There is no place like home.

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There is no place like home.


Даний посібник “UKRAINE, GREAT BRITAIN, THE USA” з країнознавства призначений для позааудиторного читання для студентів I-II курсів аграрних спеціальностей.

Посібник націлений на забезпечення розвитку навичок самостійного читання та перекладу іншомовного матеріалу.

Посібник складається з 6 розділів, кожен з яких має тексти для читання, практичні завдання до них з метою контролю розуміння змісту текстів та контрольні запитання до кожного розділу. Тексти містять інформацію, спрямовану на розширення світогляду студентів стосовно географічного положення, освіти та соціально-культурного розвитку України, Великобританії та США.

Тексти в адаптованому вигляді взято із зарубіжних та вітчизняних видань, що сприяє поповненню та вдосконаленню лексико-граматичних навичок студентів.



There is no place like home.

Ukrainian proverb

How much do you know?

Ø When was the term Ukraina first mentioned?

Ø What do you know about founding of Kyiv?

Ø Who said: “Let Kyiv be Mother of Rus Cities”?

Ø How have scholars divided Ukrainian dialects?

Ø What do you know about the schooling system of our country?



Pages of History

Today, Ukraine is included in all the world atlases. But there did exist maps on which Ukraine was not designated. In the past foreign invaders tried more than once to destroy her and repeatedly tried to enslave the country.

For many decades fierce battles thundered over Ukraine, antifeudal and peasant-cossack uprisings engulfed her.

Today Ukraine occupies a leading place in world science and technology. The scientists of Ukraine are engaged in researches in the most important trends of scientific-technical progress.

The term Ukraina was first mentioned in the chronicles in the 12th century as a geographical name for the southern lands of the ancient Rus State. In the process of the creation of a Ukrainian nationality the name Ukraine began to be associated with southwestern Rus territories of Kyiv, Chernigiv, Volyn, Podillya, Eastern Galicia, Transcarpathia, Northern Bukovyna and Zaporizhya regions.

With time the people who lived on those lands became to be known as Ukrainians. Ukrainians speak the Ukrainian language. According to UNESCO Ukrainian occupies 22nd place among the world languages and second place among the Slav languages after Russian.

The national emblems of Ukraine

The national emblems include the coat of arms, the flag, and the seal.

The contemporary national coat of arms of Ukraine is Azure, a trident or. It is the most ancient and dignified of all the Ukrainian insignia.

The horizontally stripped flag, blue over yellow, became the national flag all over Ukraine.

The Ukrainian Anthem, Ukraine Has Not Yet Perished, is of quite recent origin.


Ukrainians have remained a strongly religious people in spite of decades of religious restriction. About 80 of Ukrainians are Orthodox Christians. Other groups include Ukrainian Catholics, Protestants, and Jews.

Most Orthodox Christians live in Eastern and central Ukraine and belong to the Ukrainian Autocephalous /Independent/ Orthodox Church.

About 10 percent of Ukraine's people are Ukrainian Catholics, also known as Uniates or Greek Catholics. The Ukrainian Catholics practice Eastern Orthodox forms of warship, but they recognize the authority of the Roman Catholic pope. The Church is strongest in the Western Ukraine. The Moslems of Ukraine practice Islamic forms of warship mostly in Crimea and Eastern Ukraine.


National government.

Ukraine is an independent state since adoption of the Declaration on State Sovereignty of Ukraine on July 16,1990.

In accordance with the Constitution of Ukraine adopted on June 28,1996 Ukraine has a democratic political system. The country's government features an executive branch headed by the President with strong powers, a legislative branch consisting of a national parliament and the judicial, which headed by the Supreme Court.

The President is commander in chief of the military and can issue orders called edicts without the approval of parliament in some matters. The people of Ukraine elect the President to a five-year term. Ukrainians 18 years old or elder may vote.

The President is assisted by aCabinet, which the president appoints. A Prime Minister heads the Cabinet.

Ukraine's parliament, called theSupreme Council, is the nation's lawmaking body. It has 450 members, who are elected by the voters. Supreme Council members serve five-year terms. The Supreme Council discusses and adopts the State Budget for the coming year.

TheSupreme Court and theConstitutional Court represent the judicial power. They watch over the executive and legislative powers.

Local government.

Ukraine, excluding Crimea, is divided into 24 regions called oblasts. Crimea has special status as an autonomous /self-governing/ republic. Crimea has greater control over the internal affairs than do the oblasts. The Crimean Autonomous republic has its own constitution.

Armed forces.

Ukraine has an army, air force, and a small navy. December 6 is the Day of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.



Kyiv (population 2616000) is the capital and largest city of Ukraine. The city is also the political, economic, and cultural center of Ukraine. It lies in north-central Ukraine on the Dnieper (Dnipro) River, in a rich agricultural and industrial region.

The central area of Kyiv lies on the hilly western bank of the Dnieper. There buildings dating from the Middle Ages to the present stand near each other.

Landmarks of Kyiv includeSt. Sophia's Cathedral and theGolden Gate of Yaroslav the Wise, both completed in 1037. TheMonastery of the Caves, which has a network of catacombs, also dates from the Middle Ages.

TheMarinsky Palace and theChurch of St. Andrew, both built during the mid - 1700's, are important examples of the architecture of that period.

Kyiv is known for its attractive parks and famous Main Boulevard,Khreshchatyk Street. The city has a number of colleges, universities, and research institutes. Kyiv also has many museums and theatres.

Kyiv is a major manufacturing and transportation center. Its chief products include chemicals, clothing, footwear, instruments and machinery.

The city is an important highway and railroad junction, an air transportation hub and a busy river port.

Kyiv's beginnings go back to the Stone Age. There isa legend about founding of Kyiv. Once there were three brothersKyi, Shchek and Khoriv, and they had a young sister Lybed. They founded a city on the hills and called it Kyiv after the eldest brother. It is believed that Kyi did exist - that he was a Prince of the Poliane tribe and lived in the 7th century.

The city was founded by Slavic people, possibly as early as the A.D. 400's. In 882 PrinceOlegof Novgorod, having seized Kyiv, was known to have said: "This will be the mother of all Russian towns!" The Novgorod principality united with that of Kyiv, and the town was made the capital of a unified Russian state. Kyiv prospered as a trading center and, during the late 800's became famous as the capital of the first East Slavic State, called Kyivan Rus. By the 1000's, Kyiv was one of Europe's greatest centers of commerce and culture and known as the rival of Constantinople.

Kyiv remained the capital for nearly three centuries. Gradually other feudal centers came into being. The independent princes undermined the authority of the Grand Duke of Kyiv and led to disintegration.

In December 1240 the Mongol-Tatar forces led by Khan Batu besieged Kyiv. Mongol invaders destroyed much of the city in 1240. It was only by a miracle that the Cathedral of St. Sophia, St. Michael's Monastery and the Golden Gate survived the invasion half-ruined. The Mongol-Tatars ruled Kyiv more than a century.

Kyiv was rebuilt in the 1300's. It came under Lithuanian rule in 1362 and under Polish rule in 1569. Russia regained control of Kyiv in 1654 after thePereyaslav Rada /Council/ adopted a decision on the reunification of Ukraine and Russia.

In 1793 the two parts of Ukraine united within the Russian State and in 1797 Kyiv became the capital of the Kyiv, Volhynia and Podillia Provinces. In 1632 the Kyiv MohylaAcademy was founded. The great Russian scientist Mykhallo Lomonosov, the outstanding Ukrainian philosopher Grygory Skovoroda, and the historian Dmytro Bantysh-Kamensky were all students of the Kyiv Academy.

In 19th century Kyiv became the chief center of the economic, political and cultural life of Ukraine. In 1805 the first theatre was opened. The great Russian poet Alexander Pushkin lived in Kyiv for a while during 1821. Kyiv University was inaugurated in 1834.

In January 1846 the"Cyril and Methodius" Society was founded in Kyiv. Taras Shevchenko, the outstanding Ukrainian poet, was the leader of its wing.

After the fall of tsarism in 1917-1918 the Provisional Government and the Central Rada under M.S.Grushevsky /i866-1934/ established in Kyiv. In 1918-20 Kyiv became the scene of the fierce battles of the civil war.

In 1934 Kyiv became the capital of the Ukrainian Republic and the Government was transferred from Kharkiv. From 1941 to 1943, duringWorld War II, the city was occupied by the German army and was badly damaged. It was rebuilt after the war and has grown rapidly.

In 1986, an explosion and fire occurred in a nuclear reactor at Chernobyl, near Kyiv. In 1991 the Ukrainian republic declared itself an independent nation and Kyiv becamethe capital of independent and sovereign Ukraine.




The Ukrainian Language is the second most widely spoken language of 12 surviving members of the Slavic group of the large Indo-European language family. Geographically, it is classified with Russian and Belarussion as an East Slavic language.

Ukrainian is represented basically by a set of dialects, some of which differ significantly from the others. Generally, however, dialectical divisions in Ukrainian are not so strong as they are, for example, in British English or German. Traditionally, scholars have divided Ukrainian dialects into three main groups, northern, southwestern, and southeastern. Standard Ukrainian is a superstructure built on this dialectal foundation. It is the only form of Ukrainian taught in school and used in literature. The standard language is based mainly on the Poltava-Kyiv dialects of the southeastern group.

On 28 October 1989 the Supreme Soviet of the UkSSR passed the law "On languages in the Ukrainian SSR", which gives official status to Ukrainian and provides its introduction in the legislation, ministry, civil organizations and enterprises, the court system, international treaties and agreements, the school system from kindergarten to higher educational institutions, scientific publications and the mass media.





Answer the questions:

1. What is the history of Ukraine?

2. What is the climate and geographical position of Ukraine ideal for?

3. What is the role of the Danube?

4. How many administrative regions are there in Ukraine?

5. Are Ukrainians a strongly religious people?

6. Where does the central area of Kyiv lie?

7. When did Kyiv become the capital of the Ukrainian Republic?

8. What are three main groups of Ukrainian dialects?

9. Where are the oldest universities of Ukraine?

10. What is the system of Schooling in Ukraine like today?


Do you know that …

… the Ukrainian letter “i” was introduced in 1818?

… the Ukrainian letter “ї” the first time was used in 1873?


Find more facts about:

– the history of the National emblems and the Hymn of Ukraine

– the political life in Ukraine in the newspapers (e.g. Kyiv Post, Odessa Post)

– the Zaporizhian Cossacks

– the history of Ukrainian language

– the history of the Tavria State Agrotechnical Academy

andmake a report.




“Know yourself – and you will know the world!”

Hryhorii Scovoroda [1722-1794]


How much do you know?

Ø What ancient Ukrainian food do you know?

Ø What are religious holidays of Ukraine?

Ø Do you know Olympic Champions of our country?

Ø What is attractive for tourists in Ukraine?

Ø What do you know about ecological situation in the country?



Appetite comes with eating.

Ukrainian proverb.


Ukrainian cuisine is varied and rich in taste and nutritional value. Its development was influenced by the same factors as the development of material culture: geography and climatic conditions, plant cultivation and animal domestication, technological change, cultural influences, and economic relations with other countries.

Since ancient times Ukrainians have practiced a settled form of life based on farming. Archeological evidence shows that wheat, barley, and millet were grown in Ukraine 3,000 years ago. Rye was introduced, about 2,000 years ago, and then buckwheat was imported from Asia in the 11th century AD. Already at that time cattle, sheep, hogs and poultry were raised.

As a result of Ukraine's trade relations with other countries, the cultivation of new plants, particularly from eastern and central Asia (e.g. melons and eggplants), was introduced into Ukraine. The potato reached Ukraine from America through Europe in the 17th century, followed by corn, tomatoes, pumpkins, beans, cayenne, peppers, cocoa, and other plants. The introduction of these new products greatly enriched the variety of Ukrainian foods.

Since ancient times bread has held a special, primary position in the cuisine of the Ukrainian people. In general sour rye bread is the common type of bread produced in Ukraine, except in the southern and southeastern regions, where white-wheat bread is more common. Besides ordinary bread Ukrainians bake various ritual breads from special doughs. Ukrainian bread with its many variations has become quite famous.

Cooked cereal—whether wheat, barley, buckwheat, millet, oat, or corn grits—is an ancient Ukrainian food. The most commonly eaten cereals are buckwheat (kasha), millet, and, in the Hutsul and Transcarpathian regions, cornmeal (mamalyga or kulesha).

The favorite dishes made of flour are dumplings (halushky) and filled dumplings (varenyky) with various types of filling: cheese, potato and cheese, cabbage, meat, fish, buckwheat.

The potato is most widely used vegetable in Ukrainian cooking. It is a necessary ingredient in all soups, particularly borsch and cabbage soup. Boiled or baked potatoes are served alone or with meat, fish, cheese, cabbage, mushrooms and so on. Another important element in Ukrainian cooking is cabbage. Cabbage leaves are used in making cabbage rolls (holubtsi), which are filled with buckwheat or millet grits, rice or meat. Other vegetables such as onions, garlic, carrots, turnips, radishes, and cucumbers are frequently eaten raw.

In the Ukrainian tradition a soup or borsch must be served with dinner. Various soups—made with meat, fish, vegetables, fruit, or milk—are popular, but borsch remains the favorite. It is made of vegetables, among which beets and cabbage are predominant, and meat or fish.

Meat is usually eaten on feast days, Sundays, or at family celebrations. The most popular meat is pork and its products, such as ham, sausage, blood sausage, smoked bacon and salt pork.

Foods prepared with milk, dairy products and eggs have long been a part of Ukrainian cooking. Soured milk is a favorite drink throughout Ukraine. Cottage cheese is eaten mixed with sour cream. A salty cheese from sheep's milk (brynza) is made in the Hutsul region and Bukovyna.

Bread kvas, fruit or cucumber broth, and birch sap are popular folk beverages in Ukraine. Tea is the most widely consumed hot beverage, followed by coffee and cocoa. Alcoholic beverages such as mead, wine, fruit liqueurs (nalyvka), alcohol with pepper and beer have been popular for many centuries.

There are significant regional variations in Ukrainian cuisine that resulted from the availability of different agricultural products, foreign influences, or even the conservatism of the common people in regard to change.


Like most European nations Ukraine sees the New Year on December 31. You can hardly find a person who doesn't hope that the Old Year with all its troubles will leave forever and the New Year will bring health, prosperity and happiness. On New Year's Eve most people decorate a New Year tree with garlands, toys and sweets, prepare presents for their near and dear and enjoy the all-night New Year parties. January 1 is an official day off, but nowadays many businesses close for several days till January 8 or 10 to give their employees New Year and Christmas holidays.

New Year celebrations gradually glide into one of the most important religious holidays — Christ­mas. For many years this holiday was observed only by religious people, but now it is an official state holiday and a day off. It is favourite with children who like to go from door to door, sing carols and get sweets from the hosts. Mothers of the family cook a traditional Ukrainian Christmas dish "kutya" which all the family eat together. Many people now like to go to church to listen to Christmas sermons.

Not long ago young people and lovers of all ages started to follow the English tradition of celebrating St. Valentine's Day on February 14 by sending special postcards and giving lovely gifts to their sweet­hearts. It is especially popular with schoolchildren who have little wish to study on this day.

The next official holiday in Ukrainian calendar is Women's Day. Very few people remember now how it originated, but it is an important signpost in the women's feminist movement in the world, be­cause it commemorates the beginning of women's struggle for their economic, political and social rights. Today, it is the day to show love and respect to women of all ages, when most Ukrainian fathers, hus­bands and sons clean and cook and give wonderful presents and flowers to their beautiful wives, mothers and daughters. Many women regret that this day comes only once a year.

April Fools' Day is not an official holiday in Ukraine but it is very popular in this country. It was borrowed from Britain long ago and since then has been enjoyed by the young and the old. It is one of the most favourite holidays with school children, students and humourists who turned it into the "National Day of Humour".

By Orthodox canons Easter, the day of Christ's Resurrection, is celebrated in Ukraine later than in other European countries. Only several years ago it was proclaimed an official state holiday and many people celebrate it by attending the all-night service in church and having a tasty meal at home on Red Sunday. Children enjoy painting Easter eggs and eating raster bread.

May holidays begin on the first day of this month as a holiday of spring and peace. For many years in the former Soviet Union it was celebrated as an official state holiday— Labour Day. Now it has lost its political significance and people just enjoy additional days off either having a rest in the open air or working in their gardens.

Victory Day, which is annually marked on May 9, commemorates the victory of Soviet people over Nazi Germany in 1945. So many people died or were killed in that war that there is hardly a family in Ukraine that didn't suffer a loss. On this day many people go to military cemeteries and memorials to take flowers to the monuments and show their respect and appreciation to those who defended their Motherland by the cost of their lives.

The new Constitution of Ukraine as an independent, sovereign, democratic, social and legal state was adopted by the Verkhovna Rada on June 28,1996 as the Fundamental Law of the country. The day of its adoption is a state holiday—the Day of the Constitution of Ukraine.

August 24 is a new national state holiday-the Day of Independence of Ukraine, which was pro­claimed in 1991 on the decision of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine after the military coup in Moscow. This day is marked with parades and fireworks.

A traditional holiday on November 7 commemorates an important historic event — the Great Octo­ber Socialist Revolution that took place in 1917 and influenced the life of people not only in our country but in most countries of the world. This state holiday used to be marked with military parades and peaceful demonstrations, but now most people regard it as a good chance to have a rest and a family get-together.

Most Ukrainian people enjoy holidays both old and new because they are good breaks in everyday work, an opportunity to see their friends and relatives and just to have a good time.


Both professional and amateur sports are very popular in Ukraine. Physical training is a compulsory subject at all school levels and besides thousands of boys and girls train in hundreds of sport clubs under the guidance of highly qualified coaches. So it is no wonder that Ukrainian sportsmen show good and excellent results at national, international and world championships.

The name of Kyiv's famous football team "Dynamo" works like a visiting card for many Ukrainians who travel abroad, helping to find friends among football fans and supporters. This team was the Euro­pean Cup Holder twice, in 1975 and 1985, and their players Oleg Blokhin and Ihor Bielanov were named among the best football players of Europe. Now Andrey Shevchenko and Sergiy Rebrov have proved that they are the worthy followers of the best "Dynamo" traditions. "Dynamo" fans are sure that their favourite team is capable of leading Ukrainian football players to future victories.

The "Spartak" handball team from Kyiv, headed by senior coach Ihor Turchyn won 13 European Champion's Cups, and its players Zinaida Turchyna and Larysa Karlova were named best players in European and World Championships several times.

The Ukrainian school of gymnastics is famous all over the world. Its representatives — Iryna Deriuhina, Oleksandra Tymoshenko, Oksana Skaldina and some others — have won World and European Cham­pionships many times. The famous Ukrainian gymnast Larysa Latynina has the longest history of Olym­pic records: 9 gold, 5 silver and 3 bronze medals.

Track-and-field events fans will always remember the victories of Ukrainian sprinter Valeriy Borzov, who won 2 gold, 1 silver and 2 bronze medals at the 20th and 21st Olympic Games. He is now the Minister of Sports and Youth Affairs of Ukraine

The legendary veteran of Ukrainian sport, 8 times World and Olympic champion in the pole vault Serhiy Bubka holds 35 world records. He has an honorary title of the "World's Best Athlete". Recently he has returned to the sporting ground after a trauma of his knee and his fans are looking forward to his new records.

In the 1992 Olympic games, Ukrainian figure skater Oksana Baiul won the first gold medal for independent Ukraine which sent its national team to the Olympics for the first time.

At the 26th Olympic Games in Atlanta the harvest of prizes was much greater: 9 gold and many silver and bronze medals. The winners at that Olympics were: gymnast Lilia Podkopaieva, free-style gymnast Katya Serebrianska, Greco-Roman wrestler Viacheslav Oliynyk, weight-lifter Tymur Taimazov, boxer Volodymyr Klichko, yachtsmen Yevhen Braslavets and Ihor Matvienko, a track-and-field athlete Inesa Kravets and others.

Recently the young swimmer Yana Klochkova has the title of the World and European Champion in complex swimming. She also won 2 gold and 1 silver medals in the Olympic Games in Sidney. Oleksander Bagach is the World and European Champion in putting the shot. Olena Zubrilova became a prize win­ner in the World Cup in biathlon. These and many other victories of Ukrainian sportsmen give hope to their fans for future records and Olympic medals.



Ukraine is abundant in all tourist attractions for travelers eager to learn more about the surrounding world, peoples inhabiting it, their history and folkways.

Boundless steppes, thick forests, serene groves, towering mountains, warm and caressing seas, wide rivers, whimsical cave labyrinths — put together, this cannot but attract tourists. Add to these numerous nature preserves, dendrological parks, exotically rich museum collections, historical and cultural landmarks, unique creations of artisans and the picture becomes truly unforgettable.

A modern tourist industry has a wide network of hotels, camping grounds, resorts, tourist lodges. At present, Ukraine's tourist facilities can accommodate 10,000,000 visitors.

Ukrainians are a hospitable nation. One of the oldest traditions is to meet guests with bread and salt, saying "Welcome!"

The best place to rest and to enjoy yourself the year round is the Crimea. Here you will find comfortable hotels, restaurants, cozy bars and cafes, tennis courts, gyms with exercisers, saunas, movie and concert halls, casinos and variety shows, and a beautiful beach. You can go on exciting tours of Yalta and trips across the peninsula. You can travel by bus, by pleasure slips, by delta planes and helicopters.


Pollution became evident in Ukraine withindustrialdevelopment in the 19th century. Ukraine contains some of the most polluted landscapes in Eastern Europe.

Air pollution is especially severe in the heavily industrialized cities of Kharkiv, Luhans'k, Donets'k, Dnipropetrovs'k and Zaporizhzhia. Coal-using industries are major sources of high levels of uncontrolled emissions of harmful substances.

Other Ukrainian cities with major chronic air pollution problems include Kyiv, Komunars'k, Makiivka and Odesa.

Over one-third of the emissions into the atmosphere originate fromautomobile transport. It is aggravate by the use of leaded gasoline and inefficientengines as well as a lack of catalyticconverters.

Almost all surface waters of Ukraine belong to the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov basins.

The Dniester and the Danube are the most polluted bodies of water. Hundreds of small rivers supply water for villages and cities of Ukraine. Those water arteries are so polluted as to pose fatal health risk the people who depend on them. About half of the chemical fertilizers applied in the fields are washed into the river.

One of the areas suffering most from chronic coastal water pollution is theSea of Azov. The sea salinity has increased by 40 percent since the 1950's. It has resulted in a dramaticdrop in fish catches t 60-90 percent.

On April 26,1986 a horrible accident occurred at theChornobyl' nuclear station. There was a nuclear reactor explosion, which had far reaching consequences. Contamination by variousradioactive isotopes has affected the air, land and water of Ukraine. About 100,000 people were exposed to deadly levels of radiation before being evacuated. Recorded but unreported radiation levels in Kyiv the maximum levels by hundredfold. Numbers of death and children leukemia have occurred in the affected areas.

Since 1991 the Environmental ProtectionLaw has been in force. Environmental safeguards of conservation bodies have become more stringent. Ecologicalmonitoring has covered Ukraine's whole area. The GovernmentalCommission on the Problems of the Dnieper and Drinking Water has been set up.

Ukraine has joinedinternational cooperation in the field of environmental protection. Agreements have been signed with conservation bodies of the USA. Poland, Czechia, Slovakia, Germany and Latvia. The Ukrainian delegation took part in the UNO Conference on the Problems of Environment.



Answer the questions:

1. What influenced on the development of Ukrainian?

2. What are the favorite dishes of Ukrainians?

3. What is traditional Christmas meal of Ukrainians?

4. How do our people celebrate Easter?

5. When do we celebrate the Day of the Constitution of Ukraine?

6. What is a compulsory subject at all schools?

7. Who is the “World’s Best Athlete”?

8. What attracts tourists to Ukraine?

9. What is a problem of the heavily industrialized cities?

10. What are the most polluted rivers of Ukraine?


Do you know that …

… in 1976 the Olympic fire was transferred to Montreal via the earth satellite.

… boxing was officially banned in Sweden.

… Pythagoras was an Olympic champion in boxing.

… the first man who lifted the weight exceeding 200 kg was Yurii Vlasov.

… Ukrainian sportsmen won 10 gold medals at the 15th Olympics.



Find more facts about:

– the most commonly eaten dishes in your region

– traditions of your region

– achievement of Ukrainian sportsmen in Olympic games

– development of tourism in the Crimea

– the ecological situation of Ukraine and your region

andmake a report.





How much do you know?

Ø What image of Britain do you have?

Ø Which places of Britain would you like to visit? What are your reasons? How do you think you can explore these areas and broaden your knowledge of Britain?

Ø What is the difference between British English and American English?

Ø What styles of speech in English do you know?

Ø Our home is a place which we feel comfortable and at ease. Do you agree? What do you know about the attitude of English people to their homes?

Ø What are the peculiarities of British food? Can you name any typically British dishes?



Great Britain is an island lying off the north-western coastline of Europe. The English Channel separates it from the mainland in the south. The Strait of Dover, 18 miles wide, divides it from France. Great Britain is separated from Belgium and Holland by the North Sea, and from Ireland by the Irish Sea.

The official name of Great Britain is the United Kingdom of Great Britain and-Northern Ireland. Great Britain is the name of the major island of the United Kingdom including England, Scotland and Wales; the United Kingdom, or the UK comprises Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

The UK is often referred to as Great Britain or the British Isles. It is an island state consisting of more than 5000 large and small islands, the most important being the Isle of Man and the Isle of Wight. England is a part of the island of Great Britain.

Geographically the island of Great Britain is subdivided into two main regions: Lowland Britain and Highland Britain. The highest mountainBenNevis (1343) is in Scotland; the highest peak in Wales is Snowdon (1085).

The greater part of the land is flat. There are plenty of short rivers in Great Britain; the Severn is the longest one, while the Thames is the deepest and the most important one.

There is much rain and fog in England. October is usually the wettest month, July is the hottest and January is the coldest one. All over the world Britain is notorious for its fog. English people used to call it smog. An unusually thick smog in London in 1962 caused the death of some 4,000 people. The flora of the British Isles is varied and the fauna is similar to that of the north-west of Europe.

The country is not very rich in mineral resources. Over three-quarters of Britain's land is used for farming; farms produce nearly half of the food that Britain needs. The UK is a highly developed industrial country too, known as a producer and exporter of machinery, electronics, ships, aircraft and navigation equipment.

The capital of the UK is London, in England. The capital of Wales is Cardiff, and the Scottish capital is at Edinburgh; the capital of Northern Ireland is Belfast.

Great Britain is a monarchy, but the powers of theQueen are limited by the Parliament, which consists of two Chambers, the House of Lords and the House of Commons. In theory, the constitution has three branches:

1. Parliament, which makes laws.

2. Government, which puts the laws into effect.

3. Law courts, which interpret the laws. Although the Queen is officially head of all three branches, she has little direct power.

Parliament has two parts: the House of Lords and the House of Commons. Members of the House of Commons are elected by the voters of 650 constituencies. They are known as MPs or Members of Parliament. The Prime Minister, or leader of the Government, is also a MP, usually the leader of the political party with the majority in the House of Commons.

The Prime Minister is advised by a Cabinet of about twentyother ministers. The Cabinet includes the ministers in charge of major government departments or ministries. Departments and ministries are run by civil servants, who are permanent officials. Even if the Government changes after an election, the same civil servants are employed.

Members of the House of Lords (peers) are not elected. About 70 per cent of them are «hereditary peers» because their fathers were peers before them. The other 30 per cent are «life peers», whose titles are not passed on to their children. They are officially appointed by the Queen, on the advice of the government, for various services to the nation.

Britain has been many centuries in the making. TheRomans conquered most part of Britain, but were unable to subdue the independent tribes in the West and in the North.

Hadrian's wall, the greatest monument of the Roman occupation of Britain, was built to act as a defence against the Celts from Scotland



Further waves of invaders followed: Angles, Saxons, Jutes,Vikingsand Normans. All these contributed to the mixture we call theEnglish.For many centuries this country was known simply as England.

It had a strong army and Navy. It waged numerous colonial wars. England, once «the workshop of the world», was the first tobecome ahighly developed industrial country.




London is the capital city of England and of the United Kingdom situated on the Thames river, the largest city in Britain and one of the largest cities in the world.

London manages in a unique way to reflect the past and, at the same time, to live a life of a modern city. There is always something new to be discovered, some fresh approach to a familiar scene, some curious piece of life in the city where the old and the new exist side by side in mutual tolerance and respect.

One of the best ways to acquaint yourself with the city when you first arrive is to take a sightseeing tour on a double-decker bus. Join London Transport's Original Sightseeing Tour in Victoria Street, near Victoria Station, for your introduction to the capital.

The first famous sightto look out for is the Greek-Corinthian Constitution Arch at Hyde Park Corner. The bus runs along the eastern side of the park to Marble Arch, designed by John Nash in the style of a Roman triumphal arch.

Down through elegant Mayfair with its prestigious squares, you come to Regent Street and the statue of Eros at Piccadilly Circus.

Bustling Trafalgar Square is dominated by the imposing Nelson's Column, built in honour of Britain's naval hero Admiral Lord Nelson.

Whitehall, location for Horse Guards Parade and Downing Street,

Piccadilly Circus is known for the statue of official home of Prime ministers since

Eros and brightly lit advertisements at night 1731, leads to Parliament Square. The

stately Houses of Parliament, originally a royal palace, house the BigBen clock - still wound by hand and an authoritative time-kеерег. Historic Westminster Abbey is where English sovereigns have been crowned and buried for over 900 years.

The bus takes you across Lambeth Bridge, past Lambeth Palace -the Archbishop of Canterbury's residence - and along the South Bank to the Royal Festival Hall. Crossing Waterloo Bridge, you head via Fleet Street to St. Paul's Cathedral, masterpiece of 17th-century architect, Sir Christopher Wren, and chosen by Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer for their wedding in 1981.

In the heart of the City of London, founded by the Romans in 43 AD you will see Mansion House, the Lord Mayor's home; the Bank of England, centre of the nation's finances; and towering above everything else, the striking Lloyds of London building.

The tour now crosses two of London's most famous bridges, the modern London Bridge and the majestic Tower Bridge, the 19th-century drawbridge. The mighty Tower of London, dating back to the 11lh century, has served as palace, prison, Royal Treasury and Mint, and has a colourful history.

There are two main districts of London - the West End and the East End. These are not merely geographical names. The West End consists of the fashionable houses of the rich, art galleries, famous museums, theatres, palaces and parks. The East End is still a poorer district full of factories and plants, it is a district were poorer people live too, though it can no longer be called a district of the poor as housing conditions have improved.

Piccadilly is a fashionable shopping center. Its famous fountain with a statue of Eros, the Greek god of love, attracts crowds of tourists.

There are many public parks in London: Hyde Park, Regent Park, Kengsington Gardens, to name only a few. Hyde Park is Londoners' favourite resting place, where crowds of people may be seen in the «Speaker's Corner» listening to Hyde Park speakers. During the day a lot of people sit on green grass lawns eating sandwiches, drinking beer or soft drinks and talking and having rest, some in the shade, some in the sunshine. Not only in Hyde Park, all along the Thames side gardens peoples are resting, taking their midday «breath of air». Everything is still and peaceful around. You could hardly imagine that an enormous city with its traffic and noise is but a few paces away.


Hyde Park Corner – перехрестя, яке примикає до Гайд парку з південно-східної частини, відоме напруженим рухом.

Marble Arch – тріумфальна арка (яку построїли в 1828 році, як вхід до Букінгемського палацу; виявилася дуже вузькою для королівської процесії та була перенесена в 1851 році на своє сучасне місце, у північно-східній частині Гайд парку)

Mayfair – Мейфер (модний та дорогий район Вест Енду у Лондоні між Оксфорд Стріт, Ріджент Стріт, Піккаділлі та Парк Лєйн; відомий дорогими готелями, ресторанами та магази­нами)

Piccadilly Circus – Піккаділлі (площа у централь­ному Лондоні, перехрестя Піккаділлі Стріт, Ріджент Стріт та Шафтсбери Авеню; відома яскравою рекламою)

Horse Guards Parade – місцевість для проведення параду кінної гвардії під час святкування дня народження Королеви; знаходиться на Уайтхоллі

The Archbishop of Canterburry – архієпископ Кентерберрійський (церковний титул глави Церкви Англії, кот­рий являється одночасно єпископом Кентерберри)

The City of London - лондонський Сіті (адміні­стративний район у центрі Лондону, історичний центр міста; займає площу приблизно в одну квадратну милю та являється центром фінансів та комерції, звідси його назва «London's square mile of money»; у ньому знаходяться банк Англії, фондова біржа та офіси багатьох фінансових компаній; перен. фінанси)

Kensington – фешенебельний район у центральному Лондоні, там знаходяться дорогі магазини, посольства та дома багатих лондонців.

Lloyds of London – лондонський офіс найбільшої страхової компанії у Великобританії.

Lord Mayor – лорд-мер, титул голови муніципалітету, великих міст Англії.

Royal Mint – Королівський монетний двір.


East or West home is best.

It is common knowledge that there is no place like home. To the British their homes are important. They are dedicated to them; they give them a lot of time and effort, looking after their homes with much love, care and enthusiasm. More than half of British families own their homes (houses or flats). Others live in council accommodation and some people rent from private owners.

Types of Houses. There are three types of houses that people live in:

a) detached;

b) semi-detached;

c) terraced.

A semi-detached house is joined to the house next door by a shared wall. A house of this kind is less expensive than a detached house, but still offers a good standard of privacy and comfort. It usually has a small garden at the front and a larger garden at the back

A detached house is the most expensive type of home. It stands on its own land and is not attached to another building. Such houses have privacy from neighbours, and they are ideal for keen gardeners who can devote plenty of time to work in their garden.

A terraced house is usually two- or three-storeys high. It is one of a continuous row of similar houses, joined together by their side walls. Many rows of terraced houses were originally built for workers in nearby factories or coalmines. A terraced house usually costs less than a semi-detached or detached house of similar size. There are miles of terraced houses in most towns. Over a quarter of British families live in them. There are also other types of buildings in which people live:

d) apartment blocks;

e) bungalows;

f) country cottages.

Bungalows are one-storey houses which are particularly popular with older people.

Apartment blocks are high-rise blocks of flats which provide accommodation for a lot of city dwellers. But these buildings are not very popular. About 20% of the population live in flats. There are more flats in cities than in rural areas. Most people in Britain traditionally like to live in houses.

The number of people owning their own houses is steadily rising in Britain though a house is expensive. A person does not usually need to have all the money himself to pay for the house. Most people buy their homes with a mortgage which they get from a bank or a building society.

Public Housing. About one third of the population now live in council houses. These houses are provided by local authority councils such as town councils, usually at a low rent. Such houses are mainly occupied by working-class people who cannot afford to buy a house.

Since 1980 it has become possible for council house tenants to buy their houses at favourable rates after they have lived in them for at least two years.


We may live without poetry, music and art:

We may live without conscience, and live without heart:

We may live without friends;

We may live without books:

Discussion points

1. Do you think that there is a need for a standard form of the language in any country? Why or why not?

2. Are the requirements for the language norm high, or are they being lowered nowadays? Today, television and radio are often accused of lowering their standards in language. Do you think that this accusation is right? Why or why not?

3. You have read some information about different types of houses. Can you give an explanation of why high-rise blocks of flats are unpopular with the British? Do people in your country share the opinion that many-storeyed houses are not quite convenient for living in? What do you think?

4. How would you describe your home? Give your praise or criticism. Would you like to change the place in which you live? If you do, what are your reasons?

5. The thought of all that delicious food mentioned can make your mouth water, can’t it? What about fast food? Is the reaction the same? Why or why not?




How much do you know?

Ø Everywhere in the world sport is a form of entertainment for people to watch or to take part in. Some sports first appeared in Britain. What are they?

Ø Is it easy for everyone to find a pleasant spare-time occupation? Can you face any problems in choosing enjoyable activities for yourselves? Do you know what types of entertainments have British people?

Ø What famous British universities have you read or heard about? Where are they located?

Ø What do you know about the colleges and institutes of higher education in our country and in Britain?

Ø What British holidays do you know?


It has been estimated that the average British person spends 75 hours every week with television, radio, newspapers and magazines. Watching television is a very popular leisure pastime in Britain. A typical day's viewing includes films, plays, current affairs, light entertainments, sport and politics. Nature documentaries are very popular. Another favourite activity is listening to music on radio, records, cassette tapes, and CDs. This has become increasingly popular in recent years. Enthusiasts of pop music spend millions of pounds a year on records and stereo music systems. They also buy the various music papers and magazines that publish the 'charts' — lists of the current best-selling records.

There is, too, a considerable audience for classical music. Much of it is listened to at home. Radio devotes a lot of its broadcasting time to serious music.

Britain is famous for its gardens and most people like gardening. This is probably one reason why so many people prefer to live in houses rather than in flats.


Do-It-Yourself. A popular British hobby is to make improvements and additions to houses without the help of professional or skilled workers such as painters, builders and carpenters. This activity of making or repairing things yourself, instead of buying things ready made or paying a workman to do the work for you, is called, DIY (do-it-yourself).

People wish to keep their houses looking smart, and do-it-yourself repair and improvement work is widely practised. There are now many handbooks and magazines devoted to DIY enthusiasts, telling them how to go about repairs and improvements. There are also shops in every town selling or renting equipment and materials.


Britain is a country where leisure time and the sporting life are taken seriously. There is widespread interest in most kinds of sport throughout Britain. Television has helped to generate interest in a wide variety of sports including basketball, snooker, ice-skating, skiing and athletics. Millions of people all over Britain regularly take part in sport or exercise. Walking, including rambling and hiking, is by far the most popular recreation, followed by swimming, football, golf, angling, badminton and cycling.

Football and Rugby Football. The game of football or soccer was first played in Britain and spread to other countries. There are plenty of amateur soccer players in Britain who enjoy playing the game on Saturday or Sunday afternoons. Amateur clubs can compete against the professionals in the English Football Association Cup Competition.

The number of amateur football clubs in England is 40.000.

Rugby football or 'rugger' is another popular British sport. The story is told that, in 1823, boys at Rugby school in England were playing football in the normal way when suddenly one boy picked the ball up and ran with it. So a new game was born.

Cricket is sometimes called the English national game, having been played as early as the 1550s. It is usually played by men and boys though there are teams of women and girls as well. Players traditionally wear white clothes. A typical amateur cricket match takes place on a village green, an open grassy space in the centre of the village. It is played between two teams: the "home team" and "the visitors", who come from another village in a neighbourhood.

Bowlsis another outdoor summer game which has been played in Britain since the thirteenth century. Bowls is played on a specially prepared bowling green, a level piece of ground covered with grass. This grass surface is very carefully looked after. No one is allowed on the green except players wearing the correct kind of soft soled shoes.

The players roll large woodenballs towards a small ball and try to bring them as near as possible. The game has from two to eight players, each bowling two or more bowls.

Mountaineering and Rock Climbing are popular leisure activities. There are now more than 330 mountaineering clubs in Britain.

Horse Racing has a long history in Britain. It is sometimes called the sport of kings because it is an expensive hobby to own a racehorse, but interest in racing is not restricted to the rich. especially on. There are two kinds of horse racing, flat racing and steeplechasing. In flat racing, the horses run on level or flat ground. In Steeplechasing they jump over different obstacles such as hedges and water jumps.

Horse Riding. Riding a horse used to be a means of transport. Then it became a leisure occupation for the rich. Nowadays more people can afford to own a horse or to join a riding club so that they can ride at weekends.

Sailing. About three million British people go sailing in small boats every year. The number of small-boat owners has increased 1000% in 10 years.

Sailing in motor yachts, windsurfers, powerboats and cruisers takes place at clubs throughout Britain.


A school should be life.




The Open University (OU) offers degrees for people who do not have a formal education and qualifications, or who are older and do not want to enroll at a university or college. Students study and write essays at home and then post them off to a tutor for marking. BBC2 and Radio 5 broadcast teaching programmers and lectures early in the morning and late at night on weekdays, and on Saturday and Sunday mornings. There is a summer school of one week every year when students can meet each other and their tutors. Each student must do a year's foundation course in a variety of subjects before specializing in a particular course. Most courses take six years and students get a number of credits for each year's work. The OU was founded in 1969 and started its first course in 1971. About 120,000 people have enrolled since then.



Further education (FE) in Britain is for people over 16 taking courses at various levels up to the standard required for entry to higher education. Courses are run by further education colleges, many of which also provide higher education courses.

Many further education courses are vocational, ranging from lower-level technical and commercial courses to more advanced courses for those aiming at higher level jobs in business, administration and the professions. Most colleges also offer non-vocational courses, including GCSEs and GCE A-levels.

Colleges have strong links with universities and other higher educational institutions, and these links can enable students to progress from the further education college into an advanced stage of a degree course at university.



R.M. Hutchins



Today there are 89 universities in Britain, compared with only seventeen in 1945. They fall into four broad categories: the ancient English foundations, the ancient Scottish ones, the 'redbrick' universities, and the 'plate-glass' ones.


13th - 14th c.c. the ancient English universities (Oxford and Cambridge)

15th - 16th c.c.the ancient Scottish universities (St Andrews, Glasgow, Aberdeen,Edinburgh)

19th c.'redbrick' universities in the industrial centres (Birmingham, Nottingham, Newcastle, Liverpool, Bristol)

20th c.: the 60s'plate-glass' universities (Sussex, Kent, East Anglia)

the 90sformer polytechnics adopted a university title

All British universities are private institutions. Each has its own governing council, including some local business people and local politicians as well as a few academics. The state began to give grants to them 60 years ago. Students have to pay fees and living costs, but every student may obtain a personal grant from local authorities of the place where he lives. This is enough to pay his full costs, including lodging and food but the amount depends on the parents' income. If the parents do not earn much money, their children will receive a full grant, which will roughly cover all the expenses.

Students studying for first degrees are known as "undergraduates". New undergraduates in some

universities are called "freshers". They learn a new way of studying which is different from that of school. They have lectures, there are regular seminars, at which one of the students reads a paper he or she has written. The paper is then discussed by the tutor and the rest of the group. The students also see a tutor alone to discuss their work and their progress. Such tutorials take place once a week.

The Bachelor's degree. After three or four years (depending on the type of the university) the students will take their finals. Those who pass examinations successfully are given the Bachelor's degree: Bachelor of Arts (BA) for History, Philosophy, Language and Literature and sometimes Social Studies or Theology; or Bachelor of Science (BSc) or Commerce or Music. About 15% of students who start at universities leave without obtaining a degree, some of them after only one year.

The Master's degree. The first postgraduate degree is normally that of Master: Master of Arts (MA); Master of Science (MSc). In most universities it is only in the science faculties that any large numbers of students stay to do postgraduate work.

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) is the highest degree. It is given for some original research work which is an important contribution to knowledge.




There are 89 Universities in Great Britain, the biggest one being London University, and the oldest ones Oxford and Cambridge.

Oxford was founded in the 12th century as an aristocratic University and retains its aristocratic character to the present day: the cost of studies is comparatively high. Students have to pay for using librariesand laboratories, as well as for taking examinations.

Oxford's organization is very complicated. In fact, the University is a collection of 35 Colleges: two for women only, the rest taking both men and women. Each college is a world of its own which gives its students a specialized training in arts, law, medicine and science. The largest college has over 500 students; the smallest college has 100 students.

The University is an administrative center, which arranges lectures for all students of the colleges, holds examinations and gives degrees.

The tutorial system of education used both in Oxford and Cambridge is one of the ways in which Oxbridge differs from other English Universities. Every student has a tutor in charge of planning his work and discussing its results with the student; the student's duty is to regularly see his tutor and submit papers and essays. The tutorial system of education brings the student into personal contact with his tutor, the latter trying to influence the social and political life of the student.

The academic year in England has three terms; each term lasts from eight to ten weeks. Terminal examinations take place at the end of autumn, spring and summer terms. Final examinations take place at the end of the course of studies. If a student fails in an examination, he may be allowed to take the exam again, only two re-examinations

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