Главная страница «Первого сентября»Главная страница журнала «Английский язык»Содержание №9/1999

Lesson 3

Aim – to learn the difference between American and British English.


In the United States of America English is the national language. Four hundred years ago some English people came to North America to live there, and they brought the English language to this new country. Now in the USA people speak American English. Very many words are the same in American and British English, but there are words which are different in British and American variants of the English language. Here are some of them.

Exercise 1

Decide if the speaker is using British English or American English.
Cross out the incorrect variant.

1. I had my vacation in autumn/fall last year.
2. He never eats biscuits or sweets/candy.
3. The trousers look nice with that waistcoat/vest.
4. My apartment is on the fourth floor but there’s no lift/elevator.
5. The people next door are on holiday/vacation. They will be away for a fortnight.
6. Our car was in the car park/parking lot and we took the subway to the centre.
7. My trainers are in the wardrobe/closet.

Exercise 2

Now complete this table.

Exercise 3

Solve the puzzle. There are 10 hidden words. They go in these directions:

Exercise 4

Make up a story using British English or American English.

Lesson 4

Aim – to learn some facts about the American educational system.

American Schools

American schoolchildren begin to go to school when they are six years old. The first school is called elementary or grade school. In elementary schools, as in all other schools in the USA, there are lessons every day except Saturdays and Sundays. The children come to school at 8:30 and each class gathers in its homeroom. There is a teacher on duty there who calls the names of the children. Then they pledge allegiance to the American flag. After it lessons begin. Each lesson lasts half an hour. At 10:30 the children return to the homeroom where they have milk, and crackers.

At 11 o’clock they have a lesson of writing. There are about one hundred pupils in a big classroom and three teachers. One teacher writes new words on the blackboard. The other teachers walk about the classroom and correct the children’s writing.

At 11:50 the pupils return to their homeroom and get ready for lunch. They eat from 12 to 12:30. Then they have 20 minutes of physical training on the playground.

After that they have one more lesson. This is a lesson of nature-study and that is the end of the school day. It is half past one and all the children go home.

Exercise 1

Compare Russian and American elementary/secondary schools using the plan below.

1. The age of schoolchildren.
2. Working days.
3. The beginning of a school day.
4. Duration of lessons.
5. Lessons.
6. Breakfast and lunch time.
7. The end of a school day.

Exercise 2

Here are some school subjects but the letters are mixed up. What are the subjects?


At the end of this lesson you can start learning the words of the US national anthem “America, the Beautiful”.

America, the Beautiful
O beautiful for spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties above the fruited plain.

America! America!
God shed his grace on thee,
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea.

O beautiful for pilgrim feet
Whose stern impassion’d stress
A thoroughfare for freedom beat
Across the wilderness.

America! America!
God mend thine ev’ry flaw,
Confirm thy soul in selfcontrol,
Thy liberty in law.


O beautiful for heroes prov’d
In liberating strife,
Who more than self their country lov’d
And mercy more than life.

America! America!
May God thy gold refine
Till all success be nobleness,
And ev’ry gain divine.


O beautiful for patriot dream,
That sees beyond the years
Thine alabaster cities gleam,
Undimmed by human tears.

America! America!
God shed His grace on thee,
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea.


Additional information to Lesson 4.

1. In all secondary schools the schoolchildren are called “students”, not pupils.
2. Many American schoolchildren finish only Junior High schools because they must begin working to help their families.
3. American children finish school without any exams.


Submitted by Nadejda Beregovaya