Amazingly Brave Women In This English Listening Practice Lesson Ep 447

Photograph of an American alligator swimming in Everglades. Learn about a brave girl who punches one of these in this English listening practice lesson.

📝 Author: Hilary

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💬 2322 words ▪️ ⏳ Reading Time 12 min

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English Listening Practice That Keeps You Interested & Wanting More

Repeat English listening practice is the core of the Adept English approach to helping you with becoming fluent in spoken English. There are lots of processes going on in your brain when you listen to a foreign language and we have lots of podcasts that explain why listening helps the efficiency of your language learning.

OK, so repeat listening to a new language is important. Now if someone said to me, you need to listen to this English audio lesson several times using spaced repetition. My first question would be why? Assuming I was happy with the answer my next question would be, is it boring?

So this is why we design our English lessons the way we do. We need you to stay focused on the lesson; we need you to listen to it many times, around 20 (ideally) times over a period of time. To do this, you're going to need to listen to something interesting, something you would actually be OK listening to even if it was not an English lesson. You're going to want to hear new and unusual English vocabulary, not so much that you drown in new words, just a few new words that you might find interesting and want to look up and remember for a future conversation.

Our approach to learning to speak English fluently differs from traditional English lessons. You are a lot less likely to fall asleep during one of our lessons and you will learn to speak English more efficiently. With so many podcast lessons available, you are certain to find something you like.

Most Unusual Words:


Most common 2 word phrases:

The Twins4
News Story4
Identical Twins3
Means That3

Listen To The Audio Lesson Now

The mp3 audio and pdf transcript for this lesson is now part of the Adept English back catalogue . You can still download and listen to this lesson as part of one of our podcast bundles.

Transcript: Amazingly Brave Women In This English Listening Practice Lesson

Hi there and welcome to this latest podcast from Adept English.

Sometimes in our podcasts, I like to just cover a news story. This has a couple of benefits for you, learning English. For one thing, it means that you get variety in the Adept English podcast.

The word ‘variety’ means ‘lots of different things, not the same stuff’ - so you don’t know what’s coming next! Neither do I! And it helps if the material keeps you interested.

Secondly, the random subjects introduce you to all kinds of vocabulary, all kinds of new words, which you might not normally meet. So really, that gives you a similar experience to if you were living in an English speaking country. You’d learn new words as you met them, in new situations.

And finally, if I talk about a news story, there is a possibility that you too have read or heard that same news story already in your own language. So this gives you a bit of a head start – you know the story already, and this will help your understanding.

Don’t forget, if you like our podcasts and you find them helpful to your English language learning, give us a rating or give us a review on whichever platform you listen to our podcasts. That would make us really happy!

Background to a recent news story about twins and a crocodile

So one of the news stories recently which caught my attention was that of the twin girls from Berkshire in the UK, who were travelling in Mexico and who were attacked by a crocodile.

The word ‘twin’ as in ‘twin girls’, TWIN means two people who were born at the same time. So you can have ‘identical twins’ – which means that the twins are both exactly the same, the same DNA, the same genes. And you can also have ‘non-identical twins’, which means that they don’t have the same DNA, they were just born at the same time.

And a crocodile? That’s CROCODILE. Well, a crocodile is an animal, a reptile, like a lizard – and they can be huge, enormous. Think ‘The Florida Everglades’. The biggest crocodiles can measure a massive 7 metres or 23 feet in length! I don’t even want to think about that. And crocodiles live in water and they eat people.

Well….they don’t usually eat people. I guess their diet is usually other things, but they can eat people. So Georgia and Melissa Laurie, aged 28 and identical twins from Berkshire were in Mexico, in a place called Puerto Escondido and they were with a group of other people. The twins had been travelling and volunteering in animal sanctuaries. ‘To volunteer’ means ‘to work without being paid’, usually to gain experience. And one of the twins, Melissa is a zoo keeper, so that makes sense – that’s ‘zoo’, ZOO – it’s her job to work with animals.


What happened on the day

So the twins asked whether the lagoon was safe to swim in and were apparently told that it was. A ‘lagoon’, LAGOON is an area of water, which is filled by a larger area of water, but which is separate, which is separated off by a natural barrier – like rocks or a reef. So lagoons are often popular for swimming as they are calm waters and are contained, with a shore line.

So the twins stopped with other people to swim in the lagoon. When Melissa was swimming, a crocodile approached silently and grabbed her, and bit her and dragged her under the water. Crocodiles pull their prey under the water, trying to drown them, as well as being able to deliver deadly bites. The word ‘prey’, PREY – this means the person or the animal that’s being attacked.

Many animals eat their ‘prey’, just as the crocodile was hoping to do here. And the verb ‘to drown’, DROWN – well, that means ‘to die under water’ because you cannot breathe, of course. So this is what crocodiles do with their prey – they try to drown them by pulling them under the water. So Georgia Laurie saw her sister being attacked by the crocodile and being dragged under the water. Georgia is an experienced diver and she then began to search in the water for her sister. And she found Melissa floating, unresponsive, unconscious and badly injured, but she started to pull her towards the shore.

However the crocodile approached a second time and started to attack again. This is when in desperation, Georgia decided to punch the crocodile in the face – repeatedly. If you ‘punch’, it means you ‘make your hand in a ball and you hit’ – like in boxing! In boxing, you punch hard - think Evandar Holyfield, Muhammed Ali, Floyd Mayweather! These are all boxers, with a strong punch. And it was this punching action that saved the life of Melissa Laurie.

Georgia literally fought off the crocodile! She reported that the crocodile’s head was massive, very big but she just kept on punching it between the eyes – until it swam away.

Badly injured in the attack

Once on the shore at the side of the lagoon, the extent of Melissa’s injuries became clear. Melissa had sustained life-threatening injuries, a broken wrist, water in her lungs and it was later discovered, a ruptured intestine. So an injury, INJURY – that means serious damage to your body.

A broken wrist, WRIST – well that’s the joint between your hand and your arm – so a broken bone there. ‘Water in your lungs’ – well, your ‘lungs’, that’s LUNGS, these are what you use to breathe with. So water in them is very serious. And ‘a ruptured intestine’ – well ‘ruptured’, RUPTURED means ‘broken, opened up’ – and your intestines are where your food goes in the lower part of your digestive system.

Download The Podcast Audio & Transcript

So a ‘ruptured intestine’ is very dangerous – you’ll get a serious infection from that. Georgia’s injuries were less, but she too had been badly bitten by the crocodile. Both were taken to hospital and were put onto strong antibiotics. Antibiotics are the usual medicine for infection. Lagoon water, infested with crocodiles is not going to be clean. Georgia recovered fairly quickly, but Melissa developed sepsis and was put into a medically induced coma.

Sepsis, SEPSIS is a very serious medical condition, where not only do you have widespread infection, but your immune system is over-reacting and starting to cause damage to your body too. It wasn’t clear initially whether or not Melissa was going to survive – and a ‘medically induced coma’ – that’s COMA - means that she was purposefully made unconscious for a period of time, because this raised her chances of survival.

Making a recovery

It was reported recently that Melissa is now out of her coma and recovering, still in hospital from her injuries. It will be a long time before both the twins are fully recovered, also from the mental trauma of what’s happened. But the urge of one twin to save the other – that’s amazing! You would think that punching a crocodile in the face repeatedly just wouldn’t work – but it did! Hopefully both twins will fully recover and it will be a happy ending to the story.

Determination can save lives

What I like about this story is the determination which Georgia Laurie showed. It was her twin sister being attacked, probably the most important person in the world to her. And she was determined that Melissa wouldn’t die. So doing something like repeatedly punching a crocodile in the face – you wouldn’t think it would work.

And if you didn’t care so much about the person you were trying to save, you would be worried about being injured yourself. But of course, the bond, the relationship between twins is especially strong. But these sorts of events can happen also where a mother is protecting her children. The absolute need to protect what is dear will override the odds, as in the case of Lydia Angiyou.

In February 2006 in Quebec, scared off a polar bear to save her sons. She kicked it and shouted at it. The bear swiped at her and injured her, but disappeared without harming the children. There are also numerous example of people lifting heavy objects – often cars or vehicles – off someone who’s trapped underneath, and saving their lives by doing this.


A photograph of a polar bear in the Chukchi Sea, Arctic Ocean. Interesting English listening practice.

©️ Adept English 2021

The strength – that’s STRENGTH, ‘strength’ – the strength required to achieve this type of super-human action is sometimes referred as ‘hysterical strength’. It probably comes from the adrenaline that is suddenly released in these emergency situations. If you put the term ‘hysterical strength’ into Wikipedia – you can see a list of anecdotes, reports where people single-handedly lifted vehicles off someone who was trapped underneath. I find it an interesting idea – ‘hysterical strength’.

So well done Georgia Laurie – and I hope that Melissa Laurie makes a full recovery. The story does rather put you off swimming in open water though, doesn’t it?

If you would like to practise your understanding of English conversation, then don’t forget to have a look at our Course One, Activate Your Listening.

Boost Your Learning With Adept English

This course is in the same style as the podcasts, but it gives you some more structured learning – and more common vocabulary. And it includes English conversation between two people – not just me then! It will improve your English! So check out our courses pages on our website at


Well! That’s enough for now. Have a lovely day. Speak to you again soon. Goodbye.



The voice of Adeptenglish, loves English and wants to help people who want to speak English fluently.
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