Category Archives: Educational texts




Tanzania is a country in East Africa. The name of the land is pronounced ”tan ZAN ee a” and not ”tan za NEE a” as one often hears. This country is situated by the Indian Ocean. The Rift Valley runs through it. Tanzania borders Uganda, Kenya, Mozambique, Burundi, Zambia and Rwanda. Mount Kiliminjaro is located in Tanzania. It is tallest mountain in Africa.

This country was founded in 1963 by a merger of Tanganyika and Zanzibar. Zanzibar is an island off the coast of Tanzania. Zanzibar was wealthier. Its coffers were emptied to prop up the mainland.

Over 99 per cent of Tanzanians are black. A few are Indians or white. The black people are Bantu. They are divided into several tribes.

The official languages are English and Swahili. The currency is the Tanzanian Schilling.

The national flag is black, green, yellow and blue.

The country is a democratic republic. There is a president. The founder of the United Republic of Tanzania was an eminent scholar named Julius Nyere.

Tanzania has a lot of savannah. That is dry grassland. There are many charismatic megafauna such as elephants, zebra, lions, giraffes and wildebeeste. People go on safari there. That means a journey to look at animals.

Coffee and tea grow well in the highlands. There are many cattle farms too. Some people grows yams and maize.

Half of the Tanzanians are Christians and half Muslims.


  1. What two countries formed Tanzania? Two marks.
  2. What are the colours of the flag? Four marks.
  3. What is the currency?
  4. Which ocean is Tanzania beside?
  5. What are the two official languages of Tanzania?
  6. Name two of Tanzania’s neighbours.
  7. What is the highest mountain in Africa?
  8. What is savannah?
  9. Name a food that is grown in Tanzania.
  10. Would you like to visit this country? Why or why not? Five marks.




Western Samoa.


Western Samoa.

This country is a group of islands in the Pacific Ocean. The people of these isles are Polynesians. The peoples of the Pacific islands are mostly Polynesians. This name comes from the Ancient Greek words ‘poly’ meaning ‘many’ and ‘nesia’ meaning ‘islands.’ The Western Samoans have their own language.

In the 1880s these islands were annexed by Germany. After the Second World War these islands were ceded to the United Kingdom. The British introduced English as the official language.

In the 1970s these islands became independent.
It is democratic.
Samoa is know for its superb rugby team.

Western Samoans are mostly Christians.
Western Samoa is by the international date line. Every day finishes in Western Samoa. This country has the word ‘Western’ in its name to distinguishing it from ‘American Samoa’ which lies just to the east.

1. What does Polynesia translate as?
2. What is the official language of this country?
3. What sport is Western Samoa best at?
4. What is the main religion of this nation?
5. Which country first colonised this country?
6. Does this land have a coastline?
7. Is Western Samoa by the international date line?
8. Which ocean is Western Samoa in?
9. Which country lies just east of this country?
10. In Western Samoa democratic?




Zambia is a country in Africa. Zambia derives its name from the River Zambesi that flows through it. Note that the name of the rover is pronounced ”zam BEZ ee” and not ”zam BEE zee” as some say.

99 per cent of Zambians are black. The are mostly Bantu people and speak Bantu languages such as Lozzi and Bemba. The Bantu peoples lived there for millennia.

In the 1890s the British arrived in Zambia. They named the country Northern Rhodesia. This was because of the British businessman and politician Cecil Rhodes. Southern Rhodesia was what is now named Zimbabwe.

#The white immigrants dominated Zambia. Some Indians moved in too. Zambia is rich in metals such as copper. A white man who become Prime Minister of Zambia was Sir Godfrey Huggins. He said ”we have a racial partnership here. It is a partnership of rider and horse. ” Despite his racialist views he was not an ignoramus – he was a surgeon.

After the Second World War black Zambians began to agitate for greater involvement in the decision-making process. Zambia was briefly united with Zimbabwe and Malawi in the Central African Federation. However, this did not last.

Kenneth Kaunda was the leader of the United National Independence Party (UNIP). Kaunda demanded independence. In 1964 his wish was granted. Zambia became a republic within the Commonwealth. Kaunda was a socialist and his country was run on socialist lines.

In the 1970s there was a conflict in Zimbabwe which borders Zambia to the south. Zambia took the side of the black nationalists ZAPU and allowed them to base themselves in Zambia. ZAPU’s armed wing ZANLA used Zambia as a jumping off point for raids into Zimbabwe. UNIP made Zambia a one party state.

In the late 80s the Zambian economy hit a bad patch. Prices rocketed. Massive protest compelled Kaunda to stand down as president. He was succeeded by Frederick Chiluba. After him came Levy Mwanawasa. Mwanawasa led the Movement for Multiparty Democracy.

In 2014 he met George W bush several years before he was introduced to Bush was the Vice President of Zambia. Bush assumed people were joking.
In recent years many Chinese people have moved in.

The official language is English.

The capital city is Lusaka. The country borders Malawi, Mozambique, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Angola. Zambia has no coastline.

The national anthem is ‘Stand and sin of Zambia proud and free’
The fag has the Africa national colours – green, red, black and orange as well as an eagle.
The currency is th Kwacha.
Ndola is the second city.
1. What was the old name of Zambia
2. What is the majority race here?
3. When did the British arrive there?
4. What geographical feature lends its name to this nation?
5. Which country is adjacent to Zambia to the south?
6. Who was the founding president of Zambia?
7. Who was Sir Godfrey Huggins?
8. Which other two countries comprised the Central African Federation?
9. What is unusual about President Guy Scott?
10. Name a Bantu language of this country.
11. Is Zambia land locked?
12. What is the name of the capital?
13. What is the money called?
15. What is the symbol on the flag?
16. Name two neighbours of this country. Two marks.
17. What is the national language?
18. Name two Asian ethnicities in Zambia. Two marks.
19. What is the this country?




This is a country in the Middle East.

Yemen is bounded by Saudi Arabia to the north and the Arabian Sea to the south. The Red Sea lies to the west and Oman lies to the east.

Yemen is mountainous but there is desert too. There is oil but it is not an affluent nation.

Yemen is an Arabic speaking country. The people of Yemen are Muslims without exception. There was Jewish community there but they departed for Israel in the 1970s. Most Yemenis are Sunnis but a few are Shias.
The capital city of Yemen in Sana’a. The second city is Aden which is a port.

The British ruled South Yemen for 150 years. They based themselves in the port of Aden. They did not concern themselves with what happened much beyond the city. They called the land South Arabia.

North Yemen has been an Ottoman territory until 1918. Thereafter it was an independent polity.

The Britishers withdrew in 1968. There has been an insurgency for four years. In 1964 the UK announced its intention to pull out in five years. This was completed a little ahead of schedule.

South Yemen and North Yemen remained separate. South Yemen has a communist system. North Yemen was a traditional Islamic state. Despite the names North and South one country was more to the west (North Yemen) and the other was more to the east (South Yemen).

The people of Yemen are divided into tribes. There was a lot of fighting. Finally, in 1995 they united.

In 2014 a civil war broke out in Yemen. The Houthis (Shias) rebelled. They were assisted by the Iranians who are also Shia. The Saudi Arabians (Sunnis) helped the Yemeni Government.

1. What is the capital city of Yemen?
2. What is the language of Yemen?
3. What is the religion of the Yemenis?
4. What is the name of the main port of this land?
5. What country border Yemen to the north?
6. What sea is south of Yemen?
7. Which European country ruled some of Yemen for 150 years?
8. What did the British called South Yemen?
9. What was the ideology of South Yemen after 1968?
10. What was the system of North Yemen?

Research proposal




Word count:

MA in Applied Linguistics
Dissertation. Mary Immaculate College, the University of Limerick, Ireland.

The difficulties experienced by native speakers of Russian language in learning the English language.



This is research project is a qualitative study into the difficulties encountered by Russophones in learning English.



English is the world language with up to 10 per cent of the world’s population counting as native speakers – depending on one’s definition of a native speaker. About 20 per cent of Russian adults can speak English to at least an elementary level. However, this is much lower than in many non-Anglophone countries such as Sweden where the figure if about 90 per cent. For over 20 years every Russian child has done several years of English lessons at school. In some schools English has been the main foreign language for decades. Why is it that native speakers of the Russian find that English is especially challenging? This project aims to identify the obstacles that Russophones encounter. The difficulties that are particular to Russophones are topic of heated debate.

Previously German was the major foreign language in Russian schools. This is partially due to the grammatical structure of the German language with its six cases being notably similar to that of the Russian language. Now some Russian pupils are learning Chinese. Mandarin is extraordinarily difficult but has little grammar. Why do some Russians consider fluency in Mandarin Chinese to be obtainable but not in English? This hints at grammatical difficulties in the English language.

There are linguistic difficulties and sometimes cultural difficulties. What are these?

The linguistic difficulties can be grammatical or relate to pronunciation. In terms of pronunciation it is sometimes because a person cannot produce a certain sound which does not exist in his or her native tongue. On other occasions it is a question of laying the emphasis on the incorrect syllable. Sometimes people cannot distinguish where one syllable ends and the next begins. Certain words may be difficult to recall or to use appropriately. Syntax and word order also prove to be a headache for Russophones. Russian has six cases and these determine the relationships between the words in a Russian sentence. In English the word sequences performs the functions that cases perform in the Russian language. This leaves Russophones prone to making syntactical errors when attempting to converse in English since they may mistakenly believe that they are free to move words around in order and this will not affect the signification of the sentence.

This study will be very much embedded in the every day experience of an adult learner. They will have started learning English as children. As adult users of the language they will also be constantly improving.

Language choice theory and code switching are germane to this study.





To identify the obstacles encountered by native speakers of Russian in learning English.

To link these obstacles to components of the Russian language where possible.

To identify methods of overcoming the obstacles identified by the study.

Specifically, how can these difficulties be solved? These can then by used by the student and others to help teach English as a foreign language to Russophones.





What are the difficulties that Russophones experience in learning English?

Are there any strategies that they have been taught or they devised themselves to enable them to overcome these obstacles?

Is there anything about the English language which Russophones found particularly easy especially in comparison to Russian or other languages?

What mistakes made by the participants in the interviews are examples of L1 interference? Any L1 mistakes will be traced back and explained.



The research project will require the recruitment of participants. All of them will be adults. These are Russophones which does not necessarily mean that they are Russians. Some may be Uzbeks, Ukrainians, Belarussians, Kazakhs and people from other lands in the Russian-speaking world. Admittedly for some of these people from republics of the erstwhile USSR other than the Russian Federation, Russian might be a second rather than a first language. These people will be volunteers. Some of them may be previously known to the researcher and some not.

They will then be invited to a room on Blagoveshniy Street, Moscow, The Russian Federation at a time convenient to the participant. This location has been selected for its centrality. The participants will be interviewed individually. No one else will be present at these interviews. This is so the researcher can devote his full attention to each participant. Moreover, if someone else were present then the participant might feel inhibited and/or feel under pressure to go along with what someone else was saying.

The researcher shall greet the participants cordially and engaged in some small talk. It will emphasise the jovial and informal context of the interview. The purpose of this is to relax the participants and induce them to open up. The interviewer will speak his very imperfect Russian. This will make him equally vulnerable. The participants will then not be so embarrassed if they commit grammatical errors in English or mispronounce anything.

The interviews will be conducted in the English language. Any mistakes will not be corrected. However, the researcher might use these mistakes later to help him learn about the difficulty which Russophones experience in speaking English and speculate how this relates to L1 interference.

If a participant needs to we can switch into Russian for some of the conversation particularly if there is something that he or she is unable to express in the English language.

The interviewees (participants) will be asked to describe how good they think they are at various levels of English. Asking them about enjoyable teaching and learning strategies will take their mind off self-assessment. By learning I mean self-study – not how a teacher taught them.

#The researcher will not take notes during the interview since that might inhibit the participants. The participants will of course be informed that they are being recorded.

The interviews will be recorded. These can be played back later.

The interviews will last at least 30 minutes. They might last up to 60 depending on how fruitful the discussion is.

The specific research questions will be asked of the participants. They will also be asked if there is anything else that they wish to add.

The participants self-assessment may not be entirely accurate. People can overestimate or underestimate themselves. They might also over report or under report the difficulties that they have experienced. Nonetheless it is likely that at least some of what will be said shall prove to be accurate. Their beliefs about linguistic barriers will be worth analysing.

These interviews will provide food for thought. It might cause further exploration of some of these themes.

Some questions will be the same for each participants. Others will be tailored for the needs and experience of the individual participant. It will be intriguing to discover the commonality among the lived experience of the participants.


They shall not be paid for their time. This shall be made crystal clear to them before they sign the consent form.

I shall compare and contrast their experiences, the barriers to learning that they faced, their different means of overcoming the aforementioned barriers and I shall also examine areas of English which were easier than they had anticipated.

I would like the participants to speak as much as possible. I wish to avoid asking leading questions.

It can be conjectured that some of the difficulties faced by Russophones in acquiring mastery of the English language are not linguistic. Did they feel they were selling out by learning English? 26 years ago the Soviet Union was seen to be at parity with the United States. Did they face any disapproval from their families or peers? Were there psychological barriers holding them back? This touches on identity and language ideology. It could simply be that they found English dull or they faced mistake anxiety. Soviet education was very didactic and exacting.



A pool of ten people might be too small. Moreover, they will probably all be people who speak English fairly well or even fluently. This is an unrepresentative sample. They are mostly highly educated, in Moscow and aged 25-45. These are people most likely to be known to the researcher or to be friends of friends. The gender of participants is unlikely to have a major impact on the study. It is true that it is said that females typically underrate themselves more so than males of the same level of competence. I am not seeking to achieve a gender balance among the participants.

There will probably not be a large socio-economic discrepancy between the participants. Those who have a command of English tend to be from the upper middle class.

#People might not be entirely candid about the difficulties that they have experienced. They may find this embarrassing to talk about.

Because of the fairly small sample the participants cannot be taken to be representative of the Russian speaking world in its entirety. There are up to 200 000 000 native speakers of the Russian language. Generally speaking it is not sagacious to go from the particular to the general. It would not be sound to seek to draw firm conclusions from this small sample. Nonetheless these few participants could offer some genuine and precious insights into the language learning process.

The nature of this is qualitative and not quantitative. This project will not involve collecting a mass of statistics and analysing them in multiple different ways.

If this went really well there might be the potential to widen it into a larger project in future.

Yates has observed that one of the ptifalls of the methodology adumbrated hereinbefore it that one can put too much faith in individual stories. (Dornyei 2007). This issue is unusually salient in a qualitative study of this nature. Therefore the researcher shall be keenly alive to this peril.

One of the drawbacks of the informal approach is that the interview will be somewhat discursive. This may be a small price to pay for the fruitful data which may be uncovered through such a stratagem. However, the discursive style means that each person may be asked some different questions from the other participants.

There will not be much anxiety among the participants if they are previously known to the researcher. If this causes an ethical hurdle then different participants can be recruited.



Time is definitely a factor. A maximum of an hour might be too little for some very loquacious participants. There might be some very rich data to be harvested from further discussion. Moreover, education is an iterative process. It could be that the participants are ameliorating their English whilst the project is ongoing. Speaking to them weeks later might yield valuable data. However, time might not allow a second interview.

Once ethical clearance has been granted the data capturing process shall commence as soon as reasonably practicable. This may stretch over more than a month as participants need to be recruited. Then convenient time slots need to be found for participants.

Writing up shall start in March. A first draft will be ready in June. Final submission will be in August.



I am chary about this. The participants might feel timid or reticent because of this. They are worried about letting themselves down by making a mistake.



Information sheets and consent sheets will be given to participants. Only those who have signed that they have read and understood what the study is about will be permitted to take part. The key points will be repeated to them before commencing the interview. They are free to leave at any time and they are not required to state a reason for doing so. If the wish to leave the room for a personal reason in the midst of the interview this shall be permitted with the intention of returning in a few minutes. This is not the same as wishing to pull out of the whole process altogether.

Their anonymity is guaranteed. They will not be identified by name or other details. They will be assigned a random number. Safeguarding the privacy of the participants is of the first importance. The data shall be retained in a lockable cabinet. The data will be kept for three years after the completion of the project and then destroyed.

The interviewer will strive to avoid causing them distress.

They will be warmly thanked for the assistance at the end. The opportunity to practise their English will be welcomed by them. Moreover, they will be gratified by the knowledge that they have lent a hand to their fellow Russophones in enabling teaching strategies to be devised.

If the potential participants have further questions the researcher will be happy to deal with these. Clarification and more explanation shall be willingly provided.

The Mary Immaculate College Ethics Departmental Committee must clear this.




This project is original so far as I know. It is relevant because it is about English as it is learned and as it is spoken. It can be used in a practical manner to improve teaching methodology. This is not a hifalutin theoretical project. This will have a real world application and therefore be thoroughly useful. I would then be able to implement these strategies in my own teaching.

The project will not be guided by any particular research theory. I do not set out to prove or disprove any hypothesis. I do not wish to be prejudiced by such theories.

This will be a wonderful opportunity to gain a different perspective on the language acquisition process.



The aim would be to start collecting data as soon as ethical approval is granted. The ten or so interviews would be spaced over roughly a month. It could be that ten participants is insufficient and more participants are needed. In which case I would take longer. Moreover, it may transpire that follow up interviews are needed.

Interviews will be in March. The analysis of the data will be done in May. The first draft will be done in June. This will involve considerable editing.

Then I would move to the write up phase. This would take a few months. It will finish August. The second draft will be in August.



This is ethically sound. It aims to help Russophones by capturing data which will enable better teaching and learning strategies to be invented. It will also be of use to the participants because they will be granted the opportunity to practise their English with a native Anglophone.

Only adults will be recruited. This is partly owing to ethical considerations. The ethical situation for minors is much more problematic. It is hard for them to have the necessary detachment and perspective to reflect on their own difficulties. I would not want to risk lowering their self-esteem. Child protection issues would also be a complicating factor.

The adults will not be vulnerable or at risk.

The participants will be given a short but lucid information sheet as well as a consent form. This shall provide them with the contact details of my supervisor and the university. The participants shall be informed that they should contact my supervisor if they have any concerns or complaints.

The participants shall also be furnished with a debriefing sheet. If the participants wish to read the final dissertation this shall be made available to them. They shall be told that their co-operation is warmly appreciated.



Apple, M. W. (1996) Cultural Politics in Education, New York: Teachers College Press


Borg S. (2003) Teacher Cognition in language teaching – a review of research on what language teachers think, believe and do. Language Teaching Review (36) 1, 81-109. ,

Creswell, J W ( 2014 ) . Research, Design   Quantitative, Qualitative, and Mixed Methods Approaches. (4 ed). Sage.

Flynn, K. and Hill, J. (2005) ‘English language learners: A growing population’ (Policy brief). Aurora, CO: Mid-continent Research for Education and Learning.


Rose, K. and Kasper, G. (2001). Pragmatics in language teaching. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press


Street, B., Grenfell, M., Bloome, D. Hardy, C., Pahl, K., Rowsell, J. (2013) Language,
Ethnography, and Education: Bridging New Literacy Studies and Bordieu, Routeledge:





Unit 4. lesson 1. research methods. Ethics.


designing ethical research

thesis life cycle.

phases. planning. write proposal. ethic approval. data collection, data analysis. writing up phrase.

iterative process.

think about that ethics permeates every step.

get out and collect data.

realise that ethics is throughout the thesis. it pervades it

do not ignore things or over egg

research related to education is seldom given to all encompassing solutions#

vital for democracy.

moral duty.

researchers have a moral duty to protect people. protect participants. keep them from harm, distress or abuse of power

emotional, implicit or social distress. physical distress.


resaeach offers benefits to society.

there are stakeholders.

reasonable t expect that people behave in a socially responsible wat by taking part.

they have right to privacy, protection from harm.

researchers have to respect and protect their participants.

ethical dilemmas. right to privacy, anonymity and

sensitive info

personal date could identify participants. this must not be leaked

must not be tied back to person – data

if given permission to observe a serting – if anything happens outside remit of the reaech that it nevr leave the seting

when disseminating the info – when writing up do do not identiy people

names and addresses must be kept sepate from data








Zenit is a football club based in St Petersburg. Zenit is the most distinguished team in St Petersburg.

This club was founded in 1914 or 1925. Several teams banded together to form Zenit.

The colours are dark blue, white and sky blue. They usually play in dark blue. But the away strip is sky blue with white facings.

The team has the nickname the anti aircraft defenders. Krestovsky Stadium is the home ground. The club is owned by Gazprombank. The stadium can seat 56 000 spectators.

The chairman is Sergey Fursenko.

An Italian named Mancini is the manager.

This team plays in the Russian Premier League. Zenit came third last season.

The team has had players from Russia, the Ukraine, Turkmenistan, Turkey, the Republic of Korea, Mexico, Colombia, Brazil, Portugal and Romania and Finland.



QUESTIONS. Write in full sentences. There is one mark per question unless otherwise stated.

  1. What are the two possible foundation dates for this team? Two marks.
  2. What does FC mean?
  3. Who is the manger?
  4. Who is the chairman?
  5. What are the home colours?
  6. What are the away colours?
  7. What is the stadium called?
  8.  How many people can enter the stadium?
  9. Which city is Zenit in?
  10. What is the nickname of the club?
  11.  State your opinion of this club? Five marks.