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Федеральное агентство по образованию

Волгоградский государственный архитектурно-строительный университет

Петий А.А. Корниенко О.П. Локтаева Р.В.

Практический курс английского языка

Учебно-методическое пособие для студентов вуза

Волгоград 2009




UNIT 1. Learning foreign languages…..…………………………..


UNIT 2. Personality …………………… …………………………


UNIT 3. Family…………………………………………………….


UNIT 4. Daily routine ……………………………………………..


UNIT 5. Area where you live……………………………………….


UNIT 6. Accommodation ……………..…………………………...


UNIT 7. Schooling…..……………………………………………..


UNIT 8. Friendship ….……………………………………………


UNIT 9. Traffic………………………………….……………........


UNIT 10. Travelling………………………………………………..


Библиографический список………………………………………



Пособие написано в соответствии с учебной программой дисциплины «Английский язык», являющейся дополнительной в подготовке специалистов ВолгГАСУ.

Данное пособие рассчитано на студентов, знакомых с фонологической системой, умеющих оперировать основными грамматическими категориями, владеющих определенным объемом лексических единиц и речевыми моделями, позволяющими вести общение в ситуациях обиходно-бытового характера.

Целью пособия является развитие иноязычных навыков и умений специалистов. В основу пособия положен принцип коммуникативно-деятельностного обучения, позволяющий сформировать иноязычную коммуникативную компетенцию как неотъемлемую составляющую профессионального портрета специалиста любого профиля.

Пособие состоит из десяти параграфов, посвященных обиходно-бытовой тематике. Текстами являются подлинные рассказы двух англичан − журналистки Вивьен и музыканта Томаса. Представленные в пособии задания дают возможность расширить словарный запас, овладеть речевыми интенциями, вести беседу по представленным в пособии темам.

Пособие рекомендуется использовать на первом году изучения дисциплины «Английский язык» на всех факультетах очного и заочного обучения, а также на факультете дополнительной квалификации «Переводчик в сфере профессиональной коммуникации».

Unit 1. Learning foreign languages Part 1. Vivien

Ex.1. Read the text and pick up the terms referring to the topic.

I think it’s really important to learn any language, no matter how few people speak it. It broadens your mind, you learn about other cultures and about other ways of thinking. A lot of people I know in England, when I said I was learning Hungarian, would say, “What’s the point? Nobody speaks it outside Hungary”. I remember telling my Mum I wanted to learn Swedish and she said, “No-one speaks it outside Sweden”, but what if I wanted to go and live there? It would be essential that I learn it. You can’t expect people to speak English.

People have the attitude in England that, you know, the whole world speaks English. They stopped an American guy who works here in the stock market, and he said, “Oh, in 5 years time everyone in Budapest will speak English. Budapest will be an English-speaking town”. I think that’s incredibly arrogant. Of course, if people want to learn it as a second language that’s their right, but you can’t force them. Look what happened when they tried to make Russian compulsory. People here are now proud to tell me they learnt Russian for about 8 years and they can't remember a single word apart from “DA” and “SPASIBA”. It just goes to prove that you can’t force a language down somebody’s throat, you have to want to learn it.

It seems really strange to me that there are so many Americans here who cannot speak any Hungarian, even after living here for a long time. I know one woman who has lived here for two years and she told me the other day, very proudly, that she can only say the days of the week and can count to 10 in Hungarian, and she’s not embarrassed at all about this. She’s quite proud of it in fact. I think that either she is, I don’t know, incredibly stupid, or she just lives in an expatriate world and never has to use it. I mean, I don’t know what she does when she goes to the shops. I suppose she can say “thank you” and simple things like that. Maybe she just shouts in English like English people abroad often do. They think if they shout things very loudly it’s understandable, or that if they speak very slowly then everyone will understand them, and if people don’t understand them, then they are outraged that people don’t understand English. This is a very bizarre point of view as far as I’m concerned.

I saw a film recently, called “Nell”, about a hermit. Jody Foster played the hermit. She only shared her language with her mother, but then her mother died and she was left with no-one in the world who could understand her. There was quite a good line when someone said “How are we gonna communicate with her” and someone else replied “Well, someone’s gonna have to learn her language”, not “She’ll have to learn English”. I quite liked that bit.

I think language learning is very important for literature, as there’s some literature that we cannot translate. Some works by Pushkin, for example, Eugene Onegin, they say are impossible to translate because Russian has very different endings, which can make very complex poetry which just doesn’t work in English. Also, they say Peter Eszterhazy is untranslatable, but I don’t know not having read the original works. I don’t know how successful the recent translations have been. I have to admit, they’re difficult enough in English.

When you’ve learnt how to learn a language, when you’ve learnt one language, I think you can easily learn more languages, although I don’t know how many languages I could keep in my head at the same time. I’m not totally fluent any more, I think, in Russian, not having used it for a couple of years, because I’m now concentrating on Hungarian, but if I go to Russia I remember it immediately − well, it comes back after two or three days. But here if I meet a Russian man, it’s much more difficult. The Hungarian words come into my head.

I think you have different compartments in your brain where you store languages and some are maybe further towards the back than others, and at the moment the foreign language in my head is Hungarian. That’s the most important one now, and being surrounded by Hungarians it’s much easier to remember. However, I think if I went to Spain, I would remember Spanish very quickly. It’s quite an easy language for English people to learn, I think, as there are many similarities, so I could pick it up again quite quickly.

Once you’ve learnt how to learn a language, I think you can learn others. You know the tricks, you know how to use the appropriate part of your brain. I know people who have parents from two different countries, half Russian, half Hungarian or half English, half French and they’re brought up bilingually. They can learn other languages, because they have that kind of skill already quite well-developed inside them.

However, learning similar languages is difficult, I think. After Russian I tried to learn Czech, and I found it quite complicated, because I would understand a lot from the Russian I already knew, so I wouldn’t concentrate as much, and I often confused words and verbs where the same words are used but they mean something different. When I first went to Czechoslovakia (it was in 1982), so it was still under a communist regime, and I tended to think of words in Russian, but if I ever said anything in Russian, of course, it didn’t go down well at all. As a result, I was a bit reticent about speaking and I didn’t have much self-confidence.

I speak Spanish and I have tried to learn Italian from my flat-mate who teaches Italian, but it didn’t really work because, as Spanish and Italian are so sim­ilar, I found it so easy to understand that I was just too lazy to really try. I can watch Italian TV and understand quite a lot. I tended to pronounce everything in the Spanish way, and it would take a lot of concentration and discipline to learn it properly. I’ve become a bit lazy lately.

Learning Russian also gives a good passive knowledge of other Slavic languages. I can’t invent anything, but if I hear it I can usually work out what they’re talking about. When I’ve been on holiday in Bulgaria, Slovenia, Serbia or Slovakia, it’s quite easy to understand what’s going on, but I couldn’t actually form a sentence. For example, when I was in Poland recently, I got a little phrase book, which was actually a Teach Yourself Hungarian book in Polish, for the equivalent of thirty forints at the Polish center, and I was trying to read it. I could understand quite a lot just from reading the introduction, but if you asked me to say something in Polish, I couldn’t because I would have no idea if they use the same word as in Russian.

I always try and get a phrase book if I go anywhere, because I think it really opens doors, it really helps to establish contact, if you know a few words like “thank you”, “please” and “good bye”. It shows that you’re interested and that you care about the country.

Debrecen Summer School was very good, in that I met lots of people from other countries like Russia, Korea, Iceland, and Holland and we talked in Hungarian, as Hungarian was our common language. It was good to speak with foreigners in Hungarian, because Hungarian native speakers are sometimes quite impatient, I think. They are not used to foreigners speaking Hungarian, and get bored very quickly with people struggling, to tackle their language. So, it can be good practice to first speak with other people, as, even though they might be quite incor­rect, it just gives you the confidence to speak it.

English people are so used to foreigners speaking English that they accept all accents, and understand even when foreigners speak English very poorly, but I think Hungarians are quite picky. I always find that there are a lot of people who try to correct every single word, which can make communication very dif­ficult. It’s like when we were at school, and the teachers would be so concerned with getting everything perfect that nobody dared ever start a conversa­tion in a foreign language, in French for example, because they were terrified of the teacher pouncing on them and saying “No, no, no, that’s wrong, your accent is terrible, your endings are all wrong”.

I remember we learnt French at school by just repeating sentences after the teacher parrot fashion, not really learning how to form sentences ourselves. It was a very frustrating and unimagina­tive way of teaching languages. England doesn’t have a very good reputa­tion for teaching languages, and you can see why, really. We had a teacher called Mrs. Turner and she was terrifying. She was really strict and very unsympa­thetic. If you couldn’t roll your “r”, and I can’t do it, she considered it incorrect, so if somebody couldn’t roll their “r” for a natural reason, they would lose a mark for their French and that’s just a natural mistake, you can’t do anything about it. I’m surprised that I actually got an “A” for that exam, but I suppose the exam wasn’t terribly imaginative either.

When I was with my Russian teacher, who was Scottish, we spent the whole time arguing about Russian endings. I was never entirely convinced that she knew which was the correct ending. After all, she wasn’t Russian and she had learnt it just like I had.

Then I went to University. If you learnt Russian there as a beginner, you learnt it from native speakers, and they had a crash course where you learnt everything in a year to get up to the same standard as people who’d learnt Russian at school. I think their standard was much better than at my school, because they were learning it from native Russian speakers who, of course, knew all the endings per­fectly.

I’ve studied five foreign languages now, French, Russian, Spanish, Czech and now Hungarian. Sometimes I have studied on my own, sometimes in a class. I think it’s definitely easier in a class. Hungarian I tried to learn on my own, but you really have to live in a place if you’re gonna have any idea about the lan­guage. For example, when I went to Spain, I could hardly understand anything at first, as people spoke ten times faster than any­one ever spoke at school.

Our exams were awful. The speaking parts especially were very nerve-racking. We had to do translations from and into Russian, and the one into Russian was very diffi­cult.

Also, we had to write an essay in Russian on some topics, like “My childhood” or “My favorite film” or something and then also comment on literature. That was quite a lot of work. I liked translation and I ended up doing it as a career. I’ve recently translated into Russian which is not usual. You usually translate into your own lan­guage from a foreign language.

I think it’s really interesting to meet peo­ple from other cultures and to communicate with them in their own language. I think of my best friends. Only a few are native English speakers. I have good friends in Russia, France, Holland, Iceland, Czech, Slovakia and Slovenia, all over, and it really gives me the opportunity to travel and broaden my mind. I think I will probably learn another language at some point. I think it may be Swedish, but only because I’ve heard that it’s really easy, or maybe Italian, I suppose.

I don’t really have any desire to learn ori­ental languages like Chinese or Japanese, I don’t know why. I have to have some kind of affection for the sound of a language, I think, before I want to learn it.

Ex.2. Suggest the Russian equivalents to the English ones.

Nerve-racking, to have a crash coarse, to be convinced, to be imaginative, to frustrate, to terrify, to pounce, to establish a contact, to be an impatient person, to confuse, to be concerned, to have a bizarre point of view, to have other ways of thinking, to be incredibly arrogant, to have some similarities, appropriate, to force a language down somebody’s throat, to be embarrassed, expatriate world, to be reticent, to tackle something, to be outraged, complicated, to dare, to consider, to tend, oriental, to get bored, to be fluent in the language, to be picky, to have a very good reputa­tion for, to learn on one’s own, to broaden mind, to get up to the same standard.

Ex.3. Suggest the English equivalents to the Russian ones.

Овладеть языком, быть уверенным, расстроить планы, путать, смущать, иметь странную точку зрения, соответствующий, смущаться, район эмигрантов, быть молчаливым, носители языка, оскорблять, надругаться, сложный, трудный для запоминания, осмелиться, принимать во внимание, стремиться, расширять, ожидать, высокомерный, обязательный, гордиться, общаться, невозможный, допускать, беглый, окружать, воспитывать, концентрироваться, сходство, сосед по комнате, интересоваться, произносить, вступление, уверенность, разговор, пугать, спорить, сосчитать до ста, быть понятным, негодовать, общий язык, с усердием браться, двуязычный, разборчивый, набрасываться, как попугай, ускоренный курс обучения разговорному языку, быть убеждённым, привязанность, очерк, быть неразговорчивым, плохо говорить на языке.

Ex.4. Fill in the gaps in the sentences.

  1. … the whole world speaks English.

  2. There are a lot of people who …, which…

  3. The teachers would be so concerned with … that nobody dared …

  4. Everybody can’t … to speak English.

  5. Everybody can’t …, it is necessary to want to learn it.

  6. Even after … Americans cannot speak any Hungarian.

  7. Vivien was a bit reticent about …

  8. English people are … that they accept all accents, and understand even when foreigners speak English very poorly.

  9. In Vivien’s opinion you … if you’re gonna have any idea about the lan­guage.

Ex.5. Complete the sentences.

  1. It’s important to learn any language because…

  2. If people don’t understand Englishmen, they are…

  3. Very complex poetry is untranslatable because…

  4. Everybody can easily learn more languages if…

  5. Vivien isn’t totally fluent in Russian because…

  6. Vivien could pick up Spanish quite quickly because…

  7. Learning Russian also gives…

  8. If Vivien goes to Russia she remembers the language immediately…

  9. Having a phrase book…

  10. Hungarians are not used to foreigners speaking their language and…

  11. The children were terrified of the teacher…

  12. Not really learning how to form sentences ourselves was…

  13. England doesn’t have…

  14. Vivien and her friend spent the whole time…

  15. Vivien liked translation and…

Ex.6. Are these statements true or false?

    1. Vivien doesn’t consider learning foreign languages to be important.

    2. Vivien thinks no point in learning a language which is not spoken outside the country.

    3. Vivien follows an American guy’s opinion that Budapest would be an English-speaking town.

    4. You can’t force a language down somebody’s throat.

    5. A woman, who has lived in Budapest for two years, feels sorry of the fact that she can’t say a word in Hungarian.

    6. English people abroad are outraged that people don’t understand them when they shout things loudly. Vivien shares this point of view.

    7. Vivien speaks Russian very fluently.

    8. Spanish is similar to the English language.

    9. Vivien doesn’t think she will be able to pick up Spanish.

    10. Studying languages is not an easy task though you’ve learnt one.

    11. Vivien thinks learning similar languages is difficult.

    12. Vivien learnt Italian in Italy. She was good at learning and especially at pronunciation.

    13. Hungarian native speakers are used to foreigners and they are very patient to them.

    14. The way of teaching French at school where Vivien learnt was perfect.

    15. Vivien, as a beginner, learnt Russian from native speakers to get up to the same standard of the group.

    16. Vivien studied foreign languages at crash courses. She considers it to be the best way of studying foreign languages.

    17. The time of the exams was very easy for her.

    18. It’s interesting to meet people from other cultures and to communicate with them in their own language.

Ex.7. Answer the questions.

  1. Why do many people think it’s not necessary to learn Hungarian or Swedish?

  2. What attitude do the Englishmen have?

  3. What does Vivien consider to be incredibly arrogant?

  4. What is the way of learning any language except facing it down somebody’s throat?

  5. What seems really strange to Vivien?

  6. Why are English people outraged sometimes?

  7. What point of view does Vivien consider to be bizarre?

  8. What works does Vivien consider to be untranslatable?

  9. When can you easily learn more languages in Vivien’s opinion?

  10. Why isn’t Vivien totally fluent in Russian?

  11. When is it much easier to remember any languages?

  12. Why does Vivien think that Spanish is quite an easy language to learn?

  13. Where can we store languages in Vivien’s opinion?

  14. Why did Vivien find Czech quite complicated?

  15. Why was Vivien a bit reticent about speaking and didn’t have much self-confidence when she went to Czechoslovakia?

  16. Why couldn’t Vivien learn Italian from her flat-mate?

  17. What does learning Russian give?

  18. Why does Vivien try to get a phrase book if she goes abroad?

  19. When do Hungarian people get bored quickly?

  20. How can you prove that English people are used to foreigners speaking English?

  21. Why were the school teachers very strict?

  22. How did Vivien learn French at school?

  23. What way of teaching languages did Vivien find to be very frustrating and unimaginative?

  24. Why was Vivien never entirely convinced that her Russian teacher knew which ending was correct?

  25. Why could Vivien have a chance to learn Russian at the University?

  26. Why does Vivien consider the standard of teaching of Russian better than at school?

  27. How has Vivien studied languages?

Ex.8. Translate the sentences into English.

  1. Студенты нашего университета стараются овладеть многими языками.

  2. Вы уверены в этом?

  3. Плохая погода не расстроила наших планов.

  4. Не пугайте меня! Я не боюсь сдавать экзамены!

  5. Кошка набросилась на мышь.

  6. Учитель смутил ученика трудными вопросами.

  7. У моего коллеги странная точка зрения по этому вопросу.

  8. У Вас имеются нужные инструменты, чтобы починить стиральную машинку?

  9. Она всегда смущалась при встрече с ним.

  10. Несомненно, в Нью-Йорке есть район, где проживают эмигранты разных национальностей.

  11. Наш сосед сдержанный человек. Он держит свои эмоции и чувства в себе.

  12. К сожалению, люди часто оскорбляют друг друга.

  13. Этот материал слишком трудный для меня, чтобы я мог его запомнить.

  14. Как Вы осмелились поговорить с вашим учителем об этом!

  15. Пожалуйста, рассмотрите нашу точку зрения.

  16. Сейчас фермы стремятся больше использовать сельскохозяйственную технику.

  17. Чтение книг полезно для расширения кругозора.

  18. Мы ожидали, что Ник приедет.

  19. С высокомерными людьми трудно общаться.

  20. Изучение иностранного языка является обязательным условием в высшей школе.

  21. Ваши родители гордятся Вами?

  22. Он никогда не смущается, потому что у него развито чувство уверенности в себе.

  23. Знание иностранного языка необходимо для общения с иностранными коллегами.

  24. Невозможно увидеться с ним сегодня. Он очень занят переводом статьи.

  25. Я допускаю, что он не сказал Вам об этом.

  26. Наш учитель бегло говорит по-английски.

  27. Дети окружили учителя. Они были рады видеть его снова.

  28. Кто воспитывает Ваших детей? – Бабушка.

  29. Сконцентрируйте свое внимание, пожалуйста.

  30. Вы похожи на своих родителей?

  31. Мы с моим соседом по комнате делим комнату в общежитии.

  32. Чем Вы интересуетесь?

  33. Произнесите это предложение по-английски.

  34. Представьте меня Вашим коллегам, пожалуйста.

  35. Знания придают человеку уверенность.

  36. Почему их разговор был коротким?

  37. В лесу было темно, и это напугало детей.

  38. Когда Мэри вошла в комнату, она увидела, что дети спорили по поводу прогулки.

Ex.9. Give a summary of the text.

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