MY DAY OFF
On weekdays people must go to work or earn money or to study to have knowledge. When our working week comes to an end we are very happy to meet days off, because it is a good time to have a rest, to communicate with friends and relatives or dedicate this time to yourself.
I usually go to Institute six days a week so Sunday is my only day off. On this day I don’t get up early. I can sleep more than usual because there is no need to hurry anywhere. I get up, have a shower and at ten or eleven o’clock we have a family breakfast. Then I rest for a while, watch TV, read a book or just listen to the radio. When the weather is fine I try to spend my time out-doors. My friends come to me and we can go to the cinema, park, museum. But best of all I like to go to the café. We even have our favorite one. We can sit there for hours, drink coke, eat ice-cream and chat about everything.
I also prefer to go to the sports club or swimming pool. And there I have a rest. Sometimes on Sundays we invite our close friends and relatives for dinner. Then in the morning my father and I go to the supermarket to buy the necessary food and my mother cooks tasty dishes. As a rule on these days my parents with their friends go to the theatre and I have to stay at home with my little sister. But I don’t mind actually. And I should say it is not boring at all. We watch cartoons or play games.
I have got a flat. It is neither big nor small. It is on the fifth floor. The number of it is 59. Our flat has two rooms, a kitchen, a bathroom and a corridor.
Our living-room is big. It is light, because it has two wide windows. You can see a piano on the left. There is a round stool near the piano. The piano is new and black. The TV set is on the right. You can see an arm-chair and a sofa near the TV set. There is a picture on the wall, above the piano. It is a nice picture.
There is a round table in the middle of the room. You can see four chairs near the table. The sideboard is on the left. There are some pictures of modern painters on the wall.
The carpet hanging on the wall is big and grey. I like our living-room and I often spend my free time watching TV and reading newspapers and magazines in it.
I have my own room. It is small but light. There is enough furniture for the girl: a bed, a sofa, two arm-chairs, a dressing-table with three drawers and a mirror. You can see a small desk at the window. There are two chairs at the desk and a TV set in the corner of the room. The bookcase is near the door. There are many books in it. I have many bookshelves in my room. You can see Russian and English books there. There is a red carpet on the floor. The curtains on the window are also red. I like my room very much. When my friends come to see me I invite them into my room.
It is a pity that we have no balcony.
Our kitchen is big and comfortable. The furniture in the kitchen is not dark, it is light. A new refrigerator stands near the window. We usually have breakfast and supper in the kitchen.
The bathroom is small. We wash ourselves there in the morning and in the evening. You can see a washing-machine near the door. We have a vacuum-cleaner, it is in the bathroom too.
The corridor of our flat is long and narrow. There is a telephone in it.
I like my flat. My friends say that it is a good one.
THE UNITED KINGDOM (the UK)
The official name of the country is the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. It was formed by the union of Great Britain and Ireland in 1801, but Southern Ireland broke away in 1921. The official name of the country is often abbreviated to the United Kingdom, Great Britain, Britain, England or the UK.
Its area is 244,046 square kilometers (94,201 square miles). The capital of the UK is London. The country is located in the north west of Europe. It is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, the English Channel and the North Sea. The warm currents of the Atlantic Ocean influence the climate of Great Britain. Winters are not severely cold and summers are rarely hot. The main rivers of the UK are the Thames, the Tees, the Tweed, the Trent. The geographical position has made the United Kingdom a commercial and maritime power,
The United Kingdom is a constitutional monarchy and it is made up of England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Wales became an English principality in 1284, Scotland and England were officially joined as Great Britain in 1707. Each of the four parts of the UK consists of counties.
London is the capital city of England and the United Kingdom. Modern London is not one city that has steadily become larger through the centuries; it is a number of cities, towns, and villages that have, during the past centuries, grown together to make one vast urban area.
London is situated upon both banks of the River Thames. It is the largest city in Britain and one of the largest in the world. Its population is about 7 million people and one more million travel in each day to work. People who work in London and live in Suburbs are called commuters. They commute by train or bus from the suburbs because it is very expensive to buy a house or a flat neat the centre. In fact more and more people and firms move away from the capital.
London is a cosmopolitan, multicultural city. Every seventh londoner was born outside Britain. London dominates the life of Britain. It is a big port and most important commercial, manufacturing and cultural centre. There is little heavy industry in London, but there is a wide range of light industry in Greater London.
The City extends over an area of about 2.6 square kilometers in the heart of London. About half a million people work in the City but only less than 6,000 live here. It is the financial centre of the UK with many banks, offices and the Stock Exchange. But the City is also a market for goods of almost every kind, from all parts of the world.
The West End can be called the centre of London. Here are the historical places as well as the famous parks, Hyde Park with its Speaker's Corner is also here. Among other parks are Kensington Gardens, St Jame's Park. In the West End is the Buckingham Palace which is the Queen's residence, and the Palace of Westminster which is the seat of Parliament. The best-known streets here are Whitehall, Downing Street, Fleet Street, Harley Street. The name “West End” came to be associated with wealth, luxury, and goods of high quality. It is the area of the largest department stores, cinemas and hotels. There are over 40 theatres, several concert halls, many museums including the British Museum, and the best art galleries.
It is in the West End that the University of London is centered with Bloomsbury as London's student quarter.
1. the City – 1) Сити (исторический центр Лондона; один из крупнейших финансовых и коммерческих центров мира) 2) перен. Английский финансовый капитал, финансовая олигархия
2. Greater London – Большой Лондон (административно-территориальная единица, включает сам город и пригороды)
3. Stock Exchange – Лондонская фондовая биржа
4. Speaker's Corner – «Уголок оратора» (место в Гайд-Парке, где по воскресеньям и по субботам с импровизированной трибуны выступают ораторы на различные темы; в настоящее время превратился в одну из туристических достопримечательностей Лондона)
5. Kensington Gardens – Кенсингтон-Гарденз (большой парк в Лондоне, примыкает к Гайд Парку)
6. St. James Park – Сейн-Джеймс -Парк (расположен в центральной части Лондона)
7. Buckingham Palace – Букингемский дворец (главная королевская резиденция в Лондоне с 1837г.)
8. Whitehall – 1) Уайтхолл (улица в центральной части Лондона, на которой находятся важнейшие министерства и др. правительственные учреждения); 2) перен. английское правительство
9. Downing Street – Даунинг-Стрит (небольшая улица в центральной части Лондона, на которой в доме № 10 находится лондонская резиденция премьер-министра); 2) Даунинг-Стрит, английское правительство
10. Fleet Street – 1) Флит-Стрит (улица в Лондоне, на которой до 1980 г. находились редакции большинства крупнейших газет. В настоящее время большинство из них переехало в другие районы города) 2) перен. пресса и мир журналистики
11. Harley Street – 1) Харли-Стрит (улица в Лондоне, находятся приемные ведущих частных врачей-консультантов); 2) перен. Медики, медицинский мир
12. the British Museum – Британский музей (один из крупнейших музеев мира)
13. Bloomsbery – Блумзбери (район в центральной части Лондона, где находится Британский музей и Лондонской университет)
THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION
The Russian federation is the largest country in the world. It occupies about one-seventh of the earth's surface. It covers the eastern part of the Europe and the northern part of Asia. Its total area is about 17 million square kilometres. The country is washed by 12 seas and 3 oceans: the Pacific, the Arctic and the Atlantic. In the south Russia borders on China, Mongolia, Korea, Kazakhstan, Georgia and Azerbaijan. In the west it borders on Norway, Finland, the Baltic States, Belorussia, the Ukraine. It also has a sea-border with the USA.
There is hardly a country in the world where such a variety of scenery and vegetation can be found. We have steppes in the south, plains and forests in the midlands, tundra and taiga in the north, highlands and deserts in the east.
There are two great plains in Russia: the Great Russian Plain and the West Siberian Lowland. There are several mountain chains on the territory of the country: the Urals, the Caucasus, the Altai and others. The largest mountain chain, the Urals, separates Europe from Asia.
There are over two million rivers in Russia. Europe's biggest river, the Volga, flows into the Caspian Sea. The main Siberian rivers – the Ob, the Yenisei and the Lena – flow from the south to the north. The Amur in the Far East flows into the Pacific Ocean.
Russia is rich in beautiful lakes. The world's deepest lake (1,600 meters) is lake Baikal. It is much smaller than the Baltic Sea. The water in the lake is so clear that if you look down you can count the stones on the bottom.
Russia has one-sixth of the world's forests. They are concentrated in the European north of the country, in Siberia and in the Far East.
On the vast territory of the country there are various types of climate, from arctic in the north to subtropical in the south. In the middle of the country the climate is temperate and continental.
Russia is very rich in oil, iron ore, coal, natural gas, copper, nickel and other mineral resources.
Russia is a parliamentary republic. The Head of the State is the President. The legislative powers are exercised by the Duma.
The capital of Russia is Moscow. It is its largest political, scientific, cultural and industrial centre. It is one of the oldest Russian cities.
At present, the political and economic situation in the country is rather complicated. There are a lot of problems in the national economy of the Russian Federation. The prices are constantly rising, the rate of inflation is very high. People are losing their jobs because of the economic crises.
But in spite of the problems Russia is facing at present, there are a lot of opportunities for this country to become one of the leading countries in the world.
Moscow is the capital of Russia, its political, economic, commercial and cultural centre. It was founded 8 centuries ago by Prince Yuri Dolgoruky. Historians have accepted the year of 1147 as the start of Moscow's history. Gradually the city became more and more powerful. In the 13th century Moscow was the centre of the struggle of Russian lands for the liberation from the tartar yoke. In the 16th century under Ivan the Terrible Moscow became the capital of the new united state. Though Peter the Great moved the capital to St Petersburg in 1712, Moscow remained the heart of Russia. That's why it became the main target of Napoleon's attack. Three quarters of the city was destroyed by fire during Napoleon's occupation, but by the mid-19th century Moscow had been completely restored. After the October revolution Moscow became the capital again.
Now Moscow is one of the greatest cities in Europe. Its total area is about nine hundred square kilometers (ancient Moscow occupied the territory of the present-day Kremlin). The population of the city is over 8 million.
Moscow is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. The heart of Moscow is Red Square. It has more historic associations than any other place in Moscow. The Kremlin and St Basil's Cathedral (Vasily Blazheny) are masterpieces of ancient Russian architecture. The main Kremlin tower, the Spasskaya Tower, has become the symbol of the country. On the territory of the Kremlin you can see old cathedrals, the Bell Tower of Ivan the Great, the Palace of Congresses, the Tzar-Cannon and the Tzar-Bell, the biggest cannon and bell in the world. St Basil's Cathedral was built in the mid-16th century in memory of the victory over Kazan. There is a legend that Ivan the Terrible blinded the architects Barma and Postnic, because he didn't want them to create another masterpiece.
There are a lot of beautiful palaces, old mansions, cathedrals, churches and monuments in Moscow. Now Moscow is being reconstructed and we hope that in a few years the city will become even more beautiful.
There are more than 80 museums in Moscow. The largest museums are the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts and the State Tretyakov Gallery. Other unique museums in Moscow include the All-Russian Museum of Folk Arts, the Andrei Rublev Museum of Early Russian Art, Mikhail Glinka Museum of Musical Culture and many others.
Moscow is famous for its theatres. The best-known of them is the Bolshoi Opera House. Drama theatres and studios are also very popular.
Moscow is a city of students. There are over 80 higher educational institutions in it, including several universities.
Moscow is the seat of the Russian Parliament (the Duma) and the centre of political life of the country.
SCHOOLS IN THE UNITED KINGDOM
Education in the United Kingdom is compulsory from the age of five to sixteen. Children under five go either to nursery schools, or to playgroups. Both types of pre-primary educational establishments are non-state; the difference is that a child spends the whole day in a nursery school, while he or she can stay in a playgroup only for some hours a day. Anyway, the main aim of such kind of establishments is to make the children ready for primary schools. Children play, draw, modelling from clay and learn to work together.
Compulsory education for all children begins at the age of five. There are 35,000 state schools in Britain. All of them are the responsibility of the Local Educational Authorities (LEA). The LEA caters for l he curriculum and exams in each region; they also appoint head teachers and held assessment tests at schools.
Primary school is for children from five to eleven. At first the studies are more like playing than working; English teachers say that this is the host way for children to get used to school. Probably they are right: children learn better when they play. Lessons usually last from nine in the morning till four or five in the afternoon with a long break at the lunchtime.
At the age of eleven pupils go to comprehensive schools. Children usually wear a uniform; it is different in different schools. They study Maths, English, Arts, English Literature, Geography, one or two foreign languages, usually French, Italian or German, PE (Physical Education), IT (Information Technology), Religion, Science, Biology, Sex Education and other subjects.
At the end of their studies they take General Certificate of Secondary Education examinations (GCSE) 0-level, and then they either leave school and start working or continue their studies at school or at college for two more years. This is called the sixth form at school or the sixth form college, and the students take only the subjects they need for entering the university of their choice.
At the age of eighteen they take GCSE A-level. They usually take three or four A-levels. There are no entrance exams to universities, so the students can enter a university or a college on the results of their A-level examinations.
Speaking about education in the UK it is necessary to say that there is a great difference between state education and private education. State schools are free, and about ninety per cent of all children attend them. Private or public schools are very expensive. These are usually boarding schools, where children stay while they study, coming home only on vacations. These schools are for children between thirteen and eighteen. Before entering a public school children are usually educated at home. State schools are usually mixed, while private schools are typically single-sex, with a few exceptions.