Mikhail Lomonosov. Portrait by an unknown artist.
Reading. Part 1. Headings for Paragraphs. You are going to read a text about Lomonosov. Choose the most suitable heading from the list A-H for each paragraph (1-7). A. Thirst for Learning B. A Great Scientist C. Escape to Moscow D. The First Job E. Student Hardships F. A Bad Relationship G. Scholarships
(1) Mikhail Lomonosov was born in the village of Denisovka (later renamed Lomonosovo in his honor) on an island not far from Kholmogory, in the Far North of Russia. His father, Vasily Dorofeyevich Lomonosov, was a prosperous peasant fisherman turned ship owner, who amassed a small fortune transporting goods from Arkhangelsk to Pustozyorsk, Solovki, Kola, and Lapland. Lomonosov’s mother was Vasily’s first wife, a deacon’s daughter, Elena Ivanovna Sivkova.
A House on Kurostrov
(2) He remained at Denisovka until he was ten, when his father decided that he was old enough to participate in his business ventures, and Lomonosov began accompanying Vasily on trading missions. They used to travel on a small ship, all around the year, in any weather.
A Fisherman’s Ship
(3) Learning was young Lomonosov's passion, however, not business. The boy's thirst for knowledge was unbounded. Lomonosov had been taught to read as a boy by his neighbor Ivan Shubny, and he spent every spare moment with his books. He continued his studies with the village deacon, S.N. Sabelnikov, but for many years the only books he had access to were religious texts. When he was fourteen, Lomonosov was given copies of Meletius Smotrysky’s Modern Church Slavonic (a grammar book) and Leonty Magnitsky’s Arithmetic.
A Monastery in Kholmogory
(4) In 1724, his father married for the third and final time. Lomonosov and his stepmother Irina had a very bad relationship. Unhappy at home and intent on obtaining a higher education, which Lomonosov could not receive in Denisovka, he was determined to leave the village.
(5) In 1730, at nineteen, Lomonosov joined a caravan traveling to Moscow. Not long after arriving, Lomonosov obtained admission into the Skavic Greek Latin Academy by falsely claiming to be a priest’s son That initial falsehood would nearly get him expelled from the academy a few years later when discovered. But his professors saw that he was really brilliant in all his subjects, so he remained a student.
Lomonosov on His Way to Moscow
(6) Lomonosov lived on three kopecks a day, living off only black bread and kvas, but he made rapid progress scholastically. After three years in Moscow he was sent to Kyiv to study for one year. He quickly became dissatisfied with the education he was receiving there, and returned to Moscow several months ahead of schedule, resuming his studies there.
The Slavic Greek Latin Academy, Moscow
(7) He completed a twelve-year study course in only five years, graduating at the top of his class. In 1736, Lomonosov was awarded a scholarship to Saint Petersburg State University. He plunged into his studies and was rewarded with a two-year grant to study abroad at the University of Marburg in Germany.
Part 2. Multiple Choice. You are going to read a text about Lomonosov. For questions (8-12) choose the answer (A, B or C) which you think fits best according to the text. 8. The University of Marburg was a) In England b) In Russia c) In Germany 9. Lomonosov studied a) only German b) many subjects c) only chemistry
10. He married a) Catharina’s daughter b) a brewer’s widow c) a friend’s daughter 11. In Moscow, Lomonosov was once arrested for a) his experiments b) his poetry c) insulting some people 12. He founded a) the Academy b) Moscow University c) the Russian educational system
The University of Marburg was among Europe's most important universities in the mid-18th century due to the presence of the philosopher Christian Wolff, a prominent figure of the German Enlightenment. Lomonosov became one of Wolff’s personal students while at Marburg. Both philosophically and as a science administrator, this connection would be the most influential of Lomonosov’s life.
The University of Marburg
Lomonosov quickly mastered the German language, and in addition to philosophy, seriously studied chemistry, discovered the works of 17th century English theologian and natural philosopher, Robert Boyle, and even began writing poetry. He also developed an interest in German literature. He is said to have especially admired Günther. His Ode on the Taking of Khotin from the Turks, composed in 1739, attracted a great deal of attention in Saint Petersburg.
A Letter written by young Lomonosov
During his residence in Germany, Lomonosov boarded with Catharina Zilch, a brewer’s widow. He fell in love with Catharina’s daughter Elisabeth Christine Zilch. They were married in June Lomonosov found it extremely difficult to maintain his growing family on the small irregular allowance granted him by the Russian Academy of Science. As his circumstances became desperate, he resolved to return to Saint Petersburg.
The Lomonosov house in Marburg
Lomonosov returned to Russia in A year later he was named adjutant to the Russian Academy of Science in the physics department. In May 1743, Lomonosov was accused, arrested, and held under house arrest for eight months, after he supposedly insulted various people associated with the Academy. He was released and pardoned in January 1744 after apologising to all involved.
Lomonosov was made a full member of the Academy, and named professor of chemistry, in He established the Academy's first chemistry laboratory. Eager to improve Russia’s educational system, in 1755, Lomonosov joined his patron Count Ivan Shuvalov in founding the Moscow State University.
Moscow University, old building
Part 3. Gap Fill. You are going to read a text about Mikhail Lomonosov. Several words have been removed from the text. Read the text, and choose the words from the list below. Use each word only once. Change the form of the word where necessary. WORDS: Determine, motion, famous, follow, conduct, action, same, stated, conclude, write.
In 1756, Lomonosov tried to (1) ………………. Robert Boyle's experiment of He (2) ………………….. that the commonly accepted phlogiston theory was false. Anticipating the discoveries of Antoine Lavoisier, he (3) …………………… in his diary: "Today I made an experiment in hermetic glass vessels in order to (4) …………………. whether the mass of metals increases from the (5) …………….. of pure heat.
The experiments– of which I append the record in 13 pages– demonstrated that the (6) ……………………. Robert Boyle was deluded, for without access of air from outside the mass of the burnt metal remains the (7) ……………..". He regarded heat as a form of (8) ……………………., suggested the wave theory of light, contributed to the formulation of the kinetic theory of gases, and (9) ……………….. the idea of conservation of matter in the (10) …………………….. words:
"All changes in nature are such that inasmuch is taken from one object insomuch is added to another. So, if the amount of matter decreases in one place, it increases elsewhere. This universal law of nature embraces laws of motion as well, for an object moving others by its own force in fact imparts to another object the force it loses" (first articulated in a letter to Leonhard Euler dated 5 July 1748, rephrased and published in Lomonosov's dissertation "Reflexion on the solidity and fluidity of bodies", 1760).
WRITING PART 1. Read the extract from the letter carefully. Write your answer to this letter. Be sure to reply to all the questions in the letter. Do not write an address or date. Dear Tom, I’m doing a research about the famous Russian scientist Mikhail Lomonosov, who lived in the 18th century. His life was so fascinating! He began his studies in Moscow when he was 19 years old, yet he managed to achieve great success in many branches of science. Did you know that he came to Moscow on foot from his remote village in the North of Russia? He was a chemist, a physicist, an astronomer, a geographer… He was also a skilled mosaicist and a well-known poet. Have you seen any pictures of him and his mosaics? I’m not sure that any of his poems were translated into English. As a philologist, do you find them easy to understand? After all, they were written about 300 years ago! Yours, John
PART 2. Write an essay on one of the topics suggested below. Make your essay words long in an appropriate style. 1. Describe your city/village. Pay attention to the attractive features and places of interest, the climate, natural attractions, population, occupations and activities. 2. Try to imagine your native place ten-twenty years from now. What will change? What would you like to change? 3. Write an essay about the life of Mikhail Lomonosov. You should include details of his appearance, character, actions, and explain why you find him especially fascinating.
Mikhail Lomonosov was one of the few people whose life was truly amazing, and whose interests in science make people wonder if it was just one person who managed to do so much. How did it happen that a young man who was born in a fisherman’s family decided to leave home and go to Moscow in search of good education and knowledge? Yet he walked more than 500 kilometers from his home village to Moscow, in winter. Though his official social status was “peasant”, he impressed the professors in Moscow so much that he was accepted to the Slavic Greek Roman Academy at once. Later, he was sent to Germany to study. His interests included chemistry, physics, astronomy, geography, philology, poetry, architecture, glass studies. Listening. Listen to the story about Mikhail Lomonosov, then answer the following question: How did Lomonosov achieve so much?
He wrote about Siberia as a region which should be developed, when nobody could see the purpose of it. His life was relatively short, yet he managed to achieve a lot in every field. He was the first Russian scientist to be recognized internationally. His daughter married the empress’s librarian; his granddaughter Sofia was married to Nikolay Raevsky, hero of the Napoleonic wars. The Raevskys were connected to the Decembrists’ movement, and to Alexander Pushkin. Sofia’s daughter married Prince Volkonsky, whose family were the prototypes of the Bolkonskys in Leo Tolstoy’s “War and Peace”. If you study various aspects of Lomonosov’s life, you will find that he was connected to many major events in Russia.
ANSWERS. Reading. Part 1. Headings for Paragraphs. 1 – D, 2 – A, 3 – F, 4 – C, 5 – E, 6 – G, 7 – B Part 2. Multiple Choice. 8 – C, 9 – B, 10 – A, 11 – C, 12 – B. Part 3. Gap Fill. 1 – conduct; 2 – concluded; 3 – wrote; 4 – determine; 5 – action; 6 – famous; 7 – same; 8 – motion; 9 – stated; 10 – following.
Writing an Essay in English: recommendations. If English is not your first language, you may wish to review some grammar topics before you write. Check and see if all the following recommendations are applicable in your case. 1. DO NOT write it first in your own language, than in English. There is a risk of losing the articles, link verbs, sequence of tenses. 2. DO write in English, keep a dictionary to hand if needed. 3.Formulate your TOPIC first.. 4. It is useful to have a PLAN, to decide which points are the most important. 5. Every item of your plan should have the MAIN IDEA of a paragraph.
6. The INTRODUCTION should not be too long. There should be the main thesis, and that's about it. For example, "Happiness is when people understand you. I gree/disagree, because…" Happiness is when people understand you. I agree/disagree with this statement. 7.The main part of your essay should show the DEVELOPMENT OF YOUR TOPIC, you may include quotations into it, divide it into logical parts. 8. CONCLUSION. A conclusion is a paraphrased introduction. You have told us about your topic in the beginning. Did you manage to develop it? What's your resume? If it is difficult for you to finish writing, use this prompt: "One can continue writing about this forever".
9.It is good to have your composition CHECKED before you submit it. Here are some useful hints: a) in every English sentence one may usually find a VERB; b) nouns in the singular usually are preceded by an ARTICLE. If you can put the word "one" in front of a noun in your mind, then you should insert "a/an", e.g. I see a man (one man), but Man is a sapient animal; c) use Spell check or a dictionary; d) NARRATIVE TENSES: if you start telling a story in one tense, you may wish to continue telling it in the same tense, or tenses. For example, if you say, "Then I ran. I see the sea", it doesn't sound as good as, "Then I ran and saw the sea". 10.DO NOT BE AFRAID. Everybody is a beginner at some time or another. LISTENING. Any answers should be accepted.
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