Natural Classic

I’m a very keen reader, but selecting the book with a natural-history theme, which has influenced me most was some challenge, until I thought back to my childhood. Then it was easy.

Where the book came from is a mystery, and I have never met anyone who has heard of it. It is Rita Richie’s The Golden Hawks of Genghis Khan. I read it when I was about 10 years old and I remember to this day the effect it had on me.

Set in 1218, it is a story of a rich boy whose parents are dead. He is growing    up in the splendid city of Samarkand and has a fascination for hawks, those magnificent hunting birds. There is a great deal of mystery surrounding his past, but he is led to believe that a band of Mongols killed his father to steal a rare type of bird – the golden hawk. Determined to get these birds back, he runs away from Samarkand and joins a group of people travelling to the country of Mongolia. What follows is a grand adventure centred on the city of Karakorum, where the        great Mongol chief Genghis Khan was then based.

The book combines adventure, mystery, honour, friendship, danger, suf­fering – all seen through the eyes of the young hero, Jalair. I still find this fantasy a thrilling read. Jalair’s great love for the birds was enviable and inspiring. But most of all it was the sense of place that stayed with me. The book gives the reader an idea of the vast open spaces of central Asia and its huge skies, without the use of the long descriptive passages that would bore a child. There are no boundaries. The emptiness of the Gobi Desert, the Tian Shan mountains and the excitement of riding through forests and over rolling hills fascinated me.

The book gave me more than hawks, horses and a desire for wild places. It also gave me a set of values. The Mongols in The Golden Hawks were totally uninterested in possessions, a characteristic that is absolutely essential for people who spent their lives travelling from place to place. They were never mean. Generosity, good will and optimism were highly valued, hard work was enjoyed and the rest was pure fun. They simply loved life.

Two years ago, I fulfilled a life-long ambition and went riding in Mongolia’s mountains. I was not disappointed.

Task 1. For each of the questions 1-10 decide which of the statements are true or false on the basis of what is stated or implied in what you have heard and

put a «+» if a statement is true and a «—» if a statement is false next to the corresponding number on your answer sheet.

Remember: you are NOT allowed to take notes at ANY time when the text s being read to you.

  1. The author hasn’t read a good history book for a long time.
  2. The book the author is telling about was borrowed from a library.
  3. The main character of the book is Genghis Khan.
  4. The action takes place in the 13th century.
  5. Jalair is an orphan.
  6. Mongols take the boy as prisoner..
  7. The Mongols’ chief is dead at the beginning of the story.
  8. Jalair’s father’s nickname was Golden Hawk.
  9. The boy is eager to find those who killed his father.
  10. The book was interesting to read because it had a lot of pictures in it.

Task 2. For each of .the questions 11-20 decide which of the answers (a, b, c or d) best complete the statements on the basis of what is stated or implied in what you have heard and mark the corresponding letter with a «+» on your answer sheet.

  1. One can make a conclusion that the writer;
    a) is an educated person;
  2. can hardly read;
  3. has always been fond of nothing but history; .
  4. is an experienced traveller.
  5. The city where the boy lived was probably:
  6. like slums;
  7. a wonderful place to live;
  8. the capital city of Mongols;
  9. the place for training hunting birds.
  10. One can make a conclusion that the boy’s father was:
    a) a successful businessman; b)   a good hunter;
    c)   a Mongol;                        d)   a beggar.
  11. Jalair seems to:
  12. a) be a promising traveller;
  13. b) become a merchant in future;
  14. c) follow in his father’s footsteps;

d)be a relative of Genghis Khan.

  1. The geographical name NOT mentioned in the text is:
    a) Karakorum; b)   Gobi;
  2. c) Tian Shan; d)
  3. Jalair is trying to get to:
  4. a) the heart of Mongolia; b)   Asia;
  5. c) Mongolia’s mountains; d)   Samarkand.
  6. The book most probably was written:
  7. a) with a lot of facts and details; b)   in a pretty simple language;
  8. c) in Mongolia; d)   by an eyewitness.
  9. Jalair’s travel must have been:
  10. a) hard and dangerous; b)   extremely boring;
  11. c) thrilling and exciting;- d)   quite simple.
  12. The Mongols in the book:
  13. are strong and merciless warriors;
  14. differ from the traditional image;
  15. are keen on collecting valuables;
  16. have no positive features at all.
  17. Which of the following is NOT true about the writer?
  18. She has not regretted going to Mongolia;
  19. she is an unemotional person;
  20. she was able to realize her old dream;
  21. she knows how to handle a horse.

Ключі до тестових завдань

1.+,   2-,   3.-,  4.+,   5.+, 6.-,   7.- , 8.-,   9.-,   10.-.

  1. а, 12. b, 13. b, 14. с, 15. d, 16. а, 17. b, 18. с, 19. b, 20. b.


Directions: For each of the questions 1—10 decide which of the answers (a, b, c or d) best complete the statements on the basis of what is stated or implied in the text and mark the corresponding letter (a, b, c or d) with a «+» on your answer sheet.

Academy Awards is the name for prizes given annually in the United States by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for excellence in the creation and production of motion pictures. First presented in 1929 for films shown in 1927 and 1928, the Academy Awards, commonly known as Oscars, are among the film industry’s most coveted prizes.

The entire academy membership participates in voting for the annual awards. In most award categories, a maximum of five entrants are first nominated by the academy members who work in that particular field (that is, actors select actors, directors select directors, and so on). From among these nominees all academy members select the winners by secret ballot. The winners are publicly announced at a formal ceremony each spring. One hour of the 1929 awards ceremony was

broadcast on the radio, and from 1944 through 1969 the entire ceremony was broadcast. Television broadcasts-began in 1953 and today attract a worldwide audience. Various people claim to have given the name Oscar to the symbolic statuette presented to winners, but the origin of the name has never been definitely determined. The gold-plated bronze human figure, which is 34.3 cm high and weighs 3.9 kg , was created by American sculptor George Stanley based on sketches made by American motion-picture art director Cedric Gibbons.

Awards are given for best motion picture; foreign-language film; performances by male and female actors in both leading and supporting roles; achievement in direction; screenplays, both original and adapted from previously produced or pub­lished material; and scores and songs composed for films. Other award categories include live-action short subject, animated short subject, documentary feature, and documentary short feature. Excellence in technical disciplines is also recognized, including art direction, cinematography, costume design, makeup, film editing, sound and sound effects editing, and visual effects. In addition, special or honorary awards are given for distinguished careers or humanitarian achievement.


  1. The ceremony described in the passage is about:

а)  1929 years old;

  1. b) as old as three quarters of a century;
  2. c) giving prizes to the members of the Academy;
    d) to die out.
  3. The-word “coveted” in line 5 may best be replaced with:
    a) excellent; b) desired;
  4. c) distributed; d)
    1. It may be inferred from the text that the awards are given for:
    2. a) the movies made in the current year;
    3. b) the movies made in the two years before the ceremony;
  5. the movies made in the following year;
  6. the movies made in the previous year.
  7. The decision on giving an award is made by:
  8. a) the Academy’s rector; b)   all the members of the Academy;
  9. c) a few selected academicians; d)   the public.
  10. It may be inferred that the Academy is:
  11. a) an educational establishment; b)   a scientific organization;
  12. c) a research institution; d)   a public organization.
  13. Each nominee has a … percent probability to become a winner.:
    a) twenty;                              b)   fifty;
  14. c) five; d)   twenty-five.
  15. The official ceremony is closest in time to:
  16. a) Christmas; b) Thanksgiving Day;
  17. c) Independence Day; d)   April Fool’s Day.
  18. The word “scores” in line 23 most probably means:
    a) music; b) marks;
  19. c) subjects; d)
  20. It is stated that Oscars are made of:
  21. a) bronze covered with gold; b) gold covered with bronze;
  22. c) an alloy of bronze and gold; d)   golden plates.
  23. One can make a conclusion that this category will NOT be awarded:
  24. a 30-minute thriller;
  25. a 60-minute documentary about Saddam Hussein;
  26. a 5-minute cartoon about Mickey Mouse;
  27. a 100-series Santa Barbara TV soap opera.

Ключі до тестових завдань

  1. b, 2. b, 3. d, 4. b, 5. d, 6. a, 7. d, 8. a, 9. a, 10. d.


Choose one of the three suggested topics and comment on it.

  1. The place we live in is a reflection of our personality.
  2. What would you do if you became President of Ukraine?
  3. The school system of Ukraine needs to be changed.


  1. You are taking a job interview. What would you tell about yourself, your interests, and hobbies?
  2. Which of the members of your family do you appreciate most and why?
  3. What do you like/ dislike in people? Which of those qualities does your friend
  4. What day of your life brings you the sweetest memories? Why?
  5. Do you have any special holidays in your family? What’s special about them?
  6. If you had a chance to decide where to spend your summer break, where
    would you go? ї
  7. What would you change in TV broadcasting if you had enough authority?
  8. Would you prefer to be a theatre or a movie actor?
  9. What would you say to persuade your parents that the music you listen to is
    worth doing it?
  10. If you were a personnel manager, would you demand that your staff know
    a foreign language?
  11. Which of the school subjects will be most useful in your future career?
  12. Does weather influence your performance?
  13. Your English friend is going to come to Ukraine. What would you tell him to
    help him feel comfortable in the country?
  14. If you were to make a list of the most outstanding Ukrainians, what names
    would you include in it?
  15. You are to write an article about your favorite sportsman. What would you
  16. Where would you take your guest from another country?
  17. What career are you planning for yourself in the future?
  18. What English-speaking country would you choose for living if you had
    a chance?
  19. What events in the recent world history impressed you most?
  20. Do you think there are holidays in English-speaking countries worth adopting
    in Ukraine?

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