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Washington – the capital of the United States of America

1. Answer the questions:

· How did Washington get its name?

· Sometimes Washington is called “one-industry city”. What industry is meant?

· What is the official residence of the US President? Imagine what it is like inside.

2. Read and translate the text:

Washington, D.C, formally the District of Columbia, commonly referred to as Washington or simply D.C., is the capital of the United States founded on July 16, 1790. The City of Washington was originally a separate municipality within the Territory of Columbia until an act of Congress in 1871 effectively merged the City and the Territory into a single entity called the District of Columbia.

The city is located on the north bank of the Potomac River and borders on the states of Virginia to the southwest and Maryland to the other sides. The District has a population of 591,833 people. However, because of commuters from the surrounding suburbs, its population rises to over one million during the workweek. The Washington Metropolitan Area, of which the District is a part, has a population of 5.3 million. It is the eighth-largest metropolitan area in the country.

Article One of the United States Constitution provides for a federal district, distinct from the states, to serve as the permanent national capital. The centers of all three branches of the federal government of the United States are located in Washington just as many of the nation's monuments and museums. Washington, D.C. hosts 174 foreign embassies as well as the headquarters of the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the Organization of American States (OAS), the Inter-American Development Bank, and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO). The headquarters of other institutions such as trade unions, lobbying groups, and professional associations are also located in Washington.

The United States Congress has supreme authority over Washington, D.C.; residents of the city therefore have less self-governance than residents of the states. The District has a non-voting at-large Congressional delegate, but no senators. D.C. residents could not vote in presidential elections until the ratification of the Twenty-third Amendment to the United States Constitution in 1961.

Washington, D.C., is a planned city. The design for the City of Washington was largely the work of Pierre (Peter) Charles L’Enfant, a French-born architect, engineer, and city planner who first arrived in the colonies as a military engineer with Major General Lafayette during the American Revolutionary War. In 1791, President Washington commissioned L'Enfant to plan the layout of the new capital city. L'Enfant's plan was modeled in the Baroque style, which incorporated broad avenues radiating out from rectangles and circles, providing for open space and landscaping.

After the construction of the twelve-story Cairo Apartment Building in 1899, Congress passed the Heights of Buildings Act, which declared that no building could be taller than the Capitol. The Act was amended in 1910 to restrict building height to the width of the adjacent street plus 20 feet (6.1 m). As a result, the Washington Monument remains the District's tallest structure.

Washington is divided into four quadrants of unequal area: Northwest (NW), Northeast (NE), Southeast (SE), and Southwest (SW). The axes bounding the quadrants radiate from the U.S. Capitol building. All road names include the quadrant abbreviation to indicate their location. In most of the city, the streets are set out in a grid pattern with east–west streets named with letters (e.g., C Street SW) and north–south streets with numbers (e.g., 4th Street NW). The avenues radiating from the traffic circles are primarily named after states. Some Washington streets are particularly noteworthy, such as Pennsylvania Avenue, which connects the White House with the U.S. Capitol, and K Street, which houses the offices of many lobbying groups.

The architecture of Washington varies greatly. Six of the top 10 buildings in the American Institute of Architects' 2007 ranking of "America's Favorite Architecture" are located in the District of Columbia, including the White House; the Washington National Cathedral; the Thomas Jefferson Memorial; the United States Capitol; the Lincoln Memorial; and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. The neoclassical, Georgian, gothic, and modern architectural styles are all reflected among those six structures and many other prominent edifices in Washington. Notable exceptions include buildings constructed in the French Second Empire style such as the Old Executive Office Building and Library of Congress.

3. Scan the text and answer these questions:

1/ When was the federal capital founded? 2/What is a population of the city proper and its suburbs? 4/ Who was the architect of the city? 5/What is the peculiarity of the city planning? 6/ What are the most famous tourists’ attractions within the city?

4. Make up the plan of the text and retell it according to the plan (not less then 100 words).


The system of higher education in Russia

1. Write down ten words related to the topic “The system of higher education in Russia”

2. Read and translate the text:

Education plays an important role in the life of any country as it provides the country with highly-qualified specialists for its future development and progress. Top priority is given to improving the standards of higher education – especially in science and technology. Russia’s system of higher education is well developed.

There are several types of higher education institutions in Russia: University, Academy, and Institute. All of them realize programs of undergraduate and graduate professional education.

University covers a wide range of fields of study, for example, technical university or classical university. Academy differs from universities by a narrower spectrum of specialties connected with a particular industry. The status of an Institute requires teaching of at least one discipline.

Higher education institution may be public or state and non-public. Higher education as well as school education used to be provided on a fully free basis. Presently, part of students of public and all students of non-public institutions have to pay for their tuition.

Today, there are over 600 public and more than 200 accredited non-public or non-state higher education institutions in Russia.

Apart from the school-leaving certificate, each of these institutions set obligatory entrance exams and/or tests. Only those who successfully passed entrance exams may hope to be admitted. At some universities entrance exams are very competitive and only the best of the best get through. Of course, grades from the school-leaving certificate are also taken into account.

The academic year starts on the first of September and terminates as a rule at the end of June. The academic year is divided into autumn and spring semesters. Each semester ends with a test week preceding examination session during which the students pass tests on the subjects they have studied in the previous semester and defend course projects (paper). Exam session lasts for two or three weeks after the test week during which the students pass the exams.

Currently, Russian educational system is undergoing drastic reforms. Every university or institute has been given a great part of autonomy in their every day activity. At the university level, students usually study for five years.

Since 1992 Russian higher education has introduced a multilevel system, enabling higher education institutions to award and issue the following academic grades.

Bachelor of Science degree (not less than 4 years of study). The study program follows the corresponding curriculum. The content of the subjects is specified in accordance with State Educational Standard. All the subjects in State Educational Standard are grouped in the following areas: general scientific, socio-economical, humanities, general professional, and special. Study program also includes practical training, independent study, course and diploma project (paper), state exam. The students, having Bachelor's Degree have the right to enter Master's program or to continue their education with the goal of getting professional qualification diploma (Diploma of Specialist).

Master of Science degree (2 years of training after Bachelor degree)

Diploma of Specialist (5-6 years of training)

The curriculumincludes general and special courses in sciences, the humanities, and professional training. After completion of final research project called Diploma project and passing State final exams they are awarded Diplomas of Higher Education. Then, they can leave university and find a job according to their specialization.

However, many students choose to continue their studies at the post-university level. After additional 2 years, postgraduates are awarded the Master’s degree. Most dedicated to scientific researchdecide to go in for doctoral degrees. There are two levels of doctoral degree, which do not have equivalent in Western systems of education. They are Candidate of Sciences and Doctor of Sciences degree.

3. Scan the text and answer these questions:

1/ What are the main types of higher education institutions in Russia? 2/ Do students of public institutions have to pay for their tuition? 3/ Do students have to pass entrance exams? 4/ Tell about the academic year. 5/ How long does the exam session last? 6/ Enumerate the main academic grades. 7/ What are two levels of doctoral degree, which do not have equivalent in Western systems of education?

4. Match the highlighted words in the text with the definitions (1-7) below.

1/the range of subjects that has been officially chosen to be taught at all education institutions in a country.

2/careful, detailed work that you do in order you discover new information or produce new ideas about a particular subject.

3/someone who is studying for a higher degree after their first degree.

4/an advanced degree that you get by studying for one or two years after getting your first degree.

5/the period of the year when there are school or university classes.

5. Prepare a report about the Bologna declaration signed in 2003. Point out your attitude towards the event (not less than 50 words). Use additional sources of information.

6. Make up the plan of the text and retell it according to the plan (not less then 100 words).


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