Главная страница «Первого сентября»Главная страница журнала «Английский язык»Содержание №8/1999

American Studies

Lesson 1

The United States of America occupy a large territory. The USA is situated in the central and southern part of Northern America. It is washed by the Atlantic Ocean in the east and by the Pacific Ocean in the west. It stretches from Canada in the north to Mexico, the Gulf of Mexico, and the Gulf of California in the south.

In size, the USA is the fourth among the nations after Russia, Canada and China. It has many islands in the Pacific Ocean and Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands in the Atlantic. It has military bases all over the world.

The USA is divided into three areas: Eastern area – a highland, where the Appalachian Mountains are situated, Central area – a plain, and Western area which is mountainous and includes the Cordilleras and the Rocky Mountains. The highest peak in the Appalachian Mountains is 2,037 metres high. The highest peak of the Cordilleras in the USA is 4,418 metres high. The Appalachian Mountains are very old. The Rocky Mountains are considered to be young.

The north-eastern part of the USA is the region of the five Great Lakes (Lake Superior, Huron, Michigan. Erie. and Ontario) which are connected by channels cut by rapids. The greatest of these rapids is the Niagara Falls. The St. Lawrence River joins the water of the five lakes to the Atlantic Ocean. In the west of the USA there is another lake called the Great Salt Lake.

The main rivers of the USA are the Mississippi (it is the second largest river in the world after the Nile); the Missouri, the Yukon, the Colorado, the Columbia, the St. Lawrence, and the Hudson.



to occupy занимать
to be situated находиться
to wash омывать
to stretch (from . . . to) тянуться (от . . . до)
a gulf морской залив
a nation

государство, страна

a military base военная база
to divide разделять
a highland плоскогорье, нагорье
a plain равнина
a mountain гора
to include включать
a peak пик, высшая точка
to consider полагать, считать
to connect соединять
a channel пролив
rapid речной порог
main основной


United States

AL Alabama

NV Nevada

Puerto Rico [\pw0t0u\ri:k0u]
AK Alaska

NH New Hampshire

Virgin Islands [\v3:dzin\ail0nds]
AZ Arizona

NJ New Jersey

Appalachian Mountains [\7p0\lei5j0n]
AR Arkansas

NM New Mexico

Cordilleras [\k8:di\ljer0z]
CA California

NY New York

Nile [nail]
CO Colorado

NC North Carolina

Missouri [mi\zv0ri]
CT Connecticut

ND North Dakota

Yukon [‘ju:k8n]
DE Delaware

OH Ohio

Colorado [\k8l8’ra:d0u]
FL Florida

OK Oklahoma

Columbia [k0’l6mbi0]
GA Georgia

OR Oregon

Hudson [‘h6dsn]
HI Hawaii

PA Pennsylvania

Superior [sju:\pi0ri0]
ID Idaho

RI Rhode Island

Huron [\hju0r0n]
IL Illinois

SC South Carolina

Michigan [\mi5ig0n]
IN Indiana

SD South Dakota

Erie [\i0ri]
IA Iowa

TN Tennessee

Ontario [8n\t30ri0u]
KS Kansas

TX Texas

Niagara Falls [nai\7g0r0\f8:lz]
KY Kentucky

UT Utah

St. Lawrence River [\seint\l8r0ns]
LA Louisiana

VT Vermont

ME Maine

VA Virginia

MD Maryland

WA Washington

MA Massachusetts

WI Wisconsin

WV West Virginia
MI Michigan

WY Wyoming

MN Minnesota

CZ Canal Zone

MS Mississippi

DC District of Columbia

MO Missouri

GU Guam

MT Montana

PR Puerto Rico

NE Nebraska

VI Virgin Islands


Exercise 1

Draw the map of the USA. Match all geographical places mentioned in this text on it.


Exercise 2

Find information and write a report about one state (students’ choice).


Additional information to Lesson 1


1. America was discovered by Columbus in 1492. It was called the “New World”. Later it was named after Amerigo Vespucci who said he had been there before Columbus.

2. At first there were 13 stars and 13 stripes on the national flag of the USA. There was one star and one stripe for every state in the new country on July 4, 1777. Then new states were added and new stars appeared on the flag. Now there are 50 states and 50 stars on the American flag. The 13 stripes represent the original 13 states.

Americans have a special holiday – Flag Day – celebrated on June 14.

3. The national motto is “In God We Trust”. It first appeared on US coins after April 22, 1864, when it was written on a 2-cent piece. On July 30,1956 it became the national motto.


At the end of the lesson you can start learning the words of the song “If You’re Happy”.

If You’re Happy


If you’re happy and you know it – Clap you hands!

If you’re happy and you know it – Clap your hands!

If you’re happy and you know it, And you really want to show it,

If you’re happy and you know it – Clap your hands!


2. Snap your fingers!

3. Slap your legs!

4. Stamp your feet!

5. Say «OK’!

6. Do all five!

Lesson 2

Before reading the text be sure you pronounce the words in bold type correctly.


The Native Americans

The first people on the American continent came from Asia. It was more than 40.000 years ago. They had red skin. When the white men came to North America, they called them Red men or Indians.

The Indians lived in wigwams. In the North-East they hunted and went fishing. They also grew corn for their food. In the South the Indians grew tobacco which was new to the white men. There were many Indian tribes at that time.

Many Indians were killed by the white men. Today there are about 1.5 million Indians in the USA. One third of them live on reservations.


Exercise 1

Find the English equivalents in the text.

Американский континент, кожа, Северная Америка, индейцы, вигвамы, охотились, занимались рыболовством, кукуруза, табак, индейские племена, были убиты, живут в резервации.

Exercise 2

Answer the questions

1. Who are called the Native Americans ?

2. What was their way of life ?

3. What happened to the Indians ?

4. Where do they live now ?


It’s Interesting to Know

. . . that there are more than 100 languages spoken by the American Indians today.

. . . that the longest word that ever existed is the name of an Indian chief, who died in 1866.

This word has 179 letters:



. . . that the longest place-name in the USA is Lake Chargoggugoggmonchauggagoggehaubunagungamaug near Webster (a town in Massachusetts). The 44-letter name of this lake means «You fish on your side, we fish on our side, nobody fishes in the middle».



The first Negro slaves in the English colonies were brought in a Dutch ship in 1619. The slave trade was very profitable. It began in Rhode Island early in the 17th century. They were used on cotton plantations, some of them were house servants, and others became skilled handicraft workers. Slave markets were commonplace.


CIVIL WAR (1861–1865)

It is also called the «War Between the States» or the «Brothers’ War». It was the struggle of the 23 northern states against 11 southern states (see the map). The North had 85% of the nation’s industries and had the country`s gold. It sold it to buy guns. The South depended on farming. It hoped to sell cotton to buy guns. The cause of the war was to free the slaves in the southern states. So it was the war between Northern capitalists and free farmers and planters in the South.

The war started on April 12,1861 with the attack on Fort Sumter. The land fighting was slow and bloody. The battle of Gettysburg (July 1 – 3, 1863) was a turning point of the Civil War. It took place in Gettysburg, in southern Pennsylvania , and the North won that battle.

The results of the war were as following:

– the Union was restored,

– the slavery was prohibited by the 13th Amendment to the Constitution (1865).


Additional information to Lesson 2

1.When the first white men went ashore in North America they took some women on the ship with them. The women went to wash the clothes. Since that time Monday has been wash-day in America.

2. Yankee is a term which describes anyone who lives in one of the Northern states. It has been suggested that it started as a mispronunciation of a term used by Indians to describe the English settlers. The Indians called the Englishmen «Yankee» at first because they could not say the word «Englishman», and since that time «Yankee» has been the name of a white man in America.