Today we improve your English comprehension skills with some recent interesting news articles. English listening practice that is clear, easy to follow and relevant to intermediate learners. Listen and learn. The days of boring English lessons are over!
English news is an excellent way for non-native English speakers to improve their language skills. Understanding English well enough to hold an intermediate conversation is important for those who want to learn the language.
✔Lesson transcript: https://adeptenglish.com/lessons/learn-english-with-english-news/
News is one of the best ways to improve your English listening skills. By learning about current events and following our channel, you’ll build up your vocabulary and get used to hearing unfamiliar words in context. This will help you understand more complex conversations and learn how native speakers use language every day.
I worry that we're not getting enough of the news that we need to make informed judgments as citizens.
⭐ Walter Cronkite
It’s also important to note that you can use our channel to improve your reading skills as well. By listening to the news and following along with the FREE transcript, you’ll get used to recognizing words on the page. This will help you learn how words work together in sentences and paragraphs.
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Complex Congress Braille Representatives Gantries Verdict Protest Senate Genocidal
Hi there. Today I'm going to give you some more news items. We know that you like these podcasts. So what happens is I take a couple of news items from the UK or around the world, things that you may have heard or read already in your own language. And I give you some really good practice at understanding the news. This means that you can learn lots of useful vocabulary in context.
And if you want more practice, more English language listening, then don't forget, you can go to our website at adeptenglish.com and buy one of our podcast bundles. This gives you 50 podcasts, 50 lots of English language learning practice. And you can have it with you on your phone wherever you go, so that you can get your English practice in. That would be a good idea, wouldn't it?
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.
Right. First news item. So climate change has been in the news again this week. That's partly because it's been the COP27 Summit, the big meeting about climate change. So we heard more rhetoric, more dialogue, more promises. Will it lead to something? Not clear.
Also, what's been happening in the UK, we've had protests. An organization called Just Stop Oil have been protesting. A protest, P R O T E S T. That is an action that a person or people might take to make their unhappy feelings known. So a 'protest' is when you do something to let people know you are not happy. So that could include marching in the street or holding a banner, holding a message up to say what your problem is.
So Just Stop Oil were protesting this week. As the name suggests, they're against the use of fossil fuels. And they don't feel that governments are doing enough.
Probably most people would agree with that, but the debate is more around whether the methods of protest, which Just Stop Oil and other organizations use, whether they're justified or not.
So what have Just Stop Oil done in the past? Well, I read that their actions in the last few months included throwing soup at Vincent Van Gogh's, 'Sunflowers' in the National Gallery. I'm not sure how I feel about that one, but they also disrupted the British Grand Prix. I can understand that target a little more than a Van Gogh painting perhaps. Just Stop Oil protestors have apparently been arrested 677 times during the months of September and October and five people remain in prison. Clearly these people are committed to their cause, that's for sure.
So this week the protests were on the M25. The M25 is a notorious motorway. It encircles London. It's a complete circle of a motorway, a very big circle. Anyway, Just Stop Oil were climbing on gantries on the M25 this week. So a 'gantry' is the bit over the top of the carriageway, over the top of the road. A 'gantry' will hold speed signs or messages or speed cameras.
And their action took place in seven different locations on the M25. So they stopped the traffic in seven different places on this circular motorway. They also did it at peak times, so when the traffic was at its worst.
If you listen to our podcast regularly, you'll probably have heard me complain about the traffic on the motorways in the UK. It's crazy at the best of times. So this action on the M25 by Just Stop Oil meant that drivers were sitting in their cars for many hours. One man even missed his father's funeral as a result of this action by Just Stop Oil.
Just Stop Oil say 'This is an act of resistance against a criminal government and their genocidal death project'. The other side, the Metropolitan Police said 'More than 10,000 officer shifts had to be dedicated to policing these protests since the start of October. And this is taking police officers away from dealing with knife crime and burglaries'. ' Burglaries' means 'theft from people's homes'. So there are clearly two sides to this story. Which one do you agree with?
I imagine you've also heard that there have been some elections in the US? The US mid-terms. The mid-term elections happened this week.
So an election, E L E C T I O N. That's when people go to vote. They 'go to the polls'. People exercise their democracy or their democratic right. And mid-term? Well, that means it's midway through President Joe Biden's term in office. Joe Biden became President of the United States in January 2021, after defeating Donald Trump at the polls.
So in these mid-term elections, it's not that voters get to vote Joe Biden in or out, but they get to vote on the make-up of the United States parliament, if you like. So there is the US Senate, that's S E N A T E, and there is also the House of Representatives, sometimes known as 'The House' for short.
A photograph of Americans voting. For English language learners, news in English is an excellent way to improve your vocabulary and comprehension.
Together, these two bodies are known as Congress, C O N G R E S S.
So the Senate first? Each state in America has two senators, two representatives in the Senate. And that's regardless of the size of the state or the number of people who live in that state, the population of the state.
Senators serve for six years. And the Senate has some say over how the President governs, over how the President rules. The Senate can vote to impeach or remove the president. The Senate can vote on the officials that the President appoints.
And they can also vote against treaties or agreements with other countries. So that's quite a lot of power.
The House of Representatives or 'the House' has many more members. There are 435 seats in the house and 100 in the Senate. So there are numerous House Members for each state. And how many House Members or House Representatives for each state depends on the population. So this is more what's known as 'proportional representation'.
So given that American politics is mainly two parties, the Republicans and the Democrats, then the mid-term elections determine who makes up the Senate and who makes up the House of Representatives. And the balance here can make a President's life easier or much more difficult. Much more difficult to pass legislation, and this mid-term election result is usually seen as a judgment on how a president is doing.
So it's a verdict on Joe Biden so far. And also it gauges the mood of the country.
And the results of these mid-terms? Well, as I'm recording this podcast, the results aren't completely in, but most of them are. So it looks pretty even. In the Senate, the Democrats so far have 48 seats and the Republicans have 49 seats. So of the hundred seats, most of them are already in, and it's pretty balanced.
In the House, 435 seats here. Again at the point of recording this podcast, 197 to the Democrats, 211 to the Republicans. So it's fairly normal mid-term for the ruling party to be slightly less popular, I think. This is certainly what happens in the UK. So the overall result is clear. It's fairly balanced in the Senate and the House of Representatives is skewed towards the Republicans.
Why are these mid-terms important?
Well, it gives, or it takes away some of the presidential power, as I've described. Joe Biden is a Democrat, so if the House is mainly Republican, that's gonna make life more difficult for him. But the mid-terms are also important because it's opportunity to gauge opinion on critical issues. So in the US at the moment, abortion law is under review.
That's A B O R T I O N. And what's being debated is the right of women to end pregnancies, if they choose to. There's also a lot of debate as usual around gun law and gun crime. That's G U N and 'the right to bear arms'. So the mid-terms give a pretty useful indication of mood, of feeling around these big issues.
As I said, they're also a verdict on the current president, so it determines whether or not the Party think that this President is going to be their candidate for the 2024 presidential election. I may be being slightly ageist here, but surely Joe Biden is a little old for that, but that's just my personal opinion.
It also determines the level of support for people like Donald Trump. Will he be the Republican party candidate in 2024, or will it be someone else? Chance to gauge the mood here.
Gosh, that's quite a lot of heavy news. What shall we do last of all? Well, I could talk about the news that the UK is going to go into recession in the next few months. Or I could talk about the fact that NHS nurses are going to go on strike. But let's go with something a little more heartening, shall we?
For our final news item, a blind boy from Venezuela made the BBC News this week. 'Blind', B L I N D means 'he cannot see'. 12 year old Sebastiàn Filoramo from Venezuela was in the news because of a project he started with his dad. Ahead of the Qatar World Cup, which starts on the 20th November, he's busy translating all 600 stickers in the World Cup album into braille. ' Braille', B R A I L L E is the language used by blind people to read. You run your fingertips across the page and you can feel the different bumps and these make up the letters. So Sebastiàn is busy translating all 600 stickers in the World Cup album into braille using his braille typewriter.
Solve The Maths Problem To Download Podcast & Transcript
Sebastiàn explained to BBC News in a video how he and his father arrived at a method for doing this and about how he shared the instructions online so that other blind people can join in with this collection of the World Cup stickers. Sebastiàn also spoke about 'inclusion'. That's I N C L U S I O N - how people with difficulties like blindness need to be included and often they feel left out.
He hopes that the publicity around his World Cup sticker album will raise people's understanding and awareness. He hopes that it will make a difference. Let's hope so too.
Anyway, that's a flavour of what's in the news at the moment. Not all of it, but some of it. Listen to this podcast a number of times so that you get to practise any new vocabulary in context so that it's easier to remember. And this vocabulary will be useful in the future, in other contexts too.
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
- Just Stop Oil: Dozens of activists arrested
- Just Stop Oil: What is it
- Van Gogh's Sunflowers back on display
- US midterm elections
- US midterm election 2022 results
- Venezuelan boy translates World Cup sticker
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