Talk In English Fluently: Climate Activism
Talk In English Fluently
I will not lecture you on how to talk in English today, if you are interested in why we are so popular for learning to speak English then check out our free 7 rules course http://7rules.adeptenglish.com/ Although it is tempting to jump into a massive monologue about why our learning system works, like those bad guy monologues in the movies where they explain “the plan” to the good guys 🙂
Ok so today we have some interesting English listening material for you on a topical topic. Great for you to listen to and then maybe practice with in conversation. Many people are talking about climate change and the people who are pushing for change are all over the news and TV.
So listen to today's lesson and once you have listened to it so you can understand 80% or more without difficulty then you need to practice speaking English using the vocabulary and information you’ve been listening to.
This process of repeated listening and training your brain to store common English vocabulary ready for fluent use when you speak in English is a core part of how you learn to talk confidently in English. 1
Audio Transcript: Talk In English Fluently: Climate Activism
Hi there and welcome to this latest podcast from Adept English. Our podcasts are here to help you if you’re learning English and you want to ‘talk English fluently’. We would usually say ‘speak English fluently’, and we would tend to say ‘talk in English fluently’. But we would understand what you meant if you said ‘talk English fluently’. Anyway, we are here to help you with your English language learning.
Let me just say that if you would like to go further with your English language learning, then our courses will help you do that. Course One, Activate your Listening will build up your English language skills and start you off understanding English conversation. If you’d like to download our course and start learning straight away, go to the Courses page at adeptenglish.com.
What is a ‘strike for climate change’?
So today? Shall we talk about what’s been happening with climate change demonstrations? A ‘demonstration’ is when people go out on the streets, lots of people together to make a protest. That’s a ‘demonstration’. ‘Climate’ is ‘about the weather’, about the ecology. What’s happening….usually people talk here about ‘global warming’ as being climate change. So does the name Greta Thunberg mean anything to you? Well, Greta Thunberg is the 16 year old Swedish climate activist and the instigator, the initiator of ‘climate strikes’ which have been happening all around the world. Last Friday, Greta Thunberg was in Montreal in Canada, campaigning and leading another strike. A ‘strike’, S-T-R-I-K-E is where people refuse to go about their normal daily tasks, because they want to protest something, they want to object, to complain, to challenge something. In the past, the word ‘strike’ has usually been in association with ‘trade unions’. So trade unions are the organisations that represent workers in particular industries – and they might ‘organise strike action’ if there is something to complain about. For example, British Airways have had problems recently, because their pilots, the people who fly their planes have been ‘on strike’, refusing to work.
What is different about Greta Thunberg and the strikes that she’s been calling for – these are not workers, complaining about their working conditions or their pay. No, she’s calling for people, including children to ‘go on strike’ in protest about climate change and politicians, whom she sees as ‘not doing enough’.
Who is Greta Thunberg?
So last week, Greta Thunberg made an impassioned speech to the UN, the United Nations and accused them of not doing enough for climate change. Part of the reason why she has such an impact is that Greta Thunberg is so young - only sixteen years old. And another part of the reason why she made such an impact at the UN is that she is so direct. She was clearly angry in her ‘How dare you?’ speech – and this is in contrast with the way that speeches are usually given – and the way that people usually speak at these events. So there’s a lot of discomfort amongst the established, well-known political figures at being challenged so forcefully by someone so young.
When she was interviewed, Greta Thunberg talked about how she’s cared about climate change from being very young. She said that when she first started to understand what was happening, she couldn’t understand why more wasn’t being done about the problem. Why was noone intervening to stop climate change? She said "It felt like I was the only one who cared about the climate and the ecological crisis," Thunberg has said. "My parents didn't care about it, my classmates didn't care about it, my relatives didn't care about this. I mean nobody[ I] knew cared about this and I felt like I was the only one." So from early….as early as 11 years old, Greta Thunberg has been trying to change things. It was last year, in 2018 that she first set about organising ‘strikes’ for cliimate change.
Last week, she accused world leaders of "stealing my dreams and my childhood", and told them "the eyes of all future generations are upon you. And, if you choose to fail us, I say: 'We will never forgive you'".
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What makes Greta Thunberg remarkable?
What is remarkable in someone so young, is the single-mindedness, the focus on a particular goal and the determination she shows. Greta Thunberg’s critics cite her ‘mental health’, the health of her mind as something to criticise her on. However, Greta Thunberg is not mentally ill. She does have a diagnosis of a type of Autism called Aspergers. And it’s interesting that if you know anything about Aspergers, it becomes clear that this actually her strength and part of what makes her able to have such focus and therefore such influence. In part it is Apsergers that gives her her single-minded focus.
Whether or not you agree with Greta Thunberg, what she has been able to do is remarkable. She’s initiated strike action across the world with her ‘Fridays for Future’ movement and about 300,000 gathered in support of her in Montreal, in Canada last week. I think one of the reasons why her voice is so impactful is that she is so young. She reminds us that whatever decisions are made, which affect the climate, whatever choices are made – this will affect people way into the future. It will have impact on the lives of people who are just children now. And our children and our children’s children. So it reminds us that we have a responsibility, not just to ourselves, not just to now, but to the future also.
So there we have it - talk English fluently!,You can practise by listening to this podcast several times, noticing how much more you understand each time you listen. ‘Enough for now. Have a lovely day. Speak to you again soon. Goodbye.
PS: A Short One Today
Normally having put together an English lesson I have at least something else I wanted to say but it didn't fit in the main text, so I put it to one side and use it in the PS section.
This time I was struggling for anything worth mentioning. I guess it might interest you if I talk about what my family had to say about Greta when we all got together for our Sunday lunch. Sunday lunch at our house is really the only time I can guarantee that everyone will turn up.
The conversation went along the lines, Greta looks ill from all the stress, and how such a young child should not be dealing with all the pressure and where are her parents? Strange isn't it, we know the big issue is about climate change, that's what Greta wants you to worry about yet we spent most of our time worrying about the little girl on TV.
Using children to promote causes is an emotional minefield and we should be careful not to harm them. It is the job of parents and adults to sort these things out not children.