Study English – Series 2, Episode 17: Naturopathic Medicine

{“en”:”Hello. I’m Margot Politis. Welcome to Study English, IELTS preparation. Today on Study English, you’ll have the chance to practice your reading comprehension skills. These are important skills, not just for the IELTS reading test, but for general academic studies as well. Today, we’ll focus on the skills you need to answer the range of question types in the IELTS reading test. Let’s begin by taking a look at the text. So there’s our comprehension piece. It seems quite long. But let’s start at the beginning. Read the title. We know that the passage is about naturopathic medicine. Do you know anything about the subject? You know the word medicine, but maybe not naturopathic.

It’s OK if you don’t. You don’t need to understand every word. We can probably figure out the meaning by paying attention to the context the word is used in, or by looking closely at the parts of the word. We know that naturopathic is an adjective, because it qualifies medicine. Now, let’s break naturopathic down. The first part naturo- sounds like nature.

The ending is the suffix -ic. Do you know other words that end in -ic? How about photographic or historic? The suffix -ic means relating to or of. So we could guess that naturopathic means something like relating to nature. Then we can guess that the meaning of naturopathic medicine is something like medicine that heals in a natural way. Can you think of any words you know that might belong to this subject? How about: herbs plants health healing or disease Let’s look at the text again. After you’ve looked at the heading, look for some other clues as to what it is about.

Are there any illustrations or diagrams? What’s the layout like? All these things will help your understanding of the subject. What kind of text do you think this is? It doesn’t look like a newspaper article or an instruction manual. It’s not an advertisement or a timetable. It’s probably an article from a journal. We can tell by the style, the subject and the way it looks. Did you notice the asterisk near the end of the text? When an asterisk is used like this, extra information or explanation is given at the bottom of the page. What we’ve just done is to use the skills of previewing and predicting. We put together all the information we could about the text we are reading.

We looked for a title, a diagram or any other information set apart – like the asterisk at the end of the text. We also made some educated guesses about what is in the article, by predicting some common words we might expect to see. Previewing and predicting before you start reading can help you process information quickly, because you know what to expect. It can also help you to follow the author’s ideas better, because you’ve prepared yourself for the text before reading it. Let’s get back to the text. How is it organised? It’s divided into paragraphs. Here, we have 2 paragraphs: paragraph A and paragraph B. Usually, a reading passage would have an introductory paragraph, several body paragraphs and a conclusion. Each paragraph should have a topic sentence. The topic sentence will give the main idea or subject of a paragraph. The skill of skimming involves reading over a paragraph very quickly to get a general sense of what it is about.

When you skim a text, you just want to get a general idea of the content. You’re not trying to read every word. If you just read the first and last sentences, you can often get a good idea of the main subject of the paragraph. Let’s try with paragraph A. Naturopathic Medicine Since the earliest beginnings, every known culture has been treating disease with natural therapies. So what is the main subject of paragraph A? Well we read about: the early beginnings of cultures types of natural therapies and cultures and natural therapies Can you choose which one of these things tells us what the text is about most accurately? Number one talks about beginnings of cultures. The text is probably not about that. It’s a bit too broad to be the topic sentence. So you might think it’s number 2 – types of natural therapies. This choice is too narrow. The text is about more than just natural therapies.

It’s number 3 that covers the idea of the whole paragraph. It is about cultures and natural therapies. This is what the topic sentence is expressing. You will be tested on your understanding of main ideas, so it’s a good idea to practice matching headings to paragraphs. When you need to look for specific information, like a name, date or place, you can scan a text. When you scan, your eyes move across the page very quickly looking for specific information. You can then skip over less important words. Let’s try to scan over the text to find answers to some short answer questions. Here’s our question: The early books of which countries mention natural healing methods? We’re going to scan the text, looking for the key words. The first known medical books of China, India and Greece all mention formulas used in healing. So we can answer by writing: China, India and Greece Let’s try another short answer question. Who was the father of Western Medicine? Here are the key words. Let’s scan the text. Hippocrates is the father of Western Medicine.

You can also use these skills when you need to answer multiple-choice questions, label a diagram or complete a table. Let’s take a quick look back over the skills we’ve used today: We looked at using previewing skills to predict what the text was going to be about. We talked about looking at the title, diagrams and style of the layout for clues to what the text might be about. We practised predicting the topic and guessing vocabulary that might be in the text. Next, we practiced skimming to find the topic sentence of the paragraph. Finally, we talked about scanning for keywords. And that’s all for today, but you can try out these skills and more on the Study English website. I’ll see you next time. Bye bye.. “}

As found on Youtube

Neuro Linguistic Programming in Brighton

Study English – Series 2, Episode 6: Lasers

{“en”:”Hello. I’m Margot Politis. Welcome to Study English, IELTS preparation. Today we’re going to learn about lasers – what are they, and how they work. We’ll also practice structuring a description of how something works, and we’ll work on our vocabulary for describing colours. Let’s begin by listening to Imogen Jubb talk about the history and the science of lasers. Lasers are used in all sorts of settings like welding, cutting, surgery, communications, reading bar codes at the supermarket or reading the information stored on a CD or DVD. There are many types of lasers but they all have 3 main parts to them. They all have an energy source, such as a lamp, some sort of feedback mechanism, like this pair of mirrors, and also some medium, like the ruby crystal, which can amplify the light. Now the first laser was built in the 1960s. It was made from a ruby crystal, some lamps and 2 mirrors, one on either side of the crystal.

I’ve got a sort of model of it here. The lamp shines white light onto the crystal, which is represented by this tube. Pumping energy into the crystal actually gives off light at a particular frequency to produce a particular colour. Some of this light bounces backwards and forwards between the two mirrors, and passes through the crystal each time. Each time the light goes through the crystal, it gets amplified, stimulating the same energy release in other parts of the crystal. So after many times in between the two mirrors, and many reflections passing through the crystal, you end up with a very strong, narrow beam of light that is just one colour.

One of the mirrors is only partially reflective, so some light passes out as the laser beam. Before Imogen explains the laser to us, she starts with an ‘introduction’, or ‘orientation’. That way, we know what to focus on. If you’re describing a device or a tool, it’s a good idea to introduce it by naming it and describing what it’s used for. This is useful in spoken English, and it’s also a good way to begin if you are writing in formal English. Listen to how Imogen introduces the laser. Lasers are used in all sorts of settings like welding, cutting, surgery, communications, reading bar codes at the supermarket or reading the information stored on a CD or DVD. She talks about the function of the laser and lists a few of the things we use lasers for today. In formal writing, if you were to introduce a discussion of lasers, you could structure your opening paragraph in a few ways.

One idea would be to start like this: A laser is a device designed to intensify a beam of light. Or, you might choose to write: The diagram is of a laser designed to scan barcodes. But Imogen chooses to begin by telling us what lasers are used for. She begins: Lasers are used in all sorts of settings. In your introduction, you could give some background about the device. Once the device has been introduced, you can talk about it in more detail. Let’s listen to Imogen describe the parts of the laser. How many parts are there and what are they? There are many types of lasers but they all have 3 main parts to them.

They all have an energy source, such as a lamp, some sort of feedback mechanism, like this pair of mirrors, and also some medium, like the ruby crystal, which can amplify the light. She talks about three main parts. All lasers have: an energy source, a feedback mechanism, and a medium to amplify light. In formal writing, we could structure this information in a number of ways. We might say that: A laser consists of a number of parts. Or: All lasers are comprised of three parts. Both of these sentences are structured to include a subject, a verb, and an object. You would then follow with a list or another sentence detailing exactly what the three parts are, in order: These are the energy source, the feedback mechanism and, finally, a medium to amplify the light. Imogen then explains how each part of the device functions.

Let’s listen as she describes each part. The lamp shines white light onto the crystal, which is represented by this tube. Pumping energy into the crystal actually gives off light at a particular frequency to produce a particular colour. Some of this light bounces backwards and forwards between the two mirrors, and passes through the crystal each time. Each time the light goes through the crystal, it gets amplified, stimulating the same energy release in other parts of the crystal. So you can see how Imogen has built up a clear image of the device. In formal written English, you might finish off by explaining the ‘purpose’ of the device. You could say: The purpose of the laser is to generate an intense beam of light. Let’s hear how Imogen finishes her description. So after many times in between the two mirrors, and many reflections passing through the crystal, you end up with a very strong, narrow beam of light that is just one colour. She finishes by talking about what the purpose of the laser is, what it produces. She says: You end up with a very strong, narrow beam of light.

So let’s review how Imogen has structured her explanation. First, there was an ‘introduction’ to the object. Imogen told us that we were talking about the laser and then gave us some background. She then moved into the ‘body of the description’. She told us that it is made up of three parts, and listed those parts. In your writing, you might write three separate ‘body paragraphs’ – one for each of the parts. Then, you’d finish off with a ‘statement of purpose’ – what the object’s overall purpose is. Now let’s finish by listening to Imogen one more time, and then we’re going to talk about colours. The lamp shines white light onto the crystal, which is represented by this tube. Pumping energy into the crystal actually gives off light at a particular frequency to produce a particular colour. When energy passes through the crystal, it gives off a particular colour of light. Light contains all the colours of the ‘spectrum’, or the ‘rainbow’. These are: red orange yellow green blue indigo violet We talk about shades of colour in different ways – most commonly by using light and dark.

For example: light blue dark blue Or sometimes we refer to nature, for example: sky blue forest green fiery red We also use precious stones to describe colour. For example: sapphire blue emerald green ruby red And that brings us to the end of Study English today. But for more information on structuring descriptions go to our website. You will find notes, exercises and quizzes to help you. Just go to abcasiapacific.com/studyenglish. And I’ll se you next time for more IETLS preparation. Bye bye.. “}

As found on Youtube

Hypnotherapy for anxiety

Study English – Series 2, Episode 8: Air Archive

{“en”:”Hello. I’m Margot Politis. Welcome to Study English, IELTS preparation. Today we’re taking a look at tenses. We’ll focus on the present perfect and simple past tenses, and we’ll hear examples of each. Then, we’ll practice using some adverbs of time. The clip we’re looking at today is about greenhouse gases. Scientists have been measuring the concentration of certain gases, stored in ice in Antarctica. Let’s find out more. The air archived in ice helps prove how much the level of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere has changed in just the last two hundred years.

What we’ve found out is that indeed there were much lower concentrations pre-industrially, around about a third of the methane concentration that we have presently. We’ve seen a big increase in carbon dioxide, so the two main greenhouse gases in the atmosphere have increased. If you look back a half a million years ago, we don’t see concentrations anything like we have presently. We can link those high concentrations of the present day uniquely to activities of man – combusting of fossil fuels, clearing of lands and so on, agricultural activities.

As you know, there is a variety of verb tenses in English – simple, perfect and continuous. Tenses are used to describe ‘past’, ‘present’ and ‘future’ actions. Sometimes, we need to give more information about when an action happened, how long it happened for and whether it is continuing. When an action has been completed, we use the present perfect tense. Listen to Dr Etheridge use it here. What we’ve found out is that indeed there were much lower concentrations pre-industrially, around about a third of the methane concentration that we have presently. We’ve seen a big increase in carbon dioxide, so the two main greenhouse gases in the atmosphere have increased. Dr Etheridge uses the present perfect tense. He says: ‘we’ve found out’ He’s talking about an action that has been completed. He also says: ‘we’ve seen’, and ‘greenhouse gases have increased’. These actions started sometime in the past but have now been completed – they are in the present perfect tense. When an action has only recently been completed, we can highlight this by using the adverb ‘just’.

Listen to the reporter. The air archived in ice helps prove how much the level of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere has changed in just the last two hundred years. She says that: “The level of greenhouse gases has changed in ‘just’ the last two hundred years”. By using the word ‘just’, she is telling us that two hundred years isn’t very long in geological time. It’s only ‘just’ happened. She’s also using the present perfect tense.

Let’s have a look at how we structure the present perfect tense. We use the auxiliary verb ‘to have’ and a past participle. So here’s our auxiliary verb: to have – I have, you have, she has, we have, they have And then a past participle – for example: changed, found out, seen, increased or helped. So we have: I have changed you have found out she has seen we have increased they have helped Now let’s take a look at the simple past tense. We use the simple past tense when an action occurs at a particular time in the past. For example: last Christmas or on the 15th of May or in 1979, or three million years ago. Let’s listen to Dr Etheridge.

What we’ve found out is that indeed there were much lower concentrations pre-industrially, around about a third of the methane concentration that we have presently. He says that: “There were much lower concentrations pre-industrially.” This refers to a particular time in the past – that is, ‘pre-industrially’ or ‘before the industrial revolution’ in Europe. The atmosphere was cleaner then because there weren’t industries producing greenhouse gases and other pollution.

So, the simple past tense describes an action that occurred at ‘a specific time’ in the past. But the present perfect tense describes an action that has been completed at ‘some indefinite time’ in the past. We’ve already seen how the reporter uses the adverb ‘just’. ‘Just’ is an adverb of time. There are several adverbs of time. They can be used with the present perfect tense to give a number of different meanings. Listen again. The air archived in ice helps prove how much the level of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere has changed in just the last two hundred years. The reporter uses the adverb ‘just’. When you are using the present perfect to talk about a recently completed action, you can use the adverbs ‘just’, ‘already’, ‘yet’ or ‘still’. For example: The level has changed in ‘just’ two hundred years. The Earth’s atmosphere has ‘already’ been destroyed. The adverbs of time ‘yet’ and ‘still’ are used in question forms and negative constructions. For example: Have you finished your assignment yet? No.

I am still writing the introduction. Or: Have you finished your assignment yet? No I haven’t written the introduction yet. When we’re using the present perfect tense to talk about an action that took place at some ‘indefinite time’ in the past, we can use the adverbs of time ‘ever’ and ‘never’. ‘Ever’ is often used in questions. It means ‘has the thing been done at any time in the past’. Some examples are: Have you ever been to China? No, I’ve never been there. Finally, when we’re talking about an action that took place at a point in the past, up to and including now, we can use the adverbs of time ‘for’ ‘from’ and ‘since’. For example: I have been at this school for three months, since March. So you can see that there are different adverbs of time for different uses of the present perfect. The present perfect is a difficult tense to learn. It’s used in statements about actions that began in the past and are still true now.

But it can take a lot of practice to get right. Using adverbs of time can be useful because they help to clarify the precise use of the tense. Practice using adverbs of time, and you’ll find making the right choice becomes much easier. And that’s all for Study English today. Let’s review what we’ve done. We’ve looked at the simple past tense, and the present perfect tense. And then we talked about using adverbs of time in these present perfect constructions. Don’t forget that you’ll find more on these topics on our website. It’s at abcasiapacific.com/studyenglish. You’ll find all the Study English stories, transcripts, study notes and much more. And I’ll see you next time. Bye bye.. “}

As found on Youtube

Study English in London

Study English – Series 2, Episode 11: Mangroves

{“en”:”Hello. I’m Margot Politis. Welcome to Study English, IELTS preparation. On Study English today, we’ll talk about the language of speculation and take a look at identifying the future tense. Speculating about the future is a very important language skill for the IELTS speaking test. But first, let’s watch today’s story. We’ll visit a mangrove forest where we’ll meet one of the more interesting animals that calls the forest home – the goanna, and a new animal – the cane toad – that might be threatening the mangrove goanna. Possibly because it’s very hard to get into the mangroves all year round, especially in the wet season when there’s a lot of water. This site’s one of the only spots where you can get in without a boat all year round so that’s why we chose it. Are cane toads likely to come into mangrove mud flats like this? It’s probable that they’ll come in small numbers, but from radio tracking these goannas it looks like the mangrove goannas will head out onto the flood plain and they do seem to eat frogs so it’s possible that when the cane toads arrive here on the flood plain in big numbers the goannas will eat them.

So it’s possible there’ll be an impact. We expect that most of the goannas are going to eat a cane toad and die, but we’re just hoping that some of them, even a small proportion, won’t be interested in eating a toad and they’re the ones that will be living to pass on their genes and hopefully bring numbers of goannas back up, eventually. So the scientists aren’t sure what will happen in the future. When we’re trying to ‘predict the future’ – or speculate about what might happen – we have several language choices. Let’s put together a list of our options. First, we have verbs. We could use verbs like: guess suppose imagine think suspect or hope Second, we can use modal verbs. For example: may will would might or could Or, we can use conditionals like if: For example: If I pass the exam I will buy myself a new DVD. Other conditionals use similar constructions like this: If, I might, or If, I could We might also use discourse markers to speculate about the future.

Some examples are: perhaps maybe hopefully possibly or even: you never know And, finally, we can use adjectives. It’s likely that it’s unlikely that, or it’s possible that So here’s our list of choices: We can talk about the future using: verbs modal verbs conditionals discourse markers or adjectives Now, let’s hear some of these in practice. Listen to James Smith talking about what might happen to the cane toads and goannas. It’s probable that they’ll come in small numbers, but from radio tracking these goannas it looks like the mangrove goannas will head out onto the flood plain and they do seem to eat frogs so it’s possible that when the cane toads arrive here on the flood plain in big numbers the goannas will eat them.

So it’s possible there’ll be an impact. He says, ‘it looks like’ the mangrove goannas will head out. When discussing the future, there are many verbs we can use. For example: it looks like it seems I expect I hope I imagine or I suspect. These verbs are followed by future tense constructions. In our example James says: It looks like the mangrove goannas will head out. He uses the future tense, ‘will’, to say what the goannas will do in the future. Let’s hear more from James: We expect that most of the goannas are going to eat a cane toad and die, but we’re just hoping that some of them, even a small proportion, won’t be interested in eating a toad and they’re the ones that will be living to pass on their genes and hopefully bring numbers of goannas back up, eventually.

James says: We expect that most of the goannas are going to eat a cane toad. Expect is the verb. And are going to eat uses the future tense to predict what will happen. James also uses discourse markers. He says that if goannas don’t eat toads then this will hopefully bring numbers of goannas back up. Discourse markers like hopefully, maybe, possibly or probably can all be used to speculate about the future. They can also give us an idea about what the speaker thinks. James hopes the goannas will survive. The final item on our list was adjectives. Listen to how James uses adjectives to speculate about the future. It’s probable that they’ll come in small numbers, but from radio tracking these goannas it looks like the mangrove goannas will head out onto the flood plain and they do seem to eat frogs so it’s possible that when the cane toads arrive here on the flood plain in big numbers the goannas will eat them.

So it’s possible there’ll be an impact. James says: It’s probable, and It’s possible These are examples of using adjectives to show that the speaker is talking about something that ‘might’ happen in the future. James is speculating about things that ‘might’ happen. In English, we can also say it’s likely. So we can have: It’s probable the cane toads will come. It’s possible the cane toads will come. or, It’s likely the cane toads will come. In each of these cases, we use the future tense – will come. In English we have to decide which tense to use when referring to things that might happen in the future. English uses three verb forms when referring to future actions – the simple future, the present continuous and the future continuous. We can use the simple future – that’s will plus a verb – there will be. We can also use 2 forms of the present continuous – either the auxiliary verb to be plus the present participle, or the auxiliary verb going to with a main verb. Finally we can use the future continuous – will plus the auxiliary verb to be plus the present participle.

Listen for the future tenses in this clip: We expect that most of the goannas are going to eat a cane toad and die, but we’re just hoping that some of them, even a small proportion, won’t be interested in eating a toad and they’re the ones that will be living to pass on their genes and hopefully bring numbers of goannas back up, eventually. There were three examples in that clip.

Are going to Wont’ be and Will be Did you hear them? Listen again. We expect that most of the goannas are going to eat a cane toad and die, but we’re just hoping that some of them, even a small proportion, won’t be interested in eating a toad and they’re the ones that will be living to pass on their genes and hopefully bring numbers of goannas back up, eventually. He says: Some cane toads ‘will be living’ to pass on their genes. Will be living uses the future continuous tense.

He also says: Are going to eat. That uses the present continuous tense. The present continuous tense is used to describe actions in the immediate future that are definite or planned. A good example of the present continuous tense is: What are you doing tonight? I’m going to see a film. And that’s all for Study English today. Let’s take a look back at the things we’ve talked about. First, we looked at the language of speculation – the language you use to talk about things that might happen in the future. We saw examples of Verbs Modal verbs Conditionals Discourse markers and Adjectives Then, we looked at examples of future tenses – the simple future tense, the present continuous tense and the future continuous tense. And if sometime in the future, you need some help with your English – why not visit our Study English website. You will probably find everything you need. And that’s all for today. I’ll see you next time for more Study English. Bye bye.. “}

As found on Youtube

Study English in London