In Great Britain children begin to go to school at the age of five. First they study at infant schools. In these schools they learn to draw with coloured pencils and paints. They also make figures out of plasticine and work with paper and glue. They play much because they are very young. Later they begin to learn letters and read, write and count.
At the age of seven English schoolchildren go to junior schools. They do many subjects: English and Maths, History and Music, Natural History and Drawing, Handicrafts, French and Latin.
They do not go to school as early as we do, but they stay there longer. The first lesson usually starts at 9 o’clock. There are 3 lessons with short breaks of 10 minutes between them and then an hour break for lunch. After lunch they have two more lessons which are over by half past three.
If you have a look at an English pupil’s school record, you will see that the marks in it differ from the marks we have. Our schoolchildren get marks from 1 to 5 (12). At English school there are marks from 1 up to 10 and at some schools from 1 up to 100.
Junior school ends at the age of 11 when pupils take the Eleven Plus examination and then secondary school begins. At the age of 16 schoolchildren take their exams. Only 45 per cent continue with fulltime education after 16. The rest go to work or join employment training schemes.
Hops and Shopping
When we want to buy something, we must go to the shop where it is sold. In the shop window we see what is sold in the shop.
Sugar, tea, coffee, salt, pepper, ham, bacon, and so on are sold at the grocer’s. Bread is sold at the baker’s, meat at the butcher’s. We go to the greengrocer’s for vegetables and fruit. We buy boots and shoes at the shoeshop. We buy books at the bookseller’s and jewelleryand watches at the jeweller’s.
The salesman or salesgirl stands behind the counter. We ask the salesman: “How much is this?” or “What is the price of that?” He tells us the price. He gives us the bill. At the cashdesk we give the money and the bill to the cashier, who gives us a check and our change. The salesman wraps up the goods and gives them to us. We put them in our bag.
Some shops have many departments. We can buy nearly everything we need there. They are called department stores. In some shops there are no salesmen, but only cashiers. The customers choose the goods they want and pay at the cashdesk. These are called self-service shops. If someone tries to take things from a shop without paying they are almost certain to be caught. Most shops have store detectives who have the job catching shoplifters. Shoplifting is considered a serious crime by the police.
23. Nowadays it's almost impossible to imagine our life without books. Perhaps, there are more books on our planet than men alive.
Long before the invention of printing people valued books as treasure troves of the human knowledge and experience. Hand — written manuscripts took months of writing and were collected by and kept in monasteries with utmost care. We can distinguish books between three classes of them.
Firstly, books on different branches of knowledge, works by brilliant minds of mankind. Secondly, textbooks, reference books and numerous dictionaries. And at last, books of all kinds and genres to read at leisure.
Classics should be taken a little at a time. One's understanding of books by Tolstoy and Dostoyevsky, Mopassan and Balzak depends on one's age and experience.
Serious books are to be read conscientiously and maybe more than once. To a thinking reader they will provide new food for thought every time he rereads it. Many people indulge in reading science fiction, fantasy or detective stories. Of course, there are some advantages and disadvantages of this kind of literature, often reffered to as «easy reading».
As for me, good science fiction and fantasy develop imagination, logical thinking, broader one's outlook.
The same could be said in favour of detective stories. They reveal such minute details of everyday life in this or that particular country that are of greatest interest for a curious reader. The masterpieces of this genre by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Agatha Christie and others, show the depths of psychological analysis, the insight into the human nature.
As an old saying goes, man cannot live on bread alone. Books are the source of knowledge and the means of self — perfection. Sometimes it is difficult to solve some problems in life. I think that books can help us. Books must be our friends during all our life.
24. t's said that none of the British writers of our age enjoyed such popularity all over the world as Agatha Christie did. Her works were translated into many languages, and scores of films were made using them as the script.
The name of Agatha Christie is a synonym for high-class detective story, as well as Pele is a symbol of football, and Marilyn Monroe is an embodiment of femininity. According to Agatha Christie herself, she began to write just to imitate her sister whose stories had already been published in magazines.
And suddenly Agatha Christie became famous as if by miracle. Having lost her father at an early age, the prospective writer didn't receive even fairly good education. During the First World War she was a nurse, then she studied pharmacology. Twenty years later she worked in a military hospital at the beginning of the Second World War.
The favourite personages of the "queen of detective story" are the detective Hercules Poirot and the sedate Miss Marple who carry out investigations in noisy London and delusive quiet countryside. The composition of her stories is very simple: a comparatively closed space with a limited number of characters, who are often plane or train passengers, tourists, hotel guests or residents of a cosy old village.
Everyone is suspected! Murders in the books of Agatha Christie are committed in most unsuitable places: in the vicar's garden or in an old abbey; corpses are found in someone's libraries being murdered with the help of tropical fishes, a poker, candelabra, a dagger or poison. Once Agatha Christie wrote: "Some ten years will pass after my death, and nobody will even remember me...". The writer was mistaken.
Agatha Christie's novels are very popular now. People of all continents read and reread "The Oriental Express", "Ten Little Negroes", "The Bertram Hotel", "The Corpse in the library" and other of her novels time and again, enjoy films made by her works, and one can hardly find a country where people do not know her name.
Cinema plays an important role in the life of any society. It is an available popular form of art. Lots of people find going to the cinema one of the best ways of spending their leisure time. The movie audience is predominantly a young one.
Due to numerous video facilities, cinema attendances have declined sharply. But there is no denying the fact that the cinema-going habit is still a strong one.
No matter how large the place you live in is (whether it's a big city or a small provincial town, or even a settlement) there's most likely to be a cinema there.
There are such genres of feature films as the western, the thriller, the musical, the drama and the comedy. The performance lasts for two or three hours and most cinemas have at least 4 performances a day. There is no doubt that a good cinema show is an excellent entertainment and quite cheap. Of late cinema screens in this country have been dominated by films produced in the USA. And this tendency is growing.
As for me, I'm fond of going to the cinema. It's a pity, I don't always have time for it. It's an open secret that we live in a very difficult time now. But people do need something amusing and pleasant, something to laugh at. That's why I give my preference to comedies. The last comedy, I saw, is «Crocodile Dandy». The film tells about amusing adventures of a young lovely woman — reporter and a strong and brave crocodile hunter. At first, their relations were not friendly. She even looked down on him and he in return neglected her. But after he rescued her out of some difficult situations, their relations became more friendly. A happy end is an essential feature of American films. The same is true of this comedy. The main characters fall in love with each other in the end of the film.
1). People live a very busy life nowadays, so they have little time to spare. 2). Still they try their best to make use of those rare hours of leisure. 3). Some people find it a pleasure to go to the theatre. 4). The theatre is one of the most ancient kinds of arts. 5). For centuries people have come to the theatre for different aims: to relax, to be amused and entertained, to have a good laugh, to enjoy the acting of their favourite actors and actresses.
6). Some people like drama, others are fond of musical comedy. 7). The subtlest theatre-lovers prefer ballet and opera. 8). In our country there are a lot of theatres: big and small, new and old, famous and not very well known. 9), The Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow is among the most famous theatres in the world. 10). Wonderful operas and ballets are staged in this theatre. 11). The names of Ulanova, Plisetskaya, Maximova, Vasiliev, Arkhipova, Sotkilava and others are known worldwide.
12). The other most popular Moscow theatres are the Maly Theatre, the Satire Theatre, the Vachtangov Theatre, the Variety Theatre and others. 13). Young spectators attend the Children's Musical Theatre and the Puppet Theatre more willingly. 14). All these and lots of other theatres present a great variety of shows. 15). That makes a spectator feel somewhat at a loss what theatre to choose. 16). In this case it may turn out useful to consult a billboard and find out what and where is on. 17). Sometimes you may face a difficulty of another kind: that is of getting tickets. 18). If you don't feel like standing in a queue for tickets at the box-office, you may book them beforehand.
19). Ticket prices vary according to the seats. 20). The better seats at the theatre are in the stalls and in the dress circle. 21). They are rather expensive seats. 22). Boxes, of course, are the best seats and the most expensive, too. 23). Those people, who are short of money, take seats in the gallery, in the balcony or in the upper balcony. 24). Tickets for afternoon performances are cheaper than those for evening performances.