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IELTS Preparation Series 1, Episode 5: Global Warming


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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 a topic you've probably heard a lot about - global warming

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and the environment.

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First we're going to look at ways of brainstorming, taking notes and developing ideas.

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Watch while we play some vision that contains ideas about the causes and effects of global

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warming.

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While you watch, try to note down some of your ideas about what global warming is.

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OK so you saw some ideas, and perhaps took some notes, during that clip. What were some

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of the ideas you saw?

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What has caused global warming?

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We saw gases in the air, cars, factory waste, and people cutting trees down.

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So if you made those notes, you'd get an idea that these were the things causing global

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warming.

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Now let's listen to someone talk about the causes.

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Heat-trapping gases are building up in the atmosphere.

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Heat-trapping gases are building up in the atmosphere. What else?

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So what is global warming? It's the result of billions of decisions. It's caused by decisions

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made by individuals - like driving big cars rather than small cars. And it's caused by

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decisions made by corporations and nations, like dumping waste into the atmosphere.

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Global warming is caused by about people using big cars, and people dumping waste into the

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atmosphere.

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OK, so you've looked at the vision, and listened to the speaker, and you've made notes about

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some of the causes of global warming.

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Now let's look for some of the effects.

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So after watching that, you might be thinking that global warming is having an effect on

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weather patterns, and on nature.

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Listen to the speaker.

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Nature is already responding to global warming. There have been changes in global weather

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patterns.

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Trees are flowering earlier. Birds are laying eggs earlier. Butterflies are moving up hills.

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So there's been weather changes, and changes to the ways trees, birds and butterflies behave.

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So we have a list of causes, and list of effects. You might have identified those things from

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a text you've read, or from listening to someone speak. This is how you can take notes.

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Once you've got your notes, you need to be able to link those causes and effects in sentences.

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Let's look at a couple of different ways.

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The first and most basic way is just making a sequence of statements. This can sometimes

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be a powerful way of making a connection between things. Listen.

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Heat-trapping gases are building up in the atmosphere. Trees are flowering earlier. Birds

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are laying eggs earlier, and butterflies are moving up hills.

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From the sequence of information, we realise that birds are laying their eggs earlier because

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gases are making the earth warmer. So a simple list of statements can show a

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cause and effect relationship.

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But there are other ways too.

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You can use the language of cause and effect. We can say:

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X causes Y.

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Driving cars causes air pollution.

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There are many other word choices as well.

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Driving cars leads to air pollution.

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Driving cars results in air pollution.

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Notice you can also turn the sentence around.

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Air pollution is caused by driving cars.

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Air pollution is the result of driving cars.

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Air pollution is due to driving cars.

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Listen to an example here.

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There have been changes in global weather patterns.

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Trees are flowering earlier. Birds are laying eggs earlier. Butterflies are moving up hills.

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So what is global warming? It is the result of billions of individual decisions.

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He's talking about global warming.

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Global warming is the result of billions of decisions.

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Global warming is due to billions of decisions.

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And remember we can turn the sentence around, and change the phrase:

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Billions of decisions cause global warming.

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Billions of decisions result in global warming.

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Billions of decisions lead to global warming.

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When you're writing about causes and effects, make sure you use a variety of these kinds

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of phrases. There are many to choose from. You should make lists of cause and effect

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language, and the kinds of vocabulary you can use to describe cause and effect relationships.

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Now listen to another clip.

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Trees are flowering earlier. Birds are laying eggs earlier. Butterflies are moving up hills.

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So what is global warming? It is the result of billions of individual decisions.

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When you're writing up your notes using cause and effect language, you'll need to be able

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to follow or track the subject of the text.

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Let's look at that now.

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What is global warming? It is the result of billions of individual decisions.

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The word 'it' here is called a referent. We use referents to identify and track subjects

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through a conversation or a piece of writing.

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If you repeat the subject too many times, your work will sound boring.

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Listen to this:

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The woman came into the room. The woman sat down. The woman drank her tea.

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Look at how we use referents:

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The woman came into the room. She sat down. She drank her tea.

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When you are reading, you'll need to be able to understand referents, and follow the subject

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through the text.

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Other referents are: this, that, these, those.

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Here's the clip again. Listen to the way the referents are used.

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What is global warming? It is the result of billions of individual decisions.

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The word it here refers to global warming.

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What is global warming? Global warming is the result of billions of decisions.

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And here's another referent:

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What is global warming? It is the result of billions of individual decisions.

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You can't manage that at the scale of the individual.

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He says: You can't manage that at the scale of the

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individual.

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He means: You can't manage global warming at the scale

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of the individual.

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But notice how the subject changes here.

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What is global warming? It's the result of billions of individual decisions.

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You can't manage that at the scale of the individual.

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Managing the atmosphere has to take place at a global level. That's why it needs international

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agreements.

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Managing the atmosphere has to take place at a global level.

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The subject of this sentence is 'managing the atmosphere'.

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That's why it needs international agreement.

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So the 'it' here no longer refers to global warming. Now 'it' is referring to 'managing

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the atmosphere'.

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That's why managing the atmosphere needs international agreement.

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When reading and writing, you must be very careful to notice when subjects change, and

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to be clear about which subject is being referred to. This can be quite tricky sometime.

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Next time you see a paragraph, try to highlight all the referents like:

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it this

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that these

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those he

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she they

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Then try to work out what subject they are all referring back to.

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It's a great exercise, and it will help your reading, writing and speaking skills.

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And that's all for today. Hope you keep enjoying your English studies and Study English! I'll

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see you next time.

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