TOPIC REQUESTS II :The Environment

Talking about change

Photo: Clare Catchpole – a welcome visitor to our balcony: the Common Carder Bee and Purple Tansy flower

There are constant changes happening in our world, and when talking about the environment the choice of language we use can reflect the ongoing processes, the repercussions of human activity on nature and the current state of our environment.

This is the second in the series of Topic Requests, and a nice contrast to last week’s topic on Sports Cars. I have to admit, the actual request made about a year ago, was for COVID-19 and the Environment. At the time I also decided to use this subject matter to explore the different aspects of the present tense. It feels like after over a year of COVID-19 dominating our lives and the news, that this might not be a popular topic so, although it’s included here and still very much relevant, I thought I’d focus on the issue of the environmental crisis and the language we use to talk about the changes happening around us.

The first document, Talking About Change – Present Tense forms, studies the uses of the simple, continuous or progressive, and perfect aspects in the present tense which clarify and distinguish different perspectives of present time. There is also a focus on vocabulary, in particular the verbs we use to describe changes in the environment. This comes with comprehensive Teacher’s Notes with answers and suggestions.

From this exercise on verbs to describe change, another grammar point came up when comparing the verbs rise and raise, as this is something students are likely to query, there’s an supplementary summary with exercises on the differences between these verbs and transitive vs intransitive verbs in general. Answers to the exercises are also provided in a separate document.

Finally, on the subject of COVID-19 and the Environment there is a reading and speaking lesson which looks at more general vocabulary from the text and can be used completely separately from the other lessons as it doesn’t focus on present forms or verbs related to the environment, it’s more an opportunity to discuss the issues around the pandemic and the environment.

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