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Topics- Lnguges; British Mss Medi

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Speech Practice

Dear student!

This term the course covers the following topics: Languages; British Mass Media. The 3rd year students will have to study a number of authentic texts, listen to audiotapes and then fulfill various tasks. This will help you to improve your command of English, develop your speaking, reading and listening skills, and broaden your cultural horizons.


Course size — 8 hours, independent work — 24 hours

1. Learning objectives

The first part of the course is intended for our students to:

  •  achieve greater fluency in speaking and reading;
  •  widen their vocabulary and general background knowledge;
  •  learn to plan their work individually and in teams;
  •  acquire some understanding of certain aspects of life in Great Britain;
  •  raise their awareness of cross-cultural differences.

2. Essential Study Materials

  •  Horizons. Aspects of Modern Life” Mikhalyova E.P., Lapteva O.A., Petrashkevich N.P.
  •  “Horizons. Word Practice” Lapteva O.A., Sharabchieva E.V.

The manuals are available at “Lexis” book-shop in MSLU.

3. Student Activity

The course presupposes thorough and conscientious independent and class work on behalf of the student. The course offers you different types of work:

  •  classroom activities (including group discussions and projects);
  •  learning independently using recommended books and tapes;
  •  home tests with self-check keys and class tests.

4. Content

During the 5th term students are expected:

  •  to read 9 authentic texts;
  •  to listen to 4 audiotapes;
  •  to keep the student’s language learning diary;
  •  to accomplish home and class tests.

For more detailed information, see Course Map I.

Course Map I (Class Work)




English as a world language. Variants of English.

English or Esperanto as a world language.



How to be a good language learner.

Success through a foreign language.



The importance and characteristics of the British press.



Radio and TV in Great Britain



Story types.



Plot and its structure.



Plot-structure elements. Setting.



Credit test.



4. Course examination

At the end of the winter term you will have to write a final test, which will check the progress of your independent work. Besides, you are expected to do the exercises in the guides to the texts and tapes, practise the vocabulary units, keep the student’s language learning diary.


Step 1. Working independently in September-December, you are supposed to read the indicated information in the course book Horizons and compile a file of useful information and vocabulary items, which will help you to cover the examination speaking points. As you study the material (texts and tapes), keep the student’s language learning diary in a notebook (See: What is a language learning diary?).

For better time management and effective learning, we suggest a weekly step-by-step scheme of independent work.



Study Material


Creative task: *choose one of the following and get ready for class presentation

01-11. 09.

Read the text “English as a world language” Horizons, pp. 6-7;

Word study, Ex.3, 4 p.11.

Write some facts about English in the following table. Use the text and your own ideas.

English as a world language

Facts from history

Basic characteristics

Other world languages

Why are you learning English? Make a short presentation in class speaking about the importance of learning the English language today.

12-22. 09.

Listen to the tape Esperanto

Follow the guide to the tape.

Write some facts about English and Esperanto as the world languages, comparing their

  •  vocabulary
  •  grammar
  •  pronunciation
  •  ease of learning
  •  popularity

Write a small essay

“The future of English and Esperanto”

22.09.-02. 10.

Read the texts “British English and the languages of the UK”, “The transatlantic connection”, Horizons, pp. 8-9; 10-11.

Find some extra information about different variants of English (in Britain and other countries). Plan or write down the speaking point “Variants of English”.

Find some information on the internet about one of the variants of English (American, Australian, Canadian English, etc., one of the British dialects, or Gaelic and Welsh) and be ready to present it in class.



Listen to the tape Are you a good language learner?; 

Word study,

Ex.3, p.6

Follow the guide to the tape.

Do you always agree with the speaker?

Write the speaking point “How to be a good language learner”. Use the tape and your own ideas from your experience of learning or teaching English.

Make a short presentation  on one of the following:

  1.  What makes me a good language learner
  2.  10 tips to a beginner who is studying English



Listen to the tape Success through a foreign language;

Word study, Ex.4-11, p.6-8

Do the guide to the tape.

Plan or write the speaking point “Success through a foreign language”. Add information about your future career.

Make a small (A4 format) poster, write on it

- 5 dos and 5 don’ts of successful language learning

- 5 personal benefits in language learning


Test for unit “Languages”

Vocabulary revision. Put down the vocabulary definitions in the language learning diary.

Write an essay about different languages and their variants: “Variety is the spice of life

Mass Media


Study Material


Creative task: *choose one of the following and get ready for class presentation

09-19. 11.

Read the text  “The British Press”, Horizons, pp.31-36;

Word study, pp.17-21.

Fill in the chart comparing the quality papers and yellow papers: their circulation, readership, topics, style, language, layout, etc.



Find some information about the British papers. Speak about one or two in class. Read the electronic version of these newspapers. What was the news? How was it presented? Was it interesting for you to read the newspapers on the internet? Write 10 sentences about this experience and later present it in class.

20-30. 11.

Read the text  “British Radio and Television”, Horizons, pp.47-52;

Word study, pp.22-25

Do the guide to the text. Make up a scheme that illustrates the structure of British Radio and TV.

Compare the output of 5 national channels in Britain and some Belarusian \ Russian TV channels and speak about the viewing habits of the British and Belarusian people.

What is shown at prime time? How many types of TV programmes have you found? Make a short analysis in class “The output of British and Belarusian TV”.

01-10. 12.

Listen to the tape

R. Moody. On British TV and Radio

Follow the guide to the tape.

Write out various types of TV programmes the speaker mentions. What are they?

What two sectors does the British radio fall into? What sources does the private radio sector derive its financing from?

What two sectors does the British television fall into? What is the difference between The BBC and ITV?

What role do television and radio play in British life?

Plan or write down the speaking point “Radio and TV in Great Britain”

11-21. 12.

Read the texts “The Open University”; “The people’s University”; “Spot the Open University Student”, Horizons, pp.65-69;

Word study Ex.8-9,p.30-31

Sum up the 3 texts by writing down the most important / interesting facts and opinions about the Open University.

Write your ideas on one of the following themes:

  •  “Distance education: problems, advantages and perspectives”
  •  “What do I like and dislike about my distance learning”
  •  “What is an Open University student like?”

22-30. 12.

Test for unit “Mass Media”

Vocabulary revision

Put down the vocabulary definitions in the language learning diary.

 Step 2. Listen to the recordings English or Esperanto?”; “Success through a Foreign Language”; “Are You a Good Language Learner?”; “R. Moody. On British TV and Radio”. The tapes are available in room A -317 (MSLU).

Study the vocabulary. Do the guides. Add to the file of useful information and vocabulary items.

Step 3. Get down to Home Tests 1-3. After you are through with the tests, check your answers with the attached keys.

Step 4. Study the list of the relevant vocabulary items. Make sure you are able to explain the meaning of each item in English (consult a good English-English dictionary if necessary). Put down the definitions in English in your language learning diary.



Standard English

World language

Mother tongue





Mono-, bi-, multilingual


To bridge the gap

Competitive edge

Medium of instruction

Learning incentive

Level of proficiency

Language skills


Crash courses

Dictionary dependence

Vocabulary builder

Pick up a language

Subtleties of communication

Interactive programmes

To get a good workout

Lingua franca



Transatlantic English

Contextual clue

Mass media

Paper round

Tabloid \ Broadsheet

The fourth estate

Invasion of privacy

Current affairs

Legal action



Entry qualifications

White-\ blue-collar job

Tabloid journalism

Copyright levies

Pirate radio stations

Attention span

Academic performance

Distance\part-time learning

Benefit \ beneficiary

Face-to-face tutorials


Benchmark of quality

To capture the audience

Tacit agreement

Dedicated following

Ratings war

Viewing figures

Prime time

License fee

In-depth news

Weighty topics

Term I

Speaking Points

  1.  English as a world language.
  2.  English or Esperanto as a world language.
  3.  Variants of English.
  4.  Success through a foreign language.
  5.  The importance and characteristics of the British press.
  6.  Radio and TV in Great Britain.
  7.  The Open University.

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