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.
Downloadable PDF version (without answers): Listening activity – weather vocabulary – Free English Materials For You
Downloadable PDF version (answers): Listening activity – weather vocabulary – Free English Materials For You – answers
The international English language testing system (IELTS) is the world’s most popular English language proficiency test for higher education and global migration.
The Academic Module consists of 3 parts:
- Academic Reading: 3 different texts (40 questions) – 1 hour;
- Academic Writing: 2 separate writing tasks – 1 hour;
- Listening: 4 separate sections (40 questions) – 30 minutes + 10 minutes to transfer your answers;
- Speaking: 3 parts – 11-14 minutes.
ACADEMIC IELTS – WRITING TASK 1
You should spend about 20 minutes on task 1, writing at least 150 words. Writing task 2 is longer and more demanding. This is why you should spend about 40 minutes on task 2, which is worth twice as much as task 1. You are required to write a discursive essay of at least 250 words.
In task 1, you are required to describe and summarise visual information. The information may be presented in:
You will be assessed on the following criteria:
- Task achievement;
- Coherence and cohesion;
- Lexical resource;
- Grammatical range and accuracy.
Example sentences from the web:
- There may be several reasons that account for this discrepancy between the students’ and the teachers’ opinions. (Source)
- We were also able to account for different 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 for and 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)
- Steve had to concede the rival another victory.
- The company was forced to concede that items of private data had been illegally stored.
- I don’t concede that I’m being unreasonable for merely trying to be rational about our living arrangement.
Visual thesaurus (source: http://www.visualthesaurus.com)
In the news:
Source: Adam Withnall Gambia election: President Yahya Jammeh in shock defeat to former Argos security guard Adama Barrow, Independent
Source: Hardik Vyas, Independent
Source: Ciara McCarthy in Chicago and Sabrina Siddiqui in Washington, The Guardian
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 the city 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’s emancipation.
- Supply: the amount of something that is available to be used.
We have a good and lasting supply of 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?
PDF version with answers: overpopulation-the-human-explosion-explained-free-english-materials-for-you
Example sentences from the web:
- People are not having as many hours to work and they are being cut back on their working hours because of this issue.
- You’ve drastically cut back on calories, but your body doesn’t stop burning them, so you may feel weak.
- In recent years, the state began cutting back on costs because of the economy.
More example sentences from the web:
- Keep your ears pricked, and let me know what people say about the deal.
- When I said earlier that our present systems of export refunds cannot be made proof against fraud, you on the Commission ought really to have pricked up your ears, if you are really serious about protecting the tax revenues that we raise in the Member States.
- Prick up your ears! I have an announcement to make!
More example sentences from the web:
- And then sat there with a face like thunder for the rest of the afternoon.
- He had a face like thunder when he found out about their affair.
- Mark left here at dawn, with a face like thunder.