IELTS Preparation Series 2, Episode 19: Old Trees
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Hello. I'm Margot Politis. Welcome to Study English, IELTS preparation.
Today we're going to look at a story about trees in Melbourne. Trees have certain functions.
They provide shade and shelter, they give scale to the tall buildings and they demonstrate
the changing seasons.
English is no different! It has a range of functions, or purposes. When you reach a certain
stage in your language development, you'll need to focus more on the meaning and functions
of English at the sentence level, and also how to connect sentences. With practice, your
fluency and competence in both spoken and written English will develop.
John Hawker, who is a horticulturalist with Heritage Victoria, is concerned that the old
trees planted in Melbourne in the 1850s are nearing the end of their lives. Listen to
John discussing the problem of managing trees in urban areas.
Trees are very much a part of our urban fabric. People enjoy them for their size, variety
and colour and form, so we'd just be left with nothing, which would be disastrous.
There's a need to assess the health and the condition of these trees and embark upon a
removal and a replacement program.
We'll be helping the City of Melbourne doing that assessment and we'll be identifying where,
what trees should be replanted.
John is discussing the problems of old trees in Melbourne.
He begins with a statement of fact:
People enjoy trees for their size, variety, colour and form.
He follows this statement with an opinion:
To allow these old trees to die and not replace them would be disastrous.
Can you see the purpose or function of these two sentences? John is building a persuasive
argument about trees. He begins with a fact, and then adds an opinion.
Now he goes on to list some of the problems faced by these trees. The function of this
sentence will be to support his argument with reasons.
Listen to the causes of the problem.
Well, there are quite a few problems with some of the trees.
Firstly, the trees, some are very old and nearing the end of their life. That's been
hastened to some extent by recent very dry conditions in Melbourne and other environmental
John begins by identifying the reasons for the problem.
The trees are old and nearing the end of their life. This natural ageing process has been
made worse by recent dry conditions in Melbourne, and other environmental factors.
His argument is more convincing because he explains the reasons for the problem. This
is one of the important functions of English you'll need to learn - to order your thoughts
in a logical pattern, and support them with reasons and examples.