Tag Archives: Level:Kitten

Listening comprehension: Free time

This is a 3:06 audio clip where people discuss what they do in their free time. Listen to the audio then take the quiz below. The audio comes from the book Cambridge English Complete First Certificate.

Welcome to your Conversation about free time

How often does Patrick help around the house?
Why is Patrick unable to help his mother?
How often does Tracy do things with her family?
Who has a dad who is a fitness fanatic?
Who lives in an old house by the sea?
Who has a new boyfriend?
What does Diy stand for? (write the answer in lower case)

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Reading Comprehension: After Maria, Puerto Rico Struggles Under The Weight Of Its Own Garbage

This story is from NPR, National Public Radio. This is a National News channel in the United States. Below is the article in it’s entirety. Click here to also listen to the news story. (There are also some pictures on the site that show the devastation)

After Maria, Puerto Rico Struggles Under The Weight Of Its Own Garbage

Outside Puerto Rico’s capital, a three-story-high mountain of debris and waste sits smack in the middle of what was a suburban soccer field before Hurricane Maria devastated the island.

Blue bleachers peek out from the edge of the trash pile, as a line of trucks rolls in to dump even more tree branches and moldy furniture. Workmen wearing yellow hard hats operate diggers to add the new waste to the growing pile in the center of the field.

Puerto Rico is struggling under the weight of its own garbage. Even before Maria hit in September, the Environmental Protection Agency says, most of the island’s landfills were filled beyond capacity and that nearly half were under orders to close.

Puerto Rico’s Solid Waste Authority estimates that the powerful hurricane created 6.2 million cubic yards of waste and debris. That’s enough trash to fill about 43 football stadiums with piles of waste eight stories high, according to a measure used by FEMA.

And it has to go somewhere.

Workmen at the soccer field say the site became a makeshift dump because the landfill for the Toa Baja municipality, near San Juan, is so flooded with trash that wait times to dump debris can be hours. When the soccer site becomes too full, the workers say waste is then moved to the landfill in trucks.

In Maria’s wake, local governments are supposed to separate tree branches and other “green waste” for composting so that it doesn’t clog up landfills, says Antonio Rios, head of the Solid Waste Authority, the agency that sets the U.S. territory’s waste policy.

That composting process isn’t happening everywhere, Rios acknowledges. Green debris is still winding up in overflowing landfills across the island, though he says authorities are trying to divert additional material to landfills that have more room. Rios points out that the hurricane also has created other types of waste, things like broken kitchen appliances and food that went rotten because of a lack of electricity.

The landfill in Toa Baja is managed by the private firm Conwaste and takes in trash from at least four municipalities. It has been deeply troubled for years.

The site is supervised by 25-year-old Lionel Ruiz. Last month, he says, it accepted 36,000 tons of waste — that’s 70 percent more than the month before the hurricane. Ruiz points to trash-filled trucks waiting in a line that stretches down a dirt road and off into the distance.

“It’s more busy than usual,” Ruiz says. “You see the line? We never have that line in normal operation.”

In 2008, the EPA ordered the Toa Baja landfill to close by 2014 because it posed an “imminent and substantial endangerment to health and the environment.” The agency said environmental inspectors found evidence that the landfill did not have a system to control liquid seeping through the garbage pile and into the ground. The agency found that this substance, called leachate, could potentially contaminate a nearby aquifer and wetlands.

In 2012, the EPA permitted the landfill to delay the closure for an unspecified amount of time. It was also allowed to create a smaller area incorporating more environmental precautions — such as a lining to prevent seepage — and begin accepting waste there.

The problems are much the same across the lush tropical island of Puerto Rico. The EPA got directly involved in the island’s landfills in 2002, and has since ordered at least 12 of the approximately 29 landfills to close, which can be a years-long process.

It’s not immediately clear how many sites — most of which are already at capacity — have actually shut down.

Rios of the Solid Waste Authority estimates that at current recycling rates, all of the island’s landfills will be full in 20 to 25 years.

Even the newly added space in Toa Baja’s landfill is rapidly filling up, Ruiz says. Before the hurricane hit, he said he thought it would take five years for that area to fill up; Maria has sped up the timeline.

And he’s grappling with immediate problems. Birds and insects circle around what is currently a hot, rancid, open dump.

“This is the active area of the landfill, you will see a lot of uncovered material,” Ruiz says. Workers would normally cover the expansive mess with earth every day to comply with federal regulations, but he says they haven’t been able to do so for a week because the private trucks they use are now being used by FEMA.

The uncovered mounds of rotting garbage is upsetting to people down the hill in the neighborhood of Candelaria, people like 83-year-old Angelo Fernandez. “The smell, the stink!” he says, totally exasperated. “Every time they leave it open, the smell is awful.”

In his 41 years living here, he’s seen mountains of trash rise from the ground, parts of which are now covered with dirt and vegetation. But the waste lies just inches under the surface.

“It is getting bigger, it is getting bigger and bigger — that was never this height — never,” Fernandez says. “All that mountain you see there is garbage!”

He says people living in Candelaria suffer from asthma and other breathing problems because of the landfill. They cough a lot.

Actually closing a landfill is expensive, costing approximately $200,000 per acre, according to Rios. Puerto Rico is struggling with more than $120 billion in debt and pension obligations, and has filed for a bankruptcy-like procedure — and that was before the hurricane.

The EPA has acknowledged that the budget crisis is making it more difficult for local governments on the island to handle the garbage problem. The municipalities “have always had limited funds to implement the environmental and engineering controls required to improve, and ultimately close, the landfills,” the agency says. And Puerto Rico’s Environmental Quality Board hasn’t required municipalities to set money aside in case their landfills needed to close.

Another issue, Rios says, is that some of the landfills now under closure orders aren’t charging garbage trucks high enough fees to generate the money to actually shut down.

Ultimately, the troubled landfill system is “a public health issue and it’s about to collapse really soon,” says Agustín Carbo Lugo, former head of the Solid Waste Authority. He says Puerto Rico also needs to think beyond landfills rather than just open new ones. Recycling rates on the island are about half of what they are on the U.S. mainland.

“We need to look for different alternatives,” he says, particularly because Puerto Rico has limited space. That might include a number of other waste management techniques such as “waste-to-energy,” which uses methods like incineration to produce electricity and heat.

Most importantly, Carbo Lugo says, “people need to change their behavior and it’s quite complex, how you change that in a small island. But it can be done — it just, people need to understand what’s at stake here.”

Those stakes are clear to Fernandez, who lives next to the landfill. He says that if it closed for good, “I think it would be a better place to live. I know it would be.”

 

Welcome to your Reading Comprehension-After Maria, Puerto Rico Struggles Under The Weight Of Its Own Garbage

What's another way to say 'smack in the middle'?
How much trash did the hurricane create?
What does the word 'makeshift' mean?
What other types of waste were created by the hurricane? (choose all that apply)
What was found to be seeping into the ground in 2008?
According to Antonio Rios, he estimates that all of the island's landfills will be full in  ______________ years.
How much would it cost to close a landfill?
Recycling rates on the island are about ________ of what they are on the U.S. mainland.

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Listening comprehension: Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer

Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer is one that has been played on national TV since my mother was a child. In this clip we see the elves at work in Santa’s workshop. Watch the clip then answer the questions below.

Welcome to your Elves at Santa's Workshop

What is another way of saying "getting ready"?
What is a 'nitwit'?
What does the expression "what's eaten' ya" mean?
Herbie doesn't want to be an elf, what does he want to be?

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Listening comprehension-The island of misfit toys (Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer)

Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer is one that has been played on national TV since my mother was a child. It is on every single year.

In this clip, we hear the story of the Island of Misfit toys. It’s 3:19. Watch the clip then answer the questions below.

Welcome to your Island of Misfit Toys

What happened to the boat?
What does 'misfit' mean?
What is the name of the Jack in the box?
Where are they?

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Listening comprehension: Interview with a novelist

This audio clip is from the book Cambridge English Grammar and Vocabulary for Advanced. In this clip you will hear an interview with a novelist. It is 3:50 long.

Welcome to your listening comprehension-interview with novelist

What is the author's first name?
What country is the author from?
What was his other job?
The interviewer asked, "Do you regret leaving your previous job?" What does 'regret' mean?
What time does the novelist wake up?
Where does the novelist write in his house?
Where does he do his research?
True (T) or False (F): The character, Elsa, is based on his mother. (Enter T or F)
What is a "last resort"?

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Listening comprehension-Rudolph the Red nosed Reindeer clip

This movie is one that has been played on national TV since my mother was a child. It is on every single year. Watch the video clip (it’s only 1 minute) and then take the short 2 question quiz after.

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Welcome to your rudolph the red nosed reindeer

At the beginning of the clip, Rudolph says "she said I'm cute!". What does that mean?

 
What does the expression "for crying out loud" mean?

 

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Listening comprehension: Running

In this audio you will hear 3 speakers discuss their experiences with running. It lasts 3:50. You can take notes.

Here’s a quiz to see how well you understood the audio clip. Good luck! 🙂

Welcome to your listening comprehension-running

1) Speaker 1 took up running a few years ago. What does "to take up" mean?
2) What is a fun run?
3) What did speaker 2 do before she started running?
4) Which speaker had 3 older brothers?
5) True (T) or False (F): Speaker 1 no longer runs. (Enter T or F)
6) Which speaker started running at age 10? (Enter: Speaker 1,2, or 3)
7) Who runs in a running club?


 

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Listening comprehension: the break in

The audio clip below is from Cambridge English Grammar and Vocabulary for advanced. It is 2 minutes and 38 seconds long. Listen to the audio clip and answer the questions.

 

Listening comprehension-the break in

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What teen pregnancy looks like in Latin America | Christian Rodríguez Video and quiz

Watch this Ted Talk on teenage pregnancies and answer the questions below.

  1. How many pregnancies are there every day in Latin America?
  2. In what country do 1 out of 2 teenagers (aged 12-19) get pregnant?
  3. What is the key to breaking the cycle of teen pregnancy?

Click here for the answers!

Be sure to subscribe to my youtube channel for even more English lessons. 4minuteswithkristy

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Listening comprehension with questions: Environmental Science.

In this audio clip, you will hear a student speaking to someone at a university about his experiences in Environmental Science. Listen to the audio clip, then take the quiz. The clip is 3:50 long. This clip comes from the book, Cambridge English Grammar and Vocabulary for Advanced.

Listening comprehension: Environmental Science Cambridge

Be sure to subscribe to my youtube channel for even more English lessons. 4minuteswithkristy

If you found this post helpful, please consider a donation so that I can continue to provide you with content! I appreciate it! Thanks! paypal.me/kristywinfrey 

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