Let s talk about accommodation.
What types of houses do people live in?
There are different types of houses. People can live in a detached house, which is a house that is not joined to any other. It can be a mansion which is a very large expensive house, a bungalow (a house which has only one floor), a cottage (a house in the country usually with a garden). Some people live in a semi-detached house, which is two houses joined together; others live in a flat in a block of flats.
Each type of housing has its own advantages and disadvantages. Living in a detached house gives you privacy but all repairs in the house should be made by the owner, you need more time to clean the house. To my mind those people, who prefer to live in a cottage adore nature: they want to wake up to songs of birds, to enjoy beautiful landscapes, to breathe fresh air or in other words they want to have a calm and measured rhythm of life. Usually such people keep the poultry and the cattle. One of the advantages of living in such a house is that you have your own land where you can grow fruit and vegetables, make flowerbeds and plant beautiful flowers, lay out an orchard, etc. You can also build some outhouses like a green-house, a garage, a tool shed or an arbor. But the greatest disadvantage of living in a farmhouse or in a cottage, in my opinion, is that it takes much time to get to the nearest town, but if you have a car it isn’t a problem for you. That’s why I think living in a cottage is the best option for farmers and retired people.
Let’s talk about the education.
Let’s talk about your school. What’s your school like?
It’s one of the best educational establishments in Minsk that is famous for its high-quality teaching and good equipment. I want to say that our school is one of the modem schools in Belarus. It provides eleven years of education which offers a general course of academic and non-academic subjects. Besides it offers a number of courses giving a profound knowledge in a variety of fields: humanities, natural sciences, mathematics, etc.
The building itself is of typical design with the same layout and the distribution of classrooms, administrative offices, canteens, gyms and libraries as you can see in most other schools. But when you come in through the front door you find yourself in a spacious hall with comfortable sofas and large windows.
School has become an integral part of my life. Our social and cultural life is well organized; both teachers and classmates are so friendly and easy to get along with. I am on good terms with my classmates, as all of them are interesting and enigmatic persons. We often spend our free time together and I think I will never forget these years and I will regret that everything has finished.
Let’s talk about the environment.
People say that our planet is in danger. Do you share this opinion?
Environment is the nature around us: air, water, trees, flowers, animals, birds and insects. Nature has served people for many years, but people’s interference in nature has increased and the results are dramatic. Nowadays mankind faces numerous problems which threaten our environment.
Among the most urgent problems are the ozone layer destruction, acid rains, global warming, air pollution, soil pollution, contamination of underground waters by chemical elements, disappearance of forests, animal extinction, etc.
The poisoning of the world’s land, air, and water is the fastest-spreading disease of civilization. It probably produces fewer headlines than wars, earthquakes and floods, but it is potentially one of history’s greatest dangers to human life on earth. If present trends continue for the next several decades, our planet will become uninhabitable.
Let s talk about Belarus.
Let’s talk about our country. What can you tell me about our Motherland?
Belarus is my Homeland. It is a country with unique history and rich cultural heritage. Officially it is called the Republic of Belarus, a sovereign independent state with its own government, constitution, state emblem, flag and anthem. Belarus is situated nearly in the centre of Europe and borders on Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Russia and the Ukraine. The territory of Belarus is 207.6 thousand square kilometres. Its population is about 10 million people. The largest cities are Minsk, the capital, Gomel, Vitebsk, Mogilev, Grodno and Brest. Belarus is a country of rivers, lakes and forests. The longest river is the Dnieper. The largest lake is Lake Naroch. The largest forest is Belovezhskaya Pushcha. The climate of Belarus is temperate and mild. My country is a developed industrial state. Its enterprises produce tractors and automobiles, motor-cycles, TV-sets and many other goods. Beautiful Belarusian scenery and unique history attract a lot of tourists. There are a lot of famous people among Belarusians: writers and poets, politicians and cosmonauts, artists and sportsmen. They are historic figures and our contemporaries whom we are proud of.
Let’s speak about Great Britain.
Let’s talk about Great Britain. What can you tell me about Great Britain?
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is situated on the British Isles. The country consists of four parts: England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. The capital of the UK is London. The population of the country is over 64 million people. Britain is a small, beautiful and densely populated country, separated from the continent by the English Channel and the Straight of Dover.
The UK is inhabited by the English, the Scots, the Welsh and the Irish who constitute the British nation. English is the official language, but it is not the only language spoken in the UK, Gaelic and Welsh are also used in some parts of the country.
The UK is a parliamentary monarchy and the Queen is the head of the state. But in practice it is ruled by the elected government with the Prime Minister at the head.
The national anthem is "God Save the Queen." The national currency is pound. The flag of the UK is known as the Union Jack. It has its history. It all began in 1603 when Scotland was joined to England and Wales. The flag is made up of 3 crosses.
Let’s talk about science and modem technologies.
What role does science play in our life?
We live in the age of science and technology. The life of every one of us highly depends on the scientific inventions and modem technologies. Science has changed the lives of people to a great extent. It has made life easy, simple and fast. In the new era, the science development has become a necessity to finish the era of bullock cart and bring the trend of motorized vehicles. Science and technologies have been implemented to every aspect of modernization in every nation. Modem gadgets have been introduced to every walk of life and have solved many problems in such sectors as medicine, education, infrastructure, electricity, aviation, information technology and other fields.
Some examples of the advancement in the technologies are establishment of railway system, metro system, railway reservation system, super computers, mobiles, smart phones, online access of people in almost every area, etc.
Let s talk about art.
How important is art in our lives?
It is human to admire beauty around us, we are often stmck when we see a painting or read a beautiful poem, or listen to soothing music. Art is everywhere around us in many forms and holds a significant value in our lives. It is difficult to describe "art" in literal terms, but broadly it is understood as a form to express one’s feelings through any object or medium like paper, music, colours, technology, magic, photography, etc. It can be abstract, realistic, naturalistic, conceptual and inspirational.
We are surrounded by art and also rely on it in our daily routine. When we enter someone’s home, it is difficult to stop ourselves to appreciate the way the living-room is decorated. It’s also art. One doesn’t have to be a painter, every individual expresses himself/herself, uses imagination and creative energy to embellish and decorate the surrounding.
Let’s talk about your future career.
Let’s talk about your future career. What kind of job would you like to have in future?
I must say that when you leave school you understand that the time to choose your future profession has come. It’s not an easy task to make the right choice of a job. People choose profession according to their own interests and abilities. And the most important thing is to understand what exactly you want to do and enter the university according to the sphere of your choice: whether it is medicine, economy, machinery or humanities.
When choosing a future career, we should consider different factors. In my opinion, money is one of the most important factors when you make a choice. There are highly paid jobs and low-paid jobs. I think everybody wants to earn as much money as possible. Training, promotional prospects and conditions should be also taken into account.
Let s talk about your family.
What is family for you?
Family is very important for every person, because it gives you a sense of stability and tradition, a feeling of having support and understanding. You feel secure when there’s a family behind you. They are people whom you can trust and rely on, people who won’t let you down and who share your joys and sorrows. In happy families parents are honest with their children, they treat their children with respect without bossing them, and children in their turn learn how to treat other people and how to form relationship with their peers.
Are you on good terms with your parents and grandparents?
Yes, I am. I enjoy honest and open relationship in my family. I like it when parents trust their children, give them enough freedom and respect them. I think these things make family relations warm and pleasant. There is no so-called "generation gap" in our family, though we may argue and disagree on certain issues. For example, my parents don’t always approve of my tastes, views and clothes.
Let’s talk about youth and society.
Who can be considered youth?
Each age group in society has its own role and this is important in many different ways. Youth as a description of a sector of society has many definitions depending on the perspective being used. For the purposes of this discussion youth will be considered to be the stage of life involving transition into adulthood: approximately age 15 to 25.
Young people are often considered to represent the future as they bring new ideas and energy to add to the pool of knowledge that currently exists. They can bring enthusiasm and vitality which can lead to new discoveries and developments that can benefit society or even the world at large. Although not the only drivers of social change, young people are seen to be one the key drivers engendering change. Whether this is inherent in the beliefs of young people or the hope for the future is placed upon them by older generations is not clear. However, there are many new opportunities becoming available that can provide very different futures for today’s youth that were not available to previous generations.
Let s talk about the mass media.
What do mass media involve? How important are they?
The means of communicating news and information is termed as mass media. Mass media is classified in two categories: one is print media and the other is electronic media. Print media include newspapers, magazines, journals and other printed materials, while electronic media include radio, television, satellite channels, internet, cinema etc.
It goes without saying that mass media has become an integral part of modem people’s life. The Internet, newspapers, magazines, journals, TV and radio keep us always informed about all the spheres of our life. Mass media offer us a great range of opportunities for education and entertainment. However, I’d like to point out the fact that we can benefit from mass-media sources only possessing critical thinking. The information attacks us all the time and we undoubtedly need to filter it in order to save our sharp mind, creative thinking and bright personality.
Let’s talk about the mass media.
Let’s talk about mass media. What types of mass media do you know? Which of them are the most popular?
Nowadays information communication is an important part of our life. It goes without saying that mass media has become an integral part of modem people’s life. People live with a constant necessity of getting new information. How can they satisfy their need? They may communicate with one another or just use the huge space of means of communication. People need information in order to keep up with the whole world around them — with vogue, new trends of life, discoveries and inventions. We live to leam news; we breathe and live with this.
Mass media play an important role in the life of society. Mass media include various types of media such as television, radio, newspapers and magazines. Reading newspapers and magazines, watching TV, listening to the news on the radio are our main means of getting information.
Let s talk about international cooperation.
Let’s talk about international cooperation. What is international cooperation promoted for?
International relations are an exceptionally important aspect of citizenship in a global society. As our world becomes smaller and smaller through communication technology, rapid air transportation and a complex international economy, the value of peaceful and cooperative relationships between nations is increasingly important.
Historically, one of the oldest expressions of international relations was the establishment of treaties and agreements between nations. Maintenance of these treaties ensured that ordinary people could go about their everyday tasks of earning a living and raising their families rather than dedicating themselves to armed conflict with neighbors. This function of international relations remains just as relevant today.
Positive international relations also promote effective trade policies between nations in terms of importing natural resources and finished products not available in the country.
Let’s talk about national character and stereotypes.
How do foreigners picture a typical Englishman?
Almost every nation has a reputation of some kind. The English are reputed to be cold, reserved, rather haughty people who do not yell in the street, make love in public or change their governments as often as they change their underclothes. They are steady, easy-going, and fond of sport.
The foreigner’s view of the English is often based on the type of Englishman he has met travelling abroad. Since these are largely members of the upper and middle classes, it is obvious that their behaviour cannot be taken as general for the whole people. There are, however, certain kinds of behaviour, manners and customs which are peculiar to England.
The English are a nation of stay-at-homes. There is no place like home, they say. And when the man is not working he withdraws from the world to the company of his wife and children and busies himself with the affairs of the home. "The Englishman’s home is his castle" is a saying known all over the world; and it is true that English people prefer small houses, built to house one family, perhaps with a small garden. But nowadays the shortage of building land and inflated land values mean that more and more blocks of flats are being built.
Let’s talk about outstanding people.
What is to be outstanding, to your mind?
Once in our life we start to consider what actually to be an outstanding person means.
In my opinion to be an outstanding person means to possess personality, not to be like anyone else and it is someone who is not trying to emphasize it. An outstanding person is the one who wants to do something good in his or her life and who likes to help other people and leaves some kind of trace in the life of others, I believe, an outstanding person is not a person who is famous all over the world. A great number of remarkable people surround us and we may not even know about it.
All famous people we can speak about are outstanding, because to make yourselves known and be spoken about you have to be different in some way and not only people bom to famous and rich families can be called outstanding.
Let’s talk about tourism.
Let’s talk about travelling. Why do people travel?
I must admit that nowadays tourism has become very popular and turned into a prosperous business. More and more people travel every year though the motivation for this is different. If you want to experience a whole new environment, to see new places and meet new people, travelling is the right way. Travelling on business allows people to get more information about achievements of other companies and helps them make their own business more successful. Some people travel for educational purposes, or they visit their distant relatives and Mends.
Today more and more people would prefer to spend their holidays travelling. Rich or poor, old or young they strive to leave the place where they live or work and move to another spot of our planet at least for a week.
Let s talk about accommodation.
Tell me about the place you live in.
I live in Minsk, the capital of the Republic of Belarus and it’s my native city. I’m proud to be its citizen. It’s an ancient city with a rich history. Minsk is 950 years old. It’s the country’s major industrial and cultural centre and one of its most beautiful places. The city has acquired its peculiar look and coloring thanks to the well-planned avenues and squares, to the green parks and gardens stretching along the Svisloch river, to the historical monuments and newly built underground stations.
The Upper Town, a vast area of the old Minsk with the centre in Cathedral Square, which was the most important part of the city, was built in the 16th century, the City Hall, the men’s and women’s St Bernard and St Basil monasteries, the 17th—18th centuries Catholic Church are also situated there.
Let’s talk about your family.
Let’s talk about family traditions. How often does your entire family gather together?
Every summer we go to the seaside together, where we relax, and have fun. But to put our entire family together is hard enough just because one of my grannies lives far away and we can’t meet as often as we want. As for the rest of my family, my uncles and aunts, they are also involved into their own family life routine but we try to arrange our big meetings at least once or twice a year, mostly in summer, at my grandparents’ dacha to have barbeque and to enjoy the time all together.
Is it hard to maintain good family relations?In my opinion if you want to have a tight-knit family you should respect and support your partner, you should be understanding, friendly, tolerant, polite, sympathetic. Both parents should be involved in childcare. The members of the family should always communicate with each other. If they don’t see eye to eye on some things they should talk it over. Moreover, the members of the family should share joys and sorrows as well as domestic chores. It goes without saying they should help each other in a difficult situation and try to spend a lot of time together. If you form and keep your family traditions it will do your family a lot of good. The members of the family should appreciate what they do for each other and be grateful to each other.
Let’s talk about your future career.
Managers are in demand nowadays. What is the role of a manager in a company?
A person who performs the unique work of management is called a manager. That is, a manager plans, organizes, directs, and controls a company’s business. An important characteristic of managers is that they do their jobs by working with and through other people.
There is a statement: "Management is getting work done through people." Most of achievements in any society take place because groups of people get involved in joint effort. Almost everyone is, was, or someday will be a manager, i.e. the person who coordinates human, information, physical, and financial resources of an organization. In order to perform their functions adequately, managers need interpersonal, organizational, and technical skills.
Regardless of the specific job, most managers perform five basic functions.
Let s talk about Belarus.
What celebrations in Belarus are your favourite?
The life of each of us is full of "high days:" exciting days which we look forward to like school trips, visits to the circus or theatre and "holidays" which are printed red in the calendar.
I’d like to tell you about my most favourite holidays. First comes New Year. It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that New Year is the greatest holiday in Belams and no other holiday is celebrated as wholeheartedly as New Year.
Throughout our country the preparations for greeting New Year start long before the 31 st of December. People send and get thousands of New Year cards, prepare presents for their families and friends and decorate their houses and a New Year tree with shining bells, colorful balls and bright lights. The tradition of decorating a New Year tree is by the way most popular with any Belarusian family. On New Year’s Eve the homes are full of great atmosphere of expectation. Air is filled with fresh smell of New Year tree and delicious smells of great variety of dishes prepared for the holiday meal. People carry on the celebration with their friends dancing, singing and making fireworks.
Let’s talk about any Enlglish-speaking country.
What English-speaking countries do you know? Tell me about any of them.
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the United States of America, Canada, Australia and New Zealand are English speaking countries. They are situated in different parts of the world and differ in many ways. The nature of these countries, their weather and climate and way of life of their people differ. Each country has its own history, customs, traditions, its own national holidays. But they all share a common language. English is the language of the people who left England to make their names in new countries. But I would like to tell you about The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
Let s talk about national character and stereotypes.
Let’s talk about national characters. They say every nation has got its national traits. What about Belarusians? What are our national traits?
Belarusian traditions and features of the national character were formed in the course of complex history. The country was engulfed by many military conflicts, World Wars, national liberation revolts, revolutions and repressions. So our extraordinary history cultivated special character traits of our people, the main of them are tolerance and diligence.
Different from anyone else, Belarusians are able to adapt to any circumstances — not to change the circumstances but to change themselves, to accept these circumstances, to live them naturally, in harmony and even with pleasure.
Let’s talk about youth and society.
Is it easy to be young?
It’s about time somebody exploded that old myth about childhood being the happiest period of your life. Childhood may certainly be fairly happy, but even the greatest moments can’t be compared with the sheer joy of being an adult. Mostly adults choose the clothes their children wear, the books to read, the friends to have. Mother and father are kindly but dictators. This is an adult world and though children may be deeply loved, they have to be manipulated so as not to interfere too seriously with the lives of their elders. The essential difference between manhood and childhood is the same as the difference between independence and subjection.
Let’s talk about education.
What can you tell about the system of education in Belarus?
Education is the main people’s wealth and lots of them consider it the sense of living. They get education from early childhood and leam until their hair is grey. To my mind, education plays an important role in people’s lives, that’s why a great attention is paid to it.
Education in Belarus is free and compulsory from age 6 to 15 and the system is well administered. The academic year begins on the 1st of September and lasts till the end of May. It is divided into 4 terms and has 4 vocation periods: autumn, winter, spring and summer ones. There are two official languages within the education system in Belarus: Russian and Belarusian.
Let’s talk about tourism.
What are positive and negative effects of tourism? How to reduce the negative ones?
On the positive side, tourism provides employment for local inhabitants. What is more, the extra income means that local councils have more money to spend on expanding and improving their facilities, thus making them better for both visitors and residents. On the other hand, tourism can do a great deal of harm. For example, pollution is caused both by the increase in traffic and the litter that visitors leave behind.