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IELTS Preparation Series 2, Episode 17: Naturopathic Medicine


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0:02

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

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Today on Study English, you'll have the chance to practice your reading comprehension skills.

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These are important skills, not just for the IELTS reading test, but for general academic

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studies as well.

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Today, we'll focus on the skills you need to answer the range of question types in the

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IELTS reading test.

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Let's begin by taking a look at the text.

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So there's our comprehension piece.

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It seems quite long. But let's start at the beginning.

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Read the title.

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We know that the passage is about naturopathic medicine.

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Do you know anything about the subject?

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You know the word medicine, but maybe not naturopathic.

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It's OK if you don't. You don't need to understand every word. We can probably figure out the

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meaning by paying attention to the context the word is used in, or by looking closely

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at the parts of the word.

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We know that naturopathic is an adjective, because it qualifies medicine.

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Now, let's break naturopathic down.

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The first part naturo- sounds like nature.

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The ending is the suffix -ic. Do you know other words that end in -ic?

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How about photographic or historic?

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The suffix -ic means relating to or of.

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So we could guess that naturopathic means something like relating to nature.

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Then we can guess that the meaning of naturopathic medicine is something like medicine that heals

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in a natural way.

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Can you think of any words you know that might belong to this subject?

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How about:

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herbs

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plants

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health

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healing or

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disease

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Let's look at the text again. After you've looked at the heading, look for some other

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clues as to what it is about.

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Are there any illustrations or diagrams? What's the layout like? All these things will help

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your understanding of the subject.

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What kind of text do you think this is?

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It doesn't look like a newspaper article or an instruction manual. It's not an advertisement

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or a timetable. It's probably an article from a journal. We

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can tell by the style, the subject and the way it looks.

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Did you notice the asterisk near the end of the text?

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When an asterisk is used like this, extra information or explanation is given at the

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bottom of the page.

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What we've just done is to use the skills of previewing and predicting.

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We put together all the information we could about the text we are reading.

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We looked for a title, a diagram or any other information set apart - like the asterisk

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at the end of the text.

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We also made some educated guesses about what is in the article, by predicting some common

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words we might expect to see.

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Previewing and predicting before you start reading can help you process information quickly,

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because you know what to expect. It can also help you to follow the author's ideas better,

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because you've prepared yourself for the text before reading it.

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Let's get back to the text. How is it organised?

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It's divided into paragraphs. Here, we have 2 paragraphs: paragraph A and paragraph B.

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Usually, a reading passage would have an introductory paragraph, several body paragraphs and a conclusion.

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Each paragraph should have a topic sentence.

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The topic sentence will give the main idea or subject of a paragraph.

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The skill of skimming involves reading over a paragraph very quickly to get a general

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sense of what it is about. When you skim a text, you just want to get a general idea

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of the content. You're not trying to read every word.

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If you just read the first and last sentences, you can often get a good idea of the main

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subject of the paragraph.

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Let's try with paragraph A.

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Naturopathic Medicine

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Since the earliest beginnings, every known culture has been treating disease with natural

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therapies.

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So what is the main subject of paragraph A?

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Well we read about:

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the early beginnings of cultures

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types of natural therapies and

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cultures and natural therapies

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Can you choose which one of these things tells us what the text is about most accurately?

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Number one talks about beginnings of cultures. The text is probably not about that. It's

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a bit too broad to be the topic sentence.

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So you might think it's number 2 - types of natural therapies. This choice is too narrow.

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The text is about more than just natural therapies.

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It's number 3 that covers the idea of the whole paragraph. It is about cultures and

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natural therapies. This is what the topic sentence is expressing.

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You will be tested on your understanding of main ideas, so it's a good idea to practice

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matching headings to paragraphs.

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When you need to look for specific information, like a name, date or place, you can scan a

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text.

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When you scan, your eyes move across the page very quickly looking for specific information.

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You can then skip over less important words.

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Let's try to scan over the text to find answers to some short answer questions.

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Here's our question:

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The early books of which countries mention natural healing methods?

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We're going to scan the text, looking for the key words.

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The first known medical books of China, India and Greece all mention formulas used in healing.

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So we can answer by writing:

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China, India and Greece

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Let's try another short answer question.

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Who was the father of Western Medicine?

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Here are the key words. Let's scan the text.

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Hippocrates is the father of Western Medicine.

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You can also use these skills when you need to answer multiple-choice questions, label

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a diagram or complete a table.

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Let's take a quick look back over the skills we've used today:

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We looked at using previewing skills to predict what the text was going to be about.

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We talked about looking at the title, diagrams and style of the layout for clues to what

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the text might be about.

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We practised predicting the topic and guessing vocabulary that might be in the text.

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Next, we practiced skimming to find the topic sentence of the paragraph.

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Finally, we talked about scanning for keywords.

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And that's all for today, but you can try out these skills and more on the Study English

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website.

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I'll see you next time. Bye bye.

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