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IELTS Preparation Series 2, Episode 18: Outback Tourism

September 3, 2016

 

(Bấm vào đây để xem/nghe bài kế tiếp)

 

Xem lời thoại bên dưới:

 

0:00

Hello. I'm Margot Politis. Welcome to Study English, IELTS preparation.

0:19

Today we're going to look at a story about trees in Melbourne. Trees have certain functions.

0:25

They provide shade and shelter, they give scale to the tall buildings and they demonstrate

0:31

the changing seasons.

0:33

English is no different! It has a range of functions, or purposes. When you reach a certain

0:40

stage in your language development, you'll need to focus more on the meaning and functions

0:45

of English at the sentence level, and also how to connect sentences. With practice, your

0:51

fluency and competence in both spoken and written English will develop.

0:58

John Hawker, who is a horticulturalist with Heritage Victoria, is concerned that the old

1:04

trees planted in Melbourne in the 1850s are nearing the end of their lives. Listen to

1:10

John discussing the problem of managing trees in urban areas.

1:17

Trees are very much a part of our urban fabric. People enjoy them for their size, variety

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and colour and form, so we'd just be left with nothing, which would be disastrous.

1:28

There's a need to assess the health and the condition of these trees and embark upon a

1:35

removal and a replacement program.

1:37

We'll be helping the City of Melbourne doing that assessment and we'll be identifying where,

1:42

what trees should be replanted.

1:44

John is discussing the problems of old trees in Melbourne.

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He begins with a statement of fact:

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People enjoy trees for their size, variety, colour and form.

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He follows this statement with an opinion:

2:01

To allow these old trees to die and not replace them would be disastrous.

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Can you see the purpose or function of these two sentences? John is building a persuasive

2:15

argument about trees. He begins with a fact, and then adds an opinion.

2:22

Now he goes on to list some of the problems faced by these trees. The function of this

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sentence will be to support his argument with reasons.

2:32

Listen to the causes of the problem.

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Well, there are quite a few problems with some of the trees.

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Firstly, the trees, some are very old and nearing the end of their life. That's been

2:45

hastened to some extent by recent very dry conditions in Melbourne and other environmental

2:51

factors.

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John begins by identifying the reasons for the problem.

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The trees are old and nearing the end of their life. This natural ageing process has been

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made worse by recent dry conditions in Melbourne, and other environmental factors.

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His argument is more convincing because he explains the reasons for the problem. This

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is one of the important functions of English you'll need to learn - to order your thoughts

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in a logical pattern, and support them with reasons and examples.

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So to make a good, persuasive argument, John has given the facts of the problem and given

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us opinions, reasons and examples. Then John explains a solution to the problem.

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There's a need to assess the health and the condition of these trees and embark upon a

3:47

removal and a replacement program.

3:50

We'll be helping the City of Melbourne doing that assessment and we'll be identifying where,

3:54

what trees should be replanted.

3:56

John's solution is to assess the trees, and then remove older trees and replace them with

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younger trees.

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The argument is further developed by another tree expert, Ian Shears, who works for the

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City of Melbourne.

4:13

With replacement of elms, such as in St Kilda Road, for example, we want to be putting in

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trees which are of a significant size. So if you do it on a short term basis, you just

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can't go out to a nursery and get something of any stature at all.

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Ian makes a suggestion - to plant large size elm trees.

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He adds the fact that large trees are not available from nurseries in the short term.

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His un-stated conclusion is so strong we understand it implicitly: we must plan long term for

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this to succeed.

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So you can see how both trees and English have certain functions. Like the different

5:00

parts of a tree all help to make it complete, English sentences have different functions

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that combine to make effective communication.

5:11

Sentences serve several purposes or functions. These can be:

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stating a fact

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giving an opinion

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making a suggestion

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giving an example

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stating a reason

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or giving a cause

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See if you can identify different functions.

5:35

The world's population is increasing. Is that an opinion, a fact, or a solution?

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It's a fact.

5:47

Fines for drink driving are unacceptable. Is that an opinion, a suggestion, or a cause?

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It's an opinion.

6:00

Poverty is rising due to unemployment rising. Is that an example, a suggestion, or a cause?

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It's a cause.

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In an essay, opinions and arguments are supported by:

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reasons and explanations

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causes and examples

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facts and statements

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proposals and predictions

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results and solutions

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Let's construct a short paragraph. Note how it is constructed, beginning with a topic

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sentence, followed by a series of supporting and developing sentences with different functions.

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Music has many benefits. fact

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It provides a common language benefit

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which breaks down barriers explanation

6:59

The Beatles are popular around the world. example

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Music helps people relax. benefit

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Dance music is used for exercise fact

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because it promotes movement. reason

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Some people prefer reggae. fact

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They seem very relaxed. opinion

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Listen to John Hawker again construct his argument.

7:30

Trees are very much a part of our urban fabric. People enjoy them for their size, variety

7:35

and colour and form, so we'd just be left with nothing, which would be disastrous.

7:43

There's a need to assess the health and the condition of these trees and embark upon a

7:48

removal and a replacement program.

7:50

We'll be helping the City of Melbourne doing that assessment and we'll be identifying where,

7:54

what trees should be replanted.

7:56

Well, there are quite a few problems with some of the trees. Firstly, the trees, some

8:01

are very old and nearing the end of their life. That's been hastened to some extent

8:07

by recent very dry conditions in Melbourne and other environmental factors.

8:13

To stay with our tree analogy, you can see how the argument is steadily built up with

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different functions: the opening topic sentence is like the seedling. Once the idea is planted,

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it grows through benefits and facts, is strengthened with reason, coloured with opinion, and develops

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interesting offshoots with suggestions and proposals. Explanations and examples fill

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out the foliage, and the end result is a beautiful and original creation!

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So now that we understand the functions of sentences, let's construct an argument paragraph.

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Trees are lovely. opinion

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They make oxygen fact

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which is necessary for life. benefit

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We should all plant one. suggestion

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It could change cities prediction

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by providing more shade. benefit

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Melbourne is planting trees example

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to replace its old ones. reason

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And that's all for Study English today. We've looked at a variety of different functions

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in a text. You can find out more about the different functions of sentences by going

9:38

to our Study English website.

9:41

I'll see you next time on Study English. Bye bye.

 

 

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