Student Competition in English 2012–2013. Stage III. 10th Grade

Областная олимпиада по английскому языку в 2012/2013 уч. гг.

10th Form


I. Read this article about the early days of British TV advertising. Some paragraphs have been removed from the article. Choose from paragraphs A–H the one which fits each gap (1–7). There is one paragraph which you do not need to use.

 A Short History of British TV Advertising

Television advertising in Britain began on 22 September, 1955, with the inaugural broadcast of ITV, the first commercial television channel. Up to this point, the only television channel was the BBC which operated a strict policy of no advertising. Viewers seemed happy with this arrangement, and less than enthusiastic about the project of advertising on their screens. Most commentators gave the new ITV station little chance of success.

1. _____

The early commercials were rather different from those we are familiar with today. Most noticeable is that they were in black-and-white, but still were also much longer than today’s adverts, and they were far more stilted. In effect, they were moving newspaper adverts. In part, this was a result of the lack of experience in television advertising in Britain. But, more importantly, it was because the television industry was concerned not to appear too American—the bogey of public service broadcasting.

2. _____

The morning after the first commercials appeared, Bernard Levin wrote in the Manchester Guardian: “I feel neither depraved nor uplifted by what I have seen … certainty the advertising has been entirely innocuous. I have already forgotten the name of the toothpaste.”

3. _____

Other formats followed, this time in the no-man’s-land between advertisement and editorial. These were known as time spots and advertising magazines. In time spots, the advertiser booked the station clock and tied in his product with the time announcement. “Time to light a red-and-white” claimed one cigarette manufacturer. Other punctual advertisers were Ever?rite watches and Aspro. The Independent Television Authority (ITA) regarded the time spots as annoying and abolished them in December 1960.

4. _____

It first appeared in the spring of 1957. It relied on a believable story line, recognizable characters and the warm personality of the landlord. Products, from the familiar to the outlandish, were skillfully woven together each week. After the demise of the ad mag format, the same actors appeared running Jim’s stores in a series of adverts for Daz, continuing the successful mix of popular proprietor and ‘good’ advice.

5. _____

The type of products advertised on television have changed over the years. In the 1950s, advertising was dominated by the soap powder manufacturers and food advertising. In the 1960s, there was little car advertising, due to an agreement between manufacturers. The car manufacturer Datsun arrived from Japan in the 1970s and broke the cosy agreement between the cartel not to advertise.

6. _____

In the 1980s, advertising changed again. New outlets for the message arrived in the form of Channel 4 and Breakfast television, but there were also cultural changes brought about by Thatcherism. The possibility of advertising on the BBC replacing the licence fee was strongly suggested by the Adam Smith Institute. Their report went on to recommend that cigarette advertising, banned in 1965, should be reinstated. (The BBC still does not carry advertising, and the ban on tobacco advertising remains in place.)

7. _____

Television advertising has come a long way since 1955. Many products have disappeared from the screens and been replaced by ones undreamt of fifty years ago. But the great adverts live on in the viewer’s memory.


A. The 70s brought us new ads such as the Smash Martians and the Hamlet cigar adverts. Old favourites remained on the screen, often with a new twist to liven up a familiar product: thus the popular star of one series of ads, Katie, was sent to America with her family, letting her explain all about Oxo to her new American friends while giving an added gloss to a familiar product.

В. The advertising magazine ran for a few more years until 1963 when it, too, met its end. Created to encourage small advertisers who could not afford their own ad slot, they had a loose story format and each episode featured a collection of products. The most famous was Jim’s Inn, set in a hotel with Jimmy and Maggie Hanley as the owners.

С. The first commercial was for Gibbs SR toothpaste. It featured a tube of toothpaste, a block of ice and a commentary about its “tingling fresh” qualities. Its style was jerky and uncertain. Typically of the early adverts, any single frame could be used with a written caption as a newspaper advert. The first Persil adverts were actually adapted from their familiar posters, with dancers and sailors in different shades of white and the announcer reassuring us that “Persil washes whiter. That means cleaner.”

D. ITVs detractors claimed it would be too American, the British public would not want their programmes interrupted by adverts and it would never be as good as the BBC. Bound up with the new challenge to the BBC was the issue of advertising. The British, it seemed, felt that the proper place for advertisements was in newspapers. When it came to television, nobody could have predicted the relationship that the viewing public would later have with their favourite TV ads. But that was still a long way off.

E. Until the 1970s, the advertisers’ approach was very much to tell the viewer why they should use that product. The style changed since the 1970s, with Viewers being invited to share in the lifestyles and values of the characters using the product on screen. Whether as a result of the introduction of colour spurring people on to new heightsof creativity, or simply because viewers were now television-literate and demanded higher production values, adverts in the 1970s were noticeably different from what went before.

F. This emphasis on money was to change the face of advertising completely. Soon, major corporations started to grow up around the new industry, and the type of programmes shown was dictated by large financial concerns. Gone were, the days when the television-viewing public actually had a say in what they watched. From this point on, we would be subjected to sponsorship by all kinds of manufacturing and service industries. Nor were we likely to forget, with their constant reminders that “This programme is brought to you by Smiths—the tastiest crisps money can buy.”

G. Clearly, there was a need for more effective advertising, and the presenter commercial was a standard format which was arrived at very quickly. The presenter often a personality with whom the viewers would be familiar from popular programmes or the theatre, would appear using the product and extolling its virtues, perhaps with the aid of a chart or scientific demonstration. At the end, a sincere out-of-vision announcer would recap on why that presenter had chosen the product. It was a popular, easy-to-write format that could be produced with minimal sets and therefore was cheap to make. Even so, many of the early presenters seemed to confuse shouting with communicating.

H. Interactive adverts started to appear in the late 1980s. The first was an advert for Mazda cars. In this, viewers were instructed to video-record the ad and play it back frame by frame. On doing so they were able to take part in a competition to win a Mazda car. First Direct also ran interactive adverts, simultaneously on ITV and C4; by switching between the two channels, viewers could see either a positive or a negative outcome to the story. Neither of these examples were truly interactive, but they did force viewers to become more involved.


II. Fill in the gaps in the following passage. Use only one word in each gap.

 How Mobile Phones Turn us into Fugitives

I remember it well. 1) ……… was a time in the past when I 2) ……… go to lunch without having to answer calls 3) ……… my boss, my wife, my children and my bank manager. There 4) ……… to be a time when notions 5) ……… as ‘peace’, and ‘privacy’ actually had a literal meaning. And when there was someone that you didn’t want to speak to, never mind the reasons, you had the freedom not to 6) ……… .Excuses were easy: I was out, I was sleeping, the phone was off the hook, and so on. It’s all changed now, 7) ……… of those old defences work. The callers simply come back at you with something like “but didn’t you see my unanswered call on your mobile?” 8) ……… about the very phrase for a moment: to see one’s unanswered call. No running 9) ……… from it, folks: you’d have to be deaf and blind to be able to sit on that old park bench. And even then, if you’ve got one of those mobile phones 10) ……… have vibration alert, you could still be in for some trouble. I’m not a technophobe. I’m really not. It’s just that I’ve 11) ……… shown to be tragically wrong about this one. I once 12) ……… “It’s just a fad—it’ll go away.” That was eight years 13) ……… , and the people that walked around the streets talking away on those clumsy-looking devices were few and far 14) ……… and they looked ridiculous to everyone else. Now it’s the other way around. 15) ……… you don’t have a mobile phone, you’re the 16) ……… one out, and others look at you as though you’re walking around without any trousers.

III. Complete the following sentences with suitable prepositions.

1. They were fighting so fiercely that it took two of us to pull them ……… .
2. He never read my letters, he just tore them ……… .
3. It would be useful if someone could sort my mistakes ……… .
4. After days of cloud and rain the weather is looking ……… at last.
5. She puts her ideas ……… rather well, don’t you think?
6. I took her ……… her sister: they look very alike.
7. The thief yoke into her house and made ………   ……… all her jewellery.
8. She turned the problem ……… inside her head for hours.
9. The names of the competition winners were given ………   ……… the radio.
10. You look hot and sticky. Come and sit in the shade and cool ……… .

IV. In the following text 9 (nine) articles are missing. Put in a, an and the as appropriate.

Whether particular species of bird migrates depends on number of factors. Most important influence on migration is climate of area where birds breed, and some birds remain in an area where there is harsh winter. So in Scandinavia blackbird is migratory bird, but it is not migratory in southern Europe where the winters are milder.

V. Use the word given in capitals at the end of some of the lines to form a word that fits the gap in the same line.

Music and Maths

When I was a 1) ____________________ , I used to play the flute in my high                TEEN
school orchestra. 2) ____________________ , in much of the music that we                   FORTUNATELY
played, the sound of the flute was needed only 3) ____________________ .                 OCCASION
Therefore, I spent a lot of my time during the 4) ____________________ counting         PERFORM
the beats which the conductor indicated with each 5) ____________________               MOVE
of his baton.
Those minutes spent reciting ‘one, two, three, four’ under my breath while
the rest of the orchestra played seemed 6) ____________________ to me. But they       END
planted in my young brain the idea that there must be a 7) ____________________       CONNECT
between music and numbers and I decided to do a bit of research in the school
library. I soon learnt that history is full of 8) ____________________ to this idea,            REFER
which had been a source of 9) ____________________ for thinkers ever sincere time      FASCINATE
of Pythagoras. Indeed, an early book on music by the Ancient Roman
philosopher Boethius is largely filled with diagrams and explanations about
the 10) ____________________ between music and mathematics. For me, out of the       RELATION
11) ____________________ of orchestra practice, a new passion was born.                     BORE

VI. In the following text some lines are correct, and some have a word that shouldn’t be there. If a line is correct, put a tick (V) by the number. If a line has a word which shouldn’t be there, write the word on the left. There is an example at the beginning.


0       has         My best friend Jenny has appeared on a television quiz show a few
1 __________ of nights ago. It was very exciting. We all knew that she would be
2 __________ on, so all our friends met at her parents’ house so to watch it.
3 __________ Her parents videoed it too, of course. The programme was
4 __________ started at half of past seven. We screamed and clapped when
5 __________ we saw Jenny. She looked great. She had had her hair gas
6 __________ done, and was wearing the new top she had bought the day
7 __________ before. She sat in the chair in the middle of the studio while the
8 __________ presenter asked her some of questions. The questions got
9 __________ harder and harder as they had increased in value. If she didn’t
10 _________ make any mistakes and got up the most difficult question right,
11 _________ she would win a million pounds. By this time, Jenny had won a
12 _________ thousand pounds. That was definitely for hers, whatever
13 _________ happened. She answered to the next question correctly, which
14 _________ was worth five thousand pounds. I didn’t know the answer, but
15 _________ she did know! Then, with the next question, she took a risk
16 _________ but got the answer wrong. She was gone out of the game. Still,
                        she had her thousand pounds, and we were very proud of her!


I. Complete the note below. Write no more than four words and/or a number for each answer.

1. The money ВТ makes from public telephones has decreased ____________________ .
2. After the invention of the telephone, it took only __________________ for the first phone box to appear.
3. The first public phones were installed in ____________________ .
4. The phone box was initially referred to as a “public ____________________ .”
5. When they finally appeared on the streets, they were found in ____________________ kiosks.
6. Giles Gilbert Scott wanted to create a phone box that was part of the British ____________________, just like the post box.
7. He intended phoneboxes to be coloured ____________________ .
8. Not only did telephone kiosks not disappear during the late 1980s, but their number was ___________ .
9. ВТ has already installed ____________________ Internet kiosks.
10. Collectors can buy a traditional British phone box for ____________________ .

II. Write the correct answer next to questions 1–6.

At which college are the following features recommended?

  • at Forth College
  • at Haines College
  • at both Forth and Haines Colleges

1 student support services ________________________________________
2 residential accommodation ______________________________________
3 on?line resources ______________________________________________
4 libraries _____________________________________________________
5 teaching staff _________________________________________________
6 research record ________________________________________________

Choose the correct letter, А, В or C and rewrite the correct answer in the space provided.

7. David is concerned that he may feel
A unmotivated
В isolated
С competitive

8. In the future, Dr. Smith thinks David should aim to
A do further research
В publish articles
С get teaching work

9. What does Dr. Smith think has improved masters’ study in recent years?
A the development of the internet
В the growth of flexible courses
С the introduction of changes in assessment

10. David would like to improve the way he
A takes notes m lectures
В writes up assignments
С manages has time

Grammar Test

I. (7 баллов)
1D, 2C, 3G, 4B, 5E, 6A, 7H

II. (16 баллов)
1. there
2. would/could
3. from
4. used
5. such
6. answer
7. none
8. think
9. away
10. that/which
11. been
12. said
13. ago
14. between
15. if
16. odd

III. (12 баллов)
1. apart
2. up
3. out
4. up
5. across
6. for
7. away with (2 балла)
8. over
9. out on (2 балла)
10. off

IV. (18 баллов)
Предлагаемая система подсчета баллов (на усмотрение комиссии): за правильную позицию артикля и правильный артикль начисляется 2 балла. За неправильный артикль в правильной позиции снимается 1 балл. За отсутствие артикля в правильной позиции снимается 1 балл. За присутствие артикля в неправильной позиции снимается 1 балл.

Whether a particular species of bird migrates depends on a number of factors. The most important influence on migration is the climate of the area where the birds breed, and some birds remain in an area where there is a harsh winter. So in Scandinavia the blackbird is a migratory bird, but it is not migrator in southern Europe where the winters are milder.

V. (11 баллов)
1. teenager
2. unfortunately
3. occasionally
4. performances
5. movement
6. endless
7. connection
8. references
9. fascination
10. relationship
11. boredom

VI. (16 баллов)
1. of
2. so
3. was
4. of
5. has
6. V
7. V
8. of
9. had
10. up
11. V
12. for
13. to
14. V
15. know
16. gone

Listening Comprehension Test

Task 1. (20 points)

1. by half / since 1999
2. 8 years
3. 1884
4. call office
5. wooden
6. culture
7. silver
8. doubled
9. a thousand / 1,000
10. more than ?2,000

Task 2. (20 points)

1. at Forth College. Note: ‘Student support services’ are the ‘services to support students’ on the recording. Dr Smith is ‘not absolutely sure about the situation at Haines’ but says that ‘certainly Forth has a good reputation in that regard.’

2. at both Forth and Haines Colleges. Note: ‘Residential accommodation’ is ‘room or flat’ on the recording. Dr Smith says that ‘all colleges … have decent rooms or flats … and Forth and Haines are no exception.’

3. at Forth College. Note: ‘On-line resources’ matches ‘on-line provision’ on the recording. This is limited at David’s present college, and Dr Smith says that Haines is developed to the same level, but that Forth ‘has developed some pretty impressive stuff.’

4. at Haines College. Note: Forth’s ‘splendid’ library is for law, which is not particularly relevant for David, but Haines’ ‘collections’ are ‘better suited’ to David.

5. at Haines College. Note: Teaching staff are lecturing staff and these are ‘adequate’ at Forth, but ‘inspirational’ and ‘very cutting edge’ at Haines.

6. at Haines College. Note: ‘Record’ matches ‘reputation for results.’ Although Haines ‘has consistently scored very well,’ Forth has ‘a little bit of an issue with non-completing doctorate students.’

7. B. Note: David is ‘concerned’: he is ‘anxious’ and ‘daunted’ on the recording. He himself does not feel competitive, and he says he will have to use the fact that he is motivated to help him when he feels isolated (‘out on my own … compared to the sense of community here’).

8. B. Note: Dr Smith mentions all three possibilities, but only publishing articles matches ‘should aim to’ in the question: ‘it would be sensible to think in terms of … that’ll stand you in good stead.’

9. B. Note: Dr Smith refers to all three possibilities, but the question asks for which one he thinks has improved in recent years. The only one which has changed for the better is B: ‘What I’ve found impressive is the way courses have developed to be more adaptable.’

10. C. Note: David mentions all three things, but time management is the only one he wants to improve from now on: he has already improved the other two.

Tapescript for Task 1


The era of the telephone kiosk is coming to an end. ВТ—the British telephone company owner of the vast majority, has seen its profits from payphones fall by half since 1999. They’ve got thousands that don’t make enough to cover their cleaning costs. Between 10,000 and 12,000 are disappearing this year. And, almost certainly, more will follow. Only one adult in nine still uses payphones with any frequency, most preferring the convenience of their own mobile phone.

The British public telephone kiosk was the first in the world. It was introduced in 1884, only eight years after the invention of the telephone itself by the Scotsman Alexander Graham Bell. The ‘public call office,’ as it was known back then, was a typical Victorian invention, using new technology to make money from a society which was moving faster and faster, and had started relying on communications to a great degree.

At first, public call offices were placed in shops, with only a curtain separating their users from the general customers. The callers did not feel comfortable with their conversations being overheard, and shop opening hours were restricted, so the telephones soon moved outside on to the streets. They were housed in wooden kiosks.

In 1924, a large competition was held to design a new, standard public telephone kiosk. The winner was Giles Gilbert Scott, architect of Battersea power station and Liverpool Cathedral, and his design had a distinctly historic quality: a heavy shell of glass and cast iron, neo-classical columns at the corners, and a high, arching roof. It was just a phonebox; but it had hopes to establish itself as part of the British culture, like the British police helmet, postbox and double-decker bus, and all the other internationally successful symbols of Britishness which were manufactured between the mid?19th and mid?20th centuries. The only mistake Scott made was over the colour. He wanted his phoneboxes to be painted silver. “Pillar Box red” was chosen instead, because it was much more visible and dirt didn’t look too bad on it.

Between the mid?80s and the end of the 90s, far from disappearing, British telephone kiosks actually doubled in number. The commercial pressures created by privatisation pushed BT’s phoneboxes into brand new locations; meanwhile, other telephone companies began introducing their own kiosks. They started selling phonecards, phoneboxes became more reliable, and the spread of the mobile phone simply seemed to increase the demand for telephones generally

But it was not to last. Nowadays, ВТ is hoping to use its remaining payphones as Internet kiosks. Since August, a thousand of these have been put up, with 27,000 more to come over the next five years. It is a brave idea, and one which will help the millions of Britons without computers or easy access to an Internet cafe. But it is quite rare to see the kiosks in use.

In a decade or so, it is possible to imagine that Britain will have no phoneboxes at all. There is already a hungry collectors’ market for traditional British phoneboxes—they sell for more than ?2,000 each. So the last kiosks may end up on the ground floors of Californian hotels. Then again, while mobile phones continue to crackle and cut out, cause health scares, and remain too expensive for some Britons, there will be at least a small need for phoneboxes. And for some people, the payphone will continue to have its own romantic and historical value.

Tapescript for Task 2

Dr Smith: Right, well, David, I think it’s a good idea to talk a little about your plans for going on to do an MA. Now, I understand you’re thinking in terms of either Forth College or Haines College?
David: That’s right—well, so far, anyway.
Dr Smith: No, I think that’s a good choice to have narrowed it down to.
David: I’m interested to know how the services to support students work in both places.
Dr Smith: Yes, I know you’ve needed to make use of those here in the last year. I have to say I’m not absolutely sure about the situation at Haines. I expect they’re alright, but certainly Forth has a good reputation in that regard. They have a large number of students from abroad, and they have to make sure they’re OK.
David: That’s reassuring. And then I’ll be moving city again, obviously, whichever college I go to. and I hope that the room or flat I could expect would be nice.
Dr Smith: Very important yes. These days, actually, all colleges tend to have decent quality rooms or flats for their students, and Forth and Haines are no exception.
David: Right. Well, what about comparisons on the academic side of things?
Dr Smith: Mm, well, I know you’re an avid user of the limited online provision we have here. I think you’ll find Haines is about as developed— or not—as we are here, and that Forth has developed some pretty impressive stuff, which I’m sure you’d make the most of.
David: Well, I’d certainly try!
Dr Smith: But that doesn’t mean that the more traditional information sources, such as the good old-fashioned library, should be forgotten—
David: No, of course not.
Dr Smith: While Forth has recently had a very splendid law library opened, that isn’t particularly relevant for you, and I think you’d find Haines’ general university and faculty collections better suited to your needs. But that’s something you could check for yourself if you visit both places.
David: Which I’m planning to do next month.
Dr Smith: Good. Now, there’s the question of the lecturing staff, which is clearly going to be key to your progress. I think you’d find them adequate at Forth—there are some solid people working there—while Haines have recently taken on some inspirational people, very cutting edge. It’s a little hard to judge, though, because as a research student it’s not as if you have teaching all day every day.
David: No, I guess not. But I’ll need to consult—
Dr Smith: Yes. And on the subject of research, in terms of the colleges’ reputation for results, again, neither place is bad in any way, but I think you’ll find—and you can check this on the Research Council’s website—that Haines has consistently scored very well. There’s perhaps a little bit of an issue with non-completing doctorate students at Forth.
David: Well. I’ll certainly look at the website as you suggest.
Dr Smith: Fine.
David: I’m still a bit anxious about making this next step. I know the level of competition is very high, especially in my area. It makes me feel rather daunted, and I wonder if in a new place I may be out on my own, if you know what I mean, compared to the sense of community here. I suppose it’ll be down to my determination to succeed to get me through.
Dr Smith: Hmm, well, do remember how you felt when you arrived here—I’m sure you’ll get on anywhere in the end.
David: I hope so.
Dr Smith: And, of course, you still don’t know exactly where you want to end up. By the time you’ve completed your masters, you’ll have a clearer idea of whether you want to progress to doctorate level. It’s possible, I suppose, that you’ll begin to see how much you might be interested in picking up some bits of lecturing earlier than that, since your area’s fairly specialised and may put you in demand sooner than you think. To establish yourself in your area of expertise, it would be sensible to think in terms of getting your stuff into one or two of the journals, converting parts of your dissertation into suitable formats for them—that’ll stand you in good stead, whatever else you decide to do.
David: That sounds like good advice, thanks.
Dr Smith: Actually, I think masters’ level studying has improved in some ways over the last few years. The internet you love so much was always going to make all kinds of studying easier, or that’s the idea anyway. I’m not sure it really has the impact you might think. What I’ve found impressive is the way courses have developed to be more adaptable, more able to fit in with all the other demands in people’s lives. So, while the exams and assignments you all have to do may not have shifted much, at least a wider range of students are now able to benefit from education at the higher levels.
David: Mm. I just wish I could be sure I was always making the best use of my opportunities. At the end of each week, I usually feel I could have got more done, arranged things differently, been more efficient somehow. I’ve got a lot better at taking down notes during seminars and lectures, which means, I think, that my written work has benefited to some degree, so there’s progress on some fronts, at any rate.
Dr Smith: Yes, it’s interesting seeing—



1. You are going to live alone in a submarine under the ocean for one year. You will have a source of power and communication. Name three hobbies or activities you plan to have, and give your reasons for choosing these hobbies and activities.

What is your friend’s hobby?
What do you think about computer games?
What do you prefer to do when you stay at home over the weekend?
Have you ever come across a very strange hobby?

2. Think of a job that you think would be very difficult for you to do, and another job that you think would be very easy and the most enjoyable. Talk about the professional skills and personal qualities that are necessary for both jobs.

Is it easy to choose your future profession?
What attracts you in your future profession?
Can you check whether your choice of the profession is right?
What should you do to achieve your ambitions?

3. Think of the two most popular jobs that young people in our country would like to have as their future career (express your opinion). Talk about the features that attract young people in these jobs and try to compare and contrast them.

What is more important for success: to have natural abilities or to work hard?
What is your favourite subject?
Do you agree that doing well at school can lead to good career opportunities?
Is it easy for you to make a decision?

4. Think about a job you would like to have as your future career. Discuss why you would like to have this job, what kind of education you would need for it, and what you would say about yourself at the job interview.

Do you think you would enjoy running your own business?
What do you think are the advantages of running your own business?
What do you think are the disadvantages of running your own business?
What sort of person makes a good manager?

5. You are going to choose three people to be sent into outer space to represent the people of the planet Earth to some alien culture. Whom would you choose? Talk about the reasons for choosing these particular people and their main features of character.

What people are considered to be geniuses?
Have you ever talked to a well-known person?
What famous scientists, writers, poets, musicians is Belarus (Great Britain) proud of?
Whom of the famous people would you like to take after?

6. You are given your own household robot, which you can program to do only four of the household chores necessary to be done about the house. Think about the activities you would like it to do for you. Talk about the reasons for choosing these particular activities.

What things should be done about the house every day?
Do you think that women work more about the house than men?
What is your idea of a perfect household?
Can you make a meal?

7. Your friend has turned to you for a piece of advice about his/her future career. Decide what would be the most suitable career for your friend and what kind of career would be unsuitable, if any. Try to give sound reasons for your choice.

Do you think your friend would enjoy running his/her own business?
What are, or will be, the most important things to you about your career?
How many hours a day do you think people ought to work?
Is it important to plan your day?

8. Your English teacher wants to show your class a video and has asked you to suggest a suitable film. It must be a film which everyone will enjoy and it must give the class some good practice in understanding English. Describe the film you want to suggest and say why you have chosen it.

What kind of films do you prefer: tragedies, comedies or detective stories?
What part of the language requires a great deal of practice?
Do you agree it is only possible to master a foreign language by learning lots of things by heart?
Can you learn a foreign language in a day?

9. Some English friends of yours are planning a short walking holiday in the part of the country where you live. They will sleep in cheap hotels and will carry one small bag of clothes and other equipment. Give them some information about the countryside and the weather, and some advice on what to pack.

What is your hometown famous for?
What can you say about the geographical position of your hometown?
What do you like in your country that you won’t find anywhere?
Are you a home-lover? Do you spend most of your free time at home?

10. Two people from another country are visiting the town/city/village where you live for a few days. As they are a similar age to you, you have been asked to give your ideas on what evening activities could be organized for them. Make at least three suggestions.

Do you have enough time for work and rest?
Do you make plans for your week-ends in advance?
Are you afraid to go out alone at night where you live?
What places of interest are there in your town?

11. If you could add one picture to the book which you have read lately or your favourite book, which scene from the story would it show? Describe the picture, retell the scene and try to explain why this particular scene impressed you most.

Have you got many books at home?
What helps you to choose a book for reading?
Is reading books important in modem life or can it be substituted by TV, computers?
Do you have the same tastes in books as your friends?

12. Your family is going to celebrate your mother’s / father’s birthday and you are asked to do all the necessary shopping to cook a festive dinner. What foodstuffs are you going to buy? Why? And where would you go to do the shopping?

Do you bargain when you buy things in the market?
Recommend a good place for shopping in Minsk or in your native town.
Who does most of the food shopping in your family?
What is your favourite dish? Who usually cooks it?

13. Imagine that you were given magical powers to change some features of character or habits of your relatives and best friends. What features and/or habits would you like to change? Give your reasons for choosing those features and habits.

What features do you value most in people?
Has your friend ever disappointed or deceived you?
Do you think it’s good to have many friends?
What should be done to avoid misunderstanding in the family?

14. You are going to have a holiday of you dream and money is not a consideration. What place or places would you choose to go? What would you do on your holiday? Would you take your friends or relatives or would you go alone? Give your reasons.

How did you spend your last winter holidays?
Are there any traditions of holiday-making in your family?
What attracts you most on a journey: traveling or arriving at the place of destination?
What places have you visited in Belarus that impressed you most?

15. You are given a chance to meet a famous person. Whom would you like to meet? Explain why you would choose this particular person, what his or her features you find most attractive and what topics you are going to discuss with him/her.

Are geniuses born or trained?
Would you like to be popular and famous?
Who is your favourite actor (singer, artist, composer)?
What do you do to achieve the aim of your life?

16. Your school is going to have a new sports center and the pupils are asked to suggest the kind or kinds of sport that this center will specialize in. What kind or kinds of sport will you suggest? Try to discuss the advantages of these kinds of sport.

What are the ways to keep fit?
Do you believe in the effect of diets for keeping fit?
What sports are popular in Belarus?
What is the role of school in modem society?

17. You have made up your mind to stick to healthy food. What would you like to change in your diet? What harmful products would you like to get rid of and why? What dishes would you cook for yourself and what foodstuffs would you use? Give your reasons for choosing them.

How important are good eating habits for a person?
Is your diet healthier than your friends’?
Do you think morning exercises enable you to do better?
Can you make a meal?

18. You know that computers gradually seem to be replacing books. Practically everything (from encyclopedias to manuals) is now available on CD?ROM. Is this new way of reading to your benefit? Be ready to discuss its advantages and disadvantages.

What is the role of science in modern society?
What does new technology enable people to do without leaving their homes?
What appliances help you do your household chores?
Do you agree that young people don’t read much these days?

19. You are given the opportunity to visit a foreign country. You can go there by plane, by train or by car. Which means of transport would you like to take, if you had a choice? Explain why you would prefer this or that kind of transport and point out the advantages.

Have you ever been to a foreign country?
Have you ever experienced homesickness?
What can spoil a holiday?
What professions involve a lot of travelling?

20. Imagine you had an opportunity to get a very short tour of London. Your stay in London is going to last no more than three hours. What places of interest would you prefer to see? Give your reasons for choosing these particular sights or landmarks.

What would attract you as a tourist in Great Britain?
Do you know any English customs and traditions?
What places of interest are there in your town?
What means of travelling do you prefer?

21. You are going to visit your friends in an English-speaking country. They ask you to make a short film about Belarus to show their acquaintances. What will you sights of Belarus will you include and what information about our country will you provide in the film?

What places in Belarus would you like to visit? Why?
Are there any traditional cultural or sport events that are held in your native town?
What places in Belarus remind you of the outstanding people of the country?
Have you ever filmed any important events in your family? Or would you like to have any events filmed?

22. Your friends, who are very fussy (привередливый) about food, are coming to Belarus. They ask you to describe the eating habits of the Belarusians and our national cuisine. They would also like you to give them advice on the types of healthy food that they can taste in our country.

Are you fussy about food?
What is your favourite dish? Can you cook it?
What is your attitude to junk food?
Do you think that food habits depend on the country where you live?

23. You are asked to suggest one of your favourite books to be made into a film. What book would you choose? What attracts you in this particular book and in its main characters? What actors would you like to invite to play the leading roles? Why?

What kind of book would you take on a long journey?
Do you have the same tastes in books as your friends?
Do you prefer to read a book or to watch a film based on this book?
What kind of films do you prefer? Why?

24. Some people try different fashions to express their personality (dye their hair green, pierce their tongue or nose, wear torn jeans, etc.). But sometimes it may not be accepted by other people. What is acceptable for you and what isn’t? What kind of clothes do you prefer?

Do you agree that people who look different are strange?
Is it a good idea to look like your friends?
Do you try to follow the latest fashion? Why/ Why not?
Do people nowadays make clothes themselves? Why/ Why not?

25. You are showing your favourite photos to your new acquaintances. What photos of your family and friends would you choose? On what occasions were these photos taken? What would you say to describe the character the people in the photos?

Do your parents always understand you?
Do you think it’s good to have many friends?
How does your friend take your critical opinion?
What is your favourite family holiday?

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