Дидактичні матеріали до спецкурсу «Країнознавство США». Плани-конспекти уроків
Practical training «American English. Folklore»
Aims and objectives:
- to introduce and practise vocabulary;
- to develop skills in reading and speaking;
- to expand students' knowledge about American English and American folklore.
Greeting. Introducing the topic
T. Good morning! Today we’re going to work on the topic «American English. Folklore».
Task 1. Answer the questions.
1. What language do Americans speak?
0. What is the difference between American and British English?
3. What is folklore?
0. What do you know about American folklore?
II. THE MAIN PART
Task 2. Read and complete the text with the words from the box.
Common; population; status; dialects; widespread; colonization; settlers; slaves; official; speakers
American English (variously abbreviated AmE, AE, AmEng, USEng, en-US, also known as United States English, or U.S. English) is a set of ... of the English language used mostly in the United States. Approximately two-thirds of native ... of English live in the United States.
English is the most ... language in the United States. Though the U.S. federal government has no ... language, English is the common language used by the federal government and is considered the de facto language of the United States because of its . use. English has been given official ... by 28 of the 50 state governments.
The use of English in the United States was a result of British ... . The first wave of English-speaking ... arrived in North America in the 17th century. Since then, American English has been influenced by the languages of the Native American ... , the languages of European and non-European colonists, immigrants and neighbors, and the languages of ... from West Africa
Task 3. Answer the questions.
1. What is American English?
2. How many native speakers of English live in the United States?
3. Why is English considered the de facto language of the United States?
4. When was English first used in the USA?
5. What languages was American English influenced by?
Task 4. Read the text.
DIFFERENCES BETWEEN BRITISH ENGLISH
AND AMERICAN ENGLISH
American English and British English (BrE) differ at the levels of phonology, phonetics, vocabulary, and, to a lesser extent, grammar and orthography. The first large American dictionary, An American Dictionary of the English Language, was written by Noah Webster in 1828; Webster intended to show that the United States, which was a relatively new country at the time, spoke a different dialect from that of Britain.
Differences in grammar are relatively minor, and normally do not affect mutual intelligibility; these include: different use of some verbal auxiliaries; formal (rather than notional) agreement with collective nouns; different preferences for the past forms of a few verbs (for example, AmE / BrE: learned/ learnt, burned/ burnt, and in sneak, dive, get); different prepositions and adverbs in certain contexts (for example, AmE in school, BrE at school); and whether or not a definite article is used, in very few cases (AmE to the hospital, BrE to hospital; contrast, however, AmE actress Elizabeth Taylor, BrE the actress Elizabeth Taylor). Often, these differences are a matter of relative preferences rather than absolute rules; and most are not stable, since the two varieties are constantly influencing each other.
Differences in orthography are also trivial. Some of the forms that now serve to distinguish American from British spelling (color for colour, center for centre, traveler for traveller, etc.) were introduced by Noah Webster himself; others are due to spelling tendencies in Britain from the 17th century until the present day (for example, -ise for -ize, although the Oxford English Dictionary still prefers the -ize ending) and cases favored by the Francophile tastes of 19th century Victorian England, which had little effect on AmE (for example, programme for program, manoeuvre for maneuver, skilful for skillful, cheque for check, etc.).
AmE sometimes favors words that are morphologically more complex, whereas BrE uses clipped forms, such as AmE transportation and BrE transport or where the British form is a back-formation, such as AmE burglarize and BrE burgle (from burglar). It should however be noted that while individuals usually use one or the other, both forms will be widely understood and mostly used alongside each other within the two systems.
Task 5. Agree or disagree. Expound the point of view given in the statement or prove that it is false.
1. American English and British English differ at the levels of grammar and orthography.
2. The first large American dictionary was written by Noah Webster in 1928.
3. Webster intended to show that the United States spoke a different dialect from that of Britain.
4. Differences in grammar affect mutual intelligibility.
5. Most grammar differences are not stable.
6. Some differences in orthography were introduced by Noah Webster himself.
7. The American variant of British word labour is labor.
8. The Oxford English Dictionary still prefers the -ice ending.
9. The Francophile tastes of 19th century Victorian England had little effect on AmE.
10. It is difficult for Americans to understand British people.
Task 6. Make up sentences to read the information about American folklore.
1) or / is one of the folk traditions / American folklore, / which has evolved / the folklore of the United States, / in the 16th century / on the North American continent / since Europeans arrived
2) any community of native people / while it contains much / it should not be confused / in the way of Native American tradition, / with the tribal beliefs of
3) covers / as the folklore of / American folklore / other nations / the same broad categories
4) myths, / it / riddles, / and / jokes, / encompasses / cautionary tales, / many other / legends, / forms of storytelling
III. SUMMING UP
Task 7. Answer the questions.
1. What are the main distinctions between American and British English?
2. Does the language barrier between American and British English really exist?
3. What can you say about American folklore?
Find the information about American folklore. Use the Internet resources.