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Text 1. United Kingdom: General Geography.
Task 2. Read and translate the text. Comment on new words and expressions.
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is the official name of the country. It is located off the north-western coast of continental Europe. The UK is an independent, developed; international, leading trading power and financial centre.
The country includes the island of Great Britain, the island of Ireland and many smaller islands. Great Britain is separated from the continent by the North Sea and the English Channel. The population of Great Britain is more than 60 million people. The capital of Great Britain is London.
Geographically speaking there are two large islands and several much smaller ones. Collectively they are known as the British Isles. Politically speaking there are two states. One state is called the Republic of Ireland or “Eire”, “Ireland”, “The Republic”. The other state is the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland or “the United Kingdom”, “the UK”, “Great Britain”, “GВ”, “and Britain”.
There are four nations on the British Isles: England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland. The people who live there are the English, Scottish, Welsh and Irish.
England is the most densely populated area .The country of Kent is known as “the garden of England”, because of the many kinds of fruit and vegetables grown there. There is little heavy industry. The capital of England is London.
Scotland is the area of spectacular natural beauty. Tourism is important in the local economy. Glasgow and Edinburgh are two major cities. Edinburgh is the capital of Scotland and called “the Athens of the north”.
Wales is a mountainous part. The area around mountain Snowdon is very beautiful. Cardiff is the capital of Wales.
Northern Ireland is like the rest of Ireland, largely agricultural. It has several areas of spectacular natural beauty. One of them is the Giant’s Causeway. The capital is Belfast.
The Union Jack is the national flag of the UK.
Great Britain forms an archipelago. The traditional division of GB is into Highland and Lowland zones. The highest mountain is Ben Nevis. The longest river is the Severn. Loch Neigh is the largest lake on the British Isles. The climate of the country is mild.
Britain absorbed a lot of foreign cultures and traditions. Ethnic minorities comprise about 5, 5 percent of the population. All the traditional languages spoken in the UK are descended from a common Indo-European original.
The English belong to the Church of England. The average life expectancy for a man is 72 years and for a woman is 78 years.
Great Britain is a constitutional or parliamentary monarchy. The power of the monarch is limited by Parliament. The British Parliament consists of the Monarch, the House of Lords and the House of Commons. The main political parties are Labor and Conservative.
The British national anthem is God Save the Queen.
Task 3. Memorize the key terms, concepts, expressions and their meaning.
Task 4. Answer the following questions, solve the problems, do the tasks.
1. What is Great Britain?
2. Comment on the “geographical format of Great Britain”.
3. What is the British national anthem?
4. How densely is the country populated?
5. What is the average life expectancy for man and woman in Great Britain? And in your country?
6. How many nations are there in Great Britain? Comment on them.
7. “The real wealth of any country is its people. Without people any country is but a piece of earth”. Do you agree with this statement? Support your arguments
8. What religion do British people belong?
9. How is the UK governed?
Text 2. Great Britain’s History
Task 5. Read and translate the text. Divide the text into historic periods and comment on each of them.
«Deep are the roots». Indeed, Great Britain’s history dates back to 250,000 BC. Britain has history which may be divided into some periods: Ancient Britain; Middle Ages Britain; the 18th century – the century of wealth, technological revolution and power; the 19th century – the Victorian age of the British Empire; the 20th century – the contemporary world; the 21st century – the century of globalization.
Ancient Britain deals with preceltic and celtic people; the Romans and the Roman occupation (55 BC – AD 410); the Anglo-Saxons and the Vikings (410 – 1066); the Normans and the Battle of Hastings (1066-1154).
The greatest material monument of the ancient population of the British Isles is Stonehenge. Their priests were the Druids. The material monument of the Roman times is Hadrian’s Wall. The Anglo-Saxon period is connected with the beginning of the United Kingdom of England. The Danes adopted the language and assimilated with the Anglo-Saxons. The Norman Conquest of England (1066) was the fifth and the last invasion of England. The Normans mixed with the Anglo-Saxons and the Danes and from this mixture the English nation emerged.
Middle Ages Britain tells us about feudalism as a politico-economic system of that period; chevaliers (knights), king Arthur and their round table; the growth of towns (Oxford, Cambridge, Bedford etc); medieval guilds and occupations; commodity production and a system of payment by money; markets and fairs; wool trade as a very profitable business; main sea routes which established commercial contacts with trading towns of the world. This period named legal documents of constructional importance. One of them was Magna Carta or the Great Charter (1215) which limited the power of the monarch.
The 16th century or the Tudor age started with Henry VII, the established centralized national state and absolute monarchy; continued with Henry VIII, the founder of reformation and Anglican Church; Edward VI, the founding father of the English Russian relations; Henry VIII’s daughter Mary, Bloody Mary and Elisabeth I. In 1553 Elisabeth, daughter of Henry VIII became Queen. She was the first of three long-reigning queens in the British history (the other two are Queen Victoria and Elizabeth II). During her reign England became very important in European politics, commerce and the arts (English Renaissance).
The 17th century was the century of the Stuart dynasty and the period of wars and revolutions. Parliament established its supremacy over the monarchy in Britain (Oliver Cromwell). Two political parties were formed: Tory and Whig. In 1688 there was the «glorious (bloodless) revolution» and the Bill of Rights was signed (1689), one of the basic instruments of the British constitution, which limited some of the powers of the monarch.
The 18th century was politically stable. Economically it was marked by the development of capitalism. The 18th century was the century of wealth, technological revolution and power. England, Scotland (1707) and Wales (1536) were united and became Great Britain.
In 1714 a new dynasty of Hanoverians was established. It was the time of the cabinet system of government. The first prime – minister was Robert Walpole. In the 18th century colonial expansion and the formation of the colonial empire occurred. The American colonies waged the war of Independence (1775-1783) and on the 4th of July 1776 the Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence.
In the 19th century Britannia Ruled the Waves. In 1805 Nelson defeated the French and Spanish Fleet at Cape Trafalgar. In 1813 the Duke of Wellington defeated the French army in Spain and 1815 at Waterloo. Britain became the “Workshop of the World”. The 19th century was the period of Napoleonic Wars. Queen Victoria reigned from 1837 to 1901 and was regarded as the personification of contemporary morals.
The 20th century is associated with the British Empire, the British Commonwealth and the Commonwealth of Nations. It was the time of the new dynasty Windsor. Elisabeth II became queen in 1952.
The 21st century is connected with globalization, restructuring Great Britain’s economy, multiculturalism, terrorism, demographic format and the role and environment in which co-operatives have to operate in the 21st century.
Task 6. Memorize the key terms, concepts, expressions and their meaning.
Task 7. Answer the following questions, solve the problems, do the tasks.
1. Name the periods of Great Britain’s history.
2. What are the conquerors who took part in creating a truly mongrel breed?
3. What great material monuments left in the history of Great Britain?
4. What was the peculiarity of the Reformation in England?
5. Why was the reign of Elizabeth I called “the Golden Age”?
6. What was the Victorian Age famous for?
7. What isthe 20th century associated with?
8. What are the main tendencies of Great Britain’s social and economic development in the 21st century?
9. What are the roles of co-operatives in the 21st century?
Task 8. Developing Speech (Dialogue). Ask and answer questions on “Great Britain’s history”.
– We are talking about Great Britain’s history. Why do we say “Deep are the roots”?
– … .
– That’s true. What is traditionally said about the geographic position of Britain? What do you think of it?
– … .
– That’s right. What are the well-recognized contributions of Roman civilization to British culture?
– … .
– Yes, the Romans did a lot to protect their own province and civilize the country. What Germanic tribes invaded Britain from the Continent?
– What invasion was last but not least?
– … .
– I wonder what peculiar traits of the Norman Rule were in Britain.
– … .
– What document was sealed to limit the power of the King?
– … .
– Can you describe economic and social relations in the Middle Ages in England?
– … .
– Who were the first and last monarchs of the Tudor Dynasty?
– … .
– What was the peculiarity of the Reformation in England?
– … .
– What military heroes glorified Great Britain in the wars against Napoleon?
– … .– Why did Queen Victoria open the great Exhibition?
– … .
– Thank you very much. You are so kind.
Task 9. Put together the jumbled word pieces.
Work in pairs
Task 10. Work in pairs and make up short dialogues about “Great Britain’s History”:
1) Queen Boadicea fought against the Romans. 2) The Romans and Hadrian’s Wall. 3) King Alfred the Great. 4) The Vikings. 5) William the Conqueror. 6) The first Prince of Wales. 7) The Tudors
Task 11. Work in groups: spotlight on collocations.
Match a word on the left with a word on the right to make a collocation
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