Do you find some British customs and traditions special? Why (not)?

Britain is full of culture and traditions which are famous all over the world. When people think of Britain they often think about drinking tea, eating fish and chips. I don’t think that the way the British prepare tea is more complex than the Chinese’s one. I think that nowadays people don’t have much spare time to spend on making a cup of tea. As for eating fish and chips, I think that fast food is not good in any form. We had better avoid it.


What questions can you ask a British teenager about his/her birthday celebration? What would you like to have as a present for your next birthday? Where would you like to have your next birthday party?


What holiday celebration in Kazakhstan will you recommend your British friend?


Text Customs and traditions of English speaking countries

Talk about the author’s background, writing styles and topics.

Every country and every nation has it's own traditions and customs. It's very important to know traditions and customs of different people. It will help you to know more about the history and life of different nations and countries. One cannot speak about England without speaking about its traditions and customs. They are very important in the life of English people. Englishman are proud of their traditions and carefully keep them up. There are six public holidays a year in Great Britain; Christmas Day is one of their favorite holidays. It's celebrated on the 25th of December. There are some traditions connected with it. One of them is to give presents to each other. It is not only children and members of family. It's a tradition to give Christmas presents to the people you work with. Another tradition is to send Christmas cards. All these cards are bright and colorful. Most of big cities of Great Britain, especially London, are decorated with colored lights and Christmas trees. On Trafalgar Square, in the center of London, stands a big Christmas tree. It is a gift from the people of Oslo. It is over 50 feet high. Many families celebrate Christmas day in the open air near the Christmas tree in order to catch the spirit of Christmas. Children find Christmas presents in their stockings. The traditional English dinner on Christmas is turkey and pudding. Other great holidays are: Father's day, Mother's day, Halloween and others.

Read the text again paying attention to the words that you do not understand.

Writing Merry Christmas

Complete the sentences and add your own information about Christmas.

1. Many children make their cards at …….

2. Father Christmas puts the presents in the children’s ………..

3. There is a very big Christmas tree in the centre of ………

4. On Christmas people wish their nearest and dearest a ……….

5. They do not………. on that day.

Tasks for self-study

Read the text and answer the questions below the text. Using the ideas from the text speak about yourself


“What will do on your birthday?” Most Americans celebrate their birthdays on the day on which they were born. Like in Russia, friends and relatives share in the celebration. However, unlike in Russia, birthday parties have more spontaneous, less planned guest list and agenda, and there is no particular attempt made to venerateone’s guests with vast quantities of gourmet treats. (A birthday person is not expected to spend his special day in the kitchen!). Something simple but elegant (not something you would eat any day) and a nice bottle of wine will suffice for this occasion.

In the United States an adult person having a birthday feels no particular social obligation to invite guests home for festivities. This time and space is usually reserved for the immediate family and close family friends. Coworkers may have an impromptu group gathering at coffee break time with cake and ice-cream and a small gift for which all have contributed. Or they may shout a “birthday lunch” at a nearby restaurant for the special person or go out for drinks after work.

Children may bring cupcakes and candy to school or distribute invitations to their classmates for a party to be held at their home. A cake is baked, group games are played, and prizes and souvenirs are passed out to all of the guests. Cone-shaped paper birthday hats may be worn and noise makers passed out to everyone present. Serving of the ornately decorated birthday cake is the highlightof the birthday celebration for the guests. First the cake is equipped with candles, one candle for each year of the birthday person’s life. Then the candles are lit and everyone sings “Happy Birthday to You,” after which the special person makes a “secret wish” and blows the candles out.

The custom of putting candles on a birthday cake is said to have started about 200 years ago in Germany, renowned for its high-quality candles. It was considered good luck to blow out all of candles in one blow. Now it is considered as assurance that the birthday wish will come true. The custom of singing “Happy Birthday to You” began about 100 years ago in America when Mildred and Patty Hill made up the song which has since become a big hit and attracted lots of humorous variations.

For the birthday person the highlight of the celebration is often quite conspicuously the opening of the birthday presents. Now, more and more, this custom is reserved for the very formal gift-giving occasion of the wedding.

The most common way to wish someone a happy birthday, however, is with a simple birthday card, a custom that began in England about 100 years ago. Some typical examples of simple birthday greetings are:

“On your mark, get ready, go! It’s time for you to steal the show! - Happy Birthday!”

“Today is your day, so stay tuned in for birthday fun that makes you grin

“You are №1, so have fun on your special day!- Happy Birthday!”

They serve as testimony to the fact that in the United States the focus is definitely on the individual, at least on that one very special birthday each year.



1.What will you do on your birthday?

2.How do most Americans celebrate their birthdays?

3.What is the difference in birthday parties in America and in your country?

4.When did the custom of putting candles on a birthday cake start?

5.When did the custom of singing “Happy Birthday to You” begin?

6.What is the most common way to wish someone a happy birthday?



to venerate – благоговеть, чтить

to suffice – быть достаточным, хватать

impromptu – импровизированный

highlight – основной момент

assurance – гарантия, уверенность

conspicuous – видный, заметный

steal the show – затмить всех

to grin – улыбаться

testimony – свидетельство


Grammar exercises


a) Choose the correct answer.

1. I’m really hungry. I (haven’t eaten / didn’t eat) yet.

2. They (arrived / have arrived) a week ago.

3. We (have worked / worked) here for three years.

4. They (didn’t recognise / haven’t recognised) me at yesterday’s meeting.

5. Our neighbour (was / has been) in hospital since Friday.

6. (Have you travelled / Did you travel) abroad many times?



b) Correct the error in each of the sentences.

1. Have you ever eat Chinese food?

2. She has moved to another city last year.

3. They have sent out the invitations yet.

4. Jack hasn’t seen Jill since she has graduated.

5. Mr Brown already left the office.

6. We haven’t been abroad since a year.

7. The lesson has started ten minutes ago.

8. Did she just leave?


c) Complete the sentences with the correct form of the verbs in brackets. Use the Past Simple or the Present Perfect Simple.

1. John ........................... (not call) me recently.

2. They ........................... (buy) a new car last month.

3. The teacher ........................... (not return) the tests yet.

4. How long ........................... she ........................... (know) about this problem?

5. ........................... you ever ........................... (hear) such an unbelievable story?

6. When I was a child, I ........................... (live) in England for two years.

7. He ........................... (buy) me a beautiful gift for my birthday.

8. I am so excited to have a dog. I ......................................... (always / want) one.


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