic mechanism can raise and lower the bridge in about one and a half minutes. The covered walkway between the two towers is opened to the public and offers a spectacular view of London.


The Tower of London is the most famous of all the historical buildings in London. It stands today almost unchanged since first it was built in the 11th century. In the past the Tower of London served both as a palace and as a state prison, but it is only a museum today.


St Paul's Cathedral is the greatest work of England's greatest architect or Christopher Wren. The cathedral was begun in 1675. It was opened in 1697 but was finished only in 1710, when Wren was almost eighty years old. There are memorials to many famous men of England in the Cathedral.


Trafalgar Square is in the centre of the West End of London. On the north side is the National Gallery; in the north-east corner is the National Portrait Gallery, and in the centre is Nelson's Column with the figure of the great seamen. Trafalgar Square is the place where mass meetings and demonstrations for peace and for working people's rights take place.


"Big Ben" is the name of the great bell which strikes the hour. It is in the clock Tower of the Houses of Parliament.

Traditions and Holidays


hello_html_7fc3f0c3.jpgThe word "Christmas" is derived from the words "Christ's Mass" - the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ. But although Christmas is undoubtedly a Christian celebration, it is also true to say that it is an unusual combination of pagan and Christian festivities.

A Christmas tree stands in everybody's living room at Christmas, shining its good cheer around the room. Sitting on the very top of the tree is a silver star surrounded by tiny lights. All the branches are hung with silver bells, tinsel and sparkling lights. Around the base of the tree lie the gifts and toys wrapped up in bright colourful paper.

The Christmas tree has spread its influence around the world. In fact America adopted it before it found its way to England early in Queen Victoria's reign. Now every Christmas British people are sent a huge fir tree from Norway which stands in Trafalgar Square, in the centre of London, shining down on all the people who gather on Christmas Eve.

In pre-Christian times evergreens, trees that remain green throughout the year. were worshiped in Northern Europe as symbols of eternal life. Mistletoe, hung up as a Christmas decoration is a symbol of love and reconciliation.

hello_html_511c8b5f.jpgHolly, a well-known Christmas decoration today, has Christian associations. In Norwegian, Swedish and Danish, holly is known as "Christ's thorns", the legend being that Christ wore a crown of holly thorns before his death. Some people have seen associations between the word "holly" and "holy".

Giving presents goes back to Roman Saturnalia when good luck gifts of fruit, pastry or gold were given to friends on New Year's Day. In Britain the traditional day to give presents until relatively recently was December 26th and not as it is today, Christmas Day. December 26th is now known as Boxing Day, for it was then that the priests of the Middle Ages opened alms boxes to give to the poor.

Not all Christian customs and traditions are of ancient origin. Although various people have claimed to have designed the first Christmas card. William Egley, an English artist, seems to have the best claim. In 1842 he designed his own card and sent it to one hundred of his friends. Today three billion are sent annually in the United States alone.



Halloween, the last day of October, has a special significance for children, who dress in funny or ghostly costumes and knock on neighborhood doors shouting "Trick or Treat!" Pirates and princesses, ghosts and witches all hold bags open to catch the candy or other goodies that the neighbors drop in.

Since the 800's November 1st is a religious holiday known as All Saints' Day. The Mass that was said on this day was called Allhallowmas. The evening before became known as All Hallow e'en, or Halloween.

Today school dances and neighborhood parties called "block parties" are popular among young and old alike. More and more adults celebrate Halloween. They dress up as historical or political figures and go to masquerade parties. In larger cities, costumed children and their parents gather at shopping malls early in the evening. Stores and businesses give parties with games and treats for the children. Teenagers enjoy costume dances at their schools and the more outrageous the costume the better!

Certain pranks such as soaping car windows and tipping over garbage cans are expected. But partying and pranks are not the only things that Halloweeners enjoy doing. Some collect money to buy food and medicine for needy children around the world.


Saint Patrick's Day


Saint Patrick’s Day is celebrated each year on March 17th. In Ireland, Saint Patrick’s Day is both a holy day and a national holiday. Saint Patrick is the patron saint of Ireland as he was the one who brought Christianity to the Irish.

hello_html_3851aaea.jpgAccording to legend, Saint Patrick used a shamrock to explain about God. The shamrock, which looks like clover, has three leaves on each stem. Saint Patrick told the people that the shamrock was like the idea of the Trinity – that in the one God there are three divine beings: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. The shamrock was sacred to the Druids, so Saint Patrick’s use of it in explaining the trinity was very wise.

Although it began in Ireland, Saint Patrick’s Day is celebrated in countries around the world. People with Irish heritage remind themselves of the beautiful green countryside of Ireland by wearing green and taking part in the festivities.

Saint Patrick’s Day is usually celebrated with a parade. The one in Dublin, Ireland is known to some as the Irish Mardi Gras. But the one in New York City is actually one of the biggest. It lasts for hours. Two Irish wolfhounds, the mascots of the New York National Guard infantry regiment the “Fighting 69th”, always lead the parade. More than one hundred bands and a hundred thousand marchers follow the wolfhounds in the parade.


Royal traditions

The trooping of the colour

hello_html_m4e998774.jpghello_html_m53e2f12d.jpgThe Queen is the only person in Britain with two birthdays. Her real birthday is on April 21st, but she has an "official" birthday, too. That's on the second Saturday in June. And on the Queen's official birthday, there is a traditional ceremony called the Trooping of the Colour. It's a big parade with brass bands and hundreds of soldiers at Horse Guards' Parade in London. A "regiment" of the Queen's soldiers, the Guards, march in front of her. At the front of the parade is the regiment's flag or "colour".

The Guards are trooping the colour. Thousands of Londoners and visitors watch in Horse Guards' Parade. And millions of people at home watch it on television.

The changing of the guard

This happens every day at Buckingham Palace, the Queen's home in London. Soldiers stand in front of the palace. Each morning these soldiers (the "guard") change. One group leaves and another arrives. In summer and winter tourists stand outside the palace at 11.30 every morning and watch the Changing of the Guard.

Swan Upping


Here's a very different royal tradition. On the River Thames there are hundreds of swans. A lot of these beautiful white birds belong, traditionally, to the king or queen. In July the young swans on the Thames are about two months old. Then the Queen's swan keeper goes, in a boat, from London Bridge to Henley. He looks at all the young swans and marks the royal ones. The name of this strange but interesting custom is Swan Upping.           

hello_html_7be69111.jpgThe Queen’s telegram

This custom is not very old, but it's for very old people. On his or her one hundredth birthday, a British person gets a telegram from the Queen.


Many kinds of sport originated from England. The English have a proverb, "All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy". They do not think that play is more important than work; they think that Jack will do his work better if he plays as well. So he is encouraged to do both.


Association football or soccer is one of the most popular games in the British Isles played from late August until the beginning of May. In summer the English national sport is cricket. When the English say: "that's not cricket" it means "that's not fair", "to play the game" means "to be fair". 


Golf is Scotland's chief contribution to British sport. It is worth noting here an interesting feature of sporting life in Britain, namely, its frequently close connections with social class of the players or spectators except where a game may be said to be a "national" sport. This is the case with cricket in England which is played and watched by all classes. This is true of golf, which is everywhere in the British Isles a middle-class activity.


Rugby Union, the amateur variety of Rugby football, is the Welsh national sport played by all sections of society whereas, elsewhere, it too is a game for the middle classes. Association football is a working-class sport as are boxing, wrestling, snooker, darts, and dog-racing. As far as fishing is concerned it is a sport where what is caught determines the class of a fisherman.



Walking and swimming are the two most popular sporting activities, being almost equally undertaken by men and women. Snooker (billiards), pool and darts are the next most popular sports among men. Aerobics (keep-fit exercises) and yoga. squash and cycling are among the sports where participation has been increasing in recent years. 

There are several places in Britain associated with a particular kind of sport. One of them is Wimbledon where the All-England Lawn Tennis Championship are held in July (since 1877). The other one is Wembly - a stadium in north London where international football matches, the Cup Finals and other events have taken place since 1923.

Table Tennis 


Table tennis was first Invented in England in about 1880. At first the game had several strange names: Gossima. Whiff Whaff and Ping Pong. It wasn't until 1926 that the International Table Tennis Association was formed with international championships and rules. 

Although the game was invented in England British players don't have much chance in international championships. It's the Chinese with their fantastic speed and power who win almost every title. Table tennis looks more like gymnastics when the Chinese start playing, with the ball flying over the net at speeds of over 150 kilometers per hour.



There are all kinds of racing in England - horse-racing, motor-car racing, boat-racing, dog-racing, and even races for donkeys. On sports days at school boys and girls run races, and even train for them. There is usually a mile race for older boys, and one who wins it is certainly a good runner. 

Usually those who run a race go as fast as possible, but there are some races in which everybody has to go very carefully in order to avoid falling. 

The most famous boat-race in England is between Oxford and Cambridge. It is rowed over a course on the River Thames, and thousands of people go to watch it. The eight rowers in each boat have great struggle, and at the end there is usually only a short distance between the winners and the losers.

The University boat-race started in 1820 and has been rowed on the Thames almost every spring since 1836.



Squash began at Harrow School in the mid-nineteenth century, but has since worked its way Into almost every city and district in Britain and throughout Europe. 

Squash is one of the fastest games in the world. Two people play in a small confined space surrounded by high walls with no net to keep them apart. The aim is to get to the point at the centre of the court and to stay there. 

Squash players hope that the game will make them stronger and fitter, but. like many sports, squash can be very dangerous. The most obvious danger is the small ball that shoots through the air extremely fast.



Windsurfing was invented in the mid-sixties by two southern Californian surfers, Hoyle Schweitzer and Jim Drake. Surfers need strong rolling waves, and hate days of calm sea. Schweitzer noticed that on days when waves were not high enough to surf, there was often a strong wind and he set about finding a way to use it. 

His first experiments Involved standing on his surfboard holding out a piece of sail cloth in his hands. Gradually he and Drake refined this idea into a basic design for a sailboard, similar to a surfboard, but holding a mast and a triangular sail which could be tilted and turned in any direction. The windsurfer operates a boom which controls the amount of wind in the sail, for speed and change of direction. Schweitzer immediately went into business designing and making the new sailboards and taking the idea abroad. By mid-seventies, the sport had spread to Holland, Germany and France.

Olympic Games in London 


London was host for the first time in 1908. With 1,500 competitors from 19 nations, the Games were by now an institution of world-wide significance. The programme, moreover, was augmented by the inclusion of Association football (which appeared in 1900 but only in a demonstration match), diving, field hockey, and ice hockey, as well as other sports since discontinued. 

The most dramatic episode of these Games was in the marathon, run from Windsor to Shepherd's Bush in London, the site of a new stadium. Pietri (Italy) led into the arena but collapsed and was disqualified for accepting assistance from officials. The gold medal went to the second man home, Hayes (USA), but Queen Alexandra, who was present opposite the finishing line, was so moved by the Italian's plight that she awarded him special gold cup. The 400 meters provided an opportunity for Halswelle (GB) to become the only man in Olympic history to win by a walk-over. The final was declared void after an American had been disqualified for boring. Two other Americans withdrew from re-run final in protest, leaving Halswelle an unopposed passage. Britain won the polo, and all the boxing, lawn tennis, rackets, rowing, and yachting titles as well as five out of six cycle races.

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Предлагаю вниманию коллег лингвострановедческий журнал, который представляет собой страноведческий материал по английскому языку по теме «Великобритания». Журнал включает в себя тексты об истории, географии, достопримечательностях Великобритании, традициях и праздниках страны и национальных видах спорта. Эта информация поможет учащимся расширить свой кругозор, повысить уровень мотивации к изучению английского языка, сформировать таких качеств личности как толерантность.Данный материал был использован при проведении Недели Иностранных Языков.
Дата добавления 20.03.2014
Раздел Иностранные языки
Подраздел Другие методич. материалы
Номер материала 35681032017
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