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7

Unit 2.
English - a Language of the World

       

Speaking

Discussing the Text

53. Develop these ideas from the text Are You Happy with the Way You Are Taught English? and say what you think about them.

  1. You must learn the grammar in any language.
  2. You need to practise the grammar together with the vocabulary.
  3. Practice helps to memorize words.
  4. I remember words better if they are related to my interests.
  5. One of the problems for learners of English is phrasal verbs.
  6. You have to keep yourself up-to-date with idioms.
  7. Intonation is the most difficult part of pronunciation.
  8. Its important to learn both formal and informal English.
  9. Learning social English is very useful. 10. Reading is very useful.
  10. Listening to the radio, watching videos and TV programmes in English are helpful too.
  11. Learning a language isnt simple.

54. A. Complete the dialogue with the interviewers words.

Interviewer: (1) ...

Val:1 Ive been learning it for five years, and I like it very much.

Int.: (2) ...

Val: I think that most of all I like speaking English, but I enjoy reading too.

Int.: (3) ...

Val: We do a lot of exercises at home, but sometimes our teacher asks us to do them in class too.

Int.: (4) ...

Val: Yes, we do. We watched a part of the animated cartoon Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs2 in English last week. We loved it so much that everyone stayed behind after classes to see the end of the film.

Int.: (5) ...

Val: For me the most difficult thing is listening. When our English teacher plays recordings and we have to listen to them and answer the teachers questions, I sometimes cant get the idea of what I hear and so I cant give the right answer.

Int.: (6) ...

Val: Yes, I know. Everybody says that it takes a lot of practice.

Int.: (7) ...

Val: Thank you. You are very kind. But Id like to practise my English more to make it more fluent and correct.

1 Val = short for Valery
2 a dwarf ,

B. Act out the dialogue with your partner.

Discussing the Topic

One of the reasons why a lot of people all over the world learn English is that English has taken the position of the world language. It means that:

  • 750 million people all over the world use it,
  • it has become the language of the planet,
  • its the first truly global language,
  • its the main language of business, sports, science,
  • its one of the richest languages,
  • there are many borrowings from English in other languages,
  • three quarters of the worlds mail are in English,
  • English is the worlds computer language.

Everyone can easily think of more reasons to give if asked why he or she wants to know English. Some of such reasons are below:

  • Its fun.
  • My parents want me to do it.
  • I like reading English,
  • I want to use English in my future job.
  • I want to use computer programmes in English.
  • I like English songs.
  • My friends are learning English.
  • I want to go to Britain or the USA or Australia some day.
  • I want to travel and meet a lot of people. Then Ill talk to them in English.
  • I would like to read English and American books in the original.

There are many ways of learning a foreign language. But most people begin learning it at school. This is what they do to master the language and then keep it up and brush it up:

  • Have grammar and vocabulary drills.
  • Read texts, poems, etc.
  • Write tests, dictations, etc.
  • Sing songs and play games in English.
  • Speak about different things.
  • Make up and act out dialogues.
  • Watch videos and educational programmes.
  • Translate texts and poems into Russian.
  • Learn things by heart.
  • Learn words in isolation/in context.
  • Learn a certain number words at a time.

Many people learn foreign languages outside school or after classes. These are the things that they usually do:

  • Borrow English books from the library and read them.
  • Watch English films, cartoons and educational programmes at home.
  • Put on/stage plays in English.
  • Have a student exchange with a foreign school and receive guests from abroad.
  • Have a pen friend (pen pal) and write letters to him/her.
  • Take an English course outside school.
  • Have private lessons at home.
  • Go to an international summer camp.
  • Use educational computer programmes.
  • Go to an English-speaking country.
  • Make wall newspapers in English,
  • Have concerts and parties in English.

55. Explain why:

  1. English has become a world language;
  2. people who speak English have better job opportunities;
  3. we use dictionaries to learn a foreign language;
  4. its important to talk to native speakers whose language you are learning;
  5. so many people in Russia are learning English now;
  6. learning a foreign language can be fun;
  7. its not possible to have only amusing1 lessons of English at school.

1 amusing

56. Talk about the way English is taught and learnt in your school. Here are some of the ideas:

  1. textbooks and other materials you use while learning English;
  2. most effective activities (singing songs, playing language games, reading texts, etc.);
  3. the easiest way to learn new words;
  4. important things in language learning: grammar, vocabulary and pronunciation;
  5. television, computers, videos in English classes;
  6. some of the things you do to better your English after classes;
  7. meeting English-speaking people.

57. Talk about the way you are learning English, Answers to these questions will help you.

  1. Where and when did you begin learning English?
  2. Who was your first English teacher? What can you remember about your first English classes?
  3. What do you find most interesting (most useful and effective; most amusing) about learning English?
  4. Do you read anything in English? Have you read any English books up to the end? What were the books? Did you find them difficult?
  5. Do you think reading in English is useful? In what way? Do you use dictionaries to look up words you dont know? What do you prefer: to read stories in easy English or to have difficult texts for reading? Why?
  6. What is the easiest way for you to learn new words? How many new words can you learn at a time? Do you learn new words in isolation or in context?
  7. Do you like grammar drills? Do you find them important? easy? difficult? useless? boring? Do you think you have too many grammar drills at school? Do you agree that you must learn grammar in any language?
  8. Do you think correct pronunciation and intonation are important in learning English? How can wrong pronunciation and intonation lead you to misunderstanding? Do you think the same is true about learning Russian?
  9. While learning a language you learn to listen and understand what you hear, you learn to write, to ... and to ... . How can you complete this sentence?
  10. What do you and your friends find most difficult about learning English? What are your strong and weak points?1
  11. How are you planning to use English in future?

1 strong and weak points

58. A. Describe your English room. Say what you like and/or dont like about it.

B. Describe an ideal English room as you see it. To make your story more logical write its outline first. Decide whose dialogue is the best.

59. Make up dialogues and act them out.

  1. Two students from different schools are talking about the way they are taught English. One of them is very happy about his/her English classes, the other is not.
  2. A grandmother (grandfather) and her/his granddaughter (grandson) are talking about the way English was taught fifty years ago and the way it is taught now.
  3. A student from Britain and a student from Russia are talking about their foreign language classes; the British student is learning Russian, and the Russian student is learning English.
  4. An older student, who has been learning English for five years, is talking to his/her younger brother or sister who is just beginning to learn English and finds it rather difficult and sometimes even boring. The older boy (girl) is talking about the pleasures of learning a foreign language.

60. Say how you understand it.

  1. There is almost nothing in our lives that is not touched by lan^ guage.
  2. The rise of English is a story of wonderful success.
  3. Of all the 2700 world languages English is one of the richest.
  4. English has become the language of the planet, the first truly world language.
  5. English is and always has been constantly changing.
  6. There are several ways to add new words to the language. One of them is by borrowing words from other languages.
  7. The words that are borrowed tell us about the countries they have come from.

61. Imagine that your little brother or sister doesnt want to learn English. What will you say to him or her to encourage1 their learning English? Ask your parents for advice if necessary.

62. Discuss what you would like to do at your English lessons next year and what you would like to learn.

63. Comment on this:

When you look at language under a microscope, you can see it changing almost as you watch it: words and phrases, pronunciations and rhythms change at astonishing2 speed.

The Story of English"

1 to encourage
2 astonishing ,

 

 

 

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