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IELTS Preparation Series 2, Episode 4: Clouds


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Xem lời thoại bên dưới:

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

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Today, we're going to look at 'paragraphs'.

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But what's a 'paragraph'? Well it's a group of sentences that are related and develop

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an idea.

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You need to use paragraphs in any formal writing you do, especially in the IELTS writing test.

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Let's listen to a weather expert talking about clouds, and then we'll look at how a paragraph

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works.

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Clouds have two effects. Now clouds obviously decrease the amount of incoming radiation,

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that is heating, from the sun. That then affects how many more clouds form. It affects how

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hot it gets in the daytime. At the same time clouds, at night time, prevent radiation or

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heat escaping from the earth. This not only affects temperatures, but it affects the atmospheric

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systems, the winds, then the humidity and how everything occurs.

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Jim Arthur speaks clearly on the topic of clouds.

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What we have here, when it's written down, is a really good paragraph.

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A good paragraph consists of three main parts: a topic sentence, supporting sentences and

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developing sentences.

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Let's start by looking at the topic sentence. The topic sentence provides the main idea

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of the paragraph. It tells us what the paragraph is about.

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Here's Jim Arthur introducing the subject he will be discussing.

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Clouds have two effects.

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"Clouds have two effects."

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This is Jim's topic sentence.

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There are two parts to his topic sentence.

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"Clouds have 2 effects."

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The first part tells us the subject: the subject is 'clouds'.

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The second part tells us the controlling idea.

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The controlling idea is that clouds 'have two effects'. This is what the rest of the

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paragraph will discuss.

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Let's listen to Jim discussing the effects.

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Now clouds obviously decrease the amount of incoming radiation that is heating, from the

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sun.

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In his second sentence, Jim states one of the effects of clouds that relates to and

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supports the topic sentence.

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"Clouds decrease the amount of incoming radiation." This sentence is called a supporting sentence.

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Listen to him continue.

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That then affects how many more clouds form. It affects how hot it gets in the daytime.

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These two sentences further develop or support the idea expressed in the supporting sentence.

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They're called developing sentences.

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Developing sentences provide examples back up

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explain illustrate

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or clarify the point made in the supporting sentence.

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Listen to the next sentence in the paragraph.

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At the same time clouds, at night time, prevent radiation or heat escaping from the earth.

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This is the second supporting sentence in the paragraph.

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It supports the topic sentence. It gives the second effect of the clouds. They 'prevent

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radiation or heat escaping from the earth'.

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Now Jim develops the idea further.

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This not only affects temperatures, but it affects the atmospheric systems, the winds,

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then the humidity and how everything occurs.

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Jim clarifies the information in a developing sentence. He tells us that clouds affect 'atmospheric

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systems, winds and humidity'.

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Let's summarise how paragraphs work.

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Paragraphs consist of related sentences that develop an idea.

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The idea is introduced in the topic sentence.

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The idea is supported in the supporting sentences.

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The idea is further developed with examples or clarification in the developing sentences.

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There are different ways to structure a paragraph, but these basic elements occur in all of them.

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When you practise writing paragraphs, try to 'make the ideas clear' and 'provide details'

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to strengthen the points you are making. Also do this when you're speaking.

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An important feature of a good paragraph is 'coherence'. Arranging your ideas logically

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will help provide coherence and get your message across.

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Now let's look at some vocabulary about the weather.

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The clips we've seen feature a weather expert, Jim Arthur, talking about clouds.

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He's a 'meteorologist'. He studies 'meteorology', the science that looks at processes in the

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Earth's atmosphere that cause different weather conditions.

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Jim works in Darwin, the capital of the Northern Territory in Australia. Let's listen to him

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talk about the particular weather conditions around Darwin.

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Around Darwin we get tropical cyclones because we're close to that hot water to the north

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of us. We also get continental thunderstorms - just come off the land, very violent thunderstorms

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with a mixture of hot arid dry air and hot, humid air. We get monsoons, classic monsoons,

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where the northwest monsoons come in for weeks on time.

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Jim mentioned three words describing weather:

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cyclones

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thunderstorms

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and monsoons

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These words describe severe, and in some cases, violent weather conditions.

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A 'cyclone' is a violent tropical storm or hurricane.

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A 'thunderstorm' is a storm with thunder and lightning.

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A 'monsoon' is a period of heavy rains, and the wind that brings those rains.

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Many words used in English originally came from other languages. We use them so often

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that we no longer regard them as foreign.

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Let's look at some weather words we've borrowed.

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'Cyclone' is from a Greek word.

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'Monsoon' is a Portuguese word.

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'Typhoon', which is a tropical cyclone or hurricane, is from the Chinese 'tai feng'

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meaning 'extreme wind'.

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'Tsunami', a large, destructive wave caused by an earthquake, is from the Japanese word

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meaning 'harbour wave'.

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A 'tornado' is a violent windstorm that circulates around a centre. It's from Spanish and it

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means 'turning storm'.

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So, in our glossary of words belonging to the field of weather conditions we can include

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cyclone

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thunderstorm

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monsoon

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typhoon

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tsunami

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and tornado

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Listen to Jim using some of these words.

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Around Darwin we get tropical cyclones because we're close to that hot water to the north

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of us. We also get continental thunderstorms that come off the land, very violent thunderstorms

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with a mixture of hot arid dry air and hot, humid air. We get monsoons, classic monsoons,

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where, where the northwest monsoons come in for weeks on time.

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Let's finish today by writing a simple paragraph using our new weather words.

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The topic is 'English words', and the controlling idea is that 'many come from other languages'.

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My main idea will be expressed in my topic sentence:

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"Many words used in English originally came from other languages."

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My supporting sentence will add:

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"We use them so often we no longer regard them as foreign."

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I can use a developing sentence to give examples:

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"Monsoon, tornado and tsunami are words from Portuguese, Spanish and Japanese."

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Lastly, I might finish with another supporting sentence that reinforces the main idea in

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the paragraph:

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"English is always changing because it adopts new words."

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I hope you can put your new weather vocabulary to good use in some interesting paragraphs.

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To find more information and tips, visit our Study English website.

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That's all for today. I'll see you next time on Study English. Bye bye.

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