Exercise 1.5 What about you and Russia? Answer these questions
1. Did you go to nursery school? kindergarten?
2. Do most children start elementary school / primary school at the age of 5?
3. Is the high school system similar to or different from the system in the U.S.?
4. How many subjects did/do you study in high school?
5. What was your favorite subject? your worst subject?
6. How many classes did/do you have every day?
7. Did you attend public school or private school?
8. Until what age do students have to stay in school?
9. Are there a lot of high school dropouts?
Exercise 1.6 Complete these sentences with the correct word or expression.
1. When she was a child, she lived in a small town and went................................
with only fifty other students.
2. After I................................ from high school, I went................................ and
studied art history.
3. He wanted to finish school, but he needed to get a job and support his family.
That's why he ................................ of school at 16.
4. They didn't have to send their children to kindergarten because it wasn't
................................ in their state.
Exercise 1.7 The next unit is about college and higher education. Can you think of six subjects you can study at a university that you do not usually study at school (K-12)? Write down your answers.
We study at Volgograd State Technical University. It is located in the centre of the city in Lenin Avenue.
Volgograd State Technical University was established in 1930 as an institute for training specialists for tractor and automobile industries. In 1963 the institute became a polytechnic one and in 1995 it got the status of state technical university.
Over the years of its existence the university has educated 50,000 highly qualified specialists in the fields of machine-building, hot metal treatment, chemical technology, transportation, etc., including over one thousand specialists for foreign countries.
In 1993 VSTU introduced a multy-level system of education. Those who have successfully graduated from the university are conferred a Bachelor of Science (BS) degree, Master of Science (MS) degree or qualified as engineers. There are postgraduate and doctoral courses at the university. The university consists of the following faculties: automobile transport, auto-tractor, machine-building, electronics and computer science, chemical technology, economics and business administration (management), construction materials technology, faculty for foreign citizens (applicants and specialists), evening departments in Kirovsky and Krasnoarmeysky districts of Volgograd, preparatory training faculty for applicants. Presently new forms of education have been developed which provide simultaneously two degrees of higher education. VSTU also offers all kinds of education (distance-learning, part-time and special courses) for working people.
The academic year is divided into two terms. Students must attend all the lectures, classes and seminars. They also must take examinations and receive credits in all the subjects they studied during the term. First and second year students study general engineering subjects: mathematics, chemistry, physics, drawing, and descriptive geometry. They also study social sciences and foreign languages. In the third year students begin to study special subjects. The study of theory is accompanied by practical training.
The University contains a large number of seminar and lecture rooms, specialized research laboratories. It has got libraries, students’ dormitories, gymnasiums, a sports camp and a health centre. Every student is guaranteed a grant according to the academic results achieved.
A high quality of education is provided for, first and foremost, by the teaching staff of professors and instructors. There are 1006 professors and instructors at 66 departments of the university and its subsidiaries, including 80 Doctors of Science, professors; 462 candidates of science, associate professors. There are 22 academicians and correspondence members of Russian Academy of Sciences and other academies.
VSTU is also one of the largest scientific research centers developing fundamental, natural, economic and social sciences and on their basis theoretical and practical work in many applied fields of engineering and technology.
There are many student clubs and societies. Students take part in scientific and engineering work, they also develop their creative abilities in the Student Design Bureau. Every year many students report about the results of their research work at scientific conferences of the university. The best works are published.
Since 1962 the university has regularly trained highly qualified specialists for many European, Asian, African and Latin American countries. Graduates of the university work now in more than 70 countries.
Our University today is the largest higher educational institution in the Low Volga region, a multi-profile school teaching a highly qualified staff for various branches of economy and science. The scientists of the university make a considerable contribution to the development of fundamental and applied science research. A number of scientific schools created at the university are well-known in the country. The graduates of Volgograd State Technical University work at different industrial enterprises, design and research institutes. Many of them have contributed much to the development of industry and science in Russia.
Exercise 2.1. Answer the questions.
1) Where do you study?
2) When was our university founded?
3) How many faculties are there at our university?
4) What faculty do you study at?
5) Why have you chosen this faculty?
6) What is your future speciality?
7) What year student are you?
8) What subjects do you study?
9) Where can students develop their creative abilities?
10) What facilities are there at our university?
11) Where do the graduates of the university work?
12) Where would you like to work in future? Why?
Exercise 2.2. A delegation of students and teachers from Cambridge are on a visit to your university. You are asked to tell the guests about it. Present information on:
a) the name of the university;
b) the place it is situated;
c) the departments there are at your university (day-time, evening or correspondence);
d) the time the complete course of studies lasts;
e) the number of students who study at the university;
f) the subjects you study (humanitarian, technical, natural);
g) the equipment the university is provided with;
h) the examinations you take and the grants you receive;
i) the dormitory the students from other towns live in;
j) what you like and what you don’t like about your university.
At the Lecture
Bob: Excuse me, Alec, is this seat taken?
Alec: No, it isn’t.
Bob: Would you mind moving over one, so my friend and I can sit together?
Alec: Not at all.
Bob: Thanks a lot. Do you always attend Professor Petrov’s lectures?
Alec: As a rule I do. I find them very interesting and instructive, besides he is a brilliant speaker.
Bob: Yes, I quite agree with you.
Alec: What do you think of Professor Ivanov’s course?
Bob: Not much.
Alec: Why, what wrong with it?
Bob: Oh, I don’t know. It’s just that he... Well, because he overloads it with detail. That course he gave on town planning last year. It was just the same – just a load of detail, which you could have got from a book anyway, and more and more technical terms. There was no ...
Alec: No general overview you mean.
Bob: Yes. I suppose you could call it that. I couldn’t see the town for the buildings.
Alec: But you’ve got to have detail in this kind of subject, Bob, and anyway I think he’s good. You take his first lecture for instance – I thought that was very interesting, and not at all over-detailed.
Bob: But that’s just it, Alec. That’s just what I’m getting at. He starts off all right and engages your interest so that you sit back and think “I’m going to enjoy this. I’m going to get a general idea of the important points in this topic”. When bang! Before you know it you’re up to your neck in minute details and he’s bombarding you with technical terminology and...
Alec: Oh, rubbish! Now you’re exaggerating.
Exercise 3.1.1 Answer the questions.
1) Where do the two students, Bob and Alec, meet?
2) Where do they study?
3) What are they going to become?
4) Whose lecture have they come to listen to?
5) Why does Alec always attend Professor Petrov’s lectures?
6) Why doesn’t Bob think much of Professor Ivanov’s lectures?
7) What does Professor Ivanov overload his lecture with, in the boy’s opinion?
8) Why does Bob think Professor Ivanov does not give any general overview in his lectures?
9) Why does Alec think Bob is exaggerating?
10) Do you think future specialists must know a lot of detail about their future speciality? Why?
Exercise 3.1.2 Acting the scene. Characters: Helen and Mary are talking about their lectures on thermodynamics. You may use the following words and expressions:
What do you think of Professor B.’s course?; a brilliant speaker; to engage one’s interest; instructive; I quite agree with you; I don’t think much of it; he’s not much of a speaker; no general overview; to overload one’s lectures with detail; minute details; a load of detail and terms; over-detailed; to exaggerate.
Exercise 3.1.3 Multiple-choice questions. Choose the best answer and comment on it.
1. The professor speaks (from notes, from a written lecture, from memory). 2. Lecture courses are valuable because the professors who teach them are (specialists in their fields, great enthusiasts, real orators). 3. Recitation classes are usually (rather small, quite large, very small).
Mary: You look happy today!
Peter: I am happy. I have just passed my Chemistry exam.
Mary: Congratulations! I’m glad somebody’s happy.
Peter: Why? What’s the matter?
Mary: Oh, I’m just worried, I guess. I have to take a history exam next week.
Peter:Oh, come on, you are always worried about your exams, but you get only
fives, as far as I know. You’ve passed some exams already, haven’t you?
Mary: Yes, I’ve passed my French exam.
Peter: Oh, I give up. I simply can’t learn French.
Mary: Why do you say that? I think you're making a lot of progress.
Peter: No, I’m not. I try and try and I still can’t speak it well.
Mary: Learning any languages takes a lot of effort. But don’t give up. Why don’t
we practise those dialogues together?
Peter: Good idea. That just might help.
Exercise 3.2.1. Answer the questions.
1) Who looks happy? Why?
2) Who congratulates Peter?
3) Why is Mary worried?
4) What exam has Mary already passed?
5) Why does Peter say he can’t learn French?
6) What does Mary think about Peter’s progress in French?
7) What does Mary offer?
8) Do you agree that learning a language takes a lot of effort?
Exercise 3.2.2 Acting the scene. Characters: Lisa and Bob. She has just passed her physics examination. Bob congratulates her.
Exercise 3.2.3Is it necessary for a future engineer to study a foreign language? Read pros and cons given below. Think of some more which are important in your opinion.
Exercise 3.2.4 Discuss the problem in groups of 3-5 students to make a decision (numerate all pros and cons). Give reasons for your decision. You may find the following expressions helpful:
To express your opinion:I think…, Speaking for myself...; I believe...; I suppose...; I’m sure…, In my opinion…
To agree with somebody: Yes, I agree (with you); That’s true; I think so too; You are quite right.
To disagree with somebody: On the other hand; I don’t agree (with you); It’s not (entirely) true; I don’t think so.
In a Coffee Bar
Paul: Excuse me, is anybody sitting here?
Ann: No, no. Oh! I’ll just move my bag.
Paul: Thanks a lot. And could you tell me the time? I am afraid I may be late for my English lesson.
Ann: I hope we have some minutes left.
Paul: That’s fine. Are you a first-year student? I think we’ve met before. I’m Paul. I think we live in the same dormitory.
Ann: Yes, you’re right. My name is Ann. I am from Saratov.
Paul: Pleased to meet you. The bell’s ringing! I hope to see you in our video-club in the evening. A new film is on. See you later.
Ann: So long.
Exercise 3.3.1 You are going to find out as much as you can about your groupmates. Think of the questions you would like to ask them (their family, native town, favourite subjects at school and at the university, hobbies, sports, TV, cinema, books; friends, future plans, etc.)
Exercise 3.3.2 When everyone has finished tell the whole class the most interesting things you have found out about your partner.
Exercise 3.3.3 Acting the scene. Introduce yourself and try to find out as much as you can about your groupmate. (Let me introduce myself. I am…)
Choosing a department
Exercise 3.4.1 Your friend is 20 years old. He left a technical college, so he has got a secondary education and the occupation of a car mechanic. A month ago he got married and his wife works in a kindergarten. He is eager to become an engineer but he can’t make up his mind what department to choose: day-time or evening. Help him to solve this problem. Give your reasons.
Exercise 3.4.2Your friend has already made up a list of pros and cons. Look through it and think of some more.
Exercise 3.4.3 Discuss the problem in groups of 3-5 students in order to make a decision.
Moscow University itself is like a town. In it are all the services you require from a polyclinic to a newspaper stall, including chemist's, shoe repairer's, photographers, post-office, hair-dresser's, canteens, food shops, etc.
Each student has his own study/bedroom complete with a divan, a desk, a table, a bookshelf, a cupboard, a built-in wardrobe and a radio speaker. The rooms are arranged in pairs which share a common vestibule with a bathroom on one side and a toilet on the other. Along the corridor there is a television room with a piano, a common kitchen and a sort of gathering place around the phone that serves the floor.
As a part of University there is a special cultural section – a House of Culture. This puts on lots of concerts, meetings, recitals and films. There is a film nearly every night of the week and often the university gets films earlier than other cinemas.
The sport facilities in the university are very good. There are two large gymnasiums, and besides them there is a large natural skating-rink which in summer becomes a basket-ball and tennis courts. The university has its own indoor swimming pool too.
The university has two main libraries. They are light and comfortable to work in.
Exercise 4.1. Answer the questions.
1) What furniture is there in each room of the university dormitory?
2) What common rooms do we find on every floor?
3) Why is the University itself like a town?
4) What services does a student find in it?
5) Where can a student rest?
6) What does the University House of Culture put on?
7) What sport facilities do the students have at their disposal?
8) How many main libraries does the university have?
Exercise 4.2. In not more than 100-150 words describe the building of your university, your dormitory, libraries and sport facilities.
Choosing a Career
Young people in our country are encouraged to choose their own careers (professions) according to their personal abilities and interests. They are given all sorts of facilities. Usually personal qualities show up at school and teachers should guide and encourage the young people to take up the careers for which they are best suited.
Apart from the academic careers in science, medicine, law and the arts, more and more boys and girls go in for special training in the trades and the professions and take up a career seriously. They can apply to a vocational school, a technical or a polytechnic college.
Our country needs skilled specialists in all kind of trades. Young people should be encouraged to see the value of all trades, crafts and professions and to take upon the career they have chosen with interest and pride.
Exercise 5.1. Answer the questions.
1) When do young people in our country start choosing their career?
2) When do personal qualities of children show up?
3) What jobs do boys and girls take up when they leave school?
4) Why did you choose your speciality?
Exercise 5.2. In not more than 100 words describe the career opportunities open to young people in Russia.
Exercise 5.3. Acting the scene. Characters: two schoolgirls / schoolboys are talking about choosing a career. You may use the following words and expressions:
Career; to give it much thought; to have something in mind; many professions are open to; would you like to be a ...?; I’d love to; I should … if I were you; a highly competitive career; you shouldn’t waste any time getting started.
Exercise 5.4. You know some professions are usually preferred by women, some by men. Some people think that there are some professions, which are only for men or for women. Do you agree that nowadays there are women’s and men’s professions?
Exercise 5.5. Look through the following list of professions. Which of them would you recommend for girls and which of them for boys? Why?
a plumber; a fireman; an officer; a doctor; a cook; a poet; a pilot; a butcher; a book-keeper; a shop-assistant; a postman; a nurse; a secretary; an engineer; a teacher; a pianist.
Exercise 5.6. Read the following arguments which the supporters of opposite points of view have. Think of some more.
There are some women’s and men’s professions:
Exercise 5.7. Discuss the problem in groups of 3-5 students to make a decision. Give your reasons.
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