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Work in pairs to compose some phrases with your examples




 


ACTIVE VOCABULARY

 

12. Read and memorize the following words:

 

to abolish — отменить autocratic rule – диктаторское правление backwardness —отсталость challenge – (n) вызов, (v) бросать вызов characteristic — характеристика claim — требование; притязание collapse — крушение, крах; провал to come to rule — прийти к власти consecutive — последовательный continuity – непрерывность, неразрывность cultivation — развитие, улучшение, культивация почв to defend – защищать to devastate — истощать, опустошать direction — направление elimination — устранение, удаление establishment — образование, учреждение, создание extractive industry – добывающая промышленность to gain the independence – добиться независимости government — правительство to improve – улучшать to inhabit — населять, обитать to manufacture – производитьmovement — движение notable – известный; значительный, замечательный to prevent – предотвращать to sharpen — обострять, усиливатьunfavorable – неблагоприятный vegetation– растительность vulnerable — уязвимый; ранимыйto yield — уступать, приводить к чему-л

 

13. Read the text to learn a brief history of Russia:

 

Text 3 A

The History of Russia

 

The history of Russia is a long and complex story. It all begins with that of the East Slavs, the racial group that eventually split into the Russians, Ukrainians, and Belarusians. The first East Slavic state, Kievan Rus, adopted Christianity from the Byzantine Empire in the 10th century, beginning the synthesis of Byzantine and Slavic cultures that defined Russian culture for the next seven centuries. Kievan Rus ultimately collapsed as a state, leaving a number of states challenging for claims to be the heirs to its civilization and dominant position. After the 13th century, Muscovy gradually came to rule the former cultural center. In the 18th century, the principality of Muscovy became the huge Russian Empire, stretching from Poland eastward to the Pacific Ocean.



Development in the western direction sharpened Russia's alertness of its backwardness and devastated the isolation in which the initial stages of development had occurred. Consecutive establishments of the 19th century reacted to such pressures with a mixture of halfhearted improvement and domination. Russian serfdom was abolished in 1861, but its elimination was achieved on terms unfavorable to the peasants and served to increase revolutionary pressures. Between the elimination of serfdom and beginning of World War I in 1914, the Stolypin reforms, the constitution of 1906 and State Duma introduced notable changes in economy and politics of Russia, but the tsars were still not willing to yield autocratic rule.

Military defeat and food shortages triggered the Russian Revolution in 1917, bringing the Communist Bolsheviks to power. Between 1922 and 1991, the history of Russia is essentially the history of the Soviet Union, efficiently and ideologically based territory which was roughly coterminous with the Russian Empire, whose last monarch, Tsar Nicholas II, ruled until 1917.

From its first years, regime in the Soviet Union was based on the one-party rule of the communists, as the Bolsheviks called themselves beginning in March 1918. However, by the late 1980s, with the weaknesses of its economic and political structures becoming prominent, noteworthy changes in the economy and the party leaderships spelled the end of the Soviet Union.

The history of the Russian Federation is brief, dating back only to the collapse of the Soviet Union in late 1991. But Russia has existed as a state for over a thousand years, and during most of the 20th century Russia was the core of the Soviet Union. Since gaining its independence, Russia claimed to be the legal heir to the Soviet Union on the international stage. However, Russia lost its superpower status as it faced serious challenges in its efforts to forge a new post-Soviet political and economic system. Scrapping the socialist central planning and state ownership of property of the Soviet era, Russia attempted to build an economy with elements of market capitalism, with often painful results. Russia today shares much continuity of political culture and social structure with its tsarist and Soviet past.

 

Notes to the text

 

noteworthy – примечательный principality – княжество
serfdom — крепостное право halfhearted – равнодушный, незаинтересованный

TEXT AND VOCABULARY EXERCISES

 

14. Find in the text the words or phrases which mean the same as:

 

§ долгая и сложная история § быть наследниками
§ доминирующая позиция § значительные изменения
§ военное поражение § нехватка продовольствия
§ базироваться на § статус супердержавы
§ рыночный капитализм § болезненные результаты

 

15. Find in the text the synonyms to the following words:

 

§ difficult, hard § outstanding § intensify
§ solitude § to enlarge § sovereignty
§ lawful § to reach § remarkable

 

16. Find in the text the antonyms to the following words:

 

§ finish, stop § deterioration § to decrease
§ strength § dependence § old

 

17. Find the English equivalent for the following Russian words:

 

1. защищать a. to detect b. to defend c. to direct
2. обострять a. to shorten b. to sharpen c. to shelve
3. улучшать a. to improve b. to impugn c. to imprint
4. устранение a. elongation b. illumination c. elimination
5. господствующий a. dominant b. domestic c. domiciled
6. существовать a. to expose b. to exist c. to exile

 

18. Read the above text once more. In pairs, discuss the statements below. Say what you think about them and ask your partner if he/she agrees or disagrees with you. Use the following phrases to help you:

 

Agreeing I agree with you. Yes, that is what I think too. You are right! Disagreeing politely Yes, but don’t you think…? True, but I think… I see what you mean, but…

 

1. The history of Russia is a long and complex story.

2. The first East Slavic state was Russian Federation.

3. Kievan Rus adopted Christianity from the Byzantine Empire in the 10th century.

4. Russian culture was the synthesis of Byzantine and Islamic cultures.

5. After the 20th century, Muscovy gradually came to rule the former cultural center.

6. Between the elimination of serfdom and beginning of World War I in 1914, the Stolypin reforms introduced notable changes in economy and politics of Russia.

7. By the late 1980s, with the weaknesses of its economic and political structures becoming prominent, noteworthy changes in the economy and the party leaderships spelled the end of the Soviet Union.

8. Russia lost its superpower status as it faced serious challenges in its efforts to forge a new post-Soviet political and economic system.

 

19. Choose among the words in parentheses the one that corresponds to Text 3A to complete the sentences:

 

1. The history of Russia is a long and ___ story.

(a. complex, b. easy, c. ordinary)

2. The first East Slavic state, Kievan Rus, adopted ___ from the Byzantine Empire in the 10th century.

(a. heathenism, b. Christianity, c. Islam)

3. Kievan Rus collapsed as a ___, leaving a number of states challenging for claims to be the heirs to its civilization and dominant position.

(a. organization, b. city, c. state)

4. In the 18th century, the principality of Muscovy became the huge Russian ___, stretching from Poland eastward to the Pacific Ocean.

(a. Empire, b. Federation, c. Kingdom)

5. Russian serfdom was ___ in 1861.

(a. taken, b. abolished, c. adopted)

6. Military defeat and food ___ triggered the Russian Revolution in 1917, bringing the Communist Bolsheviks to power.

(a. plenty, b. shortages, c. sufficiency)

7. Soviet Union was based on the ___ rule of the communists, as the Bolsheviks called themselves beginning in March 1918.

(a. one-party, b. two-party, c. multi-party)

8. The history of the Russian Federation is brief, dating back only to the ___ of the Soviet Union in late 1991.

(a. destruction, b. collapse, c. failure)

 

20. Retell the text according to the plan given below:

 

1) The ancient history of Russia.

2) The history of Russian Empire.

3) The history of Russian Revolution of 1917.

4) The modern history of the Russian Federation.

21. Work in pairs. Share your knowledge of Russian history using the plan above:

 

22. Translate into English:

 

1. Россия – страна с огромной территорией и многовековой сложной историей.

2. История современной России началась с распада Советского Союза.

3. Столица нашей страны — Москва, большой город с красивой старинной и современной архитектурой.

4. Каждый год множество туристов посещают Россию.

 

23. Read the text and give its brief summary:

 

Text 3 B

Geography of Russia

 

The modern Russian state is geographically isolated. It is enclosed, except in the West, by landlocked seas, deserts and mountains. The most impressive thing about the country is its tremendous size. It is the largest self-contained state in the world. It has the characteristics of a continent rather than a country with its nearly nine million square miles, covering almost a sixth of the earth surface. Some 230 million people live here, divided into 170 different nationalities.

There are 38,000 miles of land frontier, nine times that of the United States, bringing many different neighbors close to Russia. Starting in the Northwest there are the Finns, Poles, Czech, Hungarians, Rumanians, Turks, Iranians, Afghanistanis, Chinese, Mongolians and Koreans.

If we include narrow straits then the Japanese and Americans are also Russia's neighbors. Russia is larger than all of North America, three times the size of the continental US, forty times the size of France and seventy times larger than the British Isles. It stretches halfway across the globe.

Except at the Polish border, mountains and seas guard the Russian segment of the plain. Inside this perimeter the monotony of the plain is broken only slightly by the Ural Mountains, a chain of low worn-down hills that do not prevent movement across. Most of the rivers in European Russia flow south, their western banks have steep hills. But these hills are nowhere more than 1000 feet high and therefore do not present a barrier. These geographic facts have made for easy movement of the population in this great basin, but they have also made the area extremely difficult to defend in time of war.

The Russian coastline is the longest in the world but it has limited utility since the coastal waters are frozen much of the year. No nation has been as bountifully supplied with rivers as Russia. They may provide a leisurely system of transportation but it is expensive, using boats and barges in the summer and skies and seas in the winter.

Four fifths of Russia lies in the temperate zone but much further north than any other great power. Russia’s climate is continental, distinguished by extremes of heat and cold. Temperatures are generally lower and winters longer in Russia than in other places on the same latitudes because of the distance from the Atlantic and because the Scandinavian mountains deflect the warm air of the Gulf Stream.

The growing season is short in Russia: only two months of the year are free of frost in Northern Siberia, about 100 days in the northern half of European Russia and between four and six months in South Russia. The Russian farmer has to work hard to beat the autumn frost. There is little work outside in low temperatures because of the icy winds, and the few hours of daylight.

In a country where the climate varies from subtropical to arctic, there is a great variety of vegetation. Nearly 15% of Russia is tundra most of which is uninhabitable. Farther south you will find heather, blackberries, cranberries and a profusion of wild flowers. All few stunted birches, fir and willow grow in the southern tundra. Below the tundra is the taiga covered with spruce, pine, cedar and fir. These forests stretch from Arkhangelsk to the Sea of Okhotsk. Much of the taiga is marshy. South of the taiga is the zone of mixed forests, where coniferous and deciduous trees appear interspersed — oak, fir, elm, maple, ash, linden, lime, birch and hornbeam. Much of this forest has been cleared west of the Urals and is low under cultivation. Flax and rye are the staple crops here. A huge territory of two forest zones covers over half of all Russia.

Russia is one of the most richly endowed nations in the world in mineral wealth. But only recently has much of this been exploited or even discovered. Siberia is still a largely untapped reservoir of potential mineral riches. One fifth of the world’s known coal deposits lies inside Russia which ranks second only to the US in the size of its reserves.

Over half of the world’s oil reserves lies within the borders of the Soviet Union. There are also immense deposits of iron, copper, nickel, bauxite, zinc, lead, manganese, platinum, tin, mercury, antimony, radium, molybdenum, graphite, boron and other elements indispensable to modern industry.


TEXT AND VOCABULARY EXERCISES

 

 

24. Find in the text the words or phrases which mean the same as:

 




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