ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION The poisoning of the world's land, air, and water is the fastest - spreading disease of civilization. Overpopulation, pollution and energy consumption have created such planet wide problems as massive deforestation, ozone depletion, acid rains and the global warming that is believed to be caused by the greenhouse effect. The seas are in danger. They are filled with poison: industrial and nuclear waste, chemical fertilizers and pesticides. The Mediterranean is already nearly dead; the North Sea is following. The Aral Sea is on the brink of extinction. If nothing is done about it, one day nothing will be able to live in the seas. Every ten minutes one kind of animal, plant or insect dies out for ever. If nothing is done about it, one million species that are alive today will have become extinct twenty years from now. Air pollution is а very serious problem. In Cairo just breathing the air is life threatening — equivalent to smoking two packs of cigarettes а day. The same holds true for Mexico City and 600 cities of the former Soviet Union. Industrial enterprises emit tons of harmful substances. These emissions have disastrous consequences for our planet. They are the main reason for the greenhouse effect and acid rains. An even greater environmental threat are nuclear power stations. We all know how tragic the consequences of the Chernobyl disaster are. People are beginning to realize that environmental problems are not somebody else's. They join and support various international organizations and green parties. If governments wake up to what is happening — perhaps we'll be able to avoid the disaster that threatens the natural world and all of us with it. Famous people. Every country has it’s own great people: scientists, poets and writers, politicians, musicians, composers and actors. But I would like to tell you about the great British politician Sir Winston Churchill. Winston Leonard Churchill was without doubt the ruling figure in British politics during the 1 st half of the 20th century. He was born in 1874. His mother was American, the daughter of a New York businessman; his father belonged to an English aristocratic family. He was given the typical education of that period for the person of his background. From 1895 until 1899 he combined the jobs of soldier and journalist in Cuba, India and Sudan. In 1899 he resigned from the army and began his political career. He was an active and popular member of the Conservative Party, but later he changed his political views and joined the Liberal Party. He won many political victories and had as many failures. In 1910 he became Home Secretary, but he lost some of his popularity when he used the army to help the police put down the miners’ strike. For some years he was out of office and spent his time writing and painting. In the twentieth he returned to Conservative Party. In 1924 he was elected to Parliament. In 1940 Churchill was appointed Prime Minister. He formed a coalition government with the war cabinet of five; he was Prime Minister until 1945. He returned once more as Prime Minister in 1951. Highly regarded as a painter, Churchill also received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1953 for his account of the Second World War. He predicted that an “Iron Curtain” would divide Europe from north to south and this left his mark on the period of the Cold War. He died in London in 1965. Generation Gap. Most people say that а family is very important for them. They like to repeat that families give them а sense of tradition, strength and purpose in their lives. ’’Our families show what we are", they say. Most parents teach their children to respect elder people and observe holidays. But the most important thing for а family is to give an emotional support and security. The right family values help boys and girls to gain confidence and resist the influence of bad friends. Teenagers often consider their parents old-fashioned, unaware of the latest style. As for their parents they do their best to give their children а better chance than they had themselves. After finishing school children often try to get complete independence, they leave their homes and sometimes even their native towns. Staying with parents has its negative and positive aspects but children must understand that parents don' t want to do them any harm. That's why sometimes young people have to listen to criticism from their parents. Some people often speak about the so-called "generation gap" that is а gap in views between parents and teenagers, but the majority of people think that this generation gap is sometimes exaggerated. Very often children feel neglected in their families. When they find cruelty, indifference and misunderstanding in their families they become divide and heartless themselves. As а result children feel hurt and some of them try to escape from the reality by tuning to alcohol and drugs. So all of us should pay more attention to family problems, we must avoid quarrels and look for consent. We must remember about spiritual values and all people should live in peace and harmony. Музыка играет огромную роль в нашей повседневной жизни. Она сопутствует нам везде: на телевидении и радио, дома, и даже в школе. Куда бы мы ни пошли вечером в кафе или бар, в клуб или на дискотеку - везде нас встретит музыка. В таких заведениях музыка является неотъемлемой их частью, потому что она поднимает настроение посетителей, делает обстановку уютней и главное веселей. Что касается меня, я с удовольствием слушаю музыку. Музыка помогает мне всегда. Когда я скучаю или у меня плохое настроение, я обязательно слушаю музыку, она всегда поднимает мне настроение и делает все окружающее более веселым, когда у меня отличное настроение, я обязательно включаю что-нибудь веселое и заводное и чувствую себя на вершине блаженства. У меня большое количество различных кассет и CD-дисков с самой различной музыкой от классики до рока. Из музыки мне нравится все, что хорошо звучит, но больше всего мне нравится современная музыка, потому что я современный человек и стараюсь идти в ногу со временем. Из современных музыкальных исполнителей мне больше всего нравится американская группа “The Offspring”. Мне нравится их музыка, потому что она энергичная и динамичная, но особенно мне нравится тексты песен этой группы, они бывают иногда грустными, иногда ироничными, но никогда скучными, потому что в них говорится о проблемах молодежи, обо всем, что волнует современное общество. Я мечтаю побывать когда-нибудь на концерте этой группы. Из классики мне больше всего нравятся произведения Моцарта. Я восхищаюсь талантом этого великого музыканта и композитора. Он сочинял музыку, играл на скрипке и клавесине в 5 лет тогда, когда другие дети еще не умеют читать. За свои 34 года жизни он написал 18 опер, 50 симфоний, 30 концертов для фортепьяно, огромное количество сонат и песен. Особенно мне нравятся три самых знаменитых симфонии Моцарта. Это симфония № 39, в ней показана жизнь человека с ее трудностями и радостями, это симфония № 40, в ней показана глубокая лирическая поэзия человеческой души, и это симфония № 41 (Юпитер), в ней показан весь мир, вся Вселенная с ее контрастами и противоречиями. Music plays a very important role in our daily life. We are accompanied by it everywhere: on TV and radio, at home, and even at school. Wherever we go in the evening to cafe or bar, to club or to a disco everywhere we will be met by music. In such places music is their integral part, because it raise the spirit of the visitors, makes the atmosphere more comfortable and more cheerfully. As for me, I listen to music with pleasure. Music always helps me. When I am bored or have a bad mood, I always listen to music, it always raises my spirit and makes entourage more cheerful, when I have an excellent mood, I turn on music, something cheerful and active and I feel myself on the top of bliss. I have a lot of cassettes and CDs with the different music from classics to rock. From music I like everything, that sounds well, but most of all I like modern music, because I am a modern man and I try to go together with the time. From the modern performers I like the American group " The Offspring " most of all. I like their music, because it is energetic and dynamic, but most of all I like the texts of songs of this group, they are sometimes sad, sometimes ironic, but never boring, because it is spoken there about problems of youth, about everything, that troubles a modern society. I dream of visiting sometimes a concert of this group. From classics I like Mozart most of all. I admire the talent of this great musician and composer. He composed music, played on a violin and clavecin, when he was 5 years, when other children are not able to read yet. During the 34 years of life he wrote 18 operas, 50 symphonies, 30 concerts for a piano, a lot of sonatas and songs. Especially I like three most famous Mozart’s symphonies. It is the symphony № 39, it shows there the life of the man with her difficulties and pleasures, it is the symphony № 40, it shows there the deep, lyric and poetry of human soul, and it is the symphony № 41 (The Jove), it shows there all world, all universe with its contrasts and contradictions. Reading in 0ur Life I’m fond of reading. In my opinion, books аre а source of emotional inspiration and romantic feelings. Reading is very useful, because books enrich our experience with that of the other people. Besides, books help me to continue my own education. I’m sure that а reader lives а richer life than а non-reader. The time spent on а good book is never wasted. Reading is а rewarding pastime. But some people think, that the tempo of modern life is too fast to waste time on reading. They are sure that books have begun to lose their prestige and value. I disagree. I enjoy books of different genres: love and detective stories, thrillers and historical novels, tales, works after classical and modern writers. I’m а great lover of the English and American literature. Among my favorite writers are W. Shakespeare and Ch. Dickens, J. Galsworthy and А. Cronin, J. London and Е. Hemingway to name only а few. I read them in translation and try to read in the original. I read books after Russian and Belarusian writers, too. We can say that L. Tolstоу, D. Dostoevsky, А. Chekhov, А.Pushkin are as popular as they used tо be. Their works have stood the test of time. My favorite modern writers are V.Karatkevich and Е Solzhenitsyn. I try tо get acquainted with popular works and best-sellers. Luckily there is а big choice of various books in book shops and stalls. I can' t imagine my life without reading. «Except а living man there is nothing more wonderful than а book», said one clever man. And I share his opinion. Books teach us what is right and what is wrong, to understand the world and people in it, they mould our character and at the same time tell us exciting stories. THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION The Russian Federation is the largest country in the world. It occupies about one- seventh of the earth' s surface. It covers the eastern part of Europe and the northern part of Asia. Its total area is about 17 million square kilometers. 12 seas of 3 oceans wash the country: the Pacific, the Arctic and the Atlantic. In the south Russia borders on China, Mongolia, Korea, Kazakhstan, Georgia and Azerbaijan. In the west it borders on Norway, Finland, the Baltic States, Belorussia, the Ukraine. It also has а sea- border with the USA. There is hardly а country in the world where such а variety of scenery and vegetation can be found. We have steppes in the south, plains and forests in the midland, tundra and taiga in the north, highlands and deserts in the east. There are two great plains in Russia: the Great Russian Plain and the West Siberian Lowland. There are several mountain chains on the territory of the country: the Urals, the Caucasus, the Altai and others. The largest mountain chain, the Urals, separates Europe from Asia. There are over two million rivers in Russia. Europe's biggest river, the Volga, flows into the Caspian Sea. The main Siberian rivers — the Ob, the Yenisei and the Lena— flow from the south to the north. The Amur in the Far East flows into the Pacific Ocean. Russia is rich in beautiful lakes. The world' s deepest lake (1,600 meters) is Lake Baikal. It is much smaller than the Baltic Sea, but there is much more water in it than in the Baltic Sea. The water in the lake is so clear that if you look down you can count the stones on the bottom. Russia has one-sixth of the world's forests. They are concentrated in the European north of the country, in Siberia and in the Far East. On the vast territory of the country there are various types of climate, from arctic in the north to subtropical in the south. In the middle of the country the climate is temperate and continental. Russia is very rich in oil, coal, iron ore, natural gas, copper, nickel and other mineral resources. Russia is а parliamentary republic. The Head of State is the President. The legislative powers are exercised by the Duma. The capital of Russia is Moscow. It is its largest political, scientific, cultural and industrial center. It is one of the oldest Russian cities. At present, the political and economic situation in the country is rather complicated. There are а lot of problems in the national economy of the Russian Federation. The industrial production is decreasing. The prices are constantly rising, the rate of inflation is very high. People are losing their jobs because many factories and plants are going bankrupt. But in spite of the problems Russia is facing at present, there are а lot of opportunities for this country to become one of the leading countries in the world. I’m sure that we, the younger generation, can do very much to make Russia as strong and powerful as it used to be. Sport All over the world people of different ages are fond of sport and games. Sport not only helps people to become strong and to develop physically but also makes them more organized and better disciplined in their daily activities. In every town there are amateur clubs and keep-fit centers, where people can do aerobics, body-building or work with different training devices. There are a lot of different kinds of sport: football, basketball, volleyball, tennis, track-and-field, water polo and many others. The main sport competition is the Olympic Games. The Olympic Games have а very long history. They began in 777 BC in Greece and took place every four years. For the period of the Games all the wars stopped. So the Olympic Games became the symbol of peace and friendship. In 394 AD the Games were abolished. In 1894, а Frenchman, Baron Pierre de Coubertin, addressed all the sports governing bodies and pointed out the educational value of sports. Two years later the first modern Olympic Games took place in Greece to symbolize the centuries old tradition. Russia joined the Olympic movement in 1952. In 1980 Moscow hosted the Twenty-Second Olympic Games. The latest Olympic Games were held in Sydney. Sydney was the host for the Games of the 27th Olympiad in 2000. About 200 countries took part in the competitions. There were 10000 athletes and 5000 officials. There were 27 sports on the program for the 2000 Olympic Games. Triathlon and Taekwondo were included in Sydney for the first time at any Olympic Games. Our Russian team took part in the Olympic Games too, we were the second in the overall count of won medals, after the USA team. As for me, I like sport very much, but I like sport not only as a sport fan, but also as a sportsman. I had been training judo for 9 years, until I came to 11 form, I had to stop training because I had a lot of homework and I had not much time to train. But I don’t stop to go in for sport: sometimes in the morning or in the evening I run and sometimes I visit keep-fit center (trainer hall). Study and plans for the future This school year is very important for us, because we must decide what to do after leaving school. There different ways for us to choose. Those who like technique can become engineers and work in the field of industry. Those who like nature can become agronomists and work in agriculture, school-leavers who want to work directly with people may become doctors and teachers. Many young people follow the examples of their parents and choose their professions. I think it is not bad, as they know these professions better. There are school-leavers who choose only modern professions such as an economists and lowers. I don’t think that it is bad, but in nowadays there are a lot of economists and lowers and it is not easy for them to find work. So the main thing for us is to choose our future profession correctly to satisfy our own fasts and needs and to work with the best results. As for me, I want to be an expert in foreign relations (diplomat), but it is very difficult to enter the university, there I can study foreign relations. What’s why, most likely, I will have to become an economists, it is not bad profession and I try to get at once two specialty: marketing and finances and credit. The problem of spare time. No doubt that the problem of spare time is one of the most important problems. Speaking about grownups we should say that they have to work much to survive in such difficult economic situation. Teenagers have to study much if they want to get good knowledge and later to enter a prestige educational institution. But when people have some spare time they prefer to spend it on their hobbies. Hobbies differ like tastes. If you have chosen а hobby according to your character and taste you are lucky because your life becomes mоre interesting. Hobbies are divided into four large classes: doing things, making things, collecting things, and learning things. The most popular of all hobby groups is doing things. It includes а wide variety of activities, everything from gardening to traveling and from chess to volleyball. Both grown-ups and children are fond of playing different computer games. This is а relatively new hobby but it is becoming more and more popular. Making things includes drawing, painting, making sculpture, designing costumes, handicrafts. Two of the most famous hobby painters were President Eisenhower and Sir Winston Churchill. Some hobbyists write music or play musical instruments. President Bill Clinton, for example, plays the saxophone. Almost everyone collects something at some period in his life: stamps, coins, match-boxes, books, records, postcards, toys, and watches. Some collections have nо real value. Others become so large and so valuable that they are housed in museums and galleries. Many world-famous collections started in а small way. People with а good deal of money often collect paintings, rare books and other art objects. Often such private collections are given to museums, libraries and public galleries. No matter what kind of hobby а person has, he always has the opportunity of learning from it. By reading about the things he is interested in. Learning things can be the most exciting aspect of а hobby. As for me, I study in the 11 form and what’s why I don’t have much time to hobbies. But when I have it, I usually read the books or I work on the computer. I am fond of computers and reading books. The problems of Modern Cities and Villages. We can’t say that the problems of villages and cities are the same. If we speak about problems of any city first of all we should speak about the problems traffic is heavy, numerous enterprises emit tons of harmful substances and to breath is often a real threat to people’s health. A problem of transport is also important. There are few cities with underground stations. People of many cities and towns have to spend much time in buses, cars, and trams getting to their offices, schools, colleges, and plants. Another serious problem of nowadays existed in cities is unemployment. The economical situation in the country is rather complicated: many factories are going bankrupt, close and as a result of it many people loose their work. One of the problems is lock of fresh water. People can’t use running water all day long. Besides, the quality of water is often bad. A new problem is the problem of education. New types of schools are the private schools have appeared lately. No doubt that the level of education in high schools is higher than in ordinary schools. But only children of well-paid parents can attend classes there. The problem of using drugs is mostly the problem of cities. People living in the countryside have much work to do. They are busy from morning till night working in the fields, looking after poultry and cattle. The work, which they do, is not always mechanized. So countrymen don’t have enough time to rest. Most of the houses in villages haven’t got modern conveniences, what makes the life of people living there more difficult. Countrymen can’t go to museums or theatres, they can’t go to concerts of pop singers. Many villages are situated far from cities and it takes much time to get there. As a rule there are no good hospitals in villages and medical services in the countries leave much to be desired. The role of Mass Media. Mass Media (that is press, television and radio) play an important role in the life of society. They inform, educate and entertain people. They also influence the way people look at the world, in other words, mass media shape public opinion. No doubt, millions of people watch televisions programs every day, including the daily program “Time”. The program informs us about the latest political, culture, art, sport and other events in our country and in the world. Of course, one can learn news and some other information from newspapers. An American humorous writer once said: “ All I know is what I see in the papers”. On the radio we can hear music plays, news and various commentaries and discussions, called forums. At a form several authorities exchange and political problems (as well as on books at common interest). A number of side are represented so, that the listeners can hear various opinions. Such brood-casts are popular with listeners. As for me, I like to watch TV programs better than to read newspapers or to hear radio. Most of all I like TV program “ Oh, lucky beggar!”, because this program is very interesting and cognitive, I learn a lot of interesting things from this TV program. TRAVELLING Millions of people all over the world spend their holidays travelling. They travel to see other countries and continents, modern cities and the ruins of ancient towns, they travel to enjoy picturesque places, or just for а change of scene. It is always interesting to discover new things, different ways of life, to meet different people, to try different food, to listen to different musical rhythms. Those who live in the country like to go to а big city and spend their time visiting museums and art galleries, looking at shop windows and dining at exotic restaurants. City-dwellers usually like а quiet holiday by the sea or in the mountains, with nothing to do but walk and bathe and laze in the sun. Most travellers and holiday-makers take а camera with them and take pictures of everything that interests them — the sights of а city, old churches and castles, views of mountains, lakes, valleys, plains, waterfalls, forests; different kinds of trees, flowers and plants, animals and birds. Later, perhaps years later, they will be reminded by the photos of the happy time they have had. People travel by train, by plane, by boat and by car. All means of travel have their advantages and disadvantages. And people choose one according to their plans and destinations. If we are fond of travelling, we see and learn а lot of things that we can never see or learn at home, though we may read about them in books and newspapers, and see pictures of them on TV. The best way to study geography is to travel, and the best way to get to know and understand the people is to meet them in their own homes. ТНЕ UNITED NATIONS The United Nations is an organization of sovereign nations representing almost all of humanity. It has as its central goal the maintenance of international peace and security. Additionally, its purposes call for the development of friendly relations among nations based on equal rights and self-determination of peoples and, through international соoperation, the solution of problems of an economic, social, cultural and humanitarian nature. The United Nations is the meeting-place where representatives of all member states — great and small, rich and poor, with varying political views and social systems — have а voice and an equal vote in shaping а common course of action. The United Nations has played and continues to play, an active role in reducing tension in the world, preventing conflicts and putting an end to fighting already under way. There are six main organs of the United Nations — the General Assembly, the Security Council, the Economic and Social Council, the Trusteeship Council, the Secretariat and the International Court of Justice. The Court has its seat at the Hague, Netherlands. All other organs are based at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. Members of the General Assembly talk to each other in many languages, but officially there are only six — Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish. The Secretariat services the other organs of the Unite Nations and administers the programmes and policies laid down by them. Over 20,000 men and women are employed by the United Nations with about one-third of them at the Head quarters and the other two-thirds stationed around the globe. Staff members are recruited primarily from member states and are drawn from more than 140 nations. As international civil servants, each takes an oath not to seek or receive instructions from' any government or outside authority. Working for the United Nations, mostly "behind the scenes" at the Headquarters, are linguists, economists, editors, social scientists, legal experts, librarians, journalists, statisticians, broadcasters, personnel officers, administrators and experts in all the varied fields of activity covered by the United Nations. They prepare the reports and studies requested by various bodies of the United Nations; they issue press releases and produce publications, broadcasts and films giving information about the United Nations; and they perform the administrative duties needed to implement resolutions adopted by the various organs. In addition, there are stenographers, clerks, engineers and technicians, tour guides and also а body of security officers in blue-grey uniforms who are responsible for the security of the United Nations Headquarters. At the head of the Secretariat is the Secretary-General. The main Headquarters of the United Nations are based in New York. The United Nations Organization Secretariat occupies the higher building. The General Assembly is held in the lower building. Youth Subculture Every generation has its own culture in music, fashion, and hair-do. Older people can’t understand it: they think that girl’s skirts are too short or too long. They consider our clothes to be too colorful. They don’t like our hair-do, they think it is a bad idea to have hair of different colors. Besides they don’t like when boys have long hair. What makes grownups angry and nervous – is our music. Older people consider hard-rock, rap and rave not to be music, but combinations of terrible sounds. Surely it is difficult to compare music of their times with ours. We think that their music is dull, not energetic enough. The way we dance gets on our parents nerves as well. But we like our dances as they help us to relax and give optimism. They say that young people have their own language. It is not so, as we have just a number of word-combinations having unusual meaning. Our fathers and mothers say that it is impossible to understand us when we speak that way. Our parents want us to read books and to go to picture galleries. But we prefer to watch video-films, to raise our cultural level getting information about cultural treasures with the help of computers.