All lessons
Browse the lessons at your listening/reading level and go practice now.

Many animal and plant species have become extinct and many more are in critical danger. Finding ways to protect the earth's wildlife and conserve the natural world they inhabit is now more important than ever.

Extinction is a natural process. Many species had ceased to exist before humans evolved. However, in the last 400 years, the number of animals and plants becoming extinct has reached crisis point. Human population levels have risen dramatically in the same time period and man's predatory instincts combined with his ruthless consumption of natural resources are directly responsible for the situation.

The dodo is a classic example of how human behaviour can cause irreparable damage to the earth's biological diversity. The flightless dodo was native to the Island of Mauritius in the Indian Ocean. It lived off fruit fallen from the island's trees and lived unthreatened until humans arrived in 1505. The docile bird became a source of food for sailors and lacked the ability to protect itself from animals introduced to the island by humans such as pigs, monkeys and rats. The population of dodos rapidly decreased and the last one was killed in 1681.

In 2002, many animals remain threatened with extinction as a result of human activity. The World Wildlife Fund works tirelessly to raise awareness of the predicament facing these animals and find ways to protect them. By focusing on a number of high profile, charismatic icons such as the rhino, panda, whale and tiger, the WWF aims to communicate critically important environmental issues. The organization's ultimate goal is to stop the degradation of the planet's natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature.

The rhino horn is a highly prized item for practitioners of Asian medicine. This has led to the animal being relentlessly hunted in its natural habitat. Once widespread in Africa and Eurasia, most rhinos now live in protected natural parks and reserves. Their numbers have rapidly decreased in the last 50 years, over half the remaining rhinos disappeared in the 1970s, and the animals remain under constant threat from poachers.

The future of the WWF's symbol is far from certain. As few as 1000 remain in the wild, living in small isolated groups. These groups have been cut off from each other as a result of deforestation and human expansion into their natural habitat. The Chinese government has set up 33 panda reserves to protect these beautiful animals and made poaching them punishable with 20 years in prison. However, the panda's distinct black and white patched coat fetches a high price on the black market and determined poachers still pose one of the most serious threats to the animal's continued existence.

The International Whaling Commission meets every year. The agenda covers ways to ensure the survival of the species and the complex problems arising from countries such as Japan, wishing to hunt certain whales for scientific purposes. Despite the fact that one third of the world's oceans have been proclaimed whale sanctuaries, seven out of 13 whale species remain endangered. The plight of the North Atlantic Right Whale is particularly serious. Hunted for their rich supply of oil, their numbers have dwindled to just 300. Collisions with ships, toxic pollution and becoming entangled in fishing nets are other major causes of whale deaths.

The last 100 years has seen a 95 percent reduction in the numbers of remaining tigers to between 5000 and 7000 and the Bali, Javan, and Caspian tigers are already extinct. The South China tiger is precariously close to disappearing, with only 20-30 still alive. Like the rhino horn, tiger bones and organs are sought after for traditional Chinese medicines. These items are traded illegally along with tiger skins.

The WWF is actively involved in many areas of the world fighting to protect the natural habitats of endangered animals from further damage and curb the activities of poachers. They also work to influence governments and policy makers to introduce laws aimed at reducing the threat of pollution and deforestation. Our own individual efforts at home and in the workplace can also make a difference. By reducing waste and pollution, saving water, wood and energy, and reusing and recycling whenever possible, we can reduce the possibility of even more animals being lost, never to return.
0:00
0:00
 
  |  10343 learners#Science #Lectures

Gimme a ticket for an aeroplane, ain't got time to take a fast train. Lonely days are gone, I'm a-goin' home, cause my baby just a-wrote me a letter.

Have you ever looked out of the window of a passenger plane from 30000 feet at the vast expanses of empty ocean and uninhabited land, and wondered how people can have any major effect on the Earth? I have. But it is now becoming pretty clear that we are causing a great deal of damage to the natural environment. And the planes which rush us in comfort to destinations around the globe, contribute to one of the biggest environmental problems that we face today, global warming.

For those of us lucky enough to have money to spend, and the free time to spend it in, there are a huge number of fascinating places to explore. The cost of air transport has decreased rapidly over the years, and for many people, especially in rich countries, it is now possible to fly around the world for little more than the contents of our weekly pay packets. Unfortunately, planes produce far more carbon dioxide CO2 than any other form of public transport, and CO2 is now known to be a greenhouse gas, a gas which traps the heat of the sun, causing the temperature of the Earth to rise.

Scientists predict that in the near future the climate in Britain will resemble that of the Mediterranean, ironically a popular destination for British holidaymakers flying off to seek the sun. If global warming continues, we may also find that many tourist destinations such as The Maldives have disappeared under water because of rising sea levels. As usual, people in the developing world are having to deal with problems created mainly by those of us in developed countries.

Beatrice Schell, a spokeswoman for the European Federation for Transport and Environment says that, One person flying in an airplane for one hour is responsible for the same greenhouse gas emissions as a typical Bangladeshi in a whole year. And every year jet aircraft generate almost as much carbon dioxide as the entire African continent produces. When you are waiting impatiently in a crowded departure lounge for a delayed flight or trying to find luggage which has gone astray, plane fares may seem unreasonably high, but in reality we are not paying enough for air travel. Under the polluter pays principle, where users pay for the bad effects they cause, the damage caused by planes is not being paid for. Aircraft fuel is not taxed on international flights and planes, unlike cars, are not inspected for CO2 emissions. Also, the Kyoto agreement does not cover greenhouse gases produced by planes, leaving governments to decide for themselves who is responsible.

So what can be done to solve the problem? Well, although aircraft engine manufacturers are making more efficient engines and researching alternative fuels such as hydrogen, it will be decades before air travel is not damaging to the environment. Governments don't seem to be taking the problem seriously, so it is up to individual travellers to do what they can to help. The most obvious way of dealing with the problem is to not travel by plane at all. Environmental groups like Friends of the Earth encourage people to travel by train and plan holidays nearer home.

However, with prices of flights at an all time low, and exotic destinations more popular than ever, it is hard to persuade British tourists to choose Blackpool instead of Bangkok, or Skegness over Singapore. Friends of the Earth also advise using teleconferencing for international business meetings, but most businesspeople still prefer to meet face-to-face. However, there is a way of offsetting the carbon dioxide we produce when we travel by plane. A company called Future Forests, whose supporters include Coldplay and Pink Floyd, offers a service which can relieve the guilty consciences of air travellers.

The Future Forest website calculates the amount of CO2 you are responsible for producing on your flight, and for a small fee will plant the number of trees which will absorb this CO2. Another company, co2dotorg, offers a similar service, but invests your money in energy saving projects such as providing efficient light bulbs to villagers in Mauritius. Yesterday I returned to Japan from England, and was happy to pay Future Forests 25 pounds to plant the 3 trees which balance my share of the CO2 produced by my return flight. Now the only thing making me lose sleep is jet lag.
0:00
0:00
 
  |  9218 learners#Science #Lectures

During the past several decades, there have been major changes within most Western countries in people's attitudes toward sex, and in sexual behaviour. For people who have lived throughout this period, the changes have seemed quite remarkable. Until the early twentieth century, people in most Western countries did not have permissive attitudes regarding sexuality.

For the most part, young people were expected to wait until marriage before having sexual intercourse. Of course, some premarital sex did occur, and prostitution was not rare. However, sexual behaviour was relatively restricted. As the twentieth century progressed, there was a gradual trend toward liberalization of attitudes toward sex. However, this trend was greatly speeded after 1960, when the first birth control pills became available. These contraceptive pills made it possible for women to engage in sexual intercourse without much risk of an unwanted pregnancy. As a result, many women were more willing to have premarital sex than was previously the case.

Also during the 1960s, Western countries were reaching high levels of wealth and education. A new and very large generation of young people was approaching adulthood, and there was a mood of rebellion against traditional norms. There was an increase in the number of people who engaged in sex before marriage, and also a greater openness about such behaviour. By the 1970s, sexual attitudes had become quite liberal, and many young people were quite promiscuous in their sexual behaviour. However, this pattern reversed somewhat during the 1980s. There was increased concern about sexually transmitted diseases, including AIDS, moreover, many young women had been uncomfortable with the idea of unrestricted sexual behaviour. As a result, sexual attitudes became slightly more conservative during the 1980s and 1990s, although they remained much more liberal than in previous decades.

In the early twenty-first century, most young people in Western countries begin having sex during their high school years, although some people wait until they are considerably older. Some young people are promiscuous, but most engage in monogamous relationships that typically last for a period of several months or a few years. When one relationship ends, another usually begins soon after. This pattern usually continues until marriage. After marriage, most people have sex exclusively with their spouse, however, some people do commit adultery. Sexuality has changed a great deal in recent decades. It will be very interesting to see how people's sexual attitudes and behaviour will change in the future.
0:00
0:00
 
  |  9165 learners#Education #Lectures

One of the most tragic parts of the history of North and South America is the period of African slavery. For hundreds of years, many people were taken from Africa, by force, to work in the fields of many different countries in North and South America.

When Europeans first came to the Americas, some of them realized that they might make money by growing crops and selling them in Europe. However, in order to make money, they would need a cheap source of labor. Few Europeans would come to the Americas to work for low wages, so instead, the landowners looked for slaves. In the areas of the great farms, or plantations, there were few Indians, so they used another source of slaves, Africa. The plantation owners usually obtained slaves by buying them from local kings in western Africa. This led to many wars between rival kings within Africa, who tried to capture each other's people in order to sell them as slaves. A few kings tried to avoid the slave trade, but this was very difficult.

During a period of several hundred years, from the 1500s to the 1800s, about 12 million people were taken from western Africa to the Americas. Many more people died as slaves before leaving Africa, and many more died on the ships that took them to the Americas. This was because the conditions on the ships were extremely unhealthy! the ships were far too crowded, and there was little food and water.

When the African slaves arrived in the Americas, the plantation owners made them work on farms that produced goods such as cotton and sugar. In many places, the work was very hard, and many of the slaves died from overwork. They were then replaced by other slaves who arrived from Africa. However, many slaves survived despite the brutal conditions.

In some places, the African slaves were able to revolt against the plantation owners. However, this was difficult because the slaves who had recently arrived spoke many different languages. Some slaves escaped into wilderness areas and were able to remain free from the plantation owners. As time went by, many people in Europe and in the Americas realized that slavery was wrong. By the 1830s, slavery had been ended, or abolished, in islands owned by the British, and in parts of the United States. In the southern United States, slavery was ended in the 1860s, during the Civil War. In some countries, such as Brazil and Cuba, slavery only ended in the 1880s.

Today, many millions of people in North and South America are the descendants of slaves who were brought from Africa. The effects of slavery have lasted for many generations, and there was much racial prejudice against African people when slavery ended. However, some have achieved success despite these disadvantages Today, the people of African background in North and South America are a very important part of the population in many countries.
0:00
0:00
 
  |  9197 learners#Politic #Lectures

Canada is one of the largest countries in the world. It is located in the northern half of the continent of North America, above the United States. Canada is divided into ten provinces and three territories, each of which is different from the others.

The province of British Columbia is located at the far western end of Canada. British Columbia stretches from the Pacific Ocean, at the west, to the Rocky Mountains, at the east. British Columbia contains the city of Vancouver, where two million people live. Most of the land of British Columbia is very mountainous, with vast forests covering the mountains. In British Columbia, forestry is an important industry, providing wood for people around the world.

Moving east from British Columbia, the next provinces are Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba. These are known as the prairie provinces, because they are mostly made of flat, grassy land called prairie. Alberta is the province where the flat prairie meets the tall and beautiful Rocky Mountains. In Alberta, there are many fields where oil and gas are found, and there are also many farms where cattle are raised.

Saskatchewan is the province that grows the most wheat. Wheat from Saskatchewan is sent around the world to make bread and pasta for many people.

Manitoba is the other prairie province. Its largest city, Winnipeg, is about halfway between the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. Winnipeg has the coldest winters of any large city in the world, with temperatures sometimes reaching -40 degrees Celsius.

Moving east, the next province is Ontario. The land in the northern part of Ontario is very rocky and contains many thousands and thousands of lakes. Many mines are found in northern Ontario. In the southern part of Ontario, there is good farmland, and there are also many cities where factories produce cars and steel. Ontario contains Canada's largest city, Toronto, as well as the capital city of Canada Ottawa. In the southern part of Ontario are four of the largest lakes in the world, known as the Great Lakes.

Next to Ontario is the province of Quebec. Unlike the other provinces, where most people speak English, most of the people in Quebec speak French. The capital of Quebec is called Quebec City, and this is one of the oldest cities in North America. Quebec City contains many buildings that are hundreds of years old. Also in the province of Quebec is the city of Montreal. Of all the French speaking cities in the world, only Paris is larger than Montreal.

In the eastern part of Canada are the Atlantic provinces, which are next to the Atlantic Ocean. These provinces are New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland. In the Atlantic provinces, fishing is an important industry. Tourism is also important as many people come to see the beauty of these provinces. The people in these provinces are said to be the friendliest in Canada.

In the far north of Canada are the three territories that lie beside the Arctic Ocean: Yukon, Northwest Territories, and Nunavut. Many of the people in these territories are the Native people of Canada, known as the Indians and the Inuit. The northern areas have very cold, dark winters. The summer is short, but the days are very long and bright.
0:00
0:00
 
  |  8974 learners#Education #Lectures

Are you interested in the behaviour of people and animals? If you are, then you might enjoy the study of psychology. Psychology is the study of behaviour, but this is a very large area of study. There are several different branches of psychology, each of which studies a different aspect of behaviour. Social psychologists study interactions among people. For example, a social psychologist might try to learn about the situations that cause people to behave aggressively. Another question studied by social psychologists is why certain people become attracted to each other. One of the interesting problems in social psychology is conformity? what causes people to behave in the same way, and to follow what others do and say? Cognitive psychologists study thinking, memory, and language. One problem studied by cognitive psychologists is how people remember numbers. For example, what is the best way to memorize some numbers Is it better to repeat the numbers to oneself, or to try to attach some meaning to these numbers? A cognitive psychologist might also study language. For example, why can young children learn a second language so quickly and easily? Cognitive psychologists are also interested in the ways that people learn to solve problems, such as finding a new place. Clinical psychologists study mental illnesses. For example, a clinical psychologist might try to find out the causes of depression and to figure out ways of helping people who are depressed. Other clinical psychologists might study the behaviour of people who suffer from addiction to drugs, so that this problem can be prevented and treated. Another topic of interest to clinical psychologists is violent behaviour. It is very important to find ways of preventing violence and to change the behaviour of persons who act violently. Some psychologists are interested in the measurement of psychological characteristics. For example, psychologists might develop tests to assess a person's intelligence, personality traits, or interests. These tests can be used to help people make decisions about education, occupation, and clinical treatment. Psychologists who study the behaviour of animals are called ethologists. Ethologists often go into wilderness areas to watch the activity of birds, fish, or other animals. These psychologists try to figure out why it is that some animals have instincts for various behaviours such as parenting, mating, or fighting. Some ethologists have learned very much about the unusual behaviours observed in many animals. These are only a few of the many areas of psychology. Truly, psychology is one of the most interesting areas of knowledge!
0:00
0:00
 
  |  9112 learners#Education #Lectures

How do you improve your English listening skills? If you ask this question to English teachers they will tell you the same thing. They will tell you to go watch movies. They will say that watching movies is a great way to improve your listening.

But there's a problem. A lot of English learners watch movies with subtitles. Some people use English subtitles. Other people use subtitles in their native languages. Now it doesn't matter what kind of subtitles you use. Watching movies with subtitles is a really really bad way to improve your listening and in this video, I'm going to explain to you why it's such a bad idea.

But first let me share with you my personal experience. So back when I was in college I wanted to improve my English listening skills. So what did I do? Well, I started to watch movies with English subtitles. I thought that was the best way to improve my listening. I was really optimistic I thought in two or three years. I would be able to understand native speakers. Unfortunately it didn't work. After six years of doing that I still could not understand native speakers. I still needed subtitles when watching a movie. I was really disappointed. I watch a lot of movies. But I still could not understand native speakers at that point. I didn't really know why didn't work. But now I do so let's talk about that right now.

First there's one thing about listening that you need to know. Listening and hearing are not the same. If you want to improve your listening make sure that when you practice listening you are really listening and not just hearing. So what's the difference between listening and hearing? Well the difference is whether or not you are paying attention. If you're paying attention then you are listening. If you're not paying attention then that's just hearing. So let me give you an example. If you turn on the radio and pay attention to the sound from the radio then that is listening. But if you turn on the radio and that you do something else like reading a book then that's just hearing. You can hear the radio but you're not paying attention to it. You are not listening. And again, if you want to improve your listening, make sure that you are really listening and not just hearing. You need to make sure that you are paying attention.

Now let's talk about watching movies with subtitles. What's wrong with it? Why doesn't it work? As you might have guessed, it doesn't work because you're not listening. You're just hearing, so let me explain when you watch a movie. Your brain is trying to understand the movie but there isn't just one way to do that there are two ways or two options. The first option is to focus on reading the subtitles. The second option is to focus on listening to the sound.

Now I have a question for you. Which option do you think your brain will choose reading or listening? How the answer is obvious your brain is going to focus on reading the subtitles? Why because it's much easier that takes on the screen is clear? So it's very easy for your brain to process. The sounds of people talking on the other hand are not that clear, so it's much more difficult for your brain to figure out what people are saying. As a result, your brain will pay attention to the subtitles and not the sounds, so when you watch a movie with subtitles, you're not really improving your listening. You are actually improving your reading. And that's why it doesn't work. So the best way to improve your listening is to just listen. Don't read and listen at the same time. If you watch a movie in English remove the subtitles, so that your brain will have to focus on listening. If you do that, your listening will improve much faster. That said, there is still a problem. If you remove the subtitles then you won't understand the movie and if you don't understand the movie that is going to be boring so what should you do?

Well here's my suggestion. Don't try to improve your listening by watching movies just watch movies for fun. There's a better and faster way to improve your listening and that is the subject of the next video. In the next video, I'll share with you the method I personally use to improve my English listening skills. So I'll see you again in the next video, and if you don't want to miss that video, make sure you subscribe to this Engfluent channel. And if you want even more advice on how to improve your English, go to Engfluent dot com and sign up for the newsletter or just click these two boxes.
0:00
0:00
 
  |  9337 learners#Education #Lectures

Let's talk about a problem you might have when listening to English, especially when watching a movie. You don't understand what you hear. And this is not because you don't know the vocabulary. If you read the transcript or the subtitles you will understand the material just fine. So you already know the words being used. You just don't recognize them when listening. So what should you do?

According to many research studies. In one study participants were trained to perform a task related to hearing. And there were three levels of difficulty easy normal and difficult. The participants were divided into two groups. The first group was trained to perform only the difficult version of that task. The second group however started with the easy and normal versions first before performing the difficult version. The researchers wanted to know which group would perform the difficult version better. So what was the result? Well despite having less training with the difficult version. The second group actually performed better. Practically speaking this finding suggests that if you have difficulty doing something, instead of just keep doing that it's more effective to start with something easy, and then slowly increase the difficulty as you improve.

So how can you apply this knowledge to improve your listening? I'll tell you. First you have to make it easy in the beginning. For example, if you listen to podcasts in English on your smartphone, find an app that lets you change playback speed. So that you can slow down or speed up what you're listening to. If you listen on your computer there are programs that can do that as well. Then whenever you have trouble understanding, use the app to slow down the audio like this. So now it gets easier right. You have more time to think. You have more time to make out words that aren't pronounced clearly. You have more time to guess the meanings of new words and phrases. The idea here is to make it easy in the beginning. Listen at slower speeds. Listen to speakers that are easy to understand. Listen to easy stuff like podcasts and interviews as opposed to movies. Start small but you're not done yet. Easy to hard training requires you to go from easy to difficult. So once your listening skills improve you have to gradually increase the difficulty, instead of listening at the normal speed, speed it up like this.

Now after you speed it up you must still be able to understand the content, but you should feel a little uncomfortable. This will help you become more familiar with listening to fast speakers. The idea here is to keep pushing yourself. If you keep listening to something easy your listening skills will stop improving. So you have to keep challenging yourself. So listen at faster speeds. Also don't keep listening to the same person. Listen to different people with different speaking styles. And then start watching movies without subtitles. If it's still difficult you can slow down the movie by five percent or ten percent or you can slow it down even more if you don't mind the slowness. Once you get used to it you can then start watching movies at normal speed.
0:00
0:00
 
  |  8963 learners#Education #Lectures

Hi everybody, I have a quick question for you. What do you think about your spoken English? Do you think your English is bad? A lot of people who want to speak English think this way because when they speak they have trouble coming up with words. They make a lot of mistakes and their sentence structures is just wrong, and they believe that they're just bad at speaking English and there's nothing they can do about it.

Now, if you are one of those people if you think that there's no way for you to improve your English, then I have something to tell you. You are wrong. You are just plain wrong and in this video I'm going to tell you why. Now, I want you to think about experts and top performers in any field, think about world-class athletes like Tiger Woods or Michael Jordan now here's my question for you. How good do you think they were in the beginning? Do you think they were excellent right from the start? No, of course not, they were terrible in the beginning. Tiger Woods was bad at golf when he began. Michael Jordan was bad at basketball when he began. The bottom line is this when you start out something new. You are going to suck really suck. You are going to make mistakes. You are going to look stupid, and the only way to get better is to keep doing it, and you will get better over time, and this is the truth and it applies to everybody.

But here's the more important question if everybody sucks in the beginning, then what separates successful people from unsuccessful people. How it is possible that they can be English learners? Who are similar to each others? I mean they have the same level of intelligence they have the same resources. But some of them managed to become good at spoken English while others cannot speak English at all. What's the difference the answer is one word action successful people suck in the beginning? Just like anybody else but they keep taking action they keep learning they keep practicing, because they know that even though they're not good at speaking today. They are going to get better if they keep learning if they keep practicing, so they take massive action unsuccessful people on the other hand don't take action very much. They tried to speak English a little bit they try to practice a little bit, but they quit very quickly. I mean they start speaking and they start having trouble it's not making mistakes, and then they say oh English is just not for me, it's too difficult. I'm just not good at language, and then they quit. They just give up immediately.

So here's my challenge to you. After you watch this video, I want you to talk about anything in English, and you just do it by yourself you don't need to find someone to do it with you. You can talk about anything you want you can talk about yourself. You can talk about what happened yesterday, or maybe you can talk about what you've learned from this video. It doesn't matter what to talk about what matters is that you take action and when you do that. I want you to keep two things in mind number one you are going to suck. Just keep in mind that you are going to make mistakes. You are going to say something confusing, or maybe you won't be able to speak at all but be okay with that that's normal everybody has to go through that. I mean this is my first Youtube video and as you can see my drawing sucks is terrible, but I'm okay with that I accepted and you should be okay with your speaking as well.

Second thing I want you to keep in mind is to keep taking action. Just keep learning just keep practicing because it doesn't matter if you suck today, the present does not equal the future, just because you're bad at speaking now doesn't mean that you're always be bad at speaking. If you keep taking action I guarantee that you will improve you will get better. I mean the same is true for my drawing is Saturday. But if they keep drawing if I keep practicing, I'm going to get better. Okay, so that's my challenge to you, and we've come to the end of this video now one last thing. If you want to receive free training videos on how to improve your spoken English, then click the link in the description below, to go to Engfluent dot com and subscribe to my newsletter. I'll be releasing an exclusive training videos on how to improve your spoken English soon and you don't want to miss that. So go to Engfluent dot com, subscribe and I'll see you soon.
0:00
0:00
 
  |  8986 learners#Education #Lectures
Not completed (0 - 99%)  |   Passed (100%)  |   Failed (< 100%)  |   Not learned (0%)

The filters

Reset

New lessons

Trees in the Forest
Basic - American
Bird watching
Basic - Others
Growing roses
Basic - American
Let's recycle
Basic - American
A Picnic by the River
Basic - American
The history of tea
Advanced - American