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Unit 1.
Russia, My Homeland



14. Moscow is a city where a lot can be seen and much can be done. Develop this idea and say what people can see and do in the capital of Russia.

15. Imagine that a group of teenagers has come to Moscow or your native city. You have met them at the airport and are taking them to the place where they will stay. What will you tell them about Moscow or the place where you live?

16. Look at this plan of Red Square. Use the information below or any information that you have and imagine that youre taking a group of tourists around Red Square. Tell them about the places they can see around. Answer their questions. Work in small groups.

St Basils / Pokrovsky Cathedral built in 1551 1561 after the victory over the Kazan Kingdom; architects Barma and Postnik; unusual architecture: eight churches placed around the tallest ninth church; nine beautifully painted cupolas ['kju:pabz]; thick walls; could be used as a fort.1

The Monument to Minin and Pozharsky built in 1818; the first statue put up in Moscow; the words on the monument: To Citizen Minin and Prince Pozharsky from a grateful2 Russia. Minin and Pozharsky were heroes of the peoples struggle in the war against Poland in 1612.

1 fort ,
2 grateful

Lobnoye Mesto a platform of white stone constructed in the 16th century; the tsars [za:z] orders were read from it; also used as a place for execution.1

The Spasskaya Tower the tallest tower of the Kremlin: 67.3 metres tall; one of the symbols of Moscow; the Kremlin clock made in the 16th century strikes on the hour, the half hour and the quarter; the minute hand is 3.28 metres long.

The Lenin Mausoleum (Mavzoley Lenina) in the centre of Red Square by the Kremlin wall; built in 1924; the architect Alexey Viktorovich Shchusev; rebuilt in 1930; at first was made of wood; now built of stone, brick, marble ['ma:bl] and granite ['grasmt].

The State History Museum opened in 1883; a rich collection of documents, drawings, pictures, maps showing the countrys past; materials about Russias great people.

The State Department Store (GUM) in the 16th century this place was occupied by the first stone shops; one of the largest department stores in the country; an impressive building with a glass roof; hundreds of small shops inside; just about anything2 to buy.

17. Match these important dates in the history of Russia with the events.











Napoleon tries to conquer Russia

the USSR enters World War II

Alexander II writes the decree abolishing serfdom3

Khan Batyi of the Golden Horde conquers Moscow, the Tartar yoke4, which lasted until the 16th century, begins

Peter the Great founds St Petersburg on 16 May

the USSR breaks up

Moscow hosts the XX Olympic Games

Mikhail Romanov is elected Tsar of all Russia, the Romanov dynasty begins

the October Revolution takes place

Yuri Dolgoruky founds Moscow

1 execution
2 just about anything
3 the decree abolishing serfdom ,
4 the Tartar yoke

18. The question How can you describe your nation? is difficult. Let's think of the answer together.


1. One nationality or more?

2. Good characteristics (hospitable, friendly, open, ...)?

3. Bad characteristics (sometimes careless, often unsmiling, having poor manners, ...)?

4. A high cultural level?

5. A reading nation?

6. A nation of sport lovers?

7. Keeping traditions?

8. A nation who takes good care of children, old people and invalids?

9. National hobbies?

10. A nation that has done a lot for world civilization?

19. There are some of the things that people from abroad often say about us. Do you think they are true? Support what you say.

  1. The memory of World War II is deeply felt in Russia.
  2. The Russians are much interested in the rest of the world.
  3. Russian people are very hospitable.
  4. The key symbol of Russia is the troika.
  5. The Russians love to sit down for a nice long chat.
  6. The Russians have a habit of lying.
  7. Religion is important to most Russians.
  8. Pollution is high in Russia.
  9. Childhood is the best time in a Russians life.
  10. The Russians love animals, especially horses and dogs.
  11. At table the Russians help themselves without asking.
  12. The Russians never do anything by halves.1
  13. Before leaving on a journey, Russians sit down together for a few moments.
  14. The Russians talk non-stop.

20. A. Listen to the talk, 2, and say: a) where Bob, Ann and Alice spent their summer holidays, b) what country Alice comes from, c) how many children there are in Alices family.

Back from Holiday

(A group of students at the International School of English in London on their first day after the summer holidays.)

Alice: Had a good holiday?

Bob: All right, thank you. We went to Spain actually.2

Ann: Oh? What was it like?

Bob: We enjoyed ourselves very much. The weather was fine and we just lay on the beach all day. It felt really wonderful to be lazy for a change.

1 by halves
2 actually ,

Alice: What was the weather like there?

Bob: Excellent. The brilliant sunshine and the warm blue sea, sometimes a bit too hot in the afternoon, but on the whole very pleasant.

Ann: Well, you are certainly looking brown. And we went touring round St Petersburg.

Bob: What was it like?

Ann: Not bad. The weather was not as hot as in Spain, and we didnt enjoy long sandy beaches, but I think the trip was pretty good. We visited Pavlovsk, Peterhof, Tsarskoe Selo with its two royal palaces. The Great Palace in Peterhof is just wonderful. Picturesque countryside. Id never realized how beautiful it was.

Bob: Yes, Ive always wanted to go there. What about you, Alice? Where did you go?

Alice: Oh, I stayed at home and helped my mother.

Bob: That doesnt sound much of a holiday, does it?

Alice: No, but with four little brothers and sisters its a bit of a problem going away. So my family decided to stay at home and just go out for the day.

Ann: That sounds sensible.1

Alice: Its surprising how little one knows of ones own country. You wont believe Id never been to the Tower of London before!

B. Act out the talk.

C. Make up your own dialogue (talk) about your summer holidays.

21. A. In the group of British students we met in summer there were some who wanted to know more about Russian schools. Try to answer some of their questions.

  1. How big is a typical Russian school?
  2. Do you wear a uniform at your school?
  3. How many school holidays do you have each year?
  4. How long is your school day?
  5. Must all the pupils learn a foreign language?
  6. What are the teachers like in Russia? Are they strict?2

B. Think of what you can say to a British teenager about your class and your school. You can use these ideas:

  1. you and your classmates; if you are good friends, what you like to do together;
  2. what your school building is like; what you have in your school;
  3. what subjects you do at school; which of them you like and why;
  4. what your typical day at school is like;
  5. whether you like your school and what makes you like or dislike it.

1 sensible
2 strict

22. A. Make sure that you know the Russian national holidays and festivals1 and match the names of the holidays, the dates and their descriptions.

1 January

7 January


23 February

8 March


1 May

9 May

12 June

4 November

1) Russia Day

2) Orthodox Christmas

3) Maslenitsa

4) New Year Holiday

5) Victory Day

6) Day of Peoples Unity2

7) Easter (Paskha)

8) International Womens Day

9) Day of Spring and Labour

10) The Motherland Defenders Day

a) It celebrates the end of the Soviet Unions participation in World War II in Europe. Parades and processions of veterans are held in big cities. People lay flowers in Moscows Park Pobedy and at the Tomb3 of the Unknown Soldier.

b) This day is celebrated with all-night services in church.

c) This is a day off. Probably the busiest people on this day are flower sellers. Men and young boys try to please their mothers, sisters and friends by giving them presents, flowers and chocolates.

d) We celebrate the day when Russia became an independent country, the Russian Federation, after the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991. This is an official holiday.

e) It is the main Orthodox festival. People colour eggs and enjoy traditional Russian dishes. Churches hold special services on this day.

f) Thisis a new holiday in Russiato celebrate the unity of the nation. Now this day is marked by marches and demonstrations in central parts of Russian cities and towns. For many people its just another day off. This day was chosen as four centuries ago at the beginning of November the Polish invadors were driven out of Moscow by Russian troops under Citizen Minin and Prince Pozharsky.

g) This is the day when gifts are given by Ded Moroz (Father Frost), decorating New Year trees and joyful parties.

h) This festival marks the end of winter and the beginning of spring and Lent.4 During this festival people make pancakes, sing traditional songs and dance traditional dances or go visiting each other.

i) This holiday is devoted to soldiers and officers and everyone else who ever defended the country or is in the Army. These people are sent special cards and given presents. Concerts are also given in their honour.

j) On this spring day people prefer to go out into the streets and take part in all kinds of outdoor activities.

1 a festival is a special holiday often held in memory of a religious event marked by publie enjoyment.
2 Day of Peoples Unity
3 a tomb
4 Lent

B. Speak about one of the holidays in greater detail. Ask your parents for more information, if necessary. To make your story more logical write its outline first.