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!

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

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Yellowstone slide show

Level: Advanced / C1

Here are some great photos of Yellowstone National Park.
Read the text which is with each photo and then answer these questions:
1) In which state is Yellowstone National Park?
2) What is a caldera?
3) How high can Old Faithful reach?
4) What gives Grand Prismatic Spring its orange colour?
5) What is a confluence?


1) Wyoming
2) The collapsed cone of a supervolcano
3) 55m
4) Pigmented bacteria
5) Where two rivers meet

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Bark Beetles in Czech Forests

Level: Advanced / C1

Here is a short article about the controversial clearance of trees in a Czech national park to control bark beetles.
Read the article and then answer the following questions:
1) Who is the EU Environment Commissioner?
2) When did the EU write to the Czech government?
3) Who is Jan Stráský?
4) How big is Šumava national park?
5) What is the neighbouring national park in Germany called?

Answers below!

1) Janez Potočnik
2) In mid-June 2012
3) Head of Šumava National Park
4) 16,827 ha
5) Bavarian Forest National Park

Saturday, 23 June 2012

IUCN 2012 update

Level: Advanced / C1

Here is an article about the latest update of the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
Read the article and then answer the following questions:
1) What is the IUCN?
2) How many species were assessed?
3) What is the world's largest venomous snake?
4) How many people depend on coral reefs for food, coastal protection and their livelihoods?
5) Why are invasive species a problem?

Answers below!


1) The International Union for Conservation of Nature
2) 63,837
3) The King Cobra Ophiophagus hannah
4) More than 275 million people
5) They are a threat to food security, human and animal health, and to biodiversity

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Sydney's rubbish - video lesson 9

Here is a short video (two and a half minutes) about rubbish in Sydney.
Watch the video and then answer the following questions:
1) How many people live in Sydney?
2) ''In places it looks like a                                  store''
3) What can the plastic do to marine life?:
 ''. . . .  choke   ,                             or                   it.''
4) How long did it take to fill the two bags with rubbish?
5) Two Hands Environmental Group has how many Facebook followers?

Answers below!


1) Five million
2) clothing
3) entangle     poison
4) Twelve minutes
5) 20,000