Е.А. Костина




Е.А. Костина


ББК 81.432.1 – 923:2
УДК 811.111(075.8) + 373.167.1:008

доктор пед. наук, профессор РГПУ  им. А.И. Герцена
Баграмова Н.В.;
канд. филол. наук, доцент, зав. каф. англ. языка ГОУ ВПО «НГПУ»
Везнер И.А.

Костина Е.А.
Английский язык и страноведение Соединенных Штатов Америки: Учебно-методическое пособие. – Новосибирск: Изд. Архивариус – Н, 2006. – 62 с.

Цель пособия – развитие социокультурной и. как следствие, коммуникативной компетенции изучающих английский язык на страноведческом материале, представляющем различные аспекты общественной жизни США.


ББК 81.432.1 – 923:2
УДК 811.111(075.8) + 373.167.1:008

© Новосибирский государственный
  педагогический университет
©    Костина Екатерина Алексеевна


The United States of America     5
General Characteristics     5
Geography and Climate     7
Economy     14
Government     16
Symbols     17
Cities and States                       21
History     23
American Holidays     28
Famous People     43
American Realities     47
Religion     56
The Family     58
Traditions     59
References     62

Exercise I.
1. Answer the questions.
a. Have you had a chance to visit the United States of America?
b. Do you know where the USA is situated?
c. Is America an island or a continent?
d. How many states does the country include?
2. Pronounce the words correctly. You will come across these words in the text below.
Skyscraper, China, the Pacific Ocean, Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands, the Atlantic, Columbia, Alaska, Hawaii, Asia, ethnic diversity, Arab, Polynesian, Eskimos, Amerindians, doomed to extinction, identifiable, minority, Spanish, Italian, German, Polish, Russian, Chinese, Japanese. 
3.  Read the text.
The United States is a young country. Its written history is only a few hundred years old. It is sometimes, in fact, called the “New World”. Americans are not afraid of new ideas. They built the first skyscrapers and they put the first man on the moon. They like to be modern, like exciting, modern cities, new houses, and new cars. At the same time, Americans love old things. They build old pioneer towns and remember the days of the “Wild West”.
The total area of the USA is over 3.5 million square miles. In size, it ranks fourth among the nations after Russia, Canada and China. It possesses many islands in the Pacific Ocean, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands in the Atlantic.
The official name is the United States of America. The country is a federal republic of 50 states and District of Columbia. The state of Alaska is separated from the rest of the USA by Canada and its western part is only 80 km from Russia. Hawaii, which became the 50th state in 1959, is in the Pacific Ocean, halfway between America and Asia.
The population of the USA totals more than 265 million people who are called Americans. In the USA there are representatives of practically all racial and national groups. The nation’s ethnic diversity is chiefly due to large-scale immigration, most of which took place before 1920. Though mainly European and African in origin, Americans are derived from nearly all nations, including Chinese, Arab, Polynesian, Eskimos and what is left of the native Amerindians. Indians, the native inhabitants of America, are now practically doomed to extinction. Different people brought to their new land a wonderful mixture of customs and traditions. The Germans brought Christmas trees. The Irish brought St. Patrick’s Day celebrations. The Scots brought Halloween.
Over many generations, a definite American nationality has developed, superficially identifiable by speech and manners. 
The official language of the USA is English. But some minority languages include Spanish, Italian, German, Polish, Russian, Chinese and Japanese.
The idea of success is important to Americans. They believe that if they work hard they can have what they want and be what they want. This is part of what they call “the American Dream”.
America is a friendly country. In small towns people say “hello” to friends and strangers on the street. Even in cities, strangers may start up a conversation. Waiters in restaurants will often introduce themselves by name, and talk with customers as they serve them. When the customers leave, they tell them to “take care” or “have a nice day”. Sometimes foreigners feel Americans are too friendly. People you have only just met may ask you personal questions or tell you all about themselves.
4. Answer the questions.
1. How old is the United States? 2. How is the country sometimes called? 3. What are Americans like? 4. What is the total area of the United States? 5. What islands does the United States possess? 6. What is the official name of the country? 7. Where are Alaska and Hawaii situated? 8. What is the population of the USA? 9. What nations are Americans derived from? 10. What is the official language of the country? 11. What are the minority languages in the USA? 12. What idea is important to Americans? How is it connected with “the American Dream”?

Exercise II.
1. Read the text and write out in 2 columns geographical names used with the definite article and without any article. Read these names correctly.
The USA is situated in the central part of North America. It (excluding Hawaii and Alaska) stretches from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, from Canada in the north to Mexico, the Gulf of Mexico and the Gulf of California in the south.
The continental part of the USA consists of two highland regions and two lowland regions. The highland regions are the Appalachian Mountains in the east and the Cordillera in the west. The Appalachian Mountains run parallel to the Atlantic coast almost from the Gulf of Mexico into Canada. Their highest peak is 2,000 metres high. The Cordillera stretches along the Pacific Ocean with the Sierra Nevada in the south and the Rocky Mountains continuing into Canada and Alaska in the north. Their highest point in the USA is 4,540 m in the Sierra Nevada.
Between the Cordillera and the Appalachian Mountains are the central lowlands called the prairie, and the eastern lowlands called the Mississippi valley.
The five Great Lakes, between the USA and Canada are joined together by short rivers and canals. In the west there is another lake called the Great Salt Lake.
The chief rivers are the Mississippi, the longest river in the world (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 capital of the USA is Washington, D.C. (District of Columbia). The population of it is only over 600 thousand people. It’s a beautiful administrative city without much industry. Here mainly government buildings are situated including the Capitol (the seat of the US Congress) and the White House (the residence of the President).
The other largest cities are New York (17 mln), Los Angeles (12 mln), Chicago (8 mln), Philadelphia (5,7 mln), San Francisco (5,6 mln) and so on.
The USA has several different climate zones, so the climate varies greatly from one part of the country to another. The coldest climate is in the north, where there is heavy snow in winter and the temperature may fall to –40. The south has a subtropical climate, with temperatures as high as +49 in summer. Hot wings blowing from the Gulf of Mexico often bring typhoons. The climate along the Pacific coast is much warmer than that of the Atlantic coast. The heaviest rains in the country are in the Washington region, and the climate in the Gulf of Mexico area is also very damp. The region around the Great Lakes is known for its changeable climate.
2. Discuss the points.
a. Have you ever lived in a place with lots of rain or bad weather? If so, did the bad weather affect the things you did and/or the way you felt?
b. Do you think it’s possible that constant bad weather can increase the number of suicides? Why or why not?
c. What kind of climate would you prefer to live in? Why?

Exercise III. Find on the map.
1.  the Pacific and the Atlantic oceans, the biggest rivers (the Mississippi, the Hudson, the Colorado, the Columbia), the Great Lakes, Niagara Falls, the Great Salt Lake;
2.  the biggest mountains (the Appalachian, the Rocky, the Cordilleras, the Sierra Nevada, the Grand Canyon (formed by the Colorado river in Arizona)), the central lowlands (the prairie), the eastern lowlands (the Mississippi valley);
3.  the biggest cities and states (Texas, California, Florida, Minnesota, Washington, New-York, Washington D.C.,  Chicago, Los-Angeles, San-Francisco, Boston).

Exercise IV. Translate it into English.
1. Соединенные штаты Америки расположены в центральной части Северной Америки. 2. Континентальная часть США состоит из двух высокогорных регионов и двух низменностей. 3. Столица США – Вашингтон, округ Колумбия. Его население чуть больше 600 тысяч человек. 4. Здесь в основном расположены правительственные здания. 5. В США несколько климатических зон.

Exercise V.
1. Discuss the points.
a. Do you have any areas in your country that were geographically isolated? If so, did these areas develop strong traditions of their own?
b. Appalachia is economically one of the poorer areas in the United States. When workers from the government visited the region to see what they could do, one older man told them, “Bring us your prosperity but leave us our civilization”.
What did the man mean by this?
Do you agree with what he said?
Do you think what he wanted is possible?
2.  Compare the geographical position of the USA, the UK and that of your own country. Which is situated more conveniently, what are the advantages and disadvantages?

Exercise VI.
1.  Study the information.
The Fifty States
The fifty states of the United States, or the USA are one nation. The United States did not always have fifty states. At first there were thirteen. As the United States grew, more states joined the union. The last two states to join were Alaska and Hawaii. The both joined in 1959.
The area of the United States covers every type of land. There are forests, deserts, mountains, and flat land. The area of the United States also covers every type of climate. The size of each state is different too. Alaska is the biggest state. Rhode Island is the smallest one. Alaska is 500 times bigger than Rhode Island.
The people of the United States come from all over the world. People there name cities after where they come from. For example, in the United States you find Paris, Rome, Delhi, and Frankfurt. The state with the highest population is California. The state with the lowest population is Alaska.
Each state has its own name. The name gives the state its identity and personality. More than half the states have names from American Indian origin. Each state also has a flag with colours that have a special meaning for the state. The flag is the emblem, or the symbol, of the state. There is also a state flower, tree, and bird.
2. One word in each sentence is not correct. Cross out the word and write the correct answer above it.
1. There is a state flag, mountain, tree, and bird.
2. Hawaii is 500 times bigger than Rhode Island.
3. More than half the states have people from American Indian origin.
4. The state with the lowest population is Hawaii.
5. Each state has a flag with colors that have a special meaning for the nation.
6. People often name states after where they come from.
3. Complete the sentences with the correct article. Use “the” or “a”. If no article is necessary, write “X”.
EXAMPLE: The fifty states of the United States, or the USA, make one nation.
1. ___ Alaska is the biggest state.
2. Rhode Island is ___ small state.
3. The state with the highest population is ___ California.
4. ___ people of the United States come from all over the world.
5. ___ last two states joined in 1959.
6. ___ Hawaii became a state in 1959.

Exercise VII. Read the poem. Pronounce the names of the states correctly.
The United States
by Susan H. Nipp
The United States, the United States,
I love my country, the United States.
    There’s Alabama, Alaska,
Arizona, Arkansas,
California, Colorado,
Connecticut and Delaware,
Florida, Georgia, Hawaii and Idaho,
Illinois, Indiana, Iowa and Kansas,
Kentucky, Louisiana,
Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts,
Michigan, Minnesota,
Mississippi, Missouri, Montana,
Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire,
New Jersey, New Mexico, New York,
North n’ South Carolina,
North Dakota, South Dakota,
Ohio, Oklahom’,
Oregon, Pennsylvania,
Rhode Island, Tennessee,
Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia,
West Virginia, Washington,
Wisconsin, Wyoming.
The United States, the United States,
I love my country, the United States.

Exercise VIII.
1.  Look through the list, find the states and their capitals on the map.

Name of state Abbreviation Nickname Capital



New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico

New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota

West Virginia
Wyoming Al., Ala.
AK, Alas.
AZ, Ariz.
AR, Ark.

CA, Cal., Calif.
CO, Colo.
CT, Conn.

DE, Del.
FL, Flor., Fla.
GA, Ga
ID, Id

IL, Ill
IN, Ind.
IA, Ia
KS, Kan.
KY, Ky., Ken
LA, La
ME, Me.
MD, Md.
MA, Mass.
MI, Mich.
MN, Minn.
MS, Miss.
MO, Mo.
MT, Mont.
NE, Nebr.
NV, Nev.
NH, N.H.
NJ, N.J.
NM, N. Mex.

NY, N. Y.
NC, N. C.
ND, N.Dak.
OH, O.
OK, Okla.
OR, Oreg., Ore.
PA, Pa., Penn.
RI, R.I.
SC, S.C.
SD, S.D., S.Dak.
TN, Tenn.
TX, Tex.
UT, Ut.
VT, Vt.

VA, Va.
WA, Wash.
WV, W.Va.
WI, Wis., Wisc.
WY, Wyo., WY. Yellowhammer st.
the Great land
Grand Canyon state
Land of Opportunity
Golden state
Centennial state
Nutmeg state
Blue Hen state
Diamond state
Sunshining state
Peach state
Aloha state
Gem state
Prairie state
Land of Lincoln
Hoosier state
Hawkeye state
Sunflower state
Bluegrass state
Pelican state
Pine tree state
Old Line state
Bay state
Wolverine state
North Star state
Magnolia state
Show-me state
Treasure state
Cornhusker state
Silver state
Granite state
Garden state
Land of Enchantment
Empire state
Tar Heel state
Flickertail state
Buckeye state
Sooner state
Beaver state
Keystone state
Little Rhody
Palmetto state
Coyote state
Volunteer state
Lone Star state
Beehive state
Green Mountain state
Old Dominion state
Evergreen state
Mountain state
Badger state
Equality state Montgomery
Little Rock



Des Moines
Baton Rouge
St. Paul
Jefferson City
Carson City
Santa Fe

Oklahoma city
Salt Lake city


2. What states, cities were named after people? Because of animals that live on the territory?

Exercise IX. Fill in the blanks with the corresponding articles.
___United States of America is situated in the central part of ___ North America. Its western coast is washed by ___ Pacific Ocean. Between ___ Appalachians and ___Rocky Mountains lies ___great plain of ___ United States. ___ Mississippi River runs through ___ center of this plain. ___ Cordilleras are made up of three long ranges that are nearly parallel to each other. ___ Grand Canyon is ___ world’s greatest geological laboratory. In ___ Arizona there is another natural wonder, ___ Painted Desert famous for its wonderful colors. Part of ___ Painted Desert is ___ Petrified Forest made up of ___ trees now turned to stone. ___ Niagara Falls is beautiful and all the time changing. ___ Niagara River gives electric power.

Exercise X. Translate the text into English.
Утверждают, что водопад получил свое название от слова «ниакаре». С языка индейцев ирокезов оно переводится как «большой шум». Водопад разделяется Козьим островом на две части: канадский – высота 48 метров, ширина 917 метров, и американский – высота 51 метр, ширина 323 метра. Было много смельчаков, которые бросались за плату в стальном бочонке в ревущую водяную пучину или проделывали головокружительные трюки на канате длиной почти в 400 метров, протянутом над кипящей пропастью водопада. Многие поплатились своей жизнью за это.
Большой шум вокруг этого чуда, сотворенного природой, создает вездесущая реклама. На Ниагару ежегодно приезжает почти 20 миллионов туристов. Благодаря громкой рекламе процветает и городок Ниагара-Фоллс, который находится у самого водопада. К услугам туристов гостиницы, мотели, кемпинги, рядом с которыми магазинчики, торгующие сувенирами на любой вкус. Для туристов устраиваются спектакли в «марина ленде» – гигантском аквариуме, где актерами выступают дрессированные дельфины, музей восковых фигур, музей Ниагары, который демонстрирует бочки, в которых отчаянные смельчаки рисковали своей жизнью, спускаясь по водопаду.

Exercise XI.
1. Read the text and say what you have known.
The USA is the most powerful highly developed industrial country. It leads the world in industrial and agricultural production.
The USA owns its high level of economic development mainly to its rich mineral resources, which it has been able to exploit for a long time without external interference. The USA is a leading producer of oil, of natural gas and of copper, of coal and iron ore. Zinc, lead, sulphur, uranium, gold and silver are among the other minerals produced and the nation is also rich in waterpower.
The most industrialized areas are the following: the region of the Great Lakes, around Birmingham, Detroit and Chicago (coal-mining, motor-car industry), Pittsburgh and Philadelphia areas (iron-mining), California, Texas (oil-producing), the Atlantic and Pacific coasts (ship-building).
Agriculture is very widespread, above all in the prairie regions where wheat and other grain crops are grown. Cotton is grown in the Mississippi valley, tobacco in Virginia. California is famous for its fruit plantations and cattle-farming.
About 27% of the US gross national product is derived from manufacturing: 16% from wholesale and retail trade; 15% from finance, insurance and real estate; 11% from services; 10% from government and government enterprises; 6% from agriculture, forestry and fisheries.
As a result of this vast expansion of economy and severe anti-monopoly struggle of American labour for higher wages, a majority of Americans enjoy a high standard of living, the fact which led to the creation of cliché phrases: “the American style of life”, “land of opportunity”, “God’s country”.
2. Discuss the points.
a. What are some of the major imports and exports of your country?
b. The major economic challenges in the United States are (1) increasing productivity of workers and (2) training workers for new kinds of jobs. Do you know what major economic challenges your country is facing now?

Exercise XII. Divide into groups. Find out information on the project topic “American Culture”. Distribute the roles. Present your project in class at the end of the course. Give your opinions about your groupmates’ projects. Choose the best one.

Exercise XIII. You are a teacher. Choose a project topic for schoolchildren of a certain age group. Explain the task to your pupils. Taking into account the psychological peculiarities of your pupils distribute the roles in the group. Choose the best teacher from the point of view of the organization of the project.

Exercise XIV.
1. Pronounce correctly, transcribe and translate the words.
Republic, legislative, bicameral, Senate, representative, entitle, determined.
2.  Read the text.
The USA is a federal republic. The President, elected for 4 years, is head of the state. The main legislative body is Congress (bicameral), consisting of the Senate and the House of Representatives. The Senate consists of 100 members – 2 from each state – chosen by popular vote for a 6-year term; a third of its membership is renewed every two years. The House of Representatives has about 450 members elected by popular vote every two years; each state is entitled to at least one representative, with the total number determined periodically according to population.
There are 2 main political parties in the USA: the Democratic Party (symbolized by a “donkey”) and the Republican Party (its symbol is an “elephant”).
3. Translate the words into English.
Республиканский, демократический, представитель, всеобщее (всенародное) голосование, избирать, Палата представителей, двухпалатный, законодательный, федеративная республика.
4. Using the vocabulary from the text compare the government system of Russia with the one of the USA.
5. Discuss the points.
a. How many political parties does your country have? Are there clear differences between the parties?
b. What are some of the bad effects of a low voter turnout? What can be done to increase voter turnout? In your country, is voter turnout high or low?

Exercise XV.
1. What national symbols do countries usually have? Are symbols important? Why?
2. Read the text.
The flag
The American flag is often called the “Stars and Stripes”. It has thirteen stripes (seven red and six white), and fifty white stars on a blue field. One star is for each state and the stripes are for the first thirteen states of the union. Americans enjoy their flag; they use the “Stars and Stripes” as a popular design anywhere and everywhere, including clothes, shoes, hats. The 14th of June is Flag Day in the USA. There are many rules for the flag: for example, you should display it only during the day, and you should fold it in a special way. It hangs in many offices, in some schools there is a flag in each classroom, and children stand in front of the flag every day and say the “Pledge of Allegiance”:
“I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands. One nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”
The Star Spangled Banner
The US has an official song “The Star Spangled Banner”. It is sung at many sports events and public celebrations. It was written by Francis Scott Key. He was on a British ship, which was attacking Fort McHenry outside Baltimore. The attack started on September 13th, 1814 and continued all that day and night. Suddenly, early in the morning of September 14th, they saw the American flag flying from the fort. Key was so excited he began to write down his feelings in a poem. At first “The Star Spangled Banner” was sung to an old English drinking song. Later, music was written by John Stafford Smith. In March 1931 Congress officially approved the song as the national anthem.
The star spangled banner
by Francis Scott Key, 1814
Oh, say, can you see, by the dawn’s early light,
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight’s last gleaming,
Whose broad stripes and bright stars, through the perilous fight,
O’er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming?
And the rocket’s red glare,
The bombs bursting in air,
    Gave proof through the night
                                        That our flag was still there.
Oh, say, does that Star Spangled Banner yet wave,
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?
The Statue of Liberty
One of the most famous symbols of the US is the Statue of Liberty. France gave the statue to the US in 1884 as a symbol of friendship and freedom. It is in New York Harbour, and it was the first sight many immigrants saw when they arrived in the US. The Statue is nearly 100 meters high, there is a lift and a circular way from the base to the crown inside. The figure shows a young woman freeing herself from shackles. She holds a torch in her right hand above her head, and in her left hand is a tablet with the date “June 4th, 1776” on it, which symbolizes the Declaration of Independence. The torch lights up at night.
The eagle
The eagle became the official national symbol of the US in 1782. It carries an olive branch (a sign of peace) and arrows (sign of war). You can see the eagle on the back of a dollar bill.

“Uncle Sam”
“Uncle Sam” is a cartoon symbol of the US government. He has appeared in magazines, newspapers and on posters for the last 150 years. During the War of 1812 against England a man named Samuel Wilson sold meat to the US government for its soldiers. Everyone called him Uncle Sam. The first letters of Uncle Sam, “US”, were the same as the first letters of the United States. After the war, cartoons of Uncle Sam as the US government first began to appear.

Every state in the US has its own flag, its own symbol and its own song too. These are not as well known as the national ones, but they are used in all state ceremonial events.
“America The Beautiful”
Every so often a movement is started to make “America the Beautiful” the national anthem, instead of “The Star Spangled Banner”, largely because it was not written as a result of a war. The tune is easier to sing and the whole country is praised, not only the flag. Katherine Lee Bates, an English professor at Wellesley College, rode in a horse-drawn wagon up Pike’s Peak, a mountain top in Colorado in 1893. She saw a view of the mountain that few people saw in those days and was inspired by her glimpse of the “spacious skies” and “purple mountains” to write a poem, which became the 1st verse of the song. The public loved the poem, and Miss Bates was encouraged to set it to music. She chose the music of a hymn by Samuel Ward. The words and music travelled around the world, and today Mexico, Canada and Australia sing it with their own countries’ names instead of “America”. 
America The Beautiful
By Katharine Lee Bates, 1893
            O beautiful for spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain!
America! America!
God shed His grace on thee,
And crown the good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!
    O beautiful for pilgrim feet
                                        Whose stern, impassioned stress
A thoroughfare for freedom beat
Across the wilderness!
America! America!
God mend thine every flaw
Confirm thy soul in self-control,
The liberty in law!
    O beautiful for heroes proved
In liberating strife,
Who more than self their country loved,
And mercy more than life!
America! America!
May God thy gold refine
Till all success be nobleness
And every gain divine!
    O beautiful for patriot dream
                                        That sees beyond the years
Thine alabaster cities gleam
Undimmed by human tears!
America! America!
God shed his grace on thee
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!
3. Read aloud and translate the underlined sentences into Russian.
4. Ask your groupmates questions to the text and be ready to answer your groupmates’ questions.
5. Choose one of the symbols of the country in the text and tell about it.
6. Are there any Russian symbols similar to the American ones? Tell about them.

Exercise XVI.
1. Answer the questions.
a. What is the capital of the USA? Show it on the map.
b. Do you know anything about the city?
c. Who is it named after?
2. Pronounce correctly the names from the text.
Washington, the Potomac River, Columbia, Columbus, the Capitol, the Congress, Pennsylvania Avenue, Lincoln, Jefferson, the Smithsonian Institution, the National Museum of History and Technology, the Museum of Natural History, Pentagon, Massachusetts Avenue.
3. Read about the capital of the USA.
Washington is the capital of the USA. The city is called after the first President of the United States, General George Washington. Washington is situated on the Potomac River in the District of Columbia (D.C). The District of Columbia is a piece of land ten square miles; it does not belong to any state. The district is named in honor of Columbus, the discoverer of America. It was Washington who chose the place for the district.
The tallest structures in Washington are the Capitol that houses the Congress and the Washington Monument that is 555 feet (over 180 meters) tall. The Capitol is the seat of the Government of the USA; it is situated in the very center of Washington on Capitol Hill, the highest point in the city. There is a law in Washington not to build houses higher than the Capitol. The Capitol is the seat of Congress, it contains 540 rooms; it is easy to get lost in the huge building full of paintings and statues.
The oldest building in the city is the White House, the official residence of the President. It is set close to Pennsylvania Avenue. The President’s House was first occupied in 1800. President George Washington decided that the President of the United States must have an official residence and selected the place for it. In 1814, during the war with England, the White House was burnt down. After the war the  remains of the building were painted white. Since that time the residence of the American presidents has been painted white and later it became the official name.
Washington has many monuments – Lincoln Memorial, Jefferson Memorial, and many others. The most beautiful of them is the Lincoln Memorial.
The major attractions for the visitors are in the heart of Washington. Among them is the Smithsonian Institution that includes the National Museum of History and Technology, the Museum of Natural History, the National Collection of Fine Arts etc.
Along the banks of the Potomac River there are many green parks and gardens. In 1912 the famous cherry trees were planted in Washington. The 3000 flowering cherry trees were a gift from Japan and are still a major attraction for visitors and residents in the early days of spring.
There is the famous Pentagon in Washington. The pentagon is a building where the headquarters of the Department of Defense, the Army, the Navy and the Air Forces are located. It is the military center of the US, which is a huge five-sided building and five storeys high. It has more than 17 miles of corridors.
Washington avenues are wide and long, most of them are called after states, for example Pennsylvania Avenue, Massachusetts Avenue. Streets are numbered and lettered. Numbered streets run north and south, lettered streets – east and west. Most of the well-to-do people live outside the city and blacks who make up more than half the population of Washington are the main city dwellers.
4. Tell
- a short history of the city of Washington;
- about the places of interest of the capital.
5. Discuss the points.
1. What things make a city livable?
2. Are there certain cities in your country that many people want to move to? Do these cities have problems with growth? If so, what kind of problems?
3. How do you think cities can handle growth?
4. List and discuss the arguments for and against small town or city life.
1. Is there a difference between small town life and city life in Russia?
2. Where would you prefer to live, in a small town or in a big city a) in America? b) in Russia? Give reasons.
6. Find information and make reports on one of the states or cities of the USA.

Exercise XVII.
1. Read the information about the most important events of the American history.
Why is America called “America”
Why did European geographers give the name America to the lands that Columbus discovered? Why did they not name them instead after Columbus?
The reason is that to the end of his life Columbus believed that his discoveries were part of Asia. The man who did most to correct this mistaken idea was Amerigo Vespucci. Vespucci was an Italian sailor from the city of Florence. During the late 1490s he wrote some letters in which he described two voyages of exploration that he had made along the coast of South America. He was sure, he wrote, that these coasts were part of a new continent. 
Some years later Vespucci’s letters were read by a German scholar who was revising an old geography of the world. The letters convinced the scholar that Vespucci was correct, and that the lands beyond the Atlantic were a new continent. To honour Vespucci the scholar named them America, using the feminine form of Vespucci’s first name as the other continents had female names.
The Mayflower Compact
When the Pilgrims arrived off the coast of America they faced many dangers and difficulties. They did not want to put themselves in further danger by quarreling with one another. Before landing at Plymouth they wrote out an agreement. In this document they agreed to work together for the good of all. The agreement was signed by all forty-one men on board the Mayflower. It became known as the Mayflower Compact. In the Compact the Plymouth settlers agreed to set up a government to make “just and equal laws” for their new settlement. All of them, Pilgrims and Strangers alike, promised that they would obey these laws. In the difficult years, which followed, the Mayflower Compact served the colonists well. It is remembered today as one of the first important documents in the history of democratic government in America.
Walking the Freedom Trail
The American Revolution lasted from 1775 to 1781. After March 1776, the city of Boston was never again touched by fighting. Yet no other city played as important a role in the struggle for independence. It was events in Boston that led to the revolution.
In the 1760s, England passed laws that imposed taxes on the colonists and limited their rights. Bostonians strongly objected. Riots in 1768 led to the occupation of Boston by British soldiers. From there, problems grew. In 1770, an angry crowd threw snowballs (evidently filled with stones and ice) at some soldiers. The soldiers then fired into the crowd, killing five men; this event became known as the Boston Massacre. In 1773, to protest a new tax, Bostonians, dressed as Indians, threw 400 crates of British tea into the Boston Harbour. In response to the Boston Tea Party, Britain closed the harbour. This response was a severe one, since Boston depended on trade.
Before long, colonists in and around Boston began raising armies and preparing to fight if necessary. The first shots were fired in April 1775, in the nearby town of Lexington. Independence was formally declared by Massachusetts and the 12 other colonies, on July 4, 1776. 
The Declaration of Independence was unanimously approved. The Declaration says that independence is a basic human right:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that
All men are created equal, that they are en-
dowed by their Creator with certain un-
alienable Rights, that among these are Life,
Liberty, and the pursuit of happiness…
When independence was won, the colonies came together, not as a nation, but as a confederation, or group of states. To prevent tyranny, there was no president and the central government had very little power. Each state had its own army. The states taxed each other’s goods. It was almost as if they were separate countries. The result was great confusion. 
In 1787, representatives from all the states met in Philadelphia to discuss the problems. They soon decided that the confederation could not work and that a new system of government was needed. For this purpose, they wrote the United States Constitution. The Constitution united the states into one country.
2. Say True or False.
1. Hundreds were killed in the Boston Massacre.
2. The Boston Tea Party was a meeting held to discuss a tea tax imposed by the British government.
3. The first battle of the Revolution was fought in 1775.
3. In the beginning, the Revolution took place mainly in Boston and the surrounding area.
4. Boston was occupied by the British throughout the Revolution.
The Forty-niners
In January 1848, a man named James Marshall noticed some flecks of gold in a river in California. Word of Marshall’s discovery got around, and by 1849 thousands of people – “forty-niners,” as they were called – were on their way to California. Within four short years California’s population jumped dramatically and its reputation as a land of opportunity was well established!
The trip to California, over land or by water, was difficult but the rewards were great – at least in the early days. Gold was in the hills, and rivers had eroded the hills. As a result, a miner could get gold simply by panning the rivers – by using a pan to separate the gold in the water from the dirt and rocks.
Often, the most money was made not by miners themselves but by those who had something to sell to the miners. A man named Levi Strauss, who had recently immigrated to the United States, thought he knew just what the miners would buy: he headed for California with canvas for tents.
“Tents!” the miners told him. “We already have tents. You should have brought pants. Pants don’t last at all here.” A quick thinker, Strauss made his canvas into pants. Miners liked the pants because they were sturdy and lasted. And so Levi’s were born. Today many people visit “gold country” to see the old mines and spend a few hours panning for gold. The hills of the area still have about as much gold as was taken out during the Gold Rush. Unfortunately, most of this gold is deep underground and difficult to mine.
Today “Levi’s” can be used to mean “blue jeans”. English has other words that, like Levi’s, began as names of specific products but now are used in a more general way. Do you know these words?
Kleenex, Xerox, Jello, Q-tip, Scotch tape, Pampers, Walkman.
The Civil War
For a long time, the North and the South each developed differently but without conflicts. The conflicts came when the nation began to expand west. Southern states said the new areas that were being settled should allow slavery; the Northern states disagreed. In the 1840s and 1850s Congress passed a series of laws that were compromises between the North and the South. In the end, the compromises failed.
The conflict worsened, and in 1861, the Southern states separated from the Union and formed a new nation: the Confederate States of America. The Northern states refused to accept this. President Lincoln had not wanted war, but war became inevitable.
The American Civil War lasted four years. More Americans died in this war than in all other wars combined. Before the war, there had been great advances in weapons but few advances in medicine. Soldiers who weren’t killed outright often died of their wounds. Many regiments lost over half of their men in a single battle.
The North had certain great advantages over the South. It had a larger population and most of the country’s factories and banks. But it had the more difficult task – conquest rather than defense. Also, many of the nation’s top military leaders were from Southern states and joined the Southern cause.
Effects of the War
When the war finally ended in 1865, the South had been devastated. The state of Virginia alone had been the scene of 26 major battles and over 400 smaller fights.
The most important long-term effect of the war was the end of slavery. Black Americans were made citizens and were given the right to vote.
The Civil War helped transform the nation’s economy and way of life. The war effort required more factories and better transportation systems. The North became much more industrialized than before. One Northerner commented after the war, “It does not seem to me as if I were living in the country in which I was born.”
3. Fill in the table.
Event Date

4. Discuss the point.
It’s obvious why Levi’s were popular with the miners. But what makes Levi’s so popular with young people today? Do you like to wear Levi’s? Why or why not?
5. Answer the questions.
a. Why were there so many deaths in the American Civil War?
b. What advantages did the North have? What disadvantages did it have?
c. What were some effects of the Civil War?
6. Choose one of the events, add some more details to it and make a report.

Exercise XVIII. Translate the text into English.
Сколько всего в Америке праздников? Никто не возьмется их перечислять – у каждого штата свои обычаи. И все же 10 праздников можно назвать всеамериканскими: Новый год, День Вашингтона, День Поминовения, День Независимости, День Труда, День Ветеранов, Хэллоуин, День Колумба, День Благодарения, Рождество. С 1986 г. по решению Конгресса как федеральный праздник стали отмечать и день рождения Мартина Лютера Кинга.
Федеральные праздники – нерабочие дни Америки, время отдыха и шумных торжеств. Есть, кроме того, праздники, связанные с религией, с различными моментами истории США, с обычаями переселенцев разных национальностей, с временами года.

Exercise XIX.
1. Read the following information about some American holidays, choose one holiday and prepare a school lesson for your groupmates about it using the information given below.
(Any day)
“What will you do on your birthday?” Most Americans celebrate their birthdays on the day on which they were born. Like in Russia, friends and relatives share in the celebration. However, unlike in Russia, birthday parties have a more spontaneous, less planned guest list and agenda, and there is no particular attempt made to venerate one’s guests with vast quantities of gourmet treats (A birthday person is not expected to spend his special day in the kitchen!). Something simple but elegant (not something you would eat any day) and a nice bottle of wine will suffice for this occasion.
In the United States an adult person having a birthday feels no particular social obligation to invite guests home for festivities. This time and space is usually reserved for the immediate family and close family friends. Co-workers may have an impromptu group gathering at coffee break time with cake and ice cream and a small gift for which all have contributed. Or they may shout a “birthday lunch” at a nearby restaurant for the special person or go out for drinks after work.
Children may bring cupcakes and candy to school or distribute invitation to their classmates for a party to be held at their home. A cake is baked, group games are played, and prizes and souvenirs are passed out to all of the guests. Cone-shaped paper birthday hats may be worn and noise makers passed out to everyone present. Serving of the ornately decorated birthday cake is the highlight of the birthday celebration for the guests. First the cake is equipped with candles, one candle for each year of the birthday person’s life. Then the candles are lit and everyone sings “Happy Birthday to You,” after which the special person makes a “secret wish” and blows the candles out.
The custom of putting candles on a birthday cake is said to have started about 200 years ago in Germany, renowned for its high-quality candles. It was considered good luck to blow out all of the candles in one blow. Now it is considered as assurance that the birthday wish will come true. The custom of singing “Happy Birthday to You” began about 100 year ago in America when Mildred and Patty Hill made up the song which has since become a big hit and attracted lost of humorous variations. 
For the birthday person the highlight of the celebration is often quite conspicuously the opening of the birthday presents. It used to be that “thank you” notes were written to acknowledge the gift givers for their thoughtfulness. Now, more and more, this custom is reserved for the very formal gift-giving occasion of the wedding.
The most common way to wish someone a happy birthday, however, is with a simple birthday card, a custom, which began in England about 100 years ago. These cards serve as testimony to the fact that in the United States the focus is definitely on the individual, at least on that one very special birthday each year.
Martin Luther King’s Birthday
(January 15th)
This is the most recently instituted legal holiday in the United States, recognized for the first time nationally in 1986. Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968) was a famous civil rights activist who fought against racial discrimination and segregation during the late 1950s and 1960s. King was a Baptist preacher with a doctorate degree in Theology from Boston University. He organized non-violent protests against unequal treatment of African-Americans, particularly throughout the southern states. “We will not resort to violence. We will not degrade ourselves with hatred.” Constant reminders such as these inspired his followers with the belief that they would overcome all trials if only they did not resort to bloodshed. And so the spiritual “We Shall Overcome” is a fitting anthem for the civil rights movement under King's leadership.
No less important than King’s studies, however, was the rich spiritual (black gospel) background provided by his family (his father and grandfather were ministers, his mother was a musician). Songs like “He’s Got the Whole World In His Hands” reflect the spirit of community prevalent in the all-black neighborhood in which King was raised in Atlanta, Georgia. Contrary to what one might think, this neighborhood was not poor, but was characterized by prosperous black-owned or black-operated banks, businesses and services, which thrived despite Atlanta’s strict segregation policies. His father’s church played an important role as a meeting place for local groups, which sought further social and educational advancement of blacks.
King’s career as an activist began with helping to organize the boycott of the segregated bus system in Montgomery, Alabama, in December of 1955. He encouraged all people, both black and white, who did not feel it was right that black passengers be restricted to seats in the back of the buses to refuse to ride them altogether and to walk in peaceful demonstration of their disagreement with the law. A year went by, and in response to this social pressure, the US Supreme Court ruled that the Alabama segregation law was unconstitutional and the city was ordered to have equal integrated seating on its buses. This was King’s first victory. Later he began to fight discrimination in schools, hotels, restaurants, and achieved federal legislation, which forced these businesses and institutions to provide equal opportunities and services to black Americans.
Why all the fuss over who sits or stands in a bus? Perhaps King’s biggest threat to a reluctant establishment was in the sharp increase in the numbers of black Americans who were registering to vote for the first time in their families’ histories, and the number of political candidates promising fulfillment of their newly awakened dreams. Black voters were instrumental in electing democratic President John F. Kennedy in 1960. Once a president with a large constituency of black voters was in the White House, the stage was set for King’s “March on Washington”.
Imagine what it must have been like on August 23, 1963, in Washington, D.C., when a crowd of over 250.000 people, both black and white, marched behind Martin Luther King, Jr., and other activists to the Capitol Building to demonstrate their support for laws guaranteeing equal civil rights to all Americans. It was the biggest crowd of marchers, which the country had ever seen – and no violence took place. Later that day, on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, King delivered his famous “I Have a Dream” speech. Most experts agree that King's speech is one of the most eloquent and inspiring in American oratory tradition.
As a result of King’s activities, in 1964 Congress passed the Civil Rights Act, which prohibited racial discrimination in public places and called for equal opportunity in employment and education. That same year Martin Luther King received the Nobel Peace Prize for his work. He was loved and respected by many people around the world for remaining true to his creed of non-violence. This did not, however, prevent multiple arrests of King and acts of violence aimed at him and his followers. In the end King was assassinated in 1968 at the age of 39 while leading a workers’ strike in Memphis, Tennessee.
It is interesting to note that controversy in evaluating King’s achievements remains heated to this day. Republican President Ronald Reagan was heavily criticized by some conservatives among his constituency when, in 1986, he declared the third Monday in January a federal legal holiday commemorating Dr Martin Luther King’s birthday. On this day public schools and government offices are closed in his honor, and this is how many American school children today learn of the legacy of “A Man Named King”. On the preceding Sunday churches of many denominations hold memorial services and read sermons devoted to keeping the dream alive.
2. Discuss the points.
a. The civil rights movement helped lead the major changes in the law. Yet changes in the law didn’t solve all the problems faced by blacks in America. Why do you think legal changes weren’t enough? What other kinds of goals have to be met?
b. Martin Luther King favoured use of nonviolent strategies (sit-ins, marches, etc.). Although most people in the struggle for equal rights agreed with King, some disagreed. They argued that real changes might not happen without violence. What is your opinion? Do you think violence should ever be used to bring about social changes? Can you think of struggles for social change elsewhere in the world? What kinds of strategies were used?
Presidents’ day
(3rd Monday in February)
Until 1986 this holiday was in fact two holidays: Abraham Lincoln’s Birthday, celebrated on February 12, and George Washington’s Birthday, celebrated on February 22. It was condensed into one legal holiday in the same year that Martin Luther King’s Birthday was established as a national holiday observed on January 15. Some people were not happy with this decision. Others argued that both presidents are honored in a great number of ways, and so there should be no offense taken if the two were made to share a joint holiday.
President Abraham Lincoln is probably the most deeply revered president in American history. School children learn that he was born into a very poor family on February 12, 1809, and spent his early years in Kentucky and Indiana, where his father worked as a farmer and carpenter. All of the Lincoln children had to work very hard as well to help the family make ends meet, and Abe became skilled with an axe at a very early age. Because of this, there was little time left for schooling. Unfortunately, Abe’s mother died when he was nine. His father remarried two years later, and luckily for Abe, his stepmother also encouraged Abe's thirst for learning.
When he was older, Abe became known as a talented storyteller in the general store where he worked. People would come from miles around just to hear him talk. Although he was a clever teller of tall tales, Abe’s nickname “Honest Abe” characterizes his hard work, clear insights, and straight talk. When the family’s next move brought them to Springfield, Illinois, Abe’s powers of speech helped him excel in law and politics. He began formally to study law in 1834, and was elected into the House of Representatives that same year. He married Mary Todd Lincoln after a long courtship in 1842. In 1847 he was elected to Congress for the first time, but his strong stand against slavery was not popular, and he was not reelected for a second term.
In the years that followed, the controversy surrounding the issue of slavery continued to grow. In 1858, Lincoln joined the newly formed Republican Party, and became its nominee for the U.S. Senate. Here he began to attract the attention of the whole country with his fine gift of oratory and passionate voice warning: “A house divided against itself cannot stand. This government cannot endure, permanently half-slave and half-free...” In 1860 the Republicans nominated him as their presidential candidate and he narrowly won. There was little cause for celebration, however, because by that time South Carolina and several other states had seceded from the Union, reserving the right to decide for themselves on many issues, including whether or not to abolish slavery. The American Civil War had already begun.
The Battle of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania in July of 1863 was the bloodiest battle ever fought on American soil. On November 19, 1863, Lincoln delivered his famous Gettysburg Address at a memorial service held there. The fighting was not yet over, but Gettysburg was a turning point in a war, which lasted five years and left the southern states in devastation. On April 9, 1865, the South surrendered, and the war was ended. Less than a week later, on April 13, Lincoln was shot in Ford's Theater in Washington, D.C., by an actor who thought he was furthering the southern cause. Lincoln died the following morning.
Lincoln's body was placed on a train and made a long, slow farewell journey back to Springfield, Illinois, where he was buried. His house has been made into a memorial museum in tribute to the man who steered the nation's vessel through its most “fearful trip”.
Both the North and the South agree that George Washington had great influence in shaping the United States and so deserves the name “Father of His Country”. He was born on February 22, 1732, in West Moreland County, Virginia. Legend has it that as a boy Washington (rather naively) decided to try out his new axe on the family's prize cherry tree. His father was angry when he saw the felled fruit bearer. He confronted his son with the withered evidence, and George (resourceful even at so early an age) saved himself with what would seem at first glance to be a rather unimaginative reply: “I cannot tell a lie”. His father was moved by his son’s open admission of guilt. Whether or not this sufficed to save George from a spanking is hard to say. Today corporal punishment is so unpopular in the U.S. as a means of discipline that parents and teachers usually end the telling of the legend early and let the kids speculate for themselves what punitive measures were imposed. And so cherry pie has become the traditional food for Washington’s birthday, commemorating the boy’s noble words in the face of a furious father. In any case it was probably many years before George could again enjoy that delicious dessert.
This is George Washington, as young American children know him. Later, in their studies of American history they learn that George Washington made three important contributions to the shaping of the early United States. First, he was the commander in chief of the Continental Army, which was victorious in gaining independence from Great Britain during the Revolutionary War. The song “Yankee Doodle” dates back to that time. Yankee was a derogatory term used by the British and by New Yorkers to refer to the people living in “New England” (Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, Rhode Island, Connecticut, and Vermont). A doodle was a foolish person or country bumpkin. At first the British sang this song to ridicule Washington’s army, which at first was little more than an armed mob, with officers quarreling constantly among themselves and soldiers who obeyed only the orders, which suited them. Washington is credited with transforming this motley crew into a disciplined fighting unit, which began to experience success in October 1777 at the Battle of Saratoga in northern New York. It is said that the American troops sang this song back to the British after the latter’s final surrender to Washington at Yorktown, Virginia, on October 19, 1781.
George Washington’s second major contribution to the shaping of early America was in serving as president of the Constitutional Convention that wrote the United States Constitution. Finally, Washington was unanimously elected to be the first president of the new country. In spite of this, he was a reluctant leader, and accepted two terms in office out of the deep obligation he felt to serve God and his country. He refused to serve a third term, choosing instead to retire to his beautiful family home at Mount Vernon, where he died on December 14, 1799, at the age of 67.
List of all Presidents’ names
Years  served
1. George Washington 1789    -      1797
2. John Adams 1797    -      1801
3. Thomas Jefferson 1801    -      1809
4. James Madison 1809     -      1817
5. James Monroe 1817     -   1825
6. John Quincy Adams 1825     -   1829
7. Andrew Jackson 1829     -   1837
8. Martin Van Buren 1837     -   1841
9. William Henry Harrison 1841
10. John Tyler 1841     -   1845
11. James Knox Polk 1845     -   1849
12. Zachary Taylor 1849     -   1850
13. Millard Fillmore 1850     -   1853
14. Franklin Pierce 1853     -   1857
15. James Buchanan 1857     -   1861
16. Abraham Lincoln 1861     -   1865
17. Andrew Johnson 1865     -   1869
18. Ulysses Simpson Grant 1869     -   1877
19. Rutherford Birchard Hayes 1877    -   1881
20. James Abram Garfield 1881
21. Chester Alan Arthur 1881    -   1885
22. Grover Cleveland 1885    -   1889
23. Benjamin Harrison 1889     -   1893
24. Grover Cleveland 1893     -   1897
25. William McKinley 1897     -   1901
26. Theodore Roosevelt 1901     -   1909
27. William Howard Taft 1909     -   1913
28. Woodrow Wilson 1913     -   1921
29. Warren Gamaliel Harding 1921     -   1923
30. Calvin Coolidge 1923     -   1929
31. Herbert Clark Hoover 1929     -   1933
32. Franklin Deleno Roosevelt 1933     -   1945
33. Harry S. Truman 1945     -   1953
34. Dwight David Eisenhower 1953     -   1961
35. John Fitzgerald Kennedy 1961     -   1963
36. Lyndon Baines Johnson 1963     -   1969
37. Richard Milhous Nixon 1969     -   1974
38. Gerald R. Ford 1974     -   1977
39.James E. Carter, Jr. 1977     -   1981
40. Ronald W. Reagan 1981     -   1989
41. George Bush 1989     -   1993
42. William J. Clinton 1993     -   2001
43. George Bush, Jr. 2001     -   ?
White House Curse
Beginning in 1840 and extending for well over a century, every President elected in a year ending in a zero died in office. This strange twist of fate was called the “20-year curse” because it occurred every twenty years. Consider:
- William Henry Harrison, elected in 1840.
Harrison caught a cold at his inauguration and died of pneumonia a month later.
- Abraham Lincoln, elected in 1860, and reelected four years later. Lincoln was assassinated on April 14, 1865.
- James A. Garfield, elected in 1880.
Garfield was shot on July 2, 1881, and three months later died of blood poisoning.
- William McKinley, elected in 1900.
McKinley was shot on September 6, 1901, and died a week later.
- Warren G. Harding, elected in 1920.
Harding died of a heart attack approximately 2I/2 years after taking office.
- Franklin D. Roosevelt, elected in 1940 for a third term.
Roosevelt died of natural causes on April 12, 1945, less than four months after taking the oath of office for a fourth term.
- John F. Kennedy, elected in 1960.
Kennedy was assassinated on November 22, 1963.
Ronald Reagan, elected in 1980, loomed as the next victim of the curse. About two months after taking office, Reagan was shot and wounded by John F. Hinckley. But quick and expert medical attention saved the President’s life. Reagan’s survival was said to have broken the curse.
A presidental curiosity
How does one explain the many similarities in the lives of Abraham Lincoln and John F. Kennedy? Consider:
-  Both were married in their thirties to women in their twenties.
- Lincoln won election to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1846. Kennedy was elected to the House in 1946.
- Lincoln tried and failed to get his party’s nomination for Vice President in 1856. Kennedy failed in his bid to get his party’s nomination for Vice President in 1956.
- Lincoln was elected President in 1860, defeating Stephen A. Douglas, born in 1813. Kennedy was elected President in 1960, defeating Richard Nixon, born in 1913.
- Lincoln was younger than his Vice President, Andrew Johnson, a Southerner, born in 1808. Kennedy was younger than his Vice President, Lyndon B. Johnson, a Southerner, born in 1908.
- Lincoln was shot on a Friday (April 14, 1865) as he sat next to his wife. Kennedy was shot on a Friday (November 22, 1963) as he sat next to his wife.
- Lincoln’s assassin, John Wilkes Booth, fled and was killed before he could be brought to trial. Kennedy’s assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald, fled and was killed before he could be brought to trial.
Mother’s Day (2nd Sunday in May)
Father’s Day (3rd Sunday in June)
In the United States two Sundays are set aside on which Americans honour their mothers and fathers, grandmothers and grandfathers. On these days children give thanks for the support, love, care, and guidance, which these special people provide. Since it is unusual for several generations to live together under one roof, this expression of thanks often takes the form of a special dinner, either home-cooked or in a favorite restaurant, or, especially on Father’s Day when the weather is more dependable, an outside barbecue is a common way of celebrating. Giving cards and gifts is also a tradition. Children often make Mother’s Day and Father’s Day gifts in school. Pin cushions sachets, tie clasps, decorated boxes and picture frames, recipe holders, and plaster-cast hand prints are all popular favorites. Another common gift for mothers (from fathers or older children) is the “mother ring”, a ring set with the birthstones of each of the members of the family.
Mother’s Day was first proclaimed a national holiday by President Woodrow Wilson in 1915. The idea of honouring mothers on a special day started with Ann Jarvis, from Grafton, West Virginia, who chose the second Sunday in May and began the custom of wearing a red carnation if one’s mother was still living and a white carnation if one’s mother was deceased. If the latter is the case, many people visit their mother’s grave site and dedicate the day to their mother’s memory.
Father’s Day dates back to 1909, when one daughter, a certain Mrs Dodd from Spokane, Washington, wanted to honour her own father who had raised four sons and a daughter after her mother’s death. Although the first Father’s Day was observed in Spokane in 1910 and it has been likewise observed in many other states for many decades, Father’s Day did not become a national holiday until Senator Margaret Chase Smith helped to establish it as such in 1972.
Since many American families are geographically separated from their parents or children, on these two special Sundays they try to bridge the gap with a long-distance phone call (some companies offer special rates for the holiday weekend) or special delivery of flowers in order to say “I love you” to those who gave them life.
Memorial Day (last Monday in May)
Americans observe Memorial Day in different ways. For some it is simply the three-day weekend, which opens the summer outdoor recreation season. Camping, boating, gardening, and sunbathing are taken up again in earnest after the long winter. For other Americans, this day is set aside to visit the grave sites or otherwise honour friends and loved ones who lost their lives while serving their country.
The first Memorial Day dates back to the time following the Civil War. In 1866 residents and veterans of Waterloo, New York, agreed to close their shops and businesses on May 5 in order to decorate the graves and honor the memory of the many soldiers buried in the local cemetery. This is why the holiday was originally called Decoration Day.
Two years later the former Union General Jonathan Logan led veterans to decorate the graves of their fallen comrades with flags.
In 1882 the name was changed to Memorial Day, and its focus was broadened to include soldiers who had died in previous wars. It is important to note that the southern states honoured their war dead as well, but on different dates: April 26th, May 10th, and June 3rd. May 30th was established as a national holiday observed by both northern and southern states as late as 1971!
Since World War I a red poppy has become the symbol for Memorial Day, as that flower grew wild in the battlefields of France, where many thousands had died. Today the most elaborate Memorial Day ceremonies are held in Waterloo, New York, and at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia. The spirit of remembrance is particularly strong at Arlington, the site of 200,000 soldiers’ graves, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, President Kennedy’s grave overlooking Washington, DC, and graves of numerous astronauts, war heroes, and many other distinguished Americans.
Independence Day (July 4th)
Often simply called “the Fourth of July”, this holiday celebrates the day (July 4, 1776) on which the Continental Congress ratified the Declaration of Independence, which proclaimed freedom from the British monarch King George III, who had up to that time ruled the 13 American colonies. Several events preceded the actual drafting of this treasonous document, for which the 56 men who signed it risked execution. General discontent with British trade policies turned to open dissent in 1770 when the British government levied a new tax on tea in order to save its failing India Tea Company. Samuel Adams and other residents of Boston showed their outrage by dressing up as Indians and dumping a shipload of tea into the Massachusetts Bay. This event was later called “The Boston Tea Party”. In 1773, British soldiers who had been sent to Boston to tighten control over the impudent colonists were jeered and stoned and thus provoked to firing into the crowd, killing several. The number of dead was exaggerated and the event was named “The Boston Massacre”. These two events acted as catalysts in uniting the unhappy colonists to fight against British rule.
In September 1774 the First Continental Congress met in Virginia to draw up a list of grievances. The Continental Army was established under the command of General George Washington, and the Revolutionary War was begun. On July 2, 1776, a second draft of the list of grievances was presented at the Second Continental Congress, and this document, called the Declaration of Independence, inspired the colonists wherever it was read to formally separate from England. A war ensued which was to last until 1783, when, after securing victory, Independence Day was made an official holiday.
Today firecrackers are exploded and fireworks are displayed all across America on the night of the Fourth. Picnics, air shows, clambakes, barbecues, baseball games, relay races, fairs, rodeos, art shows, parades and special concerts are but a few of the many ways in which Americans observe this bright mid-summer holiday.
Thanksgiving Day (fourth Thursday in November)
Imagine a day set aside for families to come together from near and far to feast and feel thankful for all that they have and you’ve got Thanksgiving Day in the United States. Some families take part in religious ceremonies in the morning, but for most families the highlight of the day is Thanksgiving dinner. Traditionally this feast features roast turkey with stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy, sweet potatoes, squash, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie with whipped cream. Major college and professional football games are televised that day, and this unites many men around the television while women are busy in the kitchen.
This custom began with the Pilgrims in 1621. The Pilgrims were an English religious minority, which did not worship the Church of England and therefore suffered persecution. They decided to leave the country in search of religious freedom. King James I gave them a charter to settle in Virginia, where a British colony had been founded in 1607. On September 16, 1620, a small ship called the Mayflower, carrying 102 passengers, left Plymouth harbour in England and sailed west. On November 11, 1620, the Mayflower reached North America. But storms had blown the ship off course and the Pilgrims were far north of Virginia. It took them another month to find a suitable place to settle and, finally, on December 26, 1620, the Pilgrims found a harbour which became the site of the town they named Plymouth, in the present State of Massachusetts. The colonists endured a very hard winter of sickness and starvation by the end of which half were dead. But with the help of the native Indians, who taught them how to fish, hunt, and plant corn, their chances for surviving the winter of 1621 looked much brighter. After a successful harvest, Governor William Bradley decided to hold a special Thanksgiving feast, and invited the Indian chief Massosoit and ninety Indian braves to attend. The Indians brought deer meat or venison to be roasted along with the wild turkeys. They even brought popcorn to share! The original Thanksgiving lasted three whole days and can you believe that all that food was prepared by three women!
The colonists continued to celebrate the autumn harvest with a feast of thanks. George Washington suggested that November 26th be set aside each year for the observance. In 1864, at the end of the tragic Civil War, Abraham Lincoln established the last Thursday in November as a day for all Americans to give thanks.
Stores, schools, and homes are decorated with various Thanksgiving symbols, including pictures of pilgrims, Indians, turkeys, and harvest still-lives. The horn of plenty or cornucopia, wreaths of dried flowers, and dried, multi-coloured “Indian corn” are often used as door and table decorations. The day after Thanksgiving is considered the beginning of the month-long Christmas shopping season, as demonstrated by Santa Claus’s traditional arrival at the end of the annual Thanksgiving Day Parade held in New York City and sponsored by Macy’s department store.

Exercise XX.
1. Answer the questions.
a. What famous Americans do you know?
b. What are they famous for?
2. Read the following and say what you have learned about the person.
Benjamin Franklin
One reason why the Declaration and the Constitution were written in Philadelphia is that in the late 1700s Philadelphia was America’s most important city. Philadelphia’s importance had much to do with one man – Benjamin Franklin.
In 1723, at the age of 17, Benjamin Franklin ran away to Philadelphia, looking for work as an apprentice printer. A few years later he had his own print shop and was publishing one of the most widely read newspapers in the colonies. Franklin did a lot for Philadelphia – for example, he started a library (the first in the colonies), a fire department, a city hospital, and a school that is now the University of Pennsylvania.
Franklin also did a lot for his country. He helped write the Declaration of Independence. During the war, he persuaded the French to aid the colonists; without French help, the colonists might not have won the war. When the Constitution was being written, Franklin solved some serious disagreements; at 81, he was twice as old as most of the other men and was greatly respected.
Benjamin Franklin was also a writer, philosopher, scientist, and inventor. In a famous experiment with a kite and a key, he proved that lightning is electricity.
• Benjamin Franklin was known for his humour and common sense. When the Declaration of Independence was being signed, one man called for unity by saying, “We must be unanimous; we must all hang together.” Franklin replied with a play on words: “Yes, we must indeed all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately!”
Franklin’s many sayings show his common sense. Here are some sayings that he made up. Can you tell what each means? Are there sayings with similar meanings in your language?
1. Remember that time is money.
2. Little strokes fell great oaks. (Here, to fell means “to cut down”; strokes is “swing of an axe”.)
3. God helps them that help themselves.
4. Experience keeps a dear school but fools will learn in no other. (Here, dear means “expensive, costly”.)

Exercise XXI.
1. Read the text. 
Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln grew up in rural Indiana and Illinois. He was a frontiersman and had all the frontiersman’s skills. He could split rails – that is, cut logs so they could be used to make fences. He could tell a good story or joke and liked going to country fairs, where he’d “stand backs” with other men to see who was taller. (At 6’4’’, Lincoln often won.)
But Lincoln also had ambitions. He educated himself, studied law, and became a lawyer in Springfield, Illinois. In 1834, at the age of 25, he was elected to the Illinois House of Representatives.
His political career began at a time when Americans were becoming divided over the issue of slavery. Lincoln’s speeches reveal his insight and his simple eloquence. Running in 1858 for U.S. senator from Illinois, he said, quoting from the Bible: “A house divided against itself cannot stand. I believe this government cannot endure, permanently half slave and half free.”
Lincoln lost this election, but his “House Divided” speech brought him national recognition. In 1860 he became the Republican candidate for president. There was an unusual election with four candidates. Lincoln won, although he had almost no support in the South. Soon Lincoln stood on the Springfield train platform, waving well-wishers good-bye. His trunks were labeled simply “A. Lincoln. White House. Washington, D.C.”
Within months of Lincoln’s election, the house divided against itself fell. The southern states seceded from the Union. Despite his lack of experience, Lincoln was a very capable political and military leader. He brought the country through four years of civil war.
Lincoln never lost touch with the people. He visited soldiers in hospitals and on battlefields. He often opened the White House to ordinary citizens, meeting with them and listening to their problems.
The war greatly affected Lincoln. Friends noticed how much he had aged. Once, after a battle in which many were killed, Lincoln was telling one of jokes, when a congressman interrupted him, pointing out that jokes were not appropriate at such a time. Lincoln broke into tears. His body shaking, he explained that if he did not tell jokes, his sorrow became too much to bear.
As the war neared its end, Lincoln showed his compassion for those on the other side – those who had been and would again be part of the nation. He stated clearly: “With malice toward none, with charity for all, … let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation’s wounds.”
Could Lincoln lead the country successfully in this process of healing? Peace would bring problems almost as difficult as war. The southern states had to be readmitted and former slaves had to be incorporated into the society.
Unfortunately, the answer to this question would never be known. On April 14, 1865, Lincoln went to the theater to see a comedy. John Wilkes Booth, a southern sympathizer, slipped into Lincoln’s theater box and assassinated him.
All along the route as Lincoln made his final trip home to Springfield, Illinois, 7 million Americans went down to the train tracks to pay their last respects. The nation was in shock and in mourning.
2. The adjectives below are among those that were often used to describe Abraham Lincoln. (Some, but not all, are in the reading). Match them to the definitions on the right.
1. eloquent a. clumsy
2. insightful b. able to understand situations
3. compassionate c. clever
4. capable d. expressing yourself in a powerful way
5. shrewd e. having feeling and concern for others
6. awkward f. having abilities
7. ambitious g. having a strong desire to succeed
3. Discuss the points.
One other adjective is especially associated with Lincoln: honest. Throughout his political career, Abraham Lincoln was known for his honesty. His nickname, in fact, was “Honest Abe”. Do you feel honesty is an important quality in a leader? What personal qualities do you think are most important for leaders?
The reading implies that Lincoln helped shape American history – that he helped end the Civil War and that if he hadn’t been killed, the period following the war might have been different. Do you think a single leader can shape history? Why or why not?

Exercise XXII.
1. Here is information about Elvis Presley.
The King of Rock and Roll
Elvis Presley came from a very poor family. He was born on 8 January 1935 in Mississippi.
Elvis loved music. He went to church every Sunday and sang in the choir. When he was 13, his mother bought him a guitar. (Elvis wanted a bicycle, but it was too expensive). The same year Elvis and his family left Mississippi. They moved to Memphis, Tennessee.
One day in 1954 he went to a recording studio called Sun Records. He wanted to make a record for his mother’s birthday. The secretary at the studio, Mario Keisker, heard Elvis and she told her boss, Sam Phillips.
Elvis was Sam Phillips’s dream – “a white boy with a black voice”. Philips became Elvis’s manager and Elvis made his first single “That’s All Right, Mama”. When disc jockeys played it on their radio stations, American teenagers went wild. Many American parents didn’t like Elvis. He was too sexy.
In 1955, Elvis appeared on TV in New York. The following year he went to Hollywood and made his first film “Love Me Tender”. In the next two years he had many hit records.
In 1958, Elvis joined the American army and went to Germany. When he returned to the United States in the early 60s, pop was not the same. British groups like the Beatles and the Rolling Stones were the new stars.
Elvis was a millionaire, but he was a very lonely man. In his last years he became fat and depressed. He died of a heart attack on 16 August 1977 in his mansion at Graceland, Memphis.
2. Use the information you have got to write a short biography of Elvis. In 1935 Elvis was born. In 19…

Exercise XXIII. Find out information and make reports on some other famous Americans.

Exercise XXIV.
1. Read and explain it in Russian.
all-American 1) having those qualities thought to be admired by Americans. Most British people have an idea of the all-American man or woman as being young, attractive, healthy, and rich, and very keen to be successful, but also insincere, and not very clever. Many Americans, though, see the all-American man or woman as us. middle-class, white, and as representing American values that have been passed down from the past to the present. 2) representing the best in American sports, esp. in university
All-American – a player who has been chosen as one of the best in his or her sport in university: eg. He made All-American last year in football.
bench – to remove from a game for a short period because of breaking the rules or because of poor performance: eg. He may be benched for the next few games because of shoulder problems.
coulee [´ku:lا, -leا] a small valley with steep sides that was created by water running through it but is now usu. dry: eg. Cattle are gazing down in the coulee.
dirt farmer – a farmer who earns his living by farming his own land, esp. without hired help
dirt poor – very poor; having very little money
entryway – a passage by which one enters a place
Field and Stream – an American magazine read mostly by men; that has articles about hunting, fishing, and out-door life
golden anniversary – golden wedding
hillbilly [´hاlbاlا] – an uneducated person from a mountain area, esp. from the Appalachian Mountains, living far from a town
intermediate school – a junior school or middle school
John Hancock – a signature (after the American statesman of that name who was the first to sign Declaration of Independence. He is said to have made his signature very large, so that the King of England could read it without his glasses: eg. Put your John Hancock on the dotted line).
Keep America Beautiful – the slogan of a campaign to encourage American people not to drop litter in the streets
liquor [´lاkə] strong alcoholic drink, such as whisky.
March of Dimes – an American charity organization which raises money, esp. for disabled children
Oatmeal – porridge
pony [´pəunا] – a very small bottle of an alcoholic drink: eg. Could I have a pony of gin, please?
representative – a member of the House of Representatives, the Lower House of Congress in the United States, usu. called a Congressman or a Congresswoman
shell game – a game meant to deceive the person who is watching it. In the game a small object is placed under one of three cups and then the cups are moved quickly into different positions. The person watching must then say which of the cups the object is under.
thongs [ɵoŋz || ɵɔ:ŋz] a type of open shoe (sandal) which is held on by the toes and loose at the back
Underground Railroad – a loosely arranged system in America before the Civil War to help escaping slaves
vampire bat also vampire – a South American Bat (=animal like a flying mouse) which sucks the blood of other animals
whisk broom – a small hand-held brush usu. made from broom, used for brushing clothes or sweeping dust into a dustpan
yearbook – a book printed once a year giving facts and information about the year just past
zipcode – postcode
2. Play the game.
In groups of three play a reality vocabulary TV game show. One person is the game show host. He/she says the definitions of American realities, one at a time. Contestants must think of the words that go with the definitions. For each definition, the contestant who is the first to call out the correct word scores a point. The contestant with the most points at the end wins the game.

Exercise XXV. Read and explain it in English.
A, B, C, D, E оценки по пятибалльной системе, принятые в большинстве американских школ и колледжей. A – «отлично» (excellent), B – «хорошо», «выше среднего уровня» (above average or superior work), C – «посредственно» (satisfactory), D – «удовлетворительно, но ниже среднего уровня» (a passing grade), E (или F) – «неудовлетворительно» (completely unsatisfactory)
Abraham and Strauss универсальный магазин в Нью-Йорке, в Бруклине. Имеет полный ассортимент товаров по относительно невысоким ценам
Bowery the [´bauərا] улица в Нью-Йорке, в нижней части Манхаттана. Центр района трущоб, ночлежных домов и питейных заведений, нью-йоркское дно (New York’s Skid Row). Жизнь на Бауэри считается последней степенью обнищания и деградации человека. Здесь влачат жалкое существование «бродяги с Бауэри» (Bowery bums), погрязшие в нищете и алкоголизме. В последнее время в жизни улицы произошли изменения, сюда переехало несколько театров и дискотек, появился ряд неплохих магазинов, торгующих люстрами и другими бытовыми светильниками, а также оборудованием для ресторанов. Их привлекла сюда близость к крупному торговому району – к Нижнему Ист-Сайду (Lower East Side)
destructive competition конкуренция на уничтожение (вытесняющая некоторых производителей с рынка). Происходит, когда один и тот же продукт производят так много фирм или компаний, что цены опускаются до уровня, когда никто не получает прибыли, а так же в том случае, когда один из производителей значительно богаче других и может позволить себе снизить цены так, что другие вынуждены выйти из бизнеса
Easter basket пасхальная корзина (наполненная драже в шоколаде, шоколадными яйцами и вложенным в нее шоколадным кроликом). Ставиться в пасхальное утро в таком месте, чтобы дети могли легко ее найти; в их представлении это подарок от пасхального кролика
Easter bunny пасхальный кролик. В представлении американской детворы он приносит им пасхальные корзинки с подарками и прячет пасхальные яйца
Easter egg пасхальное яйцо. В США это обычное яйцо, раскрашенное ребенком. Затем родители прячут его, а в пасхальное утро ребенок его ищет, считая, что яйцо спрятал пасхальный кролик
Flag football «футбол с флажком», разновидность американского футбола, распространенная в школах (у одного из игроков команды у пояса находится флаг, игра ведется до тех пор, пока этот флаг не будет сорван противной стороной)
Grade point average (GPA) средний балл успеваемости за определенный период времени. Каждая оценка имеет числовое выражение (А=4, B=3, C=2, D=1, F=0), и по сумме выводится средний балл. Наивысшим возможным является 4.0, который произносится как [fɔ:r'pɔاntəu]. Часто по среднему баллу определяют, может ли ученик средней школы быть принят в тот или иной колледж или университет
Haunted House, the Дом с привидениями (достопримечательность Нового Орлеана). Здание, где по преданию все еще слышны стоны рабов, замученных до смерти владелицей дома мадам Лалаурие
“In God we trust” «На Бога уповаем» / «С нами Бог» 1. девиз Соединенных Штатов Америки (принят конгрессом в 1956; помещен на балконах и монетах США) 2. девиз штата Флорида
jumbo jet ['dʒʌmbəu 'dʒet] огромный пассажирский лайнер «Боинг-747» (Boeing 747), произведенный компанией «Боинг» (Boeing Corporation)
Kangaroo court 1. судебное разбирательство, игнорирующее установленные правила юриспруденции; суд некомпетентный и несправедливый 2. sl незаконное судебное разбирательство (особ. подпольный «суд» заключенных в тюрьме)
live-in разг. 1. лицо, живущее в доме, где работает по найму 2. иметь квартиру по месту службы
Master Card кредитная карточка, учрежденная группой крупных банков. Входит в международную систему расчетов
night letter «вечерняя телеграмма». Отправляется вечером или ночью, а вручается на следующий день. Плата за «вечернюю телеграмму» меньше, чем за обычную.
opening number фильм, который показывают дополнительно к основному фильму (обычно в начале программы)
opening show номер в концертной программе, идущий дополнительно к основным (обычно предшествует номерам, исполняемым звездой программы)
poverty trap «ловушка нищеты», ситуация, когда небольшое увеличение доходов выводит семью из категории бедняков и лишает ее пособий или приводит к увеличению ставки налогообложения, в результате чего она становится более нуждающейся , чем была до того
quiz викторина, серия вопросов
rags-to-reaches «от нищеты к богатству» (о жизненном пути, карьере, начатой человеком на пустом месте и приведшей его к успеху и богатству)
Schwarz [swɔ:s] магазин игрушек в Нью-Йорке. Самый популярный магазин у американской детворы
TESOL [‘tesol] (сокр. от Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) Ассоциация преподавателей английского языка как иностранного. Ее штаб-квартира находится в пригороде Вашингтона; за рубежом работает в тесном контакте с информационным агентством Соединенных Штатов, издает методический журнал «Форум» (“Forum”)
Unemployment benefit / compensation пособие по безработице
valedictorian ['vælاdاk'tɔ:rاən] лучший студент-выпускник, выступающий с прощальной речью на церемонии вручения дипломов
wading pool [‘weاdاŋpul] 1. «лягушатник», неглубокий бассейн (обычно в парке), где дети могут купаться без опаски утонуть 2. небольшой бассейн из пластика, в котором могут купаться дети
X категория фильмов «только для взрослых» (порнографические фильмы; подростки и дети не допускаются)
X-certificate фильм, отнесенный к категории Х
X-film фильм категории Х (можно показывать только взрослым)
yellow-dog подлец, трус
yellow dog contract контракт о найме на работу, требующий от рабочего предварительного обязательства не вступать в профсоюз
zoning районирование, деление городского массива на промышленные и жилые зоны (стоимость жилья зависит от того, в какой зоне находится дом).

Exercise XXVI. Find out information about other American realities in different dictionaries. Tell the class what you have found out.

Exercise XXVII.
1. Read the information.
The Sequoias
The sequoia trees are the oldest living things in the world. You can find them only in the north of California. They are huge. Some are over 250 feet high. Many sequoias are over 3.000 years old. They are living giants.
The name sequoia comes from Sequoyah, an American Indian. Sequoyah developed an alphabet for his people, so they could read and write.
The bark, or outside part of the sequoia, has a special tannin or juice. This protects the tree from fire and insects. So sequoias never die from fire of disease.
The biggest sequoia is the General Sherman tree. This tree is 100 feet around its base, or bottom. It is 267 feet tall. This means it is about the same size as a building with twenty-six floors. It is also one of the oldest trees in the world. The General Sherman tree is 4,000 years old!
When people needed wood, they began to cut down the sequoias. John Muir was a famous naturalist. He studied plants and animals. Muir wanted to save the sequoias. He asked President Theodore Roosevelt to come and see the sequoias in California. The president came, and in 1903 he made the land where they grew into a national park – Sequoia National Park.
2. Complete the definitions. Circle the letter of the correct answer.
a) Something that is very, very big is _____.
a. huge
b. high
c. tall
b) The bottom of a tree is its _____.
a. bark
b. base
c. juice
c) A person who studies plants and animals is a _____.
a. sequoia
b. nationalist
c. naturalist
d) The thick outside part of a tree is the _____.
a. tannin
b. bark
c. juice

e) Something that is much bigger than normal is _____.
a. giant
b. building
c. world
f) When something saves you from bad things, it _____ you.
a. protects
b. finds
c. studies

g) When something is sick, it may have a _____.
a. fire
b. bark
c. disease
h) Sequoyah made an alphabet for his people. He _____ it especially for them.
a. saved
b. grew
c. developed
3. Circle the letter of the best answer.
1. The sequoia trees are _____.
a. the oldest living things in the world
b. died 3,000 years ago
c. the oldest things in the world
2. The General Sherman tree is _____.
a. the oldest sequoia
b. the biggest sequoia
c. in Washington
3. President Roosevelt _____.
a. cut down sequoias
b. saved John Muir
c. made Sequoia National Park
4. One word in each sentence is not correct. Cross out the word and write the correct answer above it.
1. Sequoia trees are the oldest living things in California.
2. Some Sequoias are 250 feet old.
3. The General Sherman tree is 100 feet around its tannin.
4. Sequoyah developed an American for his people.
5. The bark of the sequoia has a special fire.
6. John Muir was a famous president.
7. Muir wanted to save the people.
8. President Roosevelt made the land where the sequoias grew into a presidential park.
5. The words in the sentences are not in the correct order. Rewrite the sentence with the word in the correct order.
EXAMPLE: the / General Sherman / old / is / tree / 4,000 years
    The General Sherman tree is 4,000 years old.
1. naturalist / was / a / John Muir / famous
2. General Sherman / around / the / is / 100 feet / its / tree / base
3. has / bark / a / the / juice / special
4. to / sequoias / Muir / wanted / save / the
5. disease / sequoias / from / fire / never / die / or
6. plants / John Muir / studied / and / animals
6. Discuss the answers to these questions with your groupmates.
a. What other names of trees do you know?
b. What do people use wood for?
c. Why are scientists worried about people cutting down forests?

Exercise XXVIII.
1. Read the information.
Separation of Church and State
A basic American principle is separation of church (religion) and state (government). The U.S. Constitution says that people have the right to worship as they choose and that no religion can be made the official religion. In keeping with this principle, government money cannot be used to support church activities and prayers may not be said in public schools. (The U.S. Congress, however, opens each year with a prayer).

The Different Religions
Studies show that about 9 in 10 Americans identify with a religion and that about 6 in 10 belong to a church.
About 94 percent of Americans who identify with a religion are Christians. Among Christians, there are more Protestants than Catholics. However, there are many different Protestant denominations, or groups. For example, Protestants include, among others, Baptists, Methodists, and Lutherans, and each of these groups is divided into smaller groups. So Catholics, although outnumbered by Protestants, are the single largest religious group. Jews are the largest non-Christian group, with about 4 percent of the population. About 2 percent of the population is Moslem, and smaller numbers are Buddhists and Hindus. Native Americans often preserve their tribal religions.
Regional Differences
There are some differences among the regions when it comes to religion. In part these differences are related to where different immigrant groups settled. For example, the Lutheran religion was strong among Germans and Scandinavians. Many Germans and Scandinavians settled in the Midwest. So today there are many Lutheran churches in the Midwest. The Baptist religion really developed in the South. Today there are still many Baptists in the Southern states. The state of Utah, in the West, was settled by Mormons. (The Mormon religion began in the United States, in the 1800s).
Sections of the South and, to some extent, the Midwest are sometimes called the “Bible Belt”. In these areas there are many Protestant fundamentalists, who believe that the Bible is literally true and that its message should be at the center of a person’s life.
2. Compare the religious situations in the USA and Russia.

Exercise XXIX.
1. Read the information.
The American family has changed greatly in the last 20 or 30 years. Many of these changes are similar to changes taking place in other countries.
Marriage and Children
Young people are waiting longer before getting married. Women are also waiting longer to have children. It’s not unusual today for a woman to have her first child in her mid-thirties. And families are having fewer children. The typical family used to have three children. Today most families have one or two children.
Dual-Earning Families
In the traditional family, the wife stayed home with the children while the husband earned money. Now 60 percent of all married women work outside the home. So a majority of couples have two wage-earners. One reason for this change is that women want and expect to have careers. Another reason is economics. With rising prices, many families cannot survive on one person’s salary.
Single-Parent and Other Nontraditional Families
The United States has a high divorce rate: approximately 1 in every 2 marriages ends in divorce. One result of this high divorce rate is that many American children live in single parent families.
Although some women wait until their thirties to have their first child, other women become mothers while they are still teenagers. Many of these teenaged mothers are not married. Many are also poor. Poverty among children in homes headed by single mothers has become a serious problem in the United States.
Often people who are divorced get married again. This has led to a new kind of family – the “reconstituted family”, in which there are children from previous marriages as well as from the present marriage.

An Aging Population
In the past, it was common for three generations – grandparents, parents, and children – to live together. Now older people live on their own. They generally stay in contact with their children but might live in a different part of the country. People are also living longer – often for 20 years after they’ve retired from their job. Modern American culture tends to value youth rather than age. All of this creates an interesting challenge for older people – and for the country, since by the year 2020, 1 in every 6 Americans will be over the age of 65.
2. Discuss the points.
a. What about the Family in your country? Are there similar processes and problems?
b. What do you think the perfect family is like? For example, how many children should there be? Should both parents work? Should the grandparents live with the family?

Exercise XXX. There are many things Americans do in their own way. Make reports about different sides of life in the USA (School traditions; Boyscouts, Girlscouts; Wedding traditions; Wild West and Cowboys; Native Americans and so on).

Exercise XXXI. Render the text in English.
Для стран английского языка характерно принятие женщиной имени мужа: Mrs Frank Brown (наряду с Mrs Charlotte Brown), супружеская пара обозначается the Frank Browns.
В США приятно давать мальчикам второе, «среднее» имя. Вместо среднего имени часто используется инициал (иногда ничего не значащий, просто для различения людей, имеющих одинаковые имена и фамилии). До середины XVIII в. средние имена в Америке употреблялись крайне редко, более того, получить два имени при крещении считалось нарушением английских традиций.
При выборе инициала иногда вступает в действие вера в магическую силу имени. Так, среди негров распространено поверье, что если инициалы образуют значащее слово, то это приносит счастье: Fun, Joy, Pet.
К имени сына, носящего имя и фамилию отца, добавляется Jr. (junior - младший): John J. Smith, Jr.
Если дочь названа по матери, то ее имя Miss Mary Smith, в отличие от Mrs John Smith – матери. Если обе работают и пользуются первым именем Mary, то дочь называют Mary Smith, the younger. Когда Miss Mary Ann выходит замуж за мужчину по имени George Henry Coldbeer, ее официальным именем становится Mrs George Henry Coldbeer, а неофициальным – Mary Ann Coldbeer.
В странах английского языка часто в качестве имени используют фамилии. В США это носит массовый характер, например, Sinclair Lewis,– известный американский писатель.
Примерно 75% старших сыновей из американских семей с претензиями на социальный престиж имеют в качестве первого или среднего имени девичью фамилию матери (John Fitzgerald Kennedy).
После окончания войны за независимость возникла тенденция использовать имена известных государственных деталей. В качестве первых имен стали использоваться Washington, Madison, Monroe, Jackson, Harrison, Lincoln, например, Washington Irving.
Для США характерно также широкое использование библейских имен – Joseph, Samuel, Benjamin, David, Joel, Adam.
Создаются сложные имена, которые обычно объединяют имена родителей или двух наиболее любимых бабушек и дедушек: Georgiana (George + Anna), Joanna (Joe + Anna), Clarence (Charles + Anna).
Сложные имена более характерны для юга, где широко принята практика давать девочкам 2 имени: Betty Sue, Mary Jane. 

Exercise XXXII.
1. Present your projects “American culture” (see exercise 12).
2. Discuss the points.
a. Which aspects of American culture can you find in your own city or country?
b. What do your friends think about the American cultural influence in your country?
c. How do you personally feel about it?


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Кэтлин К., Новикова М.Л. Holidays go round and round. – СПб, 1996.
Falk, R. Spotlight on the USA. – Oxford University Press, 1993.
Fiedler E., Jonsen R., Norman-Risch M. America in close-up. – Longman, 2000.
McDowall D. Britain in close-up. – Longman, 2000.
O’Driscoll J. Britain: the country and its people. – Oxford University Press, 1996.
Последнее изменение: Среда, 24 Октябрь 2018, 17:05