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Инфоурок / Иностранные языки / Другие методич. материалы / Тексты для чтения .Экзаменационный материал для 9-11 классов
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Тексты для чтения .Экзаменационный материал для 9-11 классов

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Supplementary Card # 1.

Read and retell the text.

LEONARDO DICAPRIO


He certainly knows what he wants. At the age of six, he decided he wanted to be an actor. When he was seven, he tried to get an agent. The agent said he should change his name because it was too Italian. Leonardo refused.

Leonardo DiCaprio is one of the hottest young film stars around at the moment.

His face has been on the covers of all the top movie and youth magazines and he has been the subject of countless articles, rumours and showbiz gossip. Leonardo doesn't like reading about himself. "I read things about me that I've never said in my life and never done," he says.

Leonardo DiCaprio was born in Los Angeles on November 11,1974. He's a Scorpio.

His full name is Leonardo Wilhelm DiCaprio. His mother is German and his father Italian-American. They called him Leonardo because when his mother was pregnant he started kicking while she was standing in front of a painting by Leonardo Da Vinci.

His parents separated before he was born. Leo grew up in a poor neighbourhood of Hollywood.

At school he was very good at imitating people (especially Michael Jackson). This made him very popular. His childhood hero was Poseidon, the Greek god of the sea.

After appearing in TV commercials, he played the part of a homeless boy in a TV comedy.

His big break was his leading role in This Boy's Life.

One of his least famous films is Total Eclipse which tells the story of the poet Arthur Rimbaud and his relationship with the writer Verlaine.

One of his most famous films was a modem version of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet set in a fantasy world. Leo described his first kiss for a film as, "the most disgusting thing in my life."

After the tremendous success of Titanic, "Leomania" hit the world.

Leo simply says of the Titanic experience: "I was part of something that doesn't come about often, if ever. I can tell my grandchildren I was in the film." In Leo's opinion, "the film will be remembered forever."

He spent his post-Titanic life avoiding interviews. "Certainly that whole year was a huge learning experience for me. There's no handbook on what it's like to become famous and how to survive it." He says that "fame is a monster that you have no control over. If you try to fight it, it just feeds the fire."

Leonardo is very careful about the roles he chooses. He turned down the role of Robin in Batman Forever and it took him an awfully long time to choose The Beach.

Leo likes his job. "The best thing about acting is that I get to lose myself in another character and actually get paid for it," he says. "As for myself, I'm not sure who I am. It seems that I change every day." (from Speak Out, abridged)











Supplementary Card # 2

Read and retell the text.

NEW YORK


Although New York is not the capital of the United States (and not even of New York State), it is the biggest and most important city of the country. Situated at the mouth of the deep Hudson River, it has always been the gateway to the USA. But it is more than just a door: it is also a window through which the life of the whole nation may be observed.

New York is many things to many people. It's the financial and media capital of the world. It's the headquarters of the United Nations. It's the centre of American cultural life. It's the national leader in fashion and entertainment.

The "Big Apple', as New York City is nicknamed, is a city unlike any other. It has everything for everyone. It offers the best, the biggest and the brightest of everything.

It is a place of excitement, beauty ... and contradictions. There is, for example, no canal on Canal Street, Battery Park is not a power station, and Times Square is a triangle. As they say, only in New York!

New York is known as a "melting pot", because people of different races and nationalities make up its population of more than 7 million. About 13 of every 100 people in New York were bom in another country. More than 80 languages are spoken throughout the neighbourhoods and streets of the city. There are places where the English language is hardly ever heard.

When people say "New York City" they usually mean Manhattan. It is the real centre of the city. The Empire State Building, Rockefeller Centre, the United Nations building, tremendous traffic, dazzling advertisements, Central Park, Times Square, Broadway, Harlem, Chinatown, the most famous avenues and streets — all these are to be found in Manhattan.

The map of Manhattan seems unusual to a European eye. It is crossed from north to south by avenues and from east to west by streets. Only one avenue, Broadway, runs east to west. Each avenue has either a name or a number. The streets are numbered from one to over a hundred. Only a few of them have names. Wall Street in Manhattan is the financial heart of the USA and the most important banking centre in the world.

Broadway is the symbol of American theatre, as Hollywood is of American cinema.

The intersection of Broadway and Seventh Avenue forms world-famous Times Square, the heart of the New York Theatre District. It is one of many New York City "squares" that are actually triangles. New Year's Eve celebrations always start here and at midnight a large red ball is lowered down to show that the New Year has begun.

Park Avenue represents luxury and fashion because of its large expensive apartment houses.

Madison Avenue is known as the centre of advertising industry.

Fifth Avenue is the most famous shopping centre.


Supplementary Card # 3

Read and retell the text.

FROM THE HISTORY OF NEW YORK


The first European explorer who saw Manhattan Island was Giovanni da Verrazano, an Italian merchant who was in the service of the French king, Francis I. The date was April, 1524. Today a bridge which carries his name, the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, is one of the city's most impressive sights. It is the longest suspension bridge in the world.

Other Europeans followed Verrazano, most notably Henry Hudson, an Englishman employed by the Dutch East India Company. The mighty Hudson River is named after the navigator who set foot on these shores in 1609.

Even in the days when America was known as the New World, it was a country with a reputation for its spirit of enterprise and the ability of its people to make a good deal. In 1626 the Dutch Trade Company bought Manhattan Island from the local Indians for twenty four dollars. It was probably the most spectacular business deal of all times. (Today, $24 would not buy one square foot of office space in New York).

Here the Dutch founded their colony and gave it the name New Amsterdam.

Forty years later the English fleet under the Duke of York entered the harbour, captured the city without firing a shot and renamed it New York.

During the War of Independence it was the scene of heavy fighting. The English held it until the end of the war in 1783 when it became the first capital of the new republic — the United States of America. On April 30, 1789 George Washington, the first President of the US, stood on a balcony there and swore a solemn oath to "preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."

The city grew very quickly. Today's New York is the greatest contrast possible to the island settled by the Dutch in 1624. In 1811 a "city plan" was adopted under which straight lines cut through the woods and fields of Manhattan, flattening its hills, burying under the surface its countless little rivers. In a sense, New York is now one of the least historic cities of the world. Practically nothing has remained of Dutch New Amsterdam.












Supplementary Card #4.

Read and retell the text.

THE FUTURE OF THE BOOK — IF IT HAS A FUTURE


The death of the book has been predicted for centuries. There were those who thought that the invention of printing heralded the end of civilisation. Cinema, radio and television have all been presented as the murderers of our most treasured cultural icon. The Internet is the latest suspect to hold the smoking gun.

The problem is that this is a murder without a victim. More books are being published than ever before. The mass media of the twentieth century have generated print, not destroyed it. Books derived from movies and broadcasts groan on the shelves of bookshops throughout the world. Newspapers are filled with stories about media people, both in reality and in the soapy world, which they inhabit. Far from killing the book, the media have been one of its saviours.

Computing, and the development of the Internet, may be different. Some books are indeed being replaced by electronic media. Who wants to use a twenty-volume encyclopaedia when information can be retrieved instantaneously from a CD-ROM?

Why should a lawyer spend time (and a client's money) searching through massive tomes, when what is sought can be found in seconds from a database? But no one will lie in bed reading a novel from a CD-ROM. Even with laptops, electronic books are not easily transportable.

This medium, so powerful and so pervasive, has its limits just like any other. It is, of course, the greatest revolution in communications since the invention of printing and arguably comparable in its impact with the invention of writing itself. The marriage of computing and telecommunications has finally broken the tyrannies of time and distance to which we have been subjected since the dawn of time. But reading — and the books, magazines and newspapers that we read — still have a part to play. They will continue to instruct, amuse, influence and infuriate for decades and centuries to come.

(from Sure, abridged)














Supplementary Card #5

Read and retell the text.

ARTHUR CLARKE PREDICTS

Space travel has inspired thousands of science fiction writers. Here is what Arthur Clarke, many of whose predictions have come true, writes about space.


I think I became interested in space through the early science fiction magazines.

And I can still vividly remember some of those bright covers. That was in 1930 I think I saw my first. And it wasn't until quite some time later — a few years — that I came across a book which really changed my life. It was called The Conquest of Space. And that was the first book on the subject which took it seriously.

And I then realised: this could be for real. And from then on, of course, I was hooked.

Until the Russians put up Sputnik 1, in 1957,1 suppose 90 per cent of the public thought it was all nonsense. But after Sputnik people realised that the space age had started.

But nobody — not even us enthusiastic space cadets — realised that things would happen as quickly as they have.

It was back in 1945 that I wrote the paper suggesting that satellites could be used for communication. So I'm rather proud of that. Though sometimes, when I see some of the things that come down from satellites, I feel a certain kinship with the great Dr Frankenstein.

After the war I became interested in space stations.

The idea which I'm most interested in today — and which I wrote a novel about, The Phantoms of Paradise, is the Space Elevator. The idea of building an elevator from the Earth's surface right up to the stationary orbit, twenty-six thousand miles above, seems fantastic. But it's theoretically possible. The material that can make it possible is Buckminster Fullerine, the C60 molecule — which is maybe a hundred times stronger than steel in some of its forms.

And here's a strange thing. Bucky Fuller was a good friend. When I recorded The Phantoms of Paradise, he drew a picture of the Space Elevator. Yet Bucky never lived to see the discovery of the material named after him — which will, I think, make the Space Elevator possible.

















Supplementary Card #6

Read and retell the text.

THE EARTH IS OUR HOME

The Earth is our home. What sort of home it is depends on how we treat it, just as the houses we live in depend on how we take care of them.

Do you like to fish or swim? Do you like to walk through the woods? Do you like to breathe fresh air? Or to watch birds and hear them sing?

If you do, we'll have to treat our Earth home in a different way. Why? Because we are making lakes and rivers too dirty for fish to live in or for people to swim in.

Because we're cutting down our forests too fast, we are spoiling the nature.

Because we're making so much smoke, dirty air often hides the sky and even nearby things. The dirty air makes it hard for us to breathe, and it can cause illness, and even death.

Because we're putting so much poison on the things birds eat, they are finding it hard to live.

Have you seen smoke pouring out of tall factory chimneys? Have you smelled the gas fumes from the back of a bus? Have you noticed the smoke from a jet plane taking off?

All of these things make the air dirty — they pollute it. In crowded cities thousands of automobiles and factories may add tons of poison to the atmosphere each day.

Have you wondered where the sewage from one house, many houses, a big city goes? It pollutes rivers and lakes and may even make them die. Fish can't live in them, and you can't swim in them.

Have you wondered where the wood for houses comes from? And the paper for books and newspapers? From our forests. And what does the land look like when the trees are gone?

Have you thought where the poison goes that we spray on gardens and grass to kill insects and weeds? Onto the things the birds eat, making it hard for them to live and share with us their beautiful colours and songs.

Have you seen piles of old cars and old refrigerators? Not very nice to look at, are they? Have you seen piles of old boxes, glass jars, and cans? Not very beautiful, are they?

If we don't do anything about this spoiling of the world around us — its air, its water, its land, and its life — our lives are not going to be so nice. But there is much that we can do.

Factories can clean their smoke. Cars and planes can be made so that their fumes do not add to the pollution.

The dirty water from factories can be made clean. Sewage, too, can be changed so that water is clean enough to use again. Fish can live again, and you can swim again in oceans, seas, rivers, and lakes.

The mountains can still be covered with forests if the cutting of trees is done with care. We must plant again where we have cut. And we can have enough wood for houses and paper for books.

There is no need to throw away things we do not want or cannot use any more. We can change many things back into what they were made of, and use them again. Old newspapers can become new paper. Old glass jars can be turned into new glass. Old iron can help to make new cars and refrigerators.

We can also learn not to litter. We all know the sign: DO NOT LITTER. But not everyone does what the sign says.

For a long time, people have used their Earth home without thinking of what was happening to it. Now we see that we must treat it better if it is to be a nice home. It can be.

(from Speak Out, abridged)











Supplementary Card #7


Read and retell the text.

WHAT SHALL WE DO WITH OUR PACKED PLANET?


The official number of people on our planet is 6,000,000,000. Six billion!

The world's population is growing very quickly. It adds up to 184 people every minute, 11,040 every hour, 264,960 every day and 97 million every year! Just imagine how many people there will be on our planet by the year 2150 if the present trend continues.

Of course, the world's population hasn't always grown so quickly. In fact, the number of people on the planet started off growing very slowly. That's because people didn't live as long as they do today.

As time passed, better medical care and nutrition and cleaner water helped people live longer. Population growth began to pick up speed. Before long, the world's population doubled — and it has kept doubling!

Every new person added to the planet needs food, water, shelter, clothes and fuel. More people mean more cars, roads, schools, hospitals and shops.

The trouble is our planet's riches are limited. Take water, for example: although water covers most of the planet, less than 1% of it can be used for drinking and washing. One out of every 13 people around the world does not always have enough clean water.

Food shortages are even more common.

In many countries, there is simply not enough food to feed the growing populations. 150 million children in the world suffer from poor health because of food shortages. Worldwide, 1 of every 7 people does not get enough to eat. As more people drive more cars, use more electricity, throw away more litter, and cut down more trees, our planet becomes more and more polluted.

Although every person uses the planet's resources, some people use a lot more than others. The richest billion people — especially Americans — use the most resources. They also produce the most waste.

Of course, having 6 billion people also means that there is more brainpower around to find a way out.

(from Speak Out, abridged)














Supplementary Card #8

Read and retell the text.

"SMOG" WAS INVENTED IN BRITAIN


It was in Britain that the word "smog" was first used (to describe a mixture of smoke and fog). As the world's first industrialized country, its cities were the first to suffer this atmospheric condition. In the 19th century London's "pea-soupers" (thick smogs) became famous through descriptions of them in the works of Charles Dickens and in the Sherlock Holmes stories. The situation in London reached its worst point in 1952.

At the end of that year a particularly bad smog, which lasted for several days caused about 6,000 deaths.

Water pollution was also a problem. In the 19th century it was once suggested that the Houses of Parliament should be wrapped in enormous wet sheets to protect those inside from the awful smell of the River Thames. People who fell into the Thames were rushed to hospital to have their stomachs pumped out!

Then, during the 1960s and 1970s, laws were passed which forbade the heating of homes with open coal fires in city areas and which stopped much of the pollution from factories. At one time, a scene of fog in a Hollywood film was all that was necessary to symbolize London. This image is now out of date, and by the end of the 1970s it was said to be possible to catch fish in the Thames outside Parliament.

However, as in the rest of western Europe, the great increase in the use of the motor car in the last quarter of the 20th century has caused an increase in a new kind of air pollution. This problem has become so serious that the television weather forecast now regularly issues warnings of "poor air quality". On some occasions it is bad enough to prompt official advice that certain people (such as asthma sufferers) should not even leave their houses, and that nobody should take any vigorous exercise, such as jogging, out of doors.

(from Britain, abridged)











Supplementary Card #9

Read and retell the text.

AMERICAN PRESS


Because of the great size of the USA, local newspapers are more important than national ones. Only the New York Times, the Chicago Tribune and the Wall Street Journal are read over a large part of the country. But there are other newspapers that have a wide interest and influence; they include the Washington Post, the popular Daily News, the Baltimore Sun, the Philadelphia Inquirer, the St Louis Post Dispatch and the San Francisco Examiner. Most US newspapers are controlled by large monopolists.

The US press plays an important part in the business of government; the press conference is an American invention.

In the 20m century newspapers have ranged from tabloids featuring pictures and sensational news to, "responsible journals". Their pages are varied and include columns devoted to news, editorials, letters to the editor, business and finance, sports, entertainment, art, music, books, comics, fashions, food, society, television and radio.

As the great newspaper chains and news agencies grew, America's press lost its individualistic character; many features are common to newspapers all over the country, which therefore have a uniform appearance.

Although there are no separate Sunday papers as there are in Great Britain, US daily papers do have special Sunday editions. Many of these are remarkable in size: the New York Times Sunday edition regularly has over 200 pages, and has had 946.

The New York Times has the largest circulation of any newspaper in the US, selling more than two million copies each day.

Aside from a few notable exceptions like the New York Times, the St Louis Post- Dispatch, the" Washington Post, the press is daily filled with sex and violence. It is a river of morbidity, murder, divorce and gang fights. It's a melange of chintzy gossip columns, horoscopes, homemaking hints, advice to the lovelorn, comics, crossword puzzles and insane features like: "Are you happily married? Take the following test..."

Almost every American newspaper carries comic strips, usually at least a page of them.

In contrast to daily newspapers, many magazines in the USA are national and even international. Those with the widest circulation are Time, Reader's Digest, TV Guide, Woman's Day, Better Home and Gardens, Family Circle, the National Geographic Magazine and Ladies' Home Journal.

(from The USA by G.D.Tomakhin, abridged)



Supplementary Card #10

Read and retell the text.

MADAM TUSSAUD'S


Madam Tussaud's is the most popular and talked about wax museum in the world. There are wax models of the famous and infamous, both living and dead, from every walk of life.

Elvis Presley, the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Marilyn Monro, Michael Jackson, Alfred Hitchcock, Charlie Chaplin, the British Royal family, Bill Clinton, Jack the Ripper ... There is no other place where you can see all the celebrities at once, even if they are only wax figures.

So if you want to rub shoulders with kings and queens or the latest pop stars, or probably with notorious criminals, this is the place to go.

The museum is situated in Marylebone Road, not far from the street which is famous as the home of the first great detective in fiction, Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes.

There's usually a long queue in front of the museum. No wonder! Many tourists would consider their trip to London worthless if they didn't visit the famous Madam Tussaud's.

There are several halls at Madam Tussaud's. Highlights include the Grand Hall, the Chamber of Horrors and "The Spirit of London" exhibition.

The wax figures are standing and sitting, and sometimes even moving and talking.

They are extremely realistic and when they look at you, their eyes sparkling, you often feel uncomfortable in their company. Computer controlled figures (they are called audioanimatronics) are especially popular with the visitors.

New models are being produced all the time while the old ones are quietly removed from display.

Over the years hundreds of celebrities have made their way to Madame Tussaud's studio. Most people agree to be portrayed, but some refuse. Mother Teresa was one of the few who declined, saying her work was important, not her person.


Автор
Дата добавления 12.05.2016
Раздел Иностранные языки
Подраздел Другие методич. материалы
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