Главная страница «Первого сентября»Главная страница журнала «Английский язык»Содержание №15/2002



Categiry Linguistics

Nothing Is Impossible for a Willing Heart

The 17th session of the International Forum “Gifted Children” took place on February 16 in Moscow with a 2000 strong children team and international stars of culture and art. The Forum is held in support of the Federal Project “Children of Russia” and is set up to be a high point, giving a challenge to children, their parents and teachers in different spheres of science, culture and art. For five years the Project has been carried out by the efforts of the staff of the Moscow Humanities Institute. The motto of the event was “God Bless the History of the Russian Land” and the contestants were set to report about the various aspects of their genealogical research. The competitions were held in ten categories, Linguistics being one of them.

Two hundred kids from Moscow and the Moscow region, and 200 more from across Russia were put together at the event and were given a chance to show their talents. The tasks of the contest were the following:

1) draw a family tree and show the genealogy of your kinship;
2) get ready to discuss etymological aspects of the English word-stock;
3) compile a dictionary of English borrowings in the Russian vocabulary;
4) describe the most common properties of the national fairy tales’ character.

The competition became even hotter when the founder of the Forum, professor N.F. Apatenko, a 1991 Soros prize winner herself, declared that the winners of the contest would he enlisted in the IGUMO free of charge, without entrance exams. The contestants did their utmost to win in the competition to be called the connoisseurs of English. But as the saying goes, “Many are called but few are chosen” (Mattew). Great pains did it take the advanced students to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. The winners were bright, and the losers were praiseworthy as well. The highest, well-deserved rewards were awarded to the students:

10–11 forms Anastasia Kravtsova, 11th grade, Orekhovo-Zuevo
7–9 forms Alexey Romanov, 8th grade, Moscow
4–6 forms Alyona Zhoukova, 5th grade, Khimky

Profound knowledge, bright intelligence, immense erudition were revealed by a great number of participants – well, trained-gifted children, among them are:

I. Kouliba – 9th form, Zheleznodorozhny
A. Masyutin – 7th form, Moscow
O. Mironchikov – 7th form, Moscow
O. Potapova – 11th form, Saransk
A. Roubleva – 7th form, Moscow
G. Salnikov – 9th form, Moscow
E. Soldatova – 11th form, Orekhovo-Zuevo
G. Soloschenko – 9th form, Usman, Lipetsk region
G. Titov – 10th form, Moscow
K. Zavalishina – 7th form, Moscow

We publish extracts from the contestants’ letters in which they share their impressions and experience. These issues reflect the mood and the spirit of the competition, the children’s desire to participate and to win.

By Galina Goumovskaya,
Chairman of the Linguistics contest jury


Forum is a magnificent contest.
It’s an exciting event.
This is as joyful as a holiday.
You always want to take part in it again, and again.
You can check your knowledge here,
In different branches of science.
The Jury is really fair
And the Audience is nice.
Forum plays a great role.
It gathers the amateurs of Science and Arts:
Of Linguistics, History, Dancing, Geography.
Forum is very important for us.

Kate Zavalishina, 7th “C” form
Gymasium No. 1542, Moscow

A Good Place to Start from

I have a strong belief that childhood should be protected. There are many dangers in the world, not only physical, but psychic, too. There are also people who take the responsibility for protection. I am sure that the Forum is an organization of people who have an aim to bring up a well-educated and outstanding generation. Youth is a very delicate period of life, and it needs to be given as much tender treatment as possible. It’s not a secret that the impressions and points of view we get during our childhood usually are carried through the whole of life. People who have created this contest seem to understand it, as they have been trying to help us take things as they are, support each other and, of course, learn many new things. I came up with an idea that the Forum is a good place to start. Not only does it let us compare our knowledge, it also assures us that not everything in our world is sold and there are some sincere things left. Some of the participants have already taken part in the Forum. It’s clear to me that they wouldn’t have done it if the contest hadn’t been interesting. I hope I will have an opportunity to show my abilities at the next Forum as well. I feel we all have done our best and really deserve the first place – each one of us does. Now it almost doesn’t matter who is going to take the prize.
As well as for other reasons, the Forum is created to connect people. We can’t underestimate the necessity of communication. Here we meet people from remote towns of our country and from the capital; we can exchange our impressions, opinions, and, what’s very important, share our knowledge.
I won’t describe how I first heard of the Forum, how I prepared the homework and so on. Instead of it I would like to express my opinion about it. The first question that came up to my mind when I was suggested to participate was “what for?” But as no one knew the answer, I had to make it out myself. We gathered here to define the winners. And I really appreciate the work of people who are going to judge us – just because it is extremely difficult. We all tried to be better than others, to expose our knowledge.
Nevertheless I can’t say that this contest is a brutal fight for the prize. It is definitely not. Some of us have found friends among the contestants. People who have common interests can achieve a lot together. From the beginning I felt that the atmosphere was very friendly. This was an important thing for all of us, because it let us speak freely without any useless shyness. What’s more, this gave us a chance for a better answer.
My personal attitude is positive. Although I first heard of the Forum this January, I decided to take part in it at once. When we were sitting in the hall listening to the history of the Forum, I understood that it was serious. The Forum is a serious organization with great intentions. Our main task is to approve of the founders’ trust in us. Contestants now hope to win and I am among them. It has been said many times, and people will keep on repeating it forever: participation in more important than victory. We should believe it. The Forum has brought us something more exciting – the feeling of being friends, one big family, and the hope of the country. I’m sure that you will agree that it’s quite a pleasant and at the same time difficult responsibility. There’s a wise proverb that says, “If gods wish to destroy a person completely, they claim him to be giving hope”. Anyway I know that no one was going to destroy us, but we should understand that we will live in this century and it’s in our interests to make it better. So you can see that the founders of the Forum were looking forward when they created it. I quess that some of the former and the future participants will try to continue the traditions of holding the Forum. The perspective looks great and maybe our children will take part in it many years later, who knows...

Ramila Goubaidullina, 9th form,
School No. 1246, Moscow

Where There is Will...

It is seven o’clock in the morning. With great difficulty I open my eyes and understand that if I do not want to be late for the train, I have to get up. I quickly get ready for the journey and leave the house. The morning air is fresh and cool. The street is unusually guite and unfrequented, only several dog-breeders slowly walk to and fro with their pets.
I’m approaching the railway station. It is crowded with people, as everyone is hurrying somewhere. Jolly laugh and excited conversation is heard from the center of the platform. It means that everybody has already gathered and I hurry up to join them. The teachers and parents are anxiously counting the children, buying the tickets.
At last the train comes, everybody takes their seats and our journey to the forum “Gifted Children” begins. A few children are nervously revising the phrases, which have been already learned by heart, others are carelessly laughing, retelling each other yesterday’s film, making plans for the weekend.
Soon our journey comes to an end. A five minutes’ walk from the metro station and here is the building of the Institute. We go upstairs to the third floor. Here we are welcomed with a kindly smile, like old friends. From the first minute we see how well the competition is organized.
We take off our clothes and go to the registration desk. After registration we have half an hour left before the competition begins. So we decide to have lunch and go to the buffet. Hot, strong coffee and tasty cakes immediately raise our good spirits and we feel ready to show our knowledge.
Finally, the most important part of our journey begins. We are wished good luck and the competition starts. The first question, asked by the examiners is: “So, who will begin?” All participants sit frightened, without even moving. But there appears one brave fellow. We look at him with interest and admiration, trying to hear the questions of the examiners.
Several participants have already answered all the questions and with happy faces leave the room, holding the diplomas in their hands. I take a deep breath and raise my hand. On approaching the examiners’ table, I feel my thoughts mixing in my head and I seem to have forgotten everything I knew: the traditions of America and England, my family free, etymology... But the examiners smile as if they wanted to say: “Cheer up. Don’t worry!” And so, a minute later I’m discussing the profession of my grandfather and the beautiful traditions of celebrating the New Year in our country. Having asked some additional questions and presented the diploma, the examiners let me go and I hurry to tell my friends about the tasks. On leaving the room I wish good luck to my classmate, who has just begun his answer. Near the door I meet our teachers and for the second time tell them about the questions.
Soon the competition is over and all the participants leave the room. We share our impressions, laugh and joke. At last we can have a sign of relief. The second round of the competition, that has been so much spoken about, ends. We quickly put on our coats, hats and gloves, because everyone wants to get home as soon as it’s possible. Nobody is now thinking that next week we shall be sadly sitting near the telephone waiting for the call because everybody is eager to continue this exciting journey and to feel himself a little bit gifted.

Irina Dvoyashova, 11th form, School No. 13

How to Enlarge Our Knowledge of the World Outside

The Forum held in Moscow under the heading “Gifted Children” is a unique event, which has already been taking place for several years. Its motto is: “For great morality in the 21st century”. Morality is a system of moral principles; it is essentially a many-sided phenomenon. It includes a lot of notions: man, his interrelation with other people, his attitude towards the environment. Each human being is a unique individual who has never existed before and will never exist again, with entirely his own character, mind, soul, and world outlook.
It’s common knowledge that all of us pass different stages in our life: first – nursery school, then primary and secondary school where you gradually become a grown-up.
And alongside the course of our life we increase our knowledge of the outside world. We always long to know more about ourselves and the surrounding environment.
The Forum “Gifted Children” gives us a possibility to a real evaluation of our knowledge. Here we can meet lots of children from various parts of our country, wishing to test their level of proficiency in different fields of studies, to bring their knowledge to light, and compete with the other contestants in the great diversity of categories: art, choreography, economics, linguistics, and many others.
A contest is an exam where you must reveal your abilities, determination, and the depth of your knowledge.
Still, the Forum is not only a place of competition. Here children can find good, interesting friends. And I really wish to express our great gratitude to its initiators. I hope that henceforward the Forum “Gifted Children” will be held annually and discover more and more talents for our great Russia.

Olga Nikitushkina, 11th form,
School No. 1, Likino-Dulyovo

A New Experience for a Regular Competitor

“Forum” – it sounds solemn and festive. They call it a holiday of the soul, with fireworks of abilities. Russia will not become scant of talents. l think that the Forum founders were right to organise it and the sponsors to help us, because there are so many talented children in our mother country; but most of them are unable to show their abilities. So, it is a great present to those who want and are able to compete.
I had learned the information about this Forum just a few days before it began; so I decided to join the children trying to win the Grand-Prix. I knew it would be difficult to take part in it; but anyway, l have always been a competitor. l like to take part in all competitions. I am not always successful, but this is my problem. Sometimes l think l just waste my time, but now I understand that it is not true. While l was preparing for this contest I learned a great deal of new facts that enlarged my outlook and l hope it will help me in my future life. l don’t think I’m the only one who has looked through plenty of literature; l know that everyone, who considered themselves to be educated enough to take part in, became more experienced having extended their knowledge of English.
I felt at home there. Besides I had a chance to see different students from my country. l had a chance to compare the way I talk to the way other students do. It was my first speech in front of the audience, and I think this experience can help me because next year I’m going to enter a university.
We do it not just for somebody, but for people who are interested in it, and ourselves too, because we have already won. The prize is only a thing that certifies your victory. But here are no losers, because everyone struggled, everyone showed his ability, and everybody enjoyed the Forum; so we all are winners in our own ways. Nobody can present you knowledge, except yourself. In Russia there were always a lot of talented people; there is a great deal now too and I think there always will be. The Forum proved it once again. I didn’t think I would meet so many children there, and now l know we will make our mother country better.

Maxim Zviaguintsev, 10th form,
School 21, Moscow

Listen here!
If they light stars –
Does it mean it is necessary
for a person?
V. Mayakovsky

While preparing our assignments we had to refer to various sources of information, doing our best to learn as much as possible about the language we study, its structure and development, as well as about the history of English-speaking countries and their customs and traditions. If not for the assignment of drawing our family roots, I’d hardly get involved in my ancestry. The assignment turned to be involving and exciting not only for me but for my family as well. My parents did their best to bring to their memory as much as possible about our ancestors. This activity brought all the members of my family together.
We’ve been discussing our Forum activity all the way back home. I was very pleased to learn that I was admitted to participate in the following round. Perhaps, the most important thing for me is the fact that I’ve gained more experience and made many new friends to share my worries and joys.

Alexandra Kalinina, 10th form
Gymnasium No. 14, Linguist Club,
Orehovo-Zuevo, Moscow region

I worked hard to take part in this Forum. I have read some English books during this time. One of them was Robinson Crusoe. I wrote a song about Robinson. I wrote a story about my family and my relatives.


Robinson, a seaman,
In a storm didn’t lose his head,
Swam and swam
Reached the shore.
Suddenly he saw a tree
And he climbed upon it one, two, three.
He built a house of wood
And sewed nice skin clothes.
Tasty fruit he liked to eat
And his parrot could speak.

Misha Perov, 4th form,
School No. 13, Zhukovsky

I like the fact that participants of the forum can not only compete with each other but also see the works and compositions of other children from different cities in all nominations. At the exposition we can see the best art works made by the participants. During the concert in Ismaylovo all the participants and their teachers and parents could see the best choreographic compositions and short plays.
I used to attend the ballroom dances club and it was very pleasant for me to watch really majestic compositions. I am also fond of drawing and so I enjoyed the exposition of pictures greatly and some of them really impressed me.

Paul Apollonov,
11th form, School No. 13,
Zhukovsky, “Linguist Club”

Despite all this positive comment I’d like the hosts to pay more attention to organisation of the process of the contest itself. It was rather tiresome to wait for being asked. To my mind, every participant should have a table with a number on it. So that he is aware when it is his turn to answer. Furthermore, I’d like to see more people in the jury.

Maria Pevchikh,
9th form, Gymnasium No. 1528, Zelenograd

“How rich Russia is in good people!” – said Chekhov. He was right. Since the day of its foundation to the present moment Russia has abounded in good people. I’m happy that in our alarming time their number doesn’t fall, but it grows. The rector of IGUMO, N.F. Apatenko can serve as a bright example of that. Thanks to her, hundreds of gifted children from every corner of our vast country could earn the recognition of their talent. Rephrasing the above quotation we could say “How rich Russia is in good children”.

Ilya Yozefovich, 8th form,
Moscow, Club of Linguists

When my mother and I were going home we thought, that I wouldn’t take part in the next round because I take part in the competition for the first time. But soon we learnt that I got 10 points and was allowed to take part in the next round. My mother, my father, my brother, my grandmother, my uncle Alex and especially I – all my family were so happy.
I don’t think it’s so awful if I won’t take part in the finals. This Forum gave me an opportunity to check up on my knowledge. This small examination showed that I have already achieved a little progress in learning English. And it is more interesting for me to study English now.
My mother says it’s my first victory. I would like to thank the Forum for this little holiday in my life.

Kate Mejova, 5th form,
School No. 1530, Moscow

Frankly speaking, I could never imagine myself to be chosen for the third round. It was my father who brought me the wonderful news. Firstly, I couldn’t believe my luck, but when I realised that, it was overwhelming and exciting at the same time.
It’s a pity, I’ll not be able to take part in this competition ever again. I am a student of the eleventh form. I do believe this Forum is exceptionally important. It is so great that a child has this opportunity to assess the level of his knowledge and abilities. In addition, this is the greatest stimulus and motivation in my live.

Natalia Gerasimova,
11 th form, School No. 1276
Club Mr. English, Moscow

The previous year I was lucky to have won the second place in English and French. And of course it was an unforgettable experience, a great event for me. Now I know how to work seriously, how to organise myself.
I understood that to master English it was necessary not only to communicate but learn much from books, as famous linguists advised, and of course to take part in such competitions.
It’s a good chance to express yourself and to be compared with others.
And it goes without saying that your victory depends on your hard work, your knowledge.
Because language is like music, you can’t play a rhapsody, something very complex, unconstrained and free, something that is “manipulated” with grace and charm, without a long and painstaking practice of the dull and uninteresting scales; the same is with language. You can’t recite Shakespeare’s sonnets, and take part in such discussions, without long hard work, and sometimes dull work with grammar and phonetic exercises. Victory in the Linguistics competition is a great reward for that work.

Irina Koolyba, School No. 13, 9th form,

In the course of preparation work I found out a lot of interesting things about my family. I was captivated by drawing out my family tree. I did not think that my ancestors had such rare Russian names as Pelagea, Vassa and Stephan. I have learnt that my great grandfather and grandfather took part in the most significant battles against Nazis. My second grandfather was a Professor of Medicine.
I would like to mention that I am fond of historic novels. And while preparing for the discussion I read the novel Ivanhoe by the famous Scottish writer Walter Scott in English. The content of the novel impressed me greatly. I could not imagine that drawing out a dictionary was so exciting!

Olga Bagriantseva, School No. 4, 6th form, Khimki

I started my work on the assignment with a usual everyday activity of gaining various pieces of information – the work every student got used to in his studies. And as the gained information grew, the work turned out to be more and more involving and every detail was in a need of more serious attention. As a result the work grew into a kind of personal creation.
As for me, I enjoyed drawing my family roots, putting it into the shape demanded for a creative approach. I have learned much new and exciting while working on my project about the festivals and traditions of Great Britain that have much in common with those of Russia. And the most unusual activity for me was the task of making up a list of borrowings. I had to work hard in the library and ask my friends and relatives to the point of complete exhaustion. I was delighted to involve myself into an activity concerning the problem out of secondary-school subject-matter.
I’d like to say many thanks to those who organised this wonderful project that gave children a chance to take part and win. Thank you very much!

Evgeniya Soldatova, 11th form,
Gymnasium No. 14, Orehovo-Zuevo

Unfortunately, we were informed about the Forum too late and I had only two weeks to get ready for it. Therefore the preparations were rather difficult, but all this time I kept reminding myself that “industriousness is the mother of good luck”...
...After I finished answering, I felt enormous relief. The contest was over and I could go home. Then there was a period of anticipation, while I was waiting for the results. To be honest, I hoped that I had done well at the Forum. I was so pleased and excited when I was told that I had got the highest mark, and I was very glad that two of my classmates had also got through into the third round.
The Forum helped me to understand that it is necessary to work hard if you want to succeed. The great Russian writer Turgenev said that “to be a success one needed to have one percent talent and ninety nine percent industriousness”. I am sure that everyone has one percent talent, so if I want to do well in studying foreign languages and show good results at competitions, I should use ninety nine percent industriousness.

Alyona Zhoukova, 5th form,
School No. 4, Club of Linguists,Khimki

Frankly speaking, I have never thought myself to be an exceptionally gifted child. But I’ve been always eager to try myself not only in school competitions, but also in something more significant. And it was the Forum “Gifted Children” that gave Russian pupils a wonderful opportunity to bring their knowledge to light. And I am extremely happy to have participated in the contest.
To my mind, competitions of this kind are constructive and worthwhile, as they help to evaluate one’s abilities to a real degree. And in the future this will certainly prove beneficial in choosing one’s line in life.

Olga Schelina, 7th form,
School No. 1, Likino-Dulyovo

The homework was very interesting, especially “Family Tree”. Our family has always wanted to make it. Some materials had already been collected even before I learnt about the Forum. My parents helped me to do the task so we enjoyed every moment working together. I’ve learnt the history of my family, many interesting things about my ancestors. It is amazing how the history of my family is connected with the history of my country.
I felt that we were treated with great respect and I realised myself as a part of the future of Russia. It is really rewarding and it demands responsibility. It is really wonderful that such competitions take place. They should be held more often. It is a great opportunity to show yourself and to be supported. It is a big promotion for gifted children in their future. I would like this Forum to be continued and extended to allow more young people to take part in it and to show their abilities. I am sure such events develop young people, ensure them that they are necessary for their Motherland.

Grigory Titov, 10th form,
School No. 398, Moscow

I also liked the vast programme and the tasks of the Forum. They were very interesting and exciting, though not easy. It took me a lot of efforts to search for the material for our discussion on etymology, to make up a famous linguist’s monologue addressed to modern youth. I had to work hard but I have learned much new for myself. For example, making up a list of English borrowings while preparing for the discussion on etymology I learned more than 250 new English words and traced and understood their origin. Now I know that it is very important to study the history of a foreign language if you want to learn it perfectly. I am going to learn the history of English and German now.
I think that this wonderful Forum was a holiday of young talents and a good school for all the competitioners. It helped us brush up on our knowledge, widen our outlook and make some steps forward.
And I would like to thank the organizers, the teachers who put their heads and souls into the job, the respectable jury and the sponsors – all those people who gave us such a great gift and who take care of the education of youth in our country.

Alexey Romanov,
8th form, Starokupavinsky Lyceum,
Staraya Kupavna, Moscow region

I am very proud of the thought that there are so many talented children in Russia. They can do a lot of things: they paint beautiful pictures; they are very good at designing clothes; dancing; making really professional photos; etc. This is a holiday which helps us to define our steps in the future, to enrich ourselves with friends, to be creative in work and to find ways of self-improvement.
It is difficult to believe that I’ll win this competition, but this isn’t that important, because even my participation is already a victory. I am proud to be a small part of this wonderful event.
Many thanks to everyone who initiated and arranged this Forum. Let the Forum help all talented children to develop their great abilities and to make people happy by their discoveries and wonderful works!

Sasha Dmitrieva, 7th form,
School No. 1289, Moscow

While preparing for the Forum, I came across several approaches to the young generation of people. The first one is: “Our youth aren’t good at all! They aren’t polite and well-bred. They aren’t proud of old men and of their country”.
The second one is: “I’m afraid of the future of my country. The rising generation thinks a lot of themselves. And actually they are worthless”. You can believe in it easily. But... The latter quotion was taken from Socrat (he lived three thousand years ago) and the former one was written on the wall of a pyramide in Egypt. As we see, a lot of great poets, composers, artists, inventors and dancers lived after those words were said or written. So, without any doubt, we can say, that our youth are the stand-by of the country and even of the world.

George Salnicov, 10th form,
Classical Orthodox School in Hovrino, Moscow

Everything has past. I can’t imagine how it happened. Afterwards, what pleasure it is to realise that nowadays children are eager for knowledge, some of them know for sure what they want from this life. And as for the Forum – it makes children feel strong. We all learn something, become steady. In general, I am very much obliged to the Forum. Knowledge is the way to success, and what success!

Julia Shalaeva, 8th form,
Gymnasium No. 1543, Moscow

The teacher that talked to me was very pleasant, she made me feel comfortable and related. I felt that I could talk to her for hours. We spoke for 10 or 15 minutes, but it only felt like 5. She was very thoughtful and asked me questions about my life, my family; and we spoken on the themes that were familiar to me: my hobbies, my occupation, and the list of words that I had written.
The children worried about making mistakes. But the teachers at the Forum tried to understand what everyone was saying without interrupting them. This, in my opinion, helped the children to relax.
As for me, this Forum not only tested our knowledge of the English language, but it tested the strength of our spirit. There will be many competitions in our life, but this was the first one, that is why I am happy, that I am in the third round. It gives me confidence in myself and a desire to take part in all future forums.

Olga Timofeeva,
6th form, School No. 4, Khimki