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Welcome! This site is for students to practice their English and keep up to date with environmental issues.

TEN MINUTES OF ENGLISH A DAY!
You can find a mixture of reading, crosswords, videos and short English lessons: these will normally be vocabulary, but I may also treat you to some grammar!

There are now over 200 lessons on this blog. Look through the Blog archive, Post labels and Popular Posts to find what you want.

If you want to print a lesson, click on the lesson title and then look for the Print Friendly icon.

''Let nature be your teacher''
William Wordsworth, poet, 1770-1850

Saturday, 6 December 2014

Peru's glaciers melting quickly

Level: Intermediate B1

Please click the 'Print Friendly' icon at the bottom of the page if you want to print this exercise.

Glaciers in Peru are melting very quickly.
What does that mean for the people who live there? Watch this short (two minute) video too find out.
When you have watched the video, answer the following questions:

1) How many people depend on the glaciers?
2) How much have the glaciers reduced in the last four decades?
3) What do locals use the glacier water for?
4) How much has the temperature in the Andes increased by since 1951?
5) Where is the current climate conference being held?


Answers next week!

Thursday, 4 December 2014

Plastic in the oceans

The build up of plastic in the oceans is one of our biggest environmental problems.
But how much do you know about it?
Here is a great article about the problem, written by Morgana Mattus from FIX.

Plastic Build Up in Our Oceans



Major deltas could be drowned

Level: Intermediate B1

Please click the 'Print Friendly' icon at the bottom of the page if you want to print this exercise.

The world's river deltas are under threat. Read this article to find out why.
When you have read the article, answer the following questions:

1) Why are deltas under threat?
2) How many people live in deltas?
3) How are deltas formed?
4) Which delta is the most extensive wetland in the EU?
5) True or false: the UK has many deltas?


Answers next week!

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Wastewater treatment

Level: Upper-intermediate B2

Please click the 'Print Friendly' icon at the bottom of the page if you want to print this exercise.

Do you know what wastewater is and how it is treated? Here is a great article about it.
Read the article and then answer the following questions:

1) What is wastewater?
2) Why do we need to treat it?
3) What three types of process can be used to treat wastewater?
4) In India, what is the main focus of water pollution control?
5) In India, which simple techniques can save thousands of lives?


Answers next week!

Sunday, 16 November 2014

How almonds are sucking California dry

Level: Upper-intermediate B2

Please click the 'Print Friendly' icon at the bottom of the page if you want to print this exercise.

California's worst drought for over a century is causing big problems for farmers and residents.
Read this BBC article about the situation.
You can also download the podcast.

Read and/or listen to the article, then answer the following questions:
1) How much water do almonds farmers need?
2) What are people doing to their gardens to cope with the drought?
3) For how many years has California had this drought?
4) How much of the world's supply of almonds comes from California?
5) Which country is the biggest market for the almonds?


Answers below!





ANSWERS!

1) A trillion gallons per year
2) Installing succulent plants and ground cover 
3) This is the third year
4) 80%
5) China

Monday, 3 November 2014

Elephants - mega-gardeners of the forest

Level: Upper-intermediate B2
Use of adjectives

Please click the 'Print Friendly' icon at the bottom of the page if you want to print this exercise.

Here is another great video from the BBC's Power of Nature series, this time about the Congo and elephants.

Watch the video (four minutes long) and then complete the sentences below. You need to fill the gaps with adjectives.
1) ''...one of the                                      and                                   tropical rainforests'' (00:04 in the video)
2) ''...and at its heart is an                                             giant.'' (00:17)
3) ''...one of the                      -                     wild places of our world.'' (00:30)
4) ''...the diversity of species that make up the forest is a                                       characteristic.'' (01:14)
5) ''...and they do that by wrapping the seed in a                         ,                             ,                          packet...'' (01:37)

Answers below!




ANSWERS!

1) ''...one of the   largest  and  richest  tropical rainforests'' (00:04 in the video)
2) ''...and at its heart is an  enigmatic  giant.'' (00:17)
3) ''...one of the  life-giving  wild places of our world.'' (00:30)
4) ''...the diversity of species that make up the forest is a  fundamental  characteristic.'' (01:14)
5) ''...and they do that by wrapping the seed in a  nice  ,  little  ,  tasty  packet...'' (01:37)

Monday, 29 September 2014

Don't buy wild-caught salmon

Level: Advanced C1

Please click the 'Print Friendly' icon at the bottom of the page if you want to print this exercise.

Do you know which fish you should buy and which you should avoid?
Here is a report from the Guardian's environment section about sustainable seafood.

First, before reading, find out what these fish are:

  • Salmon (Atlantic)
  • Mackerel
  • Whiting
  • Cod (Atlantic)
  • Plaice (European)
  • Halibut (Atlantic)
  • Dover/Common Sole
  • Mediterranean Tuna (Albacore)
  • Scampi
  • Sea Bass (European)
  • Turbot
  • Lobster (European)
  • Crab (Edible)


Now, read the article and then answer these questions:

1) What is the MCS?
2) Why does it tells us not to eat wild-caught salmon?
3) Which fish are back on the 'Fish to eat' list?
4) True or false: all cod can be eaten?
5) Where is the most sustainable crab from?

Answers below!



ANSWERS!

1) Marine Conservation Society
2) Because of depleted stock due to over-fishing
3) Mackerel, herring and halibut
4) False - only cod from the north-east Arctic, east Baltic and Iceland
5) The Western Channel and the Celtic Sea