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History Lesson

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Read the text.


Many students enrich their lives with studies abroad. Those who do this say that they will never be afraid to do anything else in their lives. They spend a semester or more studying in Wales, France, England, Japan, and other countries. These students say the months spent abroad help them to love the United States more.

To study and to live in another culture is a life-changing experience. The students say, “The people we met were absolutely incredible. The people made it the best experience of our life.”

The students also learn more about their own country and what it means to be an American once they live outside of the country.

Many of the students who go overseas are studying foreign languages, and they say there is no better way to improve language skills and to understand another culture than to immerse yourself into that culture. These students acquire a second language proficiency to the level that is really is something that’s useful to them and something that will stay with them the rest of their life.


   Ex.1. Do you know all the underlined words in the text? There are some words and their definitions in the left column.  In the right column, there are Russian versions of these words. Can you match the right and the left columns?


           1. To enrich      - to improve, to give greater value.      a) приобретать, овладевать

           2. Incredible     - hard to believe.                                b) погружать, окунать

           3. To improve   - to make something better.                c) обогащать, пополнять

           4. To immerse   - to absorb.                                        d) улучшать

           5. To acquire    - to learn, to get, to have.                    e) мастерство, умение

           6. Proficiency    - knowledge, ability, progress.            f) невероятный




   Ex.2. Answer the questions.


         1. Have you ever been abroad?

         2. Has anybody of your classmates studied abroad?

         3. Would you like to go to another country to spend a semester or two studying there?

         4. Are you sure that it will do you a lot of good?

         5. Why do those who study abroad say that to live in another culture is a life-changing experience?

         6. The months spent abroad help the students to learn more about their own country, don’t they?

         7. Do you agree that there is no better way to improve language skills and to understand another culture than to immerse yourself into that culture?

         8. Do you have a foreign student at your school?


Read the text.


Russia inherited a well-developed, comprehensive system of education from the Soviet period, and most adults in Russia are literate.

There are lots of preschool, elementary, secondary, and higher education institutions in the country. At the age of six or seven, children in Russia enter primary school. Primary school has four grades. Intermediate education begins from grade five and continues through grade nine. After that, children enter upper-level schools (high schools) or vocational-technical programs, which includes on - the - job training.

The collapse of the Soviet system brought many changes to Russian education. By 1992 some 300 private schools had opened, including 40 institutions of higher education. Changes were made to the curriculum, including the teaching of previously banned literary works.

Besides, there are a lot of specialized schools in Russia, which train skilled workers such as technicians, nurses, elementary-school teachers, and other specialists who generally function as assistants to professional graduates of higher educational institutions.

In the early 1990s, Russia had 519 institutions of higher education. Traditionally, tuition was free, with students receiving a monthly stipend, but some universities began to charge students for tuition in the early 1990s. A large percentage of students take correspondent courses or attend classes on a part-time basis.

To get higher education, the students are supposed to have a four- or five-year course of study. After that they might have a one- to three-year graduate training, to defend their dissertations and receive candidate of science degrees. A higher degree, the doctor of sciences, is for those who have made outstanding contributions to their disciplines.


  Ex.1. Choose the synonyms for these eleven words.

           Use these words or their synonyms in your own sentences:


    to inherit            comprehensive           literate                           to collapse


 a) to get                      a) long             a) who can learn                      a) to fall apart

 b) to believe                b) full              b) who can enter college          b) to faint

 c) to have                   c) large            c) who can read and write        c) to drop


   extensive                curriculum          banned                               to train


 a) quick                      a) plan             a) officially forbidden               a) to learn

 b) thorough                 b) time-table    b) illegal                                   b) to teach

 c) much                      c) lesson          c) allowed                               c) to repeat


            a  graduate                             to charge                                     tuition


            a) a teacher                             a) to ask a price                       a) schooling

            b) a student                                         b) to tax                                  b) a school

            c) a former student                  c) to buy                                  c) a university


Ex.2. Answer the questions.


         1. Does Russia have a good comprehensive system of education?

         2. The country inherited this system from the Soviet period, didn’t it?

         3. What kinds of schools are there in Russia?

         4. At what age do children enter primary school?

         5. Does everybody in Russia finish upper-level school (high school)?

         6. If children don’t want to go to high school, they can choose vocational -technical schools or specialized secondary schools, can’t they?

         7. Russian education has greatly changed recently, hasn’t it? Why do you think so?

         8. Are you taught previously banned literary works? What are they? Do you like them? Can you tell why they were banned?

         9. Do many young people want to get higher education?

       10. Can they enter universities or institutes after 9-year education?

       11. Is education free, or are students charged for tuition?


  Ex.3. Fact or Option. A fact can be proved. An option, which cannot be proved, tells what someone believes.

    Directions. Read the sentences and tell whether each sentence is a fact, or an option.


          1. Russia inherited a well-developed system of education from the Soviet period.

          2. It is the best system of education in the world.

          3. All adults in Russia are literate.

          4. Children start going to school at the age of six or seven.

          5. There are three levels of school education in the country: primary, intermediate and high (or upper).

           6. Russian children are very smart, and they like to go to school.

           7. The collapse of the Soviet system brought many changes to Russian education.

           8. The Soviet system of education was much better than the system of education in Russia now.

           9. Education is free in Russia.

         10. There are lots of private schools and universities where students are charged for tuition.

         11. A large percentage of students take correspondent courses.

         12. A lot of young people in Russia enter higher-education institutions after leaving school.


Read the text.

Life Without Leadership

What would our school be like without any leaders? What would history class be like without people like Alexander-the-Great, Churchill, Thomas Jefferson, Vladimir Lenin, Napoleon-the-First, and many others? What would the world be like? Luckily, we don’t have to answer these questions. In order for your class or group to function effectively, someone must take charge and make important decisions for the group. Without leadership, almost everything would fall apart.

High school is probably the best place to find examples for leadership. Perhaps this is because teachers are trying to prepare us for the future, or maybe high school students are just very enthusiastic and don’t know what they are getting themselves into until it’s too late.

There are hundreds of activities at school besides the academic classes, and each one of them needs at least one leader. Sometimes that leader is a teacher, but most clubs and teams are run by elected captains and presidents.

Why do people want to be leaders? Immense responsibility comes with leadership. Suddenly you are responsible for a ton of people, deadlines, headaches... I think leadership is overrated. Don’t get me wrong; it is necessary, but not everyone is a natural-born leader.

Just remember, it takes two to make leadership happen: one to lead and the other to follow.  Without a group of followers, what good is a leader? Followers are helping their leaders to become responsible (and highly stressed) people.


Ex.1. Can you find these words and phrases, given in Russian, in the text above?


Для того, чтобы; брать на себя ответственность; всё бы развалилось; не знают, на что идут; непомерная ответственность; прирождённый руководитель, (организатор); переоценивать; поймите меня правильно.


Ex.2. Answer the questions.


1. Who is the leader in your class or group? (Maybe you have several leaders?)

2. Do you think they are natural-born leaders?

3. Ask them if it is very interesting to be a leader.

4. What is necessary to make leadership happen?

5. Pretend that you are a leader. Some of your classmates are not going to follow you. Can you be a success?

6. A leader needs a group of followers, doesn’t he?

7. Could you be a leader? Give your reasons, please. Is it easy for you to take charge and make important decisions?

Can you make decisions fast?

Do you always know how to find a way out?

8. Who is the leader at your lessons?

Have you ever tried to teach any lesson? (Maybe it is a tradition at your school to have student - teachers on Teachers’ Day in October)

9. Do you think it is necessary to have a home teacher for high school students?

Give your reasons, please.

10. Who is your sport leader?

11. What other after class activities are there at your school? Who are they run by?  Are these people good leaders?


Read the text.



Students at some schools in my town are learning what it is like to be a teacher. For an entire month, they plan, prepare, and teach each day’s lessons on different subjects, usually their favorite.

They find out what it means to prepare a lesson and present it to the class. The students prepare and grade quizzes and homework and handle all the chores that are part of teaching. And, of course, they teach the day’s lesson. I myself tried to do that kind of job once! I used to think teaching meant walking into the classroom, talking for a while, and then giving a test. Maybe you holler* at the kids occasionally to keep them in order. Not a bit of it! Kids often give student-teachers a hard time - until they have to teach themselves. Then they find out what it is like to take flak** when you are trying to do a serious job.

My friends and I agree that it’s a challenge that’s worth the effort. It makes you feel that you have really done something important in class - not just sit there.  And you find out there’s a career challenge in teaching that you don’t think about before.

Our teachers point out that there are many benefits for students in this job. The greatest one is that the student-teachers learn respect. Respect for the teaching task itself. After that hard time students are easier on their teachers.





  Answer the questions.


  1. Does your school have the tradition described in the text?

  2. Did you present a lesson to the class? What subject?

      If yes, answer questions 3-8. If not, go to question 9.

  3. Did you like to do that?

  4. Was it difficult to plan, prepare, and teach? What was the most difficult part?

  5. Did your classmates give you a hard time? Was it difficult to keep discipline?

  6. You liked the job you performed, didn’t you? What about your classmates?

  7. Isn’t teaching challenging?

  8. Would you like to be a teacher?

  9. Pretend that you have a chance to present a lesson to your friends.

       What subject would you choose for that? If you don’t like any subject, what would you like to teach your friends about? Perhaps you have something you would like to share with your friends. Please, say some words about this, will you?

10. How long would it take you to plan and to prepare your lesson?

11. Ask your classmates, which of them would like to join this student-teacher team.


   *to holler    - to yell, to shout

**flak             - bad press; fault finding; abusive criticism

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