Listening Skills (Native English Speakers)
I've just left school and I would like to tell you a few words about it. My school is one of the oldest specialized schools in Gyumry. It is famous for its high-quality education and strict discipline. The school is very well-equipped. On the ground floor there is a gym, a canteen, a library and workshops. On the first floor there is a large assembly hall, a home economics room, a computer class and a language laboratory. On the second floor there are physics, chemistry and biology labs
I went to school five days a week. Classes began at nine o'clock in the morning. But I usually came to school ten minutes earlier. Each lesson lasted forty minutes. After three or four lessons we had a thirty-minute break. During this break we went to the canteen to have lunch. Every day we had 6 or 7 lessons. The lessons were over at 2 o'clock in the afternoon.
We usually had a lot of homework and it took me several hours to do it. I sometimes had to sit up to write a composition, to prepare a report, to translate a newspaper article from English into Russian or to learn a poem by heart.
After classes I usually didn't go home right away. We had some out-of-class activities. Our social and cultural life was well-organized. For example, we had an orchestra, a choir, an arts club, and an International Friendship Club. I took part in the drama club.
At school we had classes in Russian, literature, mathematics, biology, geography, physics, chemistry, English, history, and computer programming. We also had music, physical education, arts and crafts. My favorite subject was English. I liked to learn new words, to dramatize texts and dialogues. I liked it when we discussed something interesting to us, when we were taught to debate, when we had small-group discussions or set up a role playing exercise.
I wasn't very good at chemistry. I always failed to learn formulas and terms prop¬erly. Maybe our chemistry teacher was too serious, and too academic. She was not imaginative enough and her lessons were a little bit dull. There was not enough excitement for us to get interested in the subject.
I liked my school. I always felt at home there. Everybody was so friendly and easy to get along with. I was on good terms with my classmates and we often spent our free time together.
Shopping can either be a necessity or a leisure activity. As for me, I hate shopping, but there are people for whom shopping is a hobby. Since my mother is a very busy woman, I help her do the shopping. I like to go shopping early in the morning, when there are fewer people. Most of shops are closed on Sunday but are open all of the other days. There are many different kinds of shops. At the bakery you can buy white or brown bread and rolls. At the grocery you can buy such things as tea, sugar, rice, soap, coffee and jam. At the confectionery shop, you can buy candies, chocolate pies, cakes and biscuits. At the green-grocery you can buy vegetables and fruits, such as onions, potatoes, tomatoes, cucumbers, pears, lemons and oranges. At the butcher's shop we buy meats, bacon, ham and sausage. At the fishmonger's we buy fish, both fresh and tinned, and herring. If you want to buy clothes you can go to the Department Store, where you can also buy shoes.
There are four seasons in a year spring, summer, autumn, and winter. Every season is beautiful in its, own way.
When spring comes nature awakens from its long winter sleep. The days become longer and the nights become shorter. The ground is covered with emerald-green grass and the first flowers. The air is fresh the sky is blue and cloudless, and the sun shines brightly. The trees are in full blossom. The nightingale begins to sing its lovely songs, and sweet melodies may be heard from every wood and park. The days are warm and everything is full of life and joy.
Spring is followed by summer. The weather is usually fine in summer, but it can be very hot, especially in July. Sometimes there are storms with thunder and lightening. In summer people try to get away from the city noise and spend more time in the open air. They pick mushrooms and berries in the forest swim in the rivers and lakes, go fishing and boating. Most people prefer to have their holidays in summer.
Autumn begins in September. The days become shorter and the nights become longer. The leaves turn yellow, red and brown and fall to the ground. Most birds fly away to warm countries. There is a short spell of dry sunny weather in September which is called Indian summer. It is a beautiful time when the sky is cloudless, the trees around are golden, the air is transparent and it is still warm. But gradually it gets colder and colder. It often rains in October and November which makes autumn an unpleasant season.
In winter the sun sets early and rises late, the rivers and lakes are frozen over. Everything is covered with snow. Sometimes it is very cold, about 25-30 degrees below zero. Going out in such weather isn't very pleasant. Winter is a good time for sports. People go in for skating and skiing. Tobogganing is also popular, not as a kind of sports, but rather as fun.
As for me, I like all the seasons, but I think there is nothing like late spring.
I am Alex Sidorov. Alex is my first name and Sidorov is my surname. I am seventeen years old. I want to tell you a few words about my family. My family is large. I have got a mother, a father, a sister, a brother and a grandmother. There are six of us in thefamily.
First of all some words about my parents. My mother is a teacher of biology. She works in a college. She likes her profession. She is a good-looking woman with brown hair. She is forty-four but she looks much younger. She is tall and slim.
My father is a computer programmer. He is very experienced. He is a broad-shouldered, tall man with fair hair and grey eyes. He is forty-six. My father often sings and when we are at home and have some free time, I play the guitar and we sing together. My father knows all about new radio sets and likes to repair old ones. He is also handy with many things, when he was small; he liked to take everything to pieces. My grandmother told me a story that once my father tried to "repair" their kitchen clock. He managed to put all the wheels and screws back again — but the clock did not work. They had to give it to a repairman. But that happened a long time ago. Now he can fix almost everything a vacuum cleaner, a washing machine, a fridge and what not. He's got a few shelves where he keeps everything he needs. On the table there is always a radio in pieces.
My parents have been married for twenty-six years. They have much in common, but they have different views on music, books, films, sports. For example, my father likes hor¬ror films and my mother likes "soap operas". My father is fond of tennis. My mother doesn't go in for sports. But my parents have the same opinion about my education and upbringing.
My parents are hard-working people. My mother keeps house and takes care of me and my father. She is very good at cooking and she is clever with her hands. She is very practical. My father and I try to help her with the housework. I wash the dishes; go shop¬ping and tidy up our flat.
My grandmother is a pensioner. She lives with us and helps to run the house. She is fond of knitting.
My sister Helen is twenty-five. She is married and has a family of her own. She works as an accountant for a joint venture company, her husband is a scientist. They have got twins: a daughter and a son. They go to a nursery school.
My brother Boris is eleven. He is a schoolboy. He wants to become a doctor but he is not sure yet. Three months ago dreamed of being a cosmonaut.
I want to go to become a student. I'd like to learn foreign languages. I think I take after my father. I'm tall, fair-hared and even-tempered. I always try to be in a good mood.
We have got a lot of relatives. We are deeply attached to each other and we get on very well.
The Republic of Armenia is a small country with an area of 2900 square kilometers and a population of about 3 million. It borders Georgia , Azerbaijan , Turkey , and Iran . The official language is Armenian. Armenians converted to Christianity in 301 AD becoming the first Christian nation. Armenia is one of the oldest countries.
Armenia is a land of sunshine. The highest mountain in the republic is Mt. Aragats . There are many rivers here with the longest being the Arax. There are vast forests rare birds and animals. It is an open air. The first theatre was founded over two thousand years ago. In 406 AD Mesrop Mashtots invented the Armenian alphabet. The ancient Armenian architects have given the world such masterpieces as the temple of Garni , the cathedral of Etchmiadzin and others. Thousands of tourists come to Armenia to visit Yerevan , the world famous Matenadaran, Lake Sevan , Garni,Geghard, Zvartnots and other places of interest. We are proud of our Motherland and we'll do our best to make it rich, more beautiful and more powerful.