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Text 1. The House: Where We Live. Introductory text
Task 2. Read and translate the text. Comment on new words and expressions.
People live in houses, flats and cottages. Houses are built in residential areas, cottages – in outskirts and suburbs. The architects design and the builders put the building up. A house may be built of wood, stone, concrete and brick. A building may be one, two and three-storeyed (storied) or even higher. There are several multi-storeyed (storied) houses in Moscow and Belgorod. American multi-storeyed (storied) buildings are called sky-scrapers. London houses have mostly two or three storeys but sometimes there may be eight or ten storeys.
Our first floor is usually called the ground floor in England, and our second floor corresponds to the English first floor. The Americans call the floors the same as we do: first, second, etc.
The house we live in is our home, or in more official speech our residence or dwelling. The place that we stay in when we go to the country in summer is called a summer cottage by the Americans and a country-house by the English. A house may front the sea, a river, a square or a street; it may have a southern, northern, eastern or western aspect. Most of the flats and cottages nowadays have all modern conveniences, such as running cold and hot water, gas, electricity, central heating telephone, a fire place, a swimming pool, a front or back garden, a lawn, and other things. When people move into a new flat or house, they usually have a housewarming party.
When a visitor comes, he presses the bell or knocks at the door, and then he enters the room. A house has a dining-room, a kitchen downstairs, bedrooms, a bathroom and a lavatory upstairs. A bigger house may have more bedrooms, a nursery, a library, and also a lumber-room (store-room чулан), a pantry (кладовая для пищи), an attic (мансарда), a cellar (погреб, подвал); then a shed (сарай) and a garage in the yard.
Let’s describe a kitchen, for example. A kitchen is a very important place in the house. It may be modern or not but should be nice and clean with a lot of cupboards. There is a table and some chairs, a washing machine, a fridge, a dishwasher, a cooker and a sink. There are some lovely pictures on the walls and a radio near the cooker. There are some flowers, apples and oranges on the table. And of course there are some cups, plates, spoons, forks and knives.
The housewife keeps house, and her children help her about the house, trying to make their home comfortable and pleasant, for “East or West home is best,” and “There is no place like home.”
Task 3. Memorize the key terms, concepts, expressions and their meaning.
Task 4. Answer the following questions, solve the problems, do the tasks.
1. Where are houses built?
2. What does an architect/a builder do?
3. Are there any housing programs in this (your) country?
4. What material may be used to build a house?
5. Are there multi-storeyed (storied) houses in this (your) city?
6. What do people have when they move to a new flat or house?
7. What kind of rooms are there in a flat or house?
8. What furniture is there in your flat or house?
9. Let’s go to see a modern flat or house in this (your) country. This may be a one-room (two-room / three-room) flat. What kind of rooms may be there?
10. Who keeps house trying to make it comfortable and pleasant?
11. What flat/house would you like to have/live? Give reasons for your answer.
12. Which of you lives nearest/furthest to the University
13. Which of you lives nearest/furthest from the shops?
14. Who has the biggest house/garden?
15. How far is your house from the city?
Task 5. Explain the meaning of the following words and word combinations:
Outskirts, suburbs, dwelling; a country-house; modern conveniences; a housewarming party; keep house; residential area.
Text 2. Homes in Britain
Task 6. Read and translate the text. Comment on new words and expressions.
In Britain the most widespread natural building material is brick, because there is plenty of clay in the ground to make bricks with. There are red brick houses all over Britain and yellow brick houses in the eastern countries. In some parts of Britain, where stone is quarried, the houses are built with the local stone. Many building are now also made of concrete (cement).
Families prefer to live in houses rather than in flats (apartments). 80% of householders occupy a whole house. 19% live in flats. The remainders live in accommodation rented with business premises – for example, rooms over a shop.
Many people own a house they live in, or they are buying it with borrowed money (a mortgage). Nearly a third is rented from public housing authorities.
There are different styles of housing in Britain.
The modern detached house is the kind of house that many people dream of living in. It ensures privacy and is also a status symbol. It has land all around and is the most expensive type of home. This house is an ideal for keen gardeners who have plenty of time to work in the garden. It stands on its own.
The semi-detached house is built in pairs and it shares a central wall. This saves land because it doesn’t have gardens all round like a detached house. The house usually has a small garden at the front and a larger garden at the back and perhaps a garage at the side.
The terraced houses are built in rows and are attached to one another on both sides. The terraced house is sometimes called a “town house”. It may be three or four storey high and have spacious rooms. This sort of terraced house can be very expensive.
The bungalow, especially by the sea, is the dream of many older people when they retire. All the rooms in a bungalow are on the ground floor, so it is a particularly suitable type of home for older people.
The tower block of flats and offices rise up 18 or 20 storey high. Living in a “high-rise” block of flats has problems. Families feel isolated and lonely. There is not much contact with neighbors. The children have nowhere to play. The old people have to depend on the lift (elevator) to reach the outside world. When the lift is not operating, the old people are cut off from human contacts. It has now been realized that high-rise flats are not the answer to Britain’s housing problems. That’s why nowadays old property is preserved and improved, not pulled down.
The bedsitter is a furnished bedsitting room for a single man or woman who has great difficulties in finding suitable accommodation The person who lives in the room (the tenant) pays rent to the owner (the landlord). Vacant bedsitters are advertized in local newspapers and on the notice-boards in the shop windows of news agents. Most of the cheaper bedsitters are poorly furnished with cheap, old-fashioned furniture. An alternative for single people is to live in a hostel.
Hostels, especially modern, are well designed but they can be rather expensive.
Task 7. Memorize the key terms, concepts, expressions and their meaning.
Task 8. Answer the following questions, solve the problems, do the tasks.
1. How do you understand the saying “The English’s home is his castle”?
2. What do you think about British homes? Why do some people give names to their suburban houses? Is it so useful and necessary?
3. What is the most widespread natural building material in Britain?
4. Where do British families prefer to live: in flats or houses?
5. Can you describe different styles of housing in Britain?
6. Almost everybody in Britain dreams of living in a detached house. Why? (a separate building; the desire for privacy; the importance attached to ownership; British attitude to housing; at the heart).
7. What is the most desirable home for you?
8. Are “homes” more important than “houses”?
9. What is one of the most popular hobbies in Britain?
10. Do many British people spend a lot of time with ‘nature’?
11. What is the National Trust? (The National Trust is an officially recognized charity whose aim is to preserve as much of Britain’s countryside and as many of its historic buildings as possible by acquiring them ‘for the nation’. It is the largest conservation organization in the world).
Task 9. Look at the various types of houses below and match each with its correct description:
Task 10. Developing Speech (Dialogue). Ask and answer questions.
– Excuse me; do you happen to know how do most of British people obtain their home?
– Yes, as a matter of fact, they obtain their home in one of three ways.
– What are they?
– The majority, about two thirds, buy their own houses or flats. About 10% of the people live in flats or houses which they rent privately from another person or organization. And the third group of people lives in council houses.
– Thank you. Are there waiting lists as in our country?
– Of course. Council houses are available to everyone but the homes go to the very needy people.
– Are homes in Britain expensive?
– Yes, rather, especially in the London area, but prices vary from area to area and they are cheapest in Northern England, parts of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
– Could you explain how do British people buy a home?
– There are two types of organization which are central to the buying of houses and flats. The first is the estate agency and the second is the building society.
– What’s the estate agency busy with?
– It’s a shop which arranges for the sale of homes.
– But if people, who want to buy a house, do not have enough money to pay for the house immediately, so what do they do?
– They go to the second type of institution – the building society. The building society’s main function is to lend people enough money to buy a house.
– That’s clear. But how do they make their money.
– Building societies borrow money from their “depositors” and lend it to people who want to buy a house or flat and charge them a higher interest rate on the amount borrowed. This long-term loan is called a “mortgage”.
– But in some years people will pay more than the “asking” price. Am I right?
– Yes, quite right. But since they pay it in small sums once a month they are, at least, able to afford it.
– Oh, thank you very much for explaining everything to me.
Work in pairs
Task 11. Work in pairs and make up short dialogues:
1)Imagine you are looking for somewhere to live. 2) Your landlord has come to collect the rent, but you have no money. Apologize, and offer to pay tomorrow. 3) Imagine you are in London, in the International School of English. You live with host family, the Browns
Task 12. Read the text and do the multiple-choice test.
Mr. Smith’s house has got four bedrooms, a living-room, a dining-room, a kitchen, a bathroom and a separate toilet. There is a toilet in the bathroom too. The bedrooms and the bathroom are upstairs, and the living-room, the dining-room, the kitchen and the toilet are downstairs.
The first bedroom is Mr. and Mrs. Smith’s, the second one is John’s, the third one is Mary’s, and the fourth one is Anne’s. Catherine’s baby bed is in Anne’s bedroom too.
When you enter Mr. Smith’s house, the room on your left is the living-room, and the room on your right is the dining-room. Where is the kitchen? It is behind the dining-room. And where is the toilet? It is straight on,in front of you. There is a garden behind the house, but it is not big. Is there a garden in front of the house too? Yes, there is, but it is very small.
When you go upstairs, Mr. and Mrs. Smith’s bedroom is on your left. The bedroom on your right is John’s, and the bathroom is between his bedroom and Mary’s. Anne’s bedroom is behind Mary’s.
There is a big bed and two big wardrobes in Mr. and Mrs. Smith’s bedroom, and there is a small bed and a wardrobe in John’s room. John and Mary’s beds are big, and Anne’s bed is small. The wardrobe in Mary’s room is very big, and the wardrobe in John’s room is small.
Anne’s room has got blue walls, and there are white ships and green islands on them, because it is a child’s bedroom. John’s bedroom has got white walls, and Mary’s has got grey walls. John has got pictures of horses on his walls, and Mary has got pictures of beautiful clothes.
1. Which of the following is correct?
A: Three of Mr. Smith’s bedrooms are upstairs, and one of them is downstairs.
B: Mr. Smith’s four bedrooms are downstairs.
C: Mr. Smith’s four bedrooms are upstairs.
2. Choose the correct sentence:
A: There is one toilet in Mr. Smith's house. It is downstairs.
B: There are two toilets in Mr. Smith’s house. One of them is upstairs.
C: There is one toilet in Mr. Smith’s house. It is upstairs.
3. Choose the correct answer:
A: The living room is upstairs.
B: The living room is downstairs
C: The dining room is upstairs.
4. Choose the correct answer:
A: There are two beds in Anne’s bedroom.
B: There is one bed in Anne’s bedroom.
C:….There are three beds in Anne’s bedroom.
5. Choose the correct answer:
A: The kitchen is between the living-room and the dining-room.
B: The dining-room is between the living-room and the kitchen.
C: ….The living-room is between the dining-room and the kitchen.
6. Choose the correct answer:
A: There is a small garden in front of the house, and there is a big one behind it.
B: There is a small garden in front of the house, and there is a small one behind it.
C:…..There is a big garden in front of the house, and there is a big one behind it.
7. Choose the correct answer:
A: The bathroom is between the first bedroom and the second one.
B:. The bathroom is between the second bedroom and the third one.
C: …The bathroom is between the third bedroom and the fourth one.
8. Choose the correct answer:
A: John’s bedroom is behind Mary’s.
B: Mary's bedroom is in front of John’s.
C: Mary’s bedroom is in front of Anne’s.
9. Choose the correct answer:
A: Anne’s room is on a green island.
B: Anne’s room is in a white ship.
С. Anne’s room is a child’s bedroom.
10. Choose the correct answer:
A: There are pictures in all of the children’s bedrooms.
B: There are pictures in some of the children’s bedrooms.
C: …There aren’t any pictures in the children’s bedrooms.
(Издательский дом «Первое сентября»,
серия «Английский язык»)
Text 3. Meals in Britain
On the Continent people have good food;
in England people have good table manners.
Task 13. Read and translate the texts. Find out the main stages of eating in Britain. What is special about meals in Britain.
A traditional English breakfast is a very big meal. For breakfast they have sausages, bacon, eggs, tomatoes, mushrooms. Nowadays many people have cereal with milk and sugar, or toast with marmalade, jam, or honey. The traditional breakfast drink is tea, which people have with cold milk. Some people have coffee, often instant coffee, which is made with just hot water. Many visitors to Britain find this coffee disgusting!
‘Elevenses’ is a cup of tea or coffee and some biscuits at around eleven o’clock. In fact, people drink tea or coffee whenever they feel like it.
Lunch is a quick meal and it is typically at one o’clock. In cities there are a lot of sandwich bars. Office workers may have all kind of bread, all sorts of salad, and meat or fish. Pubs (a pub is short for ‘public house’) serve good, cheap, hot and cold food. School-children can have a hot meal at school, but many just take a snack from home – a sandwich, a drink, some fruit and perhaps some crisps.
Afternoon tea is at around five o’clock, but it can hardly be called a meal. It is a cup of tea and a cake or biscuits. At the weekends afternoon tea is a special occasion. Friends and visitors are often invited to have a chat over a cup of tea.
‘Tea’ means two things. It is a drink and a meal! Some people have tea or High Tea, that is, sandwiches, cakes, scones, cream and jam. Others may have a cup of tea and a snack.
Supper or the evening meal is the main meal of the day for many people. They usually have it between 6.00 and 8.00, and often the whole family eats together.
Dinner is also sometimes used for the evening meal. It suggests something grander and eaten at around 8.00 o’clock.
On Sundays many families have a traditional lunch. They have roast meat, either beef, lamb, chicken, or pork, with potatoes, vegetables, and gravy. Gravy is a sauce made from the meat juices.
The British like food from other countries, too, especially Italian, French, Chinese, and Indian. People often get take-away meals – you buy the food at the restaurant and then bring it home to eat. Eating in Britain is quite international!
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