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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

Friday, 29 November 2013

Burma's undiscovered insects and spiders

Level: Intermediate / B1

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A BBC/Smithsonian film crew went to Burma (Myanmar) and discovered some wonderful new species.

Have a look at this photo-story and then answer the following questions:
1) What is an entomologist?
2) Where is Tamanathi?
3) How did the team catch the insects they studied?
4) How long was the featherwing beetle?
5) In the last photo, what is on the spider's body?

Answers below!




ANSWERS!

1) A scientist who studies insects
2) In the north-west
3) With bucket and light traps
4) 0.5 mm long
5) Young spiderlings

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Polish coal controversy. Video lesson 23

Level: Upper-Intermediate / B2

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At the Climate Change Summit in Poland, the UN Chief Climate Negotiator (Christiana Figueres) has called on Poland to cut its use of coal. But they are heavily dependant on it.
Watch this short (three minute) video about new coal technology in Poland and then answer the following questions:
1) How many people like in Krakow?
2) Breathing the smog is like smoking how many cigarettes a year?
3) Who does Andrzej Gula work for?
4) How many people die from the smog in Krakow every year?
5) What does the new facility in Katowice produce from coal?

Answers below!



ANSWERS!

1) 35,000?
2) 2,500?
3) Krakow Clean Air Campaign?
4) Several hundred
5) Gas

Saturday, 16 November 2013

Illegal trade in animals

Level: Intermediate / B1

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More endangered animals and animal products were confiscated in the UK than ever before, according to the Home Office Border Agency.

Have a look at this photo-story and then answer the following questions:
1) What animal skin was found in a Rolls-Royce?
2) What is CITES?
3) How many live animals were seized?
4) What does 'CRAZE' contain?
5) Why was a man from Manchester sent to prison in May?

Answers below!




ANSWERS!

1) Alligator
2) Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna
3) 93
4) A rare orchid (Dendrobium)
5) For trying to import live coral.

Friday, 15 November 2013

Free English exercises

International House in Bristol offers free English exercises on it's webpage.
Here is one with ten questions about the environment. How many can you get right?!

Under a cloud - English phrase

The BBC Learning English website has many great activities and articles.
In the Grammar and Vocabulary section they often have a phrase for the day.
Recently they had Under a cloud. Do you know what it means? Have a look at the site to find out.

Forest change mapped by Google Earth

Level: Intermediate / B1
Looking at numbers

Please click the 'Print Friendly' icon below if you want to print this exercise

Using Google Earth, a team at Maryland University have produced a high-resolution map of global forest loss and gain.
Read this article about it and then answer the following questions:
1) What is the maximum resolution of the map?
2) How many images were taken to make the map?
3) How much tree cover was lost on Earth between 2000 and 2012?
4) How big was Indonesia's annual loss?
5) By how much is tropical forest loss increasing per year?

Answers below!




ANSWERS!

1) 30 metres
2) 650,000
3) 2.3m km2 or sq km (m = million) (km2 or sq km = square kilometres)
4) 20,000 km2
5) 2,100 km2