Read the text first, then listen to the audio at the bottom of the page.
THE WEATHER (from Mt Tamborine)
It is raining. It is raining steadily. It is not raining heavily. It is raining steadily.
Look at this scale:
It is raining heavily
It is raining steadily.
It is raining lightly.
It is spitting.
Now I want you to tell me about the weather where you are. What is the weather like where you are? Answer this question. Say your answer aloud.
What is the weather like today?
Now write an answer. What is the weather like in your area? (Post the answer below in the “comments”)
Here is a current news headline:
Russia reduces grain harvest forecast
“Russia has reduced its grain harvest forecast”
“Russia reduces grain harvest forecast”
You could also say:
“Russia has lowered its grain harvest forecast”
“Russia lowers grain harvest forecast” (in “headline style”)
Russia is the world’s third largest wheat exporter. Its major customers include Turkey, Syria and Egypt. The world’s largest wheat exporter is the United States.
Look at this scale:
the world’s largest exporter
the world’s second largest exporter
the world’s third largest exporter
Do you eat more wheat or rice in your country? Answer the question aloud.
Do you eat more wheat or rice in your country?
Now write your answer below. (in the comments section) like this (for example):
“My name is Aki and I live in Japan. In Japan we eat more rice than wheat but young people eat a lot of bread.”
What will be the effect of the reduction in wheat production in Russia? Do you think the price of wheat will increase? Write your answer in the comments section below.
Lets look at another headline:
Death toll climbs to 337 in China mudslides
Note also that articles are left out in “news headline English”
“the death toll”
Heavy rain in North-west China has caused mudslides. 337 people have died so far.
Here is another news headline:
First man to hike Amazon River ends two-year, 4,000-mile trek
As we saw above in “news headline English” we use present simple tense instead of present perfect tense.
In normal written English we would write:
“has ended 4000 mile trek”
“ends 4000 mile trek”
Also note that “trek” is a count noun so we would say:
“his 4000 mile trek”
“a 4000 mile trek”
and not simply:
“4000 mile trek”
Note that articles are omitted in news headlines and so
“the first man”
A British man has hiked from the source of the Amazon in Peru to the mouth of the river in Brazil. (He was the first man to do this.) It was a four thousand mile journey and it took two years. The man did it to draw attention to the environmental destruction of beautiful natural places.
What is the most beautiful natural place you have ever seen? Answer the question aloud.
What is the most beautiful natural place you have ever seen?
Now write your answer in the comments section below.
News and weather Summary
Now listen to a summary. If you do not understand everything you hear, go back and read the text again. Look up all the new words in the dictionary.