Boost up your speech skills
Unit 9. COUNTRIES AND CAPITALS

Unit 9. COUNTRIES AND CAPITALS

ACTIVE VOCABULARY

9.1. Listening Development

Assignment 1. Listen to the recording to Unit 9. On the map below follow the places mentioned in the recording.

Track Listing Recording
1. The Thames
2. Big Ben
3. The Ministry of Defence
4. Downing Street
5. The Banqueting House
6. Horse Guards
7. Parade ground
8. Old military fortress
9. The Mall
10. Trafalgar Square
11. Watson's bank
12. Great Scotland Yard
13. The Grand
14. The Sherlock Holmes Pub

Assignment 2. Listen to the recording to Unit 9 again. Chose 5 places out of 14 mentioned and give their summarized descriptions on a separate sheet of paper.

9.2. Vocabulary Enrichment

Assignment 1. In the list of words below a number of letters are missing from each. Identify them.


  1. comerial (1,1)
  2. oshore (2)
  3. nothen (1,1)
  4. valble (2)
  5. plo (3)
  6. hbr (2,2)
  7. strt (2)
  8. strait (2)
  9. varty (2)
  10. sne (2)
  11. sceny (2)
  12. sharly (1)
  13. weat (1)
  14. areciate (2)
  15. chael (2)
  16. cnl (1,1)
  17. cro (1,1)
  18. glie (3)
  19. spemen (2)
  20. sis (3)

Assignment 2. Write all possible English equivalents of:


  1. территория -
  2. представлять, обозначать -
  3. поражать -
  4. вид, панорама -
  5. располагаться, находиться -
  6. граница -
  7. различный, разнообразный -
  8. ценить, оценивать -
  9. разнообразить, менять -
  10. канал, пролив -
  11. форма, очертание -
  12. осматривать город -
  13. великолепный, замечательный -
  14. берег, побережье -
  15. быть известным, славиться за что-либо -
  16. относиться к Х веку -
  17. показывать, демонстрировать -
  18. площадь -
  19. пейзаж, ландшафт -
  20. сохранять, беречь -

Assignment 3. Give the opposite of:


  • worthy
  • human
  • to connect
  • to be of great value
  • deep, serious
  • regular
  • include
  • shapely
  • to flow from
  • favourable
  • to do good to smth
  • sociable
  • demand
  • up-to-date, modern
  • to attract
  • to distract, to put off
  • to do harm to smth
  • unworthy
  • minor
  • to exclude
  • inhuman
  • unsociable
  • to be of no value, to be insignificant
  • to flow into
  • irregular
  • unshapely
  • out-of-date, old-fashioned, conservative, ancient, out-of-the-arc
  • unfavourable
  • supply
  • to disconnect

Assignment 4. Join the words of two columns, use prepositions where necessary:


  1. a piece
  2. to go
  3. to have
  4. to flow
  5. to be covered
  6. to be rich
  7. a bus
  8. to be named
  9. to be
  10. a monument
  11. to have /to be
  12. to date
  13. to be cast
  14. to keep
  • cold
  • the sea
  • double-decker
  • bronze
  • 11th century
  • surprise
  • Yanka Kupala
  • a tour
  • snow
  • memory
  • wheat
  • a glimpse
  • advice
  • minerals
  • little value

Assignment 5. Sort out the words of the two columns to form compound words.


line eastern scape made lying
port ways man shore land
shore covered kind piece land
man covered line
  1. cut-...
  2. up...
  3. low...
  4. plough...
  5. land...
  6. snow-...
  7. heather-...
  8. man-...
  9. man...
  10. low-...
  11. water...
  12. south-...
  13. off...
  14. master...
  15. sea...
  16. states...

Assignment 6. All these abbreviations reflect certain phenomena. See if you can identify all of them.


Before Christ metre square kilometer street Headquarters, High Quality
Anno Domini British North-West Government continent
Greenwich Mean Time degree the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland Member of the Parliament feet
  1. UK - ...
  2. m - ...
  3. sq km - ...
  4. HQ - ...
  5. AD - ...
  6. BC - ...
  7. Brit - ...
  8. st - ...
  9. cont - ...
  10. deg - ...
  11. NW - ...
  12. ft - ...
  13. GMT - ...
  14. MP - ...
  15. gov(t) - ...

Assignment 7. Guess the word.


  1. : design and construction of buildings, style of a building;
  2. : financial transactions, esp. buying and selling; trading;
  3. : upsetting of feelings, insult;
  4. : avoidance of saying all one knows or feels, or more than is necessary;
  5. : subjects concerned with human culture, e.g. language, literature, and history;
  6. : high respect, public regard;
  7. : anything enduring that serves to commemorate or celebrate, esp. a structure or building;
  8. : unexpected or astonishing thing;
  9. : outstanding piece of artistry or workmanship;
  10. : deserving respect, estimable;
  11. : official residence of a sovereign, president, archbishop, or bishop;
  12. : belonging to the family of a king or a queen;
  13. : one as an example of a class;
  14. : a person or thing seeming to conform to a widely accepted type, such a type, idea, or attitude;
  15. : to make (articles), esp. on an industrial scale.

Assignment 8. Here are the descriptions from a tourist guide book of some towns and cities in Britain. Read the descriptions and fill in the gaps with the adjectives given.

1.

ancient majestic narrow winding chief
medieval provincial

NORWICH was one of the ... ... cities of ... England. When its walls were constructed (from 1197 to 1223), they enclosed almost a square mile, an area as big as that of the City of London. By that time it had become the capital of East Anglia. Its ... cathedral and the ... ... streets around it still remind the visitor of those ... times.

2.

seaside cheerful Royal lively alive
eccentric

BRIGHTON is the ... resort on the English Channel. Only 50 miles (80 km) from London, it offers a good variety of ... entertainment. It is a ... place, bustling and crowded in the summer, but ... at every season of the year. Its ... pavilion is a masterpiece of ... English architecture.

3.

broad (2) great enormous

LIVERPOOL, a port in the north west of England, has a quality that is not found in quite the same way anywhere else in England: the quality of grandeur. Liverpool has this grandeur in its site on the ... Mersey river (more than half a mile wide) with the houses rising above it; in its ... dock buildings, its ... streets, and its two castles.

Assignment 9. Translate into English.


1. Не стоит кататься по Темзе сегодня, идет проливной дождь.
2. Специальные туристические автобусы отправляются на двухчасовые турне вокруг города.
3. Подобно другим столичным городам Лондон вырос вдоль главной реки.
4. Римляне превратили маленькое кельтское поселение в крупный торговый центр.
5. Подобно тому, как Флит Стрит обозначает газетные офисы, Даунинг Стрит является официальным домом премьер-министра.
6. Мост Ватерлоо был назван в честь победы в 1815 году.
7. Знаменитый Биг Бен бьет каждые четверть часа.
8. Английский флот под командованием Нельсона разгромил объединенный флот Франции и Испании в 1805 году.
9. Победа была выиграна ценой жизни Нельсона.
10. Лондон доминирует в британской жизни.
11. Высокая колонна с фигурой Нельсона на верхушке охраняется четырьмя бронзовыми львами.
12. Сердце Лондона – Сити, его коммерческий и деловой центр.
13. Собор Святого Павла был построен известным английским архитектором сэром Кристофером Реном.
14. Тауэр Лондона был перестроен в 1066 году.
15. В настоящее время, как и много веков назад, церемония передачи ключей происходит у ворот Тауэра.

9.3. Reading Improvement

Assignment 1. You are going to read a booklet about wonders of Belarus. Chose from the list A – H the most suitable heading for each part of the booklet (1–8). There is an example at the beginning (1).


A. The Bible of Francisk Skorina B. The Church of Syncovichi C. “Belovezhskaya Pushcha” National Park D. The Sacred-Cross of St. Euphrosinia of Polotsk E. The Belts of Slutsk
F. The Statute of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania G. The Castle of Nesvizh H. The Castle of Mir

8 WONDERS OF BELARUS

Dear Travellers,

It’s quite natural that the name of this tour is associated with “7 Wonders of the World” of ancient times. They were: the Egyptian Pyramids, the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus, the Artemision at Ephesus, the Colossus of Rhodes, the Olympian Zeus Statue by Phidias and Pharos Lighthouse at Alexandria.

Each of those beautiful objects was the unsurpassed masterpiece of art, the monument of human genius. Unfortunately, most of them do not exist anymore. But the mankind is always rich in talents and our Belarus can be the example.

The tour offered will get you acquainted with 8 Wonders of Belarus belonging to the world heritage and created by outstanding Belarussian architects, craftsmen and thinkers… of our glorious past, namely:

1. D. The Sacred-Cross of St. Euphrosinia of Polotsk (12th cent.), a benefactress and the holy Mother Superior of Belarus. Made in 1161 by a famous medieval jeweller Lazar Bogsha, the cross had a fraction of the wooden cross on which Jesus Christ had been crucifixed. The original cross was lost during World War II. In 1997 the duplicate was made and now is kept in the town of Polotsk.



2. ... (16th cent.), the outstanding Belarusian enlightener and the founder of Belarusian book printing. The Bible was printed in 1517 in the city of Prague. The Bible of Skorina ranks number 2 in the world among Holy Writs printed in native language (Number 1 is the Czech Bible of 1488).

3. ... (GDL) (16th cent.), one of the largest multinational European States at the end of the 14th century. Belarusians predominated among the population of GDL and Belarusian was the state language. The famous Statute (the Constitution) of GDL – one of the progressive constitutions of the medieval Europe was written in Belarusian and was valid during two and a half centuries.

4. ... (15th cent., Grodno region), one of the unique buildings in Belarus – the church and the fortress at the same time;

5. __ (16th cent., 110 km from Minsk, the capital of Belarus), designed for the Radzivills, medieval Belarusian magnates by famous Italian architecture Giovanni Maria Bernardoni. The Castle enters UNESCO List of World Heritage.

6. ... (16th cent., 110 km from Minsk, the capital of Belarus), one of the largest fortress-castle in Eastern Europe. The castle enters UNESCO List of World Heritage.

7. ... (18th cent., Minsk region) , the precious masterpiece of Belarusian weaving. Their length was more than 2 meters and width up to 40 centimetres. The experienced weaver could make about 10 of those belts only for the whole year.

8. ... (near the city of Brest on the Belarusian–Polish border), the symbol of Belarus, the largest and ancient forest reserve in Central Europe, known since 13th cent. It’s area in Belarus – 87.5 thousand hectares. Since 1992 the Park is in UNESCO list of World Heritage.

Welcome to the World of Belarusian Wonders!

Assignment 2. You are going to read a short article about one of the sights of Minsk. Six sentences have been removed from the article. Choose from sentences A – F the ones which fit each gap (1 – 6).

ISLE OF TEARS


While visiting the memorial, the relatives of the victims have the possibility to fire the candle near each name. The main icon is the Saint Mother of Belarus. Each element of the memorial is of deep historical and philosophical sense. This is a peculiar monument to those 'Afghans' who have died of physical and moral wounds after their return home. The rubble was placed there as the starting point of the memorial to be, as early as 1988.
Some of them have icons in their hands, the others have the portraits of sons.

A small bent bridge over the Svisloch curve leads to the Isle of Tears. Unveiling of the memorial to "the Sons of Motherland Perished Abroad" (sculpture Yu. Pavlov, architects M. Korolev, T. Koroleva-Pavlova, V. Laptsevich, G. Pavlova, A. Pavlov, D. Khomiakov) was held there on the 3rd August 1996.

In front of the memorial there is rubble with the bronze icon of the Mother of God and the inscription to explain the concept of the memorial. ...

The monument simulates the temple. It is based on 16 piles deepened into the swampy soil and fortified with the boulders. ... Planned as the memorial to the soldiers perished in Afghanistan, it has essentially become the monument to the sons and daughters of Belarus killed in the battlefields at all times. This symbol becomes still more significant if one remembers that the history of the mankind is the history of wars, however regretful it may be.

About 30 thousand of the Belarusians and the natives of the Republic participated in the war in Afghanistan. 771 of them have never come back.

In the centre of the memorial are the figures of grieving women, personifying all Belarusian mothers mourning over their sons who have not come back from the war. ... The mothers in front are holding the lamps like warmth and light of their home fireplace. They still hope their sons will come back. The figures behind have petrified of grief...

The shape of the memorial resembles that of Ephrossinia of Polotsk Church in Polotsk, in its original patters as it existed in the XI century. Inside the monument there are four alcoves with the names of 771 soldiers lost in Afghanistan engraved. ...

Each alcove encloses the icons and the bronze candlesticks under the icons. For the icons' painting the encaustic technique (wax painting) was used. Such painting is made in hot, melted paints, with white wax as a binding agent. This technique has been known since the Ancient Egypt epoch. Both the icons and the entire inner part fresco are made using such encaustic technique.

... Our long-suffering Belarus is presented as a Mother whose sons have come to worship her: the ancient warriors in armours, the soldiers of 1941-1945, the "afghans"...

The icon Ephrossinia of Polotsk – the Protectress of the Belarusian people has something in common with the previous one. Saint Ephrossinia on her knees, her hands like outstretched wings, she tries to cover and protect her people from the enemies: the Teutonic knights and German fascist invaders... in wind blasts. The sound joins the bell it rings, echoing in our hearts like voice of the perished.

Another element of the memorial is a guardian angel. ... The Angel is weeping, as has failed to perform his sacred mission to guard the soldiers against death.

The rubbles represent one of the essential elements of the memorial, they embody the names of the Afghanistan provinces where the Soviet troops have been located and operated.

The finishing part of the memorial is a symbolic commemoration table for funeral repast to gather relatives, members of families and friends of the perished "Afghans" on memorable dates.

9.4. Writing Enhancement

Assignment 1. Write a memo for your business partners starting with “When visiting Belarus a few simple rules of etiquette may be useful…” Cover such topics as customs, ways to behave in church, dress code, superstitions, etc.

Assignment 2. Make a booklet about the sights of your home city.

9.5. Speaking Reinforcement

Assignment 1. How much do you know about the UK? Answer the following questions.

  1. What does G.B. stand for? Which countries does it include?
  2. What does U.K. stand for? Which countries does it include?
  3. Name Queen Elizabeth II’s husband.
  4. How many children does the Queen have?
  5. Who is the heir to the throne?
  6. What is the name of the leading party in Great Britain?
  7. Name the leader of this party.
  8. Who is the Head of the English Church?
  9. Name two languages spoken in Wales.
  10. Name the British flag.
  11. What do we call the song “God save the Queen?”
  12. Name one London Concert Hall.
  13. Name a London theatre.
  14. Name one very expensive shopping street in London.
  15. What are these places famous for?
    • Parliament Square
    • Downing Street
    • The City
  16. What do these abbreviations stand for: EC, BA, DIY, GP, Esq., MP, PM, BC, BBC?
  17. How old do you have to be in GB to:
    • leave school?
    • vote?
    • enter a pub and buy an alcoholic drink?
  18. Name one tabloid British newspaper.
  19. Name a London football team.
  20. Complete this proverb: “It never rains …”

Assignment 2. Do we generally use the definite or no article with the names of the following geographical features and places? Tick the appropriate column in the table below. Think of at least one particular example of each geographical feature or place (preferably from the map of the UK or Belarus). Provide exceptions if any. Get ready to say what you know about those places.

Geographical places

THE

Ø

Exceptions (if any)

Rivers
Mountains
Mountain ranges or groups
Islands
Groups of islands
Deserts
Continents
Towns
Cities
Villages
Parks
Zoos
Seas
Oceans
Lakes
Countries (name is a single word)
Countries (name includes a word like Republic or United
Streets
Cinemas
Theatres
Museums
Hotels
Ships
Churches
Cathedrals
Airports
Train stations
Bus stations
Squares in towns and cities
Underground or subway stations

Assignment 3. Look at the following list of proper names in London and decide which ones are used with the definite article. Then think of any place in Minsk that may denote a similar geographical feature. Make your own sentences using these proper names and the active vocabulary units.

London versus Minsk

LONDON

MINSK

___ Thames
___ Trafalgar Square
___ Piccadilly Circus
___ Leicester Square
___ East End
___ North London
___ South London
___ Covent Garden
___ National Portrait Gallery
___ Westminster Abbey
___ Houses of Parliament
___ Big Ben
___ Downing St
___ Tate Britain
___ Buckingham Palace
___ Windsor Castle
___ St James's Park
___ St James's Palace
___ British Museum
___ St Paul's Cathedral
___ Natural History Museum
___ Hyde Park
___ Speaker's Corner
___ Serpentine
___ Victoria and Albert Museum
___ Science Museum
___ Kensington Gardens
___ City
___ Tower
___ Whitehall
___ Oxford Street
___ Mall
___ Tower Bridge
___ Heathrow Airport
___ London Bridge
___ Scotland Yard
___ Nelson's Column
___ Soho

Assignment 4. Supply articles where necessary. Be prepared to work in pairs asking each other questions about the British Isles.

___ British Isles is a group of islands off ___ northwest coast of ___ continental Europe comprising ___ Great Britain, ___ Ireland and a number of smaller islands.

There are two sovereign states located on the islands: ___ United Kingdom of Great Britain and ___ Northern Ireland and ___ Republic of Ireland. The group also includes ___ Crown dependencies of ___ Isle of Man and, by tradition, ___ Channel Islands, although the latter are not physically a part of the archipelago.

There are more than 6,000 islands in the group, the largest two being ___ Great Britain and ___ Ireland. ___ Great Britain is to ___ east and covers 216,777 km² (83,698 square miles), over half of the total landmass of the group. ___ Ireland is to ___ west and covers 84,406 km² (32,589 square miles). The largest of the other islands are to be found in ___ Hebrides, Orkney and Shetland to ___ north, Anglesey and ___ Isle of Man between ___ Great Britain and ___ Ireland, and ___ Channel Islands near the coast of ___ France. The islands are at relatively low altitudes, with ___ central Ireland and ___ southern Great Britain particularly low lying: the lowest point in the islands is ___ Fens at −4 m (−13 ft). ___ Scottish Highlands in ___ northern part of ___ Great Britain are mountainous, with ___ Ben Nevis being the highest point in ___ British Isles at 1,344 m (4,409 ft). Other mountainous areas include ___ Wales and parts of the island of ___ Ireland, but only seven peaks in these areas reach above 1,000 m (3,281 ft). Lakes on the islands are generally not large, although ___ Lough Neagh in ___ Northern Ireland is an exception, covering 381 km² (147 square miles); the largest freshwater body in ___ Great Britain is ___ Loch Lomond at 71.1 km² (27.5 square miles). Neither are rivers particularly long, the rivers ___ Severn at 354 km (219 miles) and ___ Shannon at 386 km (240 miles) being the longest.

___ British Isles have a temperate marine climate, ___ North Atlantic Drift ("Gulf Stream") which flows from ___ Gulf of Mexico brings with it significant moisture and raises temperatures 11°C (20°F) above the global average for the islands' latitudes. Winters are thus warm and wet, with summers mild and also wet.

Assignment 5. Fill in prepositions. Then see how much you can remember from these two texts and what information not mentioned in them you can add on the topics of the British Isles and London. If you were asked to cover an English teacher, what would your presentation on these topics be like? Get ready to give it to your groupmates.

Part A.

Just ___ the coast ___ the mainland ___ north-western Europe and only nineteen miles distant ___ it ___ the nearest point lies the small group ___ islands known as the British Isles.

The British Islands include Great Britain, Ireland and a number ___ small islands. Great Britain consists ___ England, Scotland and Wales. The southern two thirds ___ Ireland are occupied ___ the Irish Republic which borders ___ Northern Ireland.

Great Britain is a region ___ varied lowlands, rolling hills and few mountains. Although the highest peak, Ben Nevis ___ the Grampians ___ Scotland, rises ___ 4,400 feet, such heights seldom occur. The Pennine Range ___ northern England rises only slightly ___ 3,000 feet, as do the Cambrian mountains ___ Wales.

___ the extreme south ___ England are the famed chalk hills some ___ which form the Dover Cliffs.

The rivers ___ the region are short and ___ general flow ___ the central and southern lowlands ___ surrounding seas. Many ___ them are connected ___ each other ___ canals. The coast ___ the British Isles are washed ___ the Atlantic Ocean, the Norwegian, North and Irish Seas and two big channels (the English Channel and the North Channel).

Part B.

London is the capital and largest urban area ___ England and the United Kingdom. ___ its core, the ancient City of London, ___ which the name historically belongs, still retains its limited mediaeval boundaries; but since ___ least the 19th century the name "London" has also referred ___ the whole metropolis which has developed around it. Today the bulk ___ this conurbation forms the London region ___ England and the Greater London administrative area, ___ its own elected mayor and assembly.

An important settlement ___ two millennia, London's history goes ___ ___ its founding ___ the Romans. Since its settlement, London has been the centre ___ many important movements and phenomena ___ history such as the English Renaissance, the Industrial Revolution, and the Gothic Revival. ___ light of this, the city has become one of the most popular tourist destinations ___ the world which has increased ___ the years due ___ the city's economic growth. London boasts three World Heritage Sites; these include Palace of Westminster, the Tower of London, and the historic settlement of Greenwich. It is one of the world's leading business, financial, and cultural centres, and its influence ___ politics, education, entertainment, media, fashion and the arts all contribute ___ its status as a major global city.

London has an official population ___ 7,512,400 (as of mid-2006) ___ the boundaries of Greater London and is the most populous municipality in the European Union. The urban area of London extends ___ the limits of Greater London and has a population of 8,278,251 (as of 2001). The metropolitan area is estimated to have a population ___ ____ 12 and 14 million. London's diverse population draws ___ a wide range of peoples, cultures, and religions, and ___ 300 different languages are spoken ___ the city. It is an international transport hub, ___ five major international airports serving the area and a large port. It serves as the largest aviation hub in the world, and the multi-terminal Heathrow Airport carries more international passengers than any other airport in the world.