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General questions?

1) What is a text?
2) What do we mean by the words coherence and cohesion?
3) Which kind of texts can we have?
4) Which are the main features of a text?
5) Which are the main features of a scientific text?
6) What is a "topic sentence"? (main concept)
7) What are "linkers" or "connectors"? They are grammatical words that signal the logical relationships within a sentence and between sentences and paragraphs.
8) Make an example of linkers for "Addition", "Result", "Time Sequence", "Purpose", "Concession", and so on.
9) How would you define the kind of education you receive at school ? (Excellent, Good, Unsatisfactory, Very bad).
10) What is the cause of your answer? (Inadequate teaching methods, Uninteresting subjects, Too much discipline, Too many students in a single classroom, Other reasons).
11) Do you think the subjects you are studying, or you have studied are - or will be - of some use to understand the world in which you live or to find a job?
12) At the end of the secondary school, are you planning to...a) go to the university? b) look for a job?
13) Should anyone who wants to go to the university be allowed to?






1) What is a building, and a house, and a home?
2) How is shaped a building?
3) What are the basic requirements of a building?
4) What are the principal types of dwellings? They are: the single family deatched house, it stands alone and is not joined to any other dwelling; the semi-detached or duplex house (Usa): it is joined to another house on one side; the terraced house or town house (Usa): it is a part of a line of houses that are still joined together; the block of flats or condominium (Usa): it is a tall modern building that is divided into flats; the cottage, it is a small house in a village or in the countryside. Cottages are usually old buildings; the bungalow: it has only one floor and no upstairs. bungalows are usually modern buildings.
5) In which type of house do you live?
6) Can you list the positive and negative aspects of living there? (more less expensive in construction and maintenance, to buy, to rent, more confortable and peaceful, quote the different for and against, cost and benefits, etc.)
7) Why are terraced houses a product of the Industrial Revolution?
8) Which are the most common types of houses in large cities?
9) What is a mansion? It is a large, beautiful house, especially one owned by a rich or noble family.
10) What is a palace? It is a large, richly-decorated house, especially one which is the home of a king, queen, president or an important person.
11) What are the most common building materials? (wood, stone, brick, concrete, steel, glass, pvc, etc)
12) What can we learn from building styles?
13) What happened in 1666?
14) Do you know who was Sir Christopher Wren?
15) Do you remember who founded the city of London? (43 A.D. by Romans)
16) What is a community?
17) Which elements must work together to create a good community?
18) What do we mean by the term "neighbourhood"?
19) Who is a planner?
20) What are "slums"?
21) What are the causes of the so called "Housing Problem"?
22) What do you think society should do to try to solve the so called "Housing Problem"?
23) Do you know what is a "Garden City" and who planned it? (English Planner Ebenezer Howard promoted the "garden city" in the book Tomorrow: a peaceful path to social reform, in 1898. His plan was a response to the need for improvement in the quality of urban life.)
24) What do we mean by the words: "facilities" and "amenities"? (Structures such as schools, hospitals, museums, concert hall, theatres, auditoriums, gymns, libraries, recreational and cultural centres, sport centers, shopping centres, civic and cultural complexes, etc.)
25) What kind of people have you got as neighbours?
26) What kind of houses can we have in the district where (in which) you live? And in general?
27) Are there any parks in the surroundings where you live?
28) What do you know about computer-aided design equipment? (A computer can help a designer to work much faster than drawing with conventional equipment. This is called Computer-aided design CAD. The designer uses a graphic tablet or a light pen which can draw straight onto the screen. The computer stores the dimensions and can print out the drawings. The computer can be programmed to alter the entire design to accomodate specific changes. With new softwares designers can create high-resolution 3D models, renderings and photo realistic animations.
29) What is a skyscraper? It is a multi-storey building constructed on a steel skeleton, provided with high-speed elevators and combining extraordinary height with ordinary room spaces such as would be used in low buildings. Like Gothic cathedrals of medieval times they are now the architectural wonders of their age, but the reason for their existence is business, not religion. Skyscrapers are recognized as corporate status symbols of power and prestige, and each new one is built even higher, and more architecturally innovative than its predecessor.
30) In which country did skyscrapers develope and why? Skyscrapers were born in the USA towards the end of the nineteenth century and developed afterwards in the first decades of the next century always in America, in cities as Boston, New York, Philadelphia and Chicago. They were new buildings constructed thanks to the new and great development of technological devices. Usually they were erected in places of great industrial or financial importance but with limited room for horizontal expansion.
31) What are the most surprising technological inventions connected with the development of skyscrapers? Certainly one of the most important of all is the elevator, without elevators there would have be no high-rise building. In 1850 H. Waterman invented the first platform elevator and in 1854 G. otis completed his first hydraulic elevator with safety device so that passangers would feel secure. By 1871 passangers elevators were used in office buildings and by 1887 the first electric elevator was in use. The development of the elevator, along with certain innovations in the technology of structure, particularly the steel skeleton, and later the use of glass and new materials made the fortune of the new great buildings.
32) Can you remember the name of some famous skyscrapers? The Empire State Bulding in New York City, Manhattan Island, (380 metres); The Chrysler Building in New York (319 metres); The World Trade Center also called as the Twin Towers in New York, which were attacked by islam terrorists in 2000 and were completely destroyed because of the great fire exploded and the consequent steel structure crash; the Bank of China (369 metres); Millenium Tower London (385 metres); Petronas Towers, Kuala Lumpur (450 metres).
33) What is the Millenium Dome? It is an immense exibition facility planned to be built on Greenwich peninsula along the Thames to hold the exibition being organized to celebrate the year 2000 right on the Greenwich meridain line. This construction measuring 320 metres in diameter and 50 metres in height, will be able to accomodate up to 100,000 visitors daily.
34) We can classify towns following their functions, can you make me some examples? We can have: market town: most market towns began when much of the population were farmers who needed somewhere to sell their products and where they could also buy things they needed, such as tools, seeds and anvils; Administration centre: the function of this settlement is to deal with all the work involved in running a large area, such as a county. There are many offices here such as the County Hall, police headquarters and law courts; holiday resorts: this is a place people visit for holidays. The main function of a resort is to provide a place where people can enjoy themselves and relax; university towns: these are towns where we can find great and prestigious universities that can attract students from all over the world, usually we can find also great and efficient hospitals and scientific research centres; industrial centre: the main function of this type of settlement is the production of goods in factories. Other industrial towns may be based around a coal mine. These settlements are usually not as old as markets towns; port town: a port is a place where goods can be brought into the country or sent to other countries by ship. Nowadays is very important to have a general plan for the development of every town, having a guide to follow to build and project the city we can promote health, safety and welfare of the people of the community. A general plan organizes and coordinates the complex relationships between urban land uses: two basic elements comprise the General Plan, the plan for land and the plan for circulation.
35) How did the romans proved to be skilled engineers and which new techniques and forms did they introduce? The Romans were skilled engineers and city builders, with inventive genius they solved technical problems; they developed water supply and distribution, drainage system and method of heating. The great aqueducts for carrying water over tremendous distances and the underground sewers were example of engineering skill. Then they built highway paved with stones that represented the foundations of modern roads and railways. The Romans also introduced new techniques and forms, such as the dome, the vault and the use of concrete, which allowed them to build bigger more monumental structures. The Greek agora was substituted by the Forum Romanum, a central open space but enclosed and regular, with colonnades of shops, temples and a basilica, a kind of town hall with a low court.
36) What does the Industrial Revolution mean? The industrial revolution started in the nineteenth century with the machine age. Until that time all goods had been made and assembled by hand, and the previous main economy was based on farming, with the invention of the steam engine in 1765 and the constructions of new machinery such as the power loom that was a steam-powered, mechanically-operated version of a regular loom, (a loom is a device that combined threads to make cloth) women replaced most men as weavers in the textile factories and a great industrial development began. The new economy was based on a manufacturing system and on the use of machinery. The size of factories grew and the numbers of workers employed also increased. The industrial system depended upon transportation of raw materials to the factory and finished products to the consumers. The entire process began in Britain and then spread to Belgium, France and Germany. The greatest revolution, however, came with the invention of the steam train in 1804. the railroad penetrated the town with a network of tracks. The new industrial economy brought exploitation of the poor and with poverty came the slums, row upon row of crowded workers houses in the shadow of the factory.
37) What are the main steps or stages in design to get a final product starting from an orginal idea? To get from an initial idea to a finished product there are several design stages. This is often called the design process. As part of this process, a designer uses technical drawings to illustrate and explain ideas. To do this we can make a flow chart which is a summary of the main stages in the design process, that is we can have: 1) The Brief, a document given by the client to the designer containing a set of instructions about what the design will be used for, what it must look like and how much it can cost; 2) The Idea, designers come up with ideas for the design which follow the brief; 3) Research, the designer has to know how the object being designed is to be made; designers often consult with engineers and other experts to discover what they need to know; 4) Sketches, original ideas are often developed as small rough sketches called "thumbnails", you will find that doing pencil sketches of the object helps you work out your ideas; 5) Perspective drawing, designers often do a realistic three-dimensional picture of their design using a three-d cad software that can create a perspective, and a photorealistic model of the final product even with an animation if necessary and it can be modelled through rendering in different materials; 6) The Model, making a model is an easy way of testing that a design works. Designers often make models (called mock-ups) to show clients how the finished product will look; 7) Technical Drawing, convey precise information about an object's size and shape to the person who will make it; 8) The finished article and evaluation, next the article is made. The final stage of the design process is called evaluation, in this stage the designer checks if the product fulfills the brief and if it can be improved.
38) What do we mean by the term "Industrial Design"? The term industrial design was first used in the U.S.A. in 1919 referring to drawings of industrial objects for advertisments. The role of the advertising agency in putting a designer in touch with the client was crucial, and in 1920s agencies extended their function by putting designers in contact with manufacturing companies with the view to not simply provide publicity material but to restyle their products as well. In this period many american companies invested vast sums of money in researching the potential of new materials to give a new raise in sales after the bad and dramatic period of the Great Depression in 1927 which had cause a strong fall in sales. Industrial Design, art and science involved in the creation of machine-made products. It is concerned with aesthetic appearance as well as with functional efficiency. The success of a design is measured by the profit it yields its manufacturer and the service and pleasure it affords its owner. The term industrial design was originated in 1919 by the American industrial designer Joseph Sinel. Initially, industrial designers dealt exclusively with machine-made consumer products. Eventually, however, the scope of the profession enlarged to include the design of capital goods, such as farm machinery, industrial tools, and transportation equipment, and the planning of exhibitions, commercial buildings and packaging.
39) To which field was the research for new material and design applied? Industrial design has applications not only in consumer products but in interior building space, packaging, and transportation. Today industrial design has been applied to practically all consumer products, notably to home appliances, such as air conditioners, irons, and washing machines; office equipment, such as typewriters, dictaphones, and duplicating machines; electronic communications equipment, such as radios, television sets, phonographs, and tape recorders; bathroom and lighting fixtures; furniture; hardware and tableware; automobiles; and photographic equipment. Industrial design is applied also to products involved in distribution, such as trucks and automatic vending machines, and to industrial materials and equipment. Metal is not the only new material employed, new forms of machines processed wood, laminated wood, or aluminium, and all forms of plastic, that is any of various organic compounds produced by polymerization, capable of being molded, extruded, cast into various shapes and films, or drawn into filaments used as textile fibers.
The industrial designer must be concerned not only with product design but with the conditions under which products are sold. In planning retail stores and display areas, for example, the industrial designer works with the architect to increase the revenue-producing interior space and to create arrangements and atmosphere conducive to sales. Industrial designers also work to facilitate the profitable operation of railroad stations, airports, hotels, shopping centers, exhibitions, restaurants, public auditoriums, television stations, and offices.
40) What are the main points to include in a curriculum vitae? The Curriculum Vitae is an outline of a person's educational and professional history, usually prepared for job applications (L, lit.: the course of one's life). A CV is the most flexible and convenient way to make applications. It conveys your personal details in the way that presents you in the best possible light and can be used to make multiple applications to employers in a specific career area. For this reason, many large graduate recruiters will not accept CVs and instead use their own application form. An application form is designed to bring out the essential information and personal qualities that the employer requires and does not allow you to gloss over your weaker points as a CV does. In addition, the time needed to fill out these forms is seen as a reflection of your commitment to the career.
What information should a CV include? Personal details, Normally these would be your name, address, date of birth (although with age discrimination laws now in force this isn't essential), telephone number and email. Education and qualifications, Your degree subject and university, plus A levels and GCSEs or equivalents. Mention grades unless poor!
Work experience, Use action words such as developed, planned and organised.
Even work in a shop, bar or restaurant will involve working in a team, providing a quality service to customers, and dealing tactfully with complaints. Don't mention the routine, non-people tasks (cleaning the tables) unless you are applying for a casual summer job in a restaurant or similar.
Try to relate the skills to the job. A finance job will involve numeracy, analytical and problem solving skills so focus on these whereas for a marketing role you would place a bit more more emphasis on persuading and negotiating skills.
Interests and achievements, Keep this section short and to the point. As you grow older, your employment record will take precedence and interests will typically diminish greatly in length and importance. Don't put many passive, solitary hobbies (reading, watching TV, stamp collecting) or you may be perceived as lacking people skills.
Show a range of interests to avoid coming across as narrow : if everything centres around sport they may wonder if you could hold a conversation with a client who wasn't interested in sport. Hobbies that are a little out of the ordinary can help you to stand out from the crowd: skydiving or mountaineering can show a sense of wanting to stretch yourself and an ability to rely on yourself in demanding situations.
Any interests relevant to the job are worth mentioning: current affairs if you wish to be a journalist; a fantasy share portfolio such as Bullbearings if you want to work in finance.
Any evidence of leadership is important to mention: captain or coach of a sports team, course representative, chair of a student society, scout leader.
Anything showing evidence of employability skills such as teamworking, organising, planning, persuading, negotiating etc.
Skills. The usual ones to mention are languages (good conversational French, basic Spanish), computing (e.g. "good working knowledge of MS Access and Excel, plus basic web page design skills" and driving ("full current clean driving licence").
If you are a mature candidate or have lots of relevant skills to offer, a skills-based CV may work for you
Referees. Normally two referees are sufficient: one academic (perhaps your tutor or a project supervisor) and one from an employer (perhaps your last part-time or summer job). See our page on Choosing and Using Referees for more help with this.


Prehistoric architecture was mostly natural and made form the bare minimum requirements. Workability was the focus and aesthetics were almost accidental.
Ancient Greek architecture can be distinguished by the specific elements such as the rectangular buildings and the large columns. The temple was the most common and best-known form of Greek public architecture. Common materials of Greek architecture were wood, used for supports and roof beams; plaster, used for sinks and bathtubs; unbaked brick, used for walls, especially for private homes; limestone and marble, used for columns, walls, and upper portions of temples and public buildings; terracotta, used for roof tiles and ornaments; and metals, especially bronze, used for decorative details.
Roman Empire after AD 330, when the Roman Emperor Constantine moved the capital of the Roman Empire east from Rome to Byzantium. Early Byzantine architecture was simply a continuation of Roman architecture. Buildings increased in geometric complexity, brick and plaster were used in addition to stone in the decoration of important public structures. Romanesque architecture developed between the 10th and the 12th centuries in Western Europe. Romanesque Architecture It represents architecture of the Middle Ages in Europe. The Romanesque architecture is known by the rounded arches, the very large towers, decorative arcades, walls of massive thickness and the overall symmetry in design.
Gothic architecture is a style of architecture which flourished during the high and late medieval period and began at the Abbey of Saint-Denis. There are certain characteristics that are particularly symbolic of Gothic architecture such as the pointed arches, large individual windows, flamboyant designs and the emphasis on the creation of vertical lines in the design. Gothic architecture is most familiar as the architecture of many of the great cathedrals, abbeys and parish churches of Europe. It is also the architecture of many castles, palaces, town halls, guild halls, universities, and to a less prominent extent, private dwellings. The term "Gothic", when applied to architecture, has nothing to do with the historical Goths. It was a pejorative term that came to be used as early as the 1530s by Giorgio Vasari to describe culture that was considered rude and barbaric. Gothic symbolized a new synthesis of Humanity, God and nature. While Romanesque churches reflected an atmosphere of darkness and mistery, the new ones became an image of nature, imitating plant forms, ribs, stems or fronds, and growing out of the earth like a tree.
During the Renaissance the architecture shifted somewhat. The perception of infinity had entered architectural consciousness. This was the central theme to Renaissance architecture, which in the eyes of many analysts is still one of the more powerful and influential styles. Renaissance architecture is the architecture of the period between the early 15th and early 17th centuries in different regions of Europe, in which there was a conscious revival and development of certain elements of ancient Greek and Roman thought and material culture. The Renaissance style places emphasis on symmetry, proportion, geometry and the regularity of parts as they are demonstrated in the architecture of classical antiquity and in particular ancient Roman architecture, of which many examples remained. Orderly arrangements of columns, pilasters and lintels, as well as the use of semicircular arches, hemispherical domes, niches and aedicules replaced the more complex proportional systems and irregular profiles of medieval buildings. Developed first in Florence, with Filippo Brunelleschi as one of its innovators. Also Andrea Palladio with his books on the theory of the practice od design, had great influence on the architecture of this period. His design were simple and practical and extended the idea of the building reflecting the elements of the human body: the building should be symmetrical (the left half mirrors the right) around an axis (the spine) from the front, but not from the side; each part should relate to the whole and to every other part. The most important elements are in the middle (head, brain, eyes, etc.); elements on the outside should reflect the structure inside (the skin over bones).
The Baroque Architecture style was dominant at the beginning of the 17th century. Baroque architectural styles always played around with a dramatic use of light, central projections, ornamental decoration, pear domes etc. The finest expression of the Baroque is to be found in ecclesiastical buildings. During the Renaissaince period architecture was essentially static composed of separate and defined elemets according to the laws of proportion. Flat walls expressed simple geometric plans. The Baroque developed from Mannerism into a dynamic and unified architecture. . Important features of Baroque architecture include: long, narrow naves are replaced by broader, occasionally circular forms; dramatic use of light, either strong light-and-shade contrasts, chiaroscuro effects, or uniform lighting by means of several windows, opulent use of ornaments, plaster or stucco, marble or faux finishing); large-scale ceiling frescoes, the interior is often no more than a shell for painting and sculpture (especially in the late Baroque); illusory effects like trompe l'oeil and the blending of painting and architecture.
Neoclassical architecture was an architectural style produced by the neoclassical movement that began in the mid-18th century, both as a reaction against the Rococo style of anti-tectonic naturalistic ornament, and an outgrowth of some classicizing features of Late Baroque. In its purest form it is a style principally derived from the architecture of Classical Greece and the architecture of Italian Andrea Palladio. Indoors, neoclassicism made a discovery of the genuine Roman interior, inspired by the rediscoveries at Pompeii and Herculaneum, which had started in the late 1740s.
Art Nouveau Style It was particularly popular at the turn of the 20th century. This architectural style is about encompassing artistic and floral motifs in the structure. Art Nouveau combined many influences, especially stylized Japanese Art and Art Nouveau Architecture developed first in Belgium and France, exploiting the new possibilities of casting iron, and then in Barcelona with the works of Antonio Gaudì, whose buildings became a fusion of organic form and structure, like a piece of sculpture. Another great architect was Charles Mackintosh who worked in Glasgow, a town which at the time enjoyed great industry and wealth.
Art Deco Architectural Style was visible during the years, 1925-1939 and it was a popular international art design movement. It refers to a decorative and elegant style of architecture that encompassed many other basic techniques of architecture affecting the decorative arts such as interior design, and industrial design, as well as the visual arts such as fashion, painting, the graphic arts and film. At the time, this style was seen as elegant, glamorous, functional, and modern.
Modern architecture started in the early 1900s and rose to prominence as it sown architectural movement in the 1940s. Modern architecture is a set of building styles with similar characteristics, primarily the simplification of form and the elimination of ornament. The first variants were conceived early in the 20th century. Modern architecture was adopted by many influential architects and architectural educators. The Modern style developed, in their opinion, as a result of social and political revolutions. Others see Modern architecture as primarily driven by technological and engineering developments, and it is true that the availability of new building materials such as iron, steel, and glass drove the invention of new building techniques as part of the Industrial Revolution. This was an important turning point. With World War II the important figures of the Bauhaus fled to the United States, to Chicago, to the Harvard Graduate School of Design, and to Black Mountain College. While Modern architectural design never became a dominant style in single-dwelling residential buildings, in institutional and commercial architecture Modernism became the pre-eminent, and in the schools (for leaders of the profession) the only acceptable, design solution from about 1932 to about 1984. Modern architecture is usually characterized by: an adoption of the principle that the materials and functional requirements determine the result an adoption of the machine aesthetic; a rejection of ornament; a simplification of form and elimination of "unnecessary detail"; an adoption of expressed structure; form follows function. (Gropius said that "less is more", while Sullivan illustrated his belief in the sentence "form ever follows function".)
The Postmodern Architecture Style could be seen in the 1950s and it continues to influence architects even today. There is a use of unusual surfaces and the basics often contradict with the modernist ideas. Postmodernity in architecture is generally thought to be heralded by the return of "wit, ornament and reference" to architecture in response to the formalism of the International Style of modernism. The functional and formalized shapes and spaces of the modernist movement are replaced by unapologetically diverse aesthetics: styles collide, form is adopted for its own sake, and new ways of viewing familiar styles and space abound. Classic examples of modern architecture are SOM's Lever House or Mies van der Rohe's Seagram Building, as well as the architecture of Le Corbusier or the Bauhaus movement. Modernist architects regard post-modern buildings as vulgar and cluttered with "gew-gaws". Postmodern architects often regard modern spaces as soulless and bland. The divergence in opinions comes down to a difference in goals: modernism is rooted in minimal and true use of material as well as absence of ornament, while postmodernism is a rejection of strict rules set by the early modernists and seeks exuberance in the use of building techniques, angles, and stylistic references. High-tech or Late Modern is the new multinational style, claiming to have overcome the defects of steel and glass boxes by using up-to-date technology. Drawing on aircraft technology, their exposed structures are light and strong, using heavily insulated wall panels, steel and alluminium frames and mirror glass in neoprene gaskets. High-tech is characterized by light, spacious sheds where all the services (like ventilation ducts, pipes or even stairs) are placed outside the buildings to leave free uninterrupted floor space where layouts for offices, exhibition halls, or factory, can be changed at will with great flexibility.


The Housing Problem

Over half the people in Britain live in their 22 million different kind of dwellings, privately owned or rented. Thanks to the Government policy, tax incentives and social and industrial development the number of people owing their own homes has more than trebled in the last thirty-five years.
A system of mortgage loans from building societies or banks, housing associations and accomodation for elderly and disabled people has largely contributed to improve the housing standard even though there are still block of flats badly designed and built and great differences in the housing market prices mainly due to the economic trend and the urban areas considered.
The housing problem is mainly due to income disparities in our social structure, even though there are other causes as well. The aim of housing production should be that of supplying good dwellings for everyone. An example of poor houses and miserable urban areas is that of slums that create bad living conditions.
Any approach to the housing problem solution requires the establishment both of a good building standard and a careful social urban development, in order to create comfortable and safe communities for every citizen, with different incomes, culture and jobs, to live in, as the English Planner E. Howard has shown us in 1898 with his ideal "garden cities" project.

Sustainable architecture

Sustainable architecture applies techniques of sustainable design to architecture. From the root words sus– (under) + tenere (to hold); to keep in existence; to maintain or prolong. It is related to the concept of "green building" (or "green architecture"). The two terms, however are often used interchangeably to relate to any building designed with environmental goals in mind, often regardless of how they actually function in regard to such goals. Sustainable architecture is framed by the larger discussion of sustainability and the pressing economic and political issues of our world. In the broad context, sustainable architecture, seeks to minimize the negative environmental impact of buildings by enhancing efficiency and moderation in the use of materials, energy, and development space.
The principles of proper design on the basis of the principles of sustainable architecture may be summed up as follows: 1. Controlling the microclimate; 2. Saving energy; 3. Using renewable energy sources; 4. Using sustainable and recyclable materials; 5 Using water properly; 6. Landscaping






Going to pubs is a very popular leisure-time activity. In a recent survey seven out of ten adults said they went to pubs, one third of them once a week or more often.
Types of pubs vary considerably from quiet rural establishments with traditional games, such as skittles and dominoes, to city pubs where different sorts of entertainment such as drama and live music can often be found. The opening hours of pubs, which were previously strictly controlled, have been relaxed and many pubs now serve food as well as drink. Some pubs have become more welcoming to families with younger children than in the past, although children under fourteen are still not allowed in the bar.
British drinking habits have changed, with lager and continental beers now more popular than traditional forms of British beer. In cities, wine bars have appeared in competition with pubs. Although, in general, people in Britain now drink more than they used to, new types of drinks such as alcohol-free beer and wine have appeared and there has been a general move to educate people more about the dangers of drinking too much.


Percentages Men Women

Out and about
Seaside 7 8
Country 3 3
Parks 3 4
Visiting historic buildings 8 8
Going to museums and art galleries 3 3
Going to fairs and amusement arcades 1 2
In the evenings
Going to the cinema 7 8
Going to the theatre, opera and ballet 4 5
Playing amateur music and drama 3 3
Going to evening classes 1 2
Going out for a meal 41 40
Going out for a drink 64 46
Dancing 10 12
At home
Listening to records and tapes 65 62
Gardening 50 39
Sewing and knitting 2 48
House repairs and DIY 51 24
Reading books 50 61


British people now have more free time and holidays than they did twenty years ago. The average number of working hours has fallen, and by the mid-1980s almost all full-time manual employees were entitled to four weeks holidays including Christmas and Easter.
The increasing number of pensioners and the number of unemployed, particularly the young, means that large sections of the population have found themselves with more leisure time. Typical popular pastimes in the UK include listening to pop music, going to pubs, playing and watching sport, going on holidays, doing outdoor activities and watching TV.
The number of people playing sports has risen, partly due to the availability of more sporting facilites such as local leisure centres. As more people become aware of the necessity
for exercise, it is estimated that one third of the adult population regularly takes part in outdoor sport and about a quarter in indoor sport.
Among the most popular sporting activities are walking, swimming, snooker and darts; fishing is the most popular country sport.
Football, cricket, horse racing and motor sports are all popular spectator sports. Many magazines are published which relate to popular and minority sports and interests.
Multi-screen cinemas have become more common and the number of people going to the cinema increased in the mid-1980s, having fallen by more than a half between 1971 and 1984. This was despite a large increase in the popularity of home videos: Britain has one of the highest rates of home video owenership in the world.
Pubs are an important part of British social life (more than restaurants) and more money is spent on drinking than on any other form of leisure activity. Holidays are the next major leisure cost, followed by television, radio, musical instruments, and eating out.
If they have enough money, people travel more (the increase in private cars is an influence) and take more holidays. The numbers going abroad increased from 7 million in the early 1970s to 17 million in the mid-80s, with Spain still the most popular foreign destination.


Use the information of the texts to answer the questions.

1 What free time and holidays do people in Britain have?
2 Why has sport become more popular?
3 How has cinema-going changed in recent years? What has helped to cause these
4 What are the most popular leisure activities in Britain?
5 Which are the most popular destinations for British people going abroad on holiday?

Discussion Work in pairs.

1 Do people have more spare time than they used to in your country? When are the major public holidays?
2 What leisure activities do you prefer? How much time and money do you spend on them?


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