The Adept English listen & learn system of learning is based upon lots and lots of listening to native English speakers. Today’s English lesson is just a simple English conversation practice lesson, where we talk about something interesting and all you need to do is listen to the lesson, (sounds easy doesn't it!) but the catch is you need to listen repeatedly to get the most out of this lesson.
Now you could just listen to the lesson in a loop, but if you are like me, then this would just be boring, I might listen twice in a row, but soon enough I would just get bored and stop listening. Or with a small amount of planning, by which I mean setting up a playlist on whichever device you use to listen to us, you could set up it up so maybe some music plays next, then a different English lesson and then this one appears again.
We talk about a learning concept called spaced repetition in our FREE English language course, it’s a way of spacing out your repeat listening (or any learning) so you help your brain recognise the content as important and
store it in your longer term memory.
Just one last point, when we say listening, we mean making sense of the words and phrases you hear, you can listen to things, like music, where you are not really paying attention and you let the sounds wash over you. We need you to pay attention to what you are listening to, it’s one reason we make our lessons around 10 minutes long, as most people can focus carefully for this length of time.
Maximise Impactful Cannot
Hi there and welcome to this latest podcast from Adept English. Let’s do a podcast today where I’m just chatting, talking about a particular topic, giving you some….albeit one-sided English conversation, for you to practise English conversation topics on. So here goes.
We are still staying at home and still staying safe in the UK – I hope you’re safe wherever you are in the world. The current situation – this is May 2020 – it looks set to continue and it’s having all kinds of impact around the world. I know that our current situation is very serious, but sometimes we get to thinking beyond the really serious parts of it, to thinking about the things that we’re missing out on.
We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, charm and adventure. There is no end to the adventures we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open.
⭐ Jawaharial Nehru
I’d booked some really nice trips abroad this year – needless to say, it’s possible we’ll not be going on any of them. I’m holding out to see if France in August to visit my sister is still possible – but our other trips to Iceland, Prague and my daughter’s trip to Italy and my son’s trip to France have all had to be cancelled.
Now for those of us who travel for work and those of us who travel abroad for our holidays, it’s a disappointment. But compared with feeling at risk of getting ill, or being at risk of getting stranded – ‘stranded’ means you can’t come back – then staying at home is obviously the better option. But spare a thought for those people who work in the airline industry, most of whom are not able to work at the moment - and most of whom don’t have even the prospect of a return to work in sight.
Unprecedented drop in air travel
As a measure of how dramatic it is what’s happening, I saw a graph in the newspaper last week, showing the number of arrivals at Heathrow airport, just as an example. The graph of arrivals, airplane arrivals at Heathrow Airport went all the way back to the 1970s through to present day. And there was of course, a steady climb in the numbers on this graph, topping out at nearly 1,400 flights per day arriving at Heathrow airport, just before the crisis in March 2020.
There is a little wobble, an interesting dip in numbers, just around the time in 2010 that the volcano in Iceland erupted, so that the ash from the volcano meant that there were no flights in parts of Europe for a short time. Let me amuse you for a minute – the volcano was called Eyjafjallajökull (Ay-ya-fiat-a-yur-gug) – there’s difficult pronunciation for you and I’m sure I need to apologize if you’re from Iceland! But that, or something like that was the volcano’s name! I do like to have a go!
A photograph of an sirplane before take off on runway, our English conversation practice talks about the decline in air traffic in Heathrow
Anyway Eyjafjallajökull was responsible for brief dip in the number of flights into Heathrow, so that it came to just around 1,000 a day, but the numbers were soon back up again. Now if you look at that same graph again for the beginning of May 2020, there’s only just over 100 flights per day coming into Heathrow.
I imagine that people who live near Heathrow airport are enjoying the relative silence, but it’s a measure of how hard-hit the airline industry is! 1400 to 100. And I would think that most of those 100 flights were what is known as ‘repatriation flights’ –that’s bringing UK citizens back from places overseas where they’ve been stranded. There’s that word again.
‘To be stranded’ – it means you get stuck – and comes from the German word for a beach ‘Der Strand’. So whales and big fish and boats might get literally ‘stranded’ – stuck on the beach instead of out to sea. And ‘stranded’ means passengers who can’t get back.
So this is of course not good news for those who work in the airline industry – or those who work in airports. One of my nephews is a pilot as is his partner. And it’s not good for them at all. And they’ve worked really hard to get into the profession.
But of course, the damage is much wider. Businesses stopped their employees flying back in March – they cannot be seen to be putting anyone at risk. So people have been forced to have their meetings online instead of face-to-face – and of course, this works fairly well.
So in future it may seem difficult to justify the cost of business travel. There’s little prospect of the travel and tourism industry starting up again soon either. For one, the UK government, like other governments around the world is thinking of making people
self-isolate for a 14 day period after they’ve travelled abroad. This would mean any foreign holiday just becomes unmanageable. People wouldn’t want to do it.
I think that there’s a wider issue also, even when the restrictions have been lifted. That actually being close to home in times like these feels safest – nobody wants to get ill abroad. But also we’ve all become much more aware of the air we’re breathing and our proximity to other people.
‘Proximity’, P-R-O-X-I-M-I-T-Y is a noun meaning ‘how close we are’. It’s going to be a long time before the world is the same again. It’s going to be a long time before we book a foreign trip in a carefree, light-hearted way. Instead it might feel a bit more like a ‘risk analysis’.
Travel is one of our greatest pleasures – going to other countries, exploring the world, cultures, customs, climates, landscapes that are different from our own. And it’s part of our education as human beings. So it’s frustrating and I really hope that we’re not going to become more small-minded and less adventurous because of it.
I’m sure we will get back to something more like normal eventually – but it feels a long way off at the moment. And another critical factor – will the airlines, the companies, the businesses survive? In the UK companies like Easyjet and Ryanair are well-known for offering flights at really bargain prices.
If you book early and especially if you don’t travel in peak season, these companies really make air travel accessible, even to those on a tight budget, even to those with not much money. So if these companies, these airlines either don’t survive, or they do, but their fares –that’s the cost of the tickets – the fares are much higher, then it’s a worry that it’s the end of the era of accessible air travel.
There’s an argument of course that the environment is much better off – and that we should have been reducing our air travel anyway. But we need to balance that with the statistic that global air travel is responsible for only 2% of CO2 emissions worldwide. And actually travel by car is estimated to contribute much more to the problem – both in terms of CO2 per kilometre travelled, but also in terms of the frequency – we use our cars really often. Most of us travel in cars much more often than we do in planes.
So losing the capacity for global travel makes much less difference than losing our freedom to drive our cars! So if the pollution level has reduced, it’s much more to do with fewer cars on the road, than it is to do with fewer planes in the sky. So there’s an argument which says working from home is more impactful in saving the planet than reducing air travel. I guess ultimately for now, we all just need to enjoy where we live – and make the most of that.
If you would like more information on how to maximise your English language learning, when you‘re listening to podcasts, then you’ll find the theory and the thinking behind our ‘Listen & Learn’ method is described really well in our free course, The Seven Rules of Adept English. Once you’ve heard the Seven Rules – you’ll know how best to use each podcast to maximise your progress in your English language learning.
Enough for now. Have a lovely day. Speak to you again soon. Goodbye.