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IELTS Preparation Series 2, Episode 3: Jarrah Forest


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0:13

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

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Today we'll travel to Western Australia to take a look at a famous jarrah forest.

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And while we're there, we'll learn about words that we use to describe 'spatial relationships'

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- where things are in relation to one another.

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Later on, we'll listen to a few 'proverbs'.

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But first, here's the Western Australian jarrah forest.

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Our jarrah forest is our reference point, it's our library of information, this is our

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baseline, this is what we had before we mined. I think some of the outward signs are showing

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us that it's quite healthy.

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The proof in the pudding is not you and I sitting here today, but the proof of the pudding

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might be in ten year's time, twenty year's time - whether this forest is flourishing

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for our children and grandchildren. So far so good.

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Dr Bougher knows a lot about the forest. In the clip, he spent a lot of time describing

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where things are.

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When you're describing where things are, it's important to be precise and accurate in your

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description.

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You need to think about how you're going to 'order the description'. You should try to

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arrange it in a logical way, according to some kind of pattern.

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You might describe things in one area at a time, so you can guide your listener through

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the space.

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Look at this picture.

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You could for example describe from the 'top to the bottom', from the 'left to the right',

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or from 'near to far' - that is you could start describing 'the foreground', 'the middle

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distance', and finish with 'the background'.

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There are no rules on how to describe something. Just make sure that your description is clear

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and logical.

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Here is Dr Bougher again. Notice how he describes the forest area.

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On our left here, we have a very good example of the jarrah forest, the famous jarrah forest

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of Western Australia.

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And on our right here, we have the contrast, which is the mined area, and on this area

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we can see the rehabilitation has occurred about three years ago.

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Dr Bougher uses descriptions like 'on our left' and 'on our right'.

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He helps us understand the location of things by using the preposition 'on', along with

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a noun phrase. These are preposition phrases.

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When we want to describe where things are, we usually use preposition phrases.

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Let's look at some of the common prepositions you can use to describe where things are:

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above below

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beside or next to in front of

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behind on the right

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on the left on top of or over

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under between

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or even surrounded by.

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Let's listen to Dr Bougher once more. As well as using these prepositions, he uses another

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word to show exactly where things are.

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Can you hear it?

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On our left here, we have a very good example of the jarrah forest, the famous jarrah forest

3:56

of Western Australia.

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And on our right here, we have the contrast, which is the mined area, and on this area

4:05

we can see that rehabilitation has occurred about three years ago.

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He says 'on our left here', 'on our right here'.

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'Here' is an adverb. We can use adverbs to help us describe 'spatial relationships' - where

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things are.

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The two most useful ones are 'here' and 'there'.

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Or, you can use other adverbs of place, like:

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somewhere anywhere

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everywhere and nowhere

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In today's clip, Dr Bougher is not just telling us where things are. He's also trying to compare

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the different areas.

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If you're trying to compare two or more things, a good description needs a 'starting point'.

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What's Dr Bougher's starting point?

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Our jarrah forest is our reference point, it's our library of information, this is our

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baseline, this is what we had before we mined.

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His starting point is the jarrah forest.

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He calls it his 'reference point', his 'baseline'.

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He means that he can compare other landscapes to this particular jarrah forest.

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OK. So we've looked at some words you can use to describe 'spatial relationships' in

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a description. If you need more help, just go to our website.

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Learning new words is an ongoing process.

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It's good to learn words in phrases, because they are used in a certain way.

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Sometimes, we come across more unusual groups of words.

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Listen to the clip and see if you can hear an unusual expression.

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On our left here, we have a very good example of the jarrah forest, the famous jarrah forest

6:05

of Western Australia.

6:07

And on our right here, we have the contrast, which is the mined area, and on this area

6:14

we can see that rehabilitation has occurred about three years ago. This is world's best

6:19

practice.

6:19

Our jarrah forest is our reference point, it's our library of information, this is our

6:24

baseline, this is what we had before we mined. I think some of the outward signs are showing

6:29

us that it's quite healthy.

6:31

The proof in the pudding is not you and I sitting here today, but the proof of the pudding

6:35

might be in ten year's time, twenty year's time - whether this forest is flourishing

6:41

for our children and grandchildren. So far so good.

6:43

Dr Bougher says 'the proof of the pudding'.

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The full saying is 'the proof of the pudding is in the eating'.

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Can you guess what that means?

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"The proof of the pudding is in the eating."

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A 'pudding' is a soft, sweet dessert.

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The saying says that you can't tell if the pudding is good until you taste it.

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It's means that you can only judge the quality of something after it has been tested or experienced

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over time.

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So Dr Bougher means we won't be able to tell how healthy the forest is for a long time.

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The real test will be how healthy it is in the future.

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Traditional sayings like 'the proof of the pudding is in the eating' are called proverbs.

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Proverbs are general sayings that give advice or tell us something about life.

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Every language has its own proverbs.

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The Japanese say that 'getting up early brings you merit'.

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But in English, we say that 'the early bird catches the worm'.

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Many proverbs in English come from the Bible or well-known poems.

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Because proverbs are well known sayings, they aren't always quoted in full.

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For example people just say 'when in Rome', referring to the old Latin proverb "When in

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Rome, do as the Romans do".

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Listen to Dr Bougher again:

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The proof in the pudding is not you and I sitting here today, but the proof of the pudding

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might be in ten year's time, twenty year's time - whether this forest is flourishing

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for our children and grandchildren.

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He just says 'the proof of the pudding'. He doesn't say the whole proverb.

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Proverbs are usually found in informal language. Using them naturally is not easy. The meanings

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of common proverbs aren't always obvious, so the only way to learn them is to memorise

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them. Using proverbs takes time, so be patient.

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And that's all for today.

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We've looked at describing 'spatial relationships'.

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We saw how prepositions like 'on' can be useful when describing where things are.

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Then we tried using adverbs to help with our descriptions.

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And we looked at proverbs, traditional sayings.

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So why not go to our website for more on these topics. You'll find the story, transcript,

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exercises and study notes. Nothing ventured, Nothing gained!

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And I'll see you next time for more Study English. Bye bye.

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