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

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!

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

''Joy in looking and comprehending is nature's most beautiful gift''
Albert Einstein, physicist, 1879-1955

''... to find the word, or words, by which [an] idea may be most fitly and aptly expressed''
P.M. Roget, lexicographer, 1779-1869

Friday, 11 March 2011

Where are the rainforests? - FCE gap fill

Level: FCE / B2

Here is a gap-fill exercise from First Certificate in English (FCE).
There are fifteen gaps in the text. The most common grammatical words that are removed from the text are:
• prepositions (e.g. on, in, to)
• quantifiers (e.g. little, few)
• auxiliary verbs (e.g. do, are, have)
• determiners (e.g. the, most, another)
• relative pronouns (e.g. whom, who, where)
• possessive adjectives (e.g. my, his, their)

Read the following text and fill in the gaps with an appropriate word.

Where are the rainforests?

Rainforests once occupied almost all the land around the Equator, (1)                      there is hot sun and rainfall almost every day. In these hot, wet areas, trees and (2)                                  kinds of vegetation grow fast, feeding massive numbers (3)                             insects and animals.

Until recently, the rainforests filled river valleys in warmer countries (4)                   Australia. They climbed hillsides of great mountain chains (5)                           as the South American Andes, and covered islands (6)                      Borneo to the West Indies.

In West Africa, the rainforests cover (7)                     wide strip of the coast from Sierra Leone to Gabon. In the last century these forests (8)                       mostly uninhabited. The Europeans arrived and soon began chopping (9)                the trees for timber and to make way for massive plantations of cocoa, peanuts and cotton.

Today, two thirds of the West African forests (10)                            gone. But elsewhere in Central Africa it (11)                                       still possible to find huge undisturbed forests. Nineteenth century explorers along (12)                 River Zaire called Africa the 'dark continent'. Even today (13)                                 are no roads in some places. The inhabitants include pygmies, (14)                                     are trying to lead (15)                                     lives in harmony with the forest.
Adapted from First Certifiacate Gold, Langman 2000

Answers below!


1  where
2  all / other
3  of
4  like
5  such
6  from
7  a
8  were
9  down
10 have
11 is
12 the
13 there
14 who
15 their