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C) Discuss the article in pairs. One of the speakers is to support the author's views, the other shall try and argue the disputable points of the article.





II. a) Explain in a well-developed paragraph what a student ought to do to en­
large and improve his vocabulary.

b) Express your opinion on the role of voluntary reading in improving the stu­dent's knowledge of the language and enlarging his scope.

III. Make a round-table debate with your classmates on the following topics
(refer to foreign-language learning):

1. Reading with a purpose.

2. Collecting words.

' 3. Speed reading: fact or fancy? 4. Reading for fun.

Key Words and Expressions: to increase (improve) one's vocab­ulary; the printed page; recognition vocabulary; active (functional) vocabulary; required reading; voluntary reading; recognition by context/by word analysis; discovery by dictionary reference


UNIT THREE

TEXT THREE ONE STAIR UP

By Campbell Naime

(Fragment)

Nairne, Campbell, a Scottish novelist, the author of two books "One Stair Up" (1932) and "Stony Ground" (1934). "One Stair Up" deals with the life of an Edinburgh working-class family and is characterized by realism, a fine style and a sense of humour.

They went up a short marble staircase, treading without sound on a rich carpet of some green material that yielded like springing turf, and moved across a salon hung everywhere with the coloured and signed portraits of film stars. Back in this dim region of luxury, quite still except for the soft whirring of fans they could hear a tea-spoon chink, a cup grate on a saucer, a voice rise above another voice and sink again into voluptuous stillness. Out of a door marked "Circle" over the bull's-eye in each of its two folding partitions, a trim girl in a chocolate uniform with blue pipings silently emerged, glanced at the tickets, and admitted them, flashing her torch into a hot darkness lit here and there by red lamps and speared diagonally by a shaft of white light falling on the rounded oblong of the screen. "Gee baby, you're a swell kid."1 There was a murmur in the audience, and a man's face came surprisingly out of shadow as he struck a match in the lower part of the gallery. Still flashing her torch, the girl hopped in front of them down the steps of the circle, picked out a couple of vacant seats, and stood back to let them squeeze past her into the row. "Thank you," Andrew said huskily. Several faces glared at them as they sat down. "This a comedy?" Rosa took off her gloves and surveyed the dim amphitheatre in the hope of recognizing some of her acquaintances. It pleased her to be seen in the dress circle, even with Andrew. But her eyes were still unaccustomed to the obscurity. She noted that the cinema, as usual, was nearly full, and looked for the first time at the screen. Two shadowy faces, enormous on the white background, moved together and kissed.

"It isn't the big picture,"2 Andrew said. "That doesn't come on till eight-forty. You see all right?"


She nodded. He risked no further inquiries, knowing how often she had forbidden him to talk to her in a cinema. He promised him­self that to-night he would resist that awful temptation to explain the story in a whisper when he fancied he saw the end of it. Nor would he even say: "Liking it, Rosa?" — "No bored, are you? 'Cos3 if you are we'll go out." — "It's hot stuff, isn't it?" No, he would say noth­ing and enjoy himself... Ah, this was better. Nice and warm in a cin­ema, and dark; you couldn't see anybody else, and they couldn't see you. Prefer cinemas to theatres any day.



The film ended a few minutes after they had come in. Down swung a looped curtain, pot-plants and palms leapt up under the stage apron, one row of lights and then another shed a pink radiance over the exits, in the domed roof a shower of small stars twinkled and glit­tered and three bowls flushed suddenly to ruby colour. A dozen or so of the audience got up and pushed out to the exits. Swiftly the light dimmed again. The curtain rattled back and the white oblong emerged from folds already caught by lines of flickering grey print. A draped girl swam into view and began to blow bubbles out of a long pipe. One of these expanded and expanded until it filled the whole screen. It then burst into the letters "All Next Week", which in turn dissolved and announced a film called "Mothers of Broadway" as a forthcoming attraction.4 The film seemed to have smashed all records. It drew tears from the hardest hearts. It sent thrills down the spine. It was a rapid-fire drama. It was a heart-searing tale of studio parties, million-dollar prize fights, and supercharged automobiles. It was, according to other statements that rushed out of the screen, packed with heart-throbs, tingling with reality, vibrant with love and hate — and what a story it had! "You will love it," the screen confi­dently asserted. "You must see it: the film you'll never forget." Beau­tiful blondes evidently abounded in this tale of thrill-thirsty young bloods.5 One of them, it seemed, was to find after rushing through "gaiety, temptation, and sorrow" that motherhood is the greatest of all careers. "A film that plucks the heart-strings. Bewitching Minnie Haha in the mightiest drama of Broadway."

"Not much good, I expect," Andrew said, "Hullo" — the lights dimmed and a chorus of metallic jazz broke out — "I think that's the big picture on now."

He had now a pleasant feeling that he was going to enjoy himself.

There was some rare fun in this picture. That fat man with the beard — you had to laugh! First of all you saw a shelf with a basket of eggs on it, then a cat moved along, then the eggs tumbled one by


one on the man's head. Oh dear! the way he squeezed that yolk out of his eyes and staggered forward and plumped headfirst into a wa­ter-butt. And then the lean chap, coming into the corridor, didn't look where he was going and hit a cook who was marching out of the kitch­en with a tray of custards. What a mix-up. Custards all over the place. Holding his seat tight to control his laughter, Andrew wondered whether these chaps really allowed themselves to be knocked down and swamped with custards. No wonder they got big salaries if they had to put up with that kind of thing every day of their lives. Perhaps they faked some of it. Anyhow it was too funny for' words. And now here was that dog — must be a hard-worked dog, for you saw it, or another like it, in dozens of these comic films — and of course it was carrying something in its mouth. Oh yes, a stick of dynamite. Where was it going to put that? Under the fat man's bed. Andrew wriggled with enjoyment, then started and feughed gleefully^s the dialogue was cut short by a sudden loud explosion. Haha! There was the fat man with a black eye, no beard, half a collar, and no trousers. Oh, this was good! Rosa must be liking this.

What ababy he is, Rosa was thinking. You can't really be angry with him. He doesn't seem to have grown up at all. Talk about Peter Pan.6 He's just a big hulking kid. Faintly contemptuous, she watched his blunt nose and chin silhouetted in the darkness. Is he really so stupid, she wondered. Yes, I suppose he is. Oh, for heaven's sake stop that cackling! The explosion shattered its way into the half. She started.

"Good, isn't it?" he broke out, forgetful in his excitement.

She"tossed her head.

"I don't see anything funny in that."

"Och,7Rosa!"

His hands dropped; all the joy died out of his face and eyes. He looked so abject that she was sorry for him against her will.

"I thought — it was quite funny, you know — I mean, people laughed. I wasn't the only one. But if you don't like it — "

She tried hard, still moved by pity, to reply with gentleness, but the retort shaped itself and was uttered before she had command of it.

"I haven't your sense of humour, that's all."

Commentary

1. Gee baby, you're a swell kid: These words are coming from the screen. Gee [dgi:] is an interjection which in American English ex­presses approval.


2. By "the big picture"Andrew means the main film on the pro­
gramme (a film-show in Britain as a rule consists of the main film
usually called "the main feature" and a so-called "support film"
which usually precedes the main feature).

3. 'cos: (coll.) because

4. a forthcoming attraction:a film to be released in the near
future.

5. young bloods:here society youths

6. Peter Pan:the main character of "Peter and Wendy", a book
written by J.M. Barrie in 1911 and extremely popular in English-
speaking countries. Peter Pan was a boy who never grew up and is
a symbol of the sincerity and ingenuousness of childhood.

7. Och: interjection used in Scotland and Ireland for "oh, ah"









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