You are on page 1of 30

1. Why is English language considered to be lingua franca?

Is English the
national language in USA and UK?
English is considered to be a lingua franca due the next main reasons:
First of all, even if Chinese has the largest number of speakers in the world, English is
the most widely spread language on Earth. Non-native speakers of English now outnumber
native speakers 3 to 1.
Secondly, English is not only the official language of many countries in the world but
also the most widely used language in international conferences, meeting etc, being the main
language used by NATO and UN organisations, and having become since World War II a kind
of lingua franca of contemporary world.
There is no national language in USA and UK because both countries are
overwhelmingly nonlinguistic in their official orientation even though throughout their history
they have always been multilingual. USA does not have English as an official language because
of the on various European settlers. UK does not have English as an official language due to
the fact that it does not have a written Constitution instead it has a set of rules named Magna
Carta.

2. Speak about UK-islands and isles, independent territories, dependencies,


Commonwealth
The British Isles is a collection of more than 6,000 islands. In strict geographic terms,
Great Britain is the biggest island tucked between the North Sea and the English Channel,
which at its narrowest point is about 20 miles away from the European continent. The second
biggest one is Ireland.
To start with, there’s the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. The
U.K., as it is called, is a sovereign state that consists of four individual countries: England,
Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
The present-day U.K. does have a few remaining colonies worldwide, which are referred
to as British Overseas Territories. These territories remain subject to British rule, though some
are self-governing:
Anguilla St. Helena
• Bermuda • St. Helena dependencies
• British Antarctic Territory • South Georgia and the South Sandwich
• British Indian Ocean Territory Islands
• British Virgin Islands • Turks and Caicos Islands
• Cayman Islands
• Falkland Islands
• Gibraltar
• Montserrat
• Pitcairn Island
Three islands within the British Isles retain special status as “Crown Dependencies.”
Though the U.K. is technically responsible for them, they are independently administered and
self-governing. Instead of having a relationship with the U.K., they have a relationship with
“The Crown”—the British monarchy:
• Bailiwick of Jersey
• Bailiwick of Guernsey
• Isle of Man

Then there’s the Commonwealth Realm—countries that accept the Crown, aka Queen
Elizabeth, as their constitutional monarch. As members of the Commonwealth of Nations, each
Commonwealth Realm governs itself, makes its own decisions and foreign policy decisions,
but retains ties to the U.K. and to one another. This streamlines diplomatic relations and fosters
ongoing community between nations that used to be part of Britain’s formidable empire:
• Antigua and Barbuda • Saint Kitts and Nevis
• Australia • Saint Lucia
• The Bahamas • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
• Barbados • Solomon Islands
• Belize • Tuvalu
• Canada -New Zealand
• Grenada • Papua New Guinea
• Jamaica

Technically, the U.K. itself is part of the Commonwealth Realm, too.

3. What do you know about England?


England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. Its inhabitants account more
than 83% of the total UK population while its mainland territory occupies most of the southern
two-thirds of the island of Great Britain. England is bordered by Scotland to the north, Wales
to the west and the North Sea, Irish Sea, Celtic Sea, Bristol Channel and English Channel.
The capital is London, the largest urban area in Great Britain and the largest urban zone
in the European Union by many measures.
England became a unified state in the year 927 and takes its name from the Angles, one
of the Germanic tribes who settled there during the 5th and 6th centuries. It has had a significant
cultural and legal impact on the wider world being the place of origin of the English language,
the Church of England, and English law, which forms the basis of the common law legal
systems of countries around the world. In addition, England was the birth place of the Industrial
Revolution, thus being the first country in the world to industrialise. It is home of the Royal
Society, which laid the foundation of modern experimental science.
England has the world’s oldest parliamentary system, and consequently, other
constitutional, governmental and legal innovations that stemmed from England have been
widely adopted by other nations.
The Kingdom of England (including Wales) continued as a separate state until 1 May
1707, when the Acts of Union resulted in political union with the Kingdom of Scotland to
create the United Kingdom of Great Britain. In 1800, Great Britain was united with Ireland
through another Act of Union and became the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.
In 1922, the Irish Free State was created, and the Royal and Parliamentary Titles Act in 1927
officially established the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, which exists
today.
England’s area is 130,325 square kilometres.
Most of England consists of rolling bills, but it is more mountainous in the north with
a chain of low mountains, the Pennines, dividing east and west. There is also an area of flat,
low-lying marshland in the east, the Fens, much of which has been drained for agricultural use.
England has a temperature climate, with plentiful rainfall all year round.temperatures
rarely fall below -5C or rise above 30C, although they can be quite variable.
England’s best-known river is the Thames, which flows through London. At 346 km, it
is the longest river in England.
The capital city of England is London, which is the largest city in Great Britain, and the
largest city in the European Union by most measures.

4 Talk about the national symbols of England. (Tell the story behind one of
them)
1. The Flag

The flag of England is represented by a red cross on a white background. This is known
as St George's Cross and has its origins in the Crusades (12th and 13th centuries), when soldiers
were identified by this red-coloured cross on their white tunics.
St George was claimed to be the Patron Saint of England at the time, so the cross became
associated with him.
2. The National Floral Emblem . The Tudor Rose
The Tudor Rose, also known as The Rose of England, was adopted as a symbol of peace
and merges a white rose (representing the Yorkists) and a red rose (representing the
Lancastrians). During the War of the Roses, these two sides fought over the control of the royal
house.
3. The Royal Banner of England
This banner is also known as the Banner of the Royal Arms, amongst its other names.
It is the official English banner of arms and represents the sovereignty of the rulers of England
(as opposed to loyalty to the country itself). It comprises three horizontally positioned gold
lions, which face the observer. Each has a blue tongue and blue claws and is set against a deep
red background.

5 What do you know about Wales?


Wales is located in the central-west Great Britain. Its area is about 20,779 square
kilometres. Wales is bordered by England to the east and by the sea in the other three directions:
Bristol Channel to the south, Celtic Sea to the west and by the Irish Sea to the north.
Wales has a population estimated at three million and it officially bilingual, with both
Welsh and English having equal status; the majority use English as their first language.
The capital is Cardiff

6 Talk about the national symbols of Wales. (Tell the story behind one of them)
1. The Red Dragon flag
The earliest mention of the Red Dragon is in ‘The Mabinogion’: when a red dragon
fought an invading white dragon, his cries were said to cause women to miscarry and plants to
die! The symbol was used by the Romans at the time of Emperor Trajan. The Tudors adopted
the Red Dragon as their symbol and the Welsh born King Henry VII took to the battle of
Bosworth Field under the Red Dragon standard. The Red Dragon is the symbol of Wales which
appears on the national flag.
2. The daffodil
This is another popular emblem of Wales, especially on March 1st, St David’s Day, and
the Welsh name is Cenhinen Pedr or Peter’s Leek. Its association with Wales started in the 19th
century, but became most famously associated with Wales in the early 20th century when the
Welsh Prime Minister Minster David Lloyd George wore one on St David’s Day and at
ceremonies to mark the investiture of the then Prince of Wales.
3. The Leek
The leek has been associated with Wales for many years. It was mentioned in the sixth
century by the poet Taliesin and in the thirteen century Red Book of Hergest which contains
the tales of The Mabinogion. According to legend, St David advised the Britons to wear leeks
on their helmets when they fought the Saxons so that they could distinguish friend from foe.
This story has versions involving different battles over history and it is also said that the green
and white colours of the Tudors originally come from the leek. The leek is worn on St David’s
Day and in some Welsh regiments it is traditional that soldiers eat a raw leek on this day. I
prefer mine cooked! This year the Queen will present leeks to members of the 3rd Battalion
The Royal Welsh as part of the St David’s Day celebrations.
7 What do you know about Scotland?
Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. Occupying the northern part
part of the Island of Great Britain, it shares border with England in south and is bounded by
the North Sea to the east, the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west and the North Channel and
Irish Sea to the southwest. In addition to the mainland, Scotland consists of over 790 islands
including the Northern Isles and the Hebrides.
Scotland’s area is 78,772 square kilometres.
Scotland’s highest point is the summit of Ben Nevis rising to 1,344 metres above sea
level.
Edinburgh is the country’s capital and the second largest city, while Glasgow is the
largest city.
The population is about 5 million people.
Scotland has three official recognised languages: English, Scots and Scottish Gaelic.
Scotland’s head of state is the monarch of the United Kingdom, currently Queen
Elizabeth II (since 1952)

8 Talk about the national symbols of Scotland. (Tell the story behind one of
them)
1. The Thistle
his unusual purple-flowered thistle rose grows wild in the Scottish Highlands and is
Scotland’s national flower. Why it became the national flower of Scotland is still a mystery.
However, legendary tales say sleeping Scottish warriors were saved by this plant. A soldier
from the invading Norse army stepped on the prickly flower and his cries awoke the sleeping
Scots. Then, after successfully fighting the Norse invaders, they adopted the Scottish Thistle
as the national flower. The purple flower also represents centuries of Scottish heraldry.

2. Mystical Scottish Unicorn


The unicorn has been linked with Scotland for centuries.
Famously known as wild, fierce, bold and resilient, the Scots adopted the mythical
creature as its national animal.
First, the unicorn was featured on the Scottish royal coat of arms by William I in the
12th century. Then, it appeared on gold coins in the 15th century under King James III’s rule.
Since then, the Scottish unicorn has appeared on everything from shields, to
magnificent statues at Scottish attractions and castles.
3.Saltire Flag of St Andrew
It’s hard to visit Scotland without seeing the national blue and white flag billowing in
the breeze somewhere on your travels.
Named the Saltire, this iconic flag is the country’s official national flag.
The Saltire flag is blue with a white diagonal cross. It represents Saint Andrew who is
said to have been crucified on a cross in Greece. Carried into many battles over the centuries,
the Saltire has become one of the most iconic and proud Scottish symbols. And, you’ll see it
waving proudly at many attractions, castles and landmarks across Scotland.

4. Lion Rampant, Fierce and Proud


Often mistaken as the national flag of Scotland, the Lion Rampart is the Royal Banner
of Scotland. The flag legally and historically belongs to a King or Queen of Scotland, and now
Queen Elizabeth II.
On the yellow flag, a red lion is standing upright on its hind legs, with its claws ready
to strike. Some say it truly represents Scotland’s history of battle and national pride. And,
you’re likely to see many of these flags proudly waved about at a Scottish football or rugby
match.

9 What do you know about Northern Ireland?


Northern Ireland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and
Northern Ireland and it is situated in the north-east of the island of Ireland. It shares a border
with the Republic of Ireland to the south and west.
The population is about 1,6 million people and the capital is Belfast.
As part of the United Kingdom, people from Northern Ireland are British citizens but
they are also entitled to Irish citizenship by birth which is covered by an 1988 Agreement.

10 Talk about the national symbols of Northern Ireland. (Tell the story behind
one of them)
1. Shamrock - Legend has it that the shamrock was used by St. Patrick, the patron saint
of Ireland, to illustrate the Holy Trinity, hence its widespread use on St. Patrick's day
on 17 March. It is one of Ireland's national emblems, and is used by mainly by the
Nationalist tradition, but is also evident within the Unionist tradition, with bodies such
as the Royal Irish Rangers wearing the Shamrock every St. Patrick's day.
2. Patron- Saint Patrick
3. Saint Patrick's Cross is a red saltire on a white field, used to represent the island
of Ireland or Saint Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland.

11. What did Henry VIII do for his country?


Henry VIII, who came to the throne in 1509, was a man who left his stamp on history.
His six marriages in search of a male heir led to two daughters (Mary and Elizabeth) and a son
Edward (who died young). Henry’s need for a divorce led to a row with the pope who refused
to grant Henry one. Henry countered by dissolving the Roman Catholic Church in Britain and
setting up the Church of England.
A Church of England with Henry at the head could then allow Henry to divorce his
wife. He divorced the two European wives, Anne of Cleeves and Catherine of Aragon. Henry
was a tyrant and a despot. Completely ruthless he led nothing and nobody get in his way.
Cardinal Woolsey was banished, Thomas Cromwell and Thomas More were executed.
One other bonus for Henry from his split with Rome was that he gained control of the
monasteries - the monastic buildings and land were sold off after the dissolution of the
monasteries in 1538. Many of the buildings fell into decay, and they lost their farmlands for
ever.

12. What did Elisabeth I do for her country?


Elizabeth’s reign brought in one of the most glorious eras of British history. exploration,
colonisation, victory in war and growing world importance are some of her importance are
some of her accomplishments. The Arts flourished, this was the age of Shakespeare and Bacon.
But as with her sister, plots against the queen were mounted - Mary Queen of Scots, was finally
executed in 1587 - the Earl of Essex, a former favourite, was executed for leading a revolt in
1601. And the wars against Spain and in Ireland were expensive - she was £400,000 in debt
when she died.
The Spanish wars had crippled the English exchequer, inflation soared, and in 1601
Elizabeth had to go to Parliament to get more money. Sensing hostility, as Parliament was
angry about the privileges she had granted her favourites, she gave way graciously and gave a
“Golden Speech” which became in later years a model for the relationship between monarch
and the nation - with obligations on both sides.
A few months later came news of the defeat of the long running battle against the rebels
in Ireland. But by now Elizabeth’s health had declined and she was dying. The choice of
successor was not straightforward as she was the last of Henry VIII’s children and none of
them had any children themselves. Elizabeth delayed making her choice of successor until she
was on her death bed. Her successor would be James Stuart, King of Scotland, and son of Mary
Queen of Scots, whom Elizabeth had executed as a traitor.
13. James I, Charles I, Cromwell rule.
James Stuart was a Scottish Catholic who believed in the ‘Divine Right’ to rule as he
pleased. This brought him into conflict with the English Parliament. The failed Catholic
Gunpowder Plot to blow up Parliament in 1605 led to anti catholic riots. The failure of both
James and his son Charles I to understand the English tradition of parliamentary liberty led
eventually to civil war.
James died unlamented in 1625. Charles I immediately came in to conflict with
Parliament. He tried to rule without summoning parliament for 11 years, but eventually ran out
of money and summoned Parliament in 1640.
Parliament refused him money and country split between supporters of the king and
supporters of parliament. The first major Engagement of the Civil War was at Edgehill in the
Cotswolds on 1642. Indecision among the Royalists and the moulding of the New Model army
by the parliamentarians led to Parliament gaining the upper hand and by 1645 Cromwell won
the decisive Battle of Naseby. Charles was captured and put on trial for treason in 1649. He
refused to recognise the court, but was regardless found guilty. 59 republicans signed the death
warrant. Oliver Cromwell and the army emerged as the power in the land. Cromwell dissolved
parliament with the words Depart I say and let us have done with you. In the name of God, go!
It was the start of England’s only period of dictatorship. Cromwell was unable to find anything
to replace the monarchy. When he died in 1658 his son Richard succeeded him but he was not
a man to rule Britain and in 1660 Charles II was resorted to the throne his father had died for.

14 The House of Hanover.


Queen Anne died in 1714, and the Elector of Hanover, George Louis, became king as
George I. There were a lot of better qualified people available to be king of England -
unfortunately, most of them were Catholic. George I was a German who did not speak a word
of English, but was Protestant. So started the rule of the House of Hanover, under whom Britain
achieved wealth and peace over the next century Parliament became more powerful, and the
leading politician was Walpole who was prime minister until 1742. He avoided the expense of
war and Britain prospered. During his reign, the riding power of Prussia led to two major
conflicts in Europe, the War of the Austrian Succession from 1740-1748 and the Seven Years
War from 1756-1763. Both spilled over into the American colonies, and when the latter ended,
Britain gained all of Canada and France was destroyed as a colonial power in North America.
Although British sea power proved decisive in the wars, the French navy had become
a serious challenger by the middle of the 18th century and an invasion of Britain nearly took
place in 1759. After the death of George II in 1760, his grandson became king as George III at
the age of 22. Unlike his two predecessors, he was born in Britain and English was his first
language. The coming of George III to the throne brought the first British born king for 50
years and a king who was to reign for the next 50 years. There were exciting times, marred
only by the loss of the American Colonies. Britain won new territories in Canada and India,
but lost the oldest settlement of all with the declaration of independence by the American
colonies in 1776 and the final surrender at Yorktown in 1781. The loss of the American
colonies brought about changes in Britain with the appointment of Pitt the Younger as prime
minister, whose legislative programme was to bring about the end of royal power.
At home the industrial revolution was in full swing. Coal fires lit the night sky as they
powered steam engines in factories. But in Europe, French power was manifesting itself
following the French Revolution in 1789. Nelson’s victory at Trafalgar ensured the Britain
ruled the seas, but French troops controlled Europe.

15. What did Queen Victoria do for her country?


The Victorian era of the United Kingdom is a term commonly used to refer to the period
of Queen Victoria’s rule between 1837 and 1901 which signified the height of the British
Industrial Revolution and the apex of the British Empire.
Britain merged from the Napoleonic Wars a very different country than it had been in
1793. As industrialisation progressed, society changed, becoming more urban than rural.
The exhaustion of Europe after the Napoleonic Wars kept any major conflicts from
occurring for over three decades. Prussia, Austria and Russia, as absolute monarchies, were
committed to a policy of stamping out liberalism and revolution in Europe wherever it may
occur, but Britain declined to participate in this, instead intervening in Portugal in 1826 to
defend a constitutional government there and recognising the independence of Spain’s
American colonies in 1824. The British also intervened in 1827 on the side of the Greeks who
had been waging a war of independence against the Ottoman Empire since 1824.

16. What do you know about the Norman Conquest and its consequences in
Britain?
There were two major influences on English life during this whole period of English
history at opposite ends of the aggression spectrum. One was the coming of Christianity to
Britain, brought by Irish monks. The other was the Viking raider. And it was the Viking raider
that paradoxically allowed William to conquer Britain.
When Edward the Confessor died, the viking saw a chance to regain a foothold in
Britain in Britain and landed an army in Yorkshire in 1066. Harold marched north to take on
the Vikings under Harald of Norway and Tostig (King Harold’s brother). He defeated the
Norsemen near Normandy had landed in southern England.
Within 13 days he had marched his army some 240 miles from Yorkshire to Sussex,
where the Normans were camped hear Hastings, the ensuing Battle of Hastings was won by
the Normans who were fresh, and had better archers and cavalry. Harold died with an arrow
through his eye. William was crowned William I in London on Christmas Day 1066
The uniqueness of the Norman Conquest in British history is that not only did the ruler
change, but also the whole of the ruling class changes and there was even a new language. The
English nobility lost their lands and the new landowners built castles like Warwick and
Windsor that survive to this day. By the time William died in 1087 around 100 major castles
had been built.
Henry II is known for his ordering the murder of the Archbishop of Canterbury ,
Thomas Becket, in Canterbury Cathedral - stabbed at the high alter in 1170.

17. How does the British Parliament function?


Parliament is made up of three central elements: the House of Commons (651), the
House of Lords (750) and the Monarchy. The main business of Parliament takes place in the
two Houses. Generally the decisions made in one House have to be approved by the other.
The main functions of the UK Parliament are to: Check and challenge the work of the
Government (scrutiny), Make and change laws (legislation), Debate the important issues of
the day (debating), Check and approve Government spending (budget/taxes)

18. What are the responsibilities of the British monarch?


The sovereign reigns but does not rule the country. The monarch is formally: head of
state, head of the executive, head of the judiciary, head of the legislature, commander-in-chief
of the armed forces, supreme governor of the Church of England and head of Commonwealth.
The king or the queen is political neutral: acts only on he advice of political ministers; cannot
make laws, impose taxes, spend public money, act unilaterally; performs executive and
legislative duties like the the opening and dissolving of Parliament, signing bills, holding of
audiences with the Prime Minister, carrying out of international duties as head of state.
The official duties of the monarch are numerous: the Sovereign summons, prorogues
and dissolves Parliament and formally appoints the officials like: British ambassadors, high
commissioners and bishops of the Church of England as well as the Prime Minister. The
Monarch must also give Royal Assent to bills passed by Parliament, although if assent were
refused a constitutional crisis and the abolition of monarchy would almost certainly result.

19. Speak about the political parties in UK and the election system.
There are few political parties, main ones being the Conservative Party, the Labour
Party and the Liberal Democrats. Among other minor parties, we mention: Green Party,
Scottish National Party, the Welsh National Party etc.
The Conservative party mainly represents the middle and upper classes particularly
strong in southern England while the Labour Party traditionally gathered its support from the
Trade Unions, the working class and some middle class backing with its electoral strongholds:
south Wales, Scotland and the Midlands and industrial cities of Northern Ireland.
In England, Ireland and Wales, anyone who will be aged 18 or over can vote.
In Scotland is over 16 can vote as the age for voting in Scottish Parliament and local
elections is 16. However, voters in Scotland under 18 are not entitled to vote in European
Parliament and UK general elections.
20. Speak about USA- states, regions, dependencies.
The United States of America is a federal republic made up of fifty states and the
District of Columbia. In the east it is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean and in the west by the
Pacific Ocean. In the north USA borders Canada and in the south it borders Mexico. There are
four different time zones - each zone is one hour apart.
Forty eight states are conterminous- each state border at least one other state. The
remaining two states of Alaska and the eight islands of Hawaii are situated near the Artic Circle
and in the Pacific Ocean respectively.
The United States also includes the island territories of Puerto Rico and the Virgin
Islands both located in the Atlantic Ocean.
The smallest state is Rhode Island and the biggest state is Alaska. The District of
Columbia is the site of the capital city- Washington.
Very broadly, the regions of the United States can be divided up in four main areas: the
south, The Pacific coast states, the north central region and the northeast.

21. Speak of the American Revolution and the minutemen.


• the American Revolution - its war for independence from Britain - began as a small
skirmish between British troops and armed colonists on April 19, 1775
• The British had set out from Boston, Massachusetts to seize weapons and ammunition
that revolutionary colonists had collected in nearby villages
The first shots of the American Revolution fired at Lexington, Massachusetts where
they met a group of Minutemen, who got that name because they were said to be ready to fight
in a minute. These intended only a silent protest and their leader told them not to shoot unless
fired on first. The British ordered the Minutemen to disperse and they complied; as they were
withdrawing, someone fired a shot so the British troops attacked the Minutemen with guns and
bayonets. Fights broke out at other places along the road as the British soldiers in their bright
red uniforms made their way back to Boston; more than 250 “redcoats” were killed or wounded
while the Americans lost 93 men.
Calls for independence intensified in the coming months. The radical political theorist
Thomas Paine helped crystallise the argument for separation; in a pamphlet called Common
Sense which sold 100,000 copies, he attacked the idea of a hereditary monarchy. Paine
presented two alternatives for America: either it continued submission under a tyrannical king
and outworn system of a government or fight for liberty and happiness as a self-sufficient,
independent republic.
The Second Continental Congress appointed a committee, headed by Thomas Jefferson
of Virginia, to prepare a document outlining the colonies’ grievances against the king and
explaining their decision to break away. This Declaration of Independence was adopted on July
4, 1776.
22. The first presidents George Washington, John Adams and Thomas
Jefferson and their role in shaping the political system.
George Washington was sworn in as the first president of the United States on April 30,
1789. He had been in charge of organising an effective military force during the Revolution-
now he was in charge of building a functioning government. He worked with Congress to create
departments of State, Treasury, Justice and War. The heads of those departments would serve
as presidential advisors, his cabinet. A Supreme Court composed of one chief justice and five
associate justices was established, together with three circuit courts and 13 district courts.
Policies were developed for administering the western territories and brining them into the
Union as new states. Washington served two four-terms and then left office, setting a precedent
that eventually became law.
The next two presidents, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, represented two schools
of thought on the role of government; this divergence led to the formation of the first political
parties in the Western world: the Federalists, led by Adams and Alexander Hamilton,
Washington’s secretary of the Treasury. They represented trade and manufacturing interests;
they feared anarchy and believed in a strong central government that could set national
economic policies and maintain order and who has the most support in the North and the
Republicans , led by Jefferson, generally represented agricultural interests. They opposed a
strong central government as they believed in states’ rights and the self-sufficiency of farers
and had the most support in the South.

23. Speak of the American Constitution and the Bill of Rights.


Unlike Britain but like most nation states, the American political system is clearly
defined by basic documents. The Declaration of Independence of 1776 and the Constitution of
1789 from the foundations of the United States federal government. The Declaration of
Independence establishes the United States as an independent political entity, while the
Constitution creates the basic structure of the federal government. Both documents are on
display in the National Archives and Records Administration Building in Washington, D.C.
The US Constitution has proved to be a remarkably stable document. If one accepts that
the first 10 amendments were in effect part of the original constitutional settlement, there have
only been 17 amendments in over 200 years. One of the major reasons for this is that - quite
deliberately on the part of its drafters - the Constitution is a very difficult instrument to change.
First, a proposed amendment has to secure a two-thirds vote of members present in both houses
of Congress. Then three-quarters of the state legislatures have to ratify the proposed change.
At the heart of the US Constitution is the principle known as separation of powers. This
means that power is spread between three institutions of the state - the executive, the legislature
and the judiciary - and no one institution has too much power and no individual can be member
of more than one institution. This principle is also known as checks and balances, since each
of the three branches of the state has some authority to act on its own, some authority to regulate
the other two branches and some of its own authority, in turn, regulated by the other branches.

24. What do you know about the political parties in USA?


Since the 1790s the country has been run by two major parties. The United States does
not have a parliamentary system, in which governing coalitions are formed after elections, so
coalitions are formed before elections under the umbrella of the party organisations. In the
absence of a parliamentary system, third parties cannot thrive. Since the Civil War, the two
major parties have been called the Republican and Democratic parties. Many minor or third
political parties appear from time to time.they tend to serve a means to advocate policies that
eventually are adopted by the major political parties. At various times the Social Party, the
Farmer-Labour part and the Populist Party for a few years had considerable local strength and
then faded away. At present the Libertarian Party os the most successful third party.
To an extent quite extraordinary in democratic countries, the American political system
in dominated by two political parties: the Democratic Party and the Republican Party. These
are very old and very stable parties - the Democrats go back to the 1824 and the Republicans
were founded in 1854. The Democratic Party is sometimes represented as a donkey, while the
Republican Party is sometimes featured as an elephant.

25. The election of the president of USA – his responsibilities and duties.
Although the 'founding fathers' wanted to avoid a political system that in any way
reflected the monarchical system then prevalent in Britain and for a long time the Presidency
was relatively weak, the vast expansion of the federal bureaucracy and the military in the 20th
century has in current practice given a greater role and more power to the President than is the
case for any single individual in most political systems.
The President is both the head of state and the head of government, as well as the
military commander-in-chief and chief diplomat. He presides over the executive branch of the
federal government, a vast organisation numbering about 4 million people, including 1 million
active-duty military personnel. Within the executive branch, the President has broad
constitutional powers to manage national affairs and the workings of the federal government
and he may issue executive orders to affect internal policies.
The President may sign or veto legislation passed by Congress and has the power to
recommend measures to Congress. The Congress may override a presidential veto but only by
a two-thirds majority in each house.
The President has the power to make treaties (with the 'advice and consent' of the
Senate) and the power to nominate and receive ambassadors. The President may not dissolve
Congress or call special elections, but dots have the power to pardon criminals convicted of
offences against the federal government, enact executive orders, and (with the consent of the
Senate) appoint Supreme Court justices and federal judges.
The President is elected for a fixed term of four years and may serve a maximum of two
terms. Elections are always held on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November to
coincide with Congressional elections.
The President is not elected directly by the voters but by an Electoral College
representing each state on the basis of a combination of the number of members in the Senate
(two for each state regardless of size) and the number of members in the House of
Representatives (roughly proportional to population). The states with the largest umber of votes
are California (55), Texas (34) and New York (31). The states with the smallest number of
votes — there are six of them —have only three votes. The District of Columbia, which has no
voting representation in Congress, has three electoral votes. In effect, therefore, the Presidential
election is not one election but 51.
The total Electoral College vote is 538. This means that, to become President, a
candidate has to win at least 270 electoral votes. The voting system awards the Electoral
College votes from each state to delegates committed to vote for a certain candidate in a
"winner take all" system, with the exception of Maine and Nebraska (which award their
Electoral College votes according to Congressional Districts rather than for the state as a
whole). In practice, most states are firmly Democrat — for instance, California and New York
— or firmly Republican — for instance, Texas and Tennessee. Therefore, candidates
concentrate their appearances and resources on the so-called "battleground states", those that
might go to either party. The three largest battleground or swing states are Florida (27 votes),
Pennsylvania (21) and Ohio (20).
This system of election means that in theory a candidate can win the largest number of
votes nationwide but fail to win the largest number of votes in the Electoral College and
therefore fail to become President. Indeed, in practice, this has happened three times in US
history, most recently in 2000. If this seems strange (at least to non-Americans), the explanation
is that the 'founding fathers' who drafted the American Constitution did not wish to give too
much power to the people and so devised a system that gives the ultimate power of electing the
President to members of the Electoral College. The same Constitution, however, enables each
state to determine how its members in the Electoral College are chosen and since the 1820s
states have chosen their electors by a direct vote of the people. The United States is the only
current example of an indirectly elected executive president.
The President may be impeached by a majority in the House and removed from office
by a two-thirds majority in the Senate for "treason, bribery, or other high crimes and
misdemeanors".
Since 1939, there has been an Executive Office of the President (EOP) which has
consistently and considerably expanded in size and power. Today it consists of some 1,600
staff and costs some $300M a year.
The position of Vice-President is elected on the same ticket as that of the President and
has the same four-year term of office. The Vice-President is often described as 'a heart beat
away from the Presidency' since, in the event of the death or incapacity of the President, the
Vice-President assumes the office. In practice, however, a Vice-Presidential candidate is
chosen (by the Presidential candidate) to 'balance the ticket' in the Presidential election (that is,
represent a different geographical or gender or ethnic constituency) and, for all practical
purposes, the position only carries the power accorded to it by the President — which is usually
very little (a major exception has been Dick Cheney under George W Bush). The official duties
of the Vice-President are to sit as a member of the "Cabinet" and as a member of the National
Security Council and to act as ex-officio President of the Senate.
Although the President heads the executive branch of government, the day-to-day
enforcement and administration of federal laws is in the hands of the various federal executive
departments, created by Congress to deal with specific areas of national and international
affairs. The heads of the 15 departments, chosen by the President and approved with the 'advice
and consent' of the Senate. form a council of advisors generally known as the President's
"Cabinet". This is not a cabinet in the British political sense: it does not meet so often and does
not act so collectively.
The first US President was George Washington, who served from 1789-1797, so that
the current President Donald Trump is the 45th to hold the office. The Presidency is often
referred to by the media as the White House, the West Wing, and the Oval Office.

26. What do you know about the Congress of USA; what does filibustering refer
to?
The House of Representatives is the lower chamber in the bicameral legislature known
collectively as Congress. The founders of the United States intended the House to be the
politically dominant entity in the federal system and, in the late 18th and early 19th centuries,
the House served as the primary forum for political debate. However, subsequently the Senate
has been the dominant body.
The House consists of 435 members, each of whom represents a congressional district
and serves for a two-year term. House seats are apportioned among the states by population
according to each decennial census. Typically a House constituency would represent around
500,000 people.
Members of the House are elected by first-past-the-post voting in every state except
Louisiana and Washington, which have run-offs. Elections are always held on the first Tuesday
after the first Monday in November in even numbered years. Voting in congressional elections
— especially to the House — is generally much lower than levels in other liberal democracies.
In a year when there is a Presidential election, turnout is typically around 50%; in years when
there is no Presidential election (known as mid-terms), it usually falls to around one third of
the electorate.
In the event that a member of the House of Representatives dies or resigns before the
end of the two-year term, a special election is held to fill the vacancy.
The House has four non-voting delegates from American Samoa (1981), the District of
Columbia (1971), Guam (1972) and the Virgin Islands (1976) and one resident commissioner
for Puerto Rico (1976), bringing the total formal membership to 440.
Much of the work of the House is done through 19 standing committees which perform
both legislative and investigatory functions.
Each chamber of Congress has particular exclusive powers. The House must introduce
any bills for the purpose of raising revenue. However, the consent of both chambers is required
to make any law.
Activity in the House of Representatives tends to be more partisan than in the Senate.
The House and Senate are often referred to by the media as Capitol Hill or simply the
Hill.

The Senate is the upper chamber in the bicameral legislature known collectively as
Congress. The original intention of the authors of the US Constitution was that the Senate
should be a regulatory group, less politically dominant than the House. However, since the mid
19th century, the Senate has been the dominant chamber and indeed today it is perhaps the
most powerful upper house of any legislative body in the world.
The Senate consists of 100 members, each of which represents a state and serves for a
six-year term (one third of the Senate stands for election every two years).
Each state has two Senators, regardless of population, and, since there are 50 states,
then there are 100 senators. This equality of Senate seats between states has the effect of
producing huge variations in constituency population (the two senators from Wyoming
represent less than half a million electors, while the two senators from California represent
34M people) with gross over-representation of the smaller states and serious under-
representation of racial and ethnic minorities.
Members of the Senate are elected by first-past-the-post voting in every state except
Louisiana and Washington, which have run-offs. Elections are always held on the first Tuesday
after the first Monday in November in even numbered years.
In the event that a member of the Senate dies or resigns before the end of the six-year
term, no special election is held to fill the vacancy. Instead the Governor of the state that the
Senator represented nominates someone to serve until the next set of Congressional elections
when a normal election is held to fill the vacancy.
Much of the work of the Senate is done through 16 standing committees which perform
both legislative and investigatory functions.
Each chamber of Congress has particular exclusive powers. The Senate must give
'advice and consent' to many important Presidential appointments. However, the consent of
both chambers is required to make any law.
Activity in the Senate tends to be less partisan and more individualistic than in the
House of Representatives. Senate rules permit what is called a filibuster when a senator, or a
series of senators, can speak for as long as they wish and on any topic they choose, unless a
supermajority f three-fifths of the Senate (60 senators, if all 100 seats are filled) brings debate
to a close by invoking what is called cloture (taken from the French term of closure). The
Senate and House are often referred to by the media as Capitol Hill or simply the Hill.
27. What is the history behind the American national anthem?
In late August of 1814, the British had marched to the American capital and also
invaded Maryland. When they made their way to the town of Upper Marlboro, which had been
largely abandoned, they found one Dr. William Beanes, the town’s primary landowner and a
patriarchal figure in the community, who had elected to remain, according to Harold D.
Langley in the Encyclopedia of the War of 1812.28. Speak about the British Education system.
When the British arrived, Dr. Beanes greeted them as friends, and even offered up his
estate as a makeshift headquarters for British officers, who accepted the offer. Even though the
U.S. had been independent for nearly 40 years, there were still British sympathizers in the
region. The men likely figured that the doctor was either a sympathizer or merely a hospitable
gentleman who treated high-ranking officers, be they American or British, with the respect
their position commanded.
Their time together had been amicable. But a few days after the officers departed, word
reached Dr. Beanes that British soldiers were looting the abandoned farms of his neighbors.
The doctor formed a small posse of Maryland residents to round up these roguish soldiers and
held them in a local jail. One of the detainees managed to escape—and he went straight to his
leaders to tell them about the Dr. Beanes posse.
The British officers felt betrayed that the doctor they had spent time with had chosen to
treat their soldiers in such fashion. So, in the middle of the night, “a party of British horsemen
rode up to Beanes’ front door, crashed into the house, and pulled the doctor out of bed,” as
narrated in Walter Lord’s book The Dawn’s Early Light, which adds that the British Major-
General, Robert Ross, “normally the most humane of warriors, had nothing but contempt for
the old doctor,” and that the Royal Navy Admiral, George Cockburn, wanted to send him “in
chains” all the way to the British prisoner-of-war camp in Nova Scotia.
Taken into British custody, the doctor —despite being a gentleman of 65— was brought
to the Royal Navy ship, the HMS Tonnant, and thrown in the brig. Such treatment of a
prominent citizen was unusual in that era.
Fortunately for Dr. Beanes, he was a well-liked and well-connected man, whose seizure
and incarceration did not go unnoticed. A gifted and charming 35-year-old lawyer named
Francis Scott Key was enlisted to try to help him. Receiving the consent of then-President
James Madison, Key — who accompanied by prisoner exchange agent John S. Skinner —
boarded a flag-of-truce ship and headed down the Chesapeake Bay towards the British.
Key and Skinner found the British officers still highly indignant. Prepared for this
much, the Americans then produced letters from British soldiers who had been wounded during
the recent Battle of Bladensburg; these letters expressed much gratitude for the kind and
effective treatment they had received from American doctors.
This heartfelt literature had such a profound effect on the British that they decided to
free Dr. Beanes. Upon his release, the doctor went with Key and Skinner to the truce ship,
where — due to the outbreak of the Battle of Baltimore and the Royal Navy’s attack on Fort
McHenry — they were forced to wait, and witness. A chorus of booming cannons and
exploding rockets riveted them throughout the night.
When morning arrived, and Key saw that the American flag still flew above Fort
McHenry, he was so moved that he took to verse, composing the poem, “Defence of Fort
M’Henry,” which later became “The Star-Spangled Banner.” Interestingly, he made no effort
to promote this composition. In fact, he did not even sign it. He merely showed his lyrics to a
few friends, who then circulated the work. For several decades, Key’s name rarely appeared
alongside these lyrics, which — by the time of the Civil War — had become arguably
America’s most beloved song.
It wasn’t until 1931 that a congressional resolution signed by President Herbert Hoover
made “The Star-Spangled Banner” the U.S. national anthem — an anthem that never would’ve
existed had a lawyer not been asked to help out a doctor.

28. Speak about the British Education system.


Each of the countries of the United Kingdom have separate systems under separate
governments: the UK Government is responsible for England, and the Scottish Government,
the Welsh Assembly Government and the Northern Ireland Executive are responsible for
Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, respectively. While the systems in England, Wales and
Northern Ireland are more similar, the Scottish system is quite different.
Education in England is overseen by the Department for Children, Schools and Families
and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. At a local level the local authorities
take responsibility for implementing policy for public education and state schools.
Full-time education is compulsory for all children aged between 5 and 16 (inclusive).
Students may then continue their secondary studies for a further two years (sixth form), leading
most typically to an A level qualification, although other qualifications and courses exist,
including GNVQ (General national vocation qualification), and the International
Baccalaureate. The leaving age for compulsory education was raised to 18 by the Education
and Skills Act 2008. The change will take effect in 2013 for 17 year olds and 2015 for 18 year
olds. State-provided schools are free of charge to students, and there is also a tradition of
independent schooling, but parents may choose to educate their children by any suitable means.
Higher education typically begins with a 3-year Bachelor's Degree. Postgraduate
degrees include Master's Degrees, either taught or by research, and Doctor of Philosophy, a
research degree that usually takes at least 3 years. Universities require a Royal charter in order
to issue degrees, and all but one are financed by the state with a low level of fees for students.
Primary and secondary education
The school year begins usually on the 1st of September (sometimes the 2nd or 3rd if
the 1st falls on a weekend). Education is compulsory for all children from the term after their
fifth birthday to the last Friday in June of the school year in which they turn 16. This will be
raised in 2013 to the year in which they turn 17 and in 2015 to the year in which they turn 18.
The state-funded school system
State-run schools and colleges are financed through national taxation, and take pupils
free of charge between the ages of 3 and 18. The schools may levy charges for activities such
as swimming, theatre visits and field trips, provided the charges are voluntary, thus ensuring
that those who cannot afford to pay are allowed to participate in such events. Approximately
93% of English schoolchildren attend such schools.
A significant minority of state-funded schools are faith schools, which are attached to
religious groups, most often the Church of England or the Roman Catholic Church. There are
also a small number of state-funded boarding schools, which typically charge for board but not
tuition.
Nearly 90% of state-funded secondary schools are specialist schools, receiving extra
funding to develop one or more subjects in which the school specialises.

School years
In the vast majority of cases, pupils progress from primary to secondary levels at age
11; in some areas either or both of the primary and secondary levels are further subdivided. A
few areas have three-tier education systems with an intermediate middle level from age 9 to
13.
State-funded nursery education is available from the age of 3, and may be full-time or
part-time. If registered with a state school attendance is compulsory beginning with the term
following the child's fifth birthday. Children can be enrolled in the reception year in September
of that school year thus beginning school at age 4 or 4.5. Unless the student chooses to stay
within the education system school attendance ends on the last Friday in June during the
academic year in which a student attains the age of 16.
Under the National Curriculum system, all pupils undergo Standard Assessment Tests
(SATs = The SAT Reasoning Test (formerly Scholastic Aptitude Test and Scholastic
Assessment Test) is a standardised test for college admissions in the United States.) towards
the ends of Key Stage 2 in core subjects, but not foundation subjects, where teacher assessment
is used. They normally take GCSE exams in the last two years of Key Stage 4, but may take
other Level 2 qualifications, such as GNVQ. Former tests at the end of Key Stage 3 were
abandoned after the 2008 tests, when severe problems emerged concerning the marking
procedures. Now at Key Stages 1 and 3, assessment is by teacher assessment against the
National Curriculum Attainment Targets for all subjects. Tests results for schools are
published, and are an important measure of their performance.
Years 12 and 13 are often referred to as lower sixth form and upper sixth form
respectively, reflecting their distinct, voluntary nature and situation as the A level years. Some
independent schools still refer to years 7 to 11 as first form to fifth form, reflecting earlier
usage. Even more historically, this arose from the system in public schools, where all forms
were divided into Lower, Upper, and sometimes Middle sections. Year 7 is equivalent to
"Upper Third Form", Year 8 would have been known as "Lower Fourth", and so on. Some
independent schools still use this way of counting the years.
Curriculum
All maintained schools in England are required to follow the National Curriculum,
which is made up of twelve subjects. The core subjects — English, Mathematics and Science
— are compulsory for all students aged 5 to 16. The other foundation subjects are compulsory
at one or more Key Stages: Art & Design, Citizenship, Design & Technology, Geography,
History, Information & Communication Technology, Modern Foreign Languages, Music,
Physical Education. In addition, other statutory subjects are not covered by the National
Curriculum, including Religious Education in all year groups, and Career education, Sex
education and Work-related learning at secondary age. School governance.
Almost all state-funded schools in England are maintained schools, which receive their
funding from local authorities and are required to follow the national curriculum. In such
schools, all teachers are employed under the nationally-agreed School Teachers' Pay and
Conditions Document.
Since 1998, there have been 4 main types of maintained school in England:
• community schools (formerly county schools), in which the LA employs the schools'
staff, owns the schools' lands and buildings and has primary responsibility for
admissions.
• voluntary controlled schools, which are, almost always, church schools, with the lands
and buildings often owned by a charitable foundation. However, the LA employs the
schools' staff and has primary responsibility for admissions.
• voluntary aided schools, linked to a variety of organisations. They can be faith schools
(often the Church of England or the Roman Catholic Church), or non-denominational
schools, such as those linked to London Livery Companies. The charitable foundation
contributes towards the capital costs of the school, and appoints a majority of the school
governors. The governing body employs the staff and has primary responsibility for
admissions.
• foundation schools, in which the governing body employs the staff and has primary
responsibility for admissions. The school land and buildings are owned by the
governing body or by a charitable foundation. The Foundation appoints a minority of
governors.

All state funded schools are regularly inspected by the Office for standards in Education
(Ofsted), which publishes reports of the quality of education at each school. Schools judged by
Ofsted to be providing an inadequate standard of education may be placed in special measures,
which may include replacing the governing body aid senior staff.

Secondary schools by intake


English secondary schools are mostly comprehensive and can be livided into 8 types
(with some overlap) based on the ability range of heir intake:
• super-selective: almost all of the intake from the top 10%. These are the few highly
selective grammar schools that dominate school performance tables.
• selective: almost all of the intake from the top 25%. These include grammar schools in
areas where the tripartite system survives.
• comprehensive (plus): admit children of all abilities, but concentrated in the top 50%.
These include partially selective schools and a few high-status faith schools in areas
without selection.
• comprehensive: intake with an ability distribution matching the population. These
schools are most common in rural areas and small towns with no nearby selection, but
a few occur in urban areas.
• comprehensive (minus): admit children of all abilities, but with few in the top 25%.
These include comprehensive schools with nearby selective schools "skimming" the
intake.
• secondary modern: hardly any of the intake in the top 25%, but an even distribution of
the rest. These include non-selective schools in areas where the tripartite system
survives.
• secondary modern (minus): no pupils in the top 25% and 10-15% in the next 25%.
These schools are most common in urban areas where alternatives of types 1-5 are
available.
• sub-secondary modern: intake heavily weighted toward the low end of the ability range.

This ranking is reflected in performance tables, and thus the schools' attractiveness to
parents.

Independent schools
Approximately 7% of English schoolchildren attend privately run independent schools,
which are sometimes called public schools. Education at independent schools is usually
chargeable. Such schools, some of which are boarding schools, cover primary and secondary
education and charge between £2500 and £30000 per year. Some schools offer scholarships for
those with particular skills or aptitudes or bursaries to allow less well-off students to attend.
Some schools are single sex, however a growing number are co-educational.
Independent schools usually take children between age 3-11 transferring to 11-18. Some of the
more famous schools such as Eton and Harrow take boys at 13 years of age. Many students
must pass the Common Entrance Exam at 11 or 13 to gain entry into highly selective schools.

Education otherwise than by schooling


The Education Act requires parents to ensure their children are educated either by
attending school or otherwise. Small but increasing numbers of parents are choosing the
otherwise option. This style of education is often referred to as Elective Home Education.
Parents do not need permission to educate their own children. There is no requirement to follow
the National Curriculum or to give formal lessons. Parents do not need to be qualified teachers,
or to follow school hours or terms. Parents who choose to educate their children otherwise than
at school have to finance the education provision themselves.
Further education
Students at both state schools and independent schools take the GCSE examinations,
which mark the end of compulsory education. Above school leaving age, the independent and
state sectors are similarly structured. In the 16-18 age group, "sixth-form" education is not
compulsory. Students will typically study in either the Sixth Form of a School, a Sixth form
college, or a further education college. These courses can also be studied by adults over 18.
This sector is referred to as Further Education. All 16-18 students are encouraged (this is only
mandatory in some institutions) to study Key Skills in Communication, Application of Number
and Information Technology.

Universities in the United Kingdom


Students normally enter University from 18 onwards and study for an Academic
Degree. All undergraduate education outside the private University of Buckingham is largely
state financed, with a small contribution from top-up fees. The state does not control syllabuses,
but it does influence admission procedures. Unlike most degrees, the state still has control over
teacher training courses, and uses Ofsted inspectors to maintain standards. The typical first
degree offered at British universities is the Bachelor's degree (typically three years). Many
institutions now offer an undergraduate Master's degree as a first degree, typically lasting four
years. During a first degree students are known as undergraduates. The difference in fees
between undergraduate and traditional postgraduate Master's degrees (and the possibility of
securing LEA funding for the former) makes taking an undergraduate Master's degree as a first
degree a more attractive option, although the novelty of undergraduate Master's degrees means
that the relative educational merit of the two is currently unclear.
Some universities offer a vocationally-based Foundation degree, typically two years in
length for those students who hope to continue to take a first degree but wish to remain in
employment.

Postgraduate education
Students who have completed a first degree are eligible to undertake a postgraduate
degree, which includes:
— Master's degree (typically taken in one year);
— Doctorate degree (typically taken in three years);
— Postgraduate education is not automatically financed by the State, and so admission is in
practice highly competitive.

Adult education
Continuing education or Lifelong learning is offered to students of all ages. These can
include the vocational qualifications mentioned above and also: One or two year access courses
to allow adults access to university. The Open University runs a distance learning program
which can result in a Degree. The Workers' Educational Association offers large numbers of
semi-recreational courses, with or without qualifications, are made available by Local
Education Authorities under the guise of Adult Education, such as holiday languages, crafts
and yacht navigation.

29. Speak about the American Education system.


Education in the United States is mainly provided by the public sector, with control and
funding coming from three levels: federal, state, and local. Child education is compulsory. A
sub-type of compulsory education is public education. Public education is universal at the
primary and secondary levels (known inside the United States as the elementary and high
school levels). At these levels, school curricula, funding, teaching, and other policies are set
through locally elected school boards with jurisdiction over school districts. School districts
are usually separate from other local jurisdictions, with independent officials and budgets.
Educational standards and standardised testing decisions are usually made by state
governments. The ages for compulsory education vary by state, beginning at ages five to eight
and ending at the ages of fourteen to eighteen. A growing number of states are now requiring
compulsory education until the age of 18.
Compulsory education requirements can generally be satisfied by educating children in
public schools, state-certified private schools, an approved home school program or in an
orphanage. In most public and private schools, education is divided into three levels:
elementary school, middle school (sometimes called junior high school), and high school
(sometimes referred to as secondary education). In almost all schools at these levels, children
are divided by age groups into grades, ranging from kindergarten (followed by first grade) for
the youngest children in elementary school, up to twelfth grade, the final year of high school.
The exact age range of students in these grade levels varies slightly from area to area. Post-
secondary education, better known as "college" in the United States, is generally governed
separately from the elementary and high school system, and is described in a separate section
below.

School grades
Most children enter the public education system around ages five or six. The American
school year traditionally begins in August or September, after the traditional summer recess.
Children are assigned into year groups known as grades, beginning with preschool, following
by kindergarten and culminating in twelfth grade. Children customarily advance together from
one grade to the next as a single cohort or "class" upon reaching the end of each school year in
May or June, although developmentally disabled children may be held back a grade and gifted
children may skip ahead early to the next grade.
Basically, the USA education system comprises of 12 grades of study over 12 calendar
years of primary and secondary education before graduating and becoming eligible for college
admission. After pre-kindergarten and kindergarten, there are five years in primary school.
After completing five grades, the student will enter secondary school to get the high school
diploma after successful completion of twelve grades.
Thus, Americans are more likely to say "First Grade" rather than "Grade One". Typical
ages and grade groupings in public and private schools may be found through the U.S.
Department of Education Many different variations exist across the country. Those who
complete high school and would like to attend college or university must attend undergraduate
school. These are schools that offer either a two-year degree or a four-year degree in a specific
course of study. The course of study is called the 'major', which comprises of the main or special
subjects. The next level of education system in the US is graduate school. After getting the
undergraduate degree, the education can be continued for next two levels. The first one is,
studying to get master's degree' as an extended specialised study of the subject taken up in the
under graduation course. It is of two years duration. The next level is to pursue PhD that leads
to a doctorate degree. The minimum duration for this is about three years and may vary up to
even seven to eight years depending upon the specialised and chosen topic and the ability of
students in presenting their thesis.

Preschool
There are no mandatory public prekindergarten or crèche programs in the United States.
The federal government funds the Head Start preschool program for children of low-income
families, but most families are on their own with regard to finding a preschool or childcare.

Elementary and secondary education


Schooling is compulsory for all children in the United States, but the age range for
which school attendance is required varies from state to state. Most children begin elementary
education with kindergarten (usually five to six years old) and finish secondary education with
twelfth grade (usually eighteen years old). In some cases, pupils may be promoted beyond the
next regular grade. Some states allow students to leave school between 14 and 17 with parental
permission, before finishing high school; other states require students to stay in school until
age 18.
Most parents send their children to either a public or private institution. According to
government data, one-tenth of students are enrolled in private schools. Approximately 85% of
students enter the public schools, largely because they are free. Most students attend school for
around six hours per day, and usually anywhere from 175 to 185 days per year. Most schools
have a summer break period for about two and half months from June through August. Parents
may also choose to educate their own children at home; 1.7% of children are educated in this
manner.

Elementary school
Elementary school is a school of kindergarten through fifth grade (sometimes, the first
eight grades or up to fourth grade or sixth grade), where basic subjects are taught. Elementary
school provides and often remains in one or two classrooms throughout the school day, with
the exceptions of physical education ("P.E." or "gym"), library, music, and art classes.
Typically, the curriculum within public elementary education is determined by individual
school districts. The school district selects curriculum guides and textbooks that are reflective
of a state's learning standards and benchmarks for a given grade. Learning Standards are the
goals by which states and school districts must meet adequate yearly progress.

Secondary education
As part of education in the United States, secondary education usually covers grades 6,
7, 8, 9, or 10 through 12.

Junior and senior high school


Middle school and Junior high school are any school intermediate between elementary
school and senior high school. It usually includes sixth, seventh and eighth grade; for "junior
high", ninth grade. Middle school is often used instead of junior high school when demographic
factors increase the number of younger students. At this time, students are given more
independence as choosing their own classes. Usually, starting in ninth grade, grades become
part of a student's official transcript. Future employers or colleges may want to see steady
improvement in grades and a good attendance record on the official transcript.
Generally, at the high school level, students take a broad variety of classes without
special emphasis in any particular subject. Curricula vary widely in quality and rigidity; for
example, some states consider 65 (on a 100-point scale) a passing grade, while others consider
it to be as low as 60 or as high as 75.
The following subjects are fairly universally required in the United States:
• Science (usually two years minimum, normally biology, chemistry and physics).
• Mathematics (usually two years minimum, normally including algebra, geometry,
algebra II, and/or precalculus/trigonometry).
• English (usually four years minimum, including literature, humanities, etc).
• Social Science (usually three years minimum, including various history,
government/economics courses).
• Physical education (at least one year).

Electives
Many high schools offer a wide variety of Elective courses, although the availability of
such courses depends upon each particular school's financial resources and desired curriculum
emphases.
Common types of electives include:
• Visual arts (drawing, sculpture, painting, photography, film).
• Performing arts (drama, band, chorus, orchestra, dance).
• Technology education ("Shop"; woodworking, metalworking, automobile repair,
robotics).
• Computers (word processing, programming, graphic design).
• Athletics (cross country, football, baseball, basketball, track and field, swimming,
tennis, gymnastics, water polo, soccer, wrestling, cheerleading, Volleyball, lacrosse,
ice hockey, field hockey, boxing, skiing/snowboarding).
• Publishing (journalism/student newspaper, yearbook/annual, literary magazine). •
Foreign languages (Spanish, French are common; Chinese, Latin, Greek, German,
Italian, Arabic, and Japanese are less common).
• Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps.

Advanced courses
Many high schools provide Advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate
(IB) courses. These are special forms of honours classes where the curriculum is more
challenging and lessons more aggressively paced than standard courses. AP or IB courses
are usually taken during the 11th or 12th grade of high school.

Home schooling
There were 1.5 million children that were home schooled in 2007, up 74% from 1999
when the U.S. Department of Education first started keeping statistics. This was 2.9% of
all children. Many select moral or religious reasons for home schooling their children.
The second main category is unschooling, those who prefer a non-standard approach to
education. Parents often form groups to help each other in the homeschooling process,
and may even assign classes to different parents, similar to public and private schools.

Grading scale
In schools in the United States children are continually assessed throughout the school
year by their teachers, and report cards are issued to parents at varying intervals. Generally
the scores for individual assignments and tests are recorded for each student in a grade
book, along with the maximum number of points for each assignment. At any time, the
total number of points for a student when divided by the total number of possible points
produces a percent grade, which can be translated to a letter grade. Letter grades are often
but not always used on report cards at the end of a marking period, although the current
grade may be available at other times (particularly when an electronic grade book
connected to an online service is in use). Although grading scales usually differ from school
to school, the most common grade scale is letter grades — "A" through "F" — derived from
a scale of 0-100 or a percentile. In some areas, Texas or Virginia for example, the "D" grade
(or that below 70) is considered a failing grade. In other jurisdictions, such as Hawaii, a
"D" grade is considered passing in certain classes, and failing in others.

Standardized Testing
All American states must test students in public schools statewide to ensure that they are
achieving the desired level of minimum education. The SAT and ACT are the most common
standardized tests that students take when applying to college.

Extracurricular Activities
A major characteristic of American schools is the high priority given to sports, clubs and
activities by the community, the parents, the schools and the students themselves.
Extracurricular activities are educational activities not falling within the scope of the regular
curriculum but under the supervision of the school. These activities can extend to large amounts
of time outside the normal school day; home-schooled students, however, are not normally
allowed to participate. Student participation in sports programs, drill teams, bands, and spirit
groups can amount to hours of practices and performances. Most states have organisations that
develop rules for competition between groups. These organisations are usually forced to
implement time limits on hours practiced as a prerequisite for participation. Sports programs
and their related games, especially football and/or basketball, are major events for American
students and for larger schools can be a major source of funds for school districts. In addition
to sports, numerous non-athletic extracurricular activities are available in American schools,
both public and private. Activities include musical groups, marching bands, student
government, school newspapers, science fairs, debate teams, and clubs focused on an academic
area or cultural interests.

College and University


Post-secondary education in the United States is known as college or university and
commonly consists of four years of study at an institution of higher learning. There are 4,352
colleges, universities, and junior colleges in the country. In 2008, 36% of enrolled students
graduated from college in four years. 57% completed their undergraduate requirements in six
years, at the same college they first enrolled in.
Like high school, the four undergraduate grades are commonly called freshman,
sophomore, junior, and senior years (alternatively called first year, second year, etc.). Students
traditionally apply to receive admission into college, with varying difficulties of entrance.
Schools differ in their competitiveness and reputation; generally, the most prestigious schools
are private, rather than public. Once admitted, students engage in undergraduate study, which
consists of satisfying university and class requirements to achieve a bachelor's degree in a field
of concentration known as a major. (Some students enrol in double majors or "minor" in
another field of study.) The most common method consists of four years of study leading to a
Bachelor of Arts (B.A.), a Bachelor of Science (B.S.), or sometimes another bachelor's degree
such as Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.), Bachelor of Social Work (B.S.W.), Bachelor of
Engineering (B.Eng.,) or Bachelor of Philosophy (B.Phil.) Five-Year Professional Architecture
programs offer the Bachelor of Architecture Degree (B.Arch.) Professional degrees such as
law, medicine, pharmacy, and dentistry, are offered as graduate study after earning at least
three years of undergraduate schooling or after earning a bachelor's degree depending on the
program. These professional fields do not require a specific undergraduate major, though
medicine, pharmacy, and dentistry have set prerequisite courses that must be taken before
enrolment.

Costs
The vast majority of students (up to 70 percent) lacks the financial resources to pay
tuition up front and must rely on student loans and scholarships from their university, the
federal government, or a private lender. All but a few charity institutions charge all students
tuition, although scholarships (both merit-based and need-based) are widely available.
Generally, private universities charge much higher tuition than their public counterparts, which
rely on state funds to make up the difference. Because each state supports its own university
system with state taxes, most public universities charge much higher rates for out-of-state
students.

30. Speak of some major universities in GB including the Royal Military


academy.
1. University of Cambridge was founded in 1209, making it one of the oldest universities in
the world, and currently educates around 19,000 students.
2. University of Oxford is the oldest university in the English-speaking world and is credited
with producing highly successful alumni, including 27 British Prime Ministers, 30 international
leaders, 50 Nobel Prize winners and other prominent figures such as Sir Stephen Hawking
3. Imperial College London is the fourth and final UK university to appear in the global top
10. Imperial is a science-based institution which focuses on developing technologies and their
practical applications.
4. London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) is up two places to rank 35th
in the world in 2018. Established in 1895, LSE focuses on the social sciences and has a diverse
student body, with over 7,500 of its 10,880 students coming from overseas.
5.the University of Manchester is the UK’s largest single-site university, hosting 39,700
students hailing from 160 countries. A member of the prestigious Russell Group of UK
universities, Manchester has been associated with 25 Nobel Prize winners.
6. The Royal Military Academy Sandhurst is one of several military academies of the United
Kingdom and is the British Army's initial officer training centre. It is located in the town of
Camberley, near the village of Sandhurst, Berkshire, 55 km southwest of London. The
Academy's stated aim is to be "the national centre of excellence for leadership". All British
Army officers, including late-entry officers who were previously Warrant Officers, as well as
other men and women from overseas, are trained at The Academy. Sandhurst is the British
Army equivalent of the Britannia Royal Naval College Dartmouth, Royal Air Force College
Cranwell, and the Commando Training Centre Royal Marines.
Sandhurst develops leadership in cadets by expanding their character, intellect and
professional competences to a level demanded of an Army Officer on first appointment through
military training and education. The course is accredited by various academic and professional
institutions. The Commissioning Course lasts 44 weeks and must be successfully completed by
all British regular army officers (with some exceptions) before they receive their commission.
It is usually followed by further training courses specific to the Regiment or Corps in which
the officer will serve.

31 Speak of some major universities in US including the West Point Military


Academy.
1. Harvard, an Ivy League school, was founded in 1636 and named after minister John Harvard,
the first benefactor. It is the oldest American university and has the largest endowment of any
university worldwide (over $32B for Fiscal Year 2013). As well as having over 5,000 acres of
real estate holdings, it has the largest academic library in the U.S., with 80 libraries, 18.9M
volumes, 400M manuscript items, 10M photographs and more. Harvard ranks #1 or #2 overall
in many university ranking lists. The university has 12 degree-granting schools and colleges,
plus the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, as well as a division of Continuing Education
(includes Harvard Summer School and Harvard Extension School). As of Fall 2012,
international students have made up about 11% of the undergrad student body and 27% of grad
and professional students. Harvard offers financial aid of over $160M to over 60% of undergrad
students. Over 65% of all students receive scholarship aid, with the average grant in 2013-14
being $46K. Notable faculty as of 2010 included Shakespeare scholar Stephen Greenblatt;
historian Henry Louis Gates, Jr.; economist Amartya Sen; political scientist Robert Putnam;
astrophysicist Alyssa A. Goodman, and others. Alumni represent 201 countries. Notable
alumni include 47 Nobel laureates and 48 Pulitzer Prize winners, as well as 32 heads of state.
Graduates include numerous American political leaders including President Barack Obama,
John F. Kennedy, Al Gore, George W. Bush, Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin D. Roosevelt, John
Hancock, John Adams, John Quincy Adams, as well as political leaders of other countries,
several royals, religious leaders, tech founders (Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg), civil rights
leader W.E.B. DuBois, numerous famous writers and poets, musicians, filmmakers, athletes,
actors and more. Harvard alumni and faculty are also on Time Magazine’s 2014 100 Most
Influential People in the World list: President Barack Obama, Sheika al-Mayassa bint Hamad
bin Khalifa al-Thani, John Kovac, Ory Okolloh, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Diane Paulus, and
David Sinclair
2. University of Florida was founded in 1853, with East Florida Seminary in Ocala, Florida,
being the oldest of UF’s predecessor organizations. UF is the oldest university in Florida and
has been considered a Public Ivy since 2001. It was ranked 14th best public uni in the U.S. in
2013 by U.S. News and World Report. Its 16 academic colleges offer professional grad
programs in “business admin, engineering, law, dentistry, veterinary med.” Overall, it offers
120+ master’s degrees, 70+ doctoral degrees in over 80 schools and departments. It also claims
over 150 research centers and institutes. Notable alumni include Nobel Prize winners, U.S.
politicians and diplomats (senators, representatives, governors, ambassadors), athletes, actors,
musicians, astronauts and others
3. The University of California was founded in 1882, with the UCLA campus establish in 1919.
UCLA, considered to be a Public Ivy, joined the Association of American Universities in 1974.
It is the third oldest campus of the U of California system and is one of the two flagship
universities in the UC system — Berkeley is the other. UCLA was the most applied-to four-
year university nationwide, with over 105K applications for Fall 2014. UCLA is divided into
five undergrad colleges, seven professional schools, four professional health science schools.
Notable milestones for faculty, researchers and alumni include 15 Nobel Prizes, 12 Rhodes
Scholars, 1 Fields Medalist, 3 Turing Award winners, 52 current faculty elected to NAS
(National Academy of Science), 26 to NAE (National Academy of Arts and Sciences), 39 to
Institute of Medicine, 124 to American Academy of Arts and Sciences; 250 Olympic medals
as of 2013 – 125 gold, 65 silver 60 bronze (#2 compared to Univ of Southern California LA).
As well, UCLA athletes have competed in every Olympics since 1920 except 1924, and won
gold in every Olympics that the U.S. has competed in since 1932. Amongst other honours,
UCLA alumni and faculty helped created the Internet, and the campus was the first node in
ARPANET – the predecessor of the Internet.
4. The United States Military Academy (USMA), also known as West Point, Army, Army
West Point,[6] The Academy or simply The Point, is a four-year coeducational federal service
academy located in West Point, New York, in Orange County. It was originally established as
a fort that sits on strategic high ground overlooking the Hudson River with a scenic view, 50
miles (80 km) north of New York City. It is one of the four U.S. military service academies,
and one of the five U.S. service academies.
The Academy traces its roots to 1801, when President Thomas Jefferson directed,
shortly after his inauguration, that plans be set in motion to establish the United States
Military Academy at West Point. The entire central campus is a national landmark and home
to scores of historic sites, buildings, and monuments. The majority of the campus's Norman-
style buildings are constructed from gray and black granite. The campus is a popular tourist
destination, with a visitor center and the oldest museum in the United States Army.
Approximately 1,300 cadets enter the Academy each July, with about 1,000 cadets
graduating. Most graduates are commissioned as second lieutenants in the Army. Foreign
cadets are commissioned into the armies of their home countries.