English topics

English topics

My favorite book.

My favorite book is "The Old Man and the Sea" by
Ernest Hemingway. This story is one of the well-known works of the writer. The
author depicts the characters of the old man and the boy and their relations
very vividly and skillfully. Santiago, the old man, was one of the writer’s
beloved characters. The old man was a born fisherman, but he was not a butcher
and fished only for a living.

He was very lonely. He had a devoted friend — the boy,
Manolin. The boy loved the old man for his kind heart, his devotion to the sea.
Manolin was like a son to Santiago. He took care of the old man’s food and his
belongings.

The old man was glad to pass his experience to the boy. He
looked forward to going to the sea together with the boy.

All Santiago’s life had been in preparation for the battle
with big fish. He knew that he had been born for this and it was time to prove
it. A strong man at last had met a strong fish. The battle was a difficult one
and full of danger.

Though the sharks had eaten the fish and nothing had left
but the backbone, the old man had morally won the battle. Santiago’s words
"man can be destroyed but not defeated" are the main idea of this
story.

"The Old Man and the Sea" is a masterpiece for its
imaginative language and the description of nature.

My Favorite Newspapers.

Newspapers and magazines play a great and very important
role in the life of a modern man.

The newspapers I read are the most readable and have a large
readership or circulation. For example "Arguments and Facts" has a
circulation of more than 5 million. Reading the newspaper I can get information
about current events that have taken or are going to take place in this country
and abroad. I can also read articles about historical events and public figures
of the past. The pages of the newspaper carry articles on our economy,
industry, agriculture and social life.

The newspaper contains and gives coverage of local, home and
foreign affairs.

I like the way it presents different points of view,
approaches to the problems, topical issues of the day.

My parents and I subscribe to some periodicals. There is no
need to read all the articles. I can look through the newspapers and read the
items I am interested in.

My Favorite Writer.

My favorite foreign writer is O.Henry. He was born in 1862.
O.Henry is one of the most widely published American authors. His works have
been translated into many languages. The best of his stories were published in
books: »Cabbages and Kings», "The 4 million", "Heart of
West" and others. His credo was-art should be true, democratic, it should
address contemporary life and embrace all aspects of life. O.Henry was an
outstanding humorist. He worked out and enriched all the types of the short
story: the anecdote, the adventure story, tales and sketches. He was most
famous for his stories of city life. O.Henry wrote about 150 stories with a New
York background. He was a born writer of great talent. In childhood I was
deeply impressed by his story "The Last Leaf". Since then I bear in
my heart the image of a young girl suffering from serious illness and her
friends doing everything they can do to give her hope and bring her back to
life. The author penetrates deeply into a person’s soul and reveals its best
qualities. His love for humanity, for common people, for critical attitude
towards injustice attracts readers to this day.

My Friend.

I’d like to tell you about my friend. She is my classmate.
She is very diligent and kind-hearted. She is willing to help old people and
animals. She is good at mathematics. She is interested in history. She is
bright girl and does her lessons quickly and easily. She listens very
attentively to all the explanations in class. She is extremely fond of reading.
I have much in common with her and we never quarrel, because there is no reason
for it. We have common ideas, opinions and we discuss different problems
together. I think she is rather beautiful. She has a snub nose, curly hair. She
is a pretty girl.

My school

I study at school №159. It is situated in the center of our
district close to my house. It takes me only 10 minutes to get there. I go to
school 5 times a week. We study different subjects: Russian, English,
literature, history, geography, biology, physics, chemistry, math and computer
science.

Languages and history are my favorite subjects. I make much
progress in these subjects.

Our school is a 3-storeyed modern building. It has many
classrooms, specialized rooms, laboratories and workshops.

Specialized rooms are used to study math, chemistry and
other subjects. These rooms are equipped with corresponding teaching materials,
facilities and devices.

On the ground floor there is a library, a cloakroom, a
dining room, workshops, a gymnasium and a head master’s office.

Our school is located in a picturesque place. The park where
different trees, bushes and flowers grow surrounds it. There is a play ground
and a stadium near  the building of the school.

The English Language.

Knowledge of the foreign language is becoming more important
nowadays. There are many reasons why we study English. Now, in a period when we
are reconstructing our economy, when there are many joint ventures with foreign
companies operating in our country, we need a number of specialists who know
foreign languages. If you know English, you can communicate (personally or in
writing) with others who use this language.

If you wish to make a career in science, you must read
scientific books and magazines in English. Knowing English you can read the
works of foreign writers in original.

A more general aim is to broaden our intellectual and
cultural horizons through contacts with people of other countries.

Knowledge of foreign languages helps people of different
countries to develop mutual friendship and understanding.

At the Theatre.

There are many theatres in my town, but they are all very
popular with the public. Theatre lovers don’t miss any new performance at the
Drama Theatre.

Children like to go to the Puppet Theatre and the circus.

Those who are fond of music go to the Opera House. I’ll
never forget my first visit to the Opera and Ballet Theatre. My friend and I
dreamt to see the famous ballet "Swan Lake" by Chaikovsky. The
theatre was packed. The audience was well dressed, talking and laughing. From
the first minute I was deeply impressed by everything I saw on the stage. The
dancing was exciting, the music was thrilling. When the curtains fell at the
end of the performance there came a storm of applause. The performance was a
great success.

Environmental Protection.

Since ancient times Nature has served Man, being the source
of his life. For thousands of years people lived in harmony with environment.
But with the development of civilization man’s interference with nature began
to increase.

Large cities with thousands of smoky industrial enterprises
appear all over the world today. They pollute the air we breathe, the water we
drink, the land we live in. Many cities suffer from smog. Vast forests are cut
and burnt in fire.

As a result some rare species of animals, birds, fish and
plants disappear forever.

Environmental protection is a universal concern. That is why
serious measures to create a sistem of ecological security should be taken.

Some progress has been already made in this direction. As
many as 159 countries-members of UNO- have set up environmental protection
agencies. The accident at Chernobyl nuclear power station in April 1986 caused
radioactive pollution of a vast area.

The international organization Greenpease is also doing much
to preserve the environment.

The Earth is our home. We must take care of it for next
generations and ourselves.

My Favorite Video Film.

My favorite video film is "Titanic". It tells the
story of the famous ship, "Titanic", which sank in 1912.
The"Titanic"was a colossal ship even by modern standards. Its tragic
sinking will always be remembered, for the ship went down on the first voyage
with heavy loss of life.

The director of the film is Jeremy Cameron. The main parts
in the film are played by young actors Leonardo De Caprio and Kate Winslet. To
my mind their acting is superb. The camerawork is fantastic, too. I’ve heard
that for this film they made a full-size model of the "Titanic". It’s
a very spectacular film. It is also a moving love-story.

I advise all my friends to see this film. It was awarded 11
Oscars and I’m sure the film deserves every one of them. "

My Future Profession.

Finishing school is the beginning of the independent life
for school leavers. Many roads are open before them: technical schools,
institutes and universities. But it is not easy thing to choose a profession
out of more than 2.000 existing in the world. Some pupils follow the advice of
their parents, others can’t decide even after leaving school. As for me I have
made my choice long ago. I want to become a teacher of the Russian language and
literature. My choice of this occupation didn’t come as a sudden flash. During
all school years literature was my favorite subject. I understand that reading
books helps people in self-education and in solving different life problems.
Teachers do not only teach their subjects. They develop their pupils’
intellect, form their views and characters, their attitudes to life and to
other people. It’s a great responsibility.

I’m applying to the Philological Department and I am sure my
dream will come true sooner or later.

Sport in my life.

Watching sport events and going in for sports are 2
different things. When you listen to the radio you can always hear sport news.
When you open a newspaper you will always find information about sport events.

TV programs about sports are always very popular, and you
can watch something very interesting every day.

Personally I prefer to watch figure-skating competitions.

Sports help people to keep fit. At the same time those who
go in for sports try to achieve good results and win victories in sports
competitions. Practically speaking all kinds of sports and games are popular in
our country. People go in for athletics, gymnastics boxing, fencing, and tennis
— sports and games for any season, for any person, for any taste.

It goes without saying that football and tennis enjoy the
greatest popularity in our country.

As for me I go jogging every day and I attend fitness center
3 times a week. But I am not crazy about sports. I am much happier sitting on
the sofa with a book or in front of the computer.

Travelling.

Modern life is impossible without travelling. People can
travel by rail, by sea, by road, by air.

As for me I prefer travelling by car. Every year my parents
and I go somewhere to the South for holidays.

The Black Sea is one of the most wonderful places, which
attracts holidaymakers all over the world. We often go on excursions. It’s
interesting for me to go sightseeing and to see ancient monuments and many
places of historical interest. As a rule I make new friends there. I never feel
bored when I travel, because I always have good companions. Time passes quickly
and soon we have to make our way back. We return home sunburnt and full of
impressions. I think travelling and sightseeing help me get to know the world
around us.

Books and libraries.

I usually take books from school library. The library is
helpful when I have to make a report, when I need information on some subjects.
The choice of books in our school library is very good. There are many short
stories and novels, textbooks and reference books, dictionaries and
encyclopedias there. All books are arranged in alphabetical order. I pay
attention to the cover of the book, its illustrations, the name of the author,
the title of the book and the contents.

When we take a book, we mustn’t do dog’s ears, we mustn’t
write anything on the pages, and we must return books to the library in time.

I think it is necessary to follow these rules. I’m extremely
fond of reading. I often read for pleasure and sometimes for information.

So I’m interested in different kinds of books. I like to
read stories about heroes, great travelers, explorers, and courageous men.
These books excite my imagination. I think I devote much time to reading.

Famous people.

Andrei Sakharov, an outstanding scientist and public figure,
was born on the 21st of May 1921. He graduated from Moscow
University in 1942. In 1947 he defended his thesis for the degree of Candidate
of Science. In 1953 he defended his Doctorate thesis and was elected member of
the Academy of Sciences.

Sakharov played a decisive role in developing the Soviet
hydrogen bomb. While working on the bomb he came to the conclusion that any
atomic and nuclear weapons should be banned.

He fought courageously for human rights in the former USSR
and in 1975 he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. His international repute as a
scientist kept him out official, but in 1980 he was deprived of all his titles
and orders and exiled to the city of Gorky. There he continued to work for
peace, justice and human rights.

Only in 1985 Sakharov was allowed to come back to Moscow. He
was given back all his titles and 3 years later he was elected a deputy of the
Supreme Soviet. But soon he died in 1989.

A.D. Sakharov is remembered by everybody as an outstanding
humanist and philosopher.

The majority of teenagers in Great Britain spend their free
time as everywhere in the world. The average young person spends about 19 hours
in front of the television. According to the government report nearly
three-quarter of young people have TV sets in their rooms. Besides watching TV,
other activities like cinema going and sport remain popular. In Wales, the
report says that some 50 percent of boys play football throughout the winter
while a great number of girls also play football, although they are in general
prefer swimming and tennis.

Listening to music is also a part of time spending.
Tape-recorders, CD-players and the concerts of pop music are the subject of
every day talk of teenagers.

As children grow older they turn from playgardens or homes
to streets where they meet and talk and start develop their confidence. Street
life includes groups of friends who meet together in the streets, squares and
parks, or visit town centers to do window-shopping and "see what’s going
on".

My hobby.

I have many hobbies because there are many interesting
things to do. Unfortunately I don’t have much spare time as I’m going to be a
student. That’s why I have to study a lot. I like doing different things: Such
as reading detective stories, listening to the music, playing tennis with my
classmates.

But my favorite hobby is solving crossword puzzles. It’s not
only interesting, but also very useful. When you try to solve the puzzle you
find out and learn a lot of different facts. Because in puzzles there are
questions about famous people, geographical places, countries, scientific achievements
and so on. You also train your brain. The crosswords are published in
newspapers and magazines and there are special newspapers that contain only
crosswords. I sometimes try to make up my own puzzle and I can say that it is
not less interesting. All the members of our family like to take part in
solving the puzzles and this unites us very much.

Space Exploration.

For thousands of years man dreamed of flying to the stars.
At the beginning of the century the great Russian scientist Tsiolkovsky predicted
that "mankind will not remain on Earth forever". Half a century later
his words came true, the dream became a reality.

It happened on October 4, 1957, when the 1st
artificial satellite, the sputnik, was launched. The Russians were the 1st
in the world to fly into outer space.

Then the most remarkable event in the history of
cosmonautics took place.

On April 12, 1961 the spaceship "Vostok", piloted
by Yuri Gagarin went up. He orbited the Earth only once, staying in space for
108 minutes. Mankind will always remember him.

A new era of man’s exploration of outer space began. Many
space rockets went up by our cosmonauts. Among them were Titov, Nikolaev,
Leonov, Tereshkova, Savitskaya and others.

Today Russia wants the exploration of space to be based on
broad international cooperation. Many international crews went up in space.
This is the best example of the possibility of peaceful cooperation.

Spare time.

Every day I go to school. I get up early, do homework, and
have piano lessons twice a week. But on weekends I like to do something
different. I like to relax. I watch TV or videos. If it rains, I prefer indoor
activities: to read books and magazines, to play chess, to play records, to draw
on a computer, to clean the house.

As for my sister she likes to knit and sew. She takes an
aerobics class on Sundays. In spring and summer I prefer outdoor activities: to
do some gardening, to ride a bike, to go jogging.

Sometimes we come to see our grandparents or friends. I also
like to go to the parties to discos with my friends.

Our family has a little summerhouse in the country.
Beginning from early spring we spend a lot of time on the weekends there. There
is a river not far from our house and when the weather is fine we go there to
bathe, to swim, to get sunburnt.

Abraham Lincoln.

Lincoln was one of the most famous presidents of the USA. He
was born in the family of a poor farmer in 1809 in Kentucky, but soon his
family left for the wild forestland of Indiana.

He was taught reading, writing and simple arithmetic, as his
family could not afford better education.

When he was 18, he went to New Orleans and there he saw a
slave market. It made a deep impression on him and he began to hate slavery and
he decided to fight against it.

In 1830 he went to Springfield and became a clerk in a
store. He learned much and greatly improved his knowledge. He entered politics
and in 1832 became a candidate for the Parliament of the State. Soon he became
a force in political life and in 1860 was elected President of the USA.

He was an enemy of slavery. Some of the Southern States left
the Union, and the war between the South and the North began. At first the war
went badly for the North but Lincoln never lost his courage and soon they won.

When the war was over, Lincoln issued a proclamation to say
that slavery was abolished.

Lincoln was well known all over America and everybody loved
him.

In 1864 he was elected President of the USA for the second
time. But his enemies could not let him continue his work.

He was shot in a theatre in Washington on April 14, 1865 and
he died the next day.

From the History of GB

The conquest of England by the Normans began in 1066 with
the Battle of Hastings where the English fought against the Normans. The
conquest was completed in 1071.

Who were the Normans who conquered England?

Some 150 years before the conquest of England they came to a
part of France, opposite England, a part that we call Normandy. There they
adopted the Christian faith, the French language and the Roman law. So they
became French. The Normans brought to England the French language. After the
Norman Conquest there were 3 languages in England. There was Latin, the
language of church and the language, in which all learned men wrote and spoke.
There was French, the language, which kings and nobles spoke. And finally,
there was the English language, which remained the language of the masses of
the people.

The role of the Norman Conquest was great for the
development of feudalism and monarchy in Britain.

Great Britain.

The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is
situated on the British Isles.

It consists of 4 parts: England, Scotland, Wales and
Northern Ireland.

England, Wales and Scotland occupy the territory of Great
Britain. Northern Ireland is situated in the northern part of Ireland.

The population is over 57 million people.

The northern and western part of the country is mountainous
and is called the Highlands.

All the rest: south, east and center are a vast plain, which
is called the Lowlands.

The mountains are not very high. The rivers are not very
long. The most important of them are the Severn and the Thames. There are many
beautiful lakes in Great Britain.

Great Britain is a country with old cultural traditions and
customs. The most famous educational centers are Oxford and Cambridge
Universities.

The United Kingdom is a monarchy and the Queen is the head
of the state. But in practice it is ruled by the government with a Parliament
at the head.

Isaac Newton.

The great English scientist Isaac Newton was born in a
village not far from the university town of Cambridge in 1642.

In his early years young I.N made various things. He made a
clock that worked by water. He also made a sundial

When Isaac grew older, he took a considerable interest in
mathematics. His ability as a mathematician and a physicist was very important.
His first physical experiment was carried on when he was 16 years old.

On June 5 1661 Newton entered the University of Cambridge
where he studied mathematics. Soon he became famous for his contribution to
mathematics by the time he was 21.

In1665 while he was in his native village, he saw an apple
fall from the tree and began wondering what force made the apple fall.

Newton performed many experiments with light. He invented a
reflecting telescope. Newton developed a mathematical method, which is known as
the Binomial Theorem.

In 1669 Newton was appointed a professor and began lectures
on mathematics and optics at Cambridge University and continued his work on the
problem of gravitation. His great work "Elements of Natural
Philosophy" was published in the middle of 1687.

Newton’s contribution to science is unique.

He died at the age of 85. He was buried with honors as a
national hero.

My Favorite Film Actor.

Gerard Depardieu is one is the most popular actor. He was
born in 1948 in a poor family of a shoemaker in a little town.

When he was 16 he came to Paris without any education and
without any money.

Together with his friend he began to attend the actor
courses. He got acquainted with a girl of a wealthy family and soon they got
married. She had a great influence upon him. He finished the actor courses.
When he was only 20 he played big roles in the theatres. His great success in
films is a consequence of his good theatrical school.

But his success in the USA was not long. In 1991 during his
interview to the magazine "Time" he told that he was a hooligan when
he was a teenager. The american audience doesn’t excuse such fact in his
biography.

The works of Depardieu in cinema are marked by many cinema
rewards in France and in Italy. Everybody notes that glory and money don’t
spoil him. They only made him independent.

He played in about 80 films.

The UN.

The United Nations is the organization of sovereign nations.
The UN works out the development of friendly relation among the nations. The UN
struggles for peace, for international co-operation, for the solution of
problems of the economic, social, cultural and humanitarian nature.

The United Nations has been playing the active role in
reducing tension in the world, preventing conflicts and putting an end to
fighting.

There are 6 main organs in the UN — the General Assembly,
the Security Council, the Economic and Social Council, the Secretariat and the
International Court of Justice. The Court has its place in the Hague,
Netherlands. All other organs are based at the United Nations Headquarters in
New York.

Members of the General Assembly talk to each other in many
languages, but officially there are only 6 — French, Arabic, Chinese, English,
Russian and Spanish.

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