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Unit 1. History. Who are the UK people?

Pre-reading task. Background test.

Name all parts of the United Kingdom and share your knowledge about each of them.

Look at the map of the UK and show England, Wales, The Irish Republic, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Highland Scotland, Lowland Scotland, Great Britain, the British Isles.

Discussion club.

Get in pairs and discuss:

-) Is there a difference in character and culture of the English, the Scots and the Welsh or is it just a stereotype?

-) Characterize the peoples of the British Isles. Put down 3 characteristics for each nationality without naming it, exchange your papers and let your friend guess what nations you meant. Tell the rest of the group if you had any similar characteristics.

The four nations.

Read the text and learn it by heart.

Write out all the underlined words and try to explain their meaning out of the given context.

People generally tend torefer to the UK as Britain or just England. However, this is not strictly right and can annoy some people. England is only one of the four nations of the British Isles (England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland). Their unification took several hundred years and finished only in 1800 when the whole of the British Isles became a single state.

The four nations have differences in all aspects of life. First of all, they are different racially. The people in Ireland, Wales and highland Scotland belonged to the Celtic race; those in England and lowland Scotland were mainly of Germanic origin. This difference was reflected in the languages they spoke: Irish, Gaelic, Welsh, Germanic dialects (including the one that developed into modern English). They also had different economic, social and legal systems.

Today the differences have become blurred, but have not completely disappeared. There is one government and the same passport for people of all the four nations, though some aspects of government are organized differently. Moreover, the Welsh, the Scottish and the Irish feel their identity very strongly.

There is, perhaps, an excuse for those, who use the word “England” to describe the whole country. The political system, the language, the dominant culture today is specifically English. Many aspects of public life show this dominance. For example, the supply of money in the whole country is controlled by the Bank of England, the term ‘Anglo’ is widely used (e.g. ‘Anglo-American relations’). This became possible because England managed to exert its power over the other three nations.

There has been a long history of migration from Scotland, Wales and Ireland to England, but these people would never describe themselves as English no matter how long they have lived in England.

Reading. Read the text carefully and retell it close to the original. Be ready to discuss it.


Date: 2015-01-29; view: 1870


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The Telegraph | Early British History.
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