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Иностранные языки I. Geography, History and Values of Ukraine and English-Speaking Countries
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UKRAINE AND ENGLISH-SPEAKING COUNTRIES

Task 1. Read the texts and fill in the table.

Geography of Ukraine

Ukraine is situated in the south-east of Europe. The territory of Ukraine is 603 700 square kilometres. Ukraine borders on Russia, Belarus, Poland, Moldova, Slovakia, Hungary, and Romania. Ukraine is larger than France and Great Britain but considerably smaller than Russia.

Landscape. The territory of Ukraine is mostly flat. There are the Carpathian Mountains in the west and the Crimean Mountains in the south, but they are not high.

Seas and Rivers. Ukraine’s washed by the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov. The main rivers are the Dnieper, the Dniester, the Bug and the Donets. The Dnieper is one of the longest European rivers and one of the main sources of hydroelectric power in the country. The coasts of the Azov Sea and the Black Sea are good for ports. There are a lot of big sea ports, for example, Odessa, Kherson, Mykolaiv, Izmail, Mariupol and Kerch.

Climateof Ukraine is determined by its geographical location. Since Ukraine lies in the south-eastern part of Central Europe rather far from the Atlantic Ocean and close to Asia, it has a moderate continental climate. In general the country’s climate is temperately continental, being subtropical only on the southern coast of the Crimea.

The geographical positionof Ukraine is very favourable because the country lies on the crossroads of the ways from Asia to Europe. Since the times of Kyivan Rus Ukrainian roads have been used for trade contacts.

Geography made Ukraine a traditionally agricultural country. The country is rich in natural resources, such as iron ore, coal, non-ferrous metals, oil, and gas.

Geography of Great Britain

Great Britain is situated on the British Isles. It consists of England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, and is one thirtieth the size of Europe. Great Britain is surrounded by seas on all sides and is separated from the continent by the North Sea and the English Channel.

Landscape. The territory of Great Britain is flat, hilly and mountainous. There are many mountains in the north of England and in Scotland but they are not very high. The highest mountain in Great Britain is Ben Nevis.

Seas and rivers. Great Britain is a sea country — there is no place in the country farther than 120 km from the sea. There are many rivers in Britain. They are not long but some of them are deep. The longest river is the Severn. There are many lakes in Scotland. The most beautiful is Loch Lomond.

The climatein Great Britain is generally mild and temperate due to the influence of the Gulf Stream. The south-western winds carry the warmth and moisture into Britain. The climate in Britain is usually described as cool, temperate and humid. British people say: ‘Other countries have a climate, in England we have weather.’ The weather in Britain changes very quickly. One day may be fine and the next day may be wet. The morning may be warm and the evening may be cool. Therefore it is natural for the people to use the comparison ‘as changeable as the weather’ of a person who often changes his mood or opinion about something. The weather is the favourite topic of conversation in Britain.

Great Britain has a very good position as it lies on the crossways of the sea routes from Europe to the other parts of the world. There are many countries which are connected with Great Britain by sea. Thanks to Gulf Stream the climate of Great Britain is mild. It is often foggy and rainy. The summer is not very hot and the winter is not very cold.

Geography made the UK a highly developed industrial country. It lives by manufacture and trade. Its agriculture provides only half the food it needs, the other half of its food has to be imported. Britain is one of the most highly industrialised countries in the world: for every person employed in agriculture, eleven are employed in mining, manufacturing and building. The main branches of British economy are engineering, mining, ship-building, motor vehicle manufacturing, textile, chemistry, electronics, fishing and food processing. The industrial centres of Great Britain are London, Manchester, Birmingham, Leeds, Liverpool, Sheffield and others.

Geography of the USA

The USA is situated in the central part of the North American continent. The total area is over 9 million square kilometres. The USA borders on the Pacific Ocean on the west coast, the Atlantic Ocean on the east coast, and the Gulf of Mexico to the south. It also borders on the countries of Canada to the north and Mexico to the southwest.

The landscapeof the country is very diverse. The USA is divided onto three areas: the Eastern area — a high land, the Central area — a plain, and the western area being mountainous and containing the Rocky Mountains and the Sierra Nevada.

Seas, lakes and rivers. The Northern part of the USA has the region of the five Great Lakes (Superior, Huron, Michigan, Erie, Ontario) which are connected by natural channels, cut by rapids. The greatest of these rapids is the Niagara Falls. The principal rivers of the USA are the Mississippi, the longest river in the world (17,800 kilometres) which flows into the Gulf of Mexico, the Colorado and the Columbia, which flow into the Pacific Ocean, and the Hudson River, which flows into the Atlantic Ocean.

The geographical positionof the country is very favourable because the climate of the USA differs greatly from one part of the country to another. The coldest climate is in the north, the south has a subtropical climate. The climate along the Pacific coast is much warmer than that of the Atlantic coast.

Geography made the USA a world leader in industrial and agricultural resources. The USA is divided into regions that have different kinds of land and climate, different ways of living and working, and their own characteristics and problems. And each has its own groups of people whose origin and traditions make them different from any of the others.

Facts Ukraine The UK The USA
The country is situated… _____________________   _____________________   _____________________  
It borders on… It is surrounded by… _____________________   _____________________   _____________________  
Landscape _____________________   _____________________   _____________________  
Seas, lakes and rivers _____________________   _____________________   _____________________  
Climate _____________________   _____________________   _____________________  
The geographical position of … is very favourable because… _____________________   _____________________   _____________________  
Geography made … a… _____________________   _____________________   _____________________  

Task 2. Read the text and fill in the table to speak about the factors that formed the British character. Use the ‘Key Language’.

The British Character

Today the United Kingdom is a country made up of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Though very often the names ‘English’ or ‘England’ are used by many foreigners when they mean British or the United Kingdom, it’s very annoying for the people of Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, who are not English.

Political unification of these countries was a long process — Wales was joined with England in 1536; Scotland merged with England and Wales in 1707, when the English and Scottish Crowns were united by James Stuart. In 1800 the Irish Parliament was joined to the Parliament of Great Britain in Westminster. The British Isles remained a single state for 122 years — till 1922, when most of Ireland became separate except the six northern provinces.

The four nations of the UK differ in the following aspects:

· Racially. The Welsh, Scottish and Irish are the peoples of Celtic origin — they spoke the Celtic languages: Irish Gaelic, Scottish Gaelic and Welsh. The English are a race of Germanic origin. They spoke the Germanic dialect, which later developed into the English language.

· Socially. These nations have different economic, social and legal systems.

These differences are not so great today, though the dominant culture of Britain is the English culture — many aspects of life are organized according to English pattern, the system of politics is English and the English language is the main language for all these countries. It makes all the nations recognize the predominant English influence, but also feel their identity very strongly.

Britain differs from continental Europe in its cultural, political and social heritage, these differences shaped due to some historical and geographical factors.

Geographical factors:

· Separation from the continent. The British Isles are separated from the rest of Europe by a wide stretch of water, which made the access to the country difficult. Britain could not be invaded as easily as any other European country, so the British developed a sense of security, which can easily slide into superiority.

· Lack of extremes. Britain is a country with no geographical extremes. So British love of compromise is a result of the country’s geography and climate.

· Geographical identity. Britain is divided into some geographical areas, which give their inhabitants a sense of geographical identity. Geographical identity includes a certain accent or dialect and some stereotyped image. In England, for example, people are divided geographically into northerners and southerners. Northerners consider themselves tougher, more honest and warm hearted than southerners.

Historical factors:

· The last successful invasion in Britain was in the 11th century. For nearly one thousand years Britain has not been invaded by foreigners. This gave the British a sense of self-confidence, which developed through this time.

· England became one of the richest European countries in the High Middle Ages. This process was a result of the wool-trade, cloth-making, merchant adventure, and exploration. In 1497 Andrea Trevisano, Venetian ambassador to the court of Henry VII wrote: ‘The riches of England are greater than those of any country of Europe … there is no small innkeeper, however poor and humble he may be, who does not serve his table with silver dishes and drinking cups… From time immemorial the English wear fine clothes’. Many travellers also noticed British egocentrism, self-confidence, pride and contempt for foreigners.

· The Reformation of the Church and separation from Rome. The reformed religion gave rise to many other protestant movements that spread all over the globe. People believed in the main doctrine of Protestantism — predestination. The live of every person was considered to be predestined by God, so people had to work hard to become what they were created to be. The Bible was considered to be the only source of understanding God — it minimized the impact of priests on ordinary people. Today the Anglican Church is considered one of the most liberal churches in the world.

· The Industrial Revolution of the 18th–19th centuries. Invention of new machines and building a big number of mills and factories established capitalism as mode of production. This process made the country ‘the world workshop’ and developed the British feeling of independence and uniqueness.

· The process of colonization. The British felt the necessity to bring their culture to the rest of the world as a model of development for the colonies.

· The formation of the biggest empire in the world. The Empire added to the feeling of superiority and independence, which was expressed in the policy of ‘brilliant isolation’, which Britain followed up to WWI.

Factors that Influenced the Formation of the British Character Traits of the British Character
Geography ________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________  
A wide stretch of water between the British Isles and Europe.
Lack of geographical extremes — there are no very long rivers, very high mountains and deep canyons. ________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________  
Britain is a sea country — no place there is 120 km far from the sea. ________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________  
History ________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________  
Britain was successfully invaded by the foreigners in 1066, since that time there has been no invasions.
England became ahead of other European countries since the High Middle Ages. ________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________  
The Reformation of the Church and separation from the Roman Pope. ________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________  
The Industrial Revolution that made the country ‘the world workshop’. ________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________  
The formation of the British Empire on which ‘the sun never sets’. ________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________  

Key Language

Expressing Cause/Reason Due to/Owing to (extreme heat)… Seeing that (the heat is so extreme)…
Expressing Effect/Result (The weather is) so (cold) that… For this reason… / As a consequence…

Task 3. Read the text and fill in the tables to speak about the factors that formed the American character. Use the ‘Key Language of Effect/Result’ (task 2).

The American Character

The character of every nation is formed on certain values, and even if people can’t tell you exactly what values they live by there are different researches and opinions to show what are the beliefs the people live with. The character is inseparable from the nation’s history and geography, and American character is not the exception. Though it is often said that America is a nation with abundance of geography but shortage of history, both geographical and historical factors shaped the character of American nation.

Geographical factors:

· Territory. The USA occupies a large territory that was subdued in less than four centuries, and even today the country is sparsely populated. The struggle to conquer the land still looms in the nation’s memory. Large territories contributed to the idea of privacy that is so important for many Americans.

· Two large oceans that separate America from Asia and Europe isolated Americans from political threats of Asian and European countries. These natural buffers allowed Americans not to maintain large armies through the course of history. However, natural boundaries made the country difficult to reach until modern means of communication were developed and thus contributed to the feeling of insularity — many Americans viewed European affairs as something distant and not worth paying attention to. Even today many Americans are not interested in foreign affairs and lack knowledge of geography.

· The wealth of environments allowed the nation become self-sufficient in agriculture and most basic minerals.

· The reputation of America as geographic bounty brought to the country floods of immigrants all over the world.

· A magnificent system of waterways hooked the territory together and made travel cheap for goods and people allowing a degree of mobility (both geographical and social) unknown in most parts of the world.

Historical factors:

· Puritan immigration. Though Puritans were not the first people who came to the New World and later their colonies did not comprise the biggest portion of the land, they were among the most lasting settlers. Besides, their values were very important to survival on the new land: self-reliance, hard work, frugal living and the guidance of individual conscience. Puritans were also noted for considering earthly success a sign of God’s favour and believed that making money cannot prevent form entering the kingdom of heaven. Today the traces of the Puritan doctrine — ‘people get what they deserve’ remain a part of American mentality. It makes Americans respect businesspeople and put much emphasis on making and possessing money. Puritans’ work ethic (often called ‘the Protestant work ethic’) also remains a part of American life, showing how important the hard work is.

· Immigration from different countries.America is a land of immigrants, and this fact shapes the values and attitudes in the society. During the centuries of immigration Americans developed a new kind of society, different from the Old World where they had arrived from. Consequently, life in the New World developed in the newcomers such traits as equality and value of the fair competition. The first colonists came to America from rather segregated societies, where class and status shaped individual’s rights and opportunities. Unlike the Old World, new land did not favour class division; instead, it favoured personal skills and abilities. ‘Any man’s son may become equal of other man’s son,’ wrote Fanny Trollope while visiting the USA in 1831, ‘and the consciousness of this is certainly a spur to exertion.’ Belief that any man can achieve his dream remains crucial for American society today. It is can be done with the fair competition, so competitiveness is emphasized everywhere — in the family, at school, and in the office. The value of competitiveness is also reflected in the economic system, which is based on the free enterprise. The competitive economy of the USA shows its positive sides to the consumer — due to the competition the prices are often getting lower while the quality of production rises.

· The War for Independence. This historical event no doubt remains an important milestone that shaped American character and relations inside and outside the country. The Declaration of Independence, one of the most important American documents, stressed the idea of independence and equality, stating that ‘all men are created equal’. This idea of egalitarian society — a society of equals is clearly traced in America today. People believe that they have equal opportunities in life. The whole system traditionally contributes to the sense that everybody plays the same rules. Egalitarianism — the equality of people is also vividly seen in people’s behaviour. It’s quite natural to call your teacher by the first name and not to treat people of high position in a differential manner. People of the lower class are often treated as if they are very important and people of high position are treated as everybody’s equals.

· Frontier. The frontier much contributed to the mentality of Americans, as people came to new places, where no doctors and nurses could be found and the means of communication were a big problem. The frontier experience played a significant role in the formation of American stressing such features as egalitarianism, privacy, freedom, inventiveness, and self-reliance. Inventiveness developed in the people who came to the places in wilderness, and without self-reliance living in the new place was impossible. As government could not provide much help, the frontier people had to take care of themselves — men protected the houses with guns and in times of danger people worked together. On the frontier people also lived far apart from each other (the true frontiersman is said to pick up stakes and move as soon as he could smell his neighbour’s chimney smoke). This life style certainly contributed to the ideas of privacy and freedom that remain crucial for Americans today.

Geographical Factors American Values
  _________________________________________________________________  
  _________________________________________________________________  
  _________________________________________________________________  
  _________________________________________________________________  
Historical Factors American Values
Arrival of Puritans _________________________________________________________________  
Immigration _________________________________________________________________  
War for Independence _________________________________________________________________  
Life on the Frontier _________________________________________________________________  

Task 4. Read the text and fill in the tables to speak about the factors that formed the Ukrainian character. Use the ‘Key Language of Effect/Result’ (task 2).

The Ukrainian Character

Ukrainians are a very old ethnic group with unique traditions and a distinguished character. Though as an independent state we are very young, we can talk about the geographical and historical factors that have shaped the Ukrainian character.

Geographical factors:

· Geographical position. Historically Ukraine occupies a large territory in the centre of Europe on the crossroads of many important trading routes. This made the country open to many influences, which is seen in the racial and religious toleration usually displayed by Ukrainians. Ukrainians are said to be ‘naturally’ egalitarian people.

· Wealth of environments. Ukraine is a very beautiful country and this beauty left a great impact on the nation. Ukrainians are often called ‘natural Buddhists’ taking into consideration their love to nature and earth. All Ukrainian villages are built in picturesque places, the houses are surrounded by orchards and many flowers from these orchards are the symbols of Ukraine (e.g. mallows (калина) and guilder rose (мальва).

· Abundance of arable fertile lands. More Ukrainians have always lived in villages than in towns, till the middle of the 19th century 90% of Ukrainians lived in the country. Ukrainian country mentality is based on family togetherness, hospitality and numerous traditions connected with the year cycle.

Historical factors:

· Constant wars on Ukrainian territory. The wars created a peculiar Ukrainian personality — rather individualistic and focused on family. The Ukrainian peasant is distinguished, above all, by his earnest and sedate appearance. According to the view of the Ukrainian, life is not merely a terrible struggle for existence, opposing man to hard necessity at every turn; life, in itself, is the object of contemplation, life affords possibilities for pleasure and feeling, life is beautiful, and its aesthetic aspect must, at all times and in all places, be highly respected. We find a similar view among the peoples of antiquity. In the present time, this view is very unpractical for nations with wide spheres of activity. At all events this characteristic of the Ukrainian people is the sign of an old, lofty, individual culture, and here, too, is the origin of the noted ‘aristocratic democracy’ of the Ukrainians. Other foundations of the individuality of the Ukrainian are the results of the gloomy historical past of the nation. It is the origin, first of all, of the generally melancholy individuality, taciturnity, suspicion, scepticism, and even a certain indifference to daily life. The ultimate foundations of the individualism of the Ukrainian are derived from his historic and political traditions; preference for extreme individualism, liberty, equality and popular government.

· Absence of independent state. For many years Ukrainians did not have their own state so any state power in Ukraine for a long time associated with imposing the rules that were alien to Ukrainians. Any government usually finds an equal number of opponents and proponent, but the most difficult question is the division of power. Very often it is connected with some sort of anarchy and fight. The idea that all people originally have equal rights (egalitarianism) is also reflected in Ukrainian tradition to divide all patrimony equally between all children in the family.

· Cossacks. Because of the conjunction of certain geographic and social conditions, a special social group — the Ukrainian Cossacks — arose in Ukraine as an attempt of the Ukrainian population to liberate itself from under the control of the nobility. The name Cossack (Ukrainian: kozak) is derived from the Turkic kazak (free man). By the end of the 15th century this name was applied to those Ukrainians who went into the steppes to practice various trades and engage in hunting, fishing, beekeeping, and so on. The history of the Ukrainian Cossacks has three distinct aspects: their struggle against the Tatars and the Turks in the steppe and on the Black Sea; their participation in the struggle of the Ukrainian people against socioeconomic and national-religious oppression by the Polish magnates; and their role in the building of an autonomous Ukrainian state. Cossack culture focused on love to native land and free spirit. In the Cossack Ukraine a woman had equal rights with a man, when men were fighting for their land, women were supervising their families and children. The position of woman is much higher in Ukrainian people than in other nations. In innumerable cases the woman is the real head of the household.

· Cultural development. Even in prehistoric times, Ukrainian territory was the seat of a very high Trypillia culture, the remains of which, now brought to light, astonish the investigator through their loftiness and beauty. In ancient times the early Greek cultural influences flourished in the Southern Ukraine, then the Roman, and in the Middle Ages the Byzantine. Byzantine culture had a great influence upon ancient Ukrainian culture, and its traces may still be seen in the popular costume and in ornamentation. The worth of Ukrainian culture appears, in its most beautiful and its highest form, in the unwritten literature of the people. The philosophical feeling of the Ukrainian people finds expression in thousands of proverbs and parables, the like of which we do not find even in the most advanced nations of Europe. They reflect the great soul of the Ukrainian people and its worldly wisdom. But the national genius of Ukrainians has risen to the greatest height in their popular poetry. Beginning with the historical epics (dumy) and the extremely ancient and yet living songs of worship, as for example, Christmas songs (koladky), New Years’ songs (shchedrivky), spring songs (vessilni), harvest songs (obzynkovi), down to the little songs for particular occasions (e. g. kozachki, kolomiyki), we find in all the productions of Ukrainian popular epic and lyric poetry, a rich content and a great perfection of form. In all of it the sympathy for nature, spiritualization of nature, and a lively comprehension of her moods, is superb; in all of it we find a fantastic but warm dreaminess; in all of it we find the glorification of the loftiest and purest feelings of the human soul. A glowing love of country reveals itself to us everywhere, but particularly in innumerable Cossack songs, a heartrending longing for a glorious past, a glorification, although not without criticism, of their heroes. In their love-songs we find that the spiritual beauty of woman is glorified above all. Even in jesting songs, and further, even in ribald songs, there is a great deal of grace.

· Value of education. In medieval Europe Kievan Rus was considered a developed state in the 11th century and caused great astonishment among travellers from Western Europe because of its comparatively high culture. Till today Ukrainians place a great value in education, which is very often displayed in a wish of getting university diploma any way. Most Ukrainian families try to organize the free time of their children so that they were taking part in extra curriculum activities such as sports, music, learning foreign languages, etc.

Geographical Factors Ukrainian Values
  _________________________________________________________________  
  _________________________________________________________________  
  _________________________________________________________________  
Historical Factors Ukrainian Values
  _________________________________________________________________  
  _________________________________________________________________  
  _________________________________________________________________  
  _________________________________________________________________  
  _________________________________________________________________  

Task 5. Compare the traits of the national character of Americans, British people and Ukrainians. What makes each nation unique? What is similar?

Task 6. Read the text. For each of the empty space (1–12) choose the correct answer (A, B, C or D).

US President Obama told British royalty at a Buckingham Palace (1) _________ that the ‘special relationship’ between Britain and the USA was as strong and important as ever. Mr and Mrs Obama were on a state visit to the UK and attended the special dinner (2) _________ with politicians, movie stars and business leaders. President Obama (3) _________ the friendship between the two nations, particularly since the 9/11 terror attacks. He said: (4) _________ we approach the 10th anniversary of 9/11, I’m particular grateful for the solidarity that the United Kingdom has (5) _________ to America over the past decade… From that day to this, you have been our closest partner.’ He praised the Queen, calling her ‘a (6) _________ witness to the power of our alliance and a chief source of its resilience’.

Britain’s Queen Elizabeth (7) _________ the president’s words. She said: ‘We are here to celebrate the (8) _________, tested and — yes — special relationship between our two countries… I firmly believe that the strength of our links and many shared interests will continue to ensure that, when the US and the UK stand together.’ The British (9) _________ went on to describe the US as, ‘our most important ally’ and said the world was a ‘more (10) _________’ place when the USA and the UK stood together. A royal spokesperson said the special relationship also existed between the Obamas and the Queen’s family, saying: ‘Very (11) _________ words have been (12) _________ between the royal family and the Obamas. There is a genuine, genuine — and I really mean this — a genuine warmth between the two families.’

1 A brink B bouquet C banking D banquet

2 A over B along C through D under

3 A hailed B rained C snowed D winded

4 A Has B Was C As D Is

5 A done B been C shown D viewed

6 A alive B living C alive D lives

7 A echoed B bounced C rebounded D rerecorded

8 A tries B trying C trial D tried

9 A monarchy B monarch C monarchical D monarchs

10 A security B securities C securing D secure

11 A warmly B warmth C warm D warms

12 A spoken B told C asked D talked