Examination Topics


Examination Topics

1. Some people think that school years are the happiest days in peoples

lives. Can you say that you have been happy at school? Why?

School is the traditional place for acculturating children into our

national life. In the modern age, the role assigned to our schools is to

prepare children for the literate public culture. Some students like

school, others dont; but they all study for eleven years and gain

knowledge by doing different tasks. For students who are doing well in most

subjects and who want to get higher education, school is an attractive

place. But those who are not successful at school, and who are always

pressed by teachers and their parents, school is boring and uninteresting.

I think that the most important role of school is giving knowledge. I can

say that my school gives such knowledge, and thats why Im happy at

school. Most of my teachers have a lot of teaching experience; they

understand very well the difficulties of the learning process. They help us

to learn all subjects well. They also guide us and advise us on all aspects

of our study and life. They share their knowledge and experience with us,

and we respond with love.

If you want to study well, you must feel relaxed and happy with your

family, school and your social life. Your parents should understand you and

help you when you need their help. My parents usually help and support me

when I need it. We have our school psychologist who also helps us to

overcome difficulties and cope with our problems. The main purpose of our

school is to create a supportive and caring atmosphere for students.

The standard of education in our school is very high. Im a rather good

student really. I dont have many problems with the work; but I usually get

into trouble for talking, especially when I speak at the same time as the

teacher.

However I think that sometimes we have too much homework. Teachers and

parents insist that doing homework develops the students ability to work

without assistance, or that additional work could help us complete our

education successfully. But I believe, in many subjects, homework is

totally unnecessary, because it doesnt do me any good. I think its really

stupid to copy from a textbook, and there is no point in duplicating the

textbook. And if we could get rid of unnecessary homework, we would have

more time to take up hobbies and interests.

School is not only a place of education; it is a place where we develop our

relationships, increasing tolerance and respect to each other. At school we

can enjoy different activities and demonstrate our individual talents.

Everyone has an opportunity to take part in different performances at a

school or class party, or to take part in different sport competitions.

These activities help us with our education and relationships among our

classmates. We want to have harmony in our class and among our classmates,

but it is rather difficult to achieve. Of course, we try our best to do it,

and in many cases we overcome our problems and solve them. And only

sensitive teachers can help us, because boys and girls are not passive

lumps of clay; they are living, pulsating, developing, mysterious beings

who must be studied and understood before they can be taught in the true

sense.

So a teacher plays an important role in our education, and when we remember

our school years we usually remember our teachers, if they were fair and

intelligent or not. I think that Im a lucky person almost all my

teachers are very interesting and intelligent. When our teachers criticize

us, they follow such rules: they try to correct a students action, not

him; they do not impress upon him that he has no abilities; they try to

contribute to the minds and souls of their students; they try to be a path

for their students to go through a dark forest of school rules. But I cant

judge all teachers, because there are as many opinions how to treat a child

as there are people. Teachers must choose their methods themselves, but

they should remember that they influence and shape the students opinion

about their school. As for me, I think that in our school almost all

teachers understand the students and become like parents to us. They

support us and care for us. Im happy at my school and so are my

classmates.

2. If you want to continue your education, what kinds of institution will

you attends? Explain your choice.

At the age of fifteen, students in Russia have to make some important

decisions. Will they continue on at school? Or will they enter a lyceum or

a gymnasium? Of course, its not easy to make the right choice. In our

country a nine-year education is compulsory and after the ninth form

students have an opportunity to choose. To enter a university or a college

it is necessary to study two more years, and take five examinations on

finishing the eleventh form. To get a professional education, students have

to enter a technical college or a vocational school and study for three

years. Finally, they may finish their education, leave school, and get a

job. The choice depends on their likes and dislikes.

When choosing a place for future studies, its a good idea to consider a

number of factors. First of all, we should take into account our own

preferences and find out what our talents are. We can do this through

aptitude tests, interviews with specialities, and consulting reference

books on the subjects that interest us. Different types of schools, for

example lyceums and gymnasiums, often specialise in various fields. They

can offer a good choice of subjects that will be useful in a future

profession. Most of them are affiliated with universities and colleges and

help pupils to prepare for their entrance examinations.

I am not sure what I am going to do when I leave school. By the time I

finish school I will have already formed a much better idea of what Id

like to do. But the problem is we have to decide which subjects to study

for university or college two years before we finish school.

Its not easy to make the right choice. There are a number of things we

could do. For some of the most interesting professions, like medicine, you

have to be very good at chemistry, and I am not much of a chemist. Although

my parents are doctors, I dont seem to be very interested in caring for

others and helping them with their problems. I dont think its the best

decision to follow in the footsteps of a parent or a relative if you are

not interested in this profession.

I have always wanted to be something like a computer programmer, because I

like computers and I am interested in knowing how computer programmes work.

Besides, I have an aptitude for working with figures and solving

mathematical problems. Maths is my favourite subject, and I am really good

at it. So I think I can work in a scientific or computational field. As far

as my personal qualities are concerned, I can say that Im creative and

hard-working; I have good logical-reasoning and problem-solving skills.

Besides, Im rather communicative and like to work in a team. So I feel I

can become a good specialist in programming.

To my mind the profession of a programmer has a lot of advantages. It is a

highly paid job, and it can offer many opportunities. I will be able to

work on the full range of development activities, such as analysis, design,

coding, testing and implementation. Computers are the most rapidly changing

sphere of modern technology. The next generation of computers will be able

to talk and even to think. We are living in the age of information. And I

think that the future will be just filled with computers. Today, in the USA

people work, go shopping, or even go on dates, sitting at their computers.

But to become a good specialist in computing, you should know a lot of

programming languages and application programmes. So after finishing school

it is necessary for me to enter a university or a college and to study

computer science. Ill have to take three entrance examinations: in Maths,

Physics and Literary composition. If I am lucky, Ill have the chance to

study interesting sciences, and to listen to the lectures of famous

professors.

However, its very difficult to pass entrance examinations. The school I am

now studying in is a comprehensive school with a standard curriculum.

Though the teachers here are very knowledgeable and experienced, my school

only offers general education. So after finishing the ninth form, I would

like to leave it and to enter a lyceum of information technologies. It

gives its pupils profound knowledge in Maths, Physics and other academic

subjects. Besides, pupils are offered a wide choice of elective subjects

connected with computers. They study different programming languages and

learn how to write programmes. The teachers there are friendly and well-

qualified. The lyceum is known for its academic excellence.

I hope my education at the lyceum will form a basis for my future

occupation. But it goes without saying that Ill need some extra knowledge

to pass my entrance exams at the university or college. That is why Ill

have to take preparatory courses in Maths and Physics. Anyway, I have to

get down to some hard work now, if I want to achieve my aims.

3. Choosing a profession is not an easy matter. What do you think can help

you to make the right choice?

What do you want to be when you grow up? We have heard this question many

times during our school years. Perhaps, it was difficult for us to give a

definite answer earlier. But now we understand that the time to choose our

future profession has come. Finishing school is the beginning of an

independent life for millions of school-leavers. Many roads are open before

us: technical schools, colleges and universities.

Centuries ago there were only a few jobs: people were farmers, bakers,

butchers or carpenters. Today there are thousands of different kinds of

jobs, and new ones are constantly appearing. No wonder that it is not an

easy thing to make the right choice.

When choosing a future career, we should consider different factors. In my

opinion, money is one of the most important factors when you make a choice.

There are highly paid jobs and low-paid jobs. For example, a businessman, a

president or a film star, are highly paid jobs. A worker, a doctor or an

engineer, are low-paid jobs. I think everybody wants to earn as much money

as possible. Training, promotional prospects and conditions should be also

taken into account.

On the other hand, its good when you get satisfaction from your job. It is

very important to choose a profession that suits your interests. In my

opinion, a job should be interesting and socially important. Some jobs are

considered to be more suitable for men and others for women. For example,

the professions of secretary or nurse are more suitable for women. A

lifeguard or a pilot are more likely the jobs for men. You should also

decide whether you want to work indoors or outdoors.

To make the right choice, you should take into account your traits of

character. It goes without saying that to become a good doctor you must be

patient, caring and kind. Teachers work requires love for children,

profound knowledge of subjects, and the ability to explain. A secretary has

to be efficient and careful in order to do her work quickly and accurately.

Salespeople need to be friendly and persuasive, to get people buy their

products.

There are so many people who influence us in choosing our occupation.

Parents and friends play a very important role in our choices.

My father works is a bisnessman. It is a highly paid job and it offers a

lot of opportunities. You can travel abroad and meet different people. My

father is a friendly person and he is easy to talk to. He thinks that I

must choose my future profession according to my taste and preferences. I

respect him but I want to become a programmer.

I have always been interested in computers. Im rather communicative and

have good social skills. I have good analytical abilities and I am good at

problem-solving. Besides, I am good at English. English has become the

standard language for all kinds of international programs. To know English

today is absolutely necessary for every programmer.

But to become a good specialist in computing, you should know a lot of

programming languages and application programmes. So after finishing school

it is necessary for me to enter a university or a college and to study

computer science. Ill have to take three entrance examinations: in Maths,

Physics and Literary composition. If I am lucky, Ill have the chance to

study interesting sciences, and to listen to the lectures of famous

professors.

4. There are different ways of learning about the world: through the mass

media, books, travelling, visiting museums, meeting other people, etc.

Which ways do you prefer to learn about the world?

There are a lot of different ways of getting new information. In the past

the only way to learn about the world was traveling. The first travelers

were explorers who wanted to discover new lands. Nowadays, millions of

people travel around the world either for pleasure or on business.

Traveling has always been a part of peoples education. It teaches people

about the art and culture of different countries. It teaches them to be

understanding. Besides, you can improve your knowledge of foreign

languages. In my opinion, traveling is the most pleasant way of learning

about the world. Its always interesting to discover different ways of

life, to visit different museums, to try different foods, and to listen to

different kinds of music. In brief, when we travel, we can learn a lot of

things that we can never see and learn at home.

But to travel around the world you need a lot of money. That is why the

main source of information for millions of people is mass media. Mass media

includes newspapers and magazines, advertising and radio, and, of course,

television.

Television is a reflection of the modern world. It gives you an opportunity

to travel all over the world, to see different peoples, and learn about

their customs and traditions. Television keeps you informed about the rest

of the world. When you need immediate information about the latest world

events, you switch the TV on. There are always a great variety of

programmes on TV: current affairs programmes and documentaries, plays and

feature films, talk shows and TV games. A lot of people like TV news

because they can see everything with their own eyes. Besides, TV has the

power to educate and broaden our minds.

Some people think that the only way to be in the know of everything is to

read newspapers and magazines. If you get on a bus or catch a train during

the morning and evening rush hours, when most people travel to and from

work, you will see a lot of people with their heads in a newspaper or a

magazine.

Newspapers are packed with the latest news, information, fashion and facts.

They cater to a variety of political views, interests and levels of

education. Papers are generally divided into quality papers, or

broadsheets, and popular papers that are half the size of broadsheets.

But the size is not the only thing that makes them different. Quality

papers are serious, with long, informative articles; while popular

papers, known as tabloids, have a more sensational reporting style and

contain more human interest stories than news. The two most popular British

daily newspapers, The Sun and The Daily Mirror, are both tabloids. Tabloids

sell many more copies than broadsheets.

In Russia we also have these two types of newspapers. For example,

Izvestiya or Kommersant are broadsheets. They contain political, business

and cultural information. Such tabloids as Megapolis-Express and Express

Gazeta contain the latest gossip, sensations and crossword puzzles. People

choose a paper according to their tastes and preferences. Though newspapers

dont react to events as quickly as TV, they usually provide us with extra

details, commentaries and background information.

There are also a lot of magazines and other periodicals. Whatever your

interest, there is likely to be a magazine about it from sport, cookery,

and farming, to religion, computers, cinema and more. Young people below

the age of 18 do not buy newspapers; but they do buy magazines. Girls enjoy

magazines about pop music, clothes, fashion and make-up; whereas boys

prefer to read about sport, cars and computers. As far as I am interested

in fashions I enjoy reading Yes. It is a monthly magazine for girls

containing the latest information about our favourite pop, film and soap

stars, brilliant fashions and beauty, sports and romance. It approaches

interesting subjects with intelligence and good humour. Besides, there is a

lot of useful advice on various areas of life.

Still, many people prefer the radio. Its good to listen to the radio in a

car, or in the open air, or when you do something about the house.

Listeners can tune into all kinds of stations: pop or classical music,

news, sport or foreign radio stations. People can often call in and ask

questions about everything from cooking or car repair to politics or

health. Callers often get a chance to give their opinions on the air.

Besides, radio has fresher news than newspapers. They inform every half

hour.

The Internet has recently become another important source of information.

It is a computer system that allows millions of people around the world to

receive and exchange information about almost everything. The main use of

the Internet is to find information for your schoolwork or job, or just

to find out more about your hobbies, sports or current events. All the

latest information is available to you in your home, at any hour of the day

and night. Its much faster and easier to surf the net in search of

information from all over the world than to travel to libraries in dozens

of countries.

However, the real world of the Internet may not be as perfect as it seems.

With so much information available, finding what you want can take you

hours. Multimedia web pages with photographs are attractive, but they make

downloading slow and boring. Besides, there is too much advertising instead

of real information.

With so many modern forms of finding information, such as radio, TV and the

Internet, people read fewer books, newspapers and magazines. Nowadays, most

people consider television their most important source of information, and

a majority ranks television as the most believable news source. In my

opinion, we cant say exactly which source of information is the best. It

depends on what kind of information you need. However, I dont think we

should forget the educational value of reading a good book.

5. Travelling is one of the ways of discovering new countries. What

attracts tourists to Russia? What would you show your foreign friends in

your home town?

Millions of people all over the world are fond of travelling. They travel

to see other countries and continents, to discover different ways of life,

to meet different people and to practise foreign languages. It goes without

saying that travelling broadens the mind. While travelling we can see and

learn a lot of things that we can never learn staying at home and watching

TV or reading books. Thats why a lot of foreign people come to Russia to

get acquainted with Russian culture, with Russian customs and traditions.

Russia has always been a country of mystery attractive for foreigners.

There are lots of villages and towns in Russia famous for their specific

crafts: painted boxes in Palekh, wooden tableware in Khokhloma and toys in

Dymkovo. Thousands of foreigners visit Russia to enjoy the typical Russian

log houses, decorated with wood carvings.

Tourists like to visit old Russian towns and cities famous for their

ancient architecture. They are especially attracted by Russian orthodox

cathedrals, churches and monasteries. One of the most interesting old

cities in Russia is Novgorod, or Novgorod the Great, as it was called in

the old times. It is a treasury of architecture, painting and applied art

created over the 11th to 17th centuries. The first records of the city on

the Volkhov River date back to the year of 859. Now Novgorod has expanded

far beyond its former limits. It is an important industrial and cultural

centre, located on the busy highway linking Moscow and St. Petersburg.

The focal point of the city is the Detinets, or the Kremlin. The present-

day Kremlin stems largely from the 15th century. Several alterations made

in the 16th and 17th centuries were minor and did not affect its

appearance. Novgorods contribution to the development of Russian culture

is outstanding. No other city excels Novgorod in the number of ancient

monuments of architecture. The Novgorod Museum of History, Architecture and

Art shows visitors the history of the medieval Novgorod. Its artistic value

lies primarily in its collection of medieval icon painting.

There is a lot to see in Russia, but first of all foreign tourists visit

the capital of our country, Moscow, its political, economic, commercial and

cultural centre. They dream of visiting Red Square, which is called the

heart of Moscow. Perhaps, the most ancient monument of Red Square is St.

Basils Cathedral. With its nine beautifully painted cupolas, it is a real

masterpiece of ancient Russian architecture.

If you come to Moscow for the first time, you should by all means visit the

Kremlin, which is very impressive. On the territory of the Kremlin you can

see old cathedrals, the Bell Tower of Ivan the Great, the State Kremlin

Palace, the Tsar Cannon and the Tsar Bell, the biggest cannon and bell in

the world. The tallest Kremlin tower, the Spasskaya Tower, has become the

symbol of the country.

If you leave the Kremlin by the Trinity Gate you will come to the

Alexandrovsky Gardens. The first thing to do in the Gardens is to stand by

the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, still and silent. Not far from the

Alexandrovsky Gardens, behind the Bolshoi Kamenny Bridge, you will see

Christ the Saviour Cathedral, with its huge beautiful gilded dome.

Foreigners are usually surprised by the number of churches and cathedrals

in and around the city. There are also a lot of beautiful palaces, old

mansions and monuments in Moscow.

There are more than 80 museums in our capital. The largest museums are the

Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts, whose collections include works of art of the

ancient Orient and ancient Egypt, and the State Tretyakov Gallery, which

houses a rich collection of Russian painting and Russian icons. Other

unique museums in Moscow are the State History Museum, the All-Russia

Museum of Decorative, Applied and Folk Art, the Polytechnical Museum and

many others. Moscow is famous for its theatres, too. The best-known of them

is the Bolshoi Opera House. Drama theatres and studios are also very

popular.

Another interesting place to visit in Moscow is the All-Russia Exhibition

Centre which occupies an area of 530 acres. The Exhibition Centre is

situated in a beautiful park. The most admired feature of the Exhibition

Centre is its fountains. The Friendship of the Nations and the Stone

Flower fountains are the most beautiful. The Exhibition Centre is a large

cultural and commercial complex where different international exhibitions

and fairs are held.

One of the most famous sights of the city is the Moscow Metro and a journey

by Metro will be unforgettable. In the Metro you do not feel as if youre

underground. This is due to the unique architecture and the artistic design

of the stations, which are more like palaces. No two stations are alike;

most of them have their own appearance.

Of course, every foreigner should visit St. Petersburg, the second largest

city in Russia and one of the most splendid cities in the world. It was

founded in 1703 by Peter the Great at the mouth of the Neva River. Now it

is an important industrial, cultural and educational centre.

St. Petersburg is indeed a wonderful city: at every turn there is something

to catch your eye. The Winter Palace, St. Isaacs Cathedral, the Peter-and-

Paul Fortress, and the Admiralty Building attract thousands of tourists

from every corner of the world. Petersburgs many museums house some of the

worlds most famous art collections. The Hermitage and the Russian Museum,

for example, contain the richest collections of pictures in the world.

The city is called the Northern Venice, because there are 65 rivers,

branches and canals there with artistically decorated bridges. Its also

famous for its beautiful white nights.

There are a lot of Hero-cities in our country. And I would recommend that

my foreign friends visit one of them. Volgograd is a legendary city,

because here in 1943 the Soviet Army won the great and glorious victory

over the fascists. The city was completely ruined during the war, but now

it is a beautiful city again. It stands on the banks of the great Russian

river Volga. The symbol of Volgograd is the Mamaev Hill. It was the centre

of fighting during the heroic defence of Stalingrad. Now there is a great

memorial there. Besides, you can visit the Stalingrad Battle Panorama

Museum, which is situated on the bank of the Volga River. The centre of

Volgograd is the Square of the Fallen Heroes. In the middle of it there is

a granite obelisk and the common graves of the heroes of the Civil War and

the Great Patriotic War. At the foot of the memorial you can see the

Eternal Flame. Now Volgograd is a big industrial and cultural centre.

There are a lot of other interesting towns and cities in Russia, which are

all worth visiting.

6. Every country is special. What comes to your mind, when you think of the

UK and its people?

The British Isles is the name for a collection of about 4000 islands,

including Great Britain and Ireland. Great Britain, known as Britain or GB,

is the name for the largest of the Islands in the British Isles. It

includes England, Scotland and Wales. The United Kingdom or UK is a

political term which includes England, Scotland, Wales and Northern

Ireland. All of these countries are represented in Parliament in London,

and the abbreviation UK is used on most official documents produced by

Parliament. Everybody from the UK is British, but be careful: only people

from England are English. People from Wales think of themselves as Welsh;

people from Scotland as Scottish; people from Northern Ireland as either

British or Irish.

Britain is split into counties. The word county describes an area with its

own local government. County councils are elected to run things, such as

education, housing, town planning, and rubbish disposal. They look after

things like roads, libraries and swimming pools.

The British flag, known as the Union Jack, is a combination of three flags:

the Saint Andrews cross, the Saint Patricks cross and the Saint Georges

cross.

The Saint Patricks cross is the former flag of Ireland. Saint Patrick is

the patron saint of Ireland. He was born about AD 390. He converted the

Irish to Christianity. Saint Patricks Day is celebrated on 17 March. The

symbol of Northern Ireland is a shamrock and a red hand.

The Saint Georges cross is the English flag. Saint George is the patron

saint of England. He was a soldier famous for saving the Princess Cleolinda

from being eaten by a dragon. Saint Georges Day is celebrated on 23 April.

The symbol of England is a red rose.

The Saint Andrews cross is the Scottish flag. Saint Andrew, a fisherman,

was one of the 12 apostles who followed Jesus Christ. Paintings of Saint

Andrew often show him being crucified on an X-shaped cross. Saint Andrews

Day is celebrated on 30 November. He is the patron saint of both Scotland

and Russia. The symbol of Scotland is a thistle.

The Welsh flag shows a dragon. Saint David, the patron saint of Wales,

converted Wales to Christianity and established the Welsh church. Paintings

of Saint David show him with a dove on his shoulder. Saint Davids Day is

celebrated on 1 March. The symbol of Wales is a daffodil or leek.

London is the capital city of England and the UK. It is a place where the

invading Romans first crossed the River Thames. They built a city and

called it Londinium. This original site of London is now called the City of

London. London manages in a unique way to reflect the past and, at the same

time, to live a life of a modern city. The saying When a man is tired of

London, he is tired of life means that you cant be bored in London. There

are hundreds of historic buildings, galleries and museums in London.

As for me, Im fond of history and Ive read a lot about English kings and

queens. Id like to visit all places in London which are connected with

Royal London, such as Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey, Whitehall and

Trafalgar Square, St Pauls Cathedral, and the Tower of London. And Id

like to visit places which are not in London, such as Windsor Castle, the

Queens house in Greenwich, the Palace of Holyrood house in Edinburgh and

other places in the UK which are connected with the Crown. The UK is famous

for its castles such as Edinburgh Castle and Leeds Castle and others, and

Id like to see them with my own eyes. Another place which is worth seeing

is Madam Tussauds Museum of Waxworks. This museum consists of several

halls with wax images of outstanding political characters, poets and

writers, world-famous film stars and musicians. Then Id like to see one of

the wonders of the world the famous Stonehenge. Every year thousands of

young people go to Stonehenge to take part in the midsummer Druid festival.

I wish I were there.

Palace of Holyrrodhouse in Edinburgh

In the House of Lords, the Chancellor sits on a sack of wool. This

tradition comes from old times when sheep wool made England rich and

powerful. In the House of Commons there are two rows of benches: one row is

for the government and the other one is for opposition. There is a red line

in the carpet in front of each front bench. The person who is speaking is

not allowed to step across it. It is also a tradition from old days, when

that division prevented the two parties from fighting during the debates.

Even the Legislation of the country is traditional. It includes many laws

that havent been changed for centuries. Other traditional features of

Great Britain are the numerous clubs that unite people of various

interests; and the pubs, the local beer halls, where Englishmen like to

spend their time talking, discussing traditional matters: politics, sports,

and weather, over a glass of beer. The British have a reputation of being

conservative, for having established values without questioning their

validity. They drive on the left side of the road and use double-decker

buses. They stick to their own measurement system and continue to measure

distances in miles and yards (not in kilometres and metres). They buy

cheese in pounds and ounces, milk in pints, petrol in gallons.

Fire-place

English people are famous for their habit of politeness. It is considered

polite to give up ones seat to a woman who is standing, to open a door for

her, carry things for her, and so on. Most British people expect the person

in front of them to hold the door open for them. People think you are rude,

if you dont do this. English people are very reserved. This means that

they dont talk much to strangers, and dont show much emotion. A reserved

person never tells you anything about himself. But the people of the North

and West of Britain are much less reserved than those of the South and

East. Most British people queue when they are waiting for a bus or waiting

to be served in a shop. But during the rush hour, when a bus or train

arrives, people often push forward to make sure they get on. This is called

jumping the queue. British people keep their old traditions and are very

proud of them. They are famous for their sense of humour. English people

show great love for animals. And, of course, English people are fond of

sports. Many continentals think life is a game; the English think cricket

is a game. To many Englishmen cricket is both a game and a standard of

behaviour. When they consider something unfair, they say That isnt

cricket.

Cricket

The traditional love of English people for tea is well known. They like to

drink tea with milk. They have their five-oclock tea not only at home or

in offices, but also in tea-rooms and tea-shops, which can be found in

every town.

A nation is born from its land, its history, its art, its traditions and

its institutions. These things work together to make people what they are.

But above all, a nation is made up of people, and although there are things

they all share, all of those people are different. We can say there is

still a British nation, and one of the most characteristic features of

Englishmen is their traditions, which they respect, and which they have

kept for centuries. The traditions dont only accumulate the experience and

wisdom of many generations, but they bring some stability into the rapidly

changing world.

7. Each country takes pride in its own achievements and success. What makes

you feel proud of your country?

Our country is great, and Im very proud of it. Russia is famous for its

outstanding people scientists, writers, poets, travellers and explorers.

Russia is a stable and democratic society. Its citizens have many freedoms,

among them the freedom of speech, religion and the press. Russia is a

member of the United Nations. Russia is one of the largest trading

countries. It has a lot of energy resources and exports oil and natural

gas. Russia has for centuries encouraged research and innovation and it has

a lot of achievements throughout the twentieth century. Nobel prizes for

science, literature and peace have been won by Russian citizens. In the

fields of art, media and sports, Russia enjoys an international reputation.

Russia has nuclear weapons, a strong army and remains a widely-respected

country.

For ages mankind was dreaming of travelling in the space. The science

itself came later. K. E. Tsiolkovsky, the great Russian scientist, is the

father of the theory of interplanetary travels. His words that mankind

will not remain on the Earth forever came true. On 4 October 1957 the

Soviet Union launched the worlds first satellite Sputnik. This word,

sputnik, immediately began to be used in all languages. The first

cosmonaut on the Earth to fly into space, Yuri Gagarin, was from Russia,

and he made his flight around the Earth on 12 April 1961 that lasted 1 hour

48 minutes. Years will pass, people will conquer the Universe and make

landings on other planets, but mankind will always remember Yury Gagarin as

the first to pave the way to the stars.

Russia is also famous for its ancient churches, cathedrals, and towns.

Moscow, the capital of Russia, is famous for its monuments to outstanding

people, churches, galleries, theatres, squares and streets.

The heart of Moscow is Red Square. Its my favourite place in my native

city. I show it to all my guests from different countries. It is our

history, and Id like to tell you some facts about the buildings on it. St

Basils Cathedral was built in 15511561 after the victory over the Kazan

Kingdom. Its a magnificent Cathedral, with eight churches placed around

the tallest ninth one. There is a monument to Minin and Pozharsky in front

of the Cathedral. It was built in 1818 and it was the first statue put up

in Moscow. Minin and Pozharsky were heroes of the peoples struggle in the

war against Poland in 1612. You can see Lobnoye Mesto near the Cathedral.

It was erected in the 16 century; the tsars orders were read from it, also

it was used as a place for execution. The tallest tower of the Kremlin is

the Spasskaya Tower. Its also on Red Square. Its one of the symbols of

Moscow, because the Kremlin clock, made in the 16th century, is on it. The

clock strikes on the hour, half hour and quarter of an hour. The Lenin

Mausoleum is in the centre of the square. It was at first made of wood; and

in 1930 it was rebuilt, and made of stone, brick, marble and granite. The

State History Museum was opened in 1883. It has a rich collection of

documents, drawings, pictures, and materials about the countrys past and

Russias great people. The State Department Store (GUM) is one of the

largest department stores in the country. It is an impressive building with

a glass roof.

Of course the most ancient part of Moscow is the Kremlin. Nowadays the

Kremlin centre looks truly magnificent, with its many-domed cathedrals in

Cathedral Square and with its Tsar Bell and Tsar Cannon.

A very interesting place in Moscow is the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour.

The original cathedral was erected by order of Emperor Alexander as a token

of the Russian peoples gratitude to God for the deliverance of Russia from

Napoleons invasion in 1812. In 1931 it was demolished by order of Josef

Stalin. In 1995, Moscows Mayor Yuri Luzhkov and the world-famous musician

Mstislav Rostropovich laid the first stone in the foundation of the new

Cathedral of Christ the Saviour. Today you can admire this Cathedral in the

centre of Moscow.

People in Russia keep their old traditions and are very proud of them. They

celebrate religious holidays such as Easter, Christmas, and Maslenitsa.

They eat traditional food for Maslenitsa such as pancakes with honey,

caviar or sour cream; they colour eggs; bake kulich cakes; make a paskha

out of cottage cheese for Easter. Many Russians are religious people. The

main church in Russia is the Orthodox Church, but there are other religions

too. The Orthodox Church has survived during hard times, and now we speak

about a rebirth of religion in our country.

Russian people are open-hearted, hospitable, and friendly. They like to

invite guests to their homes and cities; they like to give traditional

souvenirs to their foreign friends such as matryoshka dolls, beautifully

painted mugs, plate and spoons from the village of Khokhloma, Palekh boxes,

art books, badges and etc.

We are proud of our famous and talented poets and writers such as Alexander

Pushkin, Michael Lermontov and many others. We are proud of our famous

composer Peter Tchaikovsky and one of our famous artists, Isaak Levitan. We

can see his paintings and the paintings of other outstanding Russian

artists, such as Repin, Vasnetsov, Shishkin, Surikov, Benua, Korovin, etc.,

in the Tretyakov Gallery. It is one of the most famous and well-known

picture galleries in our country and in the world. It is situated in the

centre of Moscow and is named after its founder Pavel Tretyakov. He began

to collect Russian paintings in 1856. He was a famous patron of arts. In

1892 Tretyakov donated his collection to Moscow.

Russia is proud of its famous sportsmen who win a lot of gold, silver and

bronze medals in different international sports competitions.

So, Im very proud of my country, my native city and the people who brought

a lot of fame to my country. And I invite everyone, who has never been to

my country, to visit it, and to see its achievements with their own eyes.

8. What famous people from Russia would you tell your foreign friends

about? Which famous British and American people do you admire? What

made/makes them famous?Each country is proud of its famous people, and

Russia is among them. Id like to tell you about Russian famous writers,

poets and musicians, because Im fond of literature and music. A. Pushkin

is the most important Russian writer and poet of all time. He is like

Shakespeare in England. He provided the standards for Russian arts and

literature in the 19th century. In 1823 Pushkin began writing his

masterpiece Eugene Onegin. It became his linguistic and literary

standard. It is a commentary on the life of early 19th century Russia.

Pushkin also wrote a lot of other poems and created masterpieces in drama

and prose. All Russian people know Pushkin. Galleries and museums were

named after him. In the centre of Moscow there is a monument to Pushkin

built by the famous Russian architect Opekunshin in 1880. Pushkins

memorial museums in different cities attract many visitors. One of the

other famous poets and writers in Russia was M. Lermontov. He won fame as a

poet after his poem on Pushkins death had been published. Lermontovs

poems Demon, Mtsyri, his great novel A Hero of Our Time and his play

Masquerade are masterpieces of Russian literature.As for me I like

reading F. Dostoevsky and L. Tolstoy. They are famous Russian writers. I

like M. Bulgakov; Master and Margarita is one of the worlds masterpieces.

I often go to Patriarchs Pond where the book begins. It has a special

atmosphere even now. I go there to be inspired. I like reading poetry, and

Anna Ahmatova is my favourite. Russians famous musicians and composers

such as Sergei Rachmaninov and Peter Tchaikovsky are recognized all over

the world. Tchaikovsky composed a lot of symphonies and created beautiful

music for operas and ballets. His famous operas Eugene Onegin, and

Iolanta and his famous ballets The Swan Lake, The Sleeping Beauty are

masterpieces. His memorial museum was opened in 1894 in Klin not far from

Moscow. And the international Tchaikovsky Music Competition started in 1958

in Moscow. S. Rachmaninov was an outstanding Russian composer and pianist.

He became famous with audiences around the world for his piano

performances.Great Britain is also proud of its famous people. And Id like

to tell you about one of its famous writers A. Conan Doyle. He invented

Sherlock Holmes, one of the most famous characters and detectives. Arthur

Conan Doyle was born in Scotland. He was a doctor. In 1882 he moved to

England to set up a practice. One of the doctors he worked for, was the

model for Dr. Watson. Conan Doyles medical knowledge was a great help in

his detective stories. He started the fashion of the detective stories.

Nowadays I dont know a person who doesnt like detective stories. We know

a lot about Sherlock Holmes. We even know his address 221 B Baker

Street in London. If you go to London, you wont find 221 B Baker Street.

But instead, you can go to a pub called The Sherlock Holmes in

Northumberland Street (near Trafalgar Square). In that pub there is a room

like his room at 221 B Baker Street, as described in Conan Doyles

stories. There is also the stuffed head of a hound. It is said to be the

original hound of the Baskervilles. A lot of tourists visit this pub.

When Conan Doyle began to get tired of writing detective stories, he

killed Holmes in one of his stories. But the public didnt like it. Conan

Doyle had to write another story in which Holmes came back. So we can say

that Conan Doyle was a famous British writer. He became popular because of

his love for people.I also admire American famous people. Id like to tell

you about Walt Disney, the pioneer of animated cartoons. He is famous for

creating such cartoon characters as Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Pluto, Goofy

and others. He was born in 1901 in Chicago. His father was a carpenter,

farmer and building contractor. So the family changed homes several times.

In 1917 Walt entered a Higher School in Chicago, where he took photographs,

made drawings for the school paper and studied cartooning, for he wanted to

get a job as a newspaper cartoonist. After World War 1, in which he

participated as a truck driver for the American Red Cross in France and

Germany, he returned to Kansas City. There he met Ub Iverk who turned into

his partner for life. They started a small studio of their own and began

making short animated advertising films. In 1927 Mickey Mouse appeared.

Disney himself provided the voice for Mickey. Then the other cartoons

appeared. Gradually, the Disney studio turned into a big enterprise and

began to produce a variety of cartoons for children. And it was he, who

initiated plans for a huge amusement park, which is known as Disneyland. A

lot of grown-ups and children visit this park and remember the person who

founded it, Walt Disney. And, of course, they remember Walt Disney because

of his remarkable cartoons.

9. What would you tell your foreign friends about traditional Russian

holidays and celebrations? What do you think your British friends will tell

you about their traditional holidays and celebrations?

Every country has its own national holidays, but there are holidays that

are common for many countries. People all over the world know New Years

Day, Christmas and Easter. In Russia, New Years Day is the most popular

holiday; but in the West people pay more attention to Christmas.

Christmas

New Years Day is a family event in Russia. People begin to prepare for

this holiday beforehand. Everything is rush and bustle. There is a great

air of expectation. People decorate their New Year trees with tinsel,

various baubles and coloured lights. They usually put their presents under

the tree. When the Kremlin clock strikes 12 they see the New Year in.

There are also dates and events in our country that are memorable to

Russian people. They are Victory Day, the Day of Reconciliation and

Harmony, Womens Day, the Day of Spring and Labour, Independence Day,

Country Defendants Day, Constitution Day, and Maslenitsa. Besides, there

are many professional days in our country: Teachers Day, Miners Day, etc.

Christmas in Russia is celebrated on 7 January. It is celebrated with all-

night services in churches. Country Defendants Day is celebrated on 23

February. This holiday is devoted to soldiers and officers and everyone

else who defended the country or is in the Army. Womens Day is celebrated

on 8 March. It is a day-off. Men and boys try to please their mothers,

sisters and friends by giving them presents and flowers. Maslenitsa marks

the end of winter and the beginning of spring and Lent. During this

festival people make pancakes, sing and dance traditional songs and dances,

and visit each other. Maslenitsa and Easter are movable holidays. Easter is

the main Orthodox festival. People colour eggs and enjoy traditional

Russian dishes. Churches hold special services on this day.

The Day of Spring and Labour is celebrated on 1 May. On this day people

prefer to go outdoors and take part in all kinds of outdoor activities.

Victory Day is celebrated on 9 May it celebrates the end of the Soviet

Unions participation in World War II in Europe. People put flowers at the

tombs of the soldiers who were killed during the war. The main ceremony is

held in Moscow. People lay flowers in Moscows Park Pobedi and at the Tomb

of an Unknown Soldier. Independence Day is celebrated on 12 June. On this

day Russia became an independent country after the break up of the Soviet

Union in 1991. This is an official holiday. The Day of Reconciliation and

Harmony is celebrated on 7 November. It used to be the greatest official

holiday, celebrating the anniversary of the October Revolution. Now this

day is marked by marches and demonstrations. For many people its just a

day-off. The Constitution Day is celebrated on 12 December. It celebrates

the new Constitution of 1993.

There are fewer public holidays in Great Britain than in other European

countries. They are: Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Years Day, Good

Friday, Easter Monday, Spring Bank Holiday and Late Summer Bank Holiday.

All holidays and traditions are connected with the history and culture of

the country.

The most popular holiday is Christmas. Every year the people of Norway give

the city of London a present. Its a big Christmas tree and it stands in

Trafalgar Square. The central streets are beautifully decorated. People

decorate their houses with holly and mistletoe. They send Christmas cards

to greet each other. Children hang their stockings, hoping that Father

Christmas will come with toys and sweets. Before Christmas groups of people

go from house to house they sing Christmas carols and collect money for

charity. Christmas is a family holiday. The family usually meets for a

traditional dinner of turkey and Christmas pudding, and everyone gives and

receives presents. New Years Day is less popular in Britain than

Christmas. But in Scotland, Hogmanay is the biggest festival of the year.

They celebrate New Year. The preparations for the occasion begin several

days before the New Years Eve, which is known as Hogmanay. The night of

Hogmanay is a time for merrymaking, the giving of presents and observance

of the old customs. The name Hogmanay is supposed to come from the Anglo-

Saxon Haleg Monath (Holy Month), or the Gaaelic oge maiden (New

Morning). December 26th is Boxing Day. People usually visit their friends,

go for a drive or for a long walk, or just sit around and watch TV

recovering from too much food after Christmas dinner. In the country there

is fox-hunting.

Easter

Easter is the time when certain old traditions are observed. It is

celebrated as the start of spring and as a religious festival. It is the

time for giving and receiving presents, such as Easter eggs, hot cross

buns, fluffy little chicks, baby rabbits, and springtime flowers to signify

natures reawakening.

Four times a year the banks are closed on Monday apart from traditional

weekends. Such days are called Bank Holidays.

Besides public holidays, there are certain traditional festivals which have

existed over centuries in the country. They are Pancake Day, Guy Fawkes

Night, Saint Valentines Day, Mothers Day, Halloween, Aprils Fool Day,

etc. These days are not days-off. But they help to keep many traditions,

which Englishmen have always been famous for.

As for me, most of all I like Halloween. It goes back many, many hundreds

of years. At that time the Celts lived in England. The Celts said, In this

night the ghosts of the dead come back. Nowadays children in the USA and

Britain dress up as witches or ghosts. Some children also make jack-o-

lanterns out of pumpkins. They put them in the windows at night. In the

evening, the children go out in groups and knock at peoples doors. The

children call out: Trick or treat. Most people then give the children a

treat. This is usually a sweet, some chocolate, or maybe a toffee apple.

But some people do not give the children a treat. Then the children play a

trick on them. Sometimes, they ring the doorbell again and then they hide

or run away. Or they come to the house again later and put leaves, grass,

stones or other things into the letterbox. Children and older people often

have Halloween parties where they play games such as bobbing for apples,

apples on a string, fortune telling. I wish we celebrated Halloween in

Russia because this holiday is very funny and interesting.

10. You are going to spend a month with an American or British family. What

do you think will be interesting for your host family to learn about you?

Hello! Let me introduce myself to you. Im Alexander, Alex for short. I

live in Moscow. Im a student of the 9th grade. We are a family of four: my

mother, my father, my elder brother and me. We live in a block of flats on

the 11th floor. There are three rooms in our flat and we have all modern

conveniences. I share a room with my elder brother. My brother is a student

of Moscow University. We are close friends. I discuss everything with him

and we dont have any secrets from each other. We get on very well.

Sometimes I even borrow his clothes and he never gets annoyed. We dont

feel competitive, because we have different interests. Im more academic

and hes more artistic. But we are both fond of sport very much. We both go

to the swimming pool twice a week. It helps us to keep fit, it gives us

good stamina, and its good for our hearts and lungs. We hardly ever

quarrel or fight. My brother never sees me as being in the way. I think Im

quite easy-going. Im similar in personality to my mother. She is always

very friendly to all, although she can be quite critical of people. I like

to be friendly to the people around me, and I dont normally like to let my

bad moods and anger inside me, come out and affect other people.

I dont know if Im particularly obsessive. I like to do different things

every day. I am fond of collecting different things. One day I collect toy

cars, another day I want to collect badges. But most of all I prefer

collecting stamps because its a family hobby. You can learn a tremendous

amount through stamps, especially about history. Stamps are a great way to

bring history alive. All the members of my family collect stamps and the

theme of our collection is history. It is a long-lasting hobby and who

knows in 20 years or so it may have become an impressive collection that

can be appreciated and enjoyed by my own children too.

I have grandparents, my mothers parents. They dont live with us; but I

often visit them. They live a very routine life, but they like it. I cant

put my finger on it, exactly, but there is some atmosphere in their house

like nothing has changed for twenty years. My parents are doctors and they

work in the hospital. They are very giving, caring persons, and always

consider those around them. They work very hard in their hospital and

really put all their energy in their work. They are very much in love, even

after years of being married and always caring for each other. My parents

have warm, friendly eyes and always express a spirit of goodwill towards

people. I love my parents very much and my ambition is to be a doctor too,

because I want to help people if they have some problems with their health.

I originally became interested in medicine during my 9th grade, when I

realized that my skills and my traits would serve me well in my future

career. Besides Im good at Chemistry, Biology and History they are my

favourite subjects. Im not very good at English, but I understand that it

is one of the most important subjects now, and I try my best to improve it.

We have a pet. Its a dog. Her name is Sunny. Her mother is a Scotch

Shepherd dog. I am never lonely with my pet. She is a great favourite with

everyone in our family. All people admire her. She wears a good collar with

her name on it. She especially likes morning walks with my father.

My native city is Moscow. Many people associate Moscow with the Kremlin and

Red Square as the heart of the city. It is really the oldest historical and

architectural centre of Moscow and my favourite place in Moscow, because

its connected with the history of my country. Nowadays the Moscow Kremlin,

with all the beauty of the palaces and cathedrals, is a wonderful sight.

All these cathedrals have been converted into museums. Ivan the Terrible

Bell Tower, one of the most remarkable structures of the 16th century,

rises in the centre of the Kremlin. It unites all the Kremlin Cathedrals

into a majestic ensemble. One of the well-known Kremlin museums is the

Armoury Chamber. It was built in 1851. The famous golden cap of Monomach,

the first Russian imperial crown of Catherine II made of silver, and many

other precious historical items are exhibited there. So when you come to my

native city, Ill show you all the interesting and amazing sights of it.

11. People have various reading preferences. What do you like to read? What

is your favourite writer?

I think that we cant live without books. There are a lot of different

kinds of books in the world, for example, thrillers, historical novels,

science fiction, adventure books and others. Most of them are with us

during all our life. Boys all over the world like reading adventure,

thrillers and horror stories, whereas girls prefer romances, historical

novels and poetry. Encyclopaedias, reference books and dictionaries help

pupils to do well at school.

All the members of my family like reading very much. My father often reads

newspapers and magazines. He thinks that it is the only way to be in the

know of everything. And my mother is keen on reading romances and modern

novels. For her they are more interesting than boring historical novels.

She agrees with Anatole France that history books which contain no lies

are extremely dull. But she wouldnt mind reading about the life of well-

known people.

I enjoy reading very much. Most of all I like reading detective stories,

because they have interesting story lines and unusual endings. I am

particularly captivated by characters who conduct investigations.

I never believed there really were books that you couldnt put down. I

changed my opinion when I started to read The Woman in White by Wilkie

Collins, an English writer. The book was written in the 19th century. Its

a very good detective story, with a bit of romance thrown in it. The book

is basically about mistaken identity. The main character in the story is a

young artist who goes up to the north of England to instruct two young

ladies. And he falls in love with Miss Fairlie, who looks very like the

woman in white. Finally they turn out to be identical twins. The author

brilliantly describes the adventures, love and fears of his heroes. He

really brings the characters to life. A good writer knows how to keep you

reading the book. In The Woman in White the readers interest is caught

from the very first page and there is suspense till the very end! This is a

great book and I would recommend it to anyone.

But my favourite writer is Agatha Christie. She is possibly the worlds

most famous detective story writer. She wrote 79 novels and several plays.

Her books are translated into 103 foreign languages. Many of her novels and

short stories have been filmed. Her sales outnumber those of Shakespeare,

but her life was often lonely and unhappy.

She was born in 1890 in Devon. She didnt go to school, but was educated at

home by her mother. During World War I, while she was working in a hospital

dispensary, she learned about chemicals and poisons, which proved very

useful to her in her later career. She wrote her first detective novel,

The Mysterious Affair at Styles, in 1920. In it she introduced Hercule

Poirot, the Belgian detective, who appeared in many subsequent novels. Her

other main detective was an elderly spinster called Miss Marple. Miss

Marple doesnt look like a detective at all. This old lady always uses her

instinct and knowledge of human nature to investigate crimes.

In 1914 she married Archibald Christie, but the marriage was unhappy. It

didnt last long, and they divorced in 1926. Agatha desperately wanted

solitude and developed very bitter feelings towards the media because the

newspapers had given her a hard time over her breakdown. She was determined

never to let them enter her private life again and she buried herself in

her work. On November 25, 1952 her play The Mousetrap opened in London.

Today, over 50 years later, it is still running. It is the longest running

show in the whole world. Agatha Christie died peacefully in 1976. People

all over the world value this talented writer and consider her to be the

Queen of Crime.

I dont mind reading adventure stories. I especially like to read about

characters who go through dangers to complete their mission. I think its

more interesting than reading dull historical novels. But I dislike poetry,

especially modern poetry. I find it too complicated. Sometimes I fail to

understand what poets mean.

I am sure that reading is an essential part of our life. Only in books can

you find answers to all your questions. Books can tell us a lot about the

modern world and ancient times. Besides, they can help us to explore new

ideas and expand our outlook. I completely agree that reading is to the

mind what exercise is to the body. What is more, books teach us to be kind

and honest. While reading we learn how to solve our problems and to make

people happy. And I think that reading is a perfect way to spend free time

and not to feel bored. Books must be our friends during all our life.

12. Television is much spoken about nowadays. It has both good and bad

points. What are your arguments for and against watching TV?

It goes without saying that television plays a very important part in

peoples lives. Its a wonderful source of information and one of the best

ways to spend free time and not to feel bored. Television viewing is by far

the most popular leisure pastime. For example, in Britain over 99 per cent

of British homes have a TV, and the average person watches the box 26

hours a week. Its not surprising, because TV channels show a great variety

of programmes: documentaries and current affairs programmes, feature films

and comedies, soaps and police series, concerts and talk shows.

There are four TV channels in Britain: BBC 1, BBC 2, ITV and Channel 4. BBC

1 and BBC 2, the two state channels, do not show adverts. ITV and Channel

4, the two independent channels, do show adverts. BBC 1 and ITV tend to

broadcast popular programmes: sports programmes, recent films, news, game

shows, childrens programmes and soaps. BBC 2 and Channel 4 show programmes

which usually attract much smaller audiences: TV plays, classical concerts,

foreign films and programmes for minority groups.

Russian television has between 10 and 15 channels, which show all kinds of

programmes: news and sports programmes, talk shows and quizzes,

documentaries and feature films, soaps and police series, comedies and

concerts.

Thanks to satellites, TV viewers can increase their options and watch TV

from different countries. Conventional television has to struggle to retain

its audience, as people switch over to cable viewing, satellite TV, or

renting video cassettes.

Television is a reflection of the modern world. It gives you an opportunity

to travel all over the world, to see different people and learn about their

customs and traditions. Television keeps you informed about the rest of the

world. And of course, it helps you to escape from everyday problems.

A lot of people usually relax watching soaps TV serials which dramatise

their characters daily life. Their story lines are entertaining, but often

unbelievable. I dont think that they show life realistically; but to many

people, the characters in the weekly TV serial shows have become more

important than real people.

As for me, I prefer watching different quizz shows. Thats why my favourite

TV programme is Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? It is shown twice a week,

and lasts about an hour. The programme is now hosted by Maxim Galkin. It is

a game show where the player is asked different questions. If the answers

are correct, the participant gets a lot of money. But if he is wrong, he

loses everything. I particularly enjoy watching this programme, because the

questions are always very interesting and they help me to expand my

outlook. Besides, its a perfect way to be in the know about everything. I

find this programme clever and informative and try not to miss it.

Of course, not everything shown on TV is made in good taste. There are

badly-written programmes which contain unnecessary bad language and

violence. The strange thing is that neither politicians nor producers like

to admit that watching violence on TV leads to greater violence on the

streets.

Many people admit that the quality of television could be better. They

would prefer to see fewer soap operas and crime series, and more history,

drama, and science. One reason for the poor quality of programmes is

advertising. Not all people like watching commercials. They find ads silly

and boring. As for me, I dont take advertising seriously. On the one hand,

advertisements help people choose the best products and get the best value

for their money. But on the other hand, they show life unrealistically and

give false information. Besides, in adverts all people seem to be happy

consumers, all kids seem to be healthy and well off. But this is not true

at all. What is more, I find it very annoying when a film stops at the most

interesting moment. Nevertheless, I am not against commercials on TV,

because television companies earn their money from advertising.

Another thing I would like to complain about is the amount of smoking in

the films that are shown on TV. Smoking is often shown as a very cool

thing to do making young people much more likely to copy what they see,

and take up smoking themselves.

Some people say that television is a terrible waste of time. Of course,

there are TV addicts who cant drag themselves away from the box. They

watch TV for hours without choosing programmes, and spend time in front of

television which they could spend talking to their friends and family. In

this case, television makes them really waste time. But on the contrary, if

we watch TV for an hour a day, to find out what is happening in the world

or to relax, then television is really useful.

In short, television does have its good points. Many of the broadcast

programmes are educational and can help with schoolwork. A good soap-opera

or a comedy is a source of relaxation for many people. Television also

provides jobs for thousands of people. So I think it is not the TV itself

which is to blame for the bad effects it has, but the fact that people do

not know how to make the best use of it.

13. What are the most popular free time activities for British and Russian

teenagers? What activities do you like? Why?

Britain has recent by been described as a leisure society. This is

because there are a great variety of leisure pursuits. Young people

generally go out on Friday or Saturday nights to a disco, to a concert or

to a pub. In recent years going out for a meal or getting a take-away meal

have become popular too. During the past years there is a great increase in

keeping fit and staying healthy. A lot of teens started running, jogging

and going to different fitness clubs in their spare time. Aerobics classes

and fitness clubs opened in every town, and the number of recreation

centres greatly increased. Indoor pools, with their wave-making machines,

water slides and tropical vegetation, have became very popular.

And the same is true in Russia. A lot of teens go in for different kinds of

sport. Sport helps them to feel as fit as a fiddle. In both countries there

are special programmes for problem teenagers, such as a high-risk

activities, for example they are taught to jump out of aeroplanes. But

despite the increase in the number of teens participating in sport, the

majority of young people still prefer to be spectators. They prefer to be

couch potatoes. Watching sports on TV is a popular leisure activity, as is

going to football matches on Saturday. Cinemas have been redesigned with

four or more screens, each showing a different film at the same time, and a

lot of teens like going to the cinemas too.

The young generation is fond of communication. There are many available

methods of communication nowadays, and the most popular one is computers. A

lot of teenagers spend plenty of time working on computers. The Internet

seems really good fun. You may send e-mails to friends from different

countries and get their answers instantly. You even may talk to them. It is

easy and quick. A lot of teenagers have mobile telephones, so they can

always be contacted, if they keep their telephone switched on, at any time

of the day or night, or tend text messages.

A lot of teenagers in both countries are crazy about animals. They race

them, train them and breed them. They like to hear stories about them on

television programmes and they like reading books about them. Many teens

have a pet animal. It could be a dog, a cat, a goldfish, a bird or a small

furry animal like a hamster. Looking after and being kind to their pets is

very important for teens. Why are teens so interested in animals? Perhaps

its because they are rather shy in their heart of hearts. One of my

friends says: I can say anything I like to my dog, but she never thinks

Im silly.

There are plenty of other kinds of activities, such as travelling, visiting

historical places, babysitting, delivering newspapers, putting together

jigsaw puzzles, reading, going to different museums, skateboarding, going

fishing, hitchhiking, shopping, helping people in need, joining a computer

club and others. We can say So many teens; so many kinds of activities.

Now some words about me. I am fifteen and I am a computer addict. I am fond

of communication with other teens. Thats why I have a lot of friends in my

and other countries. We send messages from one computer to another one

using e-mail; we have on-line conversations. I am a member of the computing

club and I spend much time there. Of course, its rather expensive, but my

parents understand me and give me enough money to pay for my computer club.

And I think that my hobby will be useful in my future profession. Besides,

I spend my free time in the sport club. I go in for kung fu. Recently films

about kung fu have become very popular in Russia. This fighting itself is a

great art, the result of many years of hard work and self-discipline. The

man who made kung fu films famous was Bruce Lee. He used fists, elbows,

feet (never weapons) and moved as fast as lightning. I am rather good at

kung fu now, but I never use my skills to hurt anybody, unless it is

absolutely necessary. Now people know what Kung Fu is, and I think it may

become a sport of the future, because it develops up your personality, will

and nobility.

14. Young people are fond of different styles of music. What kinds are

popular now? What kind of music do you like? Why?

Can you think of a day without music? We can hear music everywhere: in the

streets and at home, over the radio and on TV, in the shops and in the

parks. People all over the world are fond of music. They listen to music,

they dance to music, they learn to play musical instruments.

But what is music? Specialists explain that music isnt only a combination

of pleasant sounds. It is an art which reflects life. There are a lot of

different kinds of music. Some of them appeared long ago, and some are

modern. For example, folk music appeared long ago, but it is still alive.

There are many local performers, choirs and folk groups in Russia; but

perhaps the most famous singer is Nadezhda Babkina. Folk songs are very

tuneful and pleasant to listen to. Classical music is often associated with

the music of the past. However, this style also includes music being

written now, and we may speak of modern classical music. Rap is a modern

musical style where the singer speaks or shouts the words in time to music

with a steady beat. Such groups as Public Enemy or House of Pain are

leaders in this style.

Great Britain has produced more popular music stars than any other country.

Over the last 30 years rock and pop music have been very popular in

Britain. The Beatles, with their style of singing, eloquent and exciting,

is still one of the most popular groups. British groups often set new

trends in music. New styles, groups and singers continue to appear. Some of

the more recent pop groups are Dire Straits, Eurhythmics and Spice Girls.

Many of the new bands have been able to use the changes in technology to

develop their music. Computerised drum machines, synthesisers and other

electronic instruments are now just as popular as the piano and electric

guitars.

Tastes differ. So peoples musical interests range from pop and rock music,

which are extremely popular nowadays, especially among young people, to

classical music and opera.

My favourite style of music is pop music, because it is breathtaking and

full of energy. When I listen to pop music it makes me remember happy times

and forget the problems of everyday life. It helps me to relax when Im

tired, and entertains me when Id like to have fun. My favourite group is

Abba. It was formed in 1973 in Sweden. Abbas cheerful tunes made them

international pop stars and one of the most successful groups of the

seventies. Their most famous songs (Waterloo, Money, Money, Money,

Knowing Me, Knowing You, etc.) often topped European charts. Though the

group doesnt exist any more, it is still popular with people of all ages.

I cant but admire their style of singing. I find it fascinating and

overwhelming. When I have free time I listen to their records. I also like

having background music while I am working.

I dont mind listening to dance music, especially when I go to disco clubs.

This style of music is catchy and firey and I like catchy tunes. It makes

me more energetic.

Its a pity that many young people like to listen only to modern music. As

for me, I also enjoy listening to classical music. I find it tuneful and

appealing. Classical music is always a complex of emotions. It gives me

delight, pleasure and a sense of happiness. Some pieces of classical music

are really wonderful. Not long ago I listened to the First Piano Concerto,

composed by Tchaikovsky. The power of his music captivated me. The

impression was overwhelming.

The music I hate is heavy metal. I find it noisy and dreadful. When I

listen to this style of music it presents to my mind pictures of dark days.

Though some young people are fond of this style of music, it is not to

everyones taste. To my mind, music too loud can destroy our ears. I am

indifferent to other styles of music. For example, I dont mind listening

to jazz. Improvisation is an important part of this style, thats why a

jazz song may sound a little different each time it is played. I think that

jazz is a mixture of many different kinds of music, but I consider it a bit

complicated.

My mother and father approve of my tastes in music. Though they prefer to

listen to classical and bard music, they think that, on the whole, modern

music is not too bad. My parents agree that each generation has its own

tastes.

It goes without saying that music plays a very important role in peoples

lives. It reflects our moods and emotions. Music appeals to our hearts and

transforms our feelings. It conquers our souls and enriches our minds.

Besides, listening to music is the perfect way to spend free time and not

to feel bored. You can hardly find a person who doesnt like or need music,

who never sings or dances. Music is beauty in sounds, it is our magic

source of inspiration.

15. What are traditional British kinds of sports? Are they popular in

Russia? What kinds of sport, is your family interested in?

Englishmen are known to be great sports-lovers. One of the most popular

British games is cricket, which foreigners can hardly understand. There are

two teams of 11 players. Matches last from one to five days. It is played

all over the country in the summer. To many Englishmen cricket is both a

game and a standard of behavior. When they consider something unfair they

say That isnt cricket. Almost all Englishmen become fans when they watch

a traditional cricket match between the teams of Great Britain and

Australia, or New Zealand. England without cricket would be like bacon

without eggs.

Another game which attracts great attention is soccer (European football).

There are plenty of amateur and professional soccer clubs in every town.

Professional soccer is big business. The Cup Final played in London is the

culminating event of the football season. Rugby football is also very

popular, but it is played mainly by amateurs. Its a kind of English

football in which the players use their hands for carrying the ball. This

game is played by teams of 15 men with an oval ball and its often

considered to be a violent game.

A great number of people play and watch tennis. Among many tennis

tournaments the most famous is the one in Wimbledon. Horse racing is also

extremely popular in Great Britain. The racing season includes five races.

The annual race for Derby is perhaps the most famous sporting event in

the whole world. Englishmen also go in for golf, baseball, hockey,

basketball, bowling, and badminton. Athletic sports, such as running,

jumping, rowing, swimming, boxing and gymnastics, are practiced at schools

and colleges. The annual Oxford-Cambridge boat race on the river Thames

attracts lots of people and is very popular. In Scotland, where there are

good conditions for winter sports, skiing is very popular.

Great Britain and America are the birthplaces of many sports. Thats why

many of them have English names. It is easy to understand how these games

were named. For example, baseball is played with a ball and bases.

Basketball is played with a ball and two baskets. The names for other

sports come from the name of the place where they were first played.

Badminton comes from the name of a piece of land owned by an English Duke.

The game was first played on the Dukes land in 1873. Golf was first played

in Scotland, but its name comes from the Dutch word for a hockey club

colf.

Almost all these games are popular in Russia. Russian people even began to

play cricket. And plenty of bowling clubs appeared in our country. This is

because we can hardly overestimate the meaning of sport in our life and day-

to-day activities. The main purpose of going in for sports is to develop a

generation of strong and healthy people. Sports prevent us from getting too

fat, and brings up a harmoniously developed generation. Sometimes playing a

sport is connected with great risks. Besides, there are violent kinds of

sports and sportsmen and fans discuss whether these kinds of sports are

necessary.

In my family we prefer swimming. I began swimming at the age of six. I

think that swimming is something like music or languages, and thats why

its very good to start as early as possible if you want to be good at it.

There is no question that you can speak; there is no question that you can

walk; and there is no question that you can swim if you start at a very

early age. My parents also go to the swimming pool, but they began going in

for swimming when they were grown-ups. There are some sports which Ive not

had a chance to experience but would really like to. Theyre mostly non-

competitive sports. I love the water very much and Id really like to try

some more water sports. For instance, being pulled by a boat whilst wearing

water-skis would, Im sure, be a fantastic experience. And Id also like to

try surfing. I think theres no greater feeling on earth than riding the

top of a wave on a surfboard. Id like to try it just to see. My parents

and I are great fans. We subscribe to a sports newspaper and like watching

nothing but football matches. We read the newspaper from cover to cover and

lie on the sofa watching sport competitions on television on Sunday.

16. Some people go in for sports, while others like to watch sports

competitions? Which is better: to watch or to participate?

The modern way of life, when people have little physical activity, use cars

instead of walking, watch television for many hours, and work on computers

is turning them into legless creatures. Although a lot of people are

interested in staying healthy, not many people do very much about it. Only

10 per cent of adults take part in sport more than twice a week.

The majority of people live in towns and cities, where space for team

sports is limited. To keep fit, most people take part in individual sports.

They usually go walking, swimming, cycling, or do aerobics. Taking part in

all of these sports is informal and casual. Most people just want to relax.

If they do aerobics or go swimming, they usually go to the sports centre;

but not many people join a sport club.

Some people argue that sports are not very useful. It takes a lot of energy

and time. As a result of going in for sports, people have broken legs and

arms and other injuries. Besides, it makes you unhappy when you lose. A lot

of people prefer to watch sports competitions rather than take part in

sports. Thousands of people go to the stadiums to support their favourite

teams and sportsmen. The most popular spectator sports are football, hockey

and figure skating. Most of the important competitions are televised, and

people enjoy watching sports programmes on TV. They neednt buy tickets and

go to a stadium, especially in cold and rainy weather. But certainly

watching sports events and going in for sports are two different things.

In my opinion, people cant do without sports. Sports play an important

part in our lives. I think sports help us in different ways. First of all,

it helps us to stay in good shape, to keep fit and to be healthy. It makes

people strong, fast and agile. What is more, sport builds character; it

teaches us to compete and practice sportsmanship. It makes us more

organised and better disciplined in our daily activities. Besides, it is a

good way to meet people and to make new friends.

Sports are an essential part of our everyday life. To have a healthy mind,

you must have a healthy body. But to be healthy, it is not necessary to

become a professional sportsman. You may go in for sports just for

pleasure, when you have free time. Some people jog every morning; some

follow fitness classes shown on TV. Young people usually put on their

roller-skates and skate in the streets and parks. A lot of young people

spend their holidays hiking; it doesnt cost much, and it is a really good

way of getting away from crowds.

Physical education is an important subject at school. It helps pupils to

relax and to keep fit after a hard working day. Each school has sports

facilities. A lot of different competitions are usually held at school and

a great number of pupils take part in them. Thats why I think sports are

so popular in our country.

The most popular sports in Russia are football and hockey, skating and

skiing, track and field and swimming, tennis and basketball. It is not

always easy to decide which sport to take up. The aim of all sports

training is to improve fitness and skills, and to develop training

programmes that are both safe and effective. The important thing, however,

is that anyone who is not used to exercising should not do too much at the

beginning. Moreover, it is better to do a little regularly than a lot once

every two months. Among the be-nefits of regular exercise are a healthier

heart, stronger bones, quicker reaction times, and less susceptibility to

various illnesses. Scientists believe that if you go in for sport on a

regular basis, it could even help you to live longer.

I enjoy many sports; but best of all I love swimming. I started to learn

when I was about seven years old. When I was younger I used to go swimming

three or four times a week. Now I have less free time, but a week never

goes by without my visiting the pool at least once. Sports help me to work

off my extra energy.

Swimming is an inexpensive and simple sport. You do not need any

complicated equipment. You just need a swimming costume or trunks and

perhaps a cap. You can swim in the sea or a river, or you can go to a

special swimming pool. I love swimming because it is a very good exercise

for the whole body. I would recommend it because it is so convenient to do:

you can do it when you like and for as long as you like.

17. What does a healthy way of life mean? How do you look after your

health?

People nowadays are more health-conscious than they used to be. They

understand that good health is above wealth.

To be healthy we should avoid different bad habits that can affect our

health. In my opinion, smoking, and drinking too much alcohol, are the

worst ones. Its common knowledge that smoking and drinking can shorten our

lives dramatically. Smoking, for example, causes a number of heart and lung

diseases, such as pneumonia, emphysema and cancer. Besides, it makes your

teeth yellow and skin unhealthy. Fortunately, in recent years smoking has

received a lot of bad publicity, and fewer people smoke nowadays. Some

companies dont employ people who are smokers. Smoking has been banned in

most public places because everyone agrees it does harm to our health. I

dont smoke, because I dont want to have unhealthy skin and teeth and die

young.

Smoking and drinking are joined by less dangerous habits, such as skipping

meals, eating unhealthy food, or even overeating. Of course, they are not

quite as deadly as smoking or drinking alcohol, but they also affect our

health.

If we eat too much, well become obese, and obesity leads to serious health

problems. A lot of people like drinking coca cola and coffee, and enjoy

pizzas and hamburgers. But what is tasty is not always healthy. Fast food

makes you fat, that is why Americans are the fattest people in the world.

In recent years eating habits have undergone a change. People are

encouraged to eat less fat and more fibre. Fat is believed to be one of the

major causes of obesity and heart disease. High fibre and low fat foods can

now be found in all shops and supermarkets. Salads, beans, and fruit have

taken the place of steak and ice cream. The fashion for health food is

growing all the time.

Many people feel they are too fat, even if their doctors disagree. And a

lot of people try to improve their fitness. There are a lot of ways to lose

weight and avoid gaining it. Perhaps the most popular of them is following

a diet. If you want to lose weight, you should cut out snacks and desserts,

and cut down on fat. People have also become more aware of calories, the

energy value of food. Some people count the number of calories they eat

every day; so that they can try to take in fewer calories and lose weight.

This is called a calorie-controlled diet. Manufacturers are increasingly

producing special foods with fewer calories for slimmers.

But excessive dieting may be dangerous, too. Some people refuse to eat meat

as they consider it harmful. They say a vegetarian diet reduces the risk of

cancer and vegetarians live longer than others. I cant agree with them,

because meat is an excellent source of good nutrition. In my opinion, its

wrong to put down a food simply because excessive amounts can cause health

problems. Consumed in moderate amounts, meat is perfectly good for our

health.

To my mind, the only way to stay healthy and to keep fit is by going in for

sports. Among the benefits of regular exercise are a healthier heart,

stronger bones, quicker reaction times and more resistance to various

illnesses. Besides, you can eat and drink as much as you want because you

are burning it all off.

To be healthy, it is also very important to spend a lot of time in the open

air. It is useful to go for a walk before going to bed, or to air the room.

I think it is very important to be fit and healthy, and it is necessary to

take care of your health. Being fat, in fact, can cause real problems. It

is harder for fat people to get a good job, or even to make friends. If you

want to do well, you must be thin. Thats why I go in for sports on a

regular basis. I have been doing aerobics for three years and I feel great.

I am not enthusiastic about strict dieting, but I try to eat only low-fat

food, and fruit and vegetables which are rich in vitamins.

Personally I believe that regularity in life promotes our health. Sleeping

eight or nine hours, getting up early, regular meals, a healthy diet and

going in for sports is really a good way to live.

18. The problems of ecology are very important now. Which problem is the

most urgent, in your opinion? What can you and the people around you do to

protect the planet?

Environmental problems have become exceptionally acute in the modern world,

and environmental protection has become a vital necessity for all people.

Our planet is in serious danger. One of the most important environmental

problems in the world today is the shortage of clean water. Industrial

pollution has made many sources of water undrinkable. Rivers, lakes and

even seas have become poisonous. Thousands of fish die every year as a

result of the illegal dumping of waste in rivers by factories all over the

world.

Lake Baikal is one of the worlds largest and most beautiful lakes. It

contains a rich variety of fish and plants, including 1,300 rare species

that do not exist anywhere else in the world. However, they are being

killed by massive industrial waste, which some factories still pour into

the lake every day. A few years ago people thought that the supply of clean

water was unlimited. Now clean water is scarce, and we are beginning to

respect this precious resource. We must protect the clean water that

remains for the sake of our children and grandchildren.

Air pollution is another important problem. In hundreds of cities and towns

the concentration of harmful substances in the air is over ten times the

admissible level. Every day a huge number of plants and factories emit lots

of harmful substances into the atmosphere of big cities. The great increase

in the use of motor cars in the last quarter of the twentieth century has

caused an increase in a new kind of air pollution. Pollution from factories

and cars poison the air we breathe, and is the main reason for the

greenhouse effect and acid rain.

Acid rain can damage life in lakes and rivers and destroy forests. The

greenhouse effect may also have disastrous consequences for our planet. It

is already affecting several areas of the world with unusual weather

causing droughts or heavy storms. The worlds temperature is going up and

the climate is changing. Cutting down on emissions from large combustion

plants and exhaust fumes from vehicles would help solve the problem. I

think we should try and use alternative energy, such as solar energy and

wind energy, and design plants and cars that run on electricity, a much

cleaner fuel than petrol.

One of the most alarming environmental problems is depletion of the ozone

layer, which protects the Earth from the dangerous ultraviolet rays of the

sun. Because of the ozone holes, the dangerous rays get through the

atmosphere, causing skin cancer and other serious diseases. Many scientists

think that these ozone holes are the result of air pollution.

In my opinion, the most urgent ecological problem today is the

environmental safety of nuclear power stations. Nuclear pollution cant be

seen, but its effects can be terrible. We all know how tragic the

consequences of the Chernobyl disaster are. Nuclear waste also endangers

peoples lives. People all over the world protest against nuclear tests and

nuclear weapons. If we do not take any action, the possibility of a global

nuclear disaster is very real.

Of course, we cant help mentioning such burning issues as destruction of

tropical forests and wildlife, overpopulation, and shortage of natural

resources. The list of serious ecological problems could be continued.

Today environmental issues are much spoken and written about on TV, radio,

and in the newspapers. If people want to survive, they must do their best

to solve these problems. Fortunately, its not too late to save our planet.

We understand that our environment is not just our home town, but the whole

earth. The protection of the environment requires the cooperation of all

nations. Governments should take measures that will help improve the

environment.

There are a lot of environmental groups and international organisations,

whose main goal is to strengthen cooperation among environmentalists from

different countries. The most famous of them is Greenpeace, which combines

the peoples efforts for peace with the huge and ever mounting movement for

nature conservation. The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) is the name of another

international organisation that appeared in 1961. It has created or given

support to National Parks on five continents.

However, there are a lot of simple things we should all do to stop the

destruction of the environment. First of all, we mustnt drop litter in

public places. Besides, we shouldnt dump our rubbish without thinking

which things, such as bottles and paper, can be recycled. We must stop

using aerosol sprays, because the stuff they contain destroys the ozone

layer. We should take care of birds and animals. We can help to plant trees

and create parks for endangered species. We can clean rivers and canals and

create footpaths. But first of all we must change peoples attitude towards

the environment.

If we take action now, there might be some hope for the future. If we do

nothing, we are heading for disaster!

19. People set up different organizations for various purposes. What do you

know about these organizations? Are you a member of any organization? Which

organization would you join? Why?

The 20th century is characterized by the creation of international

organizations: only a small number of the international organizations now

in existence were formed before 1850, and about 90% were organized in the

period 19001956. In the 1980s there were more than 2500 international

organizations, of which about 750 were formed after World War II. This

number included more than 130 intergovernmental agencies, of which the most

notable were the United Nations and its affiliates.

The name United Nations was devised by United States President Franklin D.

Roosevelt and was first used in the Declaration by United Nations of 1

January 1942, when representatives of 26 nations pledged their governments

to continue fighting together against Germany, Japan and Italy. The Charter

of the United Nations was signed by 51 states on 26 June 1945. This day is

now celebrated each year throughout the world as United Nations Day. Russia

is a member of the United Nations.

A specialized agency of the United Nations is UNESCO (United Nations

Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization). It was founded in 1946.

It promotes international collaboration in education, science and culture.

Education is UNESCOs main activity. The organization attempts to assist

and support national efforts of member states in eliminating illiteracy,

training teachers, developing educational institutions and extending free

education. UNESCO also works to study, develop and promote cultural

heritage and protect historic monuments and the natural environment. UNESCO

assists and supports the efforts of member states through conferences,

seminars and publications, through the promotion of research and exchange

of information and knowledge.

Now Id like to tell you about the World Health Organization (WHO). It

began its activities in 1948. It is a specialized agency designed to

further international cooperation for improved health conditions. The major

function of the WHO is to establish measures for the control of epidemic

diseases. This consists of mass campaigns promoted by WHO against

communicable diseases. The major function of WHO is nursing concerned with

maternal and child health. It also assists educational programmes for

nurses and assistants. WHO is coordinating an international effort against

Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) as well as the current threat of

SARS.

Another medical organization is the Red Cross and Red Crescent. The Red

Cross is an humanitarian agency with national affiliates in almost every

country in the world. The Red Cross movement began in 1863. Its peacetime

activities include first aid, accident prevention, water safety, training

of nurses aids and mothers assistants and maintenance of maternal and

child welfare centres, clinics, blood banks and numerous other services.

The Red Cross is the name used in Christian countries; the Red Crescent is

the name used in Muslim countries.

Greenpeace is an international nongovernmental organization dedicated to

preserving endangered species of animals, preventing environmental abuses

and taking care of wildlife. Greenpeace was founded in 1971 in Vancouver,

Canada. It brought together people concerned with terrible abuses to the

environment. The organization has a small staff and relies largely on

voluntary staffing and funding. Greenpeace also campaigns:

for stricter control over chemical waste disposal on land;

to stop all nuclear weapons tests;

to close down nuclear power stations and nuclear reprocessing plants;

to stop acid rain and protect the atmosphere;

to reduce the trade in endangered species products;

to declare Antarctica a World Park free of military and industrial

exploitation, and so forth.

Today it is a global organization with national offices in 27 countries;

one of them is in Russia (since 1992).

There are also youth organizations, because the main aim of society is to

prepare young people for responsible roles in the adult world and to

provide constructive outlets for energies of young people. Some

organizations such as Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts or Guides, and Young Mens

Christian Association and Young Womens Christian Associations, have spread

all over the world. The Boy Scout movement was founded in Great Britain in

1908. In 1910 the Girl Scout movement was also founded in that country.

There are about 1,300,000 boys and girls in them. The movement of the Boy

Scouts has its aim to help a Scout (a boy from 818) to develop into a good

man and a useful citizen. He must be able to handle sails, to use a

compass, to lay and light a fire outdoors, he must know first aid and

develop his interest in music, literature, drama, arts and films. A Scout

is a friend to animals, hes clean in thought, word and deed. He must

obey the Scout Law.

As for me, Im not a member of any organization. But if I had chance, I

would become a Scout, because I like the aims of this organization and the

ways they are achieved.

20. Growing up can cause problems. Do you have any problems with your

friends, your parents and other people around you? How do you cope with

these problems?

Its hard not to see that teenagers nowadays have a lot of problems. One of

the real problems is having no close friend. Several days ago I had a best

friend, but now I dont. My friend was much more to me than just a person

with whom I communicated. We were as thick as thieves. We helped each other

to survive and got along well. But some days ago we quarrelled, and now Im

at a loss what to do. Fortune turned its back on me and I feel very lonely.

I cant say that my parents dont understand me, they try to support me;

but I think only time can heal me. Some young people are just sure that

their parents dont want to understand them. Its a very serious problem.

Im sure that this point of view is absolutely wrong.

Psychologists believe, parents-child conflicts cannot be avoided in a

society that is undergoing rapid change. In our society youngsters are at

odds with their parents on a wide range of issues, from how late they can

stay up, to whom they should marry. Its called a generation gap. But I

think our parents are people whom we can trust. In most cases teens dont

understand their parents and become very nervous. When this happens, its

time to say to yourself stop, and try to find in your parents more

positive than negative traits. Our parents should understand one thing,

that todays children will become tomorrows society. So they should try to

understand the child; they should find out about teen problems and help

solve them.

The other very important problem is our school life. Teens are often under

pressure in many ways at school they are supposed to be macho good at

school subjects, able to stand up for themselves without crying. If they

cant, they are wimps, and often children will tease and bully them,

especially at school. But all children are different they have different

needs and talents, likes and dislikes. Teens are not just machos and

wimps, they are rebels and conformists, extroverts and introverts. Our

teachers and our parents should assure us that all these types of people

are good, and it will reduce a lot of our problems.

Teenagers Problems

There are so-called problem teenagers, who take drugs. A large number of

teens use them very often. They are drug addicts. I dont have such friends

and I think that there should be special programmes to solve this problem.

Drugs Destroy Lives

Another problem is connected with biorhythms. Not all people know what it

is, and they begin to laugh at you and can offend you, when sometimes you

are all fingers and thumbs, when you are accident-prone, or when your

temper seems to be on a short fuse. It is because we all have an internal

body clock which regulates the rise and the fall of our bodies energies

and its called biorhythms. So our teachers, parents and classmates should

understand it and not pay attention to it because its the law of our life

and nature.

My other serious problem is to enter a good university and find a good job

afterwards. But unemployment rates are extremely high even qualified

people with great knowledge cant find something good. But in spite of that

I hope for the best.

I always want to impress people. But the first impression we make almost

fully depends on what we wear and how we wear it. Manners and speech are

noticed next and character only later. Many teens have the same taste. They

like to keep up-to-date with the changes in our society. They like to wear

clothes which look good and which you feel comfortable in. Being in fashion

makes you feel good, in tune with the world you live in. But when you are

at school it is important to wear the right clothes, even formal ones, and

not to dress up. I understand it, but some of my classmates dont. They

like to shock their teachers and parents, and provoke them, and thats why

they have some problems at school. So you should have some clothes sense

to know and feel the types of things that are your style in formal

situations (when you are at school) and at parties.

As for me nowadays, I try to cope with all my problems alone, or with the

help of my parents. My parents are real friends and they understand me and

try to help me or give advice.

So if someone denies all of the problems teenagers have, they are not being

honest. Teens have a lot of problems. But the first thing we have to think

about is the future were building for ourselves and our children. The

better we are now, the better we understand one another, the better our

place will be when we grow up.



© 2009