Are you looking to improve your English language skills? If so, then our English language learning lesson is perfect for you! With our lesson, you’ll review news articles from around the world in a way that’s easy for English language learners to follow. We’ll provide you with an engaging and interactive learning experience where you can practice your listening, reading, and speaking skills. Our lesson helps you develop a better understanding of English language and culture, and give you the confidence to communicate in English with others. So, join us for an informative and rewarding learning experience and take your English language skills to the next level!
✔Lesson transcript: https://adeptenglish.com/lessons/english-phrases-world-news-jan2023/
Listening is a powerful way of improving English comprehension skills and learning new vocabulary because it helps you to engage with the lesson in an interesting way. From current affairs to interesting stories, our lessons will help you build your English language skills quickly and efficiently. So join us today for an engaging and fun English language learning experience that will give you the confidence to communicate in English. Listening can help you pick up on unfamiliar words and phrases, understand the nuances of a language, and develop your understanding of the entire language. It can also help you keep track of the conversation, as you can gain a better understanding of the context.
Listening to English can also help you improve your pronunciation and intonation. Listening activities can help build critical listening skills, such as inferring, summarizing, and predicting. Listening allows you to practice your comprehension skills and focus on building your English vocabulary.
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- Interactive: Involves two-way communication or action between people or things.
- Participation: Taking part in something like a game, event, or discussion.
- Vulnerable: Easily hurt or harmed, either physically or emotionally.
- Psychiatry: The part of medicine that deals with mental health.
- Inquest: A formal meeting to find out the cause of something, usually a death.
- Population: The total number of people living in a specific area.
- Lighthearted: Happy and carefree; not serious.
Hi there, today, let's do some news in slow English.
This will give you some English language listening practice using your understanding of news stories that you may already have heard, some of them at least, and it gives you the chance to firm up your English understanding. And don't forget, if you like what we're doing at Adept English, then hit that subscribe button. Then you won't miss any of our podcasts.
So what's in the news at the moment?
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.
Well, this one is a topic I've covered before and I find it difficult to imagine the lives of the people I'm talking about here. So this week, women in Afghanistan have been in the news again. The role of women in society in Afghanistan has become more and more restricted over recent months.
Women are prevented from getting an education. They can't be in secondary schools, and they're stopped from going to university.
And women are banned from many places of work as well. They're not allowed to socialise in public spaces like parks. And recently they were also banned from using 'female only' gyms.
The sun doesn’t live in England; it comes here on holiday when we’re all at work.
⭐ Benny Bellamacina, songwriter, musician
In the news this week then, because there's also been a ban on female aid workers. So that means 'female charity' workers - a A ban on women working in charities. Aid work or charity work is very important in a country like Afghanistan. At the moment, the temperature is about -17C. There's not enough food, and some people don't have shelter. They don't have a home. And even where they do, there's often no electricity.
There's been so much concern about this ban on female charity workers, female aid workers, that the UN, the United Nations sent a team of people, headed by their most senior woman, Amina Mohammed, to ask the Taliban to change this ban, to reconsider these restrictions. They say "We cannot provide humanitarian assistance in Afghanistan without the participation of half the society." The word 'participation', P A R T I C I P A T I O N means 'the taking part'. ' So what they're saying is 'they can't do their work if half the population are not allowed to take part'. That means the women, of course. If women are removed entirely from this charity work, many people's needs will not be met.
The Taliban did respond, making it clear that women are still allowed to work in the healthcare sector. Banning women here would mean that women had no access to healthcare. It's such a conservative society that male doctors are not allowed to attend to women. But even so, the situation is still concerning.
It makes me angry, this one, and I want more people to be aware of it.
Another news story that caught my eye. It feels like a real injustice this one, as well. In the UK this week, a major private health provider was criticised because three vulnerable mental health patients killed themselves within a few months of each other. So these are three women who were in the care of The Priory private hospital, and they were in there because of problems with their mental health.
I say 'vulnerable' mental health patients. 'Vulnerable', V U L N E R A B L E means 'fragile' or 'easily hurt'. And a 'mental health patient'? Well that means someone with severe psychological difficulties, so much so that they are in a hospital because of it. It's a psychological problem that might threaten their life.
| | So these three women were staying in this private hospital and they were meant to be safe. They were meant to be receiving treatment so they can get better. The Priory Group of hospitals provides private healthcare in the UK, so it's not the NHS. The Priory provides private psychiatric care. So the field of 'psychiatry', that's P S Y C H I A T R Y, or the adjective 'psychiatric', so P S Y C H I A T R I C. That's the part of medicine that deals with people's serious psychological problems. Now, The Priory is a very expensive place to stay, and last week there was a court judgment about the death of one of these young women.
So when there is a n investigation after someone's died and a court hearing, we call it an 'inquest'. That's I N Q U E S T. So there was an 'inquest' last week for one of these deaths.
And the verdict, the judgment, if you like, at this inquest, was that the hospital were 'neglectful', meaning that they were not looking after their patients properly. And this contributed to the death of the young woman.
There was video on the news, footage of staff supposedly doing checks on one of these patients, and it's clear that they didn't even open the door of the room where the young woman was. There is a deepening mental health crisis in the UK at the moment and the NHS is struggling to deal with it because there isn't enough money, there isn't enough funding.
But this shouldn't be the problem in the private healthcare sector.
These three young women who were in the news, all of them died by suicide. They killed themselves. And a hospital like The Priory is surely set up to prevent this from happening.
The young woman whose inquest happened this week was a blogger, someone who wrote a blog online, and she wrote about her mental health. And it's become clear since she died just how many people she helped.
A very sad end to her story then, but good that she helped other people who since have come forward to talk about it. The inquest into the deaths of the two other young women at The Priory Hospital will happen shortly.
Another piece of news this week, and this one caught my eye because it's 'the big picture'. It's important at the macro level in the world. So China's population is falling. There are a lot of people living in China. At December last year, that's 2022, there were 1.4 billion Chinese people. But now the population, that's P O P U L A T I O N - that means 'the number of people' - the 'population' has fallen by 850,000 since 2021. And that's the first time that the population in China has gone down since 1961. So that's the first time in 60 years that there are fewer people in China. The birth rate, so that's 'the rate at which babies are born', the birth rate has been going down for years. The word 'birth', B I R T H means 'when a baby is born, the arrival of a new baby'. And we use this word for all mammals, but here we're talking about people. And the 'birth rate', R A T E is a measure of the number of births or babies born per thousand people per year. So in the US, the birth rate is 11.06. In the UK it's 10.08.
But in China in 2022, the birth rate was down to only 6.77 births per year, per thousand people. Just bear in mind the contrast with the other most populous country in the world. That's India. India's birth rate last year was 16.42 births per year per thousand people. That's a big difference. That's why this is on the news and all of this is despite China stopping their 'one child policy' quite a few years ago.
Another interesting statistic for you, one in five people below the age of 25 years in the world is from India. Wow. I think India is going to be very important in the future.
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Let's also do now an 'And finally' type story. When you hear those words in the UK news, it means we're going to have a lighthearted story or a funny story right at the end of the news, perhaps to cheer you up after all the bad news. So, 'And finally' in Australia this week, a huge cane toad has been found. A 'toad', T O A D. It's an animal like a frog, F R O G. And it's an animal that lives partly in water, partly on land, known as an 'amphibian'. So Australia is known for its cane toads, and these are very large toads. And the cane toad in the news this week is a monster!
And as English speakers including the Australians, like to make up new English words, they've called it 'Toadzilla'. After Godzilla.
This cane toad was found in Queensland by a park ranger, and it weighed an amazing 2.7 kilograms. I quite like toads, but looking at the photograph of 'Toadzilla', it made me go 'Ughhhh'.
Apparently this toad is a female. What on earth has she been eating? Well, insects, reptiles, and small mammals. Ooh, I don't think I would like a toad as my pet.
The park ranger who found 'Toadzilla' said that cane toads 'will eat anything that fits in their mouths'. And apparently this cane toad weighing 2.7 kilograms, broke the previously known record of 2.65 kilograms, which was held by a pet toad in Sweden called 'Prinsen'. I don't think I will be having a toad as my pet. I'm going to stick with cats and dogs.
Anyway, use this podcast to practise your understanding of spoken English. If there are any words in it that you don't understand, then look them up and listen again until you've arrived at full understanding, until you can understand every word.
It will make you feel good doing this. And the English speaking part of your brain will thank you for it.
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
- UN's top women meet Taliban
- Three women died
- China's population falls
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