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ENGLISH SPEAKING COUNTRIES

English is one of the widespread languages in the world. As for
the number of people speaking English it is the most used
language. It is the mother tongue for inhabitants of the
following countries: the Unites States of America, Canada, Great
Britain, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand.Then there is a great
number of countries where English is spoken as the second
language, for example: some African countries and some Asian
countries.
I would like speak about Australia because it is exotic for me.

Australia

Geography

Australia is the smallest continent on the Earth. It lies in
the southern hemisphere, between the Indian Ocean on the west and
the Pacific Ocean on the east. Its area is just 7 686 848 square
kilometers. The east coast is bordered by the Great Dividing
Range
which is known as the Australian Alps or Australian
Cordilleres. Its highest point is Mt. Koscuisko which lies in the
Australian Alps. There are two big deserts here: The Great
Sandy Desert
and the Great Victoria Desert. The country has two
big rivers: the Murray and the Darling. In the Lake Eyre there is
the lowest point on the continent. It is 16 meters below the sea
level. This lake is the largest in Australia. The second largest
lake is the Lake Torrens and then it is the Lake Gairdner.

History and Government
During the 17th century Abel Tasman discovered Tasmania, New
Zealand, Tonga and Fiji. In 1770 the British captain James Cook
discovered the eastern coast of Australia, where the different
tribes lived.In 1788 the British government established the first
colony. In the 19th century many settlers went to Australia
because gold was found here.
In Australia there is the federal state which is called "The
Commonwealth of Australia
". It is a British dominion belonging to
"The British Commonwealth of Nations". It has a democratic,
federal system and the head of state is Queen Elizabeth II.
upresented by the Governor General. The head of Government is the
Prime Minister
(Paul Keatnig since Dec.1991). The Federal
Parliament
has its seat in Canberra and is divided into the
Senate
and the House of Representatives. Australia consists of 6
states and 2/3 territories.

Population
The native people are Aboriginals and they have inhabited
Australia for thousands of years. Today they make up about 1% of
the population. There are some who live in tribes as nomads,
mainly in the Northern Territory and in Western Australia, and
others live a life which is similar to Gypsies.
Country isn't densely populated. There are only about 16 mil.

inhabitants. This is so because large territories in the interior
of the country are difficult to live in they are dry. There is a
little rainfall there and so most people live along the
Southeastern coast.

Climate
The Australian climate varies from warm to subtropical. About
80% of Australian area suffers from drought and that is why there
are many deserts there.
Climate has been the most influential factor to decide where
people live - most live along the coastal areas where the soil is
fertile and temperatures more pleasant. The more inland you go,
the greater risk of bushfires, droughts and floods. Australia is
full of extremes!

Many species of animals live in Australia. The exploration of
their evolution is very interesting because for long prehistoric
periods the continent was quite isolated from others. In
Australian there are koala bears, dingoes, platypuses, emus,
kangaroos . . . Some animals were brought to Australia. There are
sheep and rabbits ( a big danger for farmers). There are also
ancalyptus there.

The big cities
SYDNEY
- Throughout the years immigrants brought with their
traditions, so walking along s street in the centre of Sydney you
come across a Chinese restaurant, An Italian place, Greek shops
and the like. In the centre of Sydney there is Chinatown.
CANBERRA - the capital is quite different. It has the Parliament
House, High Court
, and other important buildings.
QUEENSLAND - is called the "Sunshine state". There is the Gold
Coast
which is a haven for suffers, beachbunapand and willious
of tourists.

Education
All students wear school uniform, expect those at university or
college. Education is compulsory starting at the age of 6 and
continuing to 15/16. Schooling is provided at kindergartens and
lay centres from 2 to 6 years of age.
Education is compulsory only until 15/16 (School Certificate)
or if students wish until 17/18 (Higher School Certificate -
they need it for university or college).

The economic situation
The economic situation used to be very good, especially in the
1980's but now there are great problems with unemployment which
rose to 11% in 1992, and also foreign debt.
Australia is an industrial and agriculture country. It's rich
in minerals (gold, silver, iron and other...). It exports meat,
milk products, wheat ...

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