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1.8. Great britain

Activity 1. Match the following words with their Russian/ Ukrainian equivalents.

1) island а) влажный/ вологий

2) to influence b) голосовать/ голосувати

3) humid c) быть свидетелем / бути свідком

4) county d) остров/ острів

5) to vote e) выборы/ вибори

6) government f) королевский/ королівський

  1. elections g) короновать/ коронувати

  2. royal h) влиять/ впливати

  3. to crown i) правительство/ уряд

  4. to witness j) графство/ графство

Activity 2. In each line choose one word that doesn’t belong to the group and explain why you think so.

  1. sea, river, mountain, lake, ocean

  2. queen, government, parliament, prime-minister, professor

  3. fortress, monastery, cathedral, abbey, church

  4. France, Africa, China, Russia, the USA

  5. warm, cool, humid, famous, temperate

Activity 3. Try to guess the meaning of the following English words by their definitions.

  1. king а) chief church

  2. fleet b) grassland

  3. cathedral c) male sovereign ruler

  4. to rob d) to take one’s property by force

  5. meadow e) a number of warships under one commander

  6. to commemorate f) to honour the memory

Activity 4. Before reading the text answer the following questions. If you do not have enough knowledge about them, look for the information in the text.

  1. What is the official name of Great Britain?

  2. Who is the present British monarch?

  3. Why “British” and “English” are not synonyms?

  4. What are four main parts of the country?

  5. What English writers do you know?

  6. Have you ever been to Britain?

  7. If you happen to go to London what sights would you like to see?

Activity 5. Read the text and do the communication activities that follow it.

Great Britain whose official name is the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is situated on the British Isles. They consist of two large islands, the larger of which is Great Britain, the smaller is Ireland and 550 small islands around them. Great Britain lies between the North Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. It is separated from France by the English Channel, the narrowest part of which is called the Straight of Dover. In the west the United Kingdom is separated from Ireland by the Irish Sea and the North Channel.

The total area of Great Britain is 244,000 square kilometres. It is very small comparing with the biggest countries of the world such as Russia, China or the USA. It occupies only 0.2 per cent of the world’s surface. Though the country is small, its population is 57 million people. There are only 15 other countries with greater population, and London is the world’s seventh biggest city. Many foreigners say “English” and “England” when they mean “British” and “Britain”. This is very annoying for the 5 million Scotsmen, 2.8 million Welsh and 1.5 million Irishmen who are not English but are all British. At present there are a lot of immigrants (black and coloured) from Asia and Africa in Great Britain.

The island of Great Britain is divided into two parts: mountainous (in the north and west) and lowland (in the south and east). The highest mountain, Ben Nevis, is in Scotland. There are very many rivers in Great Britain but they are not very long. The longest river is the Severn, but the most famous is the Thames, because it gave rise to the capital of the country – London. The rivers seldom freeze in winter. The mountains, the Atlantic Ocean and the warm waters of Gulf Stream influence the climate of the British Isles. It is usually described as cool, temperate and humid.

Many people say that Great Britain looks like a large well-kept park. There are beautiful gardens, fields, meadows, lakes and woods there. The best known wood is Sherwood Forest where Robin Hood once lived, the legendary outlaw who robbed the rich and gave money to the poor. The most famous lake is Loch Ness in Scotland which is said to have a water monster.

Great Britain consists of four main parts: England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Administratively the country is divided into 55 counties. The biggest cities of Great Britain are: London, Birmingham, Glasgow, Liverpool, Manchester, Edinburgh and Cardiff.

The United Kingdom is one of the world’s leading commercial and industrial nations. It is a member of EC (European Community). Britain is the world’s ninth largest oil producer and the fifth largest gas producer. The main fields of British industry are: mechanical engineering, chemical industry, metallurgy, electrical and electronic engineering, ship-building, aircraft-building, textile, clothing and footwear industries. British agriculture is famous for its efficiency and productivity. Fishing is an important industry in the United Kingdom.

The United Kingdom is a parliamentary monarchy. Officially the Head of the state is the Queen (or the King). However the power of the monarch is not absolute. The present British monarch is Queen Elizabeth II. The Queen reigns but she doesn’t rule. Parliament and the government have the power.

Parliament in Great Britain has existed since 1265 and is the eldest Parliament in the world. It consists of two Houses – the House of Lords and the House of Commons. The House of Commons is a nation-wide representative body which is elected by the people at a general election. Though there are many political parties in Great Britain most people vote either Labour or Conservative. After the general election the Queen appoints the head of the Government – the Prime Minister. As a rule he is the leader of the party that has won the election. The Prime Minister appoints the ministers to make up the government. So the House of Commons is the main law-making body while the Cabinet of Ministers and the government are the main executive bodies.

London is the political, economic, commercial and cultural centre of Great Britain. Traditionally it is divided into several parts: the City, Westminster, the West End and the East End.

The Cityis the heart of London, its financial and business centre. There are some famous ancient buildings within the City. Perhaps the most striking of them is St. Paul’s Cathedral, the greatest of the English churches. One of the oldest and best-known places of interest in the City is the Tower of London founded by Julius Caesar. In the course of history it has been a fortress, a royal palace, a state prison and an arsenal. Now it is a unique museum, in which you can feel the past centuries and touch the walls that witnessed many tragic events of the British history.

Westminsteris the governmental part of London. Almost all English monarchs have been crowned, married and buried in Westminster Abbey. Not far from Westminster Abbey is Westminster Palace or the Houses of Parliament with its famous Clock Tower known as Big Ben.

The West Endis the richest and most beautiful part of London. Buckingham Palace is the official residence of the sovereign. Trafalgar Square is the main square and the geographical centre of London. It was named in memory of Admiral Nelson’s victory over Napoleon’s fleet in the battle of Trafalgar in 1805. On the north side of Trafalgar Square is the National Gallery. Not far away is the British Museum – the biggest museum in London.

The East Endof London used to be the poorest district of the city, but now it is a developing area with new houses and a modern industrial centre.

Activity 6. Finish the following sentences using the information from the text.

  1. The official name of Great Britain is…..

  2. The United Kingdom is separated from the continent of Europe by…..

  3. Great Britain consists of 55 …..

  4. The climate of Great Britain is influenced by…..

  5. The main fields of British industry are…..

  6. Officially the head of the state is…..

  7. The British Parliament consists of…..

  8. The Prime Minister is…..

  9. There are two main political parties…..

  10. London is divided into …...

Activity 7.

Step 1. Make up a plan to the text.

Step 2. Render the context of the text according to your plan.

Activity 8. Formulate your questions according to the following answers.

  1. : …. …………………………………………………………………...?

  2. : Great Britain is situated on the British Isles.

  1. : …. …………………………………………………………………...?

  2. : There are also Scotsmen, Welsh and Irishmen.

  1. : …. …………………………………………………………………...?

  2. : They are the Severn and the Thames.

  1. : …. …………………………………………………………………...?

  2. : Because the legendary Robin Hood lived there.

  1. : …. …………………………………………………………………...?

  2. : It was founded in 1265.

  1. : …. …………………………………………………………………...?

  2. : Great Britain is a member of EC.

  1. : …. …………………………………………………………………...?

  2. : He was the commander of the British fleet in the battle of Trafalgar.

Activity 9.

Step 1. Read the following text.