English Listening Practice - Fluency through Real-world Insights
Could AI free jobs lead to more interesting work? Can we use invasive species to manufacture something useful? Boost your English fluency listening to real-world news on critical issues like water pollution, job automation, and environmental problem-solving.
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✔Lesson transcript: https://adeptenglish.com/lessons/english-listening-news-based-immersion/
This English lesson by Adept English dives into real-world news stories, focusing on topics like UK's water industry, AI's impact on jobs, and a unique story about dog food in Canada.
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Not only will it help enhance your English vocabulary, but also provide interesting insights and diverse perspectives on contemporary issues. Upgrade your English proficiency with real-world context - our new episode is live now! #EnglishThroughNews
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Water and air, the two essential fluids on which all life depends, have become global garbage cans.
⭐ Jacques Yves Cousteau, a French naval officer.
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More About This Lesson
Welcome to Adept English, your gateway to fluent English! Unlock new perspectives while polishing your English vocabulary with real-world news. We'll explore fascinating news articles, from controversial water companies in the UK to AI's potential threat to jobs, even exploring an intriguing connection between fish and dog food in Canada. But, how's it all linked and why should you care? Well, it's about more than just the stories. It's about immersing yourself in English that's alive and happening now.
You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.
⭐ Jane Goodall, a British primatologist and anthropologist who is considered to be the world's foremost expert on chimpanzees.
In this lesson you will gain English fluency through immersion in real-world news. The lesson introduces complex ideas and diverse vocabulary in a conversational manner, helping you understand English as it's spoken in day-to-day life. Additionally, it exposes you to different accents, improving your listening comprehension. As you follow along, you'll not only grasp the meaning of new words but also understand their use in various contexts. All this equips you with practical language skills, enhancing your ability to communicate effectively and confidently in English.
Our lessons are designed to help you learn:
- There are a lot of British accents and some can be hard to understand, but our real-world news topics, like water pollution and job automation, are discussed with a clear and slow pace to enhance your understanding.
- You will learn useful English. Our lessons offer insights on contemporary issues, ensuring your language skills stay relevant.
- English might seem complex and overwhelming, our lessons make it simpler.
- Don't worry about making mistakes, remember, every mistake is a step closer to perfection. Our lessons provide a safe space for trial and error, enhancing your learning experience.
- You won't be bored! Keeping you engaged and wanting to learn is half the battle, our dynamic discussions on real-world issues ensure an engaging and stimulating experience for you.
Exposure to real-life subjects and authentic language usage is incredibly beneficial for language acquisition. These lessons don't merely teach English; they provide context, cultural insights, and comprehensive knowledge that help learners understand how English is used in the real world, thereby making the language more accessible and less intimidating.
AI is a tool. The choice about how it gets deployed is ours.
⭐ Oren Etzioni, a renowned professor of Computer Science and the CEO of the Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence.
Our approach to learning to speak a new language has lots of advantages:
- Language immersion improves fluency faster: Studies show that engaging with real-world topics in a foreign language, as this lesson does, accelerates language learning. Immersion helps with understanding context, learning new vocabulary, and developing an ear for the accent and pronunciation.
- English is the language of international business: With globalization, English has become the lingua franca of international business. By learning about global issues like water pollution and job automation in English, students can improve their language skills and be better prepared for the job market.
- Multitasking in language learning enhances cognitive abilities: A study shows that learning a language while doing another task—like exploring real-world news—strengthens cognitive abilities. It improves multitasking, problem-solving, and decision-making skills (Source: The Guardian, "Why multilingual people have healthier, more engaged brains", 2016).
Discover how understanding these stories can transform your English skills. Ready to unlock a world of English learning beyond textbooks? Dive in and let's explore together!
Questions You Might Have...
This British English lesson is like embarking on a grand journey through a linguistic landscape, where each word and phrase are stepping stones across a stream of global issues. With each step, you're not only exploring critical world matters but also crafting your ability to express and comprehend them in another tongue.
- Will this lesson help me speak British English fluently? Absolutely! The lesson is designed with engaging discussions on real-world topics which will help you understand and mimic British English more fluently.
- How does listening to news on environmental issues and job automation help my English? These topics offer valuable context. You not only learn new vocabulary but also understand how to form complex sentences in real-life discussions.
- I'm a beginner. Is this lesson suitable for me? Yes, the lesson caters to all levels. While you might find it challenging initially, it's designed to progressively improve your English listening skills.
- How can I maximize my learning from this lesson? Active listening is the key. Take notes, pause and replay difficult sections. This active engagement will significantly boost your learning process.
- Will this lesson help me improve my British accent? Listening to native speakers is one of the best ways to acquire an accent. Regularly practising with these lessons will help you sound more like a British native speaker.
Most Unusual Words:
- Apologise: To express regret for something that one has done wrong.
- Pollution: The introduction of harmful substances or products into the environment.
- Shareholder: A person who owns shares in a company or business.
- Veracity: The quality of being true or accurate.
- Invasive: Tending to spread or infringe upon others, often used in the context of species that spread widely and damage the environment.
- Nationalisation: The transfer of a major industry or business from private to state ownership.
- Barrister: A type of lawyer, typically who represents clients in court.
- Accountancy: The job or activity of keeping records of the money a person or business gets and spends.
- Artificial Intelligence: The capability of a machine to imitate intelligent human behaviour.
- Discontinued: Stopped being produced or used.
Most Frequently Used Words:
Listen To The Audio Lesson Now
Transcript: Improve English Fluency With Trending Global News
Three news stories in English at the right level?
Hi there. Watch this video and you'll be opening the door to valuable learning. Not only enhancing your English vocabulary with real world news, but you'll gain fresh perspectives on hot topics. Different viewpoints.
Are profits more important than preventing pollution to water companies?
Or could AI take your job one day? AI is 'Artificial Intelligence'.
And stick around till the end of this video if you're curious as to how environmental problems can be solved by turning them into opportunities.
That last one is a fascinating story about fish. And dog food in Canada. So let's talk about some interesting aspects of the world around us and expand your English vocabulary at the same time.
Hello, I’m Hilary, and you’re listening to Adept English. We will help you to speak English fluently. All you have to do is listen. So start listening now and find out how it works.
Should water companies be making huge profits?
First news story. Would you pay me to turn clean water into dirty water?
Well, in the news this week, we heard that privately owned water companies in the UK paid out 1.4 billion pounds to their shareholders. That's in 2022 alone. That sounds a lot. But the water companies also apologised. While making all this money, they also directed more polluted water into our rivers and seas. Some help with vocabulary here? ' The water industry' means all those privately owned businesses that run water in the UK, that supply water to houses and businesses.
We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.
⭐ Albert Einstein
Have you ever had to apologise? That's when you say 'Sorry' for something - you 'apologise'. That's A P O L O G I S E.
Should water companies be allowing more pollution in rivers and seas?
So the private water companies 'apologised' for the pollution. In the UK, there are nine water companies, nine commercial businesses supplying water to the different regions of the UK.
And they apologised for all the pollution. 'Pollution', P O L L U T I O N is a noun, meaning 'chemicals, substances, toxic substances, in places that they shouldn't be'.
And 'polluted', P O L L U T E D means 'affected by pollution'.
So imagine these water companies saying, "Oh dear, we're sorry. Now your rivers and seas in the UK are more polluted because of our activity, because of our actions. Oops!" But "Oh yes, we did pay out 1.4 billion to our shareholders!"
Shareholders are the people who have invested their money in a private company. That's S H A R E H O L D E R. That's a 'shareholder'.
An image of a brook being polluted by a broken pipe. Get a grip on British English while exploring global issues. Find us on YouTube and Spotify for enriching lessons. #LearnEnglishWithUs
A question of morality?
So water companies not doing their jobs properly and yet massive payouts to shareholders. And can you believe it? On top of this, the water companies have warned their customers to expect bigger bills because of it, to expect price rises.
Pardon me? You do a really bad job of managing our water! You pay huge amounts of profit to your shareholders, and then you expect ordinary customers to 'foot the bill' when they have no choice which water company they use and no choice but to use water! Seems a bit wrong to me.
Let me emphasise, I'm not anti-business. The way the UK's and many other countries' economies are structured, it means we need commercial businesses, business enterprises in order for there to be enough tax to fund all the nice things we want, like schools and healthcare.
Big businesses and questionable moral standards.....
Business is crucial and funds all these good things and most of the businesses in the UK are small businesses, like me. They're just earning a living and doing their part for the economy. But why is it sometimes that big businesses seem to operate without any moral standard? As though the only thing to be concerned about is shareholders' dividends or payouts?
What really makes this worse is the fact that water is an essential service. We have no choice but to use it and we've no choice who to go to. So water companies have guaranteed customers. 1.4 billion. seems a little too much money to make in this context.
Surely water companies in any country also have a duty as 'custodian', as 'guardian' of the environment? They shouldn't prioritise profit over rivers and seas - in my opinion anyway.
I was never for nationalisation, but perhaps I'm changing my mind on some things. Perhaps nationalising these organisations is the only way to get them to run with some degree of morality.
Are you scared of Artificial Intelligence?
Second item of news, which caught my eye this week - the threat of jobs being replaced by AI or 'Artificial Intelligence'. A particular news story. Did you know that BT, the UK's largest broadband provider - so they provide internet - BT plans to lose 55,000 jobs. And one fifth of those jobs will be replaced by AI or artificial intelligence.
What does this mean for the future of work?
So what is Artificial Intelligence? Well, people are now using apps like ChatGPT or Google Bard, B A R D and are amazed at the power and the capability of these apps.
'Great!' you might think, but perhaps there are some real dangers in this.
How much can we trust AI generated content?
Firstly, do you ever wonder what the checks are on the 'veracity' of the content, the quality of the information given out by ChatGPT, for example?
'Veracity' is a great word, V E R A C I T Y. And it means 'the quality of being truthful, of being honest'. So it's a noun.
Who checks the 'veracity' of artificial intelligence? Surely that depends very much on who programs it. Whole areas of information are perhaps at risk of being misrepresented, being skewed. That's S K E W E D. Being presented in a way that's misleading.
And is AI coming to take your job?
But the side of this story that will catch most people's attention is that threat to jobs. Many of the functions performed by people's current jobs can be done much more efficiently by apps like ChatGPT.
For example, ChatGPT can very quickly and accurately write computer code - much more efficiently than even the best programmer.
ChatGPT can understand, summarise, analyse text and suggest improvements. So what does this mean for people whose job depends on them doing just that?
Wherever you have a fixed system of rules, like in Accountancy or in Law, LAW, where there are knowable rules, artificial intelligence could well replace human beings in time. Accountancy. A C C O U N T A N C Y - that's the job of recording and analysing money transactions for businesses.
And law, L A W is the business of lawyers, interpreting the law, providing legal representation for clients. It'll probably be a while before barristers - that's lawyers in a courtroom, 'barrister', B A R R I S T E R - it'll be a while before they're replaced perhaps. But anything that works to a formula or a set of rules is vulnerable to AI. If you're typing on a computer for much of the day, even if it's skilled or creative, then maybe your job isn't so safe.
What will happen if AI takes jobs?
What will we all do instead? I don't know how it's going to work!
A more positive way to see it - these sorts of changes have happened throughout history. Think of industrialisation, the arrival of factories and mass production. It didn't mean the end of working, it just meant that in time people moved to do different sorts of jobs. And if you think about it, many of the jobs that you or I do today would've been difficult to imagine a hundred years ago.
So if I'm being positive, maybe AI will just free us up to do more interesting work or have a different life. I'm not sure that that's the way it's going to go, but it's an interesting discussion!
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A news story about 'invasive species'
Third item of news. Let's talk about a good news story about this. What's this? It's a tin of dog food. So this is a good dog food story! So this is a news story about how to make a positive out of a negative.
Sometimes in the world we have problems with 'invasive species'. That's I N V A S I V E. That means 'it invades, it comes and it takes over'. And 'a species', S P E C I E S just means a particular type of plant or animal. So we have 'invasive species'.
Some examples of this? A plant called 'Japanese Knotweed in the UK. It comes in and it takes over. It kills all the other plants and you have just Japanese Knotweed. It's a big problem.
Another example of an 'invasive species'? Cane toads in Australia. That's C A N E. Another one in the UK we have grey squirrels - that's S Q U I R R E L. They're very cute. They run around in the trees at the back of my house, but their arrival meant pretty much the end of the red squirrel. Red squirrels inhabit hardly any areas of the UK now because they were chased out by the grey squirrels, an 'invasive species'.
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How to make a positive out of a negative
So this news article is about an invasive species in Canada. And it's a fish called a silver carp, C A R P. Silver carp were introduced in the US into fish farms in the 1970s. But they escaped the fish farm and have multiplied at an alarming rate. There are too many silver carp.
And in Canada, the silver carp have eaten all the food in many of the waterways, meaning that the other fish and animals have died. They've taken over, the silver carp.
But a bright idea! One company has decided to take advantage of this. They're making a particular brand, a particular type of dog food from silver carp. People don't really want to eat silver carp, but dogs are less fussy, shall we say.
A product line hopefully to be discontinued in the future!
It's hoped that this industry, this dog food, will eventually reduce the numbers of silver carp so that they're not a problem anymore. They'll be gotten rid of, gone!
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The company making these silver carp fish into dog food is called Wilder Harrier. And its spokesperson, Caitlin Ben, said that the company hopes one day to run out of silver carp.
She said, "It may sound weird to be actively selling a product that we hope gets discontinued, but that's part of the purpose because we want to make a difference. It's a product line with, all going to plan, a diminishing supply as its main ingredient. What a good idea! I wonder where else we could put such an idea to use, put such an idea into practice. Can we use other 'invasive species' for a particular purpose to bring the numbers down?
We could eat them or perhaps use them to manufacture something useful.
Anyway, let us know what you think of this podcast. Don't forget, there are many, many more Adept English podcasts available to download on our website at adeptenglish.com.
Enough for now. Have a lovely day. Speak to you again soon. Goodbye.
Thank you so much for listening. Please help me tell others about this podcast by reviewing or rating it. And, please share it on social media. You can find more listening lessons and a free English course at adeptenglish.com
- Sewage spills
- Second item - the threat of jobs being replaced by AI
- Dog food in Canada!
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