Тексты для восприятия и понимания речи на слух к учебному пособию для гимназий

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Тексты для восприятия и понимания речи на слух к учебному пособию для гимназий

«Английский язык / Англійская мова. 10 класс” авторов Н.В. Демченко и др.

Минск: Издательский центр БГУ, 2014


Unit 1 Lesson 2


- Hello, my name is Henry.

- Nice to meet you. My name is Alison.

- Are you an American, Alison? Your accent sounds American way.

- Well, actually I am Canadian.

-Wow, really?

- And what about you?

- I am Australian, from Sydney.

- Really? I hear it is a beautiful city.

- Yes, it is. What do you do, Alison?

- I work for a bank now. I am a teller.

- A teller?

- And what about you, Henry?

- I am a teacher.

  • Really?


- Hello, I don`t think we have met. My name is David Tarrintor.

- How do you do? Nice to meet you. I am Susan Lauw.

- And where are you from, Susan?

- I am from the United States, from Chicago actually.

- Oh, really?

- And where are you from, David? Are you British?

- That`s right. I am from London.

- Have you ever been here at the university? Are you a student?

- No, I am not, I am a chemist. I work for the hospital.

- I see.

- And what about you? Are you a student?

- That`s right. I am studying law at the university.

Lesson 1

Ex. 1b

1. In modern usage, a cottage is usually a modest, often cosy dwelling, usually in a village or the countryside

2. A bungalow is a type of a detached single storey often with verandahs.

3. A semi-detached  house, often abbreviated to semi in the UK, Canada and Australia is joined to  another house by one wall that they share.

4. A terrace or terraced house is a house in a row of similar houses joined together on both sides. The American word is row house. The first and last of these houses is called an end terrace, and is often a different layout from the houses in the middle.

5. A single-family detached house is a free-standing residential building. It is not joined to any other building.

6. mansion is a large a large house, usually a beautiful  and expensive one. In modern British English a mansion block refers to a block of flats or apartments.

7. A maisonette (from the French - little house) is a flat with two levels in  a large multi-storey apartment building. The usual layout is combined kitchen and dining room, living space and accessories on the lower floor, several bedrooms and a second bathroom on the top.

8. A block of flats is a large building that is divided into apartments

9. A palace is a very large building, especially one used as the official home of a royal family, president, or important religious leader

Ex. 2

The most essential things for man’s life are food, water, clothes and shelter. But a human being wants not just a shelter, not just a house but a home.

In the past people used to build houses out of local materials and many areas developed their own style of building. As a result the architectural landscape in Britain is extremely varied.

There are huge differences among houses. They vary in style, size, colour, material, the age of the building, ownership and many other things.

A great number of people in Britain dream of having a large spacious detached house with a garden. But even a small detached house is very desirable. Such houses give more privacy which is so dear to any British heart. They still think that “An Englishman’s home is his castle”.

Many people like cottages especially if they are thatched and conveniently located. Cottages are usually small but still detached. The next alternative is a semi-detached house (duplex in American English) where you have just one neighbouring family. Each house is the mirror of the other. They are exactly the same inside and outside.

Terraced houses (or rowed houses in America) are the last on the wish list but still better than flats. Quite a few people try to avoid living in blocks of flats (American: apartment blocks) first of all because they provide the least amount of privacy. Although Britain is very densely populated, the proportion of flats is second lowest in Europe. Terraced houses usually have no way though to the back garden except through the house itself. Each house in a row is joined to the next one. Houses at the end of the row are called end terrace houses and have more space around them. They are more desirable and more expensive compared to the houses in the middle.

An exception is the town house which can be found in the inner areas of cities. They have three or more floors and a basement. Even though they are terraced they are highly desirable especially if they are conveniently located. Many of these houses have been broken into flats or studios. A studio is a flat with a general living space combining a living room, a bedroom and a kitchen in one room.

Many people nowadays interpret the proverb “An Englishman’s home is his castle” in a good old way. But quite a few interpret it very practically. Property ownership is a very good long-term investment which can be sold with profit if need be.

Unit 2, Lesson 2, Ex. 2

Hi, my name is Sam. I live in a village not far from Lancaster in the north-west of England.

I live in a detached house. It is made of bricks and tiles. In my house there are three rooms downstairs and three rooms upstairs. We have central heating with radiators in each room which keep our house warm. We also have an open fireplace.

If you come into my house through the back door, you will find yourself in the kitchen. In the kitchen there is a fridge (refrigerator), a freezer, a cooker and cupboards. There is also a freezer under the fridge. We have lots of cupboards and an electric cooker. Our microwave is very quick and easy to use. We wash our things in the washing machine and hang them out in our garden to dry. We wash up the plates in the sink as we don’t have a dishwasher.

Downstairs there is also a lounge. Some people call this room the living-room. In our lounge there is a table with chairs, a settee (in America I think they call this a sofa - it is a comfy 2-seater chair), two comfy chairs, a television, a DVD Player and Video Recorder.
We also have satellite TV. There are some cupboards and a bookcase.

Most houses have a bathroom upstairs but ours is downstairs. In my bathroom there is a toilet, a bath, a sink with two taps (one for hot water and one for cold), a shower and a laundry basket. This is where we put our dirty clothes for washing.

The three rooms upstairs are all bedrooms. They all have carpets on the floor, except my room. In my bedroom I have my own computer, a wardrobe - to hang clothes in, cupboards with drawers for other clothes, cupboards for all other stuff like old toys etc. There is also a bookcase for my books and my bed. It is high up as I have my desk underneath it and my computer. I also have my own television.

Outside my house we have a back garden and a front garden. In the back garden there is an area of grass for us to play football on and for my little brother to ride his bike. Mum likes to grow vegetables in the garden and plant flowers.

Welcome to my house!

Lesson 6

Ex.1 My name is Rita Oakleaf and I would like to share with you a couple of funny stories about moving houses. The first one is called Great Flood. My husband's promotion at work meant we had to move a bit farther south. We had been looking for another house since November, but nothing had worked out by the time we sold our house. Since we didn't know when we might find a house, we had to find an apartment that we could rent by the month. I found one though we didn't have much of a choice. The day my husband went to sign the papers, the landlord called and said he had bad news. The entire apartment was flooded! Something went wrong with the toilet and it flooded the entire upstairs, poured down the stairs, and caused the kitchen ceiling to become the kitchen floor. It was very frustrating, but we also had a good laugh. We always try to find something funny in the problem. It helps not to cry.

Good things to come out of this: The most important thing was that we hadn't moved in yet, or it would have ruined all of our stuff. The landlord also knew another landlord who had one apartment left. We had more parking there, the apartment was nicer and it was closer to my family. So, it really was a blessing in disguise.

Lesson 7

Ex.1 A house is made of walls and beams; a home is built with love and dreams.

 It takes hands to build a house, but only hearts can build a home. 


Presenter: If you were starting over in an empty house without any of your accumulated belongings, what would you need to make it feel like home? In other words, what makes a house a home? We asked four young people. This is what they said. Mary
Mary: I've decided that the first thing I would look for would be a big family dining table – big enough for all of us, plus relatives and friends. That's because so many of our special times have been when we've all been together around the table. It's where we giggle and laugh and sing "Happy Birthday to you"; where we celebrate small things such as an 'A' in arithmetic and momentous things like a promotion at work or a college degree; where we soothe one another's hurts; and quiet our worries. And it's where we share our dreams, because when families share their dreams, everyone pitches in to make them come true, and miracles fan out from family dining tables like magic.


Peter: Our home would need an old-fashioned fireplace. I know most people prefer the modern no-sparks, no-smoke gas kind, but we would need the type with burning an old-fashioned fireplace that crackle and glow red and smell of wood smoke. It's where we always gather on bad-weather days to play Monopoly or work on a jigsaw puzzle or just read. It's where we daydream.

And also, there would be an awful emptiness if the books we love were missing from our home, so I'd search for a great big bookcase to hold books. Slowly, we would re-accumulate the books we cherish – from "A Child's Garden of Verses," "The Little Engine that Could," and "Goodnight Moon" to books by Dickens, Twain, Hemingway, and Frost.


Lucy: I'd buy pillows for our sofa. Silly? Probably, but pillows always create that put-your-head-back-and-your-feet-up feeling. Pillows say, "Don't worry, everything will be fine." I'd mix and match them: big red and white checks and blue toile and golden plaids. Lots of them – puffy, fluffy and pretty and very therapeutic.

We would need a yardstick in order to start a new measuring wall – out in the kitchen, probably behind a door, where children are measured, where year after year, and the inches march upward on the wall to show how tall they have become. It's where they stretch with all their might and where futures are fashioned with the words, "When I grow up..."



Ever since I was three, I have shared two households. Both were—and remain—vastly different. One belongs to my mother, one to my father, but both are a place I consider home. My father’s cosy apartment remains my haven of peace and quiet, scratched Jimi Hendrix records, really good food and a lot of understanding. My mother’s house is crossword puzzles, paintbrushes and lots of friends. Never quiet but so diverse.

Home is comfort. Comfort is reading in bed. So I would start with a bed and good light above it. That will remind me of my dad’s house. As I became accustomed to the noise of my mum’s house I would like to have a spacious room with sofas and tables where my friends and I will chat, eat and debate.

My home isn’t a singular unit; my home lies between and within two households. A house is where you live—but a home is where your heart is.

Lesson 8

Ex. 1 In the House of upside-down
Cellars top floor, Attic's ground
In the House of upside down
Laughing cries and smiles frown
In the house of upside-down
Found is lost and lost is found

There was an old woman 
who lived in a shoe
She had so many children
She didn’t know what to do
She gave them some broth
Without any bread,
She kissed them all gently
And sent them to bed.

They lived
in a house by the sea
he and she.
Where fireflies lit the sky
crickets sang nearby
and gentle waves kissed
the golden sands goodbye.

Lesson 4 Ex. 3

My favorite room is my bedroom. Perhaps the bedroom is the most important room in many houses, because in this room you can relax.  I would like to call my room private but  unfortunately it's not true. I share it with my sister. Sometimes the fact that we live together makes me angry, but we have learned more or less to live peacefully.
So what does this special room look like? It’s medium size, not too big or small. It is bright and cozy.
In this room I have a bunk bed for me and my sister, a computer table, two desks, two wardrobes, a chest of drawers and a dresser.  On  the  chest  of  drawers  I  like  to  put  my  family  pictures  because they remind me about past events. My sister doesn’t mind but she would prefer to have them in albums.
Our window looks out onto a forest and it’s really perfect because every evening we are watching the wonderful sunset. Above my bed hangs a map of the world, I often look on? it and daydream about different exciting places where I would travel in future.
I like spending time in my room with a book and with a steaming hot cup of tea on cold, rainy autumn evenings. I will be sad to leave my room but next year I am finishing school and hopefully will become a university student. It is 300 kilometers away from home and I doubt I will be able to come home very often. I am afraid that my sister will change everything in the room because she doesn’t like it, especially my map on the wall.


Lesson 6

Mr. Sorensen: Richard, what`s that under your paper?

Richard: What is what?

Mr. Sorensen: Lift up your arm. What`s this?

Richard: Oh, that. Uh, that`s a grocery list. I`ve got to pick up some things on my way home.

Mr. Sorensen: Do you really expect me to believe that?

Richard: Well, that`s what it is.

Mr. Sorensen: (reading) Soren Kierkegaard, Denmark, 1800s, Hegel, Germany, Sartre, Paris, 1900s… An interesting “grocery” list, Mister Jackson!

Richard: Oh, gee, let me see that. Oh, my gosh, they must be my notes. How did they get here?

Mr. Sorensen: I`d like to see you in my office, please. (They leave the classroom and go to the office down the hall) Now, Richard, would you care to explain how the answers to the test questions appeared on your desk?

Richard: I can`t, sir. Someone must have left them on my desk.

Mr. Sorensen: Someone left them on your desk! Someone with handwriting identical to yours left them on your desk? I`m afraid I can`t accept that answer.

Richard: Are you accusing me of cheating?

Mr. Sorensen: Yes, I am.

Richard: You can`t do that without proof! I`m going to call my counsellor!

Mr. Sorensen: By all means, do that. In the meantime, however, don `t come to class again. I am extremely disappointed in your behavior.

Richard: (grumbling to himself as he leaves) What a pig-headed, narrow-minded jerk!

Unit 4 Lesson 1 ex.1b

Scouting in the UK is the largest volunteer movement for young people. There are about 520,000 people involved in this movement. The motto of the Scout Association is BE PREPARED which means your mind and body are always ready to do the right thing at the right moment. The mission of Scouting is to contribute to the education of young people, to help them build a better world, realise their full potential and take their place in society.

The first scouting camp was held in 1907. The Boy Scouts Association was officially created in 1910 and, at the start Scouting was for boys between the ages of 10 and 19. In 1967 the name of the organization was changed to the Scout Association. Now it is made up of three sections: the Cub Scouts for younger children, the Explorer Scouts for 14- to 18-year-old members, and the Scout Network for 18–25-year-olds.

Adventure is at the heart of everything we do. We believe that through the everyday adventure of Scouting, young people regularly experience new challenges that enrich their lives. We offer hundreds of activities, as diverse as kayaking, staged performance, paragliding, and archery. There’s something for every young person, whatever their physical ability: hiking in the dark, travelling across the country with just a backpack and three friends or spending the first night away from home.

The zones vary slightly depending on which of our sections the young person is in, but they cover a huge range of activities, from outdoor adventures to community involvement, creative expression and learning about the wider world. Activities are an integral part of Scouting. But as well as being challenging physically, our activities help young people set and achieve goals and grow in confidence.

At an international level Scouting aims at promoting international harmony and peace and encouraging tolerance of diversity. 

Unit 4 Lesson 1 ex.2b

Reporter: So, Bill, you have received the Silver Buffalo Award, the highest award given to adults in the Boy Scouts of America, for your achievements in business and philanthropy. What achievement in your life do you find most important?

Bill Gates: My career was very successful. I loved writing software and creating Microsoft. Of course, Microsoft is very important to me. And this success gave me the opportunity to say, “I want to give that money back to society. I can make a difference.” In 2000 my wife and I created the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. We use innovations, new science, new vaccines, to help the poorest in the world and save millions of lives. I think it’s a great achievement.

Reporter: Do you remember clearly your Scouting experience?

Bill Gates: Sure, I grew in Scouting. It was a positive experience. Our troop was very active, we went places and did things. I had a lot of great friends.

Reporter: When and where did you get involved in the Scouting movement?

Bill Gates: I was a member of the Scouts in the 1960s and 1970s in Seattle.

Reporter: What influenced your decision to become a Boy Scout?

Bill Gates: Young people learn a lot from what their parents do and say. My parents set me a good example as they were both leaders in the community. My father was a scout in the 1940s.

Reporter: What activities were the most challenging for you?

Bill Gates: Well, I wasn’t good at hiking, I wasn’t good at cooking the food. It was the overall experience of challenging yourself.

Reporter: What activity is the most memorable?

Bill Gates: Hiking in the Olympic Mountains was a regular thing we did. During one of those hiking trips our Scoutmaster who was deathly afraid of snakes woke up at night and felt something cold on his head. He thought it was a snake and he was going to die. My friends and I had to drag him for 25 miles to the nearest road!

Reporter: That’s really amazing. What does Scouting mean to you?

Bill Gates: I learnt a lot. I’m glad I was a scout. I learnt to achieve my goals, to challenge myself and, of course, the greatest value of scouting is the sense of community, service to people, to society.

Reporter: Thank you very much for coming and sharing your memories with us. Service to others is at the core of what it means to be a Scout. Mr. Gates, through his incredible success, has provided tremendous opportunity and help to inspire others.

Unit 4 Lesson 2 ex.1b

The Belarusian Republican Youth Union (the BRSM) is a youth organization in Belarus. Its goals are to promote patriotism, to develop youth's initiatives, to involve young people into useful public activities and encourage their creative expression.

The BRSM was created on 6 September 2002. The BRSM has two official symbols: an emblem and a flag. The emblem has a red bar with the initials of the BRSM, written in gold, and a green bar with a golden olive branch. The flag of the BRSM has the same elements as the emblem. In order to join the BRSM, the applicant must be between the ages of 14 and 31.

The main activities of the BRSM involve the promotion of Belarusian patriotism. For example, young people participate in memorial ceremonies around the country and pass out flowers to veterans of the Great Patriotic War. The BRSM members are also involved in various outdoor activities and sports, including camping, football, running, swimming, skiing and ice-hockey. Social events, such as concerts for the youth of Belarus, flash mobs and others, are hosted by the BRSM as well. Young people take part in competitions amongst themselves as well as with other similar to the BRSM organisations all over the world.

The BRSM supports youth volunteer movement in Belarus and organizes student construction brigades.

Unit 4 Lesson 3 Ex. 2b

UNESCO club ‘Gulfstream’ was founded in Minsk Gymnasium 12 in 2008. At present there are 26 members of the club including both students and teachers.

The main stream of our work is International Cooperation in the spheres of Education, Ecology, Model UN conferences and Healthy Lifestyle.

We participate in different educational contests and festivals. Participation in international Model UN conferences is an excellent opportunity for students to study leadership, to get acquainted with main principals of humanity, tolerance, democracy. We have participated in MUN conferences held in Germany, Poland, Saint Petersburg and Minsk. We are proud to be the organisers of GYMUN conferences for the last two years.

Through different actions, games and contests we make our students understand how important it is to care of nature. We have found appropriate ways to teach them ecology problems.

Among the brightest events we have taken part in I can name “The Youth Training” devoted to the World Anti-AIDS Day, the Swedish-Belarusian on-line «Young Masters Programme», the action “Utilisation” aimed at utilizing used batteries, the meeting with a representative of the European Volunteer Network “Creative ideas in business”, the international projects “Now And Then”, “Let’s Discover Europe” and many more.

We are young, active and open to new ideas!!!.

Unit 4 Lesson 3 Ex. 3b

In my view, MUN conferences help me and other participants develop our communication and critical thinking skills. In the future I’d like to work in the sphere of international cooperation and here we learn to be diplomats. These conferences let me feel important in solving world problems. We hold intelligent, respectful discussions and debates which raise awareness of the challenges and dilemmas faced by ‘governments’. It’s a chance to look at an issue from another point of view as the participants are made to speak on behalf of a certain country, not expressing their own opinion. Moreover, the delegates aren’t allowed to speak Russian, so it’s a great opportunity to improve your English. And of course, the participation in such conferences let us make new friends from all over the world.

Unit 4 Lesson 4 Ex. 3b

We are the world, we are the children”

There comes a time when we heed a certain call
When the world must come together as one
There are people dying
And it’s time to lend a hand to life
The greatest gift of all
We can't go on pretending day by day
That someone, somehow will soon make a change
We are all a part of God’s great big family
And the truth, you know,
Love is all we need
We are the world, we are the children
We are the ones who make a brighter day
So let’s start giving
There's a choice we're making
We're saving our own lives
It’s true we'll make a better day
Just you and me
Send them your heart so they'll know that someone cares
And their lives will be stronger and free
As God has shown us by turning stones to bread
So we all must lend a helping hand
When you're down and out, there seems no hope at all
But if you just believe there's no way we can fall
Let us realize that a change can only come
When we stand together as one
Unit 4 Lesson 5 Ex. 1b

After passing his A Levels, Prince William took a gap year. That means he had a one year break before going to university. He spent the first part of it in the Belize jungle sleeping in a hammock, wearing jungle combats, and eating army rations. He also worked on a farm in the UK before travelling to a remote part of Chile. As a volunteer for the charity Raleigh International, William helped build new walkways and teach English in a mountain village in the south of the country. William spent 10 weeks in Chile where he lived in primitive conditions. He took his turn with the chores such as cooking porridge for the team or cleaning out the toilet.

Unit 4 Lesson 7 Ex. 2a

CISV (Children’s International Summer Villages) is a global organization dedicated to educating and inspiring for peace through building inter-cultural friendship, cooperation and understanding. Founded in 1950, today we are a federation of 60 Member Associations with over 200 Chapters or local groups. In over 60 years we have given countless children and young people the experience of their lives and the opportunity to build lasting friendships through our international educational programmes.

CISV programmes are for all ages. Our original and unique Village programme for 11-year-olds is a great introduction to the fun, friendship and educational experience that CISV offers.

Another programme is Interchange. It’s a two-way family exchange programme for 12–15 year olds. Interchange encourages a deeper encounter between two cultures by placing young people within families. Group activities during the exchange, such as a mini-camp, are a vital complement to the in-depth family experience.  

Step-up is a camp-based programme for 14-15 year olds, lasting 23 days. CISV's Step Up programme encourages young people to take a leading role in planning and organising activities. The participants and their adult leaders use CISV's peace education to guide the theme of the camp around which they plan activities, such as identity, democracy, or environmental protection.  

Seminar camp is a camp-based programme for 17-18 year olds, lasting 21 days. This personally challenging, intensive programme is coordinated by the young participants themselves. They develop their own agenda and explore global issues based on their backgrounds and interests, through activities and in-depth discussions. 

Mosaic is CISV's local community-based programme for participants of all ages. Mosaic can be anything from a one-off event to a year-long project. Mosaic projects are planned and delivered by our Chapters, using CISV's educational approach, and each one responds to local needs and interests in a meaningful way. Most projects are designed and run in cooperation with partner organizations to further the benefit to the local community.

Unit 4 Lesson 7 ex. 3а

Maine CISV Chapter members, in the USA, and community partners are in their second year of a charity local “Mosaic” project called Harvest for the Homeless.  It is a one-year ‘Plant to Plate’ community service programme - a gardening and cooking project. CISV families of all ages work in the garden from June through September, learning about sustainable agriculture together. The CISV Harvest Garden grows primarily root crops that work well in a hearty, healthy vegetable soup, a whole grain bread and vegetable-based dessert. Varieties are chosen according to their storage qualities and tolerance to cold weather. Then, October through May, volunteers meet on the third Sunday of each month, 4:00 – 6:30 pm at the Orono Senior Center and prepare vegetarian meals to aid the Bangor Area Homeless Shelter and Dorothy Day Soup Kitchen.

"We planted the garden and watered and all of that awesome stuff and weeded all through the summer," said Nash Allan-Rahill, whose family works on the garden. With their hard work, it grew.

To name just some of their crops, they planted tomatoes, lettuce, peppers and onions, plus several kinds of flowers.

"To make global friendships and promote peace both within the community as well as globally," said Brian Rahill of Orono, explaining the mission of CISV.

"It makes me feel really good like I'm actually making a difference here in my community. I hope it will inspire others," said Maddy Allan-Rahill.

"We're actually preserving the food and freezing it in freezers that are at the Birch Street School right here on the site so we're able to store that so we can make the soup over this 8 month period," said Brian Rahill.

Over the long winter, they'll continue maintaining the garden so it will be ready for another year of growth and giving.

Unit 4 Lesson 7 Ex. 4a

International children’s UNESCO clubs linguistic camps “Bridges of Education” operated in Belarus in summer 2013, BelTA learnt from the press service of the Ministry of Education of Belarus.

The linguistic camps brought together children from different countries to develop their conversational skills, promote tolerance and mutual understanding between people. The Bridges of Education linguistic camps are a good alternative to language schools in Germany or the United Kingdom, the press service of the Education Ministry noted. The children were able to improve their speaking skills in English, German, French and Chinese.

Students from Belarus, Russia, Latvia, China, Lithuania, Israel, Kazakhstan and other countries gather together. Teachers were specialists from Germany, the Netherlands, Switzerland, the UK, France, China, Sweden, Ireland, the U.S., Japan, Austria and Belarus.

The Chinese language camps were held in Radoshkovichi from 15 to 26 June, the German language camp in Molodechno from 6 to 17 July, the French in Zelva from 13 to 21 July. The camps in conversational English for beginners were held in Molodechno from 19 to 31 July, while those for advanced English speakers in Gomel District from 4 to 15 August.

The education process included interactive games and trainings. The cultural part of the camps was made up of thematic days, contests, sports activities, dancing and theater performances, debates and many other exciting activities. 


Lesson 1 Ex5

Cave painting, black-figure, world-famous, warehouse, twentieth-century, pyramid-shaped, artwork, lifetime, left-handed, watercolour, thirty-minute, Oscar-winning, all-time, best-selling, five-line, red-headed, priest-composer, father-in-law, son-in-law, quick-witted, open-minded.

Lesson 2 Ex2b

In That’s Amazing! today we’ll look at some interesting facts concerning the history of art. You may find some of them difficult to believe, however, everything you’re going to hear about is true.

Feel excited? Let’s get started. Do you like the Olympic Games? You may wonder what sport has to do with art? Well, there is a perfect example of sport and art once being closely connected. Art competitions formed part of the modern Olympic Games from 1912 to 1952. Medals were awarded for works of art inspired by sport, divided into five categories: architecture, literature, music, painting, and sculpture.

What do we know about the competitors? Few of them can be considered well-known artists globally but they were real national heroes of their time. For example, the 1928 gold medal for architecture was awarded to Jan Wils for his design of the Olympic Stadium used in the same Olympics. There were even Olympians who won medals in both sport and art competitions. Incredible, isn’t?

By 1952 the art contests had been replaced with art exhibitions without awards or medals. The main reason for abolishing the art competitions was the fact that by that time practically all contestants were professionals while the original rules required all competitors to be amateurs.

Well, the first Olympic Games started in Greece and our next amazing fact is to do with ancient Greece too.

In the autumn of 2007, Harvard University hosted an exhibition of great importance. On display were painted replicas of Greek statues and other works of Greek and Roman sculpture. Why were they painted? The exhibition was aimed at demonstrating that the practice of painting sculpture in bright colours was very common in ancient Greece. Actually, this unbelievable fact had already been known by the early 19th century. However, some influential art historians were such strong opponents of the idea that proponents of painted statues were dismissed as eccentrics. It was not until findings published by German archaeologist Vinzenz Brinkmann in the late 20th and early 21st century, that it was finally established beyond doubt that ancient Greek sculptures were painted. After thousands of years, those paints wore away and presented us with the image we are all used to.

Painted Greek statues? Sounds like something tasteless to me. Speaking of tasteless art, have you ever visited the Museum of Bad Art? It is situated in the United States and its permanent collection includes 500 pieces of "art too bad to be ignored”. To be included in MOBA's collection, works must be original and have a serious intention, but they must also have significant flaws without being boring; curators are not interested in displaying deliberate kitsch.

The founders say it isn’t as easy as it may seem to get your piece of art displayed at this museum. According to them, nine out of ten pieces don’t get in because they’re not bad enough. So if you think your work of art deserves to be displayed at MOBA, make sure you really meant it but it turned out to have an “Oh my God” quality.

How many paintings of this kind have you seen, by the way? And where is this fine line that separates good and bad art?

What do you think of Malevich’s Black Square for example? It’s in art history books and commonly considered to be a great work of art. However, there are people who think it’s something anybody can produce without making any effort and therefore not valuable. You know Malevich wasn’t the first to come up with the idea of creating Black Square. The picture with just black background in it was first painted twenty- two years before Malevich’s work by a French humourist Alphonse Allais. It was called “The Battle of the Negroes in the Deep Dark Cave at Night”.

Perhaps the only difference between Allais and those who followed him, was that in his innovative works, he did not try to appear serious or as a meaningful philosophical pioneer. This is probably the reason why he didn’t gain so much recognition for his works. He was one of those, though, who proved that art can be really funny.

Allais’ works weren’t taken seriously and didn’t cost much. In contrast Malevich’s Black Square is ridiculously expensive. People probably wouldn’t be so indignant about the fact if they lived in an era when the value of a painting depended on the cost of the paints used to create it. I’m talking about the time of the Renaissance.  European artists then were in a difficult situation. Pure, intense colour was regarded as a reflection of God’s glory. Now imagine that ultramarine, the most beautiful of all blues, was more expensive than even gold! And as using expensive pigments in a painting was seen as an act of devotion to God, painters simply had to use it. You can understand why, in spite of this fact, it wasn’t so commonly used and those lucky artists who did have it saved the paint for the most admired subjects, such as the robes of the Madonna and Christ.

I’m afraid that’s all for today and I hope you enjoyed listening to us. Contact us to share any amazing facts that you’ve discovered. Till next time and goodbye.

Lesson 4 Ex2, 3


I was trying to watch TV last night switching channels to find something worth seeing, and there came that stunningly beautiful song! The one they played at the party when I saw David for the last time. Whenever I hear it, it brings back lots of memories. So I was just sitting there with a lump in my throat trying to fight back tears…


  • What do you think of abstract art?

  • I can’t say that I dislike abstract art paintings as a whole, but in fact I have mixed feelings about them. I’ve always struggled to understand abstract work. I hate the idea of art for art's sake, and I really don't like thinking that people are becoming wealthy by making art that they refuse to explain. How do we know they even meant anything at all, for instance, and aren't just laughing at us behind our backs!

On the other hand, I have encountered abstract art paintings that expressed such a rush of pure emotion that I felt overwhelmed looking at them. So, my feelings are definitely still mixed about abstract art paintings, and I am still not totally convinced that I like them.


- I saw The Avengers last weekend. It was really cool!

- Well, I don't understand all the hype about it. It's just a nine days' wonder. Nobody will remember it in a year!

There is going to be an exhibition at our art school next week. It's our tenth year so we’re very proud to welcome you. Every single student at the school did a painting, which will be on display. This year's exhibit will also include a professional wall, featuring the artwork of a number of professional artists. Come and feast your eyes on our fabulous paintings!


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