среда, 23 апреля 2014 г.

April 23 is English Language Day




It coincides with William Shakespeare’s birthday and World Book and Copyright Day. English Language Day aims to entertain and inform people about the history, culture and achievements associated with the language. The day often features book-reading events, English quizzes, poetry and literature exchanges, and other activities that promote the English language. English is one of the two working languages of the UN Secretariat and one of the organization’s six official languages. English is often referred to as a "world language", or the lingua franca (bridge language or common language used by speakers of different languages) of the modern era because it is widely spoken. The UN first celebrated English Language Day on April 23, 2010. For a language that was used by only 3 tribes about 1500 years ago, English has official or special status in at least 75 countries with a total population of over two billion. It has three-times more non-native speakers than native speakers. No other language comes close to matching that, and it is that that makes English global. It is the modern lingua franca, the language used by the Russians to talk to the Nigerians, the Germans to talk to the Spanish, the Chinese to talk to the Brazilians…
What activities can you offer to celebrate English Language Day?

пятница, 18 апреля 2014 г.

HAPPY EASTER!



Easter is a religious holiday, but some of its customs, such as Easter eggs, are likely linked to pagan traditions. The egg, an ancient symbol of new life, has been associated with pagan festivals celebrating spring. From a Christian perspective, Easter eggs are said to represent Jesus’ emergence from the tomb and resurrection. Decorating eggs for Easter is a tradition that dates back to at least the 13th century, according to some sources. One explanation for this custom is that eggs were formerly a forbidden food during the Lenten season, so people would paint and decorate them to mark the end of the period of penance and fasting, then eat them on Easter as a celebration.
DID YOU KNOW?
The largest Easter egg ever made was over 25 feet high and weighed over 8,000 pounds. It was built out of chocolate and marshmallow and supported by an internal steel frame.
How do you celebrate Easter?

четверг, 3 апреля 2014 г.

History of Newspapers



The history of newspapers is surprisingly long, as broad definitions for it allow for many early news sources to be considered as newspapers. For example, government reports of the current news in Ancient China and Ancient Rome are considered to at least be ancestors of the newspaper if they are not considered as newspapers proper.
In the earliest days of newspapers, they were handwritten and thus did not enjoy widespread circulation. Literacy was also rare, so the earliest examples of news writings were almost certainly the purview of the upper classes and those who served them in an intellectual capacity. The Ancient Chinese government news reports, for instance, were intended solely for servants of the Imperial government. Wider distribution was not official, it was simply organised by those who understood that knowledge would empower them.
Britain's press can trace its history back more than 300 years, to the time of William of Orange. Berrow's Worcester Journal, which started life as the Worcester Postman in 1690 and was published regularly from 1709, is believed to be the oldest surviving English newspaper.
William Caxton had introduced the first English printing press in 1476 and, by the early 16th century, the first 'news papers' were seen in Britain. They were, however, slow to evolve, with the largely illiterate population relying on town criers for news. Between 1640 and the Restoration, around 30,000 'news letters' and 'news papers' were printed, many of which can be seen today in the British Museum. The first regular English daily newspaper, the Daily Courant, was launched with the reign of Queen Anne in 1702. The very first daily newspaper, the Daily Courant, was first published in London on March 11, 1702 by Edward Mallet. At the time, it ran two columns that published news from abroad. The Observer began publishing in 1791.
The 19th century saw a lot of growth for the British newspaper industry. As taxes on paper were lowered, it became cheaper for printers to publish them every day which was a huge change for the industry. The Daily Universal Register, later known as The Times, began publishing in 1855. The paper's name would later be changed to The Times in 1788. The Times was the biggest paper for a brief period but as others cropped up, the field became more competitive.
The first truly cheap newspaper to establish itself around this time was the Daily Telegraph and Courier in 1885; it's now called the Daily Telegraph. 1896 saw the rise of another popular paper, The Daily Mail. All in all, the 19th century was the “golden age” of newspapers in Britain when many papers found their footholds and soon buying a newspaper was as much a part of someone's morning as their trip to work.
The 20th century has been a big era for the British newspaper. Many, many new papers have emerged all over the country. Most cities have their own privately-published papers that circulate weekly, and there are several major publications that are published daily. The format of some papers also changed. In 1914 The Times published its first half-tone photo, the Sunday Express published its first crossword puzzle. 
What facts surprised you most?
Read more: http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/482597/history-of-publishing/28661/Commercial-newsletters-in-continental-Europe#toc28662

вторник, 11 марта 2014 г.

Quotation of the week

Read the quotes, choose one and comment on it:
H.W. Longfellow: The talent of success is nothing more than doing what you can do well; and doing well whatever you do, without a thought of fame.
L. Bacall: Stardom isn't a profession; it's an accident.
Ch. Churchill: Fame is nothing but an empty name

воскресенье, 2 марта 2014 г.

Mardi Gras (фр.)\ Shrove Tuesday (англ.)\ Скоромный вторник (рус.)



 Mardi Gras is a day of music, parades, picnics, floats and excitement.  
 Everyone is wearing purple, green, and gold, and adorned with long beads caught from the beautiful floats. You'll see a lot of crazy costumes, kids everywhere, and both locals and visitors having a great time.  People sit on the ground, throw balls, play music, eat great food and watch the crowds walk by between parades.  During Mardi Gras, all of the businesses and roads are practically shut down.  People walk everywhere and meet new friends.  
The origins of Mardi Gras can be traced to medieval Europe, passing through Rome and Venice in the 17th and 18th centuries to the French House of the Bourbons.
Later, Rex would parade with an actual bull, draped in white and signaling the coming Lenten meat fast. People greet each other and  wish success.





What is Mardi Gras similar to and different from Malenitsa?