The world around us

CD1 Track 21

Speaker 1: Where I come from it’s almost always sweltering. Ours is an arid climate, and in most parts of the country precipitation is very low. Can you believe that in the summer, the temperature can exceed 50°C?

Speaker 2: Sometimes I feel like it’s constantly drizzling here and it generally feels damp. In fact, right now it’s pouring down. That does mean we have the most beautiful lush, green countryside, though. And the climate is temperate, so we don’t suffer from any extreme weather, thank goodness.

Speaker 3: The weather here is notoriously changeable. People often think our country is very, very cold all the time, but ocean ز keep our climate fairly mild, considering the latitude. I don’t mind our winters, which are bearable as long as you wrap up warm, but I don’t like our summers because it never gets above 25°C.

CD1 Track 22

Tell me about your country’s climate.
What’s your favourite kind of weather?
Does the weather influence your mood?
Is it worse to feel too hot or too cold?

CD1 Track 23

Tell me about your country’s climate?
We have an extreme climate. Our winters are absolutely freezing, and our summers are boiling hot. That means that the people, the houses, the transport system, everything needs to be prepared to cope with every kind of weather.

What’s your favourite kind of weather?
What I like most is hot, dry weather. I love being able to sit outside on a balmy evening with a drink, rather than cooped up inside like you are in the winter.

Does the weather influence your mood?
Yes, it certainly does. It’s the rain that influences my mood the most. I hate it when it’s raining – it makes me feel so down. Irs hard to go out, without getting soaked to the skin, anyway. And the sky is so dismal and overcast. It’s miserable!

Is it worse to feel too hot or too cold?
Well, I suppose if it’s too cold you can just wear more layers, but nevertheless I prefer to,be too hot. At least it means the weather is good, and you can always go for a swim to cool down. What I really can’t stand is being cold and wet. That’s the worst combination and it makes me worry that I’m going to catch a cold.

CD1 Track 24

My favourite season is most certainly the summer, which is officially from June to September. I say ‘officially” because the reality is that we generally get a very short summer, in that the weather is only really ‘summery” for a few weeks a year. The rest of the season merges with the others, being rather cold and rainy. The highest the temperature gets is about 3D, and when it gets that high, people start complaining because they”re not used to such heat. This irritates me, to be honest, because my view is that we so rarely have hot weather that we should just appreciate it and enjoy it when we do. In this country, and especially in my region, you can’t rely on good weather in the summer. I’ve been to many outdoor events, like weddings, concerts, barbecues and so on, where the organisers were optimistic about the weather, but where it rained non- stop. Of course, you can ‘t blame them – if you can’t organise an outdoor event in August, when can you? In the summer, I typically go abroad on holiday to places where scorching sunshine is practically guaranteed. This is because I am a sun worshipper and like to get a good tan. Having sun on my skin makes me feel healthy, though I am fully aware of all the dangers associated with too much exposure to the sun. When I am at home, I like to have friends over for barbecues, and we stay out in the garden all evening until it gets too chilly or until it’s time for them to go home. The reason summer is my favourite season is that sunshine makes me happy. It’s a scientific fact that it releases endorphins. In fact, during the winter many people in my country use light boxes, which recreate the light of the sun. You have to sit and stare into the light and it is intended to lift your mood. In the summer, though, you don’t need such gadgets; you can just go outside, sit in the sun and get a natural energy boost. It’s wonderful.

Do you dislike the winter?
No, I don’t. All the seasons have something to offer. In the winter it’s nice to snuggle up inside, with a mug of hot chocolate.

CD1 Tracks 25-28

See pages 37-38 for text

CD1 Track 29

The environment

Are people in your country concerned about protecting the environment?

Does the responsibility for protecting the environment lie with governments or with individuals?

Does it help to educate young people on being green?


What effects does pollution have on the environment?

Do you think we pollute more now than we did 50 years ago?

What do you think will happen if we do not reduce current levels of pollution ?

Are people in your country concerned about protecting the environment?

To be honest, no. I think the middle and upper classes are more interested in earning as much money as they can in order to buy as much stuff as they can. And there are many people in my country who live below the poverty line and they quite literally can’t afford to worry about the environment when they’re struggling to put food on the table and just survive.

Does the responsibility for protecting the environment lie with governments or with individuals?

In my view, the responsibility lies with all of us, However, individuals, at least in my country, aren ‘t taking action of their own accord, and nor are businesses ; they’re just out to make a profit. Therefore, it falls to governments to force people to be more green, for example by fining companies that release toxic waste into our rivers, or incentivising ‘us to recycle.

Does it help to educate young people on being green?

Almost certainly it does, because it is the next generation wllo will have to take on the huge burden of saving the planet. This generation isn’t doing enough and is too worried about money, so I pray that the next one will see the urgency of the situation, and the way to get them to see is to teach them about the repercussions of a polluting lifestyle such as ours,

What effects does pollution have on the environment?

Oh, I hardly know where to start! Pollution in the oceans kills fish and so unbalances the ecosystem, Pollution on land means that whole areas become unfit to live on or to farm. Habitats are destroyed, which leads to the extinction of hundreds of animal and plant species.

Do you think we pollute more now than we did fifty years ago?

Well, yes, overall. I’d say, though, that richer countries pollute less themselves but export their pollution elsewhere, by which I mean that they consume foreign products that have a large carbon footprint. It has become fashionable to be green in wealthier nations, especially Western ones, so people make an effort to cycle to work and recycle their waste. However, it’s quite a shallow attempt at being green, in my opinion, because they still live in big houses using lots of energy and go on holidays abroad, leaving a trail of pollution in their wake.

What do you think will happen if we don’t reduce current levels of pollution?

I read an article recently that claimed if we don’t change our ways, we will need a second planet to meet our needs as early as 2030. It’s frightening to think that we’re that greedy, and I’m sure I’m just as guilty as the next person. I do hold out some hope that things will get so bad that we will realise we really must act, and we will completely change
our destructive habits just in the nick of time. If not, the planet will surely become uninhabitable,


Direct link to the Game

Reference: Collins Speaking for IELTS

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