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 250 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

Tuesday, 25 December 2012

Invasive species - Himalayan Balsam

Level: Advanced / C1

Invasive species are a big problem all over the world. But here is an encouraging story of a project to control one such species in Wales.
Read the article and answer the following questions:
1) When did the North Wales Wildlife Trust start to control Himalayan Balsam?
2) The river Alyn flows into which other river?
3) Why is Himalayan Balsam relatively easy to control?
4) What problems does the Signal Crayfish cause?
5) Which other plants are mentioned in the article?

Answers below!


1) 2009
2) The river Dee
3) It can be easily uprooted
4) It carries a disease, it burrows into river banks and it eats salmon eggs
5) Japanese Knotweed, Giant Hogweed

Christmas crossword

Okay, it's not strictly an environmental subject, but food vocabulary is useful! So, have a go at this BBC Christmas food crossword and see how you do.
Merry Christmas!

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Fracking in the UK

Level: Advanced / C1

The UK government has given permission for fracking to re-commence after recent safety concerns.

Here is a good article looking at the truth (or otherwise) of fracking.

Read the article and answer these questions.

1) What is the real name for 'fracking'
2) Why did the UK government temporarily ban it?
3) Where else in the world has fracking caused earthquakes/earth tremors?
4) What is in the fluid that is used for fracking?
5) Why are residents in Pavillion, Wyoming unhappy with fracking?

Finally, what do you think? To frack or not?!

Answers below!


1) Hydraulic fracturing
2) Because of earth tremors
3) Canada and the USA
4) Water, sand and chemicals
5) They claim it is affecting their drinking water

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Extreme weather - crossword

Here's a new crossword from the BBC. This time it is about extreme weather.
A few difficult words and phrases in it. Let me know how you get on!