Survival Of A 9-Year-Old Alone-A Tale Of Resilience Ep 715

Two hands reaching towards each other, one offering a flower, depicting understanding and compassion. Sharpen your skills with each listen.

📝 Author: Hilary

📅 Published:

💬 3608 words ▪️ ⏳ Reading Time 19 min

📥 Download MP3 & PDF 11.0 Mb ▪️ 👓 Read Transcript ▪️ 🎧 Listen to Lesson

Is Kindness Our True Strength? English Listening Practice

Explore the depths of English language with our latest lesson! 🎧 Adept English breaks barriers, merging 🌍 global news, 🤔 deep thoughts, and 📚 language learning into a single interesting listen & learn English lesson. From Mahatma Gandhi quotes to heart-wrenching news from France, we've got you covered.

What's In This Lesson?

  • Tutorial & Review: Lots of vocabulary through real-life stories.
  • How-to & Lifestyle: Learn English by immersing in current affairs.
  • News & Learn: Get the context behind the headlines.
  • Speaking & Listening: Elevate your conversation skills.
  • From Beginner to Advanced: Lessons crafted for all levels.
  • Fluency & Idioms: Speak English like a native.
  • Grammar & Pronunciation: Fine-tune your language skills.
  • Exam & Test Prep: Ace your English assessments.

✔ Lesson transcript:

I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.
⭐ Mother Teresa

This session not only hones your language skills but challenges your perspectives on social responsibility, using a gripping news story and the wisdom of Mahatma Gandhi. Experience language learning that stimulates both your mind and your moral compass, blending abstract concepts with real-world issues.

Perfect for those ready to elevate their English to a realm where fluency meets deep, reflective conversation. Don't just learn English; immerse yourself in lessons that resonate with your heart and mind. Start your journey to impactful communication now.

The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.
⭐ Mahatma Gandhi

Join us as we explore how learning English through news stories not only enhances your language skills but also broadens your perspective on social responsibility. #English #ListeningPractice Transform your English with the Adept English method.

More About This Lesson

Embark on an inspiring English learning adventure that goes beyond just words. This lesson brings you the wisdom of Mahatma Gandhi and the insights from French news to enhance your fluency and understanding of complex ideas. Get ready to dive into stories that touch the heart and challenge the mind.

How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.
⭐ Anne Frank
  1. Improves News Understanding: You learn to grasp news stories and their context.
  2. Builds Vocabulary: You expand your vocabulary, especially with abstract nouns.
  3. Enhances Listening Skills: Repeated listening boosts comprehension.
  4. Promotes Critical Thinking: Discussing social issues sharpens your thinking.
  5. Practices Opinion Expression: You get to practice how to share ideas and opinions.
  6. Exposes to Real-Life English: The lesson uses real-life stories for learning.
  7. Cultural Insight: You gain insight into societal values and responsibilities.
  8. Empathy Development: The lesson encourages empathy through storytelling.
  9. Community Awareness: You learn about the importance of community support.
  10. Encourages Sharing: Sharing the podcast with others enhances learning together.

Benefits of our listen & learn approach to learning

  • Learn with Gandhi's Quotes: Discover how Gandhi's thoughts can boost your English and provide profound insights.
  • French News Insights: Use current events to advance your English, making complex topics more understandable.
  • Beyond Grammar: See how English lessons can cover more than just rules, filling your learning with rich stories and values.

Why This Lesson Matters: Tackle fears of complex vocabulary and cultural disconnects through engaging content. Whether it's feeling more confident in conversations or overcoming the fear of making mistakes, this lesson addresses common concerns with positive solutions. Learn how Gandhi's actions and children's roles in social movements inspire resilience and social responsibility. See the global impact of Gandhi's teachings on civil rights and freedom movements worldwide.

My humanity is bound up in yours, for we can only be human together.
⭐ Desmond Tutu

Don't miss out on this enriching English learning experience. Follow and subscribe to our podcast today. Unlock a new level of fluency and embark on a journey where language learning meets deep reflection. Let's learn English together, making every lesson a step towards becoming a more fluent and insightful speaker.

Frequently Asked Questions About Learning Through Listening

Diving into Gandhi's wisdom and French tales is like planting seeds in the garden of your mind, where each listen waters these seeds, blossoming into fluent English and a deeper understanding of life's complex tapestry.

  1. How can listening to podcasts improve my English fluency? Listening to podcasts like the one discussing Gandhi's quotes and a news story from France provides a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in the English language. This approach enhances your listening skills, vocabulary, and understanding of complex concepts and values. By exposing yourself to a wide range of topics and the natural speech patterns of native speakers, you can improve your fluency and ability to engage in thoughtful communication.
  2. Why is repetition important in learning English through listening? Repeating the podcast multiple times plays a crucial role in language acquisition. Each time you listen, you're likely to pick up new words, phrases, and nuances in pronunciation that you might have missed before. Repetition reinforces learning, making it easier to remember and use new language elements in your own conversations.
  3. How do Gandhi's quotes contribute to learning English? Gandhi's quotes, known for their depth and wisdom, offer a valuable resource for learning English. They introduce you to abstract nouns, vocabulary for expressing ideas and opinions, and the cultural context behind certain expressions. Analysing and understanding these quotes can help you grasp complex ideas and improve your ability to express your thoughts in English.
  4. What can I learn from the French news story mentioned in the podcast? The news story from France about a young boy's resilience in facing adversity provides a real-world context to practice understanding English. It introduces you to vocabulary related to social issues, family dynamics, and the state's role in individual welfare. This story not only aids in language learning but also encourages critical thinking and empathy, essential components of effective communication.
  5. How can sharing the podcast help me and others learn English? Sharing the podcast with family and friends helps spread valuable learning resources to more English language learners. It fosters a community of learners who can discuss topics, share insights, and practice speaking English together. By recommending the podcast, you contribute to a wider network of learners supporting each other in achieving fluency.

Most Unusual Words:

  • Context: The situation or background of a story or event.
  • Abstract: Ideas that are not physical or concrete.
  • Vulnerable: Easily hurt or harmed.
  • Compassion: Feeling kindness and wanting to help others.
  • Foster: To take care of a child that is not your own.
  • Adopt: To legally make someone else's child your own.
  • Scavenge: To search for and collect things that others might not want.
  • Soul-searching: Deep thinking about one's feelings and beliefs.
  • Nuclear family: A family that includes a mother, father, and their children.
  • Ingenuity: Being clever, original, and inventive.

Most Frequently Used Words:


Listen To The Audio Lesson Now

🎧 Apple
🎧 Spotify
🎧 Google
🎧 Amazon
🎧 Deezer
🎧 TuneIn
🎧 Stitcher
🎧 BluBrry
🎧 PodBean
🎧 PlayerFM
👁️‍🗨️ Twitter
👁️‍🗨️ Facebook
👁️‍🗨️ YouTube

Transcript: Survival Of A 9-Year-Old Alone-A Tale Of Resilience

It Takes a Village to Raise a Child: Let's Explore the Language of Social Responsibility

Hi there. Today let's discuss the importance of social responsibility and community. And use vocabulary which is valuable to your English language learning. I'm going to cover a story in the news. And look at its wider context. 'Context', C O N T E X T means 'what surrounds the news story'. And what thoughts does it cause us to have?

Events reported in the news often cause us to think and perhaps on the back of that make changes, particularly where a news story captures people's attention and is something they can relate to.

In today's podcast, I'm going to quote Mahatma Gandhi and I'm going to talk about a news item from France. So as an exercise in English language listening, this podcast will give you practice at understanding the news. But also practice at understanding ideas and concepts, values, if you like. So I'll be using abstract nouns and vocabulary for expressing ideas and opinions. Podcasts like this one are your stepping stone to going beyond basic English and moving into fluent and thoughtful communication and conversation. A whole new level of language learning, if you like.

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.

Share the Adept English podcast with family and friends!

And don't forget to listen to this podcast a number of times. Your understanding will increase each time you listen, and that's the best way to get the most out of a podcast like this one.

Boost Your Learning With Adept English

And if you like our podcasts, please share them with your family and friends. Adept English is a tiny company and we don't have a big advertising budget. Instead, people hear about us through 'word of mouth'. That means 'through other people's recommendations'.

So help us out by sharing our podcast if you can. And if you're on Spotify, there's a special share function that you can use. Doing this helps us get more listeners and help more people to learn English. If you're on a different platform, then subscribing will have the same effect. Thank you for doing that.


An image of diverse hands forming a circle, symbolizing unity and support. Move beyond basics to confident speaking.

©️ Adept English 2024

Is a 'nation's greatness' shown by how it treats its animals?

Let's start with that quote from Mahatma Gandhi, first of all. He said, ' The greatness of a nation can be judged by the way its animals are treated'. In other words, how good a country is, is shown by whether or not it looks after its animals. That's the original Gandhi quote. But there are variations on this theme, this idea, like this saying - 'How a society treats its most vulnerable is always a measure of its humanity'.

The word 'vulnerable', V U L N E R A B L E in English means 'easily hurt, easily wounded'. So here we mean members of our society, like the sick, the old, children, as well as animals. And 'the measure of its humanity'? ' The measure' just means 'how much?' And 'humanity', H U M A N I T Y? That means 'the quality of being human', by which we usually mean 'showing compassion, kindness, thought for other people'.

So countries are judged on how they treat their animals, their sick, their elderly, their children. Sounds reasonable, doesn't it? And I might extend that to 'how you treat the members of other nations too'.

This breaks down in times of war and conflict

There are things going on in the world at the moment in countries affected by war or conflict where you can see the evidence of how the most vulnerable in society suffer the most. And it's the same where there's a natural disaster, like a hurricane or an earthquake. The most vulnerable people suffer the most. One of the horrors of war and conflict are that the ideas of fairness and humanity can seem to be completely abandoned.

But where we have settled countries, countries that aren't experiencing war, countries that are relatively stable and well-off, we do expect that the vulnerable in society are taken care of. Rightly so.

Soul-searching in France after a boy discovered to be living alone

And this is why there is so much discussion and 'soul-searching' going on in France at the moment. This is quite a shocking news story, but it gets people thinking. It's the story of the nine year old boy, who was discovered to have been living on his own between 2020 and 2022. This happened in a village called Nersac, near Angoulême in South, West, France. The boy was originally living with his mother in the flat, but she left in 2020 to go and live with her lover in a different town, leaving the boy, then nine years old to look after himself. His situation was recognised in September, 2022, when he was 'taken into care'. 'Care', CARE in this context, means 'when the state looks after someone'. This used to be very often through children's homes, but more commonly now, it's recognised that children do best in a family environment, even when it's not their own family sometimes, because it's not their own family, actually.

When a family look after a child that's not their own, we call this 'to foster', F O S T E R. And if the arrangement is made more permanent and legally recognised, recognised in law, we call it 'to adopt', A D O P T. So this boy has been taken into care and his mother was jailed, sent to prison. She was put into prison for six months for abandoning him and for endangering his life by leaving him. It's reported now that this boy quite understandably, no longer wants any contact with his mother.

Normal indicators not there - the boy was 'a good student'

What's remarkable about this story in part, is how well the boy managed, how well he looked after himself. It's hard to imagine what sort of strength it takes for a nine year old to face the world alone. It seems that originally the boy was left with an elder brother, but that t his elder brother left after a few weeks to go and live with his father.

Despite all of this, the boy continued to go to school. He completed the last year of his primary school, getting good marks, getting good grades.

And when it was time to go to secondary school, he went along there too and continued to be the good student, such that teachers didn't realise that there was anything wrong. They didn't know that he was living alone and that there was no one to care for him. It was reported that the boy did his homework, got good grades, was well-dressed in his school uniform, clean, and always arrived on time at school.

Living alone at 9 years old

It was later reported that he'd had to live on tinned food. And on tomatoes that he scavenged from neighbours' gardens, neighbours' vegetable patches. At times during this two-year period, he'd had no electricity or heating and he washed in cold water. And yet his situation wasn't discovered for two years because he managed to keep up the appearance that everything was normal.

The boy attended school and was a good student, and it was in fact neighbours who in the end raised the alarm, who told the French authorities what they suspected was going on.

All along the mother had told neighbours that she was taking care of the boy and they must 'mind their own business'. Many of the neighbours felt guilty afterwards for not realising sooner what was going on.

Part of the reason why this situation took so long to be discovered, the mother would come and visit the boy every few days. And she would bring food or clean clothes. Sometimes they shopped for food together. But there was no gas supply to the flat, so in the winter, the boy had no heating or hot water. He did, however, have electricity, so he was able to entertain himself by playing computer games and watching television, but of course, with no adult supervision. He had school friends, but he never invited them back to his flat - as a way of covering up his situation. He also managed to cover up his situation to neighbours who only gradually realised what was going on.

How does this happen and what responsibility on society, the state?

The sorts of questions that are raised by a news story like this concern, the way that we raise children in our society and whether people notice if a family aren't taking proper care of a child. And it needs thought - what are people's responsibilities around this?

Apparently one person in the boy's village commented ' When there was a family and a village around a child, if the mother neglected the child, it didn't matter much because the rest of the family and the whole village took care of the child. It's not like that anymore.'

'It takes a village to raise a child' v. western civilisation's 'nuclear family'?

This reminded me of another saying, 'It takes a village to raise a child'. And in many parts of the world, this is still what happens. And it's often not just the village - it's what we call 'the extended family'. That means if there's a large family who live in the same location, then aunties, uncles, grandparents, cousins also play a part in bringing up a child. And those family members take responsibility for a child if a parent cannot do so.

Download The Podcast Audio & Transcript

Solve The Maths Problem To Download Podcast & Transcript

The problem is in Western society, we often live in what's called 'nuclear families'. That means ideally two parents, but possibly one parent and children live in a household together. And there may not be any close relatives or relatives may live some distance away.

In this case, back to Gandhi's sentiment, there is more responsibility on the state to look after children and to put in place mechanisms, which mean people notice when something's wrong.

What Your Favourite Songs Say About Your Relationships

Questions being asked - and a remarkable survival instinct

In France, there's much thinking going on about 'Why did this go unnoticed?' What mechanisms should have been in place so that this situation wasn't allowed to go on for such a long time?

What I find remarkable about this news story, however, is just how well the boy managed. He was only nine years old when this started. Usually how well a child does at school, whether they attend regularly on time, and whether or not they get good grades - these tend to be seen as indicators of whether all is well at home.

Although this story is sad - and I'm glad that the boy is now living with a foster family and being looked after properly - this story is also testament to the human spirit and human ingenuity that he survived in these circumstances so well, as he did.


Let us know what you think of this news story.

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



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

TAWK is Disabled

Created with the help of Zola and Bulma