I love this country and relish the opportunity to touch the stones and buildings that have seen so much history, but whenever I visit, I have a hard time getting past the reality of the city I see before me. Each time I want it to be the way I’ve imagined it: grand yet quaint, bustling but without the tourists, and entirely old.
For the more adventurous: I went, on several recommendations, to Roast in Borough Market, which, on a Friday, is a wonderful experience. The bustling market is just waking up and delicious food is sold all around as you enter.
The following listening activity is based on an ABS News video. If you are preparing for IELTS or CAE this will be a great exercise to test not only your listening comprehension but your vocabulary knowledge too. The video is about the frigid conditions in the US at the end of December.
Before watching the video, read the following words and try to guess their meaning if you don’t know it yet.
SKIN – THREATENING – BUNDLED – PLOUGH – FORECAST – TO DIG – COLD SNAP – SNOW BLOWER – ICICLES – DANGEROUS CHILL – TO TURN – DEADLY – UNBEARABLE – TO DUMP – OVERFLOWING – TO DROP
After that, try to fill in the gaps (you have to conjugate the verbs), even not knowing the meaning of all the words. Think if the missing word is a verb, a noun, an adverb, or an adjective, this will help you.
The following step will be watching the video. This isn’t an easy one, they all speak really fast, so probably you won’t be able to fill in the gaps while watching the first time.
You can find the answers in the PDF file.
SKIN – THREATENING – BUNDLED – PLOUGH – FORECAST – TO DIG – COLD SNAP – SNOW BLOWER – ICICLES – DANGEROUS CHILL – TO TURN – DEADLY – UNBEARABLE – TO DUMP – OVERFLOWING – DROP
We begin with that ___________________________ taking hold of half the country tonight.
Part of Pennsylvania and New York still _____________________ out from under five feet.
And now the Arctic invasion across most of the lower 48 states. This fountain you see right there behind New York Public Library, mostly ___________________ to ice.
And take a look at the _____________________ for New Year’s Eve, the coldest in more than 50 years.
When the ball ___________________ in Time Square the wind chill could meet minus 4 and for millions feeling the cold there’s much worse snow in the forecast as well.
Tonight the 200 million Americans _____________________ from head to toe.
That dangerous ________________________gripping more than half the country.
The cold could be __________________, especially for the very young and the very old.
Extreme weather is more than an inconvenience, it remains a serious and potentially life _________________________
Shelters __________________________ with people trying to escape the frigid temperatures.
And in Cotton, Minnesota, an _______________________ 41° below 0.
It feels like your __________________ is gonna be on fire.
Dave S. had to hire a ___________________ to unbury his car.
Heavy snow packed on rooftops, ______________________ nearly everywhere you look.
N. today pushing his _________________________ clearing his home.
All day truck after truck, we’ve seen them coming here, ______________________ their loads. Some of these piles are 12 feet high.
There may be several reasons that account for this discrepancy between the students’ and the teachers’ opinions. (Source)
We were also able to account fordifferent assumptions about the combined effects of influenza illness and vaccination in modelling the joint risk of GBS if influenza illness were to occur in persons who had been vaccinated. (Source)
School personnel may be unaware of the potential barriers created for parents when written communication methods do not account for parent needs and literacy levels. (Source)
A group of school children from Lancashire, who had been on a school trip to the area, have all been accounted forand are all safe and well, according to staff. (Source)
Once all known victims have been accounted for, it is time again to change the pace of the operation, shifting back to a more cautious, controlled attitude. (Source)
As always, I suggest that you read the vocabulary list before watching the video. You can find a pdf version of this listening comprehension below.
To skyrocket: to rise extremely quickly or make extremely quick progress towards success. Ex. Lipstick sales in South Korea have skyrocketed this year.
Fourfold: four times as big or as much. Ex. According to recent figures, 34000 people are infected, and the most aggressive form of the virus, HIV 1, which was unknown in the country until the 1990s, has increased fourfold in the past 13 years.
Slums: a poor and crowded area of a city where the buildings are in bad condition.
Pollution: the process of making air, water, soil etc dangerously dirty and not suitable for people to use, or the state of being dangerously dirty.
To sustain: to provide what is needed for (something or someone) in order to live, to exist, to continue, etc. Ex. She wasn’t capable of sustaining close relationships with men.
Ungrounded: not based on facts. Ex. The socioeconomic exclusion of women, based on ungrounded discriminatory social definitions of female and male roles, affects not only women and their human rights but also the development of sustainable economies and the protection of the natural environment.
Unprecedented: never having happened before, or never having happened so much. We are confronted by an unprecedented situation.
To overrun: to enter quickly and be present in (a place) in large numbers and unwanted. Ex. The enemies overran thecity last night.
Worse off: having less money or being in a more difficult situation. Ex. The rent increases will leave us worse off.
Sanitation: the systems for taking dirty water and other waste products away from buildings in order to protect people’s health. Ex. A lack of clean water and sanitation were the main problems.
Goods: things that are produced to be sold.
Widely: to a large degree; a lot; by a large number of people; in or to many places. Ex. Taking notes while listening to a lecture is an important strategy that students use widely for increasing attention and retaining content.
Flourished: to grow or develop well. Ex. The Etruscans had flourished from the seventh to the first century B.C.
Emancipation: the process of giving people social or political freedom and rights. Ex. Religious fundamentalisms have had a tremendous negative influence on the processes of women’semancipation.
Supply: the amount of something that is available to be used. We have a good and lasting supplyof fresh water.
To lead: to show someone where to go, usually by taking them to a place; to be in control of a group, country, or situation. Ex. Simplicity can lead to greatness and the concentration of one’s powers.
To drop: if a level or amount drops, it becomes less. Ex. Temperatures will drop tomorrow after another scorching day.
Spike: a sudden, rapid increase in something. Ex. Public Health officials in the region warned schools about a spike in flu viruses.
To overlook: to see something wrong or bad but decide to ignore it. Ex. I don’t want to overlook any opportunity.
To catch up: to do something that should have been done before. Ex. New Member States will have a unique possibility to catch up really fast and sometimes to avoid some of our previous mistakes.
From scratch: from a point at which nothing has been done yet. Ex. Actually, maybe we should start again from scratch.
Answer the following questions:
How many people were living on Earth in 1940?
When was the legend of overpopulation born?
What is the demographic transition?
When did the first stage of the demographic transition occur? What happened in this century?
What were the main features of the industrial revolution?
What were the main features of the second stage of the demographic transitions?
What about the third stage?
What is the average of children per family today?
How many years did it take developed countries to reduce fertility from more than 6 children to less than 3? What about Bangladesh?
STOCKPILE => a large supply of something that is kept for future use
TO TORCH => to set fire to (something, such as a building) deliberately : to cause (something) to burn TRADE=> the activity or process of buying, selling, or exchanging goods or services STUNT=> something that is done to get attention or publicity TO BAN => to forbid, to prohibit; to say that something cannot be used or done TO POACH => to hunt or fish illegally
Helena Christensen: I ____________________ around the world when I was about 18-19 years old and I think my interest and passion for photography probably started on that trip. And then almost immediately that trip ended my _______________ _________________ started and so then I got to see the world.
Voice-over: I’ve had the rare opportunity to meet many amazing photographers who moved through the different _________________ to create powerful images.
Mark Seliger: I’m here with Mary Ellen Mark photojournalist and portrait photographer ___________ work has changed, I think, the _________ of modern photography.
Mark Seliger: It was very ________________ to me because there was photojournalism but there was also this very ____________ and creative way that images were presented.
Mary Ellen Mark: Magazines were like ______________ for me, they gave me this amazing opportunity to do my own work.
Helena Christensen: When I’m behind the camera I seem to stop breathing because I get so ______________ by the moment. It’s almost like everything just came to a standstill.
Mary Ellen Mark: The guy that ran the ______________ … We called him doctor death.
Helena Christensen: You know what is strange about this photo? I don’t even know where I took it and the negative was ______________ together with a piece of paper so when I _______ it ____________ obviously all that white stuff which looks like ice on a window […].
Helena Christensen: We don’t live in these areas so we are not ______________ the same ways. When you are in it, you feel it in a way that’s inexplicable.
Helena Christensen: And it was one of those moments when you are like … your adrenaline … just … you know … __________ ________, because you’re like … oh, this is one of those.
HelenaChristensen: It’s very harsh as Mary Ellen was saying. People are very ______________, more and more.
Helena Christensen: That’s kind of what I feel you do with your portraits. You get the ___________ essence of these people no matter of how they are dressed up, no matter how they’re made up. You go right through to the _____________ of them.
Mary Ellen Mark: When you are working with an actor you have to __________ control.
Mary Ellen Mark: I think I have so much stronger pictures. For some reason, that picture became an ____________ picture.
Helena Christensen: It’s very important and I feel with contact sheets which we are now losing because no one ever get contact sheets back anymore and sits with 24 or 26 images. But now that I _________ _____ at my old contact sheets, I see something completely different in some of the photographs that I would have never even … you know … been the least excited about maybe fifteen years ago …I’m now … Why didn’t I __________ this up?!?
Mary Ellen Mark: Right when I was taking that picture the ____________ of the high school walked in … I thought he was gonna like throw me out … But he didn’t.