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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 240 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

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

Sunday, 31 July 2011

Shark finning

Level: Advanced / C1

This week is Shark Week!
Read this article about shark finning and answer the following questions:
1) How much can shark fins sell for?
2) True or false: shark fins are very nutritious
3) Why is demand for shark fins growing in China?
4) According to this article, how many sharks are killed by finning each year?
5) Why do sharks reproduce and mature so slowly?


Answers below!



ANSWERS!

1) $300 per pound
2) False
3) With China's economy growing, more people can afford this luxury symbol
4) 88-100 million
5) Because they are at the top of their food chain and have few predators

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Monday, 18 July 2011

European wildlife being illegally killed

Level: Advanced / C1

Read this article about illegal killing of European wildlife, then answer the following questions:
1) Who wrote the report?
2) How many Brown Bears were poisoned in Spain?
3) Data for the report came from how many countries?
4) Where did the European Conference on Illegal Killing of Birds take place?
5) What is Boris Barov's job?


Answers below!




ANSWERS!
1) BirdLife
2) Seven
3) 38
4) Larnaka, Cyprus
5) European Conservation Manager at BirdLife Europe



Friday, 15 July 2011

Tenses and time expressions - grammar lesson 5

Tenses and time expressions – polar test

Level: Pre-intermediate / A2

Put the verb in brackets into the correct tense – Present simple, Present Continuous or future (going to or will). If there is no verb, use if, when, or as soon as.

British explorer Robin Drake says the first international polar expedition 1                          (start) next week. They 2                                    (try) to reach the North Pole on a 65-day, 480-mile journey. 3                                   Drake 4                                      (succeed), he 5                                     (be) the first man to walk to both the North and South poles.

Drake 6                                    (go) on the Icewalk Expedition with navigator Alan Winterson. 7                           they 8                                       (arrive) in Thule, in northern Greenland, walkers from Russia, the USA, Japan, Australia, Canada and Italy 9                          (join) them. 10                                     they 11                                      (get) to their base camp, Eueka, inside the Arctic Circle, they 12                                           (have to) build huts to protect them from temperatures as low as -55 Celsius.

‘We 13                                      (do) a lot of experiments to see how much pollution there is in the area,’ said Robin. ‘The results 14                                      (help) us to understand the effects of pollution on the planet, including the greenhouse effect.’ 15                          the weather 16                         (be) good enough, they 17                                          (make) a film of the expedition. Robin said,’ 18                                we 19                           (get) back home, we 20                            (show) it to people all over the world.’

Adapted from New Headway Pre-intermediate, OUP

Answers below!





ANSWERS!


British explorer Robin Drake says the first international polar expedition 1IS GOING TO START next week. They 2ARE GOING TO TRY to reach the North Pole on a 65-day, 480-mile journey. 3 IF Drake 4 SUCCEEDS, he 5 WILL BE the first man to walk to both the North and South poles.


Drake 6IS GOING on the Icewalk Expedition with navigator Alan Winterson. 7WHEN/AS SOON AS they 8ARRIVE in Thule, in northern Greenland, walkers from Russia, the USA, Japan, Australia, Canada and Italy 9WILL JOIN them. 10WHEN/AS SOON AS they 11GET to their base camp, Eueka, inside the Arctic Circle, they 12WILL HAVE TO BUILD huts to protect them from temperatures as low as -55 Celsius.

‘We 13ARE GOING TO DO a lot of experiments to see how much pollution there is in the area,’ said Robin. ‘The results 14WILL HELP us to understand the effects of pollution on the planet, including the greenhouse effect.’ 15IF the weather 16IS good enough, they 17WILL/ARE GOING TO MAKE a film of the expedition. Robin said,’ 18AS SOON AS       we 19GET back home, we 20WILL SHOW it to people all over the world.’


Wednesday, 13 July 2011

The countryside - crossword

Some good vocabulary to practice in this crossword from the BBC Learning English website:

Countryside crossword

How was it? Let me know please.

Monday, 11 July 2011

Ten minute reading: Ospreys in England

Read this article about ospreys in England and answer these questions:
1 What is a newly hatched bird called?
2 How big is Kielder Park?
3 Which four organisations have been working on the Osprey project?
4 What does fledge mean?
5 How far do Ospreys migrate

Answers below!



ANSWERS!
1. A chick
2. 62,000 heactares
3. The Forestry Commission, Northumberian Water, the Northumberland Wildlife Trust, the RSPB.
4. The stage in a young bird's life when the feathers and wing muscles are sufficiently developed for flight. It also describes the act of a chick's parents raising it to a fully grown state.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fledge
5. 9,000 miles

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Monday, 4 July 2011

Serengeti road project

Level: Advanced / C1

A controversial road project through the Serengeti had been cancelled.
Read this article about it and answer these questions:

1 What habitats does the Serengeti national park protect?
2 How many herbivore take part in the mass migrations in the national park?
3 How many bird species can be found in the Serengeti?
4 Who does Dr Markus Borner work for?
5 How many vehicles would have used the new road?

Answers below!




ANSWERS!!

1 Grassland and savannah
2 Two million
3 450
4 Frankfurt Zoological Society
5 800 a day by 2015, 3000 a day by 2035