Let Us Read

20. Listen to the tape, 74, and learn to read the names of these animals and plants:

21. Read the text and say why Australia is an extraordinary country.

The Most Extraordinary Country To Explore

Sometimes Australia is called the upside down1 world. Can you guess why? Because Australia lies in the Southern Hemisphere, where winter comes in July and summer begins in December. During the Christmas holidays people often sunbathe on the beach or swim and surf in the ocean.

Australia is the hottest place in the Southern Hemisphere. In July the usual temperatures are from 12 to 20 C. In January the temperatures are from 20 to 30 above zero or higher.

Most parts of Australia do not receive enough rain. Only one sixth of the continent a belt of land along the north, east, and south coasts is comfortably humid. This narrow belt of land is the place where summers are warm and sunny and winters are mild.

Most of the dry land is uninhabited, which explains Australias small population about 18 million people (compare: the UK population is about 58 million people). 75. It is interesting to notice that though most of the territory is too dry or too hot Australia has an extraordinary collection of birds and animals. Many of them are found only there. Early explorers were so surprised by the emu and the kangaroo that they described the continent as the land where birds ran instead of flying and animals hopped2 instead of running.

Australia is the home of two of the worlds most primitive mammals the duckbill or platypus and the echidna or spiny anteater. They are the only mammals that lay eggs. The kangaroo is perhaps the best known of Australias animals. There are more than 40 different kinds of kangaroos in Australia, in many different colours and sizes. The big red kangaroo and the grey kangaroo may be as tall as a grown-up man. Some kangaroos are about the size of a large dog. The smallest kangaroo is the rat kangaroo. Another well-known Australias animal is the koala that resembles a teddy bear. It spends most of its life in eucalyptus trees and eats only the leaves of these trees.

Among other animals found in Australia is the dingo, a wild dog which is yellowish brown and has a bushy tail. The emu, Australias largest bird is also one of the largest in the world. It cannot fly but is a good runner. Another curious bird is the kookaburra that is often called the laughing jackass. The bushy country3 rings with its laughter. Australians like this bird so much that they even made up a song about it:


        Kookaburra sits on an old gum tree.4
        Merry, merry king of the bush is he.
        Laugh, Kookaburra, laugh, Kookaburra,
        Happy your life must be.

Other Australian birds are graceful lyrebirds, brilliantly coloured parrots and the great white cockatoo.

Two animals were brought to the country by the Europeans and have become wild in Australia. These are the buffalo, brought from India, and the European rabbit. Buffaloes were brought to the north coast as work animals early in the 19th century. They escaped and multiplied and now inhabit the swampy river valleys around Darwin. Each year hunters shoot thousands of them.

Rabbits were brought more than 100 years ago. There are now so many of them in Australia that sheep farmers have constant wars against the rabbits because they destroy so much grass.

No matter how far from Europe Australia can be, many people who are fond of travelling would like to visit this land because it is such an extraordinary place to explore!

1 upside down
2 to hop ,
3 the bushy country
4 a gum tree

22. Say if these statements are true or false.

  1. The hottest season in Australia is summer.
  2. All parts of Australia receive enough rain.
  3. Australias population is larger than the population of the UK.
  4. No mammals lay eggs.
  5. There are many different kinds of kangaroos big and small.
  6. The koala looks like a nice soft teddy bear.
  7. The name of Australias wild dog is bingo.
  8. The buffalo was brought to Australia from India.

23. Remember the text (ex. 21) and complete the sentences.

  1. Sometimes Australia is called ... .
  2. In Australia winter comes in ... and summer begins in ... .
  3. During the Christmas holidays people ... .
  4. Australia is the hottest place ... .
  5. Only one sixth of the continent is comfortably ... .
  6. ... which explains Australias small population.
  7. Australia has an extraordinary collection of ... .
  8. Early explorers described Australia as the land where birds ... and animals ... .

* * * * * Let Us Talk * * * * *

24. Work in pairs. Ask and answer questions about Australia.

Example: the upside down world / Why ... ? Why is Australia often called the upside down world? It is called like that because it is situated in the Southern Hemisphere; the hottest season is winter... .

  1. found only in Australia / What animals ... ?
  2. lay eggs/ What mammals ... ?
  3. kinds of kangaroos / How many ... ?
  4. a teddy bear / What animal ... ?
  5. brought from India / Whats the name of the animal ... ?
  6. become wild/ How ... ?
  7. constant wars against the rabbits / Why ... ?
  8. an extraordinary place to explore / Why ... ?

25. Imagine that you have just come back from Australia. Talk to your friends about your impressions of the country.

26. You have read two texts about Australia. They give you some important information but not everything you may want to know. Work in groups and make up a list of things you would like to find out about Australia. At home every pupil should try to find out about these things. Share your information in class.

27. Say why Australia can be a good example of a country where people broke the ecological balance and are suffering from it. What should people remember for it not to happen again?

28. Compare the wild animals of Russia and Australia. Are there any animals you can find in both countries?

* * * * * Let Us Write * * * * *

29. Do ex. 4, ex. 9, ex. 10, ex. 11, ex. 13 in writing.

30. Express the same in English.

  1. .
  2. .
  3. ?
  4. () .
  5. .
  6. .
  7. .
  8. .

31. Imagine that you have a chance to visit Australia. Write what places you would like to visit (see) and why.

32. Look at the words again and get ready to write a spelling quiz on them.

primitive, extraordinary, extremely, to surf, to lay Sfyatf (laid, laid), to lay the table, to lay eggs, to grow up (a grown-up), to resemble, a bush, bushy, curious, graceful, to notice, suitable, to escape, constant

33. Listen to the tape, 76, and answer the questions.

  1. What was the old gentlemans job before he retired?
  2. What did he do in his free time?
  3. Why did he go to the park?
  4. What did he notice in the park one day?
  5. What kind of competition were the boys having?
  6. Who won in the competition?
  7. How did he win?

34. Retell the text on the part of:

1) the old gentleman; 2) one of the boys; 3) the cat.