intro

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

Saturday, 25 May 2013

Articles - grammar lesson 11

Level: Upper Intermediate / B2

Please use the 'Print Friendly' icon if you want to print this exercise.

Articles – general knowledge quiz


A:        Complete the quiz with a, an, the or – (zero article).

B:        See how many questions you can answer.

1          Which planet is nearest to ______ Sun?
2          What type of fruit is ______ cantaloupe?
3          How many states are there in ______ USA?
4          In which sea would you find ______ Balearic Islands?
5          Which animal is ______ symbol of ______ WWF?
6          What is ______ 40% of 40?
7          What was ______ name of ______ Tarzan’s monkey?
8          What country is ______ Lake Como in?
9          What’s ______ highest mountain in ______ Himalayas?
10        Who was ______ second person to walk on ______ Moon?
11        How many players can be on court in ______ volleyball team?
12        Which nation first gave ______ women ______ right to vote?
13        Which animals were domesticated first, ______ cats or ______ dogs?
14        Which European country hasn’t fought in ______ war since ______ 1815?
15        What is ______ largest man-made structure on ______ Earth?
16        What vegetable is ______ vodka often made from?
17        Is ______ spider ______ insect?
18        What colour is ______ black box on ______ plane?
19        What’s ______ sacred river in ______ India called?
20        Which travels faster, ______ light or ______ sound?
Adapted from New English File Upper Intermediate OUP
Answers below!




ANSWERS!
1          Which planet is nearest to __the__ Sun?
            Mercury
2          What type of fruit is __a___ cantaloupe?
            a melon
3          How many states are there in __the__ USA?
            50
4          In which sea would you find __the__ Balearic Islands?
            the Mediterranean
5          Which animal is __the__ symbol of __the__ WWF?
            the panda
6          What is __ -__ 40% of 40?
            16
7          What was __the__ name of ___-__ Tarzan’s monkey?
            Cheeta(h)
8          What country is ___-__ Lake Como in?
            Italy
9          What’s __the__ highest mountain in __the__ Himalayas?
            Mount Everest
10        Who was __the__ second person to walk on __the__ Moon?
            Buzz Aldrin
11        How many players can be on court in __a___ volleyball team?
            6
12        Which nation first gave __-___ women __the__ right to vote?
            New Zealand
13        Which animals were domesticated first, __-___ cats or __-___ dogs?
            dogs
14        Which European country hasn’t fought in __a___ war since __-___ 1815?
            Switzerland
15        What is __the__ largest man-made structure on __-___ Earth?
            The Great Wall of China
16        What vegetable is __-___ vodka often made from?
            potatoes
17        Is __a/the__ spider __an__ insect?
            no – it’s an arachnid
18        What colour is __the__ black box on __a __ plane?
            orange
19        What’s __the__ sacred river in __-___ India called?
            the Ganges
20        Which travels faster, __-___ light or __-___ sound?
            light

Friday, 24 May 2013

English courses this summer

Do you want to go to England to improve your English?!
I can recommend a school called English Steps.
They have spaces on their English courses in July and August.


  • Live with a qualified English teacher and other students, in an English-speaking house.
  • 17.5 hours of morning English lessons per week, in small classes - maximum class size of 4, normally 2 or 3.
  • Work for Charities, NGOs and other organisations in the afternoons.
  • Or join us on Trips, activities and extra courses with qualified English teachers.
  • Free accommodation in your own room in Leeds, UK.
  • Social activities such as film-nights, cultural evenings, and trips to the pub.


  You can find more information here, or go to the English Steps website.


Thursday, 23 May 2013

Weather quiz

Level: Upper intermediate / B2

Here is a great interactive weather quiz on the BBC Learning English website. It includes audio as well as visual material.
See how well you can do!

World Migratory Bird Day

Level: Intermediate / B1 and Upper intermediate / B2

Please use the 'Print Friendly' icon if you want to print this exercise.

Sorry, I completely missed this in my calendar!
11-12 May was World Migratory Bird Day.

A: Video lesson (Intermediate / B1)
Better late than never, here is a short video (with English subtitles) from their website.
Watch the video and answer the following questions:
1) Which three birds are describes as travelling thousands of miles? (video 00:29 seconds)
2) What do birds do at the 'increasingly vulnerable sites' they stop at on their journey (00:49)
3) When is World Migratory Bird Day usually celebrated? (01:08)
4) What is the theme of this years World Migratory Bird Day? (01:16)
5) What is the bird we can hear calling throughout the video (the answer is right at the end!)

Answers below!

B: Lesson plan (Upper intermediate / B2)
Here is a lesson from MacMillan Global, a site I regularly use for material.
You can download the lesson and the teachers notes called Flying across the globe, which looks at bird migration.



ANSWERS!


A: Video lesson (Intermediate / B1)
1) Cranes, storks and eagles
2) Rest, feed and breed
3) The second weekend in May
4) Networking for migratory birds
5) Crane

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Eco-friendly cars

Level: Upper-intermediate / B2

Please use the 'Print Friendly' icon if you want to print this exercise.

Here is an interesting article about the pros and cons of electric cars.
Read the article and look at the graphic. Then answer the following questions:
1) How many cars are there in America?
2) How far does the average American drive every day?
3) Which state uses the highest proportion of renewable resources for energy production?
4) How fuel-efficient are electric cars?
5) How much of the world's oil does the USA use?

Answers below!






ANSWERS!

1) 130.9 million
2) 40 miles
3) Idaho
4) 80%
5) one-fifth

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Conservation award winners

Level: Intermediate / B1

Please use the 'Print Friendly' icon if you want to print this exercise.

The 2013 Whitley Awards Ceremony was held on the second of May at the Royal Geographical Society in London.
The Awards are made annually by the Whitley Fund for Nature to recognise and celebrate effective national and regional conservation leaders across the globe.

Here is a BBC report with photos. Have a look at it and then answer the following questions:
1) What did Cagan Sekercioglu win the Gold Award for?
2) The Amur river basin is home to which endangered species?
3) Where was Daniel Lejaroi Letoiye's project?
4) Why are hornbills threatened in Arunachal Pradesh?
5) When was the first Whitley Award?

Answers below!






ANSWERS!


1) He initiated Turkey's first ever wildlife corridor to reconnect the forest habitats of large carnivores.
2) Four species of endamgered crane.
3) Kenya.
4) Because of hunting and habitat loss.
5) 1994